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Ask you've no doubt heard, Sarah Palin recently spoke to an audience in Iowa and said that the national debt is "like slavery."

For a whole host of eminently obvious reasons, the comparison elicited outrage.

But it also got us wondering… if Palin really things debt equals slavery, why did she leave the tiny town of Wasilla $20 million in debt?

As mayor of Wasilla, AK, Palin was not always the fiscal watchdog she has since boasted of being… During her tenure, the budget of Wasilla (population 5,469 in 2000) apart from capital projects and debt, rose from $3.9 million in fiscal 1996 to $5.8 million… When Palin left office in 2002, Wasilla had "racked up nearly $20 million in long-term debt," or roughly $3,000 of debt per resident. (source

Ask Sarah Palin: If debt is "like slavery", why did you leave Wasilla $20 million in debt?


Why did Palin leave Wasilla $20 million in debt?

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| 116 votes | Vote | Results


By this point, you've no doubt seen Marco Rubio's "big gulp", either live as it took place, or in one of the many, many, many gifs or video remixes afterwards.  

But does his choice of beverage hide a darker secret?  Is Marco Rubio in fact, Swiss?  "Thirsters" want to know.

You see, Poland Spring is actually owned by Nestle, a Swiss company.  Which means that Rubio's choice was clearly a shout out to his secret Swiss overlords.  At least, that's a possibility.  We're just raising the question.

Now, we haven't actually seen pictures of Marco Rubio crafting a fine watch, making cheese, or keeping company with the Swiss Miss girl.   But just because we haven't seen them doesn't mean they're out there.  Or could be out there, if someone with more design skills cared to put them there.  

Is Marco Rubio Swiss?  The truth is out there.  And Thirsters demand to know.  


Is Marco Rubio Swiss?

55%44 votes
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| 80 votes | Vote | Results

Folks, we are proud to announce our latest effort over at Left Action:

Draft Mitt Romney for president... of the Cayman Islands!

Sign on, send a message, and join our effort to draft Mitt Romney for president... of the Cayman Islands! Reunite a man and his money!

Mitt Romney has long been a fan of the Cayman Islands, and that nation's magical power to help him avoid taxes on his millions. His many, many, many millions. Bain Capital alone maintains 138 funds in the Caymans (source)

Even his boats use the Caymans to avoid taxes – during the GOP convention, the Romney campaign held a party for top fundraisers on a boat flying the Cayman flag! (source)

The next election for Cayman president (well, they call it "premier") is in the spring of 2013. By that time, Romney will surely be tanned (probably from a Cayman beach), rested and ready!

Reunite a man and his money. Sign on, send a message, and draft Mitt Romney for president... of the Cayman Islands!


So I've frankly grown a wee bit tired of having to argue with GOP numbskulls about why 8.3% sucks, but is far better than what might have been.  I mean, if you had a 104 degree fever, and then it went down to 101 degrees, you'd still be sick, but clearly you'd be heading in the right direction, right?  

Still though, arguments that require hypothetical thinking and anything more complex than 2+2=4 seem lost on those whose knuckles are dragging on the ground.  So let's keep it simple:

If Bush had been president, unemployment today would be 27%.

The last month of the Bush Presidency, 741,000 jobs were lost (source).  What if that trend had continued?  What if we'd lost 741,000 jobs a month, every month since then?  

Well, unemployment right now would be 27%.  And by October, 2024, not a single American would have a job.  Zero.

Now, if this seems extreme, consider the following -- job losses were accelerating before January 2009.  Arguably, the 741K loss would have been even worse, had Bush's policies continued (translation = the f*$*!& stimulus worked).

But again, let's keep it simple.  If Bush's January 2009 performance had continued every month since then, unemployment would be 27%.  Or we would've descended into  anarchy (probably with cannibalism) and it would've been even higher.  

So yeah, 8.3% sucks.  But at least it ain't 27%.  

(Note: Source for stats here is the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Note 2: While I do actually have a real econ background, this is a back of the envelope quickie analysis, so I welcome corrections, edits, etc.  Note 3: Obviously I'm being a bit simplistic and cheeky here, but...I do think it's a good trend extrapolation to have in your pocket when the non-cheeky GOP simpletons slam Obama, without accounting for the rapidly imploding economy Bush left him).



Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 04:49 PM PST

Rush & Michael J. Fox

by Hlinko

Hi folks, Hlinko here.  I've been doing a lot this last week with, launched from my site, Left Action.

And throughout this week, I've been getting comments from wingnuts, claiming that Rush was being attacked for an isolated incident, for a few words, etc.  

And it got me thinking of another Rush event from 2006, from back when I was knee deep in advocacy for stem cell research.  A time when Rush actually mocked Michael J. Fox's Parkinsons symptoms:

My point?  Well, it may not be profound, it may not be fresh, but it's pretty straightforward:  One isolated incident can be properly labeled as "an isolated incident."  

But two... well that's the start of a pattern.  And a whole slew of them, over a few decades?  That makes you a world-class ass clown.



I read yesterday that Bill Maher is giving $1 million to a pro-Obama super PAC. And well, that inspired me.

So for every ten new Facebook fans for Left Action between now and March 1st, I'll give $1 to that same super PAC. (Priorities USA Action)  

Click here to go to the Left Action page, and click "like" once you get there to become a fan.

Right now, we've got 594,615 fans for the Left Action page.  That's the starting point, and for every 10 new fans beyond that on March 1st, I'll donate $1.

Why?  Well, because I really, really, really don't want to see a President Romney or Santorum or Gingrich take office in January.  And you better believe that the super PACs on their side will be putting un-effin-believable amounts of money into election.  We need to do our part.  So while I can't donate $1 million like Maher, I can do something.

Why the Left Action connection? Well, the more fans we have, the more actions we can push, so it basically doubles the impact.  But mostly, I want to make this effort as public as possible -- as a challenge to others to do the same.  Maher has a national TV audience to announce his donation (and spur an "echo" effect), and hey... I've got my Facebook page.   :)

If anyone out there wants to match my donation as part of this "fan-raiser," let me know, and I'll add to the total.  Or if you're going to do your own effort, go ahead and post it here in the comments or on the Left Action FB page.  Let a thousand money-bomb flowers bloom.

Now, don't view this as a defense of super PACs.  I'd love to see them abolished, and would love to see a whole host of campaign finance reform, but... that I'll leave that for another diary.  

But suffice to say, for now, super PACs will be a factor in this election.  A huge factor.  If we unilaterally disarm, and if we do not support ones working on behalf of Democratic candidates, we will lose the White House and the Senate, and have no chance of taking back the House.  I don't want that to happen.

I don't want to see this in November:

I want to see this:

So go ahead, spread the word... and help empty my wallet.  And consider yourself challenged to do your own part as well.  


Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 03:50 PM PST

Tell Komen: Fire Karen Handel

by Hlinko

Okay, I'm still not sure whether Komen has actually reversed itself, or just apologized without changing a thing ("faux-pologized").  

But one thing is clear:  It's time for Komen to fire Karen Handel, the extreme right-wing ideologue responsible for pushing the decision to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood -- and putting politics before breast cancer prevention.

Komen may have implied today that it was reversing its decision to cut off funding. But as many here have pointed out, it's a limited (and perhaps completely hollow) reversal, given that it only applied to current funding, and not future funding.

Handel put politics before the prevention of breast cancer. It is absurd that an organization dedicated to a cure would keep her in a position of power.

It's time for Komen to fire Karen Handel

She clearly came in to the organization with a strong bias against Planned Parenthood.  Why they hired her, and why they let her destroy their reputation with this asinine move is beyond me.  But if Komen wishes to have any hope of a shred of a chance of getting back their tarnished reputation, it's time for Handel to go.

I must say, I wouldn't wish unemployment on anyone in general. But in this specific case, I'm with Mitt Romney -- "I'd enjoy firing" her.


America is now just days away from defaulting on its debt, and yet, Speaker John Boehner is refusing a deal that will allow the debt ceiling to be raised.  Maybe we can help...

For each message sent to John Boehner, Left Action will send him a pair of balls.  

President Obama and the Democrats in Congress have gone more than halfway in offering a sensible plan for controlling the deficit, and yet, Boehner and the Republicans are not willing to budget.

Boehner & co are apparently so frightened of their Tea Party base that they will not agree to any revenue increase whatsoever.   They are now even being called out by one of their own, conservative columnist David Brooks:

"If the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment. It is being offered the deal of the century...Republicans are merely being asked to close loopholes and eliminate tax expenditures that are themselves distortionary.

This, as I say, is the mother of all no-brainers.  But we can have no confidence that the Republicans will seize this opportunity. That's because the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party.

Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative. The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch in order to cut government by a foot, they will say no. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch to cut government by a yard, they will still say no." (source)

John Boehner and the Republican leadership is apparently more scared of their own crazy base than of allowing the United States of America to default on its debt.  
Please send a message to Speaker Boehner, asking him to "man up" and do the right thing.  

For each signature, we will send a pair of balls to the Speaker. 

Juvenile?  You bet.  But since logic and sound arguments are apparently lost on the "cult of stupidity" that the Republican Party has become -- it's time to try giving "juvenile" a shot. 

Send a message, send a pair of balls, and help us convince Speaker Boehner to show some guts. 

(and yes -- we really are going to send him balls) 


Is Donald Trump just a liar or genuinely stupid? We'll pay for the test to find out!  (See more at

Again, and again, and again, it has been proven that Barack Obama was born in America.  And yet, Donald Trump continues to spout off birther nonsense about how this is in doubt.

Given that the evidence is so clear, one can only coclude that Trump is knowingly lying about what he's saying, or he's simply... incredibly stupid.   Which is it?  America needs to know. And Left Action is here to help:

We are offering to pay for both a lie-detector test and an IQ test for Mr. Trump.   Once and for all, we will all know whether he's a liar or simply stupid (though we wouldn't rule out both).

Please join with us, send a message to Mr. Trump, and ask him to take the tests! 

We're sure Mr. Trump would do it himself, but given that he's been involved with so many bankruptcies, we worry that cost might be an issue.  Thus, we are offering to pay.  It's our way of showing we care. 

Oh, and for each signature on our petition, we will also donate 2 cents to charity.  One cent to help support financial education (and prevent others from going bankrupt) and one cent to buy hairpieces for those who cannot afford them.


Is Donald Trump a liar or just stupid?

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Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:00 AM PDT

Ann Coulter: "Go Fukushima Yourself"

by Hlinko

(Cross posted from Left Action)

Take action, send a message to Ann Coulter, and tell her to: "Go Fukushima yourself."  For every message sent, we will donate one penny to buy Ann's ticket to Fukushima.* 

Just when you thought Ann Coulter couldn't be a bigger idiot, she really takes idiocy "to an 11", goes on Bill O'Reilly's show, and... touts the health benefits of radiation.

In the middle of a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant in Japan, one with potentially catastrophic consequences, one where unbelievably brave workers are trying to prevent an even greater disaster...she is chirping happily about the sunny side of radiation exposure.  Watch the video for yourself, just below.  Even Bill O'Reilly couldn't believe it.  And when even O'Reilly thinks you've gone off the deep end, you know you've really done a heck of a job. 

We have a simple message for Ann Coulter:

"Dear Ann:  Please, stop being an idiot. Or, if you really believe radiation is harmless, show the courage of your convictions, go to the Fukishima nuclear plant, and help with the repair."   
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Folks, you've probably seen this on the current front page diary.  Just when you thought the Republicans couldn't get anymore insane on the abortion front... along comes Joe Pitts!

Well, over at Left Action, we've got a petition going on this, and... for every signature we get, we're going to send one "nut" to Joe Pitts to show just how "nuts" we think this is.

We hit 1,000 sigs in the first hour, and... it's still going and growing like crazy.  Full details below the fold, but... if you like it, check it out, spread the word, and fight back against this insanity.

Continue Reading

(Update: Make sure to check out the thank yous in Forrest Brown's diary too. And keep up the momentum!)

Wow... less than 24 hours since we posted this at Left Action, and already more than 10,000 people have written thank-you letters to Keith Olbermann.

And I must say, there are some pretty incredible ones there (you can read them here -- look just below the form in the right column).  

I don't think there's a whole lot I can add, but... wow.  10,000 in less than 24 hours?  Holy cow.

In terms of my own "thank you" to Keith, well... it's just below the fold.  I can only hope it's half as eloquent as some of the ones others have already written.

Continue Reading
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