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Two days ago, Mitt Romney told the assembled FVW delegates that the Obama administration had leaked vital national security secrets for political gain. He produced not a shred of evidence to support is demand that a Special Counsel be unleashed on the Obama Administration.  Romney has had a pattern of making wild and unsupported charges, but this time he came within an inch of claiming treason.

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Speaker John Boehner is saying President Barach Obama lacks the courage to reopen the debt ceiling discussion.  He wants the president to request a higher debt ceiling now, so there will be less danger of the nation going over the financial cliff in December when the debt debate will be joined with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the beginning of the cuts agreed to in July, 2012.

At first glance, the proposal seems like it is worth considering. It would give President Obama an opportunity to show leadership and to remind people that he has repeatedly suggested ways to both cut the debt and stimulate the economy. Each time, the GOP has blocked him.

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Sat May 19, 2012 at 02:15 PM PDT

The "Swift Boat Ad" of 2012

by Big Chuck

The right has been casting about for a  "Swift-Boat" advertisement for 2012.
First, an advertizing campaign featuring clips freom the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright was considered. That approach was dropped, but only after there was enough television coverage to guarantee that many voters identified Barach Obama with Wright's most ill-considered comments.

Here the video that the Far Right now thinks should be run on television, especially Fox News-- their main propaganda outlet.Perhaps it will not be aired, but it clearly reveals the core of Republican strategy.

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Tue May 15, 2012 at 07:16 PM PDT

A Few Thoughts About Bullies

by Big Chuck

Let's face it, I don't like Mitt Romney. I strongly disagree with those who say he is a nice man.

Two things most turned me off: (1) his endless lies about Obama's record, and (2) his not-so-subtle appeals to the extremists, and all the while trying to be something different than Sarah Palin or Rep. Bachmann.

I mulled over the matter of whether he was a bully for some time because I try to write a reasonable blog.

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Today Willard Mitt Romney was ranting about how President Obams stacked the National Labor Relations Board with union "stooges," and he then went on about how bad unions are for the country. We remember how hard he was on the UAW. Down deep, he probably wishes the old Foord good squads were around to beat the hell out of union organizers.

He did not note that the economic welfare of the middle class seemed to go downhill as the unions lost influence. Nor did he mention that statutory law requires a balance on the NLRB or that the Republicans had spent three years trying to paralize the agency.  

This man has no respect for facts. He continues to blame the Bush recession on Obama
because the worst effects of Bush policies hit in the first nine months of the Obama administrtion, when new policies were being enacted and did not have time to take effect. He has no respect for facts because he holds a low opinion of the masses. He says Republicans are not stupid, but he thinks the rest of the people are.

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Jeb Bush and Mitch Daniels are saying that Mitt Romney's “slash and burn campaign” has gone on long enough, and that it is time for Romney to tell voters why they should let him govern. Until now, he has hurled catch-all, unsupported charges at President Barach Obama. Willard Romney  has not said what he would do to restore the economy to full vigor.  In the past, totally negative campaigns have rarely fared well. But 2012 may be an exception. Romney is banking on  the “Anyone bit Obama” approach because all but 6% of the voters have fixed opinions about the president.1 It could be that few of that 6% will be turned off by Romney's  constant carping, negativity and lies. Maybe they are not incurious about what Romney might do as president.

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Today's Tea Party is a manifestation of political fundamentalism. It is a manifestation of a powerful  herd instinct marked by anger and paranoia and fueled by the energies of distorted nationalism.  There was a similar herd instinct in the 1920s that troubled thoughtful Americans.  

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Scientists now apply insights from experimental psychology, linguistics, and neuroscience  to the differences between liberals and conservatives. Their findings offer some hints to explain why appeals to rage, fear, and conspiracy theories are so effective in attracting political support and in short-circuiting people's critical reasoning processes.  Their work also helps explain why some people are liberals and others are conservatives.


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Last week, President Barack Obama addressed the Associated Press editors. He built on his policy suggestions from the State of the Union Address, but he also critiqued Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s plans to give over $4 trillion more to the rich, while stripping health care from a minimum of 14,000,000 people. The next day, Mitt Romney spoke less than half the time, offered no economic plans, and blasted Obama for never making concrete economic proposals. Romney repeated his many unsupported campaign claims against Obama and grouped them around another unsupported claim that Obama refuses to offer specific economic plans and has some secret program to transform America after he is elected. He talks about some sort of Trojan Horse, but he did not identify what even that might be.

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The five members of the conservative bloc on the United States Supreme Court seem ready to strike down the heart of Affordable Health Care, the individual mandate or requirement that every adult must purchase health care insurance.

They seem to agree that if someone were about to enter the ER, it would be legal to require that person to buy health care insurance. Of course, the premium would be sky high. The justices object to requiring someone to purchase coverage when it is not needed.

It seems to be a matter of timing. But they are not willing to look at what happens when someone goes into the ER without insurance. In many instances, the people who have already purchased their own insurance will be forced to bear the cost of taking care of the untreated. That drives up their premiums.  At the moment, hospitals using some public money must care for the uncovered. But as health care costs continue to rise, it is only a matter of time before that requirement will be dropped.

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For a few months, parts of this story have been surfacing.  Between August, 2007 and
April 2010, the Fed has loaned 190 banks $7.7 trillion.  The banks used the money to buy smaller banks, and they made a profit of $13 trillion.

In addition, the Fed provided more than $5 trillion more in guarantees for the banks. That comes to $13 trillion.

Some, using GAO figures, think the total is closer to $16.

These loans and guarantees were essentially "secret," and in the last analysis, they were made at the expense of the US tax payer.

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Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 04:22 PM PST

Puncturing Republican Economic Claims

by Big Chuck

Republican claims about the economy are based on ideology largely generated by people who were not trained in economics.  Maybe presenting just a few hard facts will be helpful.

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