How Republicans plotted to sabotage President Obama’s presidency in spite of two wars and the economy tanking

gop sabotage

As we come to President Obama’s second inauguration, it is encouraging to see that at least some in the media are finally focusing on the what happened during the president’s first inauguration.  Considering the dire straights that the economy was in at the time, it is really hard to believe that these Republicans gave a damn about what might happen to the American people.

From Frontline’s Inside Obama’s Presidency – a report on The Republicans Plan for the New President:

On the night of Barack Obama’s inauguration, a group of top GOP luminaries quietly gathered in a Washington steakhouse to lick their wounds and ultimately create the outline of a plan for how to deal with the incoming administration.

“The room was filled. It was a who’s who of ranking members who had at one point been committee chairmen, or in the majority, who now wondered out loud whether they were in the permanent minority,” Frank Luntz, who organized the event, told FRONTLINE.

Among them were Senate power brokers Jim DeMint, Jon Kyl and Tom Coburn, and conservative congressmen Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan.

After three hours of strategizing, they decided they needed to fight Obama on everything. The new president had no idea what the Republicans were planning.

Read more about the Republicans sabotage attempt at The Audacity of Nope.

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Cashing In On Obstruction: How Mitch McConnell’s Abuse of the Filibuster Benefits His Big Money Donors | Public Campaign Action Fund

Executive Summary of the Public Action Campaign Report:

Since Republicans lost the majority in 2006 and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) became minority leader in 2007, the United States Senate has seen an unprecedented level of filibustering and obstruction. McConnell has been at the helm of a scorched earth policy of blocking nearly every bill and nominee that comes before the Senate, imposing an anti-democratic super-majority requirement to advance any legislation or appointment. This has meant little to no work on a wide range of lingering problems from anemic job growth to unwarranted giveaways of tax dollars to oil companies to the highest rates of inequality since the Gilded Age. This report links the big trends and donors in McConnell’s enthusiastic fundraising career with his willingness to foment legislative dysfunction, which serves to increase his power and enrich his corporate donors while leaving American families to struggle. The eight cases of obstruction examined in this report span several important policies and highly competent judicial and administrative nominees. These cases are among the many instances where McConnell placed the interests of his big money donors ahead of Kentuckians and everyday families.

Highlights

On the very day debate began on a bill to repeal subsidies to Big Oil, an astonishing $131,500 in campaign contributions passed from the hands of oil donors in Midland, Texas into Mitch McConnell’s re-election war chest. Three days later the bill failed by filibuster.

Companies that lobbied against bringing jobs back to America and ending tax breaks for offshoring have given McConnell one million dollars to win his elections and look out for their interests. Big McConnell donors such as GE, Microsoft, and Exxon Mobil also have billions in untaxed profits stashed overseas.

Despite once supporting transparency, McConnell has led the effort to block the DISCLOSE Act and keep Americans in the dark about the money flowing into elections. Wealthy individuals and companies spending millions in secret money have overwhelmingly helped elect Republicans, an essential step in McConnell’s ambition to become majority leader of the Senate.

Sen. McConnell took the unusual step of filibustering a district court nominee, former trial lawyer Jack McConnell, who was vehemently opposed by the insurance industry and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after Jack McConnell won a multi-billion dollar case against lead paint companies. Sen. McConnell has received $1.7 million from insurance interests, and has taken tens of thousands of dollars from one of the lead paint companies in the case and its parent company.

Read the full report at Cashing In On Obstruction: How Mitch McConnell’s Abuse of the Filibuster Benefits His Big Money Donors | Public Campaign Action Fund.

Daily Kos: Romney Won Using a Debate Technique Called the Gish Gallop

27 lies in 38 minutes, bullying the moderator-this seems to fit:

byAmBushed

As fact checkers busily highlight the myriad number of lies and distortions offered by Mitt-Etch-A-Sketch-Romney during last night’s debate, and the spinners spin their polls with impunity, I find it interesting that the debate tactic itself has not yet been discussed nor properly analyzed. In fact, the lies and distortions offered by Romney in last night’s debate are the very ESSENCE of his tactic — and is therefore quite pertinent to the discussion. Romney used a debate tactic known as  the Gish Gallop.

The Urban Dictionary defines the Gish Gallop thusly:

Named for the debate tactic created by creationist shill Duane Gish, a Gish Gallop involves spewing so much bullshit in such a short span on that your opponent can’t address let alone counter all of it. To make matters worse a Gish Gallop will often have one or more ‘talking points’ that has a tiny core of truth to it, making the person rebutting it spend even more time debunking it in order to explain that, yes, it’s not totally false but the Galloper is distorting/misusing/misstating the actual situation. A true Gish Gallop generally has two traits.

1) The factual and logical content of the Gish Gallop is pure bullshit and anybody knowledgeable and informed on the subject would recognize it as such almost instantly. That is, the Gish Gallop is designed to appeal to and deceive precisely those sorts of people who are most in need of honest factual education.

2) The points are all ones that the Galloper either knows, or damn well should know, are totally bullshit. With the slimier users of the Gish Gallop, like Gish himself, its a near certainty that the points are chosen not just because the Galloper knows that they’re bullshit, but because the Galloper is deliberately trying to shovel as much bullshit into as small a space as possible in order to overwhelm his opponent with sheer volume and bamboozle any audience members with a facade of scholarly acumen and factual knowledge.

It is quite apparent to those of us who have closely followed this election, that this latest sketch drawn out by Romney completely contradicts major policy ideas stumped on the campaign trail by him over the last few months. Since Obama could no longer debate the substance (or lack thereof) of Romney”s policy ideas, it threw Obama off his game. We have seen Romney do this before in the primaries. Obama needs to be prepared for it in future debates. Call it Etch-A-Sketch, call it the Gish Gallop, call it lies…it’s all about the same. But it is a known debate tactic. And, like Romney, it is dishonest.

via Daily Kos: Romney Won Using a Debate Technique Called the Gish Gallop.

How Mitt Romney plans to spend all that money

Several new developments in the 2012 Presidential campaign of late…

Since we are starting to learn more about how Mitt plans to spend all the money he’s received from those rich, secretive donors, what little we know of them – and what they want for their money – seems like a good place to start.

Right-Wing Billionaires Behind Mitt Romney:  They’re trying to buy a presidency – and they expect a big payoff on their investment

We learned from the Washington Post that a good deal of this money is going to a team of supposed advertising gurus that includes the guy that came up with the slogan “Where’s the beef?”

Mitt Romney’s team of ‘Mad Men’ creates ads to sell a nation on a candidate

Now the ad wizards job might be a whole lot easier if they could just keep Mitt Romney quiet

Romney: ‘No ones ever asked to see my birth certificate’

Not that anyone should be too surprised with Romney’s pandering to his base. In fact, there will be 7 birther speakers at the Republican National Convention, and Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach – a known birther – is the immigration adviser to the Romney campaign:

7 Birther Speaking at Republican National Convention

Former Michigan Governor, Jennifer Granholm, had one of the best reactions to Mitt’s birther comment:

Jennifer Granholm’s Response to Mitt Romney’s Birther Remark is a Doozy

But back to how Mitt’s donations. We also learned that the GOP is using data mining to search for rich, religious donors according  the AP:

Romney uses secretive data mining, exec says

This is not the only way the GOP is apparently planning on using large databases – they also come in handy for voter intimidation:

How the Right’s Building a Poll Watcher Network for November.

Now whether the effort by True the Vote is related in anyway to this despicable ad by the Conservative Majority Fund – also seeming to try to collect names – is hard to say:

Birther Group Launches National Ad Campaign Seeking to Disqualify Obama from Reelection

There is no law anywhere that says collecting 10,000 signatures in each congressional district can have a candidate removed from the ballot. A whois search of the website mentioned in that ad tracked back to a long time GOP operative, big surprise. It may still, if they haven’t already covered their tracks (which one thinks they should have done before running the ad).

One more that worth checking out before it’s gone. Someone apparently filmed Mitt talking to some rich donors at a $50k per plate fund raiser on the “good” Bain was doing by using outsourced Chinese sweatshop labor:

Mysterious Video Appears to Show Romney’s Private Remarks on Chinese Labor Conditions

or the original post:

Mitt admits to using Chinese slave labor at Bain (which was not posted by Rachel Maddow, by the way).

There is actually even more than this going on, but given the RNC’s convention is next week, there will be plenty of time for more links.

Voting Suppression Schemes and How They’re Being Challenged | The Nation

Voter suppression should not be happening in America…

This week marks the forty-seventh anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. A lot has changed since then. A new app called Election Protection was released yesterday that allows voters to register, find their polling locations, and report problems. Voters around the nation are already familiar with the Election Protection program, which has long fielded complaints from voters on Election Day. The increased used of smartphones, along with the increased move to suppress votes, makes the app a must-have this election season. Here are updates from some key states in which constituents are already worried about their vote.

more at Voting Suppression Schemes and How They’re Being Challenged | The Nation.

Corporatism and Fraud are Why Were Screwed: | Credit Writedowns

Via Credit Writedowns…

As the Global Financial Crisis rumbles along in its fifth year, we read the latest revelations of bankster fraud, the LIBOR scandal. This follows the muni bond fixing scam detailed a couple of weeks ago, as well as the JPMorgan Chase trading fiasco and the Corzine – MF Global collapse and any number of other scandals in recent months. In every case it was traders run amuck, fixing “markets” to make an easy buck at someone’s expense. In times like these, I always recall Robert Sherrill’s 1990 statement about the S&L crisis that “thievery is what unregulated capitalism is all about.”After 1990 we removed what was left of financial regulations following the flurry of deregulation of the early 1980s that had freed the thrifts so that they could self-destruct. And we are shocked, SHOCKED!, that thieves took over the financial system.Nay, they took over the whole economy and the political system lock, stock, and barrel. They didn’t just blow up finance, they oversaw the swiftest transfer of wealth to the very top the world has ever seen. They screwed workers out of their jobs, they screwed homeowners out of their houses, they screwed retirees out of their pensions, and they screwed municipalities out of their revenues and assets.Financiers are forcing schools, parks, pools, fire departments, senior citizen centers, and libraries to shut down. They are forcing national governments to auction off their cultural heritage to the highest bidder. Everything must go in fire sales pun intended at prices rigged by twenty-something traders at the biggest and most corrupt institutions the world has ever known.And since they’ve bought the politicians, the policy-makers, and the courts, no one will stop it. Few will even discuss it, since most university administrations have similarly been bought off—in many cases, the universities are even headed by corporate “leaders”–and their professors are on Wall Street’s payrolls.We’re screwed.

More at Corporatism and Fraud are Why Were Screwed: | Credit Writedowns.

Why America — Where Only The Rich Get Richer — Is Not A Democracy

Bill Moyers has seen the rich getting richer since the 1950s, and he’s sick and tired of it.

Bill Moyers gives his take on what has happened to our democracy, using the now famous leaked Citigroup document entitled “Revisiting Plutonomy”. These are the words that so disturbed Moyers:

“Asset booms, a rising profit share and favorable treatment by market-friendly governments have allowed the rich to prosper… [and] take an increasing share of income and wealth over the last 20 years.”

“…the top 10%, particularly the top 1% of the United States – the plutonomists in our parlance – have benefited disproportionately from the recent productivity surged in the US… [and] from globalization and the productivity boom, at the relative expense of labor.”

“… [and they] are likely to get even wealthier in the coming years. Because the dynamics of plutonomy are still intact.”

Disturbing indeed.  See Bill Moyers comments at:

Why America — Where Only The Rich Get Richer — Is Not A Democracy.

RNC Sues To Allow Unlimited Anonymous Donations | Addicting Info

Winner goes to the highest bidder – Republicans going for “free market government”…

The one remaining stronghold of campaign reform, in light of the Citizens United decision, has been that direct contributions to candidates remains restricted, that corporations could spend freely in elections but not directly contribute to political parties. In a lawsuit filed last week, as reported by the Washington Post, the Republican National Committee is attempting to overcome even this restriction, allowing the parties themselves to accept unlimited, unaccountable and anonymous donations.

more at RNC Sues To Allow Unlimited Anonymous Donations | Addicting Info.

Why Europe’s Laws On Vacations Are Better Than Your Wildest Dreams (and How Badly Americans Get Screwed) | | AlterNet

The title pretty much says it all..

We work ourselves to death, while people in other countries take holidays, get family leave and have paid sick time during vacations.

more at Why Europe’s Laws On Vacations Are Better Than Your Wildest Dreams (and How Badly Americans Get Screwed) | | AlterNet.

Karl Rove – SourceWatch

Former tobacco lobbyist, suspected Valerie Plame outer, Iraq war adviser, Crossroad GPS founder, now the “brains” behind the Romney campaign. A brief bio of Karl Rove with a lot of links:

Republican political strategist Karl Christian Rove, best known as President George W. Bush’s top advisor, earned him the nickname “Bush’s Brain.”

more at Karl Rove – SourceWatch.