How A Real President Responds To Crisis

how a real president responds to crisis How A Real President Responds To Crisis

by Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.

Faced with how a real President responds to a national crisis, Republicans are running around with their hair on fire! One is forced to ask, are they really that unpatriotic? Or is it that their hatred for our first Black President is greater than their love for country or their concern for the welfare of their fellow American citizens?

A Tale Of Two Storms

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Woman picks through the rubble of her home after Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina and it’s aftermath is still fresh in our collective psyches. For the first time in our modern technological history, a portion of our nation took on the optics of a 3rd world nation. We seemed powerless to help our fellow citizens and this impotence was hammered home day after day, night after night by our 24 hour news coverage.

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Hurricane Katrina Victims signalling for help

We watched as the people of New Orleans – those fortunate enough to make it to their roofs – stood on their roofs, some waving t-shirts, other’s spelling out the word “help” with whatever debris they could get their hands on, all begging for rescue. News helicopters unequipped to be any more than a photographer’s platform, filmed the horror with the unblinking eye of the camera… and we watched. We saw men, women and children endure what none of us could possibly imagine ever happening in the United States of America.

We pride ourselves on coming to the aid of other nations to bring relief and rescue. Suddenly it appeared that we, the worlds last remaining “Super Power,” needed aid. It was a blow to our pride, self-esteem and wounded our delusion of independent self-reliance. The notion of “American Exceptionalism,” was laid bare for the myth that it is.

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Michael D. Brown – Head of FEMA under George W. Bush

When Katrina hit, Michael D. Brown – an appointee of G.W. Bush – was the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA. This was a curious appointment because Brown had absolutely no experience in emergency management of any sort! He was a lawyer and a radio personality. The only management responsibility on his résumé was his time as commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association. Bush might as well have made him “Surgeon General.” He was just as qualified for that position.

To his credit, following the Katrina débâcle  a video tape emerged showing Michael Brown warning George Bush that Katrina “might be the big one.”

Unfortunately,  being able to perceive that the light at the end of the tunnel might be a train, doesn’t necessarily mean you know the way out of the tunnel. In short, from my perspective, Michael Brown did the best he could, he was just in over his head.

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George Bush in his pick-up truck on his ranch in Crawford, TX. Secret Service wouldn’t let him drive it on the streets.

George Bush had been vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, TX. On the Monday the storm hit, he was attending a ceremony in California. He did not return to Washington until Wednesday following the storm and did not visit New Orleans until that Friday. It was 5 days before he arrived on the scene of what he called “our worst natural disaster in history.” 

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Unusable FEMA Trailers – Contaminated with toxic levels of formaldehyde.

FEMA under the Bush administration had given a no bid contract to Bechtel. They were to provide trailers to be used to house victims of major disasters until they could return to their homes. The problem was these trailers had toxic levels of formaldehyde. The people who were moved into them became ill. Of course law suits were filed. Needless to say, this gave FEMA a “black-eye” in the view of the public.

To sum things up, the government’s handling of Katrina was worse than a Chinese fire drill. People died who could have been rescued. The perception that the government was ineffective and more hindrance than solution, was reinforced in the minds of many.

When Hurricane Sandy struck we all, I included, expected the government response to be similar. No, I did not think it would be anywhere near as bad as it was under the Bush administration. Cronyism and incompetence simply oozed from the pores of the Bush administration. However the differences in the responses between the Obama administration and the Bush administration have been stunning!

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Craig Fugate – Head of FEMA under President Obama

The first notable difference is, when it came time to select a Head of FEMA, President Obama hired the director of Emergency Management from the State of Florida, Craig Fugate. Why? Florida is in the line of fire 6 months out of the year during Hurricane season. Florida gets hit frequently. Thus when he hired Craig Fugate, he was hiring someone with actual experience in crisis management and disaster mitigation. Yes, competence makes a difference.

In the aftermath of Sandy, in the words of Dawn Zimmer, the Mayor of Hoboken, NJ, “I put out a call for help and within 90 minutes, FEMA and the National Guard were here.”  The other difference? The day after the storm, President Obama was on the scene, viewing the damage, finding out what was needed and giving physical and emotional comfort to those who’d lost everything. George Bush? 5 days. President Obama? Next day. There is a difference.

A Real President

I’ve heard some make the claim that the President does nothing other than show up for “photo-ops.” The explicit implication – I know, borders on an oxymoron – is that the President is using a tragedy for political gain. While there is little doubt this has happened in the past, with President Obama this is clearly not the case. Sometimes it requires an “Act of God,” to cause people to realize what is truly important.

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President Obama meets with Governor Christie in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has been an outspoken supporter of Mitt Romney and an ardent, vociferous, bombastic critic of the President. When Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey, that was his “come to Jesus” moment. Partisan politics went out the window and Governor Christie found himself in the awkward position of needing the help of the President of the United States for the people of New Jersey. When your home gets blown away, you don’t give a damn which party the person helping you belongs to. You’re just happy someone is extending you a helping hand.

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President Obama Comforts Female Victim of Hurricane Sandy

Having a real President show up clearly means a lot in a time of despair. It clearly meant a lot to the people who’d lost everything. When President Obama took that woman in his arms and told her that everything was going to be alright and that our government was going to help her put her life back together, it carried the weight of a President who means what he says and says what he means.

Say what you will about President Obama, there’s one thing that is beyond dispute, whatever he says he will do, he does. He said he would defeat Al-Qaeda, he’s done that. When the question was asked in the primary debates, if he would go into Pakistan to get Bin Laden if he had actionable intelligence, he said he would and he did. He said he would pass healthcare reform, he did that. So when he tells a grieving lady that everything is going to be alright and that the government was going to be with her every step of he way, she tends to believe it and takes hope from it.

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Aircraft Carrier turning

What can a real President do? First of all, he can cut through government “red tape” like a hot knife through butter. President Obama gave instructions that he didn’t want any hold ups or impediments to government aid. He can do a lot more. This is what I believe stunned Governor Christie. When the issue came up of helicopters coming in to bring supplies and assist in search and rescue missions, the problem was where to land them. President Obama picked up the phone and ordered 3 aircraft carriers to station themselves off the coast of New York and New Jersey, to act as mobile bases for the helicopters that would be needed.

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C-130 being loaded

Getting the power back on? We’re Americans. When one State is in need, all of the United States pitch in to help. States all around the nation began rolling crews, equipment and trucks toward our Atlantic seaboard. California sent crews. When President Obama heard they were driving all the way from California to New Jersey and New York, he told them to divert to an airport where he would have C-130 military transports waiting to pick them up, trucks and all.  This is what a real President can do. I’m damn glad we’ve got one.

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He Delivered



These Men Have Issues: Meet the Natal Horoscopes of Obama and Romney

Very interesting read, Obama has my vote…yes, I’m voting. If I felt a third party candidate had a chance to win my vote would go there, unfortunately the way the system is set-up they represent token alternatives at best. At this point the GOP is counting on as many people staying at home or throwing their vote to a third party candidate in hopes to take away as many votes as possible from Obama, because the closer the race the easier it is to tinker with the numbers and steal the election as Bush did in 2000 and 2004.

New York, Friday, Oct. 19, 2012
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Dear Friend and Reader:

Once I read an article in an astrology magazine about how to figure out who is going to win an American presidential election. “The person with the worst chart wins,” said the author, who had been paying attention for a while. Astrology, a vastly complex subject, often seems best suited for teaching in one-line quips.

I don’t want to predict who will ‘win’ the election, mainly because the process seems so heaped on with agendas, puppetry, muppetry, dishonesty, evasion, paranoia, Big Bird being served for Thanksgiving dinner and, most of all, way too much money, that I doubt there will be an actual winner. After a fuss, someone will take office, and sadly, the public seems to be the party that loses at every turn. That said, it’s now that time in the election season to look at the charts of these candidates. Before we go forward, I would like to give my official astrology disclaimer, paraphrasing our Terms of Service.

Planet Waves
Barack Obama is seen with his step-father Lolo Soetoro (L), his sister Maya Soetoro and his mother Ann Dunham (C) in an undated family snapshot released by his campaign in 2008.

Astrology is not the truth. It is a form of personally applicable mythical fiction. Astrology is a story, which I am basing mostly on the charts of these two men, in accordance with my skills and intuition, and which to a lesser degree I’m basing on my knowledge of them as public figures. These are living people, which entitles them to a measure of respect, and they are public figures seeking vast amounts of power over our lives, which entitles us to examine them with careful scrutiny.

Before I read the charts, let’s do a birth data check. When doing natal astrology, it’s essential to have good data, or to know when you don’t. Such a big deal has been made of Obama’s birth certificate that we know his time better than any candidate, ever. He was not born in Kenya. He was born in Hawaii when it was not only an island but actually a state. His data gets the highest rating: AA (which means birth certificate in hand), even if Donald Trump doesn’t like it.

As for Romeo, his data gets an A rating, the second highest, by our profession’s most respected collector of birth data, the late Lois Rodden. (An A rating can mean ‘from memory’, because either he was wearing a watch when he was born, his mom told Rodden, or it was reported in the newspaper.) So: we have two candidates with good birth times, which helps us do an actual comparison of the charts.

Let’s start with Obama. [View both charts side by side here.] There’s only one thing I respect about him, which is an aspect in his chart. Obama’s regal Leo Sun is opposite a very weird minor planet: Damocles, named after the guy from the Greek legend.

I say weird because this little planet has an elongated (way elliptical) 40-year orbit, and it spends nearly all of its time in Aquarius. It then races through the other signs in a very short time, and then is back in Aquarius for what seems like forever. It was named for a slave (or courtier, in some tellings of the legend) who was envious of the magnificent fortunes of the tyrant he served. So the tyrant said, OK, you want to be king? Have a seat on my throne. Sitting there, he noticed a sword that dangled all the time by a single thread, usually over the king’s head but now his — and the thread could snap at any moment.

Planet Waves
Mitt Romney, his sons Tagg and Matt, and wife Ann in the 1970s. Photo released by the Romney for President campaign.

Obama has his Leo Sun so precisely opposite Damocles that it really does feel like the sword hanging over his head by a thread (the opposition is exact to a quarter of a degree). To me this gives new meaning to the line, “Either his brains or his signature would be on the contract,” from the scene in The Godfather. This is the famous scene where the guy is made an offer he cannot refuse. Obama lives under this pressure all the time, which is why I think he would do something like sign the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) even if he didn’t want to.

You (as in you) can claim you wouldn’t sign a law that allows U.S. citizens to be arrested as enemy combatants, but then, you’ve never sat underneath that sword. You don’t have to think: I can do something noble, and my kids will grow up without a father. Well, maybe I’m giving him too much credit. He may be serving his role just as he expected to, and just as he promised he would.

Astrology depends on these things called houses, which tell us the environment where certain events happen. One is called the 8th house, important in astrology for many reasons (most often, a map to financial matters), though in part because it sometimes describes the nature and cause of death, and one’s relationship to the topic of death.

Obama has Mars there. He fears and indeed may expect a violent death, and he’s likely to be easily swayed by that idea. He doesn’t need it explained to him. He passes this fear off as a kind of intellectual construct, but it looks like he’s easily manipulated by the silent knowledge that he could end up like so many other politicians who refused the offer.

Obama has had a deeply troubled past — worse than we know about. He was subjected to some kind of extreme psychological cruelty as a child, and it haunts him constantly. The aspect is the Moon in the 4th house, conjunct Nessus, the centaur associated with these kinds of issues. The 4th is the house of emotions, security and family of origin. Obama is the living incarnation of The Drama of the Gifted Child, and he probably thinks he’s our therapist. He is also tapped into some deep, ancestral cruelty — a pattern of abuse that goes back generations, like a family tradition.

Planet Waves
Obama family, official White House portrait by Pete Souza.

There is also a security and comfort factor here. It’s as if he was so often subjected to a morph of psychological and emotional abuse that he feels safe in a danger zone, which I guess should be a prerequisite for any president.

One problem, however, is that the aspect involves his Moon in Gemini, which under such stress has a way of splitting him in half; the psychological word is ‘dissociative’. This is a typical response to extreme abuse. What it does is give him the ability to subvert his feelings and his intuition, and to work with two separate sets of ethics, almost as if he’s two different people. One is obvious to see; the other, you have to look for carefully, going outside the mainstream media for your information.

He is extremely good at cultivating his friendly, neighborly PR image, but the split shows up, for example, in something I read on Alternet this morning: “Perhaps the most damning fact about Barack Obama is that his administration has indicted more than 100 people for distributing medical marijuana — and not prosecuted a single major Wall Street executive for fraud.”

This becomes a serious problem when we consider other aspects to his Sun, and nearby Mercury. Both are square Neptune (tense, 90-degree angle), which is not inherently given to honesty. In fact this is often a situation where the person must do a lifetime of learning and growth to learn what honesty even is, why it matters, what it means to be real with yourself, and why you want to be. There is an integrity problem here. Obama is a talented liar, helped by the fact that he’s the kind of guy who believes his own PR.

Obama was also born in the evening, moments after sunset. This puts many factors of his chart on the relationship side of the wheel, in the west, sometimes called the zone of projection. (He has a Leo Sun with Aquarius rising.)

Charts like this can produce people who will morph into whatever they perceive others need them to be, to get the approval they need. By itself, this can be worked with, but with so many other factors suggesting integrity problems, the bottom line is we have no idea who this person really is. This shows up in shadow form with the conservatives who cling to their ‘birtherism’, trying to claim that Obama is not American, or not loyal to the United States. They are seeing shadows and making up stories.

Planet Waves
Mitt and Ann, on prom night.

Do we ever know who a public figure is, having had no direct personal experience with the person? There are always limits, of course, but some people are more transparent than others. And some are less. Obama is impressively opaque, though he seems transparent.

Let’s consider Mitt Romney. The first thing I see when I look at his chart is that Venus is the highest planet. This is his charm, if you can call it that; he’s charming in that B-rate actor playing a presidential candidate kind of way. This planet is placed right on his ‘presidential angle’ — the 10th house — and it’s what makes him Big Boss Man.

This guy is certain that he was born to be big. He cannot help it; it’s in his karma. He just knows for super duper sure that he’s cut of that old-fashioned presidential timber (and that part of his ‘destiny’ is that women are going to help him get there).

Venus, a planet involved with emotional receptivity and emotional intelligence, is in Aquarius. In her classic work, Secrets from a Stargazer’s Notebook, Debbi Kempton-Smith described this as a person who acts like an $80 robot from Sears. She wrote this in the 70s, I guess back when Sears sold toy robots. (Who knows — they still may.)

Have you ever seen that YouTube video of Romney campaigning for Senate in Massachusetts about 20 years ago? The one where he walks into a diner, and everyone is sitting around eating? “This is terrific! What’s going on here today?” As if he’s never seen people eating, he bumbles around: “Look, a room full of humans. What are they doing? Oh, they are consuming foodstuffs. Hello, consuming humans! I mean ‘fellow humans’ haha. What does your foodstuff taste like? Hello! I am a politician.”

It would be painful to watch, were it not so damned strange. I’ll come back to Venus in Aquarius — his whole chart pivots around this one placement. Note, if you have it, it doesn’t automatically make you a robot; you might just be a little like Mr. Spock. You might be able to feel your feelings; just make sure you can feel those of others, and you’ll be fine.

Romney was born with the Sun in Pisces, along with a cluster of other planets — Mercury, Ceres and Mars among them. Pisces is the sign of illusions; it changes constantly and evades accurate perception. Mercury happened to be retrograde in Pisces when he was born, which is like a long discussion with yourself, where you don’t necessarily tell the truth, and which can break into a full-on convoluted internal argument that nobody seems to win. It’s also about marching to the beat of a drummer that nobody else can hear.

Planet Waves
Natal chart of Barack Obama. Damocles is indicated by the black capital D on the left side of the chart, which is exactly opposite the Leo Sun. He also has Aquarius rising, and a Gemini Moon. One thing that both candidates have in common is Gemini; Mitt Romney has it rising. Nessus is conjunct Obama’s Gemini Moon, in light blue, at the bottom center of the chart. See both charts side by side at this link.

The first thing I think of when I see this Pisces cluster is “pleasure seeking.” I know we think of Romney as “business guy,” but really he is Mr. Lifestyle. He wants you to know it, and he wants it to be visible. He can’t be humbler about his car elevator because he so desperately wants you to know he has one. What good is a car elevator otherwise?

This excess factor is confirmed by his powerful, very exact Scorpio conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter. This describes both sex and money: he can never get enough, no matter how much he has. How he goes about this doesn’t matter; it’s meeting the goal that does. This aspect screams with entitlement, as if he personally inherited the world. Maybe he was a Mormon on another planet, did very well for himself, and got the Earth as his reward.

Now, back to that Venus. I said that it’s the highest planet in his chart — the most elevated in the sky. That gives it a lot of what the old astrologers called ‘accidental dignity’. It makes him an elitist, the kind of guy who can only relate to others he perceives to be of his class. Even though Venus isn’t terribly happy in Aquarius, it’s particularly strong in Romney’s chart.

Strong — and under siege. It’s at one point of a cross — a fairly rare aspect called a grand cross. (This is four planets spread at 90-degree angles to one another.) To one side is the planet of psychological abuse (Nessus, which is also strong in Obama’s chart). For this guy, love is a bitter pill. To another side is Chiron, an aspect structure that I could write a book about, however, we see it demonstrated plain as day in his values about women, which are both conflicted and controlling.

And then Venus is opposed by a rare conjunction of Saturn and Pluto — chilly, detached and yet intense. There is a real drive for power here, and it’s all about him. I think we are looking at a sexual hypocrite to the highest order of magnitude. Washington D.C. is famous for this, though I think that Mitt Romney stands tall in this regard.

He impresses me as a three-hooker kind of guy. At least in his dreams, he needs the three most beautiful, best-dressed and (most of all) most expensive call girls in town. Then he needs them to do all manner of delightfully perverse things to him, simultaneously, for hours on end, till they finally start to get sleepy. That’s when he reminds them to vote for him, and invites them to church the following Sunday.

Planet Waves
Mitt Romney’s natal chart, with Gemini rising, and a Pisces Sun. His Moon-Jupiter in Scorpio conjunction is on the right side of the chart, below the horizontal line. Venus is the blue planet toward the top right of the chart (next to the glyph with the circle and the X, which is the Part of Fortune.) He has Nessus in the 12th house (left side of the chart, above horizontal line, in light blue). It’s square his natal Venus, which illustrates his suspicion of women. Chiron (an orange key) is exactly opposite Nessus. Saturn and Pluto are at the bottom of the chart, skewed to the left. Link to both charts side by side.

Think of this as a consumerist form of polygamy. It’s also not sex for the sake of love, or human contact, or venting steam — which he seems unable to blow off in any event (the pressure just builds and builds). It’s sex for the sake of power, and getting over on people — just like he lives the rest of his life.

Romney gives me the impression of being 100 psi of scandal pumped into a 10 psi tire. He seems on the verge of exploding, and my impression is that sooner or later he will. True, his 8th house Juno in Sagittarius looks like he’s Mr. Monogamous Marriage. It can also say, “My wife is chattel, hence, all women are chattel.”

This looks good from the outside, because the family image he portrays plays right into a scenario most people think they can relate to. It’s vital to remember that politics is as much about image as your average television commercial.

We get a more concise statement of his true spiritual values in his 9th house Pholus in Capricorn (think Rupert Murdoch and News of the World). He can conceal all kinds of unusual things (including psychological distress, which may be medicated) in that Capricorn 9th, while maintaining the appearance of propriety. Mormons, particularly of his age, are conditioned to repress their sexual energy to an extreme degree, and when that happens it can have some strange manifestations. In my perspective, what is happening behind the scenes would actually be shocking to most people. Whether or not he takes office, this will come out in one form or another. If he does not take office, eventually there will be that, “My God, this guy could have been president” moment.

His 10th house Venus in Aquarius, aspected by Nessus, Chiron and the Saturn/Pluto conjunction, has him pulled in four different directions all the time. He ‘doesn’t know who he is’ because he’s split four ways down the middle; it’s like he’s drawn and quartered psychically. But he’s learned how to juggle this, and the man knows how to have fun. Especially in public office, which he wants more than anything in the world, and which in many ways he is simply not compatible with. I don’t think that a Romney presidency would end well, especially for him. This man has enemies, and most of them are Republican.

Which chart is ‘worse’? I think Obama has suffered more and, despite his political and psychological problems, I think he’s closer to his humanity. And I think that most people can feel this, mostly in the form of expecting more humane conduct from him. Just remember: Mercury stations retrograde on election night, so there really are no guarantees, including the outcome of whatever administration takes office on Jan. 20.



Paul Ryan Obscures His Koch-Backed Agenda With a Pack of Lies in Convention Speech

AlterNet [1] / By Adele Stan [2]
August 29, 2012  |

TAMPA, FLA. — Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan may carry himself with an air of earnestness, but at his heart, he’s a liar. What other determination could one make after Ryan’s compendium of distortions and outright untruths, delivered Wednesday night to the Republican National Convention?

Whether falsely claiming that President Barack Obama was looting funding from Medicare to pay for health-care reform, blaming the president for the nation’s credit-rating downgrade that came about as an unprecedented refusal by congressional leaders to raise the debt ceiling (a maneuver Ryan helped to lead), or accusing his opponent of refusing to to implement the recommendations of a bipartisan commission on the debt whose final report Ryan voted against, the Wisconsin congressman proved himself willing to hoodwink the American people with a smile on his boyish face.

It was to be expected, I suppose, given his status as the youthful ward of David Koch [3], the billionaire funder of Americans For Prosperity, the astroturf group that helped lift the Wisconsin congressman from relative obscurity to the lofty post of House Budget Committee chairman, where he has championed a set of ideas that could have been authored by Koch himself — ideas that fundamentally revolve around coddling the rich, crushing the poor and giving the shaft to the middle class.

It’s not really a set of ideas one can sell truthfully to the voters, most of whom belong to the classes at which you’re aiming the boot and the shaft. So, a little lying — or a lot — is required.

The selection of Paul Ryan was, in and of itself, a strong bit of circumstantial evidence that the Republican Party is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Koch political enterprise. David Koch and his brother, Charles, you’ll recall, are the multibillionaire brothers who are the principal owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest privately-held corporation in the United States.

Through Americans For Prosperity and its allies, the Kochs have built the get-out-the-vote infrastructure for the American right, cobbling together the old network of evangelical churches with more broadly defined Tea Party groups. It’s a network to which the Republican presidential candidate desperately needs access if he’s to win in November, especially given a shrinking number of persuadable independent voters. And Paul Ryan dances perfectly to the Kochs’ tune, crafting economic plans that lower the taxes on the wealthy, cut social spending on the poor, and that would change Medicare into a virtually unrecognizable voucher program.

Striding to the convention podium with his gelled coif and boyish demeanor, Ryan looked more like a student council president than the prevaricating philosophical progeny of two of the greediest men on earth. But even as Ryan accused the Obama campaign of obscuring the president’s true agenda, Ryan mentioned not a word about his plans to voucherize Medicare — a plan that could cost seniors thousands of dollars more per year.

Lying to Obscure the Greed

In a move seemingly designed to taunt fact-checkers, Ryan reprised his claim that Obama broke a promise made during the 2008 presidential campaign to keep a General Motors plant open in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wis., but instead was ultimately responsible for its closing. But the plant closed while George W. Bush was in office, and Obama never made such a promise. (As I write, PolitiFact has already rated this part of Ryan’s speech as false [4].)

Here’s a taste of just how blatant the lying got, from the prepared text of Ryan’s speech:

A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.”  That’s what he said in 2008.

Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year.  It is locked up and empty to this day.  And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.

Ryan also repeated the $716 billion lie by the Romney camp, debunked here [5] by AlterNet’s Joshua Holland, which recasts the Medicare budget savings built into the Affordable Care Act as a “raid” on the treasured program.
Then there were those deceptions based on sins of ommision, such as Ryan’s purported proof of Obama’s unwillingness to rein in the budget: the vice presidential candidate dared to speak of the Bowles-Simpson debt-reduction commission as if it was something he supported, when, in fact, it was Ryan who led Republicans on the commission to vote against its final recommendations. Likewise, Ryan failed to note that his own budget plan would trim $700 billion from Medicare.
(The New Republic‘s Jonathan Cohn and the Washington Post‘s Jonathan Bernstein have excellent assessments of the fact #fail in Ryan’s speech, here [6] and here [7].)
Ayn Rand, the Great Awakening and the Founding Fathers
The cognitive dissonance that clanged throughout Ryan’s speech also extended to philosophical and theological references that would seem to cancel each other out, but have nonetheless come to characterize the philosophical pastiche that characterizes the talking points at Americans For Prosperity events. You’ve got your Ayn Rand [8] — an atheist and Ryan’s favorite philosopher — present in Ryan’s casting of Obamacare as the work of “central planners.” You’ve got your Great Awakening in his assertion that our rights come from God, not government. (On this point, the comic Elon James White, who is African American, tweeted that if this is the case, God was a little slow.) You’ve got your Enlightenment-influenced Founding Fathers in Ryan’s tracing of our rights to nature.
Add ire and stir, and you’ve got the Kochian prescription for rallying resentful white people to view government as the enemy, even though its dimunition would ultimately harm the very people enlisted as foot-soldiers in the anti-government cause, and further enrich the likes of Charles and David Koch.
Morals versus religion
Ryan is frequently depicted as pious Catholic, despite his denial of a preferential option for the poor — a staple of Catholic doctrine, In one sign of the mainstreaming of Catholicism into the body of conservative Christian denominations, Ryan was also enlisted to vouch for Romney as a moral and pious man — even if he is a Mormon, a member of a faith that both the evangelical Protestants and conservative Catholics who make up the Republican white-people coalition view with some suspicion.
In coded language, Ryan assured convention delegates and television viewers that the morals that mattered most to them were among those most dearly held by Romney: opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. From the text of Ryan’s speech:
Mitt and I also go to different churches.  But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example.  And I’ve been watching that example.  The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country.
 Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed.  We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope.  Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.
Lies, delivery and the post-fact society
The gamble the Romney campaign has made throughout this campaign, and most obviously in this year’s Republican National Convention, is that the truth no longer matters, and that facts are irrelevant to the voting process. There’s probably less risk to that gamble than one might think.
It has long been proven that people vote based on their emotions and their self-determined cultural identity. Because the narrative offered by Ryan and Romney feeds on the resentment already felt by so many middle-class whites — a sense that they are somehow being shortchanged while others advance from their previously restricted positions — it resonates. And for the Republican voter, that’s all the “truth” that matters, the “truth” that vindicates his or her rage. Facts be damned — damned to hell.


Weekend in Chicago

The whole vibe is beginning to feel like the 1960’s again when people were fed up with war, lies and government corruption! Yes!!! People are finally waking up, it’s happening my friends…the momentum of “conscious” energy is building to a crescendo. Discover who you are, why you came here and live it…be the change you came here to be, Gaia’s children are counting on us! Much love, Annette

Look at the eyes on these kids, talk about old souls…and starseeds!! Awesome…

100% Unverifiable Statewide E-Voting in South Carolina’s 2012 GOP Primary

Brad Friedman is one of the leading investigative journalists covering the issue of election fraud, which has become a serious threat to democracy because in most cases there doesn’t appear to be anyone at the judicial level addressing the problem.   Lets be clear, it’s not the voters who we need to be concerned with. The politicians appear to have their minions behind the scenes in the shadows controlling the voting system that mostly the GOP put in place after George W. Bush stole presidential elections in 2000. To this day many people are still unaware that the 2004 election was won illegally, the most obvious cases of election fraud were later discovered in Ohio. Crony capitalism bought Bush the presidency and has helped the right wing win elections all over the country because the owner/s of Diebold voting machines are apparently staunch Republican’s.

We’re in an election year sounds like a great time to work on raising awareness with friends and family, as well as in the community. And don’t forget to check out Brad Friedman’s website listed below, it’s a great resource alternative news!

Friday 20 January 2012
by: Brad Friedman, The Brad Blog | News Analysis

The voting systems in use for the nation’s first three all-important electoral contests in the 2012 primary — from Iowa to New Hampshire to Saturday’s South Carolina Primary — go from pretty great to intolerably horrible. And then comes Florida, which deserves its very own special category, thereafter.

The “First-in-the-Nation” caucuses in Iowa allowed voters to vote on hand-marked paper ballots, counted by hand in front of the public at the caucus site, with results announced to everyone right then and there before being called in to GOP headquarters and before ballots were move anywhere. The wonderfully transparent system allowed for Republican voters by the Iowa GOP (which they hypocritically fight against allowing for everybody else in other states, and even in their own during general elections) is just about as close as we general get in this country to Democracy’s Gold Standard. It’s also what allowed reporting errors to be discovered and confirmed by the public after an election with some 122,000 votes counted transparently within an hour or so of polls closing, leading to almost nobody charging “fraud” even though just 34 votes are said to separate first and second place in the certified results of the impossibly, and historically, close election.

As of the “First-in-the-Nation” primary in New Hampshire, however, election transparency for voters and their ability to oversee their own elections began to disappear. While a lucky 10% of voters enjoyed hand-marked, publicly hand-counted paper ballots, the rest of the state’s voters were allowed to vote on hand-marked paper ballots, but forced to tolerate secret tabulation on oft-failedeasily-manipulatedDiebold optical-scan systems programmed by a company (LHS) with a history of criminal behavior and convictions. The results from those 90% of Granite State voters may have been tallied accurately by the Diebold op-scanners or, as seen in the disastrous 2008 Presidential Primary, not. Since NH doesn’t bother to actually check to see if their machines tallied the hand-marked paper ballots correctly, we’re unlikely to ever know if they did — barring a recount request where, by then, the secure chain of custody of the paper ballots would be uncertain (to put it mildly.)

And now we come to the “First-in-the-South” Republican primary in South Carolina, where all evidence of how voters vote disappears entirely as the voters will be forced across the entire state to vote on easily-manipulated, oft-failed, 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems made by the nation’s largest voting machine company, ES&S. When the machine-reported results are announced tomorrow night they will either be accurate or not. Either way, there will never be a way for anybody to know one way or the other as there will be nothing to prove how voters voted and nothing to “recount”, even if anybody wanted to.

Appropriately enough, perhaps, Saturday’s primary in the Palmetto State will offer 100% “faith-based” voting, since it will be scientifically impossible to prove that even a single vote for any candidate on the ballot has been recorded accurately by the ES&S iVotronic touch-screens as per any voter’s intent. Known what we mean, Alvin Greene?…

The machines that will be in use on Saturday in South Carolina are the very same ones that reported an unknown, unemployed, seemingly-illiterate man named Alvin Greene — who had done no campaigning, had no campaign staff, had no campaign money and no campaign website — had unverifiably defeated Vic Rawl, a four-term state legislator and circuit court judge who had campaigned and raised money across the entire state, for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2010.

They are the same brand and model of machines (some of them, quite literally, the very same physical machines!) that were used in Florida’s contested Congressional District 13 race for the U.S. Congress in 2006 when they inexplicably lost some 18,000 votes in a race ultimately awarded to the Republican candidate Vern Buchanan over Democrat Christine Jennings by just 369 votes. After that election (the one, ironically, held to fill the seat of Republican Rep. Katherine Harris who had previously been the Sunshine State’s partisan Sec. of State during the 2000 Presidential debacle Florida momentarily wised up and largely banned touch-screen voting entirely across the entire state. Many of the state’s wholly-unverifiable voting machines were then sent to the landfill, but many others were sold to the state of South Carolina.

The 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronics that are used across the entire state of South Carolina are also the same type of machines that led to impossible numbers in Monroe County Arkansas’ primary election in May 2010, when, as The BRAD BLOG reported exclusively, thousands of votes seem to have simply vanished after being reported by the Secretary of State on Election Night. To this day, neither state nor county officials are able to explain what happened.

They are also the same type of machines that were used in Clay County, Kentucky in 2006 when election officials actually changed the votes of voters on the machines after the voters had left “the booth”. Eight top officials from the county’s Election Commission — including the County Clerk, a Circuit Court Judge and the School Superintendent — are all now serving a collective 156 years in the federal penitentiaryfor those election fraud crimes.

As well, the ES&S iVotronic system is the same one that was discovered to have been “remotely accessed” on “multiple occasions”, including for 80 minutes the day before the 2010 general election, in Republican-leaning Venango County, PA, as recently revealed by a forensic audit carried out by two Carnegie Mellon computer scientists — both of whom were threatened with lawsuits by ES&S for daring to examine their machines. The Republican-majority Board of Elections in the small, rural county had commissioned the study after problems in several recent elections, as the Chairman of the Election Board told us, resulted in inexplicable undervotes, reported touch-screen vote-flipping, and even zero votes registered for several candidates in some locations during recent elections.

They’re the same machines that also registered ZERO voters for an Arkansas mayoral candidate in a 2006 run-off election, even though both he and his wife insist they had voted for him, at the very least.

And yes, they’re the very same machines which resulted in a 2008 train-wreck in South Carolina itself, when they failed to even boot up across the entirety of Horry County at the beginning of the day during that year’s Republican Primary election, forcing voters to scramble for pieces of paper — even scraps of paper towels — to try and cast a vote, since there were not enough emergency paper ballots on hand to overcome the disaster.

Other than that — and this long and storied history of other disastrous ES&S failures— the 100% unverifiable voting machines that will be used across the entire Palmetto State in Saturday’s all-important “First-in-the-South” primary election are great! And whatever they tell you are the results from that election — no matter how“unexpected” they might be — will be the results of that election, whether or not they actually reflect the way voters attempted to vote or not.

It’s a helluva way to run the “World’s Greatest Democracy”, ain’t it?

But, don’t worry, Florida’s primary is just 10 days later, and Early Voting there starts Saturday as well. So what could possibly go wrong?

Brad Friedman
Brad Friedman is an award-winning freelance investigative journalist, blogger, muckraker, author and broadcaster. He is the publisher and executive editor of, a co-founder of the government accountability and election integrity watchdog organization and a fellow at the Commonweal Institute. He is also the co-host of the nationally syndicated radio feature “Green News Report” and the host of his own weekly radio program on Los Angeles’ Pacifica Radio affiliate KPFK. More

Randi Rhodes Homework, Friday December 3, 2011

Randi has really great material and information here, her staff works hard to keep us well informed – so do your homework!  Hey, at least she tries to make it as fun as possible…


Jobs & the Economy

Jobs Report: 140,000 private-sector jobs added; 20,000 public-sector jobs lost; Sept & Oct revised upwards by 72,000; unemployment rate drops to 8.6%

Unemployment Drops to 8.6% as Private Sector Adds Jobs

Andy Stern: The free-market fundamentalist economic model is being thrown onto the trash heap of history

Payroll Tax Cut Extension Rejected In Senate Vote; GOP wanted to slash 200K jobs

Raise Taxes on Rich to Reward True Job Creators: Consumers

Fact Check: Barack Obama says taxes are lower for middle class today than when he took office – he’s right.

Norquist Tells GOP That Raising Taxes On The Middle Class Doesn’t Count As A Tax Increase

Expiration of jobless benefits sparks debate

Ohio Gov. John Kasich Is ‘Very Pleased’ That The Auto Rescue He Originally Opposed Saved The Auto Industry

Sidebar: Guns are a big seller on Black Friday


Read more:

ATTN Conservatives: People in Power – The Koch Brothers

Aloha to my Friends and Conservative readers!


Please take time to watch this very important short documentary on the radicalization of the Republican and Libertarian right wing. This should help people better understand the 30 year plan being implemented behind the scenes since Reagan took office and a plan that’s now coming to fruition. A small group of billionaires are all tied in with the same group that also owns mass media – our messenger – so that the right-wing conservatives have been controlling the message for so long that most Americans are like a frog in a boiling pot and haven’t been aware of the slow insidious shift to the far right end of the political spectrum.


Funny thing, while conservatives yell and scream about socialism and communism taking root under Obama,  why don’t they recognize the fascism that already has a stranglehold on our democracy from the right wing.  Ahhh maybe they haven’t been taught that fascism is when corporations have control of the reigns of power in government. This time it’s been bought and it’s exactly what’s been going on for 30 years with the Koch brothers cabal, as fascism has taken firm hold of the GOP and Republican right wing of American politics.


Honestly, the venomous hatred toward Obama isn’t unprecedented in the modern era American politics. They called Clinton a rapist, a murderer and all kinds of things.  Right now all of the hatred toward Obama is a product of Koch brothers money and their grab for power, it’s probably also fueled with racism too. Yes, Obama has been a disappointment in many respects but our democracy and the government that represents is broke. The right wing has promised to destroy him by destroying America, by preventing anything good from happening that would turn the economy in the right direction. Like a JOBS BILL!!! For Gods sake people need to wake up to the manipulation from the Republicons and the fact they haven’t done one good thing for this country in 30 years!! They play politics real good, but the right wing doesn’t have a clue how to govern while representing the best interests of the people, the party #1 in betraying the public trust. Hell each time they leave office they leave the country in a deficit, but democrats leave it in a surplus.


Factually speaking 100% of Republicans and about 40% of Democrats are completely sold out to corporate interests, all they care about is your vote and you as an individual can go to hell for all they’re concerned. Oh and if they can find a way to shake you or you’re dying grandmother down for money, they’ll stand in line for that.


Waking up means educating yourself with facts, this isn’t about anything personal or “us vs them”. We’re all going through are own paradigm shift right now, a process that’s re-orienting our point of perspective so that we may all move forward together in unity – as opposed to the division that was forced on us long ago.  It’s about understanding and taking the side of the truth whether we like it or not, because it’s the right thing to do.


Also take time to learn about ALEC how they’re selling your public service job to the highest bidder and have designed cookie cutter legislation, made state politicians sign oaths to abide by them – and if they don’t abide they will be primaried and voted out in the next election.  And you can even research out these personal threats from Grover Norquist to do so.



Al Jazeera English narrator: Money has always played a key role in American politics. But is it now distorting the democractic process? That is the charge made against Charles and David Koch. With a year to go until the presidential election, could the koch brother’s fortune put a radical right [winger] into the white house?

Al Jazeera English narrator: Money has always played a key role in American politics. But is it now distorting the democractic process? That is the charge made against Charles and David Koch. With a year to go until the presidential election, could the koch brother’s fortune put a radical right [winger] into the white house?