By Louis Jacobson
Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck has seized on a claim circulating on the Internet to argue that the Obama administration has little understanding of American business and is too focused on expanding government.
"History has proven over and over again — and so has the post office, for that matter — that government is not the answer," Beck said on his Nov. 30, 2009, show. "You need to unleash the people. The entrepreneurs. And if you are wondering how it is that the government can't see that — how they can be pondering even bigger stimulus packages as they stare the failure of the first one right in the face — I'll show you. Here are the past presidents and the number of appointees in their Cabinets with private sector experience -- folks that have done more than write on the chalkboard; they've been out there, in the real world. Let's compare President Nixon -- he's over 50 percent -- with President Obama: Under 10 percent of his appointees have any experience in the private sector."
We did a little digging and found that the claim is based on a study by Michael Cembalest, the chief investment officer for J.P. Morgan Private Bank. In a Nov. 24, 2009 column titled "Obama's Business Blind Spot" and published on Forbes.com, Cembalest wrote, "In a quest to see what frame of reference the administration might have on this issue, I looked back at the history of the Presidential Cabinet. Starting with the creation of the Secretary of Commerce back in 1900, I compiled the prior private-sector experience of all 432 cabinet members, focusing on those positions one would expect to participate in this discussion: Secretaries of State; Commerce; Treasury; Agriculture; Interior; Labor; Transportation; Energy; and Housing & Urban Development."
He continued, "Many of these individuals started a company or ran one, with first-hand experience in hiring and firing, domestic and international competition, red tape, recessions, wars and technological change. Their industries included agribusiness, chemicals, finance, construction, communications, energy, insurance, mining, publishing, pharmaceuticals, railroads and steel; a cross-section of the American experience. (I even gave [one-third] credit to attorneys focused on private-sector issues, although one could argue this is a completely different kettle of fish.) One thing is clear: The current administration, compared with past Democratic and Republican ones, marks a departure from the traditional reliance on a balance of public- and private-sector experiences."...(Remainder.)
By Daniel Tencer
The Raw Story
Some Republican senators are taking heat for voting against an amendment that would allow employees of military contractors to sue their employers if they are raped at work -- and they want the Democratic senator who wrote the amendment to help them fight off the bad publicity.
In October, 30 Republicans voted against Sen. Al Franken's amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would de-fund contractors who prevent their employees from suing if they are raped by co-workers. Since then, those Republicans have faced outrage for what critics say amounts to support for rape.
A Web site called RepublicansForRape mocks the thirty senators as "legislators who were brave enough to stand up in defense of rape." Louisiana Sen. David Vitter took heat recently for walking away from a woman who was questioning him about his vote against the amendment.
Now, some of those GOP senators want Sen. Franken (D-MN) to come to their rescue.
Posted by Bret M-C at 7:09 PM
By E.J. Dionne, Jr.
The New Republic
WASHINGTON--President Obama has bought himself some time on Afghanistan and lived up to his promise to seek policies that fit into no one's philosophical pigeonholes. He has also split his own party, diminished the enthusiasm of his natural allies, yet earned himself no lasting credit with his domestic adversaries.
By these measures, Obama's surge-and-wind-down strategy is both gutsy and politically risky.
This view flies in the face of the common description of his Tuesday night address as a carefully balanced political appeal. There was calculation in the speech but it had to do with winning support for his policy, not with electoral advantage. On the matter of helping the election chances of congressional Democrats next year, the speech was a net loser.
Obama was trying to identify middle ground by offering a Goldilocks strategy: neither too hawkish nor too dovish, but just right. He pointedly reassured doves that he had no interest in a "dramatic and open-ended escalation of our war effort," while insisting to hawks that "our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan."
He argued that the only way to speed our departure from Afghanistan was to speed the entry of 30,000 troops now to "reverse the Taliban's momentum." In the Vietnam years, many spoke of a "win-or-get-out" choice. Obama's is a "stop-losing-to-get-out" plan....(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 7:03 PM
By Dylan Ratigan
The Huffington Post
You want to do something about jobs? Well, considering a different Fed Chairman might be a good place to start.
Nothing would more clearly display the inability of our leaders to deal with the disastrous state of our economy than easily reconfirming Ben Bernanke for another round at the Fed on the same day that they hold a "job summit" in a harebrained attempt to try to figure out how to create jobs in this country.
So far in his tenure, Chairman Bernanke has already told us that housing prices won't go down, the subprime market will be "contained", unemployment won't get to 10% and that instead of regulation, those responsible Wall Streeters who used credit derivative swaps could just be trusted to use them "properly". Of course, he thinks this performance should be rewarded with more power and utter secrecy.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, does that make Bernanke crazy for still basing our nation's economic policies on his terrible predictions? Does it make Congress crazy for reconfirming him? Or does it make us crazy for voting these people into office??
Defenders like to point out what a fantastic job Chairman Bernanke has done "rescuing" our economy from supposed CERTAIN DOOM, utilizing his formidable expertise on the Great Depression as his guidance (or cover) for providing an infinite supply of money to our most culpable banks with no strings attached. Dropping the future wealth of America from the sky is a pretty easy way to put out almost any economic fire, but in this case our superstar fireman also happens to be one of the primary arsonists....(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 6:58 PM
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|U.S. Army Chain of Command|
Posted by Bret M-C at 3:39 PM
Posted by Bret M-C at 3:33 PM
By Media Matters
On the December 2 edition of his Fox News show, Glenn Beck falsely claimed that "jobs are not being saved or created" and that the Obama administration is "creating the make-believe 'saved or created' category" for jobs. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently estimated that the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, which was heavily promoted by President Obama, created 1.6 million jobs, and the Bush administration repeatedly stated that its economic initiatives had "saved or created" jobs....(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 3:31 PM
By Media Matters
On his Fox News program, Glenn Beck echoed Sarah Palin in saying that President Obama "has admitted" that "[i]f cap and trade passes ... your electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket." In fact, as Media Matters for America noted when Palin wrote in her memoir that Obama "has already admitted that the policy he seeks will cause our electricity bills to 'skyrocket,' " Obama was not referring to the cap-and-trade bill that was passed by the House in June when he made his "skyrocket" comment; moreover, as PolitiFact.com noted, the bill "should reduce costs to consumers."...(Remainder.)
By Media Matters
Right-wing media figures have used the upcoming White House jobs summit to claim that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has failed to stimulate the economy and thus that the Obama administration should not continue to pursue such policies. In fact, a broad consensus of economists have agreed that the Recovery Act has boosted gross domestic product and reduced unemployment in recent months; moreover, numerous economists have stated that the ARRA's flaw was that it was not large enough, and that additional federal stimulus is needed to continue the economic recovery....(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 3:27 PM
Posted by Bret M-C at 3:26 PM
By Media Matters
In recent months, Glenn Beck has repeatedly used his television show to plug gold as a way for his audience to "protect" themselves from the possible economic collapse of the U.S. dollar and economy. At the same time, several precious metals investment firms have regularly advertised on his television show, and Beck is a "Paid Spokesman" for Goldline International, which has an "exclusive" sponsorship deal with his radio show and bills itself as "Glenn Beck's Choice for Gold."
Beck promotes gold on his TV show without disclosing Goldline deal
Beck "Three G's" solution to possible U.S. economic "collapse": "God, Gold, and Guns." On the November 23 edition of his Fox News show, Beck told his audience that in the event of a possible U.S. economic "collapse," they should practice "the 3 G system" of "God, Gold, and Guns."
Beck: "protect yourself" with gold. As Think Progress noted, on the October 6 edition of his Fox News program, Beck suggested that viewers could "protect yourself" from "the end of the almighty dollar" and possible hyperinflation by purchasing gold. In an October 7 blog post, examiner.com's Ryan Witt commented:
So what does Beck tell his audience they can do in response to the coming crisis of hyperinflation? Buy gold of course. Beck interviews a professor from Columbia University and in the end one of the things they advise the audience to do is buy gold. So Beck essentially scares his audience into believing that hyperinflation and economic collapse is a near sure thing and then advises them to buy gold to protect themselves. All along Beck never mentions that a gold-buying company happens to be one of his few remaining sponsors. Beck also never interviews other economists who believe that we are nowhere near the economic conditions necessary to see hyperinflation. Finally Beck also never informs his audience of the risks involved in buying gold. Gold has seen its price skyrocket with the economic troubles of the last few years and there is a real danger that the price of gold may actually decrease if the economy improves in the coming years. Quite simply if one buys gold high right now they may be forced to sell low later.
Posted by Bret M-C at 10:38 AM
Reichsführer Beck Continues His Love Affair With Nazis, Saying Obama's Afghan Plan is Like Retreating at Normandy
Contrary to His Statement on Senate Floor, McCain Has Spent His Career Voting Against Patient Protections
By Media Matters
While addressing Sen. Durbin on the Senate floor on December 1, 2009, Sen. John McCain asserted his long history of defending American patients. Unfortunately for McCain, his record proves otherwise....(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 10:28 AM
By Media Matters
On December 2, 2009, Senator Chuck Grassley became yet another in a long line of Republicans furthering misleading talking points about the effect Democratic health care reform legislation will have on premiums. In fact, the issue is much more complex than can be stuffed into a sound bite and a full reading of the CBO analysis shows that American premiums will go down....(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 10:27 AM
Posted by Bret M-C at 10:26 AM
Posted by Bret M-C at 8:23 AM
Posted by Bret M-C at 8:22 AM
Right After Claims He Doesn't Believe It, Beck Advances Conspiracy That NBC & GE Played Role in WH Security Breach
Posted by Bret M-C at 8:20 AM
Hannity the Dumbass Manatee Claims 2009 is 9th Coldest on Records...ACTUALLY It's One of the Warmest
Posted by Bret M-C at 8:18 AM
Posted by Bret M-C at 8:15 AM
By David Edwards and Stephen Webster
The Raw Story
Several days ago, RAW STORY reported on a proposed law in Uganda that would execute homosexuals thought to be HIV positive, or for repeat "offenses." According to U.S. author and Harper's contributing editor Jeff Sharlet, a secretive group of American politicians are supporting the Ugandan lawmakers who are leading the charge to see the draconian bill become law.
Speaking to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday, Sharlet revealed even more about the connections between The Family, the secretive religious group which runs the C Street house in Washington, D.C., to the Ugandan officials. Specifically, Sharlet claimed that the nation's president and his ethics minister, both key players in pushing the vicious legislation, are official members of the powerful fundamentalist Christian group.
The man who introduced the legislation, Ugandan ethics minister and member of parliament David Bahati, was has strong ties to the U.S. religious right through a group called the African Student Leadership Program. In other words, he is "one of [The Family's] key men in Uganda."
Maddow couldn't help but wonder: "Why is The Family interested in Uganda? Why are they interested in operating there and what are their goals there?"...(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 8:14 AM
The Baron of Batshit Moronically Links Seattle Shootings to Obama Admin.: There's No Accountability on any Level
By David Edwards and Daniel Tencer
The Raw Story
The hosts of Fox News' Fox & Friends seem to believe that President Obama's frequent use of the word "unprecedented" could be big political trouble for the White House.
Echoing a Politico article that one media watchdog described as a "dreamed up" attack on the president, Fox reported that President Barack Obama has reportedly used the five-syllable, Latin-derived word 129 times since taking office, to describe everything from the economic crisis to health care reform and Afghanistan policy.
That's too much, say the hosts Fox News' Fox & Friends.
"Is it a problem using the word so many times?" asked co-host Gretchen Carlson. "Is it always true? Will that cause trouble for the president?"
Last week, Politico published an analysis showing that Obama has already reached the half-way mark to beating President George W. Bush's use of the word "unprecedented" -- 262 times in eight years.
"The Obama White House is addicted to the "unprecedented,'" reporter Carol E. Lee quipped....(Remainder.)
Posted by Bret M-C at 7:55 AM