Archive for category Newt Gingrich
Well, all I can do is speculate, since they won’t tell us why he’s being indicted.
As usual, I had NPR on this morning when I heard that the former speaker of the house, Dennis Hastert, had been indicted for undisclosed reasons. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of secret, public indictments before. Have you?
The indictment did not specify the nature of the misconduct. A spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor in Northern Illinois declined to offer further detail about the alleged wrongdoing by the former speaker.
Hastert who was brought in as speaker of the house to replace Bob Livingston who had replaced Newt Gringrich a couple of weeks earlier, when it became known that both men, who had been attacking Bill Clinton during the hyper-media frenzy about his famous extramarital affair, were exposed for having more serious adultery. The kindly looking Hastert was billed as, sort of, a Jimmy Carter like moralistic figure that was going to bring dignity and moderation back to the mess on capitol hill.
Even though the media won’t, I think I can give you some background on what is actually happening here and why this is much more serious then most of us who haven’t been to my favorite website, BradBlog.com. know.
Here’s a paragraph from a story posted there in 2008:
It appears that these arrangements aren’t the typical ‘Revolving Door’ retirement packages, but rather specific quid pro quo deals. People like Hastert and Grossman and the others quite literally sell out their government while in office on the specific promise that they will be rewarded when they leave.
To make a long story really short: the indictment that must not be known is most likely about Dennis Hastert being bribed by Turkey while in office, and taking a lobbying job there after leaving office. If you want the long version, it’s unfolding in the real American news media at BradBlog right now: HERE.
Pertinent video primer from 2008:
UPDATE: What, they couldn’t let this out this morning? Is this a cover story cooked up to make this go away? Couldn’t happen in America. 🙂
UPDATE: Although this sixty minutes story doesn’t cover Sybil Edmonds’s allegations against Hastert in the previous video, it’s obvious she has credibility.
Dogs are pretty clever. They get to have three squares and lots of hugs by treating their masters like Ultra-Kings. This doesn’t always result in respect and sometimes problems arise, but all-in-all, the symbiotic relationship has been proven to work really well for quite a long time.
Not wanting to get any further into philosophical observations I have about dogs, I’m going to get right to the great cartoon from from MarkFiore:
I prefer cats. They’re a lot like anarchists, but if you treat them right, they’ll love you till the end.
Humans should probably be democrats, but these labels get all mixed up today.
Awesome. Via Think Progress:
On Sunday, during an appearance on Meet The Press, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell confronted Newt Gingrich for falsely predicting in 1993 that the economy would suffer if then-President Bill Clinton raised marginal tax rates.
Republican are making a similar argument against President Obama’s call to raise marginal tax rates on the richest Americans, even though the economy and jobs grew exponentially during the Clinton years when the top marginal tax rate was at 39.6 percent for the top income earners.
…Indeed, in 1993 when President Bill Clinton raised taxes on the top income earners, Gingrich and the Republicans argued that the hikes would result in economic decline and result in huge deficits. They were proven wrong. The country experienced the “longest period of economic growth in U.S. history, increased business investment, 23 million jobs added, and, of course, budget surpluses.” The same boom did not materialize after President George W. Bush enacted his tax cuts; the country experienced large deficits and the weakest job and income growth in the post-war era.
O’Donnell actually said: “Newt, [we] have been waiting for your apology for 20 years for being completely wrong about that.”
Of course, in the fake world of the media, no one ever apologizes for being flat wrong. In this case the cost of being wrong was a decade of flat wages, lost jobs, and rising poverty in America – culminating in the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression, and ongoing economic sabotage by Republicans in Congress. They are still threatening to kill the recovery out of pure hyperpartisanship even after President Obama agreed to make 98 percent of the Bush Tax Cuts For The Rich permanent.
Utah Senator Mike Lee served up the Tea Party rhetoric (unsweetened). The National Debt is a “pit of despair,” he said, neglecting to mention that President George W. Bush doubled it in 8 years. Senator Lee held out the prospect of a Balanced Budget Amendment: “Get Washington to put down the federal shovel… The shining city on a hill should replace the city in a hole. Walk away from hole-digging hell.” Never mind the fact that economic recovery (which is necessary every time GOP ideology causes an epic recession or depression) requires deficit spending.
More: Herman Cain: Stupid people and ignorant people are ruining America’ (says the guy who proudly proclaimed he didn’t know the “President Of Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan” and couldn’t explain why our attack on Libya was a mistake because “I gotta go back to — got all this stuff twirling around in my head.”)
In today’s session, Newt Gingrich is slated to give more details about his plan to make the Moon our 51st state.
I have stopped watching the GOP presidential candidate debates in favor of the less time-consuming alternative of watching the post-primary speeches. Willard (“Mitt”) Romney’s New Hampshire speech was clearly an attempt to set an all-time record for the lie-to-word ratio. Last night he repeated a lot of those same lies, but I just jotted down his main message and that of the other contenders.
“If you don’t like me, then you must have something against PROSPERITY. And maybe you’re also one of those weaklings who doesn’t like the Warfare State.” Says the guy who spent the Vietnam War in France.
“Paper money is UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and we won’t need any if we cut the federal budget by $1 trillion and stop the wars.” Amazingly, Gingrich came along later in the evening and agreed with Paul about fiat money.
Shorter Rick (not James, the real Rick):
“We need to get back to WORKING-CLASS VALUES and blue-collar jobs. Plus shotgun weddings, gotta love those.” Probably the most sincere candidate, although clueless.
“Get the country back on the right track by rejecting the NEW YORK-WASHINGTON ELITES, and the news media. It’s American exceptionalism versus the radicalism of Saul Alinsky.” Tell me how Gingrich is not part of the elite. And I’m still wondering who the hell Saul Alinsky might be – besides a GOP punching bag.
None of these guys has laid out a practical plan for recovering the economy, and getting back the jobs and homes lost in Bush’s Great Recession. Only Ron Paul has opposed the pointless wars, the unconstitutional USA PATRIOT Act and all the other assaults on the Bill of Rights, but then again he thinks everything the federal government does is unconstitutional. Not one of them will concede that climate change is happening, much less propose solutions.
BTW the cable news channels failed to report that Herman Cain (or Stephen Colbert) came in fifth place in South Carolina, with 6,324 votes. Cain actually received more votes than Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and Michele Bachmann combined.
UPDATE: According to the exit polls, Mitt Romney lost all income levels with the exception of those making over $200,000 a year.
We get it that Willard (“Mitt”) Romney is the candidate of, by, and for the 1 Percent, but he keeps reminding us anyway. Going into South Carolina, where they have some of the worst unemployment, Willard might want to re-think his message. On Tuesday night in New Hampshire, he complained that the 99 Percent represent only the “bitter politics of envy.” The next morning, he doubled down in an interview with Matt Lauer.
LAUER: When you said that we already have a leader who divides us with the bitter politics of envy, I’m curious about the word ‘envy.’ Did you suggest that anyone who questions the policies and practices of Wall Street and financial institutions, anyone who has questions about the distribution of wealth and power in this country, is envious? Is it about jealousy, or fairness?
ROMNEY: You know, I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare. When you have a president encouraging the idea of dividing America based on the 99 percent versus one percent — and those people who have been most successful will be in the one percent — you have opened up a whole new wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with the concept of one nation under God. The American people, I believe in the final analysis, will reject it.
LAUER: Yeah but envy? Are there no fair questions about the distribution of wealth without it being seen as ‘envy,’ though?
ROMNEY: I think it’s fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms and discussions about tax policy and the like. But the president has made it part of his campaign rally. Everywhere he goes we hear him talking about millionaires and billionaires and executives and Wall Street. It’s a very envy-oriented, attack-oriented approach and I think it will fail.
Many would not agree that multimillionaires and billionaires who take profits and bonuses from fraud and government bailouts are simply more “successful” than the rest of us. They belong behind bars. And 99 percent of us are never invited into the “quiet rooms” where big decisions are made — that is why people are out on the streets protesting the lack of democracy in America.
A super-PAC supporting Newt Gingrich’s campaign in South Carolina is airing a 28-minute Swift Boat-style attack on Romney’s record as the chief executive officer of the private-equity firm Bain Capital LLC. Romney is depicted as a financier “more ruthless than Wall Street” and responsible for firing thousands of workers. The term “vulture capitalist” has come back into public discourse, this time specifically to describe Romney. Link to video: “When Mitt Romney Came to Town.”
Income inequality is at its worst level since the Great Depression and Americans are increasingly concerned about losing their place in the shrinking middle class. Most of us no longer believe that our children will live a better life, and 72% of families have grown children living with them or know someone who does. When workers in other countries are being told to accept lower wages in order to compete with lower-paid Americans, that’s a warning sign.
They only call it “class warfare” when we fight back.
UPDATE: Obama Administration Chief Economist: Talking About Income Inequality Is Not ‘An Issue About Envy At All’. According to Alan Krueger, chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, the shift in income inequality over the last three decades is the equivalent of moving $1.1 trillion of income from the 99 percent to the top 1 percent every single year. This has led to a severe shrinking of the middle class.
UPDATE: Romney negotiated a $10 million federal bailout from the FDIC to save Bain Capital from bankruptcy in 1993. It’s fair to say we all could be in the “most successful” 1 Percent if we had access to a $10 million gift.
Last night’s “debate” consisted of the usual , predictable procession of prefabricated inquiries and answers.
Nothing new was asked and nothing new was learned.
Newt wasn’t asked ONE question about his wife cheating. Santorum wasn’t asked ONE question about his embryo problem. Perry wasn’t asked about his alternate lifestyle – if untrue, he should have been delighted to refute it. Romney didn’t have to account for his liberal talk shutdown on our airwaves. Huntsman was absent!
No mention of a religious test either.
Kudos to Ron Paul for making sense and not wearing a flag pin on his lapel.
Shame on ABC!
He’s baack! Remember when then-House-Speaker Newt Gingrich declared we could save money by taking away the children of welfare mothers and putting them in state-run orphanages? Last Friday, newly-minted GOP presidential front runner Newt Gingrich blamed child labor laws for doing “more to create income inequality in the United States than any other single policy.” Poor schools “ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school,” he said.
Gingrich, who says “there is no such thing in America as 99 percent,” and recently advised OWS protesters to “go get a job right after you take a bath,” is a prime example of a 1 Percenter. He says he can’t remember much about collecting between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac, (most of us would consider something like that a big deal). He had a line of credit at Tiffany & Company worth $1 million. Shortly after announcing his campaign for President, he departed on a luxury Mediterranean cruise. Gingrich had a net worth of at least $6.7 million (some estimates say $20 million), and income of at least $2.6 million in 2010.
Needless to say, child labor laws are not a cause of income inequality. The upward redistribution of wealth began in the 1980s, not in 1938 when child labor laws were introduced. Robert Reich:
The decline of America’s middle class can be charted directly. In the three decades after World War II, the median wage (smack in the middle) grew rapidly, right along with productivity gains. Even as late as 1980, the richest 1 percent of Americans received only about 9 percent of the nation’s total income.
But starting in the 1980s — and increasingly since then — the economy has made the rich far richer without doing squat for the vast middle. The median hourly wage has barely grown, if you take inflation into account. Indeed, it dropped in the last so-called “recovery” between 2001 and 2007. And health-care and pension benefits have declined; we’ve gone from defined-benefit pensions to do-it-yourself pensions, while health insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-payments have skyrocketed.
A TPM commenter points out the insanity of Gingrich’s proposal:
The anti-Gingrich ad just writes itself. Gingrich wants to fire Dad and hire his 12 year old son to do the same job at a lower pay. Genius. That will get our economy turned around.
UPDATE: Robert Lenzner in Forbes (emphasis added):
Capital gains are the key ingredient of income disparity in the US— and the force behind the winner takes all mantra of our economic system. If you want even out earning power in the U.S, you have to raise the 15% capital gains tax.
UPDATE: Gingrich pocketed at least $37 million to shill for the health care industry. Among other things, he supported the individual private insurance mandate, and end-of-life counseling (i.e. Sarah Palin’s “death panels”).