Are you ready for Rick Santorum’s ‘First 100 Days’ as President?

 

By: Pam Spaulding Friday February 24, 2012 11:54 am
 

Should we be afraid, or doubled over in laughter? Little Ricky has a plan…The Huffington Post Jon Ward is reporting that former Sen. Rick Santorum, in an effort to regain control of the political narrative, will announce Friday night the agenda he would pursue in his first 100 days as president.

The details of the announcement remain vague, but Santorum will deliver it in Michigan at 8:00 p.m. In an email to reporters, the campaign said, “The plan will focus on revitalizing areas like Michigan hard hit by the policies of the Obama Administration.”

Well while we wait for that plan, it looks like Former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter doesn’t want him anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and was specific about why. Think Progress:

When you have Senator Santorum’s views, so far to the right, with his attitude on women in the workplace and gays and the bestiality comments and birth control, I do not think it is realistic for Rick Santorum to represent America.”

And Rudy Giuliani has no patience for the anti-gay rhetoric coming out of the GOP and Little Ricky’s piehole:

 “I think the gay rights issue is a more current (example). I think beyond all the religious and social part of it, it makes the party look like it isn’t a modern party. It doesn’t understand the modern world.”

Of course the party elders are doing nothing to stop the foolishness as Santorum and the Republican fringe continue to wage the culture wars. Especially when Santorum is such a religious hypocrite on something as basic as torture. From Ron Hill’s “Christian Politician Rick Santorum Supports Torture, Claimed To Know More About Torture Than John McCain“:

Speaking last May on Conservative Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Rick Santorum endorsed the use of torture (under the useful euphemism  ’enhanced interrogation’), and even claimed that torture was useful in killing Bin Laden – something Senator John McCain later dismissed as a claim without evidence. Rick Santorum then responded that John McCain “doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works.”

I could not make this stuff up.

Senator John McCain, a man who had both an arm and ribs broken during five years of torture as a Vietnam War POW doesn’t know anything about “enhanced interrogation?”

In the past, Senator McCain elaborated on how the “enhanced interrogation techniques” he endured – including beatings, led him to give false information to his captors simply to get them to stop torturing him. This has also been the experience of the US with “enhanced interrogation” at Gitmo. When a victim is being tortured they will say anything they think will get the torture to stop. In fact, there is no evidence that torture works and plenty to suggest that it is counterproductive.

Worse, torture is just plain wrong.

Why Rick Santorum can’t see that torture violates the basic tenants of his faith is a great question. Wish the mainstream media would ask him.

One must wonder how Jesus would approve of torture.

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Obama Requests Largest Amount of Military Aid to Israel Ever


Underscoring his commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship, President Barack Obama requested a record $3.1 billion in military assistance to Israel for the 2013 fiscal year. The requested amount is not just the largest assistance request for Israel ever, it is the largest foreign assistance request ever in U.S. history.

According to page 172 of the State Department’s report on the FY 2013 budget, foreign military financing to Israel has increased steadily under Obama:

* In 2011, Israel received $2.994 billion;

* In 2012, Israel is estimated to have received $3.075 billion; and

* In 2013, Obama requested for Israel to receive $3.1 billion—almost half of the entire global request for foreign military financing.

This is consistent with the ten-year Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel.

The increase in funding will help the Jewish state maintain its qualitative military edge and keep its citizens secure as the Middle East continues to undergo rapid change.

 

Santorum says he will defend everything he says

 By NBC’s Andrew Rafferty

 

PHOENIX, AZ — Rick Santorum told a crowd of supporters here Tuesday tonight that “I will defend everything I say,” a comment that took on another layer of significance as reports surfaced of 2008 remarks in which he said Satan is threatening America.

“I’ve been told that when you don’t read off a teleprompter, they may find a thing or two and say, ‘Oh he said this and he might mean this’ and the media complains so much about these structured candidates and how they are all so robotic. And then of course when they have a candidate that doesn’t do any of those things they say, ‘Oh he’s really out there, you have to worry about what he says.’ No you don’t, because I will defend everything I say.”

The remark came after Santorum spent most of the day as the banner story on the Drudge Report website about a speech he gave at Ave Maria University in Florida in which he is quoted saying “Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.”

When asked to respond to the comments, he told reporters after the event “I believe in good and evil.  I think if somehow or another if because you’re a person of faith and you believe in good and evil is a disqualifier for president, we’re going to have a very small pool of candidates that can run for president.”

But pressed about the nearly four year old remarks, Santorum remained defiant. “Look, guys, These are questions that are not relevant to what’s, what’s being discussed in America today…If they want to dig up old speeches of me talking to religious groups they can go ahead and do so but I’m going to stay on message.”

The old comments add to a growing list and much more recent list of controversial things the candidate has said on the campaign trail.

Over the weekend in Ohio he questioned President Obama’s theology and suggested the president discriminates against disabled people.

The remarks have drawn scrutiny from the media, but have been untouched by his rivals in the presidential race because they are lines that many times draw applause from the conservative electorate they are all vying for.

Instead, the majority of scrutiny Santorum has received is over his record on spending and the 16 years he spent in Congress.

In front of about 250 supporters at Tuesday’s rally, he said his chief rival Mitt Romney “has run as a liberal, a moderate and a conservative.”

“I have never changed my views, ever,” Santorum said.  “See who will win and run as a conservative.  I will ensure you that I will actually run as a conservative.”

An open letter to the people who hate Obama more than they love America

Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 01:57 PM PST

I meet you all the time. You hate Obama. You hate gay people. You hate black people, immigrants, Muslims, labor unions, women who want the right to make choices concerning their bodies, you hate em all. You hate being called racist. You hate being called a bigot. Maybe if you talked about creating jobs more than you talk about why you hate gay people we wouldn’t call you bigots. Maybe if you talked about black people without automatically assuming they are on food stamps while demanding their birth certificates we wouldn’t call you racist. You hate socialism and social justice. You hate regulations and taxes and spending and the Government. You hate.

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com      You like war. You like torture. You like Jesus. I don’t know how in the hell any of that is compatible, but no one ever accused you haters of being over-committed to ideological consistency. You like people who look like you or at least hate most of the things that you hate. You hate everything else.

Now, I know you profess to love our country and the founding fathers (unless you are reminded that they believed in the separation of church and state), but I need to remind you that America is NOT what Fox News says it is. America is a melting pot, it always has been. We are a multi-cultural amalgamation of all kinds of people, and yet you still demonize everyone who is not a rich, white, heterosexual christian male or his submissive and obedient wife.

You hate liberals, moderates, hell, anyone who disagrees with Conservative dogma as espoused by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. You hate em.

Well, here are the facts, Jack. If you hate the Government then you are unqualified to manage it. If you hate gay people more than you love America than you should take your own advice and get the hell out. There are several countries that are openly hostile to gay people, but they are full of brown people and you don’t like them much either from what I understand. It looks like you are screwed, but that’s not what I am here to tell you.

 Now that you have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at President Obama and it still hasn’t worked you are panicking. Obama’s approval ratings are still near 50% despite your best efforts to undermine the economy and America’s recovery at every step you can. You tried to hold the American economy hostage to force America into default on its’ debts, debts that YOU rang up under Bush, so you could blame it on Obama and it failed. You’ve used the filibuster more than any other Congress ever, going so far as to vote against providing health care access to 9/11 first responders. You remember 9/11, don’t you, it’s that thing you used to lie us into a war in Iraq, and then when Obama killed Bin Laden and ended the war in Iraq you told people that he hates America and wants the troops to fail. You monsters. You hate Obama with a passion, despite the fact that he is a tax cutting, deficit reducing war President who undermines civil rights and delivers corporate friendly watered down reforms that benefit special interests just like a Republican. You call him a Kenyan. You call him a socialist. You dance with your hatred singing it proudly in the rain like it was a 1950’s musical.

Frankly, you disgust me. Your hatred nauseates me. Your bigotry offends me. Your racism revolts me.

Dear haters, I am openly questioning your patriotism.

I think you hate gays, Obama, black people, poor people, all of us, women, atheists and agnostics, Latinos, Muslims, Liberals, all of us, I think you hate every one who isn’t exactly like you, and I think you hate us more than you love your country.

I think you hate gay soldiers more than you want America to win its wars.

I don’t even think you want America to win wars, you just want America to have wars, never ending wars and the war profiteering it generates. You love that kind of spending, you love spending on faith based initiatives and abstinence based sex education (George Carlin would have loved that one), you love spending on subsidies for profitable oil corporations, you spend like drunken sailors when you are in the White House, but if it is a Democrat then suddenly you cheer when America doesn’t get the Olympics because it might make the black President look bad. But oooh you love your country, you say, and you want it back. Well listen here skippy, it isn’t your country, you don’t own it, it is our country, and America is NOT the religiously extremist Foxbots who hate science, elitist professors and having a vibrant and meaningful sex life with someone we love if Rick Santorum doesn’t approve of it. Rick Santorum isn’t running for America’s fucking high school dance chaperone, he should probably just shut the hell up about sex, but he can’t because he has nothing else to run on.

Republicans can NOT win on the issues. They’ve got NOTHING. All they have is a divide and conquer class war that pits ignorant racist and bigoted people against the rest of us in a meaningless battle of wedge issues and the already proven to fail George W. Bush agenda again of tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, privatization and war profiteering and nothing else, so all they can do is blame black people, gays the government, anybody and everyone else for their own failings. The party of personal responsibility, my ass.

But they love multi-national corporations, just ask a gay hating and racist religious extremist if they think Corporations are people and they will gladly agree, but if you ask them if gay people are people they aren’t so sure.

Dear haters, you are the cruel, heartless misinformed assholes who would sell America out to Haliburton in a heartbeat, you would rather pay ZERO taxes than you would see a newly born baby get access to quality health care, you cheer when we discuss denying health care to young people with preventable diseases, and you boo when we discuss the First Ladies plan to cut back on childhood obesity. You are a cross to carry and a flag to wrap yourself in away from being the people who Sinclair Lewis warned us about, but I guarantee that if Fox News told you to dress that way you would, because you are the same blind, ignorant and closed minded dunces who drove this country into a civil war years ago because you are bound to the notion that some men are more equal than others. In short, the reason I proudly wear my union army hat is because of seditious sell outs like you who constantly fuck over working class Americans so a foreign entrepreneur like Rupert Murdoch can get a bigger tax break. If corporations are people, they are neither American patriots nor capable of love. Just like you.

So stop wearing your hate with pride. Stop celebrating your anti-science, anti-math ignorance. Stop using code words to mask your bigotry like “family values”, especially when you hate my family and when you stand on the same stage as a guy who has had three marriages or if you share a seat in the Senate with a guy who cheated on his wife with hookers while wearing diapers. You should be ashamed. I know that you are just doing this to motivate your misinformed hate cult base because if they actually knew that your ideas will make them poorer than they are now, they would never vote for you. You are doing your best to impoverish your countrymen so rich people can get bigger tax breaks and you can keep on delivering corporate welfare to the special interests who have bribed you, and I am disgusted by the way you gleefully parade your hatred with aplomb. I don’t think you do love America. At least, not as much as you hate everyone in America who isn’t exactly like you.

You should think about that, and maybe get some help.

And for the record, I do not hate you. I am embarrassed by you and nauseated by your cruel and thoughtless behavior and your all consuming greed, but I do not hate you. I forgive you and I hope you can change someday, but I don’t hate you. You have enough hate in you for the rest of us as it is.

America’s Poorest People Running Out Of Places To Live: Study

The Huffington Post   Alexander Eichler 

The poorest people inAmerica are running out of places to live.

In every state in the country, there are people looking for cheap rental housing — and in every state, there aren’t enough units available, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a nonprofit organization.

“The existence of the gap is not a matter of debate,” the report notes.

The findings highlight the increasingly desperate situation of people who work but don’t earn much, and who are finding themselves priced out of the rental market as more and more Americans look for alternatives to traditional homeownership.

For every 100 households that earn less than one-third of the median income for their region, according to the report, there are only 30 affordable and available rental units — meaning, places to live that aren’t dilapidated, prohibitively expensive, too far from public transportation, or already occupied by someone earning a higher salary.

There might be more affordable housing options available for the poor if the housing market and the economy overall weren’t so weak. Since the recession took hold, though, many people have found themselves lacking the money or the credit to make a major purchase like a house.

Meanwhile, nearly five years of slumping prices has led many financially stable people to rent temporary accommodations instead of buying a home that might only keep declining in value. In a sign of the swelling demand for rental property, apartment vacancies had fallen to their lowest level in a decade by late 2011.

That’s bad news for cash-strapped Americans who have traditionally depended on the rental market to keep a roof over their heads. In the absence of affordable rental units, a growing number of people are doubling up with friends and family, and analysts say the national homelessness rate is poised to begin climbing soon as federal funding for housing programs dries up.

In general, a wide swath of the population is living in financially precarious circumstances, with one in every five households saying they sometimes struggle to afford food, and nearly half of all households just one emergency away from falling below the poverty line.

The Electoral Wasteland

In barely a century’s time, the population of the United States has more than tripled, to 313 million. We are a clattering, opinionated cluster of nearly all the world’s races and religions, and many of its languages, under one flag.

You would not know any of this looking at who is voting in one of the strangest presidential primary campaigns in history. There is no other way to put this without resorting to demographic bluntness: the small fraction of Americans who are trying to pick the Republican nominee are old, white, uniformly Christian and unrepresentative of the nation at large.

None of that is a surprise. But when you look at the numbers, it’s stunning how  little this Republican primary electorate resembles the rest of the United States.  They are much closer to the population of 1890 than of 2012.

Given the level of media attention, we know an election of great significance is happening on the Republican side. But it’s occurring in a different place, guided by talk-radio extremists and religious zealots, with only a vague resemblance to the states where it has taken place. From this small world have emerged a host of nutty, retrograde positions, unpopular with the vast American majority.

But before getting into how this minority has steered the party into a corner, let’s look at the size of the electorate. The nine states that have held caucuses or primaries to date are home to roughly 28 million total registered voters, of all political persuasions.

So far, three million voters have participated in the Republican races, less than the  population of Connecticut.  This means that 89 percent of all registered voters in those states have not participated in what is, from a horse-race perspective, a very tight contest.

Yes, we know Republicans don’t like their choices; it’s a meh primary. But still, in some states, this election could be happening in a ghost town. Less than 1 percent of registered voters turned out for Maine’s caucus. In Nevada, where Republican turnout was down 25 percent from 2008, only 3 percent of total registered voters participated.

This is not majority rule by any measure; it barely qualifies as participatory democracy.

Results from the two populous states that have held big, media-saturated primaries, and are more likely to attract average voters, are also very revealing. In Florida, the largest and most diverse state among the nine, turnout was down 14 percent from 2008. And 84 percent of the state’s total registered voters  did not participate in the Republican contest.

South Carolina is the major outlier this year, the only state to show a big increase in turnout, up 35 percent from 2008. But when you look at who voted, you see a very specific niche.

In the Palmetto State, 98 percent of primary voters were white, 72 percent were age 45 or older and nearly two-thirds were evangelical Christian, according to exit polls. From this picture, you may think South Carolina is an all-white, aging state, full of fervent churchgoers. But the Census says the state is only 66 percent white, with a median age of 36. Exit polls from 2008 put the evangelical vote at 40 percent of total.

Florida was at least closer — only in the Latino vote — to the general election of 2008; in both cases, it was about 14 percent of the total. But voters 45 or older made up 78 percent of the primary, versus 59 percent in the general matchup four years ago.

Outside of Florida, this contest has been nearly an all-white affair. Nevada is 26 percent Latino by population; in the primary, only 5 percent were Latino. Caucus voters in Iowa were 99 percent white.

Again, these numbers represent a small echo chamber. Whites are 63.7 percent of the total population of the United States; in 1900, they were 88 percent — still more diverse than Republican primary voters today.

The takeaway point of this poorly attended, unrepresentative Republican primary contest is not to focus entirely on who is voting but on why the candidates are taking such fringe positions. One explains the other.

Thus, the New York Times poll of this week found that all voters, by a 66 to 26 ratio, support the federal requirement that private health care plans cover the full cost of birth control for female patients. Among women, support is 72-20. And with Catholics, it’s 67-25. Yes, Catholics are slightly more liberal than the population at large.

Other polls show a huge majority of Americans want to raise taxes on the rich, favor the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan and believe the earth is warming because of human action.

Yet the Republican front-runner of the moment, Rick Santorum, is with the minority on each of these issues, and Mitt Romney is a near match.

So, given how out of sync these two candidate are with the rest of the country,  how could they be the front-runners?  It’s simple: Look at who is voting, a nation unto itself.

 

Muslim Terrorist pleads guilty to plotting to kill President Obama

Mon, 2012-02-13 08:41 AM

Ulugbek Kodirov

A 22-year-old Uzbek national pleaded guilty in federal court on Feb. 10 to trying to kill the president and to supporting an Uzbek terror group.

Ulugbek Kodirov, who has been in the U.S. since overstaying a student visa in 2009, pleaded guilty to charges of threatening to kill President Obama, possession of an illegal weapon and supporting the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), which is a U.S.-designated terror group.

Kodirov’s plea comes as several other Uzbeks have either been designated as global terrorists or have been arrested on terror charges in the U.S. In late January, federal agents arrested Jamshid Muhtorov, 35, at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on charges of providing and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), which is a designated foreign terrorist organization. Three days later, the U.S. State Department designated brothers Yassin and Monir Chouka and Mevlut Kar as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, saying the Chouka brothers were fighters, recruiters, facilitators and propagandists for the IMU, while Kar is a facilitator and recruiter for the IJU.

Kodirov had been indicted by a federal grand jury on the presidential threat and terror charges in July 2011 after he tried to obtain an automatic weapon to kill the president in a federal undercover operation that had been spurred by confidential informants.

Federal prosecutors praised the Birmingham, AL Muslim community for helping law enforcement identify and arrest Kodirov. Kodirov was “self radicalized” and had viewed Islamist Web sites and had sought out “like-minded” individuals, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance said after the plea.

In his plea, Kodirov admitted he had been in communication with an individual whom he believed to be a member of the IMU and interpreted the conversations to mean that he should kill President Obama. Court documents also said Kodirov showed jihadist Web sites and videos on his computer to another individual and told that person that he wanted to assist others in jihad overseas.

Kodirov admitted to having lengthy conversations last July with another unidentified individual about his desire to kill President Obama and ways to carry out an assassination. That individual, said court documents, traveled to Birmingham, AL to meet Kodirov and introduced him to an undercover agent, from whom Kodirov intended to obtain weapons he would use to kill the president.

The three men met on July 13, 2011, at a motel in Leeds, AL, said the documents. During the meeting, the undercover agent offered a fully-automatic Sendra Corporation Model M15-A1 machine gun, a sniper rifle with a telescopic sight and four disassembled hand grenades and asked Kodirov if he would like to use any of them to “carry out his plan to kill the President.”  Kodirov chose the machine gun and the hand grenades and left the meeting with the weapons. Agents arrested Kodirov before he left the motel.

Kodirov had entered the U.S. on a student visa in June 2009, but it was revoked on April 1, 2010, when he failed to enroll in school. After that, he was living unlawfully in the country and was holed up in an extended-stay motel in Pelham, AL, at the time of his arrest.

He faces maximum prison sentences of 15 years on the terrorism charge, five years on the charge of threatening the president and 10 years on the charge of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm. Each charge also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.

 The FBI, ATF, HSI and Secret Service investigated the case.

“Today, Ulugbek Kodirov became the first person to be convicted of providing material support to terrorist activity in this district,” said U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance. “Kodirov was apprehended during an undercover operation in which he was attempting to obtain weapons and explosives that he intended to use to kill the President of the United States. Effective action by law enforcement protected our community and potentially our country,” she said.

“I also want to express my appreciation to the Muslim community of Birmingham, which was instrumental in helping law enforcement shut down this threat,” Vance said.