King of Bain

The complete film by the SuperPAC supporting Newt Gingrich called “When Mitt Romney Came to Town.” It’s quite an artful hatchet job.

As expected, the Republican establishment and most of the corporate media is pushing back strenuously against what it chooses to regard as an outrageous attack on Capitalism. Here, for example, is Newt Gingrich getting put through the wringer this morning by Steve Douchey and the not-so-friendly slackwits on Fox News:

Their follow-up guest was sleazy former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani who blasted what Gingrich and Rick Perry are doing as being “ignorant” and “dumb” – further claiming that “its building ignorance of the American economic system…it’s playing on the dumbest, most ridiculous ideas about how you grow jobs.”

Fox News Kills Ron Paul

Not literally, of course… but as you can see from nipped and tucked Scientoligist Greta Van Susteren’s year-end look back at the race to become the Republican presidential nominee, there is not ONE single mention of Ron Paul in the entire 7½ minutes of video. Why, it’s as if Fox News made it appear that the garrulous old libertarian coot some predict may actually win next week’s semi-important Iowa caucuses wasn’t even running in the campaign at all!

While it’s a well-established fact to most liberals that Fox News is anything but “fair and balanced” as it cynically claims to be, unfortunately there are still many witless viewers out there who actually consider the network a purveyor of “news” rather than what it really is – a slick propaganda delivery vehicle for the GOP establishment – i.e., vested interests of corporate fascists and the wealthy elite.

Perhaps witnessing the hostile reaction of Fox News to the potentially disruptive candidacy of Ron Paul will disabuse them of the notion that it actually believes in the libertarian ethos, the anti-liberal rhetoric of which it so fiercely spouts whenever it usefully serves advance their purpose; which, in fact, isn’t to destroy government at all, but instead to hold it even more firmly captive and continue utilizing its various powers as a practical means of effectively siphoning off absurd amounts of wealth from the many to an increasingly select few.

Factoid: Just six members of Walmart’s Walton clan are worth as much as the bottom 30 percent of all Americans (90 million people).

Branson: OCW “A Good Start”

Eccentric billionaire Sir Richard Branson somewhat surprisingly expressed his support for the OCW movement the other day, admitting they had “very valid reasons” to be protesting.

“It’s now up to the business community to ensure that we show the way so that they can go, the Occupy Wall Street can feel that they’ve done their job and go home, and they’ve made a difference, and I think they will have made a difference, hopefully,” Branson said.

Well, isn’t that special?

Perhaps I’m just an inveterate cynic (or curmudgeon, as some would have it), but as superficially pleasing as Sir Richard’s remarks may seem, it’s difficult not to immediately correlate them with those articulated recently by evil spinmeister Frank Luntz when coaching Republican politicians on how best to undermine the “scary” OCW movement with his cleverly disingenuous talking points:

’I get it.’ First off, here are three words for you all: ‘I get it.’… ‘I get that you’re angry. I get that you’ve seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system.’

Maybe Branson’s own “I get it” sentiments are genuine, but they could also be a distinction without a difference in terms of the net effect of attempting to blunt the legitimate outrage at the current state of affairs with fake empathy and a nebulous vow to “show the way” in hopes the miscreant rabble will scuttle away, safely deluded in the laughable notion they’ve actually “made a difference”…

Rick Perry: Lying Douchebag

Here’s the latest attack ad from the Rick Perry campaign:

“Can you believe that?” Governor Perry incredulously asks. “That’s what our president thinks is wrong with America… that Americans are lazy?” Hmmm. I wonder where Perry might have gotten his inspiration for this grotesque distortion from? Oh, right, of course… GOP TV (aka Fox “News”):

It’s absolutely pathetic that President Obama cannot make a legitimate, factually accurate observation about genuine shortcomings in his country’s business development and foreign investment policies over the past two decades without being viciously and dishonestly attacked for doing so.

Lies (and the Lying Liars who Tell Them) Update:
How refreshing to see a pundit call a spade a spade; i.e., that Rick Perry and Mitt Romney are deliberate LIARS.

Lawrence O’Donnell clarifies what Obama was actually saying before his words were taken out of context:

He`s saying our government has been a little bit lazy about that over the last couple of decades. It`s actually a very Republican-sounding idea that government is, to some extent, standing in the way of new business coming in to this country and that government has to make the business climate in this country more welcoming to business. It`s a classic Republican pro-business statement with a little insult to government thrown in there.

Is there a Republican out there who doesn`t think that the government, the government, is a little bit lazy? Is there a Republican out there who doesn’t think that every single government worker is a little bit lazy? Is there anything in that statement a Republican would disagree with? Of course not.

But if you just cut out a few words in the middle of it and show that to people, just like I just did with Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, then you have got yourself the makings of a Republican campaign ad. And yes, the campaign ad is based on a purposeful, and absolutely pure lie. And Republicans now want to make it the big lie of this campaign, the big Orwellian lie that President Obama thinks that Americans are lazy.

There are plenty of issues on which Republicans can legitimately disagree with Obama on… that they feel the desperate need to LIE perhaps says more about their own lack of integrity and intellectual feebleness than it does about anything else.

Bob Rae on the Economy

Good speech from last week by Bob Rae on the Canadian economy in the global context.

It’s short on details, but well aimed in its critique of “ideological islands of waste and profligacy” in the Conservatives’ government spending agenda.

Student Protests

Thousands of students marched through London yesterday to protest cuts to public education spending by the Conservative-led Coalition government and a significant increase in tuition fees.

Here’s one of the organizers, Ben Beech, a 21-year-old architecture student, holding forth on the issue in an interview by RT… It’s quite an amazing rhetorical performance (begins about 2 minutes into the clip).

Meanwhile, students at UC Berkeley voicing similar grievances were brutally set upon by baton wielding police goons in riot gear.

Signs of things to come, perhaps?

Coren on the “Occupy” Protesters

Sun TV’s Michael Coren lambastes the “Occupy” protesters for being “spoiled children of privilege” that are needy, self-indulgent whiners and so on…

I have to admit to experiencing a considerable amount of cognitive dissonance being largely in agreement with his withering assessment of the protesters involved in the Canadian version of this movement.

Kunstler on the Political Economy

RT interviews James Howard Kunstler on a range of topics including the current state of the global economy, the de-legitimization of the U.S. political system, and, of course, his thoughts about the OCW movement.

At the outset, Kunstler makes a terrific point about the “consensus about reality” in the United States being so woefully fragmented these days as to make defining a coherent narrative about the economic crisis, let alone finding a positive way forward, an almost impossible task.

Gary Johnson @ OCW

Republican candidate Gary Johnson (the other libertarian in the race) talks to OCW protesters in Zuchotti Park, eventually running into Young Turks host Cenk Uygur.

Most protesters probably wouldn’t agree with Johnson’s radical prescriptions for fixing the economy (although they’d most likely appreciate his open stance on drug policy), but in the present political system they’ll never have the opportunity to determine whether they support him or not, given the massive amounts of money raised by the leading candidates in the race that will totally dominate the airwaves once things really kick into high gear.

Fun Fact: In 2010, the Conservative Party of Canada raised $17.3 million. By contrast, in that same year, the Republican Party raised just shy of $1 billion.