Friday, October 21, 2011
By Marie Diamond
Congressional Republicans have acted shocked and offended at Democrats’ suggestions that they are intentionally sabotaging the economy to try to win back the White House in 2012. Republicans have refused to pass President Obama’s jobs plan — which experts estimate will create at least 1.9 million jobs — and proposed an alternative plan that Moody’s says “will likely push the economy back into recession.”
Now influential Tea Party leaders are throwing caution to the wind and openly lobbying business owners to stop hiring in order to hurt Obama politically. This week, Right Wing Watch picked up on a message Tea Party Nation sent to their members from conservative activist Melissa Brookstone.
In a rambling letter titled “Call For A Strike of American Small Businesses Against The Movement for Global Socialism,” Brookstone urges businesses “not hire a single person” to protest “this new dictator”:
Resolved that: The current administration and Democrat majority in the Senate, in conjunction with Progressive socialists from all around the country, especially those from Hollywood and the left leaning news media (Indeed, most of the news media.) have worked in unison to advance an anti-business, an anti-free market, and an anti-capitalist (anti-individual rights and property ownership) agenda. [...]
I, an American small business owner, part of the class that produces the vast majority of real, wealth producing jobs in this country, hereby resolve that I will not hire a single person until this war against business and my country is stopped.
Brookstone cites Democrats’ support of the Occupy Wall Street movement as proof that Obama, media elites, and the like are “against business, private property ownership and capitalism.” Although she fails to explain how a freeze on hiring would send a bold pro-business message, given that such a boycott would further damage the economy and exacerbate high national unemployment.
But these Tea Partiers are only too happy to put politics ahead of the well-being of 14 million unemployed Americans, not to mention the businesses who are looking for qualified workers.
Friday, October 14, 2011
By Pat Garofalo
Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain’s 999 plan — which would scrap the current tax code in favor of a nine percent personal income tax, nine percent corporate income tax, and nine percent sales tax (on everything, including food) — was the undeniable star of the GOP’s primary debate this week, with the number nine warranting 85 mentions during the course of the evening. As we’ve been reporting, the plan would entail a huge tax increase on the poor while slashing taxes on the rich.
Cain, when faced with analyses showing how much his plan would wallop the low-income Americans, dismisses them, calling them “erroneous.” But as it turns out, Cain isn’t particularly well-versed in the nuances of his plan. Asked how his proposed corporate income tax would apply to products built in other countries and designed and sold in the U.S., Cain replied “I have no idea“:
Mr. Cain made it clear Wednesday his plan remained a work in progress. Visiting Concord, N.H., he added several new wrinkles. He would preserve the deduction for charitable donations, making the flat income tax not so flat; he would exempt any used goods, including previously owned homes and cars, from the national sales tax; and he would allow businesses to deduct new equipment purchases from their 9% corporate income tax, as long as the goods were U.S.-made.
Asked how that would apply to a computer designed domestically but containing Malaysian components and assembled in China, he replied, “I have no idea.”
Even the Cain campaign’s own economist said the 999 plan “wouldn’t be the one I picked” to run with. Remember, the plan was crafted by a Koch-affiliated financial adviser from a Wells Fargo branch in Ohio, not an actual economist.
As ABC reported today, a long list of economists “say Cain’s plan would be a tax hike for the lower middle class and a tax windfall for the wealthy.” Conservative economist Bruce Bartlett wrote that, “at a minimum, the Cain plan is a distributional monstrosity.” Cain would surely dispute these assertions, but how seriously can his protests be taken if he freely admits he has “no idea” how the plan would even function?
Monday, October 10, 2011
Michigan State University is on fire after a series of racially-motivated incidents have taken place on the campus. Most recently, a sign that says “No Ni**ers Please” put on the women’s restroom has become the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
“The incident that really jump-started this movement was an incident at Akers Hall where someone wrote ‘No Ni**ers, please’ on a door of a young lady’s room,” said Mario Lemons, the president of the MSU Black Student Alliance (BSA). “The residence life staff told us not to talk about. Of course, someone took a picture of it and sent it to one of us.”
Over 1,000 students gathered in Conrad Hall to discuss racial tension on the campus and how to resolve it.
“We put it on Facebook and Twitter and started a dialog about it,” said Lemons. “From that came more stories of other people going through things on campus.”
There was another story of a black doll being hung with a noose outside the chemistry lab in September.
“There are people overtly saying the n-word,” said Lemons. “People telling other students that they don’t belong here, saying that they only got here because of Affirmative Action. Very unwelcoming things done to black people on campus.”
The students say that Tinisha Sharp was the target of the chemistry lab incident. She also saw a racial slur written on a dry-erase board.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” said Sharp. “It was very surprising to see a message like that. I really thought this type of discrimination had been ceased by this time. But I guess not.”
A statement was soon released by Lou Anna K. Simon via email:
“The University supports free speech including the use of words that are offensive to most in our community,” Simon said. “However, given the nature of these incidents, the MSU police were immediately contacted and the matter has been turned over to them to investigate, not only as a form of vandalism, but also as potential ethnic intimidation. I am personally awaiting the outcome of the police investigation.”
“In my many years at MSU, this rash of incidents at various parts of the campus in such a short timeframe is unmatched, is extraordinarily troubling and creates a legitimate concern that all of us must address.”