The Republicans are cheering, never forget that. They wanted the economy to “scream”, because it would hurt Obama. They didn’t give a shit that it would hurt YOU. Never forget that. The job numbers are a falter, no doubt there, but the Republicans are cheering. While Obama struggles to push for more jobs, better wages, better healthcare, better equality and just plain better, the Republicans cheer the US population hurting. They CHEER. The term “un-American” gets chucked around a lot but I can’t think of anything more “un-American” than wanting the country to fail, wanting the people to fail, just for your own ends. Do you cheer with them? What does that say about you?
• Yes, it really was much worse under Bush, no matter what those email forwards from your crazy right wing relatives tell you
There’s some good news behind the discouraging headlines on the economy: Gas is getting cheaper. At least two states had stations selling gas for $2.99 on Friday and it could fall below $3 in more areas over the weekend.
A plunge in oil prices has knocked more than 30 cents off the price of a gallon of gas in most parts of the U.S. since early April. The national average is now $3.61. Experts predict further decline in the next few weeks.
If Americans spend less filling their tanks, they’ll have more money for discretionary purchases. The downside? Lower oil and gas prices are symptoms of weakening economic conditions in the U.S. and around the globe. [The Associated Press/Sandy Shore/02 Jun 2012]
• Romney Economics: Republicans on Romney’s Massachusetts Record
Just in case any of the 11.5 million struggling homeowners out there are waiting to hear what Mitt Romney’s plans are to turn around the housing market, and help those with underwater mortgages, his policy director Lanhee Chen wants you to know up front that there will be no targeted relief for you people. [Crooks and Liars/Diane Sweet/02 Jun 2012]
• I love the idea of having campaigns be funded directly, rather than indirectly. And have no limits and total transparency so if people were offended by a large donor, the candidate, he or she, would have to accept responsibility for the message and the for the amount of money and who gave it. – Jeb Bush, before a House Budget Committee panel
Since 1979, 377 members of the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans have given almost half a billion dollars to candidates of both parties, most of it in the last decade.
You see, according to Politico.com, the so-called “mega-donors,” unleashed by Citizens United and pouring boundless big bucks into this year’s political campaigns, are upset that their massive contributions are being exposed to public view, ignoring the right of every one of us to know who is giving money to candidates — and the opportunity to try to figure out why.
“Quit picking on us” is part of Politico’s headline. Their article says that the mega-donors’ “six- and seven-figure contributions have… bought them nothing but grief.”
…“Is there a group of people you can think of who have thinner skin than America’s multimillionaires and billionaires?’ Paul Waldman asks. “Wall Street titans have been whining for a couple of years now about the horror of people in politics criticizing ineffective banking regulations and the favorable tax treatment so many wealthy people receive… America’s barons feel assaulted, victimized, wounded in ways that not even a bracing ride to your Hamptons estate in your new Porsche 911 can salve. And now that the presidential campaign is in full swing, their tender feelings are being hurt left and right.” [BillMoyers.com/Bill Moyers and Michael Winship/03 Jun 2012]
• Birthers, Billionaires and Fox: The GOP Freak Show in Full Effect – The emerging general election is being waged by the right with an unmistakable stamp of irresponsibility and a complete lack of adult supervision.
On Thursday, Mitt Romney campaigned at the headquarters of Solyndra — the first renewable energy company to receive a federal loan under the stimulus — and reiterated his debunked claims that its bankruptcy symbolized the corruption and cronyism of the Obama administration. But just one day later, a solar panel developer “that landed a state loan from Mitt Romney when he was Massachusetts governor” went belly up, the Boston Herald reports, creating an inconvenient storyline for the GOP presidential nominee.
The company, Konarka Technologies, “filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and will cease operations, lay off its 85 workers and liquidate”
…Konarka is the second Massachusetts solar company, along with Evergreen Solar and Beacon Power, to receive taxpayer dollars under Romney’s tenure and subsequently declare bankruptcy. [thinkprogress/Igor Volsky/02 Jun 2012]
Brave Republicans consumed by patriotism are battling in Congress to save Americans and their 100-watt incandescent bulbs from the vile Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
What you won’t read anywhere in the article is that it was Republican president George W. Bush who signed this act into law, not Barack Obama. What they also will not tell you is that light bulbs were only a small part of the 822-page bill. Also covered in the legislation was improved fuel economy for cars, new requirements for federal vehicle fleets through improved emission standards and gas consumption, increased production of biofuels, the reduction of energy use in Federal buildings by 30 percent come 2015 and overhauling America’s energy infrastructure – the Smart Grid.
But it’s the light bulbs that freak out Republicans. So let’s talk about light bulbs. [politicususa/Hrafnkell Haraldsson/03 Jun 2012]
In an unusually blunt and plain-spoken segment on Friday night’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow tore into Republicans for claiming that they care about jobs numbers when all they actually do on Capitol Hill is try to pass more and more laws restricting abortion, even when they know those bills are doomed to fail.
…And yet, for all their talk about jobs, their only consistent legislative focus has been anti-abortion legislation. According to Maddow, after all the Thursday morning jobs ballyhoo, Republicans hurried to the House floor “to get to work on what it is they actually work on, which is yet another Republican anti-abortion bill.” [rawstory/David Ferguson/02 Jun 2012]
• Florida will defy a federal warning to stop purging people the state suspects aren’t U.S. citizens from voter registration rolls.
According to the Palm Beach Post, all 67 elections supervisors in Florida’s 67 counties have suspended the voter purge planned by the Governor, Rick Scott, and the Secretary of State’s office. The general counsel for the elections supervisors recommended a suspension after an order from the Justice Department to halt the voter purge, citing violations of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act. …The Governor could still order a continuation of the purge; the Secretary of State’s office promised an answer by June 6. But at that point, I’d have to think the Justice Department would seek an injunction. And the elections supervisors clearly aren’t interested in getting caught in the middle of that fight. [firedoglake/David Dayen/02 Jun 2012]
Following reports that Scott Walker’s criminal defense fund grew by $100,000 in May, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is today reporting major revelations in the John Doe criminal corruption probe, including Scott Walker’s mistaken admission that he is under investigation.
–Scott Walker mistakenly admits that he is a target in the John Doe criminal corruption probe
Walker, in a rare moment of candor, stated to reporters that he would not use the criminal defense fund to pay for the legal defenses of his aides, who have been charged with crimes ranging from child enticement, to theft from veterans and the families of fallen soldiers, to misuse of taxpayer resources to illegally campaign for Scott Walker, and would instead use the funds for himself or his campaign.
Wisconsin law is very clear: an elected official can only establish a legal defense fund if they, or their agent, are under investigation for, charged with, or convicted of violations of Wisconsin’s campaign finance and election laws.
Nothing provides for an elected official creating a legal defense fund for the sole purpose of campaign compliance, assisting the prosecution or aiding an investigation, as Scott Walker claims he is doing.
Since he is not paying for the defense of an agent acting on his behalf, it is now clear that Scott Walker is under investigation.
–The homes and offices of top Walker administration officials homes have been raided by prosecutors [wisdems/30 May 2012]
• On the Young Turks Friday, David Shuster claimed that he is almost certain that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be indicted in the coming months for his role in the numerous scandals floating around his first campaign for governor.
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Justice says at least some materials sealed as part of the court case against seven men involved in the 1972 Watergate burglary should be released.
The agency responded Friday to a request by a Texas history professor who is seeking access to materials he believes could help answer lingering questions about the burglary that led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation.
Luke Nichter of Texas A&M University-Central Texas in Killeen, Texas, wrote the chief judge of the federal court in Washington to ask that potentially hundreds of pages of documents be unsealed. The judge said in a letter made public earlier this year that the professor had “raised a very legitimate question” about whether the material should remain sealed, and he ordered the Department of Justice to respond with any objections.
Justice attorney Elizabeth Shapiro wrote in a court document filed Friday that the office would not oppose the release of at least some documents. [denverpost/Associated Press/JESSICA GRESKO/02 Jun 2012]
America has raised the possibility of intervening in Syria without United Nations approval and accused Russia of pushing the country into civil war.
…Susan Rice, the American ambassador to the UN, said that Russia’s veto-wielding membership of the Security Council would not necessarily prevent international action. If the violence worsened and the peace plan proposed by Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary general, made no progress, some countries would consider whether to bypass Russian and Chinese opposition in the UN.
…One day after the killings in Houla, a Russian cargo vessel, the Professor Katsman, landed in the Syrian port of Tartous carrying weapons for the regime. Russian arms sales to Mr Assad totalled about $1 billion last year and outstanding contracts are believed to be worth three or four times that total. The Syrian army relies on Russia for most of its tanks, armoured vehicles and heavy weapons. [telegraph/Ruth Sherlock, Beirut and Richard Spencer, Middle East Correspondent/31 May 2012]
TROMSO, Norway, June 2 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sailed on Saturday through a sliver of the Arctic Ocean, where the world’s big powers are vying for vast oil, gas and mineral deposits becoming available as polar ice recedes.
Clinton boarded a research ship in Tromso, a Norwegian town north of the Arctic Circle, to illustrate U.S. interests in a once inaccessible region where resources are up now for grabs and new sea routes between Europe and Asia are opening up.
“A lot of countries are looking at what will be the potential for exploration and extraction of natural resources as well as new sea lanes,” Clinton told reporters after taking a two-hour boat tour of the local fjord.
…Key policies governing the Arctic are enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which the United States has not ratified.
The Obama administration is making a fresh push to ratify the treaty, which gives the five coastal Arctic nations rights to exclusive economic zones 200 nautical miles from their coasts and lays out how they may claim areas beyond that limit. [Reuters/Arshad Mohammed/02 Jun 2012]
George Zimmerman has returned to Florida to turn himself in to police after having his bond revoked, a lawyer for the self-appointed neighbourhood watchman has said. …[Judge Kenneth Lester Jr] revoked Zimmerman’s $150,000 bail after ruling that the defendant lied about money raised on a private website. …Conversations from prison between Zimmerman and his wife Shellie also revealed the existence of a second US passport that he owned but did not surrender, leading prosecutors to state he was a flight risk. …while O’Mara, is likely to plead for his client to be bailed once again, Lester has the option to order him to remain behind bars until his trial, which may not take place until next year. Potentially more damaging is the hit to the defendant’s credibility caused by being seen lying to a judge. [guardian.co.uk/Richard Luscombe in Miami and Matt Williams in New York/3 June 2012]
• UN calls for investigation of US school’s shock treatments of autistic children – Massachusetts special-needs facility is believed to be the only one in the world that uses ‘aversive therapy’ in treating children:
The UN’s special rapporteur on torture has made a formal approach to the US government over a special-needs school near Boston that inflicts electric shocks on autistic children as a form of behavioural control. …The Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts, is believed to be the only institution in the world in which disabled and disturbed children are subjected to electric shocks to in a system known called “aversive therapy”. [guardian.co.uk/Ed Pilkington in New York/2 June 2012]
• Thousands stage mass rally in Montreal as tuition fee talks fail – Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Montreal in Canada to protest against a planned tuition fee hike after talks between student groups and Quebec government officials collapsed.
• Angry Egyptian protesters gather in Tahrir Square for 2nd day – Angry Egyptian demonstrators have gathered in Tahrir Square in the capital, Cairo, for the second day to protest at former dictator Hosni Mubarak’s ‘lenient’ life term.
• Israeli warplanes hit Gaza, 7 injured – Israeli warplanes have carried out airstrikes on three different areas in the besieged Gaza Strip, injuring seven Palestinians. The attacks, which occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning, targeted central and northern areas of the Gaza Strip.