Published: Tuesday 6 November 2012
Voters will be facing many confusing ballots this election.

When voters finally get to the polls tomorrow, they may run into more than a big crowd. Voters in many states will be facing a slew of confusing measures and often overly long ballots.

Here are some of the most striking examples we’ve spotted:


Florida has the one of the longest ballots on record in state history

Early voters in Florida have already reported long lines. One potential reason for the delays: Voters have to wade through 11, wordy, constitutional amendments.

Backed by Republican state lawmakers, the proposed amendments among other things ...

Published: Saturday 3 November 2012
Published: Sunday 28 October 2012
“The Social Security system is perhaps the greatest success story of any program in U.S. history.”

It is remarkable that Social Security hasn’t been a more prominent issue in the presidential race. After all, Governor Romney has proposed a plan that would imply cuts of more than 40 percent for middle-class workers just entering the labor force. Since Social Security is hugely popular across the political spectrum, it would seem that President Obama could gain an enormous advantage by clearly proclaiming his support for the program. 

But President Obama has consistently refused to rise to the defense of Social Security. In fact, in the first debate he explicitly took the issue off the table telling the American people that there is not much difference between his stand on Social Security and Romney’s.

On its face, this is difficult understand. In addition to being good politics, there are also solid policy grounds for defending Social Security. The Social Security system is perhaps the greatest success story of any program in U.S. history. By providing a core retirement income, it has lifted tens of millions of retirees and their families out of poverty.

It also provides disability insurance to almost the entire workforce. The amount of fraud in the system is minimal and the administrative costs are less than one-twentieth as large as the costs of private sector insurers. 

In addition, the program is more necessary now than ever. The economic mismanagement of the last two decades has left the baby boomers ill-prepared for retirement. Few have traditional pensions. The stock market crashes of the last 15 years have left 401(k)s depleted and the collapse of the housing bubble destroyed much of their housing equity, which has always been the main ...

Published: Monday 22 October 2012
Just outside Toledo, in a chance campaign encounter, then-candidate Barack Obama explained to Wurzelbacher — soon to become the celebrated “Joe the Plumber” — that “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”


Americans haven't heard much at all from Joe the Plumber this election cycle. A shame. Without his rants against sharing the wealth, no one's bothering to debate how desperately America really needs to be sharing. And how desperate has our maldistribution of wealth become? Typical families in more equal nations -- like Japan -- now have over three times more wealth than typical families in the United States, says new data from Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse.

Four years ago, a plumber by the name of Joe Wurzelbacher injected a bit of a debate over inequality right into the heart of the 2008 Presidential race.

Just outside Toledo, in a chance campaign encounter, then-candidate Barack Obama explained to Wurzelbacher — soon to become the celebrated “Joe the Plumber” — that “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

GOP Presidential candidate John McCain almost immediately jumped on Obama’s remark, as if his rival had committed some horrible gaffe, and wealth redistribution suddenly became one of the campaign’s hottest issues.

Now four years later Joe the Plumber has largely faded from view. He’s running a lack luster campaign for Congress, as a conservative Republican. And the issue that gave Joe the Plumber celebrity status — wealth redistribution — has more or less totally disappeared.

Last week, the second Presidential debate of 2012 came and went without a single mention of the word “inequality” or America’s incredibly top-heavy ...

Published: Saturday 20 October 2012
Published: Wednesday 17 October 2012
“The corporate honchos are not expecting to convince the public that we should support cuts to Social Security and Medicare.”


While much of the country is focused on the presidential race, the Wall Street gang is waging a different battle; they are preparing an assault on Social Security and Medicare. This attack is not exactly secret. There have been a number of pieces on this corporate-backed campaign in the media over the last few months, but the drive is nonetheless taking place behind closed doors.

The corporate honchos are not expecting to convince the public that we should support cuts to Social Security and Medicare. They know this is a hopeless task. Huge majorities of people across the political spectrum strongly support these programs.

Instead they hope that they can use their power of persuasion, coupled with the power of campaign contributions and the power of high-paying jobs for defeated members of Congress, to get Congress to approve large cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other key programs. This is the plan for a grand bargain that the corporate chieftains hope can be struck in the lame duck Congress.   

Most of the media have been happy to cooperate with the corporate chieftains in this plan. There are two main ways in which they have abandoned objectivity to support the plan for cutting Social Security and Medicare.

First they continually run stories about how the deficit and debt are the biggest problems facing the country. They routinely use phrases like “crisis” and other hyperboles to scare their audience about the risks that the debt poses to the country.

The whole notion of a “fiscal cliff” is an invention that implies an urgency that does not exist. There is almost no consequence to not having a deal in place by the end of 2012. The dire projections of ...

Published: Thursday 11 October 2012
American Crossroads top spender since Labor Day.


Since Labor Day, the once-unofficial start of the election season, 70 percent of outside spending on the presidential race made possible by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision has benefited Mitt Romney, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis.

More than $106 million of the $117 million spent on the Obama-Romney matchup since Sept. 3 has been on negative ads, with President Barack Obama absorbing more than $80 million in attacks, according to the analysis of Federal Election Commission data.

By way of comparison, the Obama campaign has spent $346 million over the entire election and Romney has spent $288 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

American Crossroads, a conservative super PAC co-founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove, is the top anti-Obama spender as well as the top overall spender among outside groups in the presidential election. Priorities USA Action, a pro-Obama super PAC, is the second-biggest outside spender in the race and the primary source of anti-Romney ads.


Published: Monday 13 August 2012
This is a crucial moment in the life of our nation, and it is absolutely vital that we select the right man to lead America back to prosperity and greatness.


As Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney names Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice presidential running mate, we speak with two Wisconsinites about the seven-term congressman's record, and how his views are influenced by the controversial philosopher, Ayn Rand. "This is not necessarily a foolish choice by Romney," says John Nichols, political writer for The Nation magazine. "It is an extreme choice and it does define the national Republican Party toward a place where the Wisconsin Republican Party is — which is very anti-labor, willing to make deep cuts in education, public services, and frankly, very combative on issues like voter ID and a host of other things that really go to the core question of how successful and how functional our democracy will be." Ryan is chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee and architect of a controversial budget plan to cut federal spending by more than $5 trillion over the next 10 years. "Ryan gets a lot of mileage for understanding so-called the budget and economics," says Matthew Rothschild, editor and publisher of The Progressive magazine. "But if you look closely, he doesn't really get it." Democrats argue Ryan's planned Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security reform would essentially dismantle key components of the social safety net.


AMY GOODMAN: We begin today’s show with the latest news in the U.S. presidential race. On Saturday, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney announced Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would be his vice-presidential running mate. Ryan, now 42, was elected to the House of Representatives at 28. He’s a Republican representative. He’s also chair of the House of Representatives Budget Committee. He spoke in Virginia right after his selection was made.

REP. PAUL RYAN: I’ve been ...

Published: Friday 20 July 2012
“Because of America’s progressive tax system, all taxpayers under Obama’s plan — including those making more than $250,000 a year — will get a tax cut on their first $250,000 of income.”


For all the superheated rhetoric of yet another election cycle, it's as clear as ever that the Republican and Democratic parties in Washington pretty much support the same economic policies. Indeed, any honest perusal of congressional votes proves that the party establishments are roughly the same when it comes to financial deregulation (less of it), job-killing free trade (more of it), bailouts (more of them) and corporate taxes (less of them).

Politicians and partisan media outlets deny this obvious reality, of course. But they do so because they have a vested interest in the red-versus-blue "polarization" narrative from which they generate campaign contributions and ratings, respectively. This is why their hysterical attacks on their foes — and their refusal to acknowledge the political duopoly — has such a grating "doth protest too much" quality. It's also why more Americans are wholly tuning out of politics — we're less and less interested in gazing at two heads of the same economic monster.

That said, if you are still gullible enough to believe the illusion of huge differences on economics, behold the "debate" over taxes that is now roiling the presidential race.

President Obama kicked it off with his claim last week that he wants to stop "another tax cut for the wealthy." As supposed proof, he asserts that by proposing to extend all of the Bush tax cuts except those applying to top marginal tax rates, he will make sure everyone "making over $250,000 a year (will) go back to the income tax rates (they) were paying under Bill Clinton." In response, Mitt Romney, who wants every Bush tax cut extended, played his role in the kabuki theater, claiming Obama "plans on extending (the tax cuts), just for certain classes of ...

Published: Thursday 21 June 2012
Published: Wednesday 20 June 2012
Romney’s efforts seem intended to convince the public that President Obama has turned the country into the Soviet Union, with government bureaucrats shoving aside business leaders to take the commanding role in the economy.

The economy is certain to occupy center stage in the presidential race this fall. Unfortunately neither Governor Romney nor President Obama are likely to give us an accurate account of the economic problems we are now facing. 

Romney’s efforts seem intended to convince the public that President Obama has turned the country into the Soviet Union, with government bureaucrats shoving aside business leaders to take the commanding role in the economy. He will have lots of money to make this case, which he will need since it is so far from reality.

Corporate profits are at their highest share as a percentage of the economy in almost 50 years. The share of profits being paid in taxes is near its post-World War II low. The government’s share of the economy has actually shrunk in the Obama years, as has government employment. Perhaps Romney can convince the public that the private sector is being crushed by burdensome regulation and taxes, but that has nothing to do with reality.

Unfortunately President Obama’s economic advisors have not been much more straightforward with the American people, never offering a clear explanation of why the economy has taken so long to recover. They have pointed out that economies often take long to recover from the effects of a financial crisis like to the one we experienced in the fall of 2008, but that is not an explanation for why we have not recovered.

The basic story is actually quite simple. The housing bubble had been driving the economy prior to the recession. It created demand through several channels. A near-record pace of housing construction added about 2 percentage points of GDP to annual demand or more than $300 billion in the current economy.

The $8 trillion in ephemeral housing wealth created by the bubble led to a huge surge in consumption. Tens of millions of people borrowed against bubble-generated equity or decided that they didn’t need to save for ...

Published: Sunday 17 June 2012
Last week, President Obama was widely criticized for saying the private sector is “doing fine,” while Mitt Romney attacked public sector unions by calling for fewer teachers, firefighters and police officers.

As the presidential race heats up, the focus is increasingly on the nation's slow economic recovery. Last week, President Obama was widely criticized for saying the private sector is "doing fine," while Mitt Romney attacked public sector unions by calling for fewer teachers, firefighters and police officers. We talk to Ralph Nader about the 2012 election and the lessons of last week's victory by Scott Walker, governor of what Nader dubbed "WisKOCHsin." Nader also looks ahead at the Supreme Court's upcoming rules on healthcare and Arizona's anti-immigrant law.


AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined by Ralph Nader, longtime consumer advocate, ran for president three times. Ralph, I want to turn to the two recent comments made by President Obama and Mitt Romney that have become, well, the most famous comments so far of the campaign, and it’s around the economy. Speaking in Iowa Friday, Romney invoked the recent election in Wisconsin to criticize Obama for pushing a measure to help states regain public sector jobs.

Published: Sunday 10 June 2012
“On Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported that pay for the top CEOs on Wall Street increased by more than 20 percent last year.”

Several months before Occupy Wall Street, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz wrote, "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%," an article for Vanity Fair. He returns to the subject in his new book looking at how inequality is now greater in the United States than any other industrialized nation. He notes, that the six heirs of the Wal-Mart fortune command wealth equivalent to the entire bottom 30 percent of American society. "It's a comment both on how well off the top are and how poor the bottom are," Stiglitz says. "It's really emblematic of the divide that has gotten much worse in our society." On Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported that pay for the top CEOs on Wall Street increased by more than 20 percent last year. Meanwhile, census data shows nearly one in two Americans, or 150 million people, have fallen into poverty or could be classified as low-income. "The United States is the country in the world with the highest level of inequality [of the advanced industrial countries] and it's getting worse," Stiglitz says. "What's even more disturbing is we've [also] become the country with the least equality of opportunity."


NERMEEN SHAIKH: We turn now to an issue that’s gained ...

Published: Saturday 9 June 2012
Americans’ diminishing respect for the Court can be heard on the right and left of our increasingly polarized political spectrum.


The public’s growing disdain of the Supreme Court increases the odds that a majority will uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare.

The latest New York Times CBS Poll shows just 44 percent of Americans approve the job the Supreme Court is doing. Fully three-quarters say justices’ decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal political views.

The trend is clearly downward. Approval of the Court reached 66 percent in the late 1980s, and by 2000 had slipped to around 50 percent.

As the Times points out, the decline may stem in part from Americans’ growing distrust in recent years of major institutions in general and the government in particular.

But it’s just as likely to reflect a sense that the Court is more political, especially after it divided in such partisan ways in the 5-4 decisions Bush v. Gore (which decided the 2000 presidential race) and Citizen’s United (which in 2010 opened the floodgates to unlimited campaign spending).

Americans’ diminishing respect for the Court can be heard on the right and left of our increasingly polarized political spectrum.

A few months ago, while a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich stated that the political branches were “not bound” by the Supreme Court. Gingrich is known for making bizarre claims. The remarkable thing about this one was the silence with which it was greeted, not only by other Republican hopefuls but also by Democrats.

Last week I was on a left-leaning radio talk show whose host suddenly went on a riff about how the Constitution doesn’t really give the Supreme Court the power to overturn laws for being unconstitutional, and it shouldn’t have that power.

All this is deeply dangerous for the Court, and for our system of government.

Almost 225 years ago, Alexander Hamilton, writing in ...

Published: Sunday 3 June 2012
Published: Tuesday 10 April 2012
“The arithmetic in the Romney-Ryan budget says that they want to shut down the federal government outside of Social Security, health care and defense.”

There is a dangerously painful story line that is being propagated about a presidential race between President Obama and Mitt Romney. The line is that this will be contest over competing visions for the country. In this story the alternative visions are outlined in the competing budgets put forward by President Obama and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, which Governor Romney has embraced.

The story of competing visions is a cute fairy tale for people who don’t know anything about Washington and American politics. For adults who have not newly arrived from some foreign country, this line is just silly.

President Obama and Governor Romney are politicians, not philosophers. They have not made it to the top of the political ladder because of their grand visions of the future. They got their positions by appealing to powerful political actors who were able to give them the money and/or votes needed to get ahead.

The absurdity of the competing visions story is apparent to anyone who has looked at the Ryan budget. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) analysis of Representative Ryan’s budget, which was prepared under his direction, the budget would shrink all non-Social Security and non-health care spending to 3.75 percent of GDP by 2050.

To put this in perspective, the United States currently spends roughly 4 percent of GDP on the military, not including spending on the war in Afghanistan. Since the start of the Cold War it has never spent less than 3.0 percent of GDP on the military. Ryan does not want sharp cuts in defense; in fact he has already criticized the modest cuts President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal.

Let’s assume that Representative Ryan wants to keep defense spending somewhere between its 3.0 percent of GDP low and the 4.0 percent current level. That ...

Published: Wednesday 14 March 2012
“Female voters narrowly went for the Republicans in the 2010 midterm elections that cost the Democrats control of the House.”

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is working to solidify support among women in Pennsylvania and other battleground states by touting benefits of the new health-care law in direct-mail ads, phone banks and grassroots events aimed at female voters.

Though the Democrats had planned such a sales blitz to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, strategists are also hoping to build on what polls suggest is an advantage among women in the wake of recent clashes on contraception and abortion rights.

"Millions of people in Pennsylvania have already experienced the health-care law's benefits and are seeing firsthand how reform is saving lives and saving money," said Jennifer Austin, state press secretary for the Obama campaign.

The health-care law has been something of a political challenge for Obama. Despite poll after poll showing that individual provisions are popular when details are described to respondents, the debate has been dominated by Republican characterizations of it as a "government takeover" of health care. All of the GOP presidential candidates say that their top priority would be to repeal the law.

A USA Today/Gallup poll in late February found the public closely divided on that issue, with 47 percent in favor of scrapping the law and 44 percent opposed.

Democrats are betting they can turn that around.

On Monday, 150,000 glossy brochures paid for by the Democratic National Committee hit women's mailboxes across Pennsylvania, part of a million-piece mailing in the dozen states that both parties consider competitive in the presidential race.

The cover of one brochure in Pennsylvania features a woman doctor and says, "You may now get many of your preventive care services for FREE." Inside, it says that under Obama's law, insurers can no longer charge co-payments for routine care such as mammograms, contraception, and cervical ...

Published: Tuesday 13 March 2012
“Do you think it should be legal or illegal for these Super-PACS to operate?”

Independent expenditure-only “super PAC” committees have accounted for a stunning 91 percent of the television campaign advertising over the past month in Alabama and Mississippi — the two states holding their Republican primaries today. But while the more than $75 million already spent nationally by these groups has undoubtedly altered the dynamics of the presidential race, it has also annoyed the vast majority of Americans.

A new Washington Post-ABC poll shows that nearly 7 out of 10 adults don’t just dislike super PACs — groups that can accept unlimited individual and corporate donations to run ads to support or oppose political candidates; they want to see them to be banned entirely.

The survey question was:

Organizations known as Super-PACS can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on behalf of candidates they support. (Supporters say this is a form of free speech) while (opponents say this allows groups or wealthy individuals to have unfair influence.) Do you think it should be legal or illegal for these Super-PACS to operate?

A whopping 69 percent of the more than 1,000 respondents said they believe it should be illegal for super PACs to operate. And 52 percent of those polled said they strongly support a ban. Just 25 percent said they believe super PACs should be allowed to operate in the U.S.

Published: Thursday 29 December 2011
“The real story of the last week in Iowa may be not of Gingrich’s campaigning but of where the anti-Romney sentiment that briefly rested with his candidacy will shift next.”

Newt Gingrich has chartered a bus to carry the former House Speaker and third wife Callista across Iowa in a final push for first-in-the-nation caucus votes.

But his campaign is not going anywhere. The new Public Policy Polling survey shows Congressman Ron Paul, the maverick libertarian from Texas whose disciplined campaign is the polar opposite of Gingrich’s, extending his lead, with 24 percent support. The Republican Republicans love to hate, Mitt Romney, is at 20 percent. Gingrich, formerly the leader in the race, has collapsed to 13 percent. Gingrich is just two points ahead of Congressman Michele Bachmann, who is at 11; and just three points ahead of former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Texas Governor Rick Perry, both of whom are at 10. The prospects that Santorum, Bachmann or Perry will finish ahead of Gingrich are real—and rising.

Indeed, the real story of the last week in Iowa may be not of Gingrich’s campaigning but of where the anti-Romney sentiment that briefly rested with his candidacy will shift next. If it goes, for instance, toward Santorum, this race could yet see another twist. And Gingrich will be watching from the sidelines, as the structure of the caucuses favors better-organized candidates with wild-eyed cadres. While Gingrich was an explosion waiting to happen, his collapse creates a whole new set of challenges for the Republican Party faithful that ...

Published: Saturday 12 November 2011
“Instead of a big debate about the basics (how to truly restore jobs and wages, financial capitalism versus product capitalism, the place and role of America in the world, how to rescue our democracy), we’re likely to have a superficial debate over symbols (the budget deficit, the size of government, whether we need a ‘businessman’ at the helm).”

Polls show Americans angrier and more polarized than at any time since the Vietnam War. That’s not surprising. We have the worst economy since the Great Recession and the worst politics in living memory. The rise of the regressive right over the last three decades has finally spurred a progressive reaction. Occupiers and others have had enough.

Yet paradoxically the presidential race that officially begins a few months from now is likely to be as passionless as they come.

President Obama will be supported by progressives and the Democratic base, but without enthusiasm. His notorious caves to Republicans and Wall Street — failing to put conditions on the Street’s bailout (such as demanding the Street ...

Published: Thursday 3 November 2011
“We cannot allow the Koch brothers’ so-called ‘American dream’ to continue to be our national nightmare.”

The very name of a Washington conservative conference this weekend is the height of subterfuge. It's called the "Defending the American Dream" conference, which is not about defending the actual American dreams of most Americans (the focus of our own "Take Back the American Dream" conference), sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, which is not an organization that promotes what is needed for broad American prosperity.

This actually is the latest effort by the billionaire Koch brothers, founders and key funders of Americans for Prosperity, and their corporate and political allies to hijack our democracy and pillage our economy. It's their attempt to perpetuate an American nightmare of continued income inequality and a government held hostage to the whims of elites. It is thus a perfect target for the latest Occupy-style protest.

The Other 98% and Health Care for America Now are sponsoring a "Koch Brothers Guerrilla Drive-In" Friday evening at the Washington Convention Center, where the conference is being held. ...

Published: Saturday 29 October 2011
“The case could include a cast of characters whose lives have been the subject of tabloid journalism, tell-all books and national intrigue.”

A federal judge's decision Thursday to reject a request from John Edwards to toss out criminal charges against him could open 2012 with a high-profile trial testing the sweep of election law.

The case could include a cast of characters whose lives have been the subject of tabloid journalism, tell-all books and national intrigue.

It could also be a well-watched curtain-raiser of the 2012 political showdown in North Carolina, a battleground state in the presidential race and the place where Democrats plan to hold their national convention in September.

Edwards, 58, could be the first former presidential candidate brought to trial on accusations that he violated campaign finance laws by secretly obtaining and using contributions from two wealthy supporters to hide his mistress and her pregnancy from the public during his unsuccessful bid for president in 2008.

Not only could the case highlight the campaign tactics of a former presidential candidate at a time when the two primary parties are trying to hone their messages in an important election year, it also could turn the focus toward a Republican prosecutor with political ambitions of his own.

On Thursday, after Judge Catherine Eagles issued her rulings in open court, Edwards said he was not surprised by her unwillingness to dismiss the case ...

Published: Tuesday 4 October 2011
Progressives and populists have begun to argue that Democratic congressional candidates can and should run on issues that work for them—including tougher-than-the-president positions in support of job investments, taxes on financial speculators and the defense of Medicare.

Barack Obama’s approval rating is hovering around 40 percent, falling as low as 38 percent in a recent Gallup survey and 39 percent in the latest McClatchey-Marist poll.

That's bad. But it gets worse.

The new ABC News/Washington Post poll says that 55 percent of Americans now expect that whoever wins the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 to take the presidency. Only 37 percent believe Obama will win.

That’s really bad. And the numbers from the battleground states are even more unsettling, A new Quinnipiac survey of Florida voters finds that only 39 percent approve of Obama’s handling of the presidency, while 57 percent disapprove. Only 41 percent of those surveyed say they think the president should be reelected.

Polls are transitory. The president’s numbers can and probably will improve, especially if he stays focused on the message he has been delivering in recent days: invest in job creation, establish fairer tax policies that make the rich pay their share, defend Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

But his decision to submit ...

Published: Thursday 25 August 2011
“PolitiFact checked Pawlenty's attack and found it to be mostly true — Bachmann has never sponsored anything that became law.”

This is the latest installment in a series of reading guides on 2012 presidential candidates. We’ve also covered Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Congressman Ron Paul.


Published: Saturday 13 August 2011
”Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is expected to announce his entry into the 2012 presidential race.”

Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is expected to announce his entry into the 2012 presidential race. Perry will make the announcement Saturday at a conference in South Carolina organized by Erick Erickson’s Early backers of Perry’s presidential run have heralded him as being behind the so-called Texas economic miracle. However, many have questioned Perry’s economic claims in Texas. Questions have also arisen over Perry’s close ties to the radical wing of the Christian evangelical movement. Last Saturday, Perry helped organize and spoke at a controversial seven-hour Christian prayer rally in Houston titled "The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis." While the prayer session drew 30,000 participants and received national press, little attention was paid to the Christian evangelicals Perry worked with to organize the event. The Texas Observer has just published an explosive article titled "Rick Perry’s Army of God." It exposes how a group of radical Christians and self-proclaimed prophets from a little-known movement known as New Apostolic Reformation have been quietly pushing for Perry’s presidential bid. We speak with the Texas Observer’s Forrest Wilder. 


AMY GOODMAN: Republican Governor Rick Perry of Texas is expected to announce Saturday he’ll be entering the presidential race. Perry will make the announcement at a conference in South Carolina organized by Erick Erickson’s  READ FULL POST 2 COMMENTS

Published: Monday 25 July 2011
"Of course Michele Bachmann does not deserve to be in the presidential race. Legislatively, she has done little, she knows next to nothing and what she thinks she does know is wrong. "

For a second, I could not believe my eyes. I saw a headline, or at least I thought I did, which went like this: “Pawlenty Questions Bachmann’s Fitness.” I rose out of my chair and exclaimed hallelujah (or something like that) because here in the person of Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, was a Republican notable willing to say out loud that Michele Bachmann was not qualified to be president of the United States and, moreover, up to that very moment, not a single other Great Republican had been willing to say anything like this. But it was true, of course, it was true.  

I could hardly contain myself. I was sure that the article would mention how Bachmann spied on a gay rally, crawling in on her hands and knees to see how those homosexuals conducted themselves and acted and talked and who knows  what else. And I thought it would mention her husband the shrink who practices conversion therapy, which is supposed to make heterosexuals out of homosexuals, so that they would be in conformity with what God wants, assuming the Bachmanns and others in their posse know what God wants.

And I thought I would read something about “the Last Days," which Bachmann says is coming, and has said so in a speech currently circling the blogosphere in which all sorts of religious words come breathily at you, like Marilyn Monroe’s purrings in “Some Like It Hot.” I thought Pawlenty, who often proclaims his own religious bona fides -- “God’s in charge,” he told the Conservative Political Action Conference, repeating himself for emphasis -- might say something since he has the religious cred to do so on this matter. I lack that credential, but suggest in passing that it seems, in Washington at least, that no one’s in charge. 

Or maybe he would mention her stand on raising the debt ceiling. She doesn’t care if the country’s economic structure takes a tumble, ...

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