Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for the ‘Grover Norquist’ Category


Posted by Charles II on July 12, 2011

“Were someone to discover ‘a rat’s head in the bottom of a Coke bottle,’ Norquist said, ‘Coke’s brand would be ruined for everyone. Republican officials who vote to increase taxes are rat heads in a Coke bottle.'”
–Republican strategist Grover Norquist, June 2011, cited in The Washington Spectator 37(12) 2011, 1/1/11

I have a more inclusive view of Republicans.

Posted in Grover Norquist, Republicans as cancer | Comments Off on Sic

True Bipartisanship

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 23, 2009

Seems that the preferred definition of ‘bipartisanship’ in DC is the one that means ‘progressives and moderates get screwed while corporatists win’. There have been some moves to change that lately.

First, there’s this:


Letter Sent To Committee in Advance of Thursday Hearing; Group Also Behind Effort to Audit Actions of Federal Reserve at Early Stages of Financial Crisis

WASHINGTON – In a letter to members of the Senate Banking Committee today, a coalition of liberal and conservative leaders, strategists, activists and public interest advocates called for a delay of the nomination of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke to a second term.

The coalition includes Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage, Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist, Campaign for Liberty president John Tate, Center for Economic and Policy Research co-director Dean Baker and FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe.

Borosage said it’s simply astounding that the Banking Committee plans to vote on Bernake’s nomination for another term after only a couple of hours of desultory hearings with the chairman.

Now, there’s this:

Today, Grover Norquist and I are calling for an investigation into Rahm Emanuel’s activities at Freddie Mac, and the White House’s blocking of an Inspector General who would look into it.


Rahm Emanuel was appointed to the board of Freddie Mac in February of 2000 by Bill Clinton, after serving as White House political director where he was a vocal defender of Mr. Clinton during the Monica Lewinski matter.  He served there until leaving to run for Congress in 2001, which qualified him for $380,000 in stock and options and a $20,000 annual fee.

According to the Chicago Tribune, during his tenure the board was notified by executives of their plans to misstate the earnings of Freddie Mac:  “On Emanuel’s watch, the board was told by executives of a plan to use accounting tricks to mislead shareholders about outsize profits the government-chartered firm was then reaping from risky investments. The goal was to push earnings onto the books in future years, ensuring that Freddie Mac would appear profitable on paper for years to come and helping maximize annual bonuses for company brass.”  (3/5/2009)

The Tribune further reported that “during his brief time on the board, the company hatched a plan to enhance its political muscle. That scheme, also reviewed by the board, led to a record $3.8 million fine from the Federal Election Commission for illegally using corporate resources to host fundraisers for politicians. Emanuel was the beneficiary of one of those parties after he left the board and ran in 2002 for a seat in Congress from the North Side of Chicago.”

Keep an eye on Fire Dog Lake for further developments.

Posted in Fire Dog Lake, Grover Norquist | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

What Grover Norquist and His Teabaggers Won’t Tell You

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 15, 2009

Even as the Grover Norquist Freak Show makes its not-so-big splash today, the fine folks at The UpTake have a video response:

>Now if only I could figure out how to make WordPress do embedded videos, we’d be getting somewhere.

Posted in (Rich) Taxpayers League, GOP bullying, GOP/Media Complex, greed, Grover Norquist, Silly Republicans, Silver Spoon Squad | 5 Comments »

Under the Radar

Posted by MEC on September 2, 2008

While the Republicans are proclaiming publicly that Hurricane Gustav has made this no times for politicking, under the radar it’s business as usual, i.e. blame the Democrats for everything.

Michigan’s delegation to the Republican National Convention got a visit from Grover Norquist, who likened Democrats to “parasites who feed off the public”.

Norquist specifically attacked Gov. Jennifer Granholm for balancing the state budget in spite of the economic crisis Bush’s fiscal policies have caused in Michigan. He described her accomplishment as “raising taxes”, of course, as if education, law enforcement, road maintenance, and other state services should be provided without the annoyance of paying for them.

Norquist’s hatred of government may appeal to people who think only of their own wallets. I prefer Senator Obama’s philosophy of government: we have a shared responsibility to provide the necessities that people can’t provide on their own.

The Preamble to the United States Constitution says:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Which party honors the “original intent” of the Founders, the party that promises to promote the general welfare or the party that pretends that phrase isn’t in the Constitution?

Posted in Grover Norquist, Republicans acting badly | 2 Comments »

Ha Ha Ha

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 8, 2008

This just cracks me up:

Russ Bennett, a board member of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, rose to speak last week at the local Lions Club meeting about the chamber’s support of the $6.6 billion, 10-year transportation package that was made law over Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto.

“I figured I would be bloodied,” said Bennett, a small-businessman from Willmar.

“I got applause, and a lot of it.”

Mike Wigley, the founder of the decade-old Taxpayers League of Minnesota, a vocal anti-tax lobby, this week encouraged like-minded folks to drop their chamber memberships in retaliation for the organization’s helping write legislation that includes a 5-cent-per-gallon gas tax hike by the end of this year and 8.5 cents by 2013.

Chamber CEO David Olson said that he’s aware of two cancellations from the 2,400-member group.

“I expected more,” he said.

No wonder Marty Seifert — GOP Minority Leader and (Rich) Taxpayers League button-man — has been looking so pissed off lately. Minnesota businesses have seen the effects of two decades’ worth of Grover Norquistian “starve the beast” tax slashings on state and local government and infrastructure (collapsing bridges anyone?), and even the members of the normally tax-phobic local Chamber of Commerce realize that they don’t like seeing Minnesota going from first-world to third-world status:

And remember: The gas tax hasn’t been raised in 20 years. Inflation has eroded the current 20-cent-per-gallon tax, as construction costs have climbed. Congestion, bad roads and weak bridges have become a priority for employers who say transporting workers and products wastes too much time and contributes to lost productivity.

The bill also allows the seven-county metro are to impose a quarter-cent sales tax to fund more mass transit to the tune of about $100 million annually. Chamber lobbying kept this to half of what transit proponents wanted. Still, that funding will help take more people out of cars and put them on buses and trains. Mass transit ridership is rising in the Twin Cities area.

Moreover, raising the gas tax slightly will allow Minnesota to tap into millions of federal matching dollars for road improvement and congestion-reduction projects that it has missed in the past.

The chamber also worked in a provision that permits study and review of the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s planning, bidding and construction to ensure that the agency and vendors are delivering value at reasonable cost.

“We did a lot to make this bill better,” said the chamber’s Olson, who took political heat for supporting a veto override of the Republican governor. “The all-or-nothing strategies of the last few years weren’t working.

“Our members told us that the cost of doing nothing was more expensive than doing something.”

No kidding.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, getting a clue, Good Things, GOP bullying, Grover Norquist, infrastructure, Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, when government is a good thing | 4 Comments »


Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 13, 2007

The Democrats have been skittish about taxes ever since their undoing the last of the Reagan-Bush deficit-causing tax cuts back in 1993 cost them control of Congress. Nice to see that the Presidential candidates at least are willing to say what needs to be said about this:

JOHNSTON, Iowa – Democratic presidential rivals called for higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on some corporations Thursday and said any thought of balancing the federal budget would have to wait.”We’re not going to be able to dig ourselves out” of Bush-era deficits in the next year or two, said Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, one of six Democratic rivals sharing a debate stage for the final time before Iowa’s leadoff Jan. 3 caucuses.

Asked about eliminating deficits, several of the Democrats responded by mentioning higher taxes on the wealthy and on big corporations.

“I want to keep the middle class tax cuts” that Congress passed during President Bush’s tenure, said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. But she said she favors raising taxes for the wealthiest income-earners and corporations.

Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina readily agreed. “The truth of the matter is the tax policy has been established by the big corporations and the wealthiest Americans,” he said. “What we ought to be doing instead is getting rid of those tax breaks.”

The nation’s infrastructure’s been hollowed out by the Republicans’ Grover Norquist “starve the beast” policy of running up huge deficits through tax cuts for the rich, done so that Democrats, who up to now have been afraid to say the T-word what with 1993 memories running through their heads, would be forced to cut social programs rather than risk raising taxes to pay off the debts Republicans incurred.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, 2008, Grover Norquist, infrastructure, taxes | Comments Off on FINALLY!

Got A Copy Of Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 9, 2007

And Boy Howdy, is it an eye-opener.

If you’ve been following the discussion surrounding it, then you probably already know its basic premise: The powerful ultra-rich neocons and neoliberals who worshipped at the feet of Milton Friedman and his “Chicago School” of corporate idolatry took his message to places like Chile, Argentina, Iraq, and New Orleans, seeking via the tenets of ‘disaster capitalism’ to profit from existing disaster (or a disaster they helped create) so that they can swoop in and take over the existing societal structures and remake them for their benefit and not that of the masses of people living there.

But what’s interesting is how she ties it all together, showing various tidbits that the US media generally won’t mention — at least, not in such a way that it sheds light on the whole situation, as part of a coherent contextual framework.

For instance: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 'starving the beast', GOP/Media Complex, Grover Norquist, Iraq war, neocons, neoliberals, New Orleans, privatization, real journalism, rightwing moral cripples, totalitarianism | 5 Comments »

U.S. Deaths in Childbirth Increase

Posted by MEC on August 25, 2007


Another symptom of our country’s decline under George W. Bush.

The U.S. maternal mortality rate rose to 13 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2004, according to statistics released this week by the National Center for Health Statistics.

The article mostly blames women for the increase:

Though the risk of death is very small, experts believe increasing maternal obesity and a jump in Caesarean sections are partly to blame.

Some numbers crunchers note that a change in how such deaths are reported also may be a factor.


The age of mothers could be a factor, too. More women are giving birth in their late 30s and 40s, when complications risks are greater.

Buried in the middle of the article is another explanation:

Other characteristics of the maternal mortality rate include:

_Race: Studies have found that the maternal death rate in black women is at least three times greater than is it is for whites. Black women are more susceptible to complications like high blood pressure and are more likely to get inadequate prenatal care.

_Quality of care: Three different studies indicate at least 40 percent of maternal deaths could have been prevented.

The article doesn’t mention the steady increase in the number of people with no medical insurance, and therefore effectively no access to health care, since Bush took office, even though it acknowledges that

The rate was 12 per 100,000 live births in 2003 — the first time the maternal death rate rose above 10 since 1977.

This is a consequence of the Republican philosphy of “shrink the government until it’s small enough to drown in the bathtub”. Inadequate funding for healthcare programs and increasing restrictions on eligibility in order to cut expenditures mean pregnant women don’t get prenatal heath care. And then they die.

Posted in 'starving the beast', BushCo malfeasance, capitalism as cancer, Grover Norquist, health care, health issues | 6 Comments »

But- But Ben Stein Sez Everything Is Just Great With The Economy!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 21, 2007


 Maybe it is for his crowd, but not for the rest of us, who are getting hosed even as his crowd reaps the bennies from Bush’s tax cut giveaways to the very rich:

Average Incomes Fell for Most in 2000-2005

Americans earned a smaller average income in 2005 than in 2000, the fifth consecutive year that they had to make ends meet with less money than at the peak of the last economic expansion, new government data shows.


The growth in total incomes was concentrated among those making more than $1 million. The number of such taxpayers grew by more than 26 percent, to 303,817 in 2005, from 239,685 in 2000.

These individuals, who constitute less than a quarter of 1 percent of all taxpayers, reaped almost 47 percent of the total income gains in 2005, compared with 2000.

People with incomes of more than a million dollars also received 62 percent of the savings from the reduced tax rates on long-term capital gains and dividends that President Bush signed into law in 2003, according to a separate analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice, a group that points out policies that it says favor the rich.

Posted in 'starving the beast', big money, Bush, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, capitalism as cancer, economy, gravy train, greed, Grover Norquist, priorities, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, Silly Republicans | Comments Off on But- But Ben Stein Sez Everything Is Just Great With The Economy!

The Not-So-Lonesome Ghost Of Tom Joad…

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 21, 2007


Not so lonesome, as he’s being joined by millions of Americans, as Brent Budowsky explains:

A person takes out a $100,000 mortgage and has a $65,000 salaried job. That person gets his or her hours cut back, or wealthy executives downsize the company while they keep their large salaries and stock options, or ther job is lost by outsourcing to a country that pays slave wages with no benefits. Or the person suffers a health problem and incurs huge costs, which benefit wealthy healthcare companies, while consumers fight wealthy insurance companies and of course well-paid doctors.

Assume that person had made five payments before the crisis that was beyond their control. When they are foreclosed on by the bank, they have lost all of their payments, gone forever, lost their home, forever, and then could be hit with a $30,000 IRS bill for the honor. The Fed’s lowering of the discount rate last week did little to nothing for these people.

The bank then gets the foreclosed house, and can often buy the home back for virtually nothing if there are no bidders, and in the medium to long term will be able to sell the house for a slight loss, or a minor profit, or a huge profit if it has the capacity to wait. The Fed’s lowering of the discount rate helps these companies.


In effect John and Jane Doe get screwed at each step along the way, from outsourced jobs, eliminated jobs, cost-cut jobs, costs from the ripoff medical system, and foreclosure — where they lose whatever payments they made as well as their homes, and then get a huge tax hit.

Meanwhile, the prime beneficiaries of the Fed action are those who did the foreclosing and the banks, hedge funds and private equity funds who maneuver these assets back and forth between themselves, with fleets of lawyers and accountants helping them minimize costs and maximize ultimate profits with bridge money from the Federal Reserve (ultimately, American people’s money).

Posted in big money, capitalism as cancer, economy, gravy train, Grover Norquist | 6 Comments »