Rick Perry Loves Bank Of America, Hates Social Security

2012 Republican presidential candidate, Texas Governor and Tea Party favorite Rick Perry was told Bank Of America would help him out by a BOA official. The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur explains that and how Perry opposes government programs and agencies (Social Security, Medicare, EPA, Department Of Education, etc.).

 

‘Step Right up!’ Snake Oil for Sale

 

by WALTER BRASCH  

 

The Tea Party, mutant spawn of the Republicans, held their spineless parents and the nation hostage during the debt ceiling crisis, and is now demanding an even greater ransom.

Flushed with what they mistakenly believe is success, they have launched an all-out assault upon the presidency. Their generals, fattened by Iowa corn and midway schmaltz, are Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Herman Cain. Sarah Palin, hovering near the battlefields to soak up the media sunlight, much like a black hole absorbs all energy and light from nearby stars, is waiting to see how the war goes (and if she can write some intelligent sentences) before deciding to re-enter battle.

Bachmann is the winner of the strangest political non-election in the country, the Iowa Straw Poll. She won the race the old-fashioned way. She bought it.

To make sure that Iowans entered the Tents of Instant Gratification and, thus, cast their ballot the right way, the candidates, who paid $15,000–$31,000 to rent space at Iowa State, provided food, music, and carnival fun for the voters. Bachman had a petting zoo, and drew fans to a concert by country superstar Randy Travis. Cost of the banquet: $30 a ticket.

To assure there were enough votes, Bachmann’s campaign, like all other campaigns, paid the $30 admissions ticket. That would be $144,690 for 4,823 votes, plus several hundred thousand dollars in related campaign expenses. Related campaign expenses for the candidates included renting charter buses to bring voters from throughout Iowa to Ames.

But, Iowans aren’t stupid. Many wanted to see Randy Travis and eat the food of politics but didn’t plan to vote for Bachmann. About 6,000 persons took the “free” $30 tickets. Thus, she officially paid $180,000, $37.32 a vote; unofficially, with all expenses figured in, the cost could easily have been well over $200 a vote so she could be the winner and earn the title of Media Darlin’ of the Week.

The establishment media generally avoided Ron Paul, the second place winner, who “only” got 4,671 votes, 152 less than Bachmann, and 27.7 percent. Paul is a pariah in the Republican party, and something the media can’t figure out, because he actually has a core set of principles, which sometimes leads him to ally with liberals, but for different reasons.

Third place, with 13.6 percent of the vote and, according to numerous media pundits not charismatic enough to be a serious contender, went to Tim Pawlenty, who didn’t drink much of the tea and dropped out of the race after spending about $1 million in Iowa. Not dropping out were Tea Party favorites Rick Santorum (9.8 percent) and Herman Cain (8.6 percent), who lured voters into his tent with free Godfather’s Pizza. Mitt Romney, who had spent about $2 million in the 2007 Straw Poll, but skipped this year’s non-binding poll, finished behind Rick Perry, dripping tea with every statement he makes, entered the presidential race only after the Iowa Straw Poll, but did get 718 write-in votes for 4.3 percent of the vote. Nevertheless, Romney is still believed to be the front-runner.

Thus, going into the primary season, the Tea Party can arouse themselves with Bachmann, Perry, Santorum, Cain, and maybe Palin. Not identified with the Tea Party, but in its gravitational pull are Romney, Jon Huntsman, and whatever is left of Newt Gingrich’s chances.

The Tea Party began a few months after Barack Obama was elected president, with a stated purpose to reduce wild government spending. But its deep structure shows an amorphous bunch of white middle-class ultra-conservatives, aided by upper-class political consultants and media manipulators, who have developed the ability to sound impressive with only half-truths behind their rants and chants, and a zealous determination to keep President Obama out of a second term.

During the debt ceiling crisis, Tea Partiers refused to budge on a demand of not raising the debt ceiling, cutting numerous social and educational programs, and holding firm to the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Everyone must cut back, especially during economic crises, they bleated. Austerity is their mantra.

But, based upon their extravagant lifestyle and the wild spending they did in Iowa, shouldn’t their mantra now be “hypocrisy”?

 

[As a young reporter in Iowa, Brasch covered everything from fairs to politics to rock concerts. His current book is Before the First Snow, a powerful look at how the collusion of Big Government and Big Business can destroy civil liberties and lead to environmental destruction and health issues. The book is available at www.greeleyandstone.com, www.amazon.com, or Barnes & Noble.]

 

 

 

Perry Just Another Climate Denier

The past week has confirmed that climate paralysis reigns in the GOP. Michele Bachmann has been relishing her first place finish in the Iowa Straw Poll, but Ron Paul came in just 152 votes behind her. That counts as a toss-up in my book, and I can’t decide which one is worse: Bachmann who denies climate exists, or Paul who acknowledges that climate change might be real but doesn’t believe government should do anything about it.

The new golden boy of the race, Governor Rick Perry, shares Bachmann’s refusal to accept the reality of global warming. But unlike Bachmann, he stands a good chance of winning the party’s nomination. And that could have major implications for our country’s energy future.

Believe it or not, a Republican president doesn’t necessarily spell the end of climate action. Most major pieces of environmental legislation have passed when a Republican sat in the Oval Office: President Nixon signed the Clean Air Act, President Ford signed the Safe Drinking Water Act, and President H. W. Bush signed the Clean Air Act Amendments (which launched a cap-and-trade program to reduce acid rain pollution).

A GOP candidate or president with a moderate stance on climate change could move America down the road to reducing carbon pollution. But one who doesn’t even acknowledge the problem will make our nation’s eventual response cost too much and come too late. Unfortunately, Perry is squarely in the denial camp.

As Dylan Matthews points out in a piece in the Washington Post, Perry wrote in his requisite campaign book that “we have been experiencing a cooling trend, that the complexities of the global atmosphere have often eluded the most sophisticated scientists, and that draconian policies with dire economic effects based on so-called science may not stand the test of time.”

Last week PolitiFact.com examined a similar claim when Tim Pawlenty told the Miami Herald that climate science is “in dispute.” PolitiFact.com puts politicians’ statements through its so-called Truth-o-Meter, and most of the time the needle points somewhere in between True and False. For Pawlenty’s claim—and by extension Perry’s—the needle rested squarely on False.

This is Flat Earth territory. This is “I choose not to believe in gravity” wackiness.

I can find common ground with a GOP leader who acknowledges scientific data since, while we might have different views about the policies we need to address the problem, at least we can agree on the facts. But I can’t imagine that someone who so willfully ignores the evidence can successfully govern a country.

Perry has pronounced that he will not watch Al Gore’s slide show on climate change. What if he someday he decides he will not hear the security briefings from the CIA? What if he decides to stop listening to the people at the Federal Reserve? Is that any way to lead the nation? We don’t get to pick the facts of our times, but we do get to choose how we confront them.

There is something I share with Perry: a belief in prayer. But even here, Perry takes the easy way out. During his famous prayer vigil a few weeks ago, Perry called on the audience to pray for victims of the droughts plaguing the country – which is ironic since scientists tie global warming to increased frequency and severity of droughts. I am happy to join in that prayer, but my work doesn’t end there. I also do my part to solve the problem intensifying those droughts: climate change.

I believe God hears our prayers, but expects us to do our part.  My brother just had a stroke at the age of 28. My family and all our friends prayed as hard as we could that he would recover. But we also made sure he got to the hospital and did what the doctors told him.

Ignoring climate change doesn’t make it go away. And it is unlikely that resorting only to prayer without actions will work either. We need leaders—of either party—who can acknowledge what science tells us and meet in the middle to craft smart policy to deal with it. The GOP has a history of doing that on environmental matters. Someone just has to remind their party frontrunners of that fact.

Rick Perry Shady Donor Deals Exposed

2012 Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry has had a pay-to-play system for donors as Governor of Texas. The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks down a devastating Los Angeles Times report on the topic.

 

A good campaign strategy in TX-Gov

Bill White, the popular former Mayor of Houston, seems to be running a pretty good strategy as the Democratic nominee for Governor of Texas. He and his campaign are hammering incumbent Rick Perry for corruption and failed policies in press releases and interviews, but their new TV ad is a positive one focusing on White. This should help drive a narrative about Perry and get the facts out to reporters while still allowing White to give voters the positive campaign they want.

PPP has the race tied up at 43, and you can help White win this impressive prize (Governor of Texas in a census year!) at our ActBlue page.

Here’s White’s new ad called “San Antonio.”

The campaign is also touting the endorsements of 23 sheriffs who “represent about 50 percent of Texans and 99 percent of Texans who live in counties that touch the border with Mexico.”

But on the quieter attack side, here’s a July 27 press release hitting the ten-year incumbent for his corrupt land deals.

We learned for the first time this week that the buyer of Perry's plot of land was business partners with the person who sold it to Perry through an intermediary. The timeline of this scandal clearly shows that Perry coordinated with two business partners to flip land, buying way under value from one partner and then selling it way over value to the other business partner. In total, Rick Perry coordinated with the business partners for ill-gotten gains totaling about $500,000.

In 2000 and 2001, the land buy was arranged by Doug Jaffe, who sold Perry a plot of land through an intermediary for a whopping $150,000 less than it was worth.

In 2007, the land sale was arranged by Ron Mitchell, an trusted associate of Doug Jaffe, during a time when the property was off the market. Mitchell found a willing buyer in a business partner of Doug Jaffe. Mitchell then negotiated a price for Perry with Jaffe's partner, a price a whopping $350,000 over market value.

Mitchell's real estate firm waived the typical 6% fee for Perry, amounting to a $70,000 gift that was never reported by Perry on personal financial disclosure statements. When Mitchell was asked by the DMN whether they would have waived the fee if it was someone other than Perry, Mitchell laughed and said, "We're here to make money.” …

Perry is refusing to release the public listing agreement, had previously hidden the identity of the land buyer and had hidden the fact that the buyer was a business partner with the original seller.

Other Perry scandals include what the White campaign is calling “cash for appointments and cash for favors."

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