Bad Deeds for 6-5-2012

Only 3 Out of 27 Republican Candidates for Texas Board of Education Affirm the Importance of Public Education – At least 10 out of 27 Republicans who were seeking election to the State Board of Education (SBOE), which oversees public education across Texas, said they don’t agree that “it is the government’s responsibility to be sure children are properly educated.”

Just three Republican candidates affirmed the importance of public education in Texas. The religious-right groups that sponsored the survey (all of which are nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations) didn’t question Democratic candidates.

Here’s what Article 7 of the Texas Constitution says about government’s role in education:

“A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”

Romney Thinks Young People Can’t Comprehend Economy – Last week, hundreds of peaceful protesters demonstrated outside of Bank of America’s shareholder meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, a move presidential candidate Mitt Romney summarily dismissed as ignorant and youthful, reports the NationalJournal.

“Unfortunately, a lot of young folks haven’t had the opportunity to really understand how the economy works,” Romney said in response to the protesters.

Romney’s comments bring up some important questions: how old does someone have to be before they can confidently condemn banks for illegally foreclosing on American families? At what age can you begin to criticize an institution that makes record profits yet pays no taxes? And would a teenager be incorrect for thinking something’s wrong with a bank that needed a federal bailout almost immediately rewarding its executives with multimillion bonuses?

Besides, although Occupy has largely been credited as a movement spurred by a younger generation, attendees of this Bank of America protest represented a wide range of ages from children to the elderly. Does Maria Reyes (who Care2 reporter Aaron Krager interviewed at this protest) seem too young to know what she’s talking about? One thing is for sure: almost all of the protesters are not too young to vote, and most are bound to remember Romney’s condescending attitude come Election Day.

ALEC Posing as Charity While Pushing Bad Laws – The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) convened today one of its three annual meetings, this one in Charlotte, NC, to discuss and vote on model legislation that it will then promote in all 50 states. Common Cause has obtained thousands of pages of documents, that show for the first time what’s really going on behind closed doors. These materials, including the agenda for today’s meetings, feature the new bills that corporate lobbyists and state legislators will vote on as equals, including legislation that will roll back environmental protections and labor rights.

There has been a growing uproar around ALEC recently, as increased scrutiny shines a light on their role promoting controversial legislation, including the “Stand your Ground” legislation that became a national issue after the tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida. ALEC is also behind model legislation to roll back environmental protections, disenfranchise voters, challenge the Affordable Care Act and reduce corporate taxes.

On Sunday April 22, the New York Times ran a major expose about ALEC on its front page (‘ALEC, a Tax-Exempt Group, Mixes Legislators and Lobbyists’.) This story was based on thousands of pages of unreleased ALEC documents obtained by Common Cause and shared with the Times. The next day Common Cause, working with one of the US’s most renowned whistleblower law firms Philips & Cohen, filed a 4,000 page IRS Whistleblower complaint against ALEC. Since then, we have asked 29 state Attorneys General to investigate ALEC, including in New York, New Jersey, Kentucky and North Carolina, with more states to follow in the coming weeks.

The documents provided to the IRS clearly show ALEC has been improperly acting as a charity for almost 40 years, providing a tax exemption on corporate contributions, while at the same time telling the IRS that it doesn’t spend a dollar on influencing legislation. We are now also asking that state Attorneys General investigate whether ALEC has broken state tax laws, lobbying disclosure rules and gift regulations.

A Major Oil Speculator Is Bankrolling The Latest Karl Rove Attack Ad Accusing Obama Of Raising Prices At The Pump – Paul Singer is a wealthy hedge fund manager. His firm, Elliott Management Corporation, speculates in a number of areas. In the past, Singer has been called a “vulture capitalist” for buying the debt of Third World countries for pennies on the dollar, then using his political and legal connections to extract massive judgments to force collection — even from nations suffering from starvation and violent conflicts. A blockbuster Wall Street Journal story in 2006 revealed that Singer’s firm was among several hedge funds that paid lobbyists to gain political intelligence on an asbestos bill working its way through Congress — with the hope of using inside information to profit off of asbestos-related companies. But what makes Singer interesting in the context of this latest attack ad is how his business interests conflict with the message about Obama causing high gas prices.

If anything, Singer should be blamed for high gas prices. He is a major oil speculator.

Safeway Executive Makes Joke About Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Being Worth Less Than Pigs – Bob Gordon, senior vice president and general counsel for Safeway Inc., kicked off a shareholder meeting earlier this week with a “joke” about former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton being worth less than pigs. Tell Gordon that his remarks are unacceptable.

Greene County, Virginia GOP Group’s Newsletter Calls For ‘Armed Revolution’ If Obama Is Reelected – A monthly newsletter published by the Greene County Republican Committee in Virginia is raising eyebrows for including a column in its March edition that calls for an “armed revolution” if President Barack Obama is elected to a second term in November.

Pastor Calls for Concentration Camps for Gays – Pastor Charles Worley heads up Providence Road Baptist Church in North Carolina — and he has a plan to “get rid of all the lesbians and queers.”

“Build a great big large fence, a hundred, fifty, hundred miles long… Feed them and you know what in a few years they’ll all die out. Do you know why — they can’t reproduce.”

This shocking level of hate is unacceptable from anybody — especially a member of the clergy. Tell Pastor Worley that you won’t stand for this kind of hate speech.

Billionaire Super PAC Funders Back Romney For Self-Interests – The biggest donors to Republican Super PACs Restore Our Future and American Crossroads have their reasons for putting out so much money.

Harold Simmons likes Romney’s pledge to rollback the EPA and environmental regulations so he can dump nuclear waste in West Texas. Bob Perry, a Texas homebuilder, likes Romney’s willingness to support a cap on jury awards so he can avoid paying settlements for his shoddy home building. Sheldon Adelson likes Romney’s promise to bust unions so he can keep the workers in his Las Vegas casino from organizing. Video at the link above.

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.





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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

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