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Meet The Democrats Who Will Decide Whether The GOP Wins The Tax Cut Fight

“Republicans want to prevent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from making Republicans go out on a limb for the wealthiest Americans just so close to November. With only weeks to go before the election, they’re putting dozens of House Democrats on the spot, demanding a single vote on extending all of the Bush tax cuts — including the tax cuts that solely benefit the wealthiest Americans.

The GOP pressure might make some Democrats cave, and will certainly make others hide from questions about the Bush tax cuts. But unless Pelosi plays hardball on tax cuts, it’s these Democrats who will decide whether the wealthiest Americans get to keep all of their tax cuts. “

Lieberman Organizing Against Obama On Bush Tax Cuts

“President Obama has been absolutely clear that he wants to see the Bush tax cuts for the top two income brackets expire. So who better to lead the charge in the Senate to see all the Bush tax cuts extended than Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

“I know that many people, including the President, have argued that the tax cuts should not be continued for people making more than $200,000 a year,” Lieberman told the Stamford Chamber of Commerce today. “But to me these are the people we need to be using their income to spend and invest to spur growth and job creation.””

In Its Party Platform, Montana GOP Swears To Uphold Constitution And Then Directly Undermines It

“As the Wonk Room reported in June, the Montana GOP adopted an anti-gay platform that referenced the Constitution at least 10 times to herald the preeminence of it as the sole source of law. While much of the media has discussed the Montana GOP’s anti-gay platform, few have noted the inherent contradiction within the document itself on its beliefs about the Constitution.

In their platform, Montana Republicans declared that the Constitution “be upheld in all of its entirety” and that all state and federal policies be “Constitutional in their effects, laws and practices.” But while they “adamantly oppose any attempts, whether direct or indirect, to destroy and/or undermine the Constitution,” the Montana Republicans criminalize homosexuality and call for more drastic “policies” and “practices” that directly conflict with the Constitution:

– We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.

– We support the repeal of the 16th amendment of the U.S. Constitution which authorizes a national income tax.

– We agree with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who stated that the U.S. Supreme Court does not have the sole authority to judge the constitutionality of federal laws. We hold with these men that the States not only have the right, but also the duty to nullify unconstitutional laws in order to protect their citizens. “

Despite Attacking Stimulus, WI GOP Senate Nominee Johnson Requested Stimulus Dollars For Opera House

“Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate Ron Johnson has made opposition to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly referred to as the stimulus, a cornerstone of his campaign. On his campaign website, the candidate brags that he “opposed…the $862 billion stimulus bill. Ron does not believe the federal government is capable of picking ‘winners and losers’ and should not remove capital from the private sector to create more government programs and jobs, which are unsustainable.” He even complained to Politico that “we spent $1 trillion dollars and we got nothing for it.”

Now, the Northwestern has discovered that, in March 2009, Johnson himself sought stimulus dollars for an opera house. While serving as president of the board of the Grand Opera House, Johnson sent an e-mail to Oshkosh Area Community Foundation CEO Eileen Connolly-Keesler to “ask about the availability of stimulus dollars to help fund the $1.8 million repair project“.”

Anti-Mosque Leader Wonders If Romney Has Been Silent Because Of ‘Similarities Between Islam and Mormonism’

“At WorldNetDaily’s Take Back America 2010 conference in Miami this weekend, ThinkProgress spoke to William Murray, the chairman of a group organizing protests against the proposed Park51 community center in lower Manhattan. Murray recently ran an advertisement against building mosques in America.

During our interview, Murray noted that Frank Gaffney, a well-funded anti-Muslim activist, actually provided Newt Gingrich with the idea for Republicans to ban sharia law in the United States. Asked why some Republican leaders, like Mitt Romney, have been relatively quiet on his crusade against Park51, Murray suggested that Romney might reveal “similarities between Islam and Mormonism” if he became vocal. He added that such a connection would be “false logic”:

MURRAY: I don’t know with the case with Mitt Romney. It could be because of some similarities between Islam and Mormonism, to be very frank with you, and his fear that any criticism of Islam, that those arguments could then be construed or used against Mormonism. I think that is some false logic. Also there is the issue of Mitt Romney being purely an economic conservative, not a social conservative. “

Obama To Hedge Fund Manager Who Complains Of Being ‘Whacked’: ‘Most Folks On Main Street’ Feel Beat Up

“Today, President Obama participated in a live CNBC townhall event. Recently, Obama has been feeling the “rage of the rich,” as Paul Krugman describes it today. One top Wall Street executive recently compared Obama’s tax proposals to Hitler’s invasion of Poland. During today’s discussion, Anthony Scaramucci, a CNBC contributor who is also a hedge fund manager, stood up to represent the aggrieved “Wall Street community.”

Scaramucci told Obama, “We have felt like a piñata,” complaining that “we certainly feel like we’ve been whacked with a stick.” Obama responded that Scaramucci needs to put things into perspective:

Now, you know, I have been amused over the last couple years, this sense of somehow me beating up on Wall Street. I think most folks on Main Street feel like they got beat up on. … There’s — there’s a big chunk of the country that thinks that I have been too soft on Wall Street. That’s probably the majority, not the minority.

Obama went on to note that the top 25 hedge fund managers took home $1 billion in profits last year. “If you’re making $1 billion a year after a very bad financial crisis where 8 million people lost their jobs and small businesses can’t get loans,” Obama said, “then I think that you shouldn’t be feeling put upon,”

Tea Party Leader Dick Armey: Social Security Is A Corrupt ‘Ponzi Scheme’

“This past weekend, conservative activists and Tea Party groups gathered in Chicago for the Right Nation 2010 convention. Among those who attended was former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, the chairman of one of the original Tea Party groups, FreedomWorks.

During the event, ThinkProgress sat down with Armey at a blogger’s roundtable. No sooner than we took our seats did Armey come out guns-blazing against Social Security. He called it a “corrupt government practice” that steals people’s money “under false pretenses.” He went on to call Social Security a “Ponzi scheme”:

ARMEY: The government uses the concept of a trust fund to take your money under false pretenses. For years, I wrote about and talked about and taught about what I call ‘corrupt government practices,’ because they’re always so quick to talk about corruption. One of the corrupt government practices is stealing your money under false pretenses. I’ll give you a to wit: social security. When they had the Alan Greenspan commission, they knowingly raised payroll taxes more than what was necessary to meet the flow of output. Social Security is a pay-as-you-go Ponzi scheme. They knew very well that the extra $250 billion would be spent on their social schemes.”

Scalia Says Constitution Does Not Prevent Gender Discrimination

“Speaking to a law school audience in San Francisco last Friday, Justice Antonin Scalia expressed some strange views about the Constitution and gender equality:

Scalia also said he doesn’t believe the Constitution bans sex discrimination.

The 14th Amendment, enacted after the Civil War in 1868, guarantees due process and equal protection and in recent years has been interpreted by courts to prohibit sex discrimination as well as racial discrimination.

But Scalia said he believes the amendment doesn’t apply to discrimination against women because that use of the measure was not intended in 1868.

He said he personally opposes bias against women, but said it can be banned by laws rather than reliance on the Constitution.

“If the current society wants to outlaw sex discrimination, hey, we have legislatures,” Scalia said.

Scalia’s odd stance on gender equality is nothing new. In a 1996 Supreme Court decision limiting gender discrimination in Virginia’s higher education system, he cast the sole dissenting vote in favor of allowing the state to continue to deny educational opportunities to women (Justice Thomas was recused from the case).”

Corker Booed By Workers At GM Plant Ceremony, Takes Credit For Saving Industry That He Opposed Saving

“General Motors recently announced that, thanks to federal efforts to keep the American auto industry from going under, it would be able to rehire 483 workers at its Spring Hill, Tennessee plant to manufacture “three variants of Ecotec four-cylinder engines.” The $438 million arrangement will start producing engines for the Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC models by 2011.

As auto blog Jalopnik reports, the plant recently held a ceremony to welcome back the new workers to begin production of the Ecotec engines. Attending the ceremony were three local Republican legislators, Sens. Bob Corker, Lamar Alexander, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Ironically, all three of these lawmakers opposed the plans to save General Motors and other U.S. auto companies. This didn’t stop Corker from taking credit for the federal rescue, anyway. At the event he claimed he “contributed to strengthening the auto industry in this country.” Jalopnik reports that “irony of the Republican lawmakers’ presence wasn’t lost on the workers who attended the ceremony; they booed Tennessee Republican Bob Corker”.”

Great Recession ended in June 2009, but who knew?

“With little fanfare, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared Monday that the so-called Great Recession is over, determining that the U.S. economy hit bottom in June 2009 and began a long, sluggish rebound.”

Lindsey Graham says U.S. must prepare to attack Iran

“Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Monday that the United States must be prepared to use military force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon — and added that the last-resort step should be taken with the goal of overthrowing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”

In Afghanistan, Boys Are Prized and Girls Live the Part

“Under pressure to have sons, some families dress their girls as boys.”

Jade From China’s West Surpasses Gold in Value

“Jade has brought prosperity to Khotan, a city whose previous bout of affluence occurred a few thousand years ago, at the height of the Silk Road.”

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