By the Fringe Editor
Examining again propaganda I get from my left wing friends and the stuff I get from right wing friends, I couldn’t help but notice the different approaches.
I will add, before going too far, that it is certainly possible there is better right wing stuff, but I don’t get it. Send it if you like, but I might report on it.
First, the lefties. Here is an excerpt from a post from Move On. It outlines why Move On feels something should be done about large corporations who take advantage of the system. The numbers at the end are sources; they are a footnote to this article:
1. Exxon Mobil made billions in profits, and yet paid not one dime in federal income taxes in 2009.2
2. The 2005 energy bill had a little known provision, commonly called the Halliburton Loophole, which exempted natural gas drilling from the Clean Water Act. The result? Water so contaminated that you can light it on fire.3
3. Massey Energy was cited more than 2400 times for safety violations in its mines, but chose not to fix potentially lethal problems because low penalties meant it was cheaper to simply keep paying the fines. This spring, 29 miners were killed in an underground explosion at a Massey mine in West Virginia.4
4. Michael Taylor was the FDA official who approved the use of Monsanto's Bovine Growth Hormone in dairy cows (even though it's banned in most countries and linked to cancer). After approving it, he left the FDA—to work for Monsanto. Until last year, when he moved back to the government—as President Obama's "Food Safety Czar." No joke.5
5. Internal Toyota documents outline how the company was successful in limiting regulators actions in the recalls last year—saving hundreds of millions while the death toll continued to climb.6
6. GE and its lobbyists—including 33 former government employees—have successfully lobbied Congress to override Defense Department requests to cancel a GE contract to work on a new engine for the Joint Strike Fighter jet. GE will need $2.9 billion to finish the project.7
7. Top executives at 9 top banks including Citibank, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley paid themselves over $20 billion dollars in bonuses just weeks after taxpayers bailed them out to the tune of 700 billion dollars.8
8. During the waning days of the Bush administration, officials responded to a long-term lobbying campain by pre-empting product liability lawsuits for dozens of whole industries. They bypassed Congress entirely and rewrote rules ranging from seatbelt manufacturing regulations to prescription drug safety.9
9. Sunscreen manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson and Schering-Plough, in the interest of profits, are opposing an FDA proposal requiring full reporting on sunscreen labels. The New York Times just confirmed that current SPF ratings don't even measure sun rays that cause cancer.10
10. BP—a company with a record of 760 drilling safety and environmental violations—was granted safety waivers in order to operate the deepwater drilling rig that ultimately created the worst environmental disaster in US history.1
As you can see, these are some pretty explicit allegations of major wrong-doing. They are pragmatic and can be double checked (notes at the end).
Now consider a recent email from the Republicans. Sorry, site security made it impossible to directly copy anything, but it showed an old photo of Fidel Castro with the tag line “it’s a miracle Obama got Healthcare for the U.S.”
It isn’t clear what this is supposed to imply. Cuba, even in the depths of poverty, has very good mostly free healthcare, and the level of general health in Cuba is at least as good as that of the U.S. Healthcare there would be even better if the U.S. would end the embargo.
If Castro had said “I revere the memory of my mother and believe all mothers should be treated with respect” would the Republicans then demand a bounty on mothers?
It is a miracle, or would be if the healthcare bill were anything beyond a “health insurance company price protection” bill.
While the lefties, Move On, provided some real and remarkable corporate benefits, the righties, the Repubs, want to be pissed because poor people in the U.S. are approaching the level of health care of poor people in Cuba.
I think I see a difference there.
Sources: (From www.moveon.org post; copy and past to URL)
1. "BP's latest plan succeeding, but may make spill worse," Newsweek, June 2, 2010.
2. "GE, Exxon Paid No U.S. Income Taxes in 2009," ABC News, April 6, 2010
3. "Why is Dick Cheney Silent on the Oil Spill?," Newsweek, June 10, 2010
4. "Other Massey Mines Showed A Pattern Of Violations," NPR, April 13, 2010
5. "Monsanto's man Taylor returns to FDA in food-czar role," Grist, July 8, 2009
6. "Toyota tried to cut costs on recalls," Los Angeles Times, February 22, 2010
7. "GE vice chairman openly challenges Gates over F-35 fighter jet engine," The Hill, June 17, 2010
8. "Bankers Reaped Lavish Bonuses During Bailouts," The New York Times, July 30, 2009
9. "Bush Rule Changes Curtail Rights of States, Consumers," Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2008
10. "UVA Reform: It's Not PDQ," The New York Times, June 23, 2010