The Socialist Response

9:16 AM – Today, The Huffington Post

Socialist Party USA Responds To Rick Perry’s Obama Socialist Claim

The Socialist Party USA is skeptical of Rick Perry’s claim Sunday that President Obama is a socialist.

“The notion that Barack Obama is a socialist ranks among the greatest fairy tales in American society — right up there with the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the idea that if you work hard enough your children will live a better life than you,” Socialist Party spokesperson Lynn Lomibao said in an email. “Socialists know what Obama is: another corporate funded politician placed in the White House to protect the wealth and status of the 1%.”

During a Sunday morning debate, Perry said, “I make a very proud statement and a fact that we have a president that’s a socialist.” Perry said states could do a better job than the federal government in delivering education, health care, and environmental regulations.

The Socialist Party, which The New York Times reported last year has 1,000 members, doesn’t see much socialism coming from the Obama administration.

“When Americans needed a solution to mass unemployment, Obama gave away billions in cash to bail out the banks,” Lomibao continued. “When Americans needed a single-payer healthcare system, Obama promoted a pro-health insurance healthcare ‘reform’ package that forced millions into junk healthcare plans subsidized by public funds. And when American workers asked for the right to join a union without employer harassment through the Employee Free Choice Act, Obama showed who he really answers to by betraying the promises he made to working people during his campaign.”

— Arthur Delaney


The Iowa Aftermath

Following this:

There will be some announcements from Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann.

Rick Perry is at it again…

Separated at Birth?

“Hey man, nice outfit.” – Mitt Romney





Rick Perry & The Death Penalty

Rick Perry’s Execution Record Includes The Deaths Of Juveniles And The Mentally Disabled

By Travis Waldron on Sep 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm

The amount of executions held in Texas during Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) 11 years in office has come under scrutiny in the early stages of his presidential campaign, most notably for the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was convicted of murdering his three daughters and put to death despite evidence showing that he was likely innocent of the crimes. But even as the Willingham case receives the most notice, many of Perry’s decisions regarding execution have begun to garner attention.

Texas has held 234 executions on Perry’s watch, more than the next two states combined have executed since the death penalty was restored 35 years ago. While Perry can only grant clemency from death sentences if it is recommended by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, he has rarely used that power. According to the Texas Tribune, Perry has commutedonly 31 death sentences, and 28 of those resulted from a 2005 Supreme Court case outlawing the execution of juveniles. Meanwhile, he has allowed a host of controversial executions to go forward, the Tribune reported today:

JUVENILES: According to the Tribune, three people who were juveniles at the time of their crime were executed between 2000, when Perry took office, and 2005, when the Supreme Court banned the execution of juveniles. Before Napoleon Beazley, who committed a murder at 17, was executed, 18 state legislators wrote Perry asking him to grant clemency, and the trial judge who eventually had to sign his execution order asked Perry to commute the sentence to life in prison. Perry’s response: “To delay his punishment is to delay justice.”

MENTALLY DISABLED: Ten executions during Perry’s tenure have involved serious questions about the prisoner’s mental health and stability. One was Kelsey Patterson, who was judged as mentally fit by a doctor known as “Dr. Death” because he rarely found patients mentally unfit for trial. During his trial, Patterson testified about having devices planted in his head by the military, and once in prison, he sent incoherent letters to courts. The Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended to Perry that he grant clemency, but Perry rejected the recommendation. Another was James Clark, whose final statement was, “Howdy.” Two Texas prisoners with mental health concerns have been executed in 2011.

INADEQUATE COUNSEL: Five men executed since 2000 have had major questions about the adequacy of their legal counsel, including Leonard Uresti Rojas. The appellate attorney appointed to Rojas was on probation with the state bar, suffered from mental illness and missed multiple deadlines to file appeals on Rojas’ behalf. New attorneys took Rojas’ case before the Court of Appeals asked Perry to stay the execution but were denied. After the execution, an appeals court judge wrote a dissenting opinion against the court, saying Rojas’ attorney had “neglected his duties.”

In addition, Perry has overseen the executions of seven foreign nationals and two men who were accomplices but did not actually commit murder.

Perry’s statewide opponents have had little success in using Perry’s execution record against him. In her unsuccessful attempt to defeat Perry in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) brought together a focus group to find out if Perry’s death penalty record was a point of vulnerability, only to have one respondent tell her campaign, “It takes balls to execute an innocent man.”

But Perry’s criminal justice record is now making its first major news during his presidential campaign. A Texas inmate named Duane Edward Buck, who is set to be executed Sept. 15, has petitioned Perry for clemency from his death sentence. Though Buck’s guilt is not in question, the way the prosecution secured his death sentence is. To prove Buck’s “future dangerousness” and secure the death sentence, prosecutors used the testimony of a psychologist who claimed that Buck was more dangerous simply because he was black.

The case, tried in 1995, was protested by Sen. John Cornyn (R), who was serving as the state’s attorney general at the time. Perry has not yet commented or made a decision regarding Buck’s clemency request. But with his criminal justice record playing a larger role in the narrative around his presidential campaign, and with voters and politicians becoming more conscious of both the social justice and budgetary costs of the increasingly expensive death penalty, it will be interesting to see if the case of Duane Buck becomes one where Perry stands up for justice, or if it will be another blotch on an already spotty record.

Social Security v. A Ponzi Scheme — How Rick Perry Sees It

Perry to Restore Military Respect for POTUS

MONDAY, AUG 15, 2011 10:44 ET

Perry: The military doesn’t respect Obama

“I want to make sure that every [soldier] respects highly the president of the United States,” he says


In Iowa last night, newly anointed GOP primary heavyweight Rick Perry offered a novel reason he is running for president (in addition to God calling him to do so):


Rick Perry strayed from a tribute to military service to tell an audience in Waterloo, Iowa, that he’s running in part to restore the respect of the military to its civilian leaders.

“One of the reasons that I’m running for president is I want to make sure that every young man and woman who puts on the uniform of the United States respects highly the president of the United States,” he said.


What is Perry talking about here? For one thing, this is not the type of sentence a candidate delivers off the cuff. It seems pretty clearly to be a deliberate, premeditated shot at President Obama as somehow lacking or illegitimate in his role as commander in  chief of the military.

Sure, it all sounds very 2007, given that Obama has been president for nearly three years and has presided over, among other military matters, the massive escalation of the war in Afghanistan. But Perry’s line should serve as a corrective to those who thought the killing of Osama bin Laden would neutralize attacks on Obama as weak or lacking the mettle to lead the military. Then again, the attack seems more plausible in the context of a GOP primary than it does, say, face-to-face against the president of the United States on a debate stage.

A couple of other interesting takes: Ben Smith, who reported the quote from Iowa, observes that the military is pretty much required to respect the president, so in some sense Perry’s line is insulting to soldiers. It’s even odder given that Perry himself is an Air Force vet. And Adam Weinstein at Mother Jones notes that there’s a crucial difference between respect and approval ratings, an area in which Obama is hurting among soldiers — much like George W. Bush was back in 2007.