Thursday, October 18, 2018

A Handy Purchase

Just in case you are planning to fly somewhere with one, Green Eagle's shopping guide has found this for you, available online for the low price of $76.02.
You just never know when one might come in handy on your foreign travels.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Deficit Monsters Rear Their Heads

Once again, we are about to suffer another round of one of the biggest lies in history:  the notion that Democrats and their social programs are responsible for the deficits that have plagued the country since Reagan took office.  Since that time, it has been the deliberate attempt of Republicans to destroy social spending, and thieve the money to give to their sociopathic rich backers, thus accomplishing two purposes: enriching their billionaires enough to keep them providing the money to flood the country with propaganda which keeps the Republicans in office, and also to achieve a long time goal of Republicans, deliberately destroying Social Security and Medicare, the two greatest Democratic contributions to the well-being of the American people.  Here is the hideously evil Mitch McConnell, being blunt about his intentions:

"McConnell eyes cuts to Medicare, Social Security to address deficit

Nearly a year ago, as the debate over Republican tax breaks for the wealthy was near its end, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) insisted that the tax cuts didn’t need to be paid for – because they’d pay for themselves...Whether the GOP leader actually believed his own rhetoric is an open question, but either way, we now know the Kentucky senator’s claim was spectacularly wrong. The Republican tax breaks have, as Democrats and those familiar with arithmetic predicted, sent the nation’s budget deficit soaring.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday blamed rising federal deficits and debt on a bipartisan unwillingness to contain spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and said he sees little chance of a major deficit reduction deal while Republicans control Congress and the White House.

“It’s disappointing but it’s not a Republican problem...Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid” funding constitutes “the real driver of the debt.”

Thus it has become necessary to delve into this preposterous, malignant lie, and once again point out the real source of government debt.  Here are two charts that pretty much tell the story.  I am sorry, but I was unable to find one graph that showed the entire time span; resulting in it being divided up this way.

To summarize this information:  The budget deficit in the last year of the Carter administration was $41 billion; seemingly a laughingly small amount after what we have seen since, but already enough for Republicans to demand cuts to social programs to deal with it. Under Reagan and Bush I, this number increased to $290 billion, or over seven times the last deficit under Carter.  The next Democratic President, Clinton, evaporated the deficit, and left the succeeding Republican President, Bush II, a $236 billion dollar surplus.  Bush II, through a combination of tax cuts for the rich and an unfunded war of aggression, precipitated an economic collapse which left the country with an annual budget deficit of $1.4 trillion dollars.  Obama, despite constant Republican attacks on everything he tried to do, reduced that deficit by over two thirds.  Now, from the moment the Republican Trump took over, the deficit is on the way up again, thanks in large part to the theft of six trillion dollars in tax money from the American people to give to the rich.  By 2019, the Trump deficit is projected to reach $984 billion, over twice the $438 billion dollar deficit left by Obama after superhuman effort to diminish the consequences of Republican economic malfeasance.  That number, due entirely to the corrupt actions of the last several Republican administrations, is almost exactly 24 times the deficit left by Jimmy Carter, before the Republican pillaging of the economy began.

And let us remember one more gigantic lie that Republicans are now telling.  Social security is entirely self funded, and does not receive one penny from the general government budget.  In fact, Republicans have raided vast sums of money from the Social Security funds, which they never had any intention of paying back.

This is the story, and do not ever let anyone tell you differently:  The national debt of the United States is virtually entirely due to Republican corruption and theft.  Of course, they will fight to the death the notion that the billionaire beneficiaries of that theft should ever have to give up a penny of their criminal proceeds.  No, it is, as usual, everyone else who must pay the price.  And the Republican party will continue pounding the American people to accept this monstrous deception as long as that party continues to exist.  After half a century watching this phenomenon, I am convinced that any path back into the light for the United States must involve the extermination of the Republican party, and the decisive demolition of the great economic lies that it has served up for a hundred years.

Yearly statistics for the federal budget deficit can be found here, if you are interested.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Wingnut Wrapup

I know I promised to stop annoying you with these, but I thought it would be fun to see how the Republicans are lying their way out of the abysmal performance of Brett Kavanaugh in his recent Senate hearing.  So, here we go:

Matt Vespa, Town Hall:  "After Ex-Boyfriend Nuked Her Testimony, Did Christine Blasey Ford Lie Before Congress?"

No, everyone could see she was sincere, even Trump.  But now a few days have passed so it's time for the Republicans to get back to smearing her.  What else did you expect?

Katie Pavlich, Town Hall:  "Grassley Slams Ford's Attorneys For Lack Of Candor, Again Requests Documentation on Her Polygraph and Therapy Notes"

Of course, Grassley refused to allow all the witnesses to testify at the the Senate hearing, but he feels free to slander Dr. Blasey Ford with absolutely groundless accusations that there is some sinister evil hidden in this material that she has absolutely no responsibility to release.  This is a sort of a reprise of the Hillary e-mail lies, when every right winger claimed that there was some huge hidden crime, which never emerged no matter how many tens of thousands of e-mails the Republicans pored over.

Michelle Malkin, Town Hall:  "Investigate the Senate Democrat Wrecking Machine"

See, the real malefactors here are not the Republicans, who nominated a belligerent, drunken liar and right wing hatchet man to sit on the Supreme Court, it's the Democrats who try to point this out.

"It is my contention that this grand unearth-and-destroy spectacle was planned, coordinated and facilitated by Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats and their staffers."

They planned a political response to an openly partisan political choice.  How dare they?

Star Parker, Town Hall:  "Pro-Abortion Left vs. Kavanaugh"

Republicans know perfectly well that this guy will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, even though he has lied about it over and over again.

Lauretta Brown, Town Hall:  "Sen. Graham Tells Audience: 'Boo Yourself' After They Boo Him For Saying Kavanaugh Was Treated 'Like Crap'

So fucking what.

And now time for a wingnut "humor" break:
Of course, that line came not from the FBI, but from the Republicans' bought and paid for prosecutor that they brought in to grill Dr. Ford, after a thirty year career of trying people arrested by Joe Arpaio.

Chris Reeve, Town Hall:  "Studies: Networks Systematically Ignore Prosecutor's Report Detailing Problems With Ford's Testimony"

Studies?  Well a "study."  Produced by the "Media Research Center," a right wing lie factory headed by Brent Bozell, author recently of "The Vast Anti-Kavanaugh Conspiracy" and "The Media Crazy Train On Kavanaugh," and former head of the National Conservative Political Action Committee. Bozell once called Barack Obama a  "skinny ghetto crackhead" on Fox News.  So take the study for what it is worth.

Beth Baumann, Town Hall:  "BREAKING: Ford's Ex-Boyfriend Pens Damning Letter Detailing Her Helping a Friend Prep For a Polygraph"

All over the right wing world today, and a complete lie, which has been utterly denied by the person taking the polygraph test.

Brandon Morse, Red State:  "Donald Trump Jr. Reminds Whoopi Goldberg that She’s On Record Supporting a Rapist After She Demeans His Sons"

This is Red State's lead story today:  a movie actress once said something.  That's the best they can come up with, I guess.  And just to be clear, whatever she said, it was about Roman Polanski, who, as far as I remember, was never up for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

Brad Slager, Red State:  "The Christine Ford Legal Team May Actually Be In Legal Trouble"

This was about her attorneys turning down an "offer" from the Republicans on the Senate committe to have some Republican staffers fly out to California to take her testimony in private, at which point it would be buried a thousand miles deep, and none of us would have ever heard a bit of it.  No word about whether Judge Kavanaugh might actually be in legal trouble as a result of at least half a dozen lies he told under oath to a Senate Committee.

And, ready for some more right wing Kavanaugh "humor?"
Something every little boy is praying for these days, I guess.  No cartoon about how many girls have to pray not to be raped by belligerent drunks like Judge Kavanaugh.

T. La Duke, Red State:  "Creepy Porn Lawyer Tries Again"

So far, buddy, he's batting 1000.  Deal with that.

Toni Araiksenin, PJ Media:  "How I Discovered the Portland ‘Dog Rape Culture’ Article Was a Hoax"

Okay, okay, so I lied.  Not every item today is about Kavanaugh.  Sorry, just couldn't pass this one up.

Bridget Johnson, PJ Media:  "McConnell Wants FBI Kavanaugh Report for Senators' Eyes Only; Schumer Wants Public Release"

Gee, why do you think that might be?

Thomas Lifson, American Thinker:  "Shocker: Dianne Feinstein does not want the FBI report released" 

Just fine if Republicans want to do it, a horrible sin if Democrats do.  By the way, Dianne Feinstein is afraid that the Republicans will release the report with the names and addresses of all the witnesses, so they can be subject to the same sort of public smears and death threats already experienced by Christine Ford.  The Republicans undoubtedly want to pull a Devin Nunes stunt on the country, and leak a version of the report that is so mangled as to constitute one giant self serving lie.

PJ Media Staff:  "Lindsey Graham says Trump should re-nominate Kavanaugh if his nomination falls short."

Oh, what a great idea.  That should be really fun.

Christina Laila, Gateway Pundit:  "McConnell Puts Schumer in His Place – Denies Schumer’s Request For an All Senators Briefing on Kavanaugh FBI Report"

I guess McConnell must know something about what the FBI investigation, despite Republican attempts to destroy it, might turn up.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "EPIC! Democrat Senator SLAMMED at Presser: “Do You Honestly Believe Judge Kavanaugh Was Leader of Teenage Irish Catholic Rape Gang?”

Sorry, Jim, you lost me with the word "Catholic."  After all, they would only be applying the lessons they learned from their religious leaders.

Chip McLean, Renew America:  "Democrats are destroying the nation in order to win...The fact is that the great majority of the senate Dems had already decided to vote against Kavanaugh before his name was even selected."

Talk about projection.  That remark is, of course, a vicious lie, as witness the overwhelming Democratic vote for Trump's previous nominee.  It is, however, true that despite their dissembling, every Republican was committed to voting for whatever right wing hatchet man Trump picked.

And let's just get down to the real craziness:

Kari Lee Fournier, Renew America:"My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed by vicious and false additional accusations," stated a visibly angry and shaken Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the recent U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Not so fast, Judge Kavanaugh.... Many see this attack for what it is...your reputation is intact. This is simply part and parcel of things that are to happen according to Bible prophecy. Yes, those who know and read Scripture prophecy understand exactly what is taking place at both this hearing and with other world events. Things are rapidly winding down on earth. Plain and simple."

Well, if it's ordained by God, I guess you people had better stop blaming Democrats for it.

And one last taste of the big laughs wingnuts are getting from all of this:
See, it was Diane Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi who supplied Kavanaugh with all that beer, and then forced him to perjure himself in front of the Senate committee.

And let's just finish this subject with a story from my favorite news source:


Man, try to top that one.
Anyway, this is getting repetitive.  Let's just move on to a few other choice tidbits from the wingnuts:

Alan Keyes, Renew America:  "Greater than Lincoln or Washington?  Alan Keyes says Trump UN speech akin to Babe Ruth's historic home run"

No comment that I could ever make could capture the sheer deranged lunacy of that remark.  And, by the way, not just Lincoln or Washington:

"Like David, the president of the United States enacted his gesture of defiance."

King David.  Trump is as great as King David.  Oh well...

Rick Moran, American Thinker:  "Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the dumbest politician in America?"

Forgot all about Louie Gohmert, Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin, have you, Rick?  Oh, and that guy your party (and Putin) put in the White House.  In fact, the last two guys you put in the White House.

Capt. Dave Bertrand, ret, Before it's News:  "Civil War Alert: Once Kavanaugh Is Confirmed, All the "Stops" Will Be Removed By President Trump and His Military Support Team...ANTIFA is organizing violence against Conservatives at all levels nationwide...Twitter is complacent and helping the Communists by allowing hate content to proceed while shutting down all Conservative voices and comments...

Once Kavanaugh is confirmed, all the “stops” will be removed by President Trump and his military support team and those inside the Pentagon to assure a fair and legal midterm election while the 51,000 plus sealed indictments hang over the heads of the Communists now panicking like never before...If Patriots are successful, violence will turn into Civil War."

This vital information brought to you by Capt. Bertrand, not at all a crazy person, who also has this to say:

"Civil War Alert: Leftists Openly Plot Mass Executions of Conservatives as Democrats Release Home Addresses of Republican Senators"

And enough paranoia for one day, huh?  Well, how about one more:

Before it's News:  "The Incredible Kanye West Clone Setup, Explained!!  Kanye West Was Too Human For The Music Industry And He Ended His Life, That Night On The Stage To Bring You Truth, To Be Replaced With A Clone!!"

Yes, Kanye West is a clone.  And here is the evidence:

"Kanye West never used to smile… now he smiles all the time."

Well, I guess that proves that.

Now, let me close with this.  I have noticed the last year or so that the really crazy right wing garbage seems to have almost entirely migrated to videos.  My suspicion is that a majority of right wingers just can't read very well, and since they are far less interested in facts than in having their emotions twanged, videos are a far better medium to reach them.  There are tens of thousands of examples of this deplorable junk on line.  I thought you might like to try a couple of minutes of an example.  This one was picked pretty much at random; there's lots worse if you look.

Another Case Where Kavanaugh Would Have to Recuse Himself

A headline in the Washington Post today:

"Supreme Court contemplates whether man who cannot remember crime may be executed"

Or whether they should just take him out of prison and give him the appeals court judgeship that Kavanaugh formerly held.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Another Presidential Standard Crushed

Another simple rule of human decency trampled under the feet of Donald Trump.

Here's an episode in Presidential history that many of you may not remember.

From a 1970 story in the New York Times:

"Nixon Calls Manson Guilty, Later Withdraws Remark...
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 (1970)— President Nixon asserted today that Charles Manson, a hippie cultist now on trial in California, “was guilty, directly or indirectly, of eight murders without reason.”
But, faced with criticism that he had prejudged the outcome of the Manson trial, Mr. Nixon, issued a statement on his arrival here tonight saying that “the last thing I would do is prejudice the legal ‘rights of any person, in any circumstances.”
This remark caused a furor around the country, and very nearly resulted in a mistrial in the Manson case.  To Nixon's credit, he realized before the day was out that he had made a big mistake, and seemingly sincerely apologized for what he said.

This case set a standard that has been uniformly followed since that time: that given his position, no President ever comments on matters like this.  It has been a universal standard, followed by Democrats and Republicans alike, and would seem to be particularly inviolable in cases involving the President himself.  That is, it has been universal, until today:

Trump's remarks let his audience of subhuman scum to start cheering and chanting "lock her up," about a woman who is guilty of nothing.

Once again, Donald Trump has found a new way to degrade himself, the Presidency and the entire country.  And the Republican base loves it.  They love the hatred, the violence, the willingness to do anything, no matter how abominable, to get his way.  It's the way these nauseating people will act themselves if anyone is stupid enough to give them power.  We never have faced up to just how many loathsome, hateful people there are, particularly among white citizens in this country.  And it may have already sown the seeds of our destruction.

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Last Straw?

Or just one more poison pill that the Republicans are happy to force down our throats?

From Daily Kos, reporting on a story at NBC News:

"NBC News: Kavanaugh contacted witnesses prior to publication of Ramirez assault claims...NBC News reports that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was apparently in personal contact with potential witnesses he believed would cast doubt on the allegations that he exposed himself to a female student during a drunken Yale party.
It would seem to be a very odd move for a Supreme Court nominee to be personally involved in speaking to witnesses in a preemptive attempt to discredit testimony against him"

Let's just be clear about this.  It is not "a very odd move." It is witness tampering.  It is subornation of perjury, a major felony.   And is there a person on earth, even one as big a liar as Lindsey Graham, or Trump himself, that would claim that this Yale law school graduate, this man who has been a judge for over a decade, does not know that?  Is there anyone in the country that thinks it was okay for this degraded specimen of humanity to contact potential witnesses and pressure them about their testimony?

And just to add to this sordid incident, it appears that Kavanaugh made these contacts before the publication of the Ramirez story in the New Yorker, contrary to Kavanaugh's claim that he never heard about Ramirez' claims before the story was published, which would amount to one more count of perjury.

No one expected Trump to be fair or civic minded in his selection of a Supreme Court Justice.  But isn't this a step too far even for Senate Republicans, appointing a Justice that breaks the most fundamental judicial laws right in their faces, and feels perfectly entitled to do so?

Wait, how foolish of me.  Republicans will do anything, no matter how petty, no matter how criminal, if it advances the interests of the rich sociopaths that keep them as slaves.  And they will do it while screaming out in self-righteous anger about what a dirty trick it is for Democrats to try to keep a monster like this off of the Supreme Court.

Just for Reference, in case you are wondering:

U.S. Code › Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 73 › § 1512

(b) Whoever knowingly...corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to—
(1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding;
(2) cause or induce any person to—
(A) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding...shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

(e) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, it is an affirmative defense, as to which the defendant has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence, that the conduct consisted solely of lawful conduct and that the defendant’s sole intention was to encourage, induce, or cause the other person to testify truthfully.

(g) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, no state of mind need be proved with respect to the circumstance—

(1) that the official proceeding before a judge, court, magistrate judge, grand jury, or government agency is before a judge or court of the United States, a United States magistrate judge, a bankruptcy judge, a Federal grand jury, or a Federal Government agency

(Bolding by me.)  Note:  the law against subornation of perjury applies to all "official proceedings "
in front of any "government agency," which would presumably include the United States Senate.  Also note that the burden of the proof in a case like this is on the defendant.