Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A New Republican Depression?

For the first time, I am going to repost something I wrote a couple of years ago.  I hope some people will have the patience to read it, as it is by far the most important thing I have ever written.  It is going to consist largely of quotations, as I wouldn't expect anyone to take my word for what I am going to say. The quotations below are from Arthur Schlesinger's The Crisis of the Old Order, which I heartily recommend, in conjunction with John Kenneth Galbraith's short book, The Great Crash, which lays out a similar scenario.  As you read this, I beg you to think about what has gone on in this country since the days of Reagan.

I will begin with a comment by Schlesinger about Andrew Mellon, Coolidge's Secretary of the Treasury, and one of the richest men in America at the time:

 "The government is just a business," said Mellon, "and can and should be run on business principles."  The first necessity, accordingly, was to balance the budget, and the second to pay off the debt.  But Mellon's greater interest, it soon developed, was somewhat inconsistently in the reduction of tax rates, especially in the highest brackets...Mellon, ever tenacious, kept chipping away each year at rates in the upper brackets."

In fact, during the 1920's Republican administrations managed to cut the top tax bracket by 75 percent, at the same time endlessly whining about the budget deficit and the national debt.

"Mr. Mellon Homself," as George W. Norris of Nebraska observed of the Mellon bill of 1925, "gets a larger personal reduction than the aggregate of practially all the taxpayers in the state of Nebraska."

And what was the consequence of this largesse to the richest among us?  An increase in business development?  More jobs created by benevolent tycoons with their gigantic profits?

"...the Mellon penchant for tax reduction served to make more money available for speculation.  "A decrease of taxes," as Mellon said, "causes an inspiration to trade and commerce."   With this he injected a few more billion dollars into a boom which hardly needed to be further inspired."

And, of course, what would be the fun of a massive giveaway to the rich, without a gutting of the Federal regulatory structure?

"President Coolidge was prepared further to attest his trust in business leadership by weakening the instrumentalities through which past national governments had sought to regulate business.  The regulatory commissions, inherited from more suspicious days, were quickly infused with the new spirit of unity.  To the Tariff Commission, for example, were sent men who acted almost as open representatives of protected industries.  When the Commission's minority...began to object...Coolidge upbraided them for raising prudish scruples."

Schlesinger has this to say about W. T. Humphrey, appointed by Coolidge to the Federal Trade Commission: 

" longer, he said, would the Commission serve as a "publicity bureau to spread socialistic propaganda.  Where the FTC had been set up to discourage monopoly, it now espoused the cause of the self regulation of business..."

Overt forms of concentration thrived...Holding companies moved into the utility and transportation fields, chain stores into retail distribution; in all areas big firms swallowed small firms and merged wth other big ones.  By 1930, the two hundred largest nonbanking corporations controlled half the total corporate wealth of the country."

An attitude exactly the same as that preached with such fervor by Republicans since Reagan, and one which produced the identical result.

"The output per man-hour rose about 40 percent during the decade.  The central economic challenge was to distribute the gains of productivity in a manner that would maintain employment and prosperity.

By the rules of orthodox economics, the reduction in production costs should have brought about either a reduction in prices or a rise in wages, or both...Denied outlet in lower prices because of accumulating rigidities, the gains of technological efficiency were equally denied outlet in higher wages...because of the bargaining feebleness of the labor movement...As a result these gains were captured by the businessmen themselves in the form of profits.  Through the decade, profits rose 80 percent as a whole, or twice as much as productivity; the profits of financial institutions rose a fantastic 150 percent.

The increase in profits naturally pushed up the prices of corporate securities...As the twenties proceeded, the stock market sucked off an increasing share of the undistributed gains of industrial efficiency...the diversion of the gains of efficiency into profits was bound to result in a falling off of the capacity of the people as a whole to buy."

An exact parallel to the last few years.  I find it so painful to read things like this and realize how absolutely clear it was to anyone who cared, anyone with the most shallow knowledge of the economics of the great depression, what the result of Reaganomics and of Bush corruption were inevitably going to be.

"The Mellon tax policy, placing its emphasis on relief for millionaires rather than for consumers, made the maldistibution of income and oversaving even worse. By 1929, the 2.3 percent of the population with incomes over $10,000 were responsible for two thirds of the 15 billion dollars in savings."

And now, to me, the worst of all:

"Yet Wall Street and Washington had few qualms...The torrent of excess money pouring into the market, swept stock prices ever upward.  And the leaders of the business community, now heedless of caution in their passion for gain, promoted new investment trusts, devised new holding companies and manipulated new pools, always with the aim of floating new securities for the apparently insatiable market...

In time it would appear that even the leaders of business could not decipher the intricate financial structures they were erecting.   But for the moment everyone understood that here was an endless source of money and power, a roulette wheel at which no one lost...

Government officials meanwhile watched the speculative boom with affable approval."

Yes, at every step of the way, the Republicans of the Reagan and Bush administrations deliberately recreated the exact conditions which caused the economy to spiral out of control and crash in 1929.  And now, they are preaching the same doctrine of tax cuts and balanced budgets practiced by Hoover between 1929 and Roosevelt's inauguration in 1933, which allowed the economy to continue to continue its downward plunge.  And there can be no claim that anyone was unaware of this. Immediately on Roosevelt's election, Democratic, Keynsian  policies started the recovery:

The facts of the Republican mishandling of the country in service to the rich, which caused the Great Depression, were clearly known to anyone with a basic knowledge of our country's economic history.  Yet Reagan and Bush, Gingrich, Armey, Delay, McConnell, Boehner and a hundred more Republican servants of the wealthy drove the economy over the same cliff again.

This is not mismanagement.  It constitutes the most massive deliberate crime ever committed against the American people, for which we will pay for decades; and it at the same time constitutes the worst subversion and betrayal of our country that we have ever seen.

And yet, being rich, they seem to be walking away scot free.


Ron Paul today.  Paul and Michelle Bachmann are scheduled to appear in a Republican "debate" at the same time that Obama is delivering a speech to a joint session of Congress about the economy:

"Our campaign, however, thinks it is undignified that the President of the United States would resort to such transparent tactics to step on our Republican debate. The real losers here are the American People who deserve the opportunity to hear from both the President and the GOP contenders."

Well, there you have, in a nutshell, the whole thrust of Republican ideology today.  Whatever serves the interests of their party is far more important than the welfare of the country.  And I'm not joking about this.  Could you imagine the uproar they would create if Democrats had dared to have a campaign event at the same time that Bush or Reagan were addressing Congress?  But no, another chance to hear Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry spin their lies and their hatred is far more important than addressing the economic problems facing the country.

But Wait-There's More!  Boehner and DeMint also threw a tantrum at the idea that Obama wanted to address the jobs issue the day that Congress came back to work.

And guess what that worthless, spineless dumb ass President did?  He gave in to them!  He agreed with them, that one more in the endless series of Republican "debates," in which nothing ever happens except for a dozen or so jackasses trying to top each other in abusing him personally, was more important than the President and Congress dealing with the economy.

Why the hell should any of us bother with trying to change things, when this is what all of our work gets us- a lame, lying worm without a shred of conviction about anything, endlessly giving in to the forces that he knows perfectly well are destroying the country, because it's just too much work to stand up for the American people.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Whoops...Sarah Misses the Boat

Some comments at Talking Points Memo today reinforce something that I have been thinking for the last few weeks:

"Polls show relatively few Republicans clamoring for a Palin run on a national level as the one-time supernova is eclipsed by a crowded presidential contest and an array of new rising stars...

It feels as if Palin's fabled 2012 run, a source of fervent speculation since before the 2008 contest even ended, has already gone out with a whimper. "

Here's my suspicion:  Politicians have a certain amount of shelf life, earned or otherwise.  Otherwise, no one would have ever heard of Newt Gingrich since the last century.  But Sarah Palin chose, for her own economic benefit, to package herself as a celebrity more than a politician; and celebrities come and go in the blink of an eye.  Sarah Palin is now suffering the fate of a thousand ex-TV stars- she's yesterday's news.  People are bored with her.  She hid away for so long waiting for the other lunatics who make up the Republican field to self-destruct, that the low-information voters who make up her base have moved on.

Too bad, Sarah. I doubt you are going to be seeing many more $12 million dollar years, let alone moving into the White House any time soon.   It was fun while it lasted, I guess.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A note on the current, predictable, Republican tantrum, from Daily Kos:

"You knew this was coming.

Despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene this weekend, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) today stood by his call that no more money be allocated for disaster relief unless it is offset by spending cuts elsewhere.[...]

Meanwhile, FEMA is having to divert funding that was earmarked to "rebuild roads, schools and other structures destroyed during spring tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., and Southern states" to pay for hurricane relief."

And hooray for FEMA.  If the voters in Southern States continue to elect these corrupt jackasses, let them be the ones to do without disaster relief.  Let them pay, as far as is possible, for having voted based on their greed and hatred, and based on which politician promises to cut their taxes the most, and let us all stand by and see where it gets them.

This is exactly why I believe we should let these ignorant, malicious fools go.  Let them have their own country.  Let them lose the funding from blue States that keeps them afloat.  Let them pay for their own defense, their own roads, their own education; let them elect whatever mendacious, corrupt clown panders the most to their ignorance and their overwhelming desire to pay nothing to maintain this country; and we can wait twenty or thirty years and see what kind of a rotten, bankrupt, evil society they end up living in.  That will be a treat.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Which Will They Blame Him For?

Not much in the news the last few days.  Man, I wonder if someone somewhere will add up the number of minutes of news coverage that Bush and Cheney's failed war in Iraq got compared to how much Obama's success in Libya warranted.  Anyway, what I have been wondering about is which way the Republicans will try to blame Obama for something having to do with Irene, the hurricane moving up the East coast.

At first, I thought that their take on the whole thing would be to find that Obama totally over-reacted to the hurricane, playing into their narrative that Democrats don't do anything except spend money and expand government intervention.  But then I got to thinking about Bush and Katrina, and it occurred to me that they might need to pretend that Obama grossly under-reacted to Irene, since they love to pretend that Obama shares Bush's monstrous inadequacies, hoping to get people to forget what an abominable job Republicans did on everything when they were in charge.

Probably, they will try to do both.  We'll see.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Right Replies

With its typical fair-minded, dispassionate analysis.

You may remember the Astute Bloggers post I wrote about in Wingnut Wrapup, which used some story about neanderthals as an excuse to print this photograph:

Listen, I know, I know, these people are without conscience and it is useless to communicate with them, but I was so repulsed by this that I had to respond.  Here is my comment, posted at the website of these evil people, and their reply:
Blogger Green Eagle said...
"This is one of the most disgusting, degraded pieces of racist trash that I have ever seen. I don't know who you are, but you should be deeply ashamed of yourself. Sad to say, you have so given yourself over to the lowest of human emotions that I know it will never happen. You are one contemptible specimen of life."
 Reliapundit said...

No, you were just making a point concerning recent advances in physical anthropology, and have simply illustrated it with an unretouched photo showing Michelle Obama's striking resemblance to an ape, which any fair-minded person could see, and which has nothing to do with race, oh no.  It's just one of those things that calls attention to itself, right?


Sure you did.  You probably had Jimi Hendrix's baby, too.


Boy, haven't we heard that one before.  I wonder if you have a lot of pictures of them that you have Photoshopped to make them look like apes.  Of course, that wouldn't be racism, oh no!  


So did the sons of plantation owners in the South.  If you take a loose definition of the word "dated." 


Yeah, I bet you do.  Photos and paintings just like the one above, which you felt had so much artistic merit that you had to share it with the world.  


You could play the lead from the twenty minute live version of Five Long Years note for note and it wouldn't change the hatred that pours from you.   


You don't have an honest cell in your body.  I cannot understand why you spread this disgusting stuff in public and then deny what it obviously is- the most vile form of racist trash.  Why are you so ashamed of your racism?  You proudly print things like this almost every day.  You should wear your intellectual efforts as a badge of honor. 



Well, thanks for summing up your position on a level consistent with your other comments.  By the way, I don't suppose you are aware of it, but the compulsive use of capitals is generally taken to be a sign of mental derangement.  Not that we'd need that to figure out that you are in deep need of psychological help. And I don't mean that as a cheap shot.  If none of your acquaintances are willing to tell you this, I will.  You need help badly, buddy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Show Tunes

From Talking Points Memo:

"You probably won't be surprised to hear that Glenn Beck welled-up during his "Restoring Courage" rally in Israel. You might be surprised to hear that there were show tunes."

Not if you read Green Eagle.

The Evil Called Centrism

Joe Lieberman style.  Here's Joe last February:

"Sen. Joe Lieberman, the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, agreed on “State of the Union” that the United States should have come out early with a stronger response. “I wish we had spoken out much more clearly and early against the Gadhafi regime,” the Connecticut Independent said. "

And here is Joe from 2009, after a very cordial visit he and John McCain had with Gaddafi:

"We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi," remarked Senator Lieberman. He stated that the situation demonstrated that change is possible and expressed appreciation that Libya had kept its promises to give up its WMD program and renounce terrorism...Lieberman called Libya an important ally in the war on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends."

And yet we will all go to our graves hearing over and over again from our noble pundits how self-serving, amoral jerks like Lieberman and McCain are the adults who must be allowed to run the country.  There is no middle in the United States any more.  There cannot ever be a "middle ground" between reality and the malignant, racist, greed maddened fantasy which is Republican doctrine today.  That supposed center is solely occupied by a few narcissistic goons like Lieberman and McCain, who care not one damned about the welfare of this country, and the members of the mainstream press who spend their lives trying to fool us into thinking that these people are men of principle.

The Stupidity

Of the people that we turn our future over to...Here's a great article (via Atrios) about Alan Greenspan, who was allowed to run our economy for years, with predictable results, at least to anyone who really cared enough to open their eyes:

"Alan Greenspan Insists That He Knows Nothing About the Economy

That's what the Dow Jones effectively told readers today. The article reported that in response to a question at a conference:

"Greenspan also said he believes that the sharp rise in gold prices is due to market concerns about inflation taking off in the long run. He noted how there has never been such a major expansion of credit in U.S. economic history."

Well, actually credit expanded more rapidly than the 4.2 percent rate in 2010 in every single year that Greenspan chaired the Fed. In fact, it expanded more rapidly in every year in this series (going back to 1976) and probably every year since the Great Depression."

Well, is Greenspan an ignorant, stupid person too lazy to check his facts, or is he just a willing collaborator in the looting of our economy by the super-rich?  I'm not sure- there's plenty of evidence to support either interpretation, isn't there?  And as for stupidity, how about those presidents (That includes you, Bill) who decided it would be a good idea to put our fate in the hands of a slavish worshipper of Ayn Rand, a woman whose writings most people grow out of around the age of 17?  How could we not be in the sort of trouble we are today with guys like Alan Greenspan running things?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Two Ways to Leave Your Dictator


Ten years later:
Two trillion dollars wasted
five thousand dead American soldiers
Our country involved in two wars, where the possibility of winning has long vanished
One million "enemy" dead, the vast majority of them civilians
One country fractured, and now controlled by a variety of rerligious fanatics, the other one run by our hand-picked, 100% corrupt ex-oil executive


Six months later:
Cost: negligible
No dead Americans
We're out of there and the people can get on with their lives
Country about to be liberated from 40 years of vicious dictatorship
A good shot for a decent (by regional standards) government in the future

Well there you go.  And this certainly does show why the public has so much trouble figuring out which party is better at running the country, right?

Wingnut Wrapup

I've been out of town for a few days.  Like termites, the wingnuts didn't have the decency to take the day off, so time to start clearing the backlog of idiocy:

Katie Pavlich, Town Hall:  "Obama is Ruining My Vacation...President Obama is feeling the love in Martha's Vineyard, but not like he used to. O'Reilly Factor producer Jesse Watters took a stroll around the 'posh' island to see how people really feel about Obama vacationing there. One woman goes as far as saying he is ruining her vacation..."

Katie Pavlich of Fox News managed to find one person on Martha's Vineyard that didn't like Obama being on vacation.  That will surely provide material for a hundred or so web posts.  Katie, you know whose vacation Obama really ruined?  Moammar Gaddafi's.  Why don't you go ask Gaddafi how he feels about it today?

John Hawkins, Town Hall:  "7 Reasons Why Liberals Are Incapable of Understanding The World"

Well, I couldn't be bothered to read this article, but let me guess:  they just don't know how to properly remove an Arab dictator.  It doesn't count unless there's lots more killing, and lots more profit for multinational corporations. 

And now, Even If You Do What We Demand, It's a Failure:

Debra J. Saunders, Town Hall:  "President Barack Obama is in a pickle. Immigration enforcement actually is working...Under the Obama administration, the government has removed almost 400,000 illegal immigrants annually. That's 4 percent of the 10 million illegal immigrants estimated to be living in America -- and it sends a warning to those thinking of illegally entering the United States.

So what did the White House announce last week? On Thursday, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Munoz blogged that the Department of Homeland Security will review its entire deportation caseload -- that's 300,000 cases -- to "clear out low-priority" cases and "make more room to deport people who have been convicted of crimes or pose a security risk."

Yes, Obama has actually strongly cut illegal immigration, something Republicans have screamed about for years but never did.  But because he is having people concentrate at the same time on cases that pose a national security risk (something else the Repubicans can't quit screaming about) his success is actually a gigantic failure.  Got that logic?  No?  Here's a little more help understanding this point of view:

Newsmax:  "Republicans are attacking President Barack Obama for acting like a "king that is above the law" in deciding to pick and choose which illegal aliens to deport."

In other news. "Republicans Attack Police Chief for Spending More Resources Catching Murderers than Jaywalkers"  Really, this country is mentally ill.

Rich Galen, Town Hall:  "No one in the Obama Administration was hanging a "Mission Accomplished" sign in front of the White House yesterday"

Rich, how can I break this to you gently?  Mission Accomplished signs are sort of a Republican thing.

Eleanor Vaughan, Town Hall:  "Time to Privatize Nuclear Waste Management...Americans know their nation is facing many disquieting problems: high unemployment, a government debt spiraling out of control, and a recently downgraded credit rating, to name but a few."

And the perfect answer to all of that:  Turning an almost intractable technical problem over to the same people that brought us the financial collapse of 2008, and our current for-profit medical system.  That'll work.  And by the way, kudos to the Republicans for once again coming up with a totally original solution to one of our nation's problems:  letting corporations take the opportunity to make some money pretending to deal with things.  Guys, you are always thinking about what is best for the country.

Craig Steiner, Town Hall:  "The Clinton Surplus Myth"

Yes, even though budget records show a $238 billion dollar surplus at the end of Clinton's term, it NEVER REALLY HAPPENED!!!!!!!!   LA LA LA LA LA, MY FINGERS ARE IN MY EARS AND I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!!!  AND OBAMA DIDN'T GET BIN LADEN EITHER, AND ROOSEVELT CAUSED THE DEPRESSION AND BLOW JOB BLOW JOB BLOW JOB!!!!!  There, ready to give in now?

And let's turn to a nice example of the conservatives' constant attempt to blame everything wrong with Bush on Obama:

Bob Owens, Confederate Yankee:  "Vacation + Presidency = Vacancy...Like OJ chasing the "real killers" of his wife and Ron Goldman across the golf courses and country clubs of America, Barack Obama is chasing economic recovery from one vacation hotspot to another as the economy falters."

Bush, of course, spent a third of his presidency on "vacation;" a term which translates to the time his body and not just his brain was AWOL*, most of it at his phony "ranch," pretending to be a cowboy while staying as far away from those scary horses as he could.  People all over the wingnut blogosphere are attacking Obama today for taking a vacation at the same time that he witnesses the fruition of his efforts to eliminate one of the world's worst dictators.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Earthquake Rattles Washington DC – Obama Goes Biking"

And what, exactly, was he supposed to do, Jim?  As far as I can tell, the earthquake caused no injuries and no reported damage.   Maybe he needs to hold a national day of prayer and fasting or something, to beg God for forgiveness and troll for campaign contributions.  That's what , say, Rick Perry or Sarah Palin would do.  It doesn't show leadership when you let an opportunity go to waste.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Catholic Leaders Upset With New Obamacare Mandate That Forces Religious Groups to Violate Church Tenets"

Like what tenets?  Maybe Obamacare would make it illegal for priests to rape children?  Man, it makes me sick to hear Catholic "leaders" talk about "violating Church tenets."  It's no wonder that religion and hypocrisy are so inseparable in popular opinion.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Jon Voight Slams Palestinian Terror"

I just can't find words to explain how little I care about what Jon Voight thinks about anything.  On we go.

Newsmax:  "Many Republicans oppose the healthcare law passed last year. And for presidential candidate Herman Cain, a cancer survivor, it’s personal. "If Obamacare had been fully implemented when I caught cancer, I'd be dead," the businessman said at a campaign event Thursday in Lexington, S.C., reports The Hill.  “I was able to go to the doctors I wanted to as fast as they could do the tests."

Because under Obamacare, Herman Cain would be forbidden to pay for his own doctor.  Oh he wouldn't- he's just a big fat liar.  How unexpected.

World Net Daily:  "MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. – At the request of tea-party leaders in Arizona, famed Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has agreed to examine evidence challenging the validity of Barack Obama's purported long-form birth certificate in a determination of the president's eligibility for the 2012 election ballot."

Well, how nice.  We always turn constitutional issues over to some county sheriff to decide, right?  I'm sure Joe's opinion will carry a lot of weight.

World Net Daily:  "Secret U.S. experiments to prompt 2nd Coming?"

No.  God, how can anyone listen to these lunatics about anything?

Rick Moran, American Thinker:  "Have we fallen for rebel propaganda in Libya?  This fight is not over yet and the premature celebrations by Democrats and the left may come back to haunt them if the war drags on."

Well, you right wingers can keep on hoping, huh?  Nothing like the possible resurgence of a dictator to make you feel all happy inside.

Lloyd Marcus, American Thinker:  "Are the Black Flash Mob Attacks on Whites Obama's Fault?"

Of course they are.  Everything is.  Particularly any black person who commits a crime anywhere.  That's definitely Obama's fault.


Hallelujah, the promised land is here at last!  It just stuns me that anyone on earth can see this as a bad thing.

And let's finish off with the hands-down winner of the most disgusting blog post of the day:

Astute Bloggers:  "Homo sapiens interbred with Neanderthals...Neanderthals mated with early humans, according to research.   Interbreeding between the two species between 65,000 and 90,000 years ago... It was established last year that a small part of the human genome can be traced back to Neanderthals.

Here's a descendent of this inter-breeding who herself also mated with a half-breed:

And these assholes whine like a bunch of babies every time anyone says anything about them.  I hope people who see this understand the true depravity of the forces we are up against.  I do not believe any of us would have believed, a few years ago, that things like this would be considered acceptable to a large segment of the country.  We are on a road to hell, and it will be a miracle if we can turn things around at this point.   

And just to add insult to injury, don't you just love the part about referring to the President of the United States a "half-breed?"

But, of course, don't you dare call things like this racism.  That would make YOU the racist.

The Germans had the sense never to vote Hitler into office.  I guess even that pathetic degree of rationality is beyond the United States today.

*As we know, one thing Bush really was an expert on was going AWOL.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More on the Texas "Miracle"

Two wonderful charts from Jared Bernstein from his blog On the Economy:

Yes indeed, as you can see, Texas' miraculous job growth under Perry has been almost entirely attributable to more government jobs, and Texas leads the nation by far in the category of government job growth, accounting all by itself for almost half of all new government jobs in the last few years.

There you go- a Republican talking secession out of one side of his mouth, and out of the other, taking credit for the results of the very sort of Democratic policy that he savages every chance he gets.  And yet he is taken by our political class to be a legitimate candidate to run the country. We all know that's how Rick Perry, or whatever other corrupt lunatic the Republicans choose will be treated by the press.

Think what a wonderful place this would be to live in if our mainstream media had not conspired to hide from the American voters the abysmal deficiencies of George W. Bush.  And he started with an economy in good shape, thanks to eight years of a Democratic president.  Rick Perry would in all likelihood leave us with something worse than the great depression, because our manufacturing base has been so hollowed out that it is hard to imagine how we will recover from the inevitable disaster of another four years in Republican hands.

But it's all okay.  Rick Perry or Newt Gingrich or Michelle Bachmann would be so much better than Obama.  Just listen over the next year and a quarter as the press tells us that story over and over again.

Republicans, The Washington Post Has Got Your Back...

Today's example, from Jennifer Rubin, who makes the following sage comment about current Republican fave, Rick Perry, i.e. George W. Bush without the manners:

"A Republican insider on Capitol Hill (no Bush affiliation and no preference for any campaign) disgustedly told me, “The guy who threatened secession is now calling someone else treasonous? Hello, pot, it’s me, kettle.” (The reference was to Perry’s remark, which some took to be humorous, about Texas’s willingness to secede...)"

I am sure that you remember this incident as well as I do.  There was absolutely nothing humorous about what this seditious ass had to say.  He was dead serious.   But, in preparation for a general election campaign, it is the duty of the mainstream media to argue away all of the sick right wing positions that Republican candidates have taken over their political careers, in order to present them to the rubes as moderate centrists.  Thus, the distortion ends and the outright lying begins, and the United States takes another step toward oblivion.

The People Who Are Too Strong

For Barack Obama to take on, from a recent survey from the New York Times:

" data we have recently collected, the Tea Party ranks lower than any of the 23 other groups we asked about — lower than both Republicans and Democrats. It is even less popular than much maligned groups like “atheists” and “Muslims.” Interestingly, one group that approaches it in unpopularity is the Christian Right."

Yes, these people are less highly regarded in this country than Muslims or Atheists, but they are still the authentic voice of the American people, three years after their views brought us to the brink of disaster, and they must be obeyed.

On the other hand, as  this public comment from an Obama campaign aide shows, they know who the real enemy is:

"Paul Krugman is a political rookie. At least he is when compared to President Obama. That's why he unleashed a screed as soon as word came about the debt ceiling compromise between President Obama and Congressional...Joining the ideologue spheres' pure, fanatic, indomitable hysteria, Krugman declares the deal a disaster - both political and economic - of course providing no evidence for the latter, which I find curious for this Nobel winning economist. He rides the coattails of the simplistic argument that spending cuts - any spending cuts - are bad for a fragile economy, ignoring wholeheartedly his own previous cheerleading for cutting, say, defense spending.
He is either unwilling or unable to actually look at the deal that was announced and realize what just happened: Barack Obama ate John Boehner's lunch..."

Of course, there is one area where Paul Krugman is not a rookie:  in being right about the economy, which he has consistently been throughout his career as a commentator.  But no, by giving Boehner trillions in government cutbacks while getting absolutely nothing in return, Obama "ate John Boener's lunch." 

Obama didn't eat Boehner's lunch, he was Boehner's lunch. 

Let me make it clear, the argument that spending cuts are bad for a fragile economy is not any more simplistic than the argument that gravity makes things fall down instead of up.  It is simply true.  And as for Krugman's advocating defense cuts, it has long been established that money spent on the military is the least functional thing government can do to boost the economy.  Krugman's actual position- favoring more domestic spending, part of it financed by cutting useless military expenditures, is totally consistent. 

I suspect that the guy that wrote this and published it, surely with Obama administration approval, doesn't have a clue what he is talking about, and like any Republican operative is just spouting talking points.  But by now you can hardly discount the possibility that he is a willing liar, gladly furthering the process of Obama's joining with the Republicans and savaging his base, which somehow Obama thinks is going to win him national support in 2012.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Michelle Bachmann Makes A Fool of Herself Again

Remember Michelle Bachmann confusing John Wayne and John Wayne Gacy?  Well, she's at it again:

"Michele Bachmann gave Elvis Presley, whose songs she uses at her events, happy birthday wishes today while she was in Spartanburg, S.C.

Unfortunately, today's the 34th anniversary of the day he died."

Your Republican party today- their two frontrunners are a secession-touting religious maniac and a woman who is demonstrably both insane and ignorant.

A Note on the "Texas Miracle"

Now that Rick Perry, the lunatic traitor who is the governor of Texas, is surging in the hearts and minds of the greed-maddened suckers who make up the Republican base, we are going to hear more and more about another created-by-Republicans, spread-by-the-press myth that Texas, under Perry's guidance, has done far better than the rest of the country in these troubled times.

As much as I hate wasting my time having to do this, I know the need is there to rebut this lie.  Here's a nice little chart from Texas Watch, containing a little of the truth of life for ordinary people in Texas:

The rest of the article is well worth a read, given the disinformation that we are going to be forced to hear about this miserable State in the next year or so.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Religion and Teh Gay

Let me start off by stating that I am neither religious nor gay, so by contemporary journalistic standards that makes me fully qualified to shoot my mouth off on this subject, which I am about to do.  So there.

I hardly suppose I am alone in noting the fact that Conservatives, who feel free to ignore just about everything Jesus had to say about the poor, strangers, the sick, etc. feel fully justified in falling into a self-righteous fit of Christian indignation over two subjects that Jesus never felt called upon to mention- gays and abortion.  Here's my guess as to why that is.

A salient factor of religion that I rarely hear mentioned is its role in making a virtue out of necessity.  The great example of this, to my mind, is Lent.  In the winter in Europe food was scarce, so the Church created this custom to give a veneer of virtue to what otherwise would have been a time of deprivation and want.  Even Christmas, and the pagan customs that preceded it, can be seen as primarily functioning as a way for people to get through the darkest and most depressing time of the year without collapsing into mass depression.

Before the industrial revolution, the survival of a group was very much connected to its ability to reproduce.  The more children a culture produced, the more likely it was to continue to exist.  As a result, religion became a tool to force behavior that maximized reproduction.  In many cultures that meant grafting onto religion strictures against abortion and homosexuality, which reduced population growth.  These new rules were adhered to (as we still see today) far more strictly than many of religion's basic tenets of charity, peace, etc. because in the end, people understood that a large population enhanced a group's likelihood of survival while, unfortunately, caring for the poor, etc. didn't.  So, religion was quickly warped to suit people's self interest and their fear for their own survival.

Of course, this is no longer true.  Since the industrialization of agriculture in the nineteenth century, the population problem facing the world is that of too many people, not too few.

Unfortunately, if there is a single characteristic that all religious hierarchies seem to share, it is resistance to change. What we see happening today is the world's major religions, out of sheer inertia and self-righteousness, defending positions which no longer insure survival.  Popular opinion, on the other hand, has moved far past religious doctrine, so that now both gays and abortion are widely accepted.  This is not, as religious people would have us believe, because the world has descended into mass decadence and immorality; it is because most people have accepted what the religious refuse to see:  Abortion and homosexuality, once serious threats to survival, now actually enhance cultures' chances of continuing to thrive.

Unfortunately, another function of religions is to give their adherents a built-in sense of superiority to everyone else, so there is every prospect that the religious are going to do everything they can to leave us stuck hundreds of years in the past, but in the end, the battle is already over.  A couple of centuries from now, people will look back on the convictions of the religious right in much the same way that we today look back on the Spanish Inquisition or Aztec mass sacrifice- as bizarre and stupid aberrations.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

False Equivalency Redux

From NBC:

"Chuck Todd: Perry-Obama would be a picture of sharp contrasts. 

David Gregory: You know, Perry talked about potentially seceding from the union. You think that's extreme. Well people on the other side think that introducing health care reform for the whole country is akin to European Socialism."

Yes, from an honored member of our mainstream press:  Liberals advocating health care reform is exactly the same degree of crazy as Conservatives calling for secession from the United States.

Boy, is 2012 going to be a painful year.  And by November of next year, how many ignorant, moronic voters will be convinced by this sort of thing that it's okay to let a pack of terminally corrupt lunatics run the country?

Stay tuned.  The revulsion will be televised.

Big Ideas, White House Style

Or, a Primer in How to Lose an Election.  As Atrios says, we're doomed.  From the New York Times:

"Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe, and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, want him to maintain a pragmatic strategy of appealing to independent voters by advocating ideas that can pass Congress, even if they may not have much economic impact...

But others, including Gene Sperling, Mr. Obama’s chief economic adviser, say public anger over the debt ceiling debate has weakened Republicans and created an opening for bigger ideas like tax incentives for businesses that hire more workers..."

God in heaven above, when did Barack Obama allow the country to degenerate to the point where cutting taxes on corporations has become a Democratic "big idea?"  What's next, banning abortion and putting gay people in prison?  Doing away with Social Security?  What the hell is the matter with this man, and what is it going to cost us to go along with the endless sellout that is the Obama presidency?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Some Amusing Wingnut Lunacy

I suppose everyone wonders about what the future holds, once in a while.  Here's a little musing on the subject from the Astute Bloggers, from a couple of days ago after the first Wall Street bad day this week.  I thought you would find it interesting:


Dow 9000?  Didn't happen, guys.  It takes a Republican to do that.


No government involvement, no 10-15% crash, no halt to trading like under Bush, even though you seem to be salivating at the prospect.


Didn't happen.


That didn't happen either, guys.





Sadly, no.   And I mean that.  How about replacing that tool Geithner with Paul Krugman?


Didn't happen.


Maybe on some other planet.


Nope- the last I heard, they were all still there. insulting American patriots everywhere by living happy lives under socialism.  How dare they?


No sign of that.


Huh? Where did that lunacy come from?  What would that possibly accomplish, and what does the State Department have to do with Wall Street anyway?  And what have you been smoking?  I think you need to stop doing stuff you cook up in your own kitchen.  Really.


You only wish.


Hey, you finally got one right, and it happened without all of the disaster that you are so wistfully dreaming of.  The United States turned out to not be the weak, pathetic shell of a country you wish it was.  It didn't conveniently collapse in the face of a couple of bad days at the Wall Street race track.  How surprising.  And disappointing for all of you teabaggers who have been rooting so hard for a total collapse of the American economy.

You see, even the 7400 point crash of the Dow under Bush didn't destroy the country or cause jackasses all over the place to call for Bush's removal.   I guess the 900 point drop in the Dow since August 1 won't leave the United States a miserable wreck either, although that is exactly what you guys would love to see.  I started observing a few years ago that conservatives really lacked only one thing that the Great Conservative (back there in Germany) had going for himself- a real depression (that one also caused by American Conservatives, as you may remember) to panic people into buying into his malignant vision.  I guess we've reached the point that you guys on the right are openly rooting for such a disaster, as a more acceptable alternative to letting the Democrats govern in peace and prosperity.

Nice patriotism there, Republicans.

More False Equivalence from the Mainstream Press

This time from Matt Bai in the New York Times.  This one was motivated by the idiotic, pandering Republican presidential candidates who, in a debate the other day, unanimously stated that they would not accept a deal that included $1 in additional revenues for every $10 in cuts.  Here's Matt's take:

" Bret Baier, asked the eight candidates on stage whether any of them would walk away from a “real spending cuts deal” that required one dollar in new tax revenue for every 10 dollars’ worth of reductions... Not a single candidate gave any hint that he or she would even entertain such a totally one-sided compromise.

Now, to be clear, I don’t believe most of them for a second on this, and neither should you...For anyone serious about governing, it’s a no-brainer.

...If this were merely a Republican phenomenon, the party would be alone in suffering the wrath of the average American voter. But it isn’t. You could have put a lot of Washington Democrats up on that stage, and asked them if they would have accepted $10 in new taxes or new stimulus in exchange for $1 in cuts to Social Security, and you probably would have gotten much the same response: hell, no. "

For anyone still puzzled about the truth of such claims, let me state the simple truth:

First of all, Matt, nice of you to claim that the Republicans were just lying about this.  That's comforting.  Unfortunately, given their recent behavior, there isn't a reason on earth to believe that the Republicans wouldn't continue their destructive conduct in exactly this manner.

More importantly is the inevitable claim, without a shred of evidence, that the Democrats are just as bad.  I must state that I happen to be a person that would not accept $1 in Social Security cuts to help balance the budget, no matter what.  Why is that?  Is it because I am an intransigent, corrupt ass like the Republicans?  No, it is because, as everyone knows, Social Security does not contribute one cent to the national debt, and to agree to such a deal would be simply to advance the Republican goal of destroying Social Security altogether.

Thus, principled action by Democrats, aimed at protecting the American people, becomes the equivalent of Republican attempts to thieve the money which workers have paid for decades, in order to bail out the rich from the consequences of their greed.  And let's not fool ourselves into thinking this is an accident.  That's what our bought-and-paid-for mainstream press exists for today- to diffuse any likelihood that the American people will come to understand what has happened to them.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Republicanization of Barack- The Next Installment

Brilliantly explained by Robert Reich:

"Americans are deeply confused about why the economy is so bad – and their President isn’t telling them. In fact, the White House apparently has decided to join with Republicans and blame it on the long-term budget deficit.

...Before I turn to the President, though, let’s be clear: The lousy economy is due to insufficient demand. Consumers – who are 70 percent of the economy — can’t and won’t buy because they’re running out of cash.

...rather than fight for a bold jobs plan, the White House has apparently decided it’s politically wiser to continue fighting about the deficit. The idea is to keep the public focused on the deficit drama – to convince them their current economic woes have something to do with it, decry Washington’s paralysis over fixing it, and then claim victory over whatever outcome emerges from the process recently negotiated to fix it. They hope all this will distract the public’s attention from the President’s failure to do anything about continuing high unemployment and economic anemia.

When I first heard this I didn’t want to believe it. But then I listened to the President’s statement yesterday in the midst of yesterday’s 634-point drop in the Dow.

At a time when the nation’s eyes were on him, seeking an answer to what was happening, he chose not to talk about the need for a bold jobs plan but to talk instead about the budget deficit – as if it were responsible for the terrible economy, including Wall Street’s plunge."

Let me be blunt:  Lying to the American people about the economy in order to justify government action which is of no earthly use except to the rich and the financial industry was, until a couple of years ago, an exclusive specialty of the Republicans.  Barack Obama- what a fast learner.

And When Obama Loses

He's going to come out and make such a nice, well-spoken concession speech, in which he'll express complete confidence that, now that Repubicans control the whole government again, they will rise to the occasion and act totally responsibly.

Just like Hindenburg in 1933.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tea Party Failure Again

I have been on something of a crusade the last couple of years to demonstrate the effective nonexistence of the Tea Party as anything but a fiction created with money from the likes of Dick Armey and the Koch Brothers.

Here's another example:

"Americans For Prosperity, the Tea Party astroturf group “founded and funded by infamous GOP rainmakers Charles and David Koch, rolled into Jacksonville Tuesday, and only roughly 15 people showed up” to their “Running on Empty” tour. Florida director Slade O’Brien told Politijax the turnout was “shocking.” AFP’s tour is trying to convince Floridians to support increased offshore drilling in the wake of the BP disaster."

Still, the Tea Party- I mean to say, the small number of very rich people who fund the illusion of its existence- controls much of our national discourse, and has now apparently succeeded in bringing the nation's economy to a dead halt, while Congress and the President fight endlessly over how much the poor and middle class need to give up in order to subsidize the rich.

Update:  I just read that the next stop on their tour, at Orlando, drew 30 people. Just thought you'd like to know.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Short Report on the Wisconsin Recall

Democrats picked up two of the six recall seats in Wisconsin.

This is after Republicans like the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove spent $40 million dollars in six State Senate campaigns,  which they were able to do thanks to five corrupt Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices.

This is not democracy, folks.  It is incipient dictatorship. 

Wingnut Wrapup

Writers on the right have been so hateful lately, that it's hard to take any pleasure in recording their disgusting maunderings, but here's a sample from the last week or so.

Unfortunately, I feel the need to start off today with a few of the sick wingnut reactions to the slaughter of over ninety people in Norway last week by a Christian fundamentalist right winger, whose writings indicated that he was heavily influenced by American right wing hate-bloggers.  Needless to say, this is a small sample:

Tim Dunkin, Renew America:  "the Left is really, ultimately, responsible for creating the conditions that led to Breivik's massacring of 69 children at Utoya Island and 8 government officials in Oslo. The Left is simply too efficient at what it does..."

I have written frequently about the absolute inability of conservatives to take any responsibility for their behavior.  I guess this is an all too typical example.

Monte Kugliowski, Renew America:   "Liberals have been waiting since 9/11 for a deranged killer they could call a "fundamentalist Christian terrorist."

The left wing press would have us believe that conservatism produces killers. And, for purposes of moral equivalence, the establishment press would have us believe that Breivik is a "fundamentalist Christian."

Yes, Monte, we have been waiting for a fundamentalist Christian terrorist.  Not in anticipation as you imply, but in fear.  Well, we're still waiting, because we know there are going to be more.  Thanks for helping the deranged among us to find a target for their hatred.

Pam "Don't Blame Me" Geller, Atlas Shrugs:  "I have refrained from running the absolutely breathtaking evil messages I have been receiving in my email box and comments section after the Norway massacre. 

Here is an email I just received, along with just a few of the hundreds (if not thousands) I have gotten over the course of the past week:

    From:     Crawford Robert
        Subject:     Enjoy, Pammy
        Date:     August 1, 2011 10:32:01 AM EDT
        To:     Pamela Geller

    This one's for you, douchebag."

Man, that must have hurt poor Pammy's feelings.  Pam had thirteen of her blogs quoted in the "manifesto" of the Norwegian killer.  However, it is far more evil to call her a douchebag.  Man, all I can say is that those of us on the left sure don't seem to have much skill in writing evil messages.

And while we're reading Pammy,

"Summer Camp? Antisemitic Indoctrination Training Center...Glen Beck was not far off when he compared it to the Hitlerjugend or Young Pioneers."

Yes indeed, the murderer struck a mighty blow against the new Hitlers, at their summer camp.  Funny that Pammy is so reluctant to take the credit she is due for inspiring him.  Just modest, I guess.

Well, enough of this garbage.  On to some of the other right wing ravings from the last few days:

Thomas Sowell, Town Hall:  "Theodore Roosevelt said that his foreign policy was to speak softly and carry a big stick. Barack Obama's foreign policy in Libya has been to speak loudly and carry a little stick."

Well, that beats Bush in Iraq, who shot his mouth off every day, and carried a dildo:

Katie Pavlich, Town Hall:  "Yes, climate change is real. The climate has been changing since the beginning of Earth. Apparently, Texas used to be attached to Antarctica.

Texas and sub-zero Antarctica were linked 1.1 billion years ago, long before the supercontinent Pangaea formed, scientists said Monday.

The forecast for Texas today? Hot. Not like Antarctica. Quite the change!

Get over it, Al Gore."

Yes, you read that right.  Texas was linked to Antarctica a billion years ago, so the fact that it is suffering endless heat and drought today means nothing!  Nothing, I tell you!

Town Hall:  "Earthquake: Perry to Announce Presidential Bid On Saturday"

Earthquakes- apparently not the major force we thought they were.

Bob Owens, Confederate Yankee:  "How many times have we heard it said that Mr. Obama is the smartest president ever?     I don't buy it. I just think the president isn't very bright."

Let me translate this for you:  Barack Obama was a top student at the world's most prestigious law school, but he is really dumb.  How does Bob know this?  Well, isn't it obvious?  Okay, here's a hint:  It has to do with the "N" word.  Get it now?

Roger Simon, Pajamas Media:  "Dow Down 500: Should Obama Resign?"

Dow up 429 the next day.  What now, Roger?  By the way, how much complaining did you do when George Bush's economic policies sliced about 5,000 points off the Dow, or how much cheering did you do when Obama swiftly put 80% of those points back?  Oh, I see...that was different.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) called for Obama’s impeachment this week. Burgess said, “The longer we allow the damage to continue unchecked, the worse things are going to be for us.”

Of course, under further questioning, Rep. Burgess was unable to recall a single offense that Obama had committed to earn impeachment, but so what?  He is a Democrat after all, and don't ever forget that "N" word thing we were talking about a minute ago.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Report: Soros Made $10 Billion on S&P Downgrade Bet"

The vicious bastard.  Here's some more information from the article Jim relied on for this massive story:

"A mystery investor reportedly made $10 billion on the S&P downgrade bet that the US would lose its AAA credit rating...But a source with knowledge of the firm said Soros was not involved in the rumoured trade and questioned whether in fact there had been such a trade at all. "

Oh, so (1) there is no real evidence that this alleged event took place at all and (2) if it did happen, there is no evidence of any kind that Soros had anything to do with it.  What's almost hilarious is that Hoft brazenly left this information in the final section of the article he quoted, but still published it under the headline  above.  I say almost hilarious because it would be funny if it didn't reveal one more time the utter contempt for the truth that enables right wingers to persist in their malignant delusions.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Obama spoke today. The Dow plummetted 634 points.  Investors desperately looked for safe places to put their money and settled on U.S. government debt — even though it was the target of the downgrade Friday, when S&P removed the United States from its list of the lowest-risk countries.

Today was the 6th worst slide in history."

Jim didn't mention the other five.  Here they are:

1     2008-09-29    
2     2008-10-15    
3     2001-09-17    
4     2008-12-01    
5     2008-10-09    

I'll leave it to you historians out there to determine who was President when those happened.  Jim didn't see fit to save any of his vitriol for him, whoever he was.

Washington Times:  "Markets to Obama: shut up"

That was yesterday.  Today, I guess the markets are saying, "Okay, Barack, you can start talking again."

Bryan Fischer, Renew America:  "Gov. Perry and 2012: It's his for the taking"

This week.  This is after it was Donald Trump's for the taking, and then Mike Huckabee's for the taking, and then Haley Barbour's and then Newt Gingrich's and then Michelle Backmann's, etc.  At the rate things are going, next week it will probably be that guy with the gun in Norway's for the taking.

Well, we haven't heard from Sher Zieve lately.  Time for a dose of her deep understanding of contemporary American politics:

Sher Zieve, Renew America:  "Obama is a destroyer par excellence and may, in the end and assuming we do not rid ourselves of him, end up surpassing even Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin or Mao Zedong. We know he is already brimming with pride over his accomplishments, as we see it in his growing smile — one that is beginning to oddly resemble a Narcissistic and condescending sneer as his eyes become even more sinister.

Obama has destroyed our health care system. Obama is in the process of removing our Bill of Rights. Obama has stolen trillions of our dollars and sent them overseas...some to locations and entities that still remain secret.

It has, also, now been revealed that the Obama syndicate and the Sinaloa Drug Cartel has a 'business relationship.'

Well, not much to say about that, is there?  We'll just leave Sher to ruminate on her unfortunately far from unique (among the wingnuts) grasp of current events.

World Net Daily Exclusive:  "Largest U.S. union behind Mideast riots?"

That's right- it's obvious that Arabs are too stupid and vicious to want freedom for themselves- the AFL-CIO is behind all of it.  Makes sense, now that World Net Daily pointed it out, right?

World Net Daily:  "Palin raps Obama for debt downgrade..Says prez lacks 'even a notion of how to deal' with fiscal issues facing country"

Really? Sorry to be blunt, but who gives a flying fuck what Sarah Palin "thinks" about anything?

Oh Boy, oh boy, real news at last:

World Net Daily  "VANISHED!  American blond beauty disappears in Aruba...Brand-new case raises mysterious ghost of Natalee Holloway"

Blonde beauty disappears!  Finally, something worth covering on Fox and CNN.  Hold on to your hats- this is going to be a BIIIIG story!

Well, we've finally got to the real news, so let's call it quits for today.  See you soon!

It Just Gets Worse

From Think Progress this evening:

"Obama Agrees With Panetta, Endorses Medicare ‘Adjustments’ Over Defense Cuts |

In a letter on Friday, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) asked President Obama to repudiate Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s insistence that in order to deal with the nation’s debt and deficit, additional revenue should come from tax increases and cuts to entitlement programs, such as Medicare, instead of the reducing military spending. TPM notes that Obama gave his answer in an speech today in which he backed Panetta. 

Obama said there isn’t much more to cut beyond the defense and domestic spending reductions that were part of the debt ceiling deal last week. “What we need to do now,” Obama said, “is combine those spending cuts with two additional steps: tax reform that will ask those who can afford it to pay their fair share and modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare.”

The people who supported Barack Obama and worked to get him elected have been totally betrayed.  Obama is currently on a mission to destroy everything that the Democratic party has to offer the American people.  When he gets done, it won't mean a God damned thing to be a Democrat, and people might as well sell their futures to the Republicans for a couple hundred dollars in tax cuts.

I believe that, at this point, it is no longer credible to suggest that Obama is a dupe, or just a really bad negotiator.  His behavior since being elected has been totally consistent, and I no longer have any faith that it represents anything but the actions of a manipulative liar who found a way to get into the White House under utterly false pretenses, and who is as committed as any Republican you can name to selling the country out to the rich.

Tell me I'm wrong.  I'd love to believe that, but I don't see how it can be true.  I have, over the last couple of months, found it so hard to watch what is happening to us and find anything meaningful to say about it, or to convince myself that there is a thing that we can do to save our country from destruction, not by the openly corrupt Republicans, but by a man we all trusted. 

I have no more faith that he is inept or weak.  I am beginning to believe that he is evil.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

More on the White House Failure

I want to quote some of an analysis by Hunter, at Daily Kos, of the White House's performance in the recent debt ceiling negotiations.  I have repeatedly said things like this for the last year or two, but I think it is important to hear it from someone other than a squawking parrot.  This is a pretty good summation of the whole situation:

"The more we hear reaction from both parties, the more convinced I am that...this "compromise" is in fact an unambiguous and abominable failure by the administration... and one which is going to have serious long-term negative repercussions for the economy, the markets, and the political environment in general.

This practice—agreeing to even the most outrageous conservative demands now in exchange for the mere hope of a better outcome later—has been pervasive in this White House, and extremely damaging. 

Each negotiation...sets the administration up for worse failures in the next round of negotiations, as their own targets continue to slide further and further away.

This most current "deal" consists almost entirely of caving in to a wide assortment of hard-right conservative demands, in exchange for presumed "fairer" or "more advantageous" dealings with those same Republicans later. Careful students of modern politics will note the profound ridiculousness of such an assumption."

"Careful students" indeed.  By now- no, by a long time ago- it has been completely obvious to everyone that the Republicans are not going to honor a shred of any deal they make to get what they want now.  It is becoming increasingly hard to escape the conclusion that Obama actually wants the same thing the Republicans do, since at every step, despite his hollow rhetoric, that is what he manages to achieve.

I never thought that, at this point, the energy which we should be directing toward the corrupt and destructive behavior of Republicans should have to be diverted to deal with a failed President that we worked so hard to elect, but there it is.  The Republicans are running our train straight to hell, and Obama is out in front of them turning the switches so it gets there as fast as possible.  This is the last thing we could have expected to be dealing with at this point, but it's where we are.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bye Bubba

A sort of personal post, but I noticed that Bubba Smith died a couple of days ago.  I had a girlfriend a long time ago whose roommate dated Bubba for a while (at that point in his life, I think Bubba switched pretty frequently,) and though I didn't know him well, he seemed like a pretty nice guy to me.  He had a great college career, and was an easy first round draft pick, but his professional career was cut short due to injury. 

Bye, Bubba.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Who The Hell Is This Guy, Anyway?

An extremely depressing report from the Los Angeles Times this morning:

"Already, the outlines of a hard-nosed reelection campaign are emerging. Using surrogates to distance the president from the effort, his team is pushing back hard against criticism of his handling of the economy. At the same time, aides are developing lines of attack against potential GOP opponents.

"It's not going to be 2008 'Yes, we can' anymore. I think it's going to be slash-and-burn," said Democratic pollster Paul Maslin."

So, after a governing like a Republican, he's now decided to campaign like a Republican. Great job you've done of changing things in Washington, Barack.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Truth That Dare Not Speak its Name

Well, these days, apparently no truth can speak its name.  I remember reading years ago how in Communist Eastern Europe, the truth could be spoken only in comedy or science fiction.  At least, we have the Onion left:

"A day after signing legislation that raised the government debt ceiling and authorized steep budget cuts, President Obama thanked Democrats as well as Democrats for their willingness to make tough, but necessary, concessions during negotiations. "I'm truly grateful that both Democrats and their Democratic counterparts were able to reach this consensus, accepting an agreement that is far from perfect not just for Democrats, but also for Democrats," Obama said Wednesday of the deal that cut federal spending $2.1 trillion over 10 years but included no revenue increases of any kind."

Too bad you have to pretend to be joking to tell the truth in America today.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How FDR Handled Big Money, Versus What We Are Getting Today

When FDR, not only a man born to riches, but a member of America's patrician class, was elected President, he believed that it was in everybody's interest to emerge from the depression, and that he could come up with a program for recovery that would be favored by all, because it would work for everybody.  By 1936, he had learned differently.  Roosevelt had figured out that the rich, the bankers, the investors, were so intent on pursuing their own short term interest that they would shove the rest of us into the gutter rather than share the burden of rebuilding our economy.  Roosevelt was forced to make a choice between the bankers and the people, and he made that choice.  If you have never heard this short excerpt from a 1936 FDR speech, please listen to it:

Roosevelt chose the people over the bankers, and his choice led us out of the Depression into our nation's longest period of prosperity.  Barack Obama, who claims to be a student of Roosevelt, must be familiar with this story, as it represents  the most fundamental change in Roosevelt's Presidency, and it resulted in Social Security, Federal banking insurance and many of the signature programs of his time in office.  In fact, the period following his re-election in 1936 produced much of the Democratic party's historic legacy, bringing a decent life to tens of millions of Americans.

When confronted, 75 years later, with the same choice that Roosevelt faced, Barack Obama chose the bankers.

I don't think there is really much more to say.

P.S. Note where this video comes from.  No wonder they couldn't tolerate him on the air.  

Defeated- Week Three

Ha ha ha ha.  And no, I'm not giving up on this story.  $5,000 in the third weekend.  Man, what a hit! 

Stupidity and Viciousness Beyond Comprehension

Who else?  Joe Lieberman:

" I want to indicate today to my colleagues that Senator Coburn and I are working again on a bipartisan proposal to secure Social Security over the long term, we hope to have that done in time. To also forward to the special committee for their consideration. So, bottom line, we can’t protect these entitlements and also have the national defense we need to protect us in a dangerous world while we’re at war with Islamist extremists who attacked us on 9/11 and will be for a long time to come."

Yes indeed, folks!  We have to let lots of old people starve to death or we won't be able to fight a couple hundred fanatics halfway around the world, who attacked us once, ten years ago, and have totally failed to do anything since.  Because only by taking trillions away from poor people and giving the money to rich people can we be safe from having our throats slit in our beds. 

That makes sense, right?  Oh, where would our country be without centrists?

A Philosophical Question

For the sort of people who like to debate the whole "Tree in the woods" sort of thing:

If you suffer a total, ignominious defeat, but call it a victory, is it a victory?

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Beast Approaches

Another bit of cheerful  news today:

"Fire Destroys We Are Wisconsin PAC Offices in La Crosse; Recall Efforts Subdued

We Are Wisconsin's La Crosse headquarters a 'total loss' after Saturday morning blaze.

Fire officials in La Crosse are continuing to investigate a Saturday blaze that destroyed the regional offices of We Are Wisconsin, a union political action committee (PAC) that has pumped millions of dollars into supporting Democratic candidates in the upcoming recall elections.

The La Crosse Tribune reports that the cause of the fire, which started at about 9:30 a.m., remains unknown."

The last few years I've spent a lot of time reading about Germany in the 1920's.  I know a lot of people must have thought I was as crazy as the teabaggers when I saw reflections of that period of intimidation and political violence in what is gong on with the American right.

Sure, Republicans haven't gone as far as the right wing parties in 1920's Germany- yet. But, in the face of eternal Democratic fecklessness, in the face of Democratic failure to hold anyone responsible in any way for the damage their right wing ideology has caused, and in the face of Republicans' increasing demographic weakness, how long can it be before they go the distance?  With incidents like this, we are only a step away from the open political thuggery that accompanied the Nazi's rise to power.

I am not calling people Nazis here.  I am recognizing the development of a clear analog to what happened in Germany.  Virtually no one wants to face this hateful fact, but mark my words, fact it is.

 And don't forget that when the world stopped Hitler, at the cost of 50.000.000 dead, he didn't have several thousand nuclear weapons.  I fear that if the American monster arises, nothing in the world will stop it.  Do you think the likes of Dick Cheney would hesitate to use nuclear weapons for one second if it got them what they want?

A Little More Meaningless Nonsense

From the New York Times:

"A White House official argued Sunday that the president had another trump card to play: the scheduled expiration of the George W. Bush tax cuts at the end of 2012. 

Obama would block extension of the reductions, either as a final act in office after losing the November 2012 election or after winning a second term."

Fat chance. Of course, this will be Obama's promise to get real Democrats to vote for him in 2012, but at this point could there be a person on earth stupid enough to fall for that?  No, when the Republicans start their screaming, he will collapse again. That is, if they haven't found a way to impeach him before then, and if Harry Reid doesn't engineer a "compromise" to remove him from office in return for a Republican promise to be nice to Democrats in the future.

Total Collapse

First, Paul Krugman, then me.  I don't have it in me to make any clever remarks about the budget "deal," so just read the words of the master:

"The President Surrenders...the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.

Make no mistake about it, what we’re witnessing here is a catastrophe on multiple levels.

It is, of course, a political catastrophe for Democrats, who just a few weeks ago seemed to have Republicans on the run over their plan to dismantle Medicare; now Mr. Obama has thrown all that away. And the damage isn’t over: there will be more choke points where Republicans can threaten to create a crisis unless the president surrenders, and they can now act with the confident expectation that he will.

In the long run, however, Democrats won’t be the only losers. What Republicans have just gotten away with calls our whole system of government into question. After all, how can American democracy work if whichever party is most prepared to be ruthless, to threaten the nation’s economic security, gets to dictate policy? And the answer is, maybe it can’t."

Well, there you go.  Bush at his stupidest never utterly abandoned every principle that his party claimed to stand for in order to surrender utterly to a corrupt, destructive plan of the other party.  Of course, Democrats don't have such destructive plans, or at least they didn't until we were foolish enough to fall for Barack Obama.

Bush managed to be the worst President in history by being the most corrupt, the most ignorant and the most incompetent President ever, all at once.  No one is going to accuse Obama of being ignorant or corrupt (well, except our wingnut friends who do it every day,) but he has now established that, in the category of incompetence, he is easily Bush's equal.

A couple of decades from now, when people look back at how the United States declined so spectacularly from the greatest democracy in the history of the world, to a miserable, poverty-riddled third world rathole, Obama has now made sure that he can share the credit equally with Bush and Cheney.

So much for our "Socialist" President.