Archive for the 'Politics' Category

It’s good to have this on record: It’s been 100% political from day one.

Apr 25, 2012 in Politics

It’s not a stunner to anybody with their eyes open, but the Republicans really never did quit their 2008 campaign tactics of smearing Obama, and simply continued the campaign against him as if the election had not meant a single thing at all. This book by Robert Draper Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives tells the story that unfolded before the public eye.

Republicans have vetoed and filibustered the public’s choice for president in 2008, and never given an inch even when the nation was in danger of sinking into an economic void.

This is why the professional liar, Mitt Romney, got the job to run for President when nobody else could. The Republican party’s platform is a series of revolving fictions, and the brilliant Mitt Romney vision is to never account for past tales and insist the one he’s telling you now is the truth. To Republicans, it’s not really about the quality of the lie, it’s about the method, the repeatability of it. Can you lie on demand, every time? Mitt Romney is that man.

-hw

I was hoping for some singing.

Apr 25, 2012 in Politics

Obama just read from his stump speech on Jimmy Fallon last night. What the hell? Why did everybody else sing but him? I’m glad people are entertained by it, and it’s better than being an ass about it(warning: The people talking may sound stupid enough to do damage to your brain). I just expected Obama himself to be a bit funnier. And to sing.

It’s silly that Fox would predictably suggest that stuff like this is just a stunt, or an attempt to be cool. What they can’t stand is that Obama doesn’t have to try that hard. He’s just appearing on the telly, being himself, and people are generally entertained by it.

What Fox would most like to avoid touching on is that Obama’s message on policy is so directly appealing to the electorate that Mitt “Governor Etch-a-Sketch Mint RawMoney” Romney immediately copied it.

If it hasn’t been clear to you already, the Republicans have nada this election, except to reinforce amnesia and declare that things are still rough right now, therefore Obama’s to blame. It’s a lie and everybody knows it. Obama’s policies directly helped recovery, and his opponents plans for austerity have failed in Europe where they were almost fully implemented. We’re handily besting Europe in the recovery. The scale of the depression we were staring down the barrel of is simply impossible to fully recover from in one presidential term. If 2012 is a choice of policy, Obama wins. If 2012 is a choice of fiscal responsibility, Obama wins. If 2012 is a referendum on Obama’s record, Obama wins against Mitt Romney who advocated letting the American auto industry collapse.

And if it’s any kind of test of character or likability, well, you can see why Republicans have to try creating a well of hatred for President Obama. Whenever people see and hear him and recognize the likable, rational, sensible sounding candidate versus serial liar Mitt Romney’s chameleon-pwner, Republicans froth at the mouth, knowing that this year the wind is firmly against them.

Republicans, it’s simple: You don’t deserve the presidency after the way you’ve carried on. Your Obama hatred has clouded your minds so much you vociferously hate what you loved and then you love it again, depending on where that previously-mentioned wind was blowing. But it’s just President Obama and whatever comes out of his mouth, because that is the direction you will do a 180 on faster than you can say mandate.

-hw

Will of the people!

Apr 16, 2012 in Politics

Just a note, the Buffet rule, which only asks what Reagan asked, that millionaires pay as a share of their income in taxes as ordinary Americans, which enjoys popular support, has lost in the Senate with 51 FOR and 45 against. The Republicans employed, yet again, a filibuster so that their minority could block what the majority voted on.

Just in case you ever believed a goddamn thing the Republicans have ever said.

-hw

How conservative, non-activist judges might rule.

Apr 14, 2012 in Health Care, Politics

Once one descends a little deeper than Fox talking points about broccoli, the legal pathway is actually rather clear, conservative, and minimalist.

Limited Commerce Clause Holding:
Even assuming arguendo that Congress cannot require any and every purchase of goods or services under any circumstances (but cf. Judge Silberman’s “regulate”-includes-“require” argument to the contrary in Seven-Sky), Congress does have the Commerce Clause authority to control the means and timing of payment for goods and services that persons will consume, particularly so as to assure that the consumers do in fact pay for the costs of such goods or services. Thus Congress can at a minimum require everyone either (i) to maintain insurance for goods or services that virtually everyone will consume, that the government guarantees, and that many of the consumers will not otherwise be able to pay for (which would thereby shift substantial costs to the public at large); or (ii) to make a modest payment to the government (IRS) to help cover the costs the public will incur if and when the individual consumes services for which she cannot pay.

Such a formulation would not commit the Court to holding that Congress can require any and every purchase. Nor would it even imply that Congress can require a purchase whenever “non-purchase” has a substantial effect of any kind on interstate commerce–the principle that Randy assumes Justice Kennedy would have to accept in order to uphold the statute, and one that might justify a required purchase of GM cars since the failure to do so “causes” Detroit’s economic woes.

The key legal question, of course, is do we have five Republican politicians on the bench, rather than conservatives? Will a health care plan invented by, adopted by, and implemented by Republicans be rejected by the Court as soon as a Democrat decides to compromise and go along with the idea? We already know how Republican politicians have acted, but can we hope from better from the court? I suspect Kennedy will agree with the other conservative judges who have agreed with the Obama administration previously, but people holding out for a Roberts concurrence seem mighty hopeful to me.

-hw

Man of the People Mitt prefers a quarter horse over a dressage horse.

Apr 12, 2012 in Politics

For those of you who haven’t already looked into owning a stable of horses for fun and entertainment here’s Mitt Romney with some recommendations:

Want to join in the conversation? Feel free to share some of your personal equine anecdotes in the comments section!

Wherein I take tidbit farts from Facebook and put them here in a vain attempt to imitate a minimalist blogger.

Apr 10, 2012 in Politics

It would seem to me that if Google wants Google Plus to succeed so badly, it should simply say, “Your info, other than what we collect to shape ads, is handled autonomously, encrypted, and off limits to anybody else.” I-and everybody I know-would switch instantly.

Look, it’s free advice that would change the world, but hey, nobody mind me. I just drop bombs like that every time I open my mouth, *cough*kiddingonthesquare*cough*

-hw

Clear lines.

Apr 02, 2012 in Politics

Party line vote, Republicans standing up for employers asking workers for their Facebook passwords.

I describe myself as a socialist libertarian, because I believe in defending people from public and private tyranny. Time and time again, Republicans stand up for private entities to secure as much of our personal domain as they can leverage.

That sure as hell isn’t liberty to me.

-hw

Algae as a potential fuel generator, and also Newt Gingrich is an idiot.

Mar 26, 2012 in Energy, Politics

It’s really amazing how Newt, who is theoretically smart enough to understand that organisms can produce byproducts we find useful (bacteria produce most booze), is happy to pander to the dumbest voters by pulling out a gas nozzle and looking for the algae coming out. He knows bottom-feeder Republicans like arguments like, “I didn’t come from a monkey,” (in that case, Republican politician Jack Kingston, reliable bottom-feeder) so he trots out the dummy science. Or else he really is that stupid?

p.s. More on Newt being a depraved fool, different topic.

-hw

Fixing Medicare would prevent Republicans from killing it.

Mar 22, 2012 in Politics

So they vote against the cost-control board for Medicare that the ACA created. Because that’s rationing.

Meanwhile, they’re still drooling over Ryan’s plan to end Medicare as we know it and hand out vouchers to old folks to go buy insurance elsewhere.

And since Republicans want to end the ACA, seniors would be buying that insurance in a world where insurers could refuse patients with previous conditions.

They oppose the ACA, a compromise based on Republican health care plans, because it benefits Obama and the Democrats. And now, in line with their general anti-government agenda, they actually strive to prevent Medicare from getting costs under control, because well-functioning government programs benefit Democrats and undermine Republican narratives.

I’m really beyond the point where I can consider these antics to be in any kind of good faith. No bubble is that tight. It is partly insane, yes, but the scumbaggery simply cannot be ignored.

-hw

Never give in to fake Republican rage.

Mar 21, 2012 in Politics

1. Republicans know they screwed up badly when their leader Rush Limbaugh capped off his two decade career of misogyny by calling women who use birth control sluts indirectly via his three day smear campaign against Sandra Fluke. This informs their motives since.

2. Newt Gingrich, along with Limbaugh one of the best at hurling racist dog whistles, should never be allowed to lecture anybody on race.

3. Robert DeNiro’s joke about America maybe not being ready for a white first lady was a clear parody of the countless “is America ready for a black president?” discussions before Obama was elected president. Comparisons to Limbaugh, made by Newt, are pure distilled political bullshit.

4. Americans as a whole were ready, but clearly the Tea Party was not. The joke only stung Gingrich because it hit too close to that truth. Any remotely secure white person, enjoying the luxury of 43 white presidents shouldn’t be stomping around pissed, and most aren’t. This is still largely damage control over Rush.

5. Michele Obama going along with Newt and agreeing the joke was “inappropriate” echoed too vividly the forced apologies of blacks to their white masters for imagined slights.

But I guess, “Fuck you, you racist piece of shit,” wouldn’t have flown. Still, Michele could have flown above Gingrich and not let herself get pulled into his games.

-hw

*sigh*

Mar 15, 2012 in Politics

Republicans thought they had a big scoop, declaring based on some CBO cherry-picking that the ACA had doubled in cost.

Whoops, no. It’s actually going to save us $50 billion more than we thought.

These are people who’ve decided their taxes went up under Obama. It is *always* an alternate reality with them. They only stop saying things when they think people won’t buy it anymore. Question: Why does anybody buy anything the GOP is selling anymore?

-hw

Short and to the point.

Mar 14, 2012 in Politics

Let’s see what the Obama narrative is for re-election:

Domestic: He was handed the worst economic crisis since the Recession and turned it into a recovering economy. Oh, yeah, and health care reform.

Foreign: He ended our war in Iraq, has prolonged Afghanistan past the point of reason and has started plans to pull out, and yeah, he rolled the dice on a big gamble and fucking killed Osama bin Laden. Oh, yeah, and Muammar Qadhafi.

Obama’s ad campaign is just getting warmed up. Romney’s going to arrive at the end of these primaries the battered winner of a clown contest. So I think it’s pretty safe to say that Obama’s message is going to firmly established and much stronger than whatever pile of junk policy and rhetoric Romney tries to assemble for the general election (you Republicans were just supposed to hand him the crown! Hush with your questioning!).

Obama should just re-register as a Republican after the election and pose for his Mount Rushmore bust.

-hw

Healthcare rope-a-dope?

Mar 12, 2012 in Health Care, Politics

Not only will Democrats not win running away from the ACA, it’s stupid to do so. The President can run ads like this from now until November, and it’s barely up and running yet. Just imagine how many more people’s stories Democrats will be able to tell, helped by their vote for healthcare reform that covers people who fell between the cracks of insurance company profit margins.

-hw

It’s about results.

Mar 08, 2012 in Politics, Women

What happens when birth control isn’t subsidized.

While ditto heads have tried clinging to examples of left-ish people calling women “twat” it’s important to remember that the left fights for and protects women’s rights. I’ve a long history of hurling virtually every word in the book at women I’ve disliked (and men, with pretty much 95% of the terms interchangeable). Yet I’ve never wavered in support for their equality, their right to control their reproductive process, and offering aid/assistance that will improve their welfare. I strive to look at the issues that affect women most through their perspective, and I have little but disgust and contempt for the men who wish to call the shots for them without that fundental respect. When Limbaugh launched that three day campaign of slurs towards Sandra Fluke, he revealed the pathology behind the oppression. That is the key to understanding this controversy.

-hw

So a requirement that you provide health care for your employees…

Mar 02, 2012 in Politics

…means you get to insert yourself into their doctor’s office?

I don’t compute that one. This is, alas, another case of rightwing Christians acting like they’re the persecuted ones because they can’t interfere in other people’s personal sex lives. Nothing about being your employee gives you the right to edit my health care, any more than you can interfere in how I spend my paychecks.

-hw

‘Don’t punish us for having this guy lead the party for twenty years.’

Mar 02, 2012 in Politics, Women

Boehner on Limbaugh:

“The speaker obviously believes the use of those words was inappropriate,” Boehner spokesperson Michael Steel told CNN, “as is trying to raise money off the situation.”

They’re just as bad, you know. The GOP’s top dog calls women on birth control sluts, and Democrats shouldn’t inform voters of the differences between them and the GOP in campaign mailings.

I guess it pays decent money to shovel horseshit that smoothly.

-hw

Turning the other cheek.

Mar 01, 2012 in Politics

Let’s all be big sports and not say the kind of things Andrew Breitbart said about Ted Kennedy after his death just three years ago. I’ll simply say that while I’m sure this is a horrific loss for his family, it’s not much of a loss to the Internet or America’s political discourse. But I’d far prefer sanity intervened rather than death.

The reaper lurks, folks. Mind yourselves.

-hw

Charles Bukowski Wax Sculture Debuts at Madame Tussauds

Feb 28, 2012 in Politics

Bukowski depicted hunting for booze at Los Angeles City College.

The artistry is remarkable.

It has wheels, so you can move the goalpost.

Feb 18, 2012 in Politics, teh gay

Sullivan identifies how anti-gay people throw the Constitution right out the window, doing and saying anything as long as it fulfills their ends.

Christie is a man whose candor I admire in many ways. But this was an act of cowardice and unfairness and a misguided disregard for representative democracy. How many other duly enacted laws must now be sent to the referendum process for final judgment. Why have a legislature at all? And this from the party that claims to defend the Constitution.

Anti-gay opponents have outright ruled out the legitimacy of court victories, where their bigotry doesn’t stand up very well. Individual rights are completely disregarded when it comes to a gay person, and their equality is seen as an infringement on their right to push gay people in the closet. As legislative victories mount, the very same people will be quick to run to the courts to protect that perceived right.

I don’t know how much of a bigot Chris Christie is, just that he doesn’t plan on being a Republican signing a gay marriage bill. Oh, and that he belongs to a political party with bigotry woven into its platform, so he must behave in a bigoted manner in order to stay a member in good standing. So, yeah.

-hw

Here’s your damn Kleenex already.

Feb 18, 2012 in Politics

There seems to be a lot of bellyaching about Buchanan being dumped from MSNBC for writing racist junk. For some reason, apparently, he’s entitled to have a job being a belligerent windbag, because there just aren’t enough intelligent people with opinions out there. Granted, he’s being replaced by Michael Steele, who specializes in not knowing, caring about, or believing what he says. But Republican offerings are slim these days, folks. Obama has rendered them all sputtering whiners.

MSNBC blows people’s minds because we were all disciplined to believe that CNN and NPR represented “the left.” Then suddenly this network gives real liberals a platform and people get right in line to tsk, “MSNBC is now exactly like FOX News.” Look, when liberal talk show hosts push us to invade the wrong country and start ringing the bells for war with Iran, which both FOX and CNN are guilty of, then I’ll start thinking poorly of MSNBC.

Simply amazing. As Glenn points out, the Obama administration isn’t pushing for action at all. People like Erin Burnett are doing puff pieces that look like auditions for a job at FOX, where person after person admits there seems to be no plan by Iran to attack the United States. JUST SO YOU’RE CLEAR, IRAN COULD ATTACK YOU AT ANY MOMENT. Iraq part II, except they know even less about what they’re contemplating.

The networks need more voices of reason, more people who would be much more conservative about Iran and not provoke a cycle of attacks or get sucked into another maelstrom of clusterfuck in the Middle East. If Israel thinks it wants to have a war with Iran, let them. They’re more than capable of it. We’ve been funding their military spending at about $8 million a day. $114 billion cumulative, according to these stats. Maybe less, maybe more, the point is the same. There’s no need to expand the mostly theoretical conflict into a triangle, as one could quickly assemble enough polygons to model Super Mario stomping the earth like a mushroom (cloud).

Pat Buchanan is irrelevant.

-hw

When I cash a government check, it feels like being whipped and raped.

Feb 16, 2012 in Politics

Steve King and Michelle Bachman must have put out a want ad for help saying the stupidest things of all time, and Allan West sure answered it.

“For this reason, the Republican value of minimizing government dependence is particularly beneficial to the poorest among us,” he continued. “Conversely, the Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today, and it does not promote economic freedom.”

My wife collected unemployment for five months last year before getting a job (and doubling her previous income). The worst part was cleaning up all the blood. The chafing, also too.

-hw

Santorum 2012!

Feb 13, 2012 in Clueless Conservatives, Election crap, Politics

Oh, pretty please! Countdown begins until the first rightwinger writes an article telling Democrats they’re afraid of Santorum.

-hw

UPDATE: GO SANTORUM!

Close to brilliant. Santorum is clueless in so many ways, but this race sure has proven how easy it is to kick Mitt Romney in the balls.

Unprincipled liberals join the rest of the unprincipled people.

Feb 13, 2012 in Disappointing Dems, Foreign Policy, Glenn Greenwald, Politics

Glenn Greenwald, whom I don’t wager I’d be able to handle a direct debate with, is still someone whom I deeply respect despite my overall dismay at his constant daily diatribes about Obama while Republicans actively plot to screw up the country.

Glenn’s never been really wrong about the actual liberal case against Obama’s waging of the war on Al Queda (which the press routinely ignored in order to report whatever crazy shit Sarah Palin dreamt up in her fog), and while I support President Obama’s re-election without a doubt, that doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything Obama has done.

So it saddened me to see this poll of those on the left, where most aren’t just plugging their nose, but actively supporting some of the things that we openly and loudly condemned President Bush for.

This is a very important difference, folks. While plenty of liberals are holding their ground, it looks like some are indeed turning around and cheering on the same policies simply because they’re being carried out by a guy with a D next to his name.

Now Glenn takes it too far, for example, in slagging Obama with Guantanamo when not a single politician would let an accused terrorist inside our borders regardless of their actual danger. Resignation is the proper response, not support, but that ambiguity does call into question the poll results. Do people support what’s going on in Guantanamo, or do they support letting the issue go in the face of overwhelming resistance?

Glenn also makes a bit of a leap in not providing poll numbers on drone strikes before Obama. He’s talking about a shift in public opinion with no documentation of previous public opinion? What he does have is the approval of the drone killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen by birth who was nonetheless in Yemen, purportedly conspiring against the US. Evidence to that fact has just been released, btw. Nevertheless, the precedent of a US citizen being assassinated on presidential orders is extremely troubling for any constitutionalist, and without the presence of an active battlefied, it seems impossible to justify. “Muslim dude in a Middle East country” seems to be what defuses the resistance, which doesn’t give the poll recipients much more credit.

Glenn’s most brutal takedown is, unsurprisingly, reserved for President Obama, who, in deciding not to prosecute the war crimes of the Bush administration, ended up indirectly codifying their behavior as exoneration for future presidents. A President Romney or Santorum could take us straight back to the Bush years with even less fear of repercussion, arguably because Obama let Bush and Cheney get away with it.

To that, though, I believe an addendum belongs. President Obama did not, all by himself, let Bush and Cheney get away with it. The country did, with the mainstream “liberal” media front and center, having largely ignored their crimes, ready to give Republicans as much air time as they wanted to shriek about the horror of the freshly elected Obama leading a “political witch hunt” and actually daring to prosecute the previous president. After all, it is regarded as sacrosanct that Gerald Ford “healed” the nation by pardoning Richard Nixon. While peacetime, prosperity and ratings through the roof had our press ready to watch the Republicans impeach Bill Clinton over lying about a blowjob, the interference of rebellious liberals in the unchecked exercise of power under the banner of “defense” absolutely would not be tolerated. It’s somewhat disingenuous of Greenwald to ignore the fact that Obama would have lit a keg of gunpowder underneath his own ass and been, just like with Guantanamo, completely stifled by Congress.

Glenn seems to consider it obvious that Obama’s actions are at least partially responsible for shifting public attitudes, enshrining Guantanamo and other deviations from American values in the bulletproof shield of “bipartisanship.” I’m sure party identity does play a part in people’s attitudes (look at how much rage Republicans have tried to generate over a health care policy Obama borrowed from them), but when it comes to constitutional principles of human rights, I’m becoming quite convinced that the country as a whole is simply forgetting the values that it was founded upon, and that the erosion is primarily being carried out actively by the Republican Party. Yes, Obama didn’t prosecute, but one of our two parties has declared itself in all but name to be pro-torture (you just stop calling torture torture, see). Yes, Obama didn’t close Guantanamo, but Republicans turned it into what it was. Yes, Obama signed indefinite detention into law, but again, he merely concedes what one party and the Very Serious People absolutely demand. And so on issue after issue, important American values become common political preferences, and our amnesiac press dutifully dribbles on its loafers as it follows along.

Obama didn’t lead, he followed. While a noble, principled fellow like Greenwald is committed to doing the right thing every day regardless of the impact on his life, Obama is a strategic, pragmatic actor who, in alignment with his community organizer roots, doesn’t get ahead of the crowd very far. This works better when he makes some effort to get the crowd mobilized, and all of us can think of a few times Obama could have gotten farther if he’d led a little more and followed a little less. But ultimately that’s a pretty mild sin. If the public isn’t there, we can’t always sit around berating Obama for not getting them there. We’re responsible too.

-hw

The Last Samurais

Feb 07, 2012 in Election crap, Politics

In which Russ Feingold offers impeccable moral reasoning as to why Obama should walk into cannon fire armed with a bow and arrow.

Under Obama’s recovery the elite financial operators sitting on a trillion dollars of capital, and for thanks many plan to use some of that stockpile to fund the campaign against Obama. Yes, he was uber-corporate friendly in policy, but he hurt their feelings on occasion, so, you know. While many are begrudgingly giving support, it doesn’t take a very large share of a trillion to overload a presidential campaign with cash.

Romney offers complete fealty to and worship of Wall Street, since that’s how he rolls, so regardless of how little voters like him he will assemble gigantic coffers of cash that will pay for a lot of lying.

Citizens United needs to be overturned by constitutional amendment ASAP, and public financing needs to instituted to clean up elections. I’ve always believed this. But it’s suicidal to expect any candidate to surrender the money war under current campaign law. There are enough respectable Democrats with money out there to neutralize the Republican machine, so it should be done.

-hw

The patois of racism.

Feb 01, 2012 in Politics

This is a pretty amazing debate that really is the pure distillation of the Nixon approach, completely embodied as dogma:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

He says it twice: the only racism he sees is Democrats calling Republicans out on racism.

The food-stamp debacle of Republican idiocy is plainly refuted with statistics showing more Americans signed up for food stamps under George W. Bush and most signed up in the midst of a crisis already underway when Barack Obama was sworn in. Yet this guy doesn’t bat an eye, doesn’t see anything wrong with Newt’s repeated dog whistles.

But I think Al and Rachel kind of miss out on something here: This is just a different variation on the, “Republicans love puppies and rainbows,” shtick.

Everybody loves making money in the free market. Everybody loves buying things. Liberals buy things. Liberals open stores. Liberals even become billionaires. There’s no aspect of the market that lacks for liberals. The idea that liberals are trying to sell people on not working is completely, comically absurd. No such sentiment exists at all, anywhere.

No, what liberal sentiment has always said is that there are some of us who aren’t set back by a lack of will to work, but by a lack of opportunity. Usually it’s health, but we try to keep people living long, healthy lives by advocating for good food, exercise, and medical treatment. We advocate for Social Security because age humbles us all in the end. If you can make enough in your life to retire without it, I applaud and admire you. I have the same dream myself, in fact. We all should. We advocate for good public schools that turn out highly trained students who are ready for 21st century technology in the workplace. We support Medicaid and other programs that benefit the young, so that a child’s opportunity isn’t diminished due to poor development. We all want to compete and win, but we have a clear conscience about putting tax dollars out there to mitigate the realities of life that interfere with the dream. The people who are byproducts of a system that keeps them punished with low paying jobs with little security. And if you’re black, you’ve got the Drug War kicking your ass and tearing apart your families in a double-vice-grip of jail and Prohibition-related crime. We’re for removing those impediments to success and getting people working instead of costing the taxpayers in jail.

Republicans believe in WORKING AND SUCCEEDING IN THE FREE MARKET! Democrats promote LOOKING TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR A HANDOUT INSTEAD! This has become Republican dogma, turning right-o-sphere insanity into the stuff of presidential candidates. It’s a false choice. It simply doesn’t exist.

Democrats have gotten a lot better at challenging this false dichotomy. Al Sharpton actually does an incredible job of pinpointing Rick Tyler’s blind spots, but Tyler is well-versed in talking points and puts damn near every single one of them out there for the smell test. I just wish Sharpton or Maddow had gone after the fundamental premise in Tyler’s argument that 90%+ black people only vote Democrat because the Democrats peddle and promote dependence, a popular Republican sentiment that is unbelievably condescending to black voters (Herman Cain was hailed a hero for being a black man willing to say it about the rest of black people, naturally…very valuable cover).

Never let a straw man stand.

-hw

Newt is right.

Feb 01, 2012 in Politics

It is a really good point to make that there are fifty states in the US. Indispensable, really. Yet some dispense. The primary system itself dispenses with most of the states in a system where some want to write off Newt Gingrich after only four states have voted.

One sometimes elusive pleasure about the 2008 primaries was that the extended primary allowed more states to have their say before the Conventional Wisdom told them to SHUT UP NO PRESIDENT WHO FAILED TO WIN BOTH IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE HAS EVER WON, etc., blah blah blah.

Considering Newt leads Romney nationally (for some reason I can’t link on my wife’s laptop, but I checked Real Clear Politics polls), he can expect more victories down the line.

And yes, please Lordy let it be the case. A Romney candidacy will be pretty predictable, with Romney relying on phony falsehoods and general cluelessness. With Gingrich, the campaign will be so much more entertaining. I want to see how Newt acts in August when he realizes the Saul Alinsky claptrap is only for Super Adventure Club members. Republicans who, inexplicably, think of Obama as a walking teleprompter with a speech defect may be looking forward to seeing Newt debate Obama, but all sane people recognize that Obama will outclass Gingrich three debates in a row and it won’t even be close. It’s hard to understand how few of Obama’s opponents realize that no matter what disagreements one has with Obama, he’s one talented dude. He’s inhabited the office more fully since making the realization that Republicans were out to undermine his every move and every handshake was matched by a dagger. Usually, the handshake was spared.

Mint RawMoney, as Norman Goldman loves to call him, is his own gift, a walking boogeyman for capitalism so crass he temporarily turns rightwingers into Commie Pinkos. Okay, they love the rich, but actually running Gordon Gekko?

It’s doesn’t help that he’s Spaceman Gekko too, pumping millions each year into a plainly fraudulent religion invented by a con man whose distinctions from Scientology’s theology are best expressed in accounting practices (Mormons don’t seem to be running a blatant financial scam designed to indebt their followers to the church). Islam regards the Bible as a holy book too, but at least Muslims don’t try to call themselves Christians. If you add a book, you have to call yourself a different religion, that’s my rule. Mormonism is Christianity much the same as a group of people who added to the works of Sigmund Freud with fan fiction about Freud going back in time and calling himself Aristotle could be said to be Freudians.

I have to wrap it up before bedtime, but isn’t this election fun? I know I’ve been a reticient bitch lately when it comes to writing, but it’s just too much fun watching.

-hw

Oof.

Jan 23, 2012 in Politics

I don’t care who you are, this deserves a kleenex.

-hw

Not surprising…which is extremely depressing.

Jan 22, 2012 in Politics

Budget cuts in all areas of social services means that there are more people like Albert Flowers walking the streets without treatment.

These events happen quite frequently where I live. High on right wing theology and under constant pressure to juke stats that show an increase in collared “criminals”, juiced-up cops cruise the streets on search and destroy missions looking for anybody who dares to accidentally trip over a piece of broken sidewalk or drive to work with registration tags a month overdue. When they happen across an obviously mentally ill individual they jack them up and haul them into jail and then when they get too out of control they dump them off at the local emergency room. The hospital tends to them at a cost of up to $3K per day until they’re stabilized and then they’re sent out the door with, thanks to Medicare Part D, 30 days of domestically produced/priced meds. Those thirty days expire, the patient starts to self-medicate with alcohol, becomes delusional and sometimes violent and the process starts all over when they once again become a nuisance to the locals.

Somebody’s going to have to explain this one to me.

Jan 19, 2012 in Clueless Conservatives, Election crap, Politics

Santorum wins Iowa by 34 votes and it’s declared a draw?

So somebody neutralized those 34 votes.

Who has that power? I’d like to know, and why. What is the limit?

-hw

People power winning.

Jan 19, 2012 in Politics

Wisconsin voters got a million signatures to give Scott Walker the boot for his disastrous, deceptive mauling of the office of governor. And it’s looking like yesterday’s SOPA awareness effort made a huge splash, got people talking, and turned a few politicians away from the entertainment industry money. Now I am, of course, a big entertainment industry supporter but don’t tell us we have to break the internet and give their lawyers the kill switch for them to make a buck.

People power, right? Make sure you take an extra fifty bucks before November and give to as many as five or ten candidates you support. Five bucks from you makes a huge dent in the system. It’s money that the politician owes to the electorate, not just the big money sponsors. If everybody with an opinion gave a candidate five bucks, every candidate in America will be awash in campaign cash, thus neutralizing the impact of money. Flood the system with your currency, and the policies will rise to the top. Real debates will be had. And won.

-hw

When a Republican writes this an angel gets its wings.

Jan 19, 2012 in Politics

Yummy:

If you were trying to come up with the most atrocious candidate imaginable to go toe-to-toe with Barack Obama in 2012, you couldn’t do much better than Mitt Romney. He was an unpopular moderate governor who lost 2 out of the 3 major elections he’s run in and whose signature issue Romneycare is an enormous failure. Moreover, he’s so uninspiring that he makes Bob Dole look like Ronald Reagan and that’s before you consider his incessant flip-flopping that makes it impossible to really know where he stands on any issue. Romney’s candidacy also runs counter to almost every political trend in the book right now. He’s the antithesis of everything the Tea Party stands for — a moderate establishment-endorsed, principle-free Rockefeller Republican. On the other hand, he’s like a bad guy straight out of central casting for the Occupy Wall Street crowd, a conscience-free 1 percenter who makes $10,000 bets and lectures the public about how corporations are people — while hordes of poor and middle class Americans that he fired trail in his wake telling tales of woe about how Romney made their lives into a living hell.

This is just as brutal:

The best thing of all is that the rest of their choices aren’t any better. They’re trying to resuscitate Newt, for gawd’s sake. That’s trading one symbol of all that’s wrong with Republican politicians for another, but losing the hair and chiseled jaw in exchange for a giant grey man-baby.

So with the GOP presidential race winnowing down its field of mediocrity down to a flower pot of amorphophallus titanum, I declare today that 2012 is really about Congress. Just as it’s always been.

It’s been cool and hip to declare more loudly than the next liberal how much President Obama has betrayed the base and his accomplishments are trifling. Hell, sometimes it’s been on the nose. But let’s take the latest horrible betrayal: The NDAA.

SO who among the self-mutilating Republican-enabling left will care to point out that the bill was sent to President Obama with a Senate vote of 86-13?

Should Obama still have vetoed it? Yep, I absolutely believe he could have and should have attempted to peel off more Senators and get out the offending amendment. Would he have succeeded? Possibly. But when a bill comes his way with a nearly twenty vote margin above a veto override, I’m not about to use all my gunpowder on Obama.

The core reality, the path that will actually get something done in this world we live in where Republicans are running on torture, abolishing women’s rights and starting a war with Iran, is to primary the hell out of these jackasses in Congress whenever we get the chance and to start standing up for liberal values even in the reddest of the red states. The fact that Obama even got healthcare passed was because Democrats were succeeding at doing this since the fire got lit under their asses in 2004 and he was able, for a few months there, to get 60 Senators to override the Republican filibuster.

Without Congress, there is nothing. Even with Congress, we were blocked and obstructed, the really good Democrats in the House sending bill after bill to the Senate to die. We have to have complete control of Congress and have Republican Senators afraid to try stalling.

So primary every unsatisfactory Democrat with grassroots money, and beat the living shit out of every Republican in an election. That’s how you’ll get something done. That’s how you’ll get a world where Congress restores the Constitution. That’s how you get your Democratic president signing one good bill after another. That’s how you’ll get the Glenn Greenwalds of the left applauding their leaders with clear conscience. That’s how you’ll get your country back, and by “your country” you mean one with a real goddamn Constitution, not just one with a white president ala the Tea Party.

-hw

Kill these tabs!

Jan 12, 2012 in Politics

1. Another nail in the Romney coffin before he’s even out of the general election gate. Romney has as much a chance of winning as Mr. Burns.

2. It’s still okay to treat Occupy protesters like cockroaches.

3. Citizens United backlash still spreading. People are catching on that these immortal supercitizens who cannot be jailed are steering our government while actual citizens are left behind.

4. This Iran idiocy really is going off the rails. Ron Paul, noted racist and homophobe, has been the only public figure to throw water on our increasing manic anxiety over Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, which already has most of the GOP field declaring war and the Democrats trembling over looking “weak.” Well, Dems, if you don’t want to look weak, be strong and face reality. Iran seems to be stomaching various acts of war against them with some patience, perhaps because they know what anybody who isn’t a harebrain knows, that they will eventually get the nukes anyway and then maybe they’ll be left alone.

5. The pressures of inequality on the market and its link to the Great Recession. It’s not exactly rocket science that the wealthy do better when everybody’s doing better, but thirty years of voodoo Reaganomics has taken its toll.

6. Think the Republican contenders are delivering body blows to Romney over Bain? Wait til the Democrats pull out their big guns🙂

7. Excellent analysis of the crazy cult of anti-Obama haters that the GOP has become. Along the lines I’ve laid out before:

The main reason, I believe, is that the American right was backed into a corner and had no other card to play. The disastrous presidency of George W. Bush revealed the complete bankruptcy (literally) of the two core right-wing nostrums, “freedom” (good) and “big government” (bad). “Freedom” had led to the biggest meltdown since the Great Depression. And big government – which was greatly expanded by Bush, to the deafening silence of the soon-to-be-anti-Obama fanatics – had done nothing to prevent it. In the wreckage left by Bush, there was nothing for the right to do, if it wanted to live to fight another day, except deny causality (and reality) and demonize Obama.

Exactly. Do you remember that little moment in 2008 where the Republicans were losing, so utterly adrift that people started to wonder if they were finished as a party? Where they had to come up with something to say, and there was nothing sane left to say? That’s when the Tea Party started.

-hw

Job slaughtering! Job massacring! Job murdering!

Jan 12, 2012 in Clueless Conservatives, Politics

For people who have decided they’re going to repeat the phrase “job killing” as often as possible whenever talking about Democrats (regardless of the facts), Republicans sure have managed to kill a lot of jobs.

-hw

Shhhh….

Jan 10, 2012 in Politics

Haven’t said much because the Republicans are about to nominate a pathological liar nobody likes who grew up rich and got richer firing Americans and outsourcing their jobs, who then later became governor of Massachusetts and made his signature accomplishment the very health care reform plan that was conceived by Republicans but used as a model for the Affordable Care Act (OBAMACARE!!!).

Then again, I can’t lose with this field, can I?

And while this is a pretty miserable crop, it is so for a reason. These are the only people fool enough to try running for president as Republicans when the Republicans have gone from bankrupt in 2008 to completely flibbeldy-floo buggers beyond belief. They are utterly riddled with inexplicable hatred for President Obama, and as a result they’ve painted themselves into corners so many times they’ve taken to jumping out windows. Whereas President Obama has handled the recession too conservatively, Republicans have forced themselves to believe he handled it no differently than Chairman Mao. Whereas Obama clearly was not responsible for the actual crisis itself or the hemorrhaging of jobs taking place as he swore his oath, Republicans are so unable to stomach looking at the scoreboard that they have no political option except to lie, lie, lie repeatedly. Romney has done well being a rather exceptionally prolific liar and dissembler, but he’s merely won first place among liars. The problem is, nearly all sane and mildly informed people know he’s lying. In order to appease the base, he has almost nothing he can say that is the truth, because they’ve been drinking pure horsepiss and dining on horseshit for three years.

And with our lovely Tea Party congress, we’ve gotten a full laboratory experiment in which we can see that obstruction and austerity do nothing to help job creation, and even hinder it.

So Republican policies created the crisis, Republican policies left us so in debt that fighting the crisis became even more difficult, and Republican politicians when elected made the economy worse with the debt ceiling debacle and forcing deep cuts in the public sector.

What’s Mitt or any of them supposed to run on? They’ve already done what they could to flee from or lie about Obama’s foreign policy record. Even though Mitt is perfectly willing to lie through his perfect teeth about Obama’s foreign policy, he’s not going to win re-election promising war with Iran and another eight years in Afghanistan. His only chance is the economy being so bad without hope of recovery that nobody cares he’s a pathological liar and Wall Street fatcat who collects $26 million a year from a company he doesn’t even work for anymore. Or that nobody will notice he has nothing more planned than even higher tax cuts for the rich, which will create even more debt wars, resulting in again more punishment of the remaining 99% of Americans.

So yeah, it’s hard to talk about Romney or any of the candidates with a poker face. Can we really be this lucky? Well, all I can say to sober up is that the luck is purely political, and that America itself has been profoundly disserviced by the Republican party. When we needed governance we got looted and pillaged. When we needed responsibility we got only fingers pointed at those who came in after the fact. When we needed recovery, we got only betrayal.

May this election be over soon for our nation’s good. In the meantime, we might as well enjoy the sad spectacle of Mitt Romney, who is whatever he is at the moment yet can never get better.

-hw

Let’s hold on a second here and think this one out…

Jan 04, 2012 in Politics

Are we really going to start removing fat kids from their parents as a solution to obesity? It does not seem to me to be a wall we should lightly hop over.

Yes, parents are responsible for their children. And extreme obesity may be a sign of deeper, more severe issues at home. But it is nonetheless seriously disgusting to see children wrenched from their parents when, at the highest levels, we are represented by a government that has made it abundantly clear it would prefer to pander to the interests of the frozen food industry than reform childhood nutrition. One in which presidential candidates mock children’s health initiatives as “nannying.” Even the authors of that provocative JAMA story recommended governmental “investments in the social infrastructure and policies to improve diet and promote physical activity among children.” It takes a village to raise a child without a body-mass index number in the danger level.

Imagine if you were a little boy, perhaps without the best body image, and you knew that seeing your mom was contingent upon losing weight. Now imagine the over 12 percent of third-graders in Ohio who are severely obese and may now be facing a similar fate. Whatever you think of parental accountability for childhood obesity, ask yourself this: If one child can be removed, what happens to the rest? Who’s going to decide which parents of obese kids are neglectful? And who will take care of their health when neither their government nor their families seem to know how?

When Michelle Obama says, “You should eat vegetables and exercise more,” Republicans may choose to see that as further proof of the impending Liberal Holocaust, but this kind of meddling threatens to legitimize such complaints. It may be a tragedy when a parent lets their child’s body go to ruin, but not only can we not prevent all tragedies, we do not have the right to do so. And when the government so clearly fails via the school system where it has proper domain in providing proper nutrition and necessary exercise, by what argument can it claim legitimacy? Throw in genetic components of obesity and the issue becomes hopelessly muddled. Failure to justify a power means conceding that power does not rightfully exist.

-hw

Iowa Republican Caucus Live Blogging!

Jan 03, 2012 in Politics

With 98% of precincts reporting I’m calling it for Palin.

An Anonymous Person Agrees With Me!

Jan 03, 2012 in Politics

Rod Dreher (via Roy Edroso) found an anonymous individual that buttresses his hatred of the poors:

[“Dr. Smith”] said that many of the patients he sees “are people who are poor because they just don’t want to work. They’ve never had a job and they never will have a job. They’re fine with that.”

He said that the general public has no idea how much money is wasted on medical fraud and abuse by members of the underclass, and on treating people who have no intention of being anything other than dependents on the state, and who will demand treatment “if they as much as stub their toe” because they don’t have to pay for it…

The observable common behavior [of the poor] is so strange, irresponsible, and wholly dysfunctional that it’s hard to relate it to any norms we recognize as healthy, or even sane. But one is not permitted to say things like this out loud, or one will be accused of heartlessness, and worse.

Yet here’s Dreher saying it out loud; what a brave fellow! Be nice to him, now, he just lost his sister.

At the hospital I work at we refer to the class of people that Dreher is meta-speaking of as the “mentally ill”. Or more specifically, “schizophrenics” or “those suffering from bi-polar disorder” or “dementia” who, when filling out job applications, defer to the voices in their heads when listing references. How unscrupulous of them! But therein lies the rub: they’re either digging through your garbage or they’re involved in some form of established state run mental health systems that are perpetually under-funded. The problem is that right-wingers find both of the above two options disagreeable and instead unanimously prefer the far more expensive option of incarceration because it’s not really about public health issues or the money being spent on hypothetical stubbed toes. It’s about looking for an opportunity to complain that Somebody Is Getting Something That They Don’t Deserve.

-mg

I will bet you ten thousand dollars.

Dec 11, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Economy, Politics

Ten grand, I say, that my chicken quiche won’t melt your heart. Let’s put another ten grand on whether or not I can do the Fox Trot! And why not? Let’s bet a fucking yacht that I can bowl over 200. I’m so frivolous I should run for president.

-hw

Republican Congress Even Less Popular Than Democratic One

Dec 09, 2011 in Politics

Say, doesn’t it seem like conservative blogs were really interested in public opinion about Congress just a couple years back?
-TT

The Drug War hurting us more than drugs, vol. 627274

Dec 08, 2011 in Drug War Insanity, Politics

Back on the subject of asset forfeiture, financial incentives for police departments to go after drug arrests, even casual pot smokers, are skewing justice (as money is wont to do, not being merely “speech”):

The drug war’s financial incentives appear to be having an effect. A drug offender is much more likely to be arrested in Chicago than he was 10 or 20 or 30 years ago. But kill someone in Chicago, and you’re only about half as likely to be caught as you were in the early 1990s.
Last July, more than a year after her attack, Shaver’s assailant “Sonny” was finally convicted. He was sentenced to six months of probation. Reflecting back on the last tumultuous two years, Shaver says, “It just doesn’t make sense. Repeat violent offenders get to walk while casual pot smokers get terrorized by SWAT teams. I’m pretty disappointed in the justice system.”

It would be nice if our police officers were out there actually enforcing justice fairly and equally. Instead, they’re morphing into highwaymen, out to collect booty. It’s not their fault, ultimately, but the fault of those who create the drug war incentives that are intrinsically corrupt via actually being a war on Americans. Police officers, like any other human beings, will pursue the monetary incentives placed before them in their line of work.

-hw

An expulsion of tabs, gas.

Dec 05, 2011 in Politics

1. Two Americas update: If you haven’t noticed, our criminal justice system is designed to inflict maximum punishment on the poor while giving the wealthy as many free passes as possible.

I seem to remember the moral dilemma question about what to charge the man who only steals food for his children. All this woman did was lie about her drug history, which renders her morally equivalent to most politicians.

2. This is kind of true if you mean that anybody who writes for television or movies dares to believe something outside the realm of acceptable opinion on Fox News. Apparently, regardless of what any of us think is right or wrong, we should only write and produce art that conforms to one overriding goal: not offending people who capitalize on being offended.

Climate change is only controversial within the balloon of Fox and the right in America. Making a movie that touches upon our fears of the future is hardly controversial itself. Fear is one of the best topics for a film, even if it’s a fear that apes will rule the world while battling psychic mutants.

3. Can we just accept that politicians who have to run from the press should be chased faster? Mitt, you’re not going to be able to tap into the rightwing distrust of all non-rightwing media when you take on the rightwing media. Going apeshit on journalists trying to get close to Romney only exonerates the media for its supposed sins.

4. The Newt Comedy Tour primer. But what interested me was item #13, which shows Newt Gingrich repeatedly supporting the individual mandate as a conservative alternative to horrible things like Medicare for all. Every day it becomes clear that Republicans really have few core principles that they won’t betray the second Obama supports them. Obama started with compromises, Republicans started with, “Go back to Kenya with your anti-colonialist atheist Muslim communistic destruction of all that makes America dear, Barry Soetero!” The mandate always was a non-issue, the issue is hating Barack Obama, and Newt’s candidacy is rising because Republicans believe him when he vocalizes that hatred.

If Republicans want to run Newt, I say good for everybody. Because you couldn’t ask for a better representative for who the Republican Party really is and has been since Newt became Speaker in 1994. Strip away the folksy dunces like Dubya and you get the prep school dullards like Newt who turn their rejection into political resentment. They’re generally unlikable, and confuse arrogance for confidence. And they’re easy to deflate in online debate;) Newt’s biggest weakness on the way to the nomination is the fact that he’s also said enough to make any Republican hate him. But who could be the anti-Newt? Are they finally looking at Huntsman?

5. The more Republicans blather about Reagan (and unflattering themselves by comparison), they make us look back to the actual record of Reagan’s presidency, and it wasn’t good. Reagan’s single greatest accomplishment, it seems, was to make Republicans feel good about themselves. His attempts to play chess in the carnage of South America are so applauded that no manner of law-breaking displeased the forever loyal GOP base. The clear evidence that Reagan was increasingly a minor player in his own administration gave Republicans the model of the spokesman president who winks at America while the realpolitikers operate underground. This culminated in the disastrous two terms of George W. Bush. Reagan’s belief system broke in September 2008, and we’re just seeing the scattered pieces on television.

6. Bush and Blair guilty of war crimes says some foreigners, but they need to shut their mouths because America rules!

7. A wealthy man questions his status as a “job creator.”

I’m a very rich person. As an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I’ve started or helped get off the ground dozens of companies in industries including manufacturing, retail, medical services, the Internet and software. I founded the Internet media company aQuantive Inc., which was acquired by Microsoft Corp. in 2007 for $6.4 billion. I was also the first non-family investor in Amazon.com Inc.

Even so, I’ve never been a “job creator.” I can start a business based on a great idea, and initially hire dozens or hundreds of people. But if no one can afford to buy what I have to sell, my business will soon fail and all those jobs will evaporate.

That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is the feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion a virtuous cycle that allows companies to survive and thrive and business owners to hire. An ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than I ever have been or ever will be.

This has become forgotten in the American collective, overwhelmed by Republicans chirping, “Job creators!” incessantly. Supply-side economics ends with low demand. People earning checks and spending their money on life’s basics with a few luxuries is the lifeblood of an economy. Giving money to billionaires competing for some damn list in a magazine for highest-stacked pile of cash isn’t quite as productive.

-hw

Our post-Constitutional era.

Nov 30, 2011 in Abortion, Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives, Constitution, Disappointing Dems, Politics, Religion, Sophistry, Straight-up madness, teh gay, Torture, War on Terra, Where's the outrage?!?!

This is becoming inevitable, as the Republican Party, while ever ready to say the word, “Constitution,” is a complete and udder fraud on the subject, and has categorically dismissed most of the Amendments and the underlying philosophy behind the Constitution’s writing.

Now, I know it is required that I disclose the presence of a certain contingent of chickenshit Democrats who regularly cave whenever Republicans get hot and bothered, but they’re never the driving force, and they’re a minority within the Democrat Party, so there. It’s the wholly unbridled unified army of the Republican Order that drives an agenda that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, except as their protections pertain to white Christian heterosexual males.

1. They’re actively pro-torture, even though they square that by declaring any form of torture they like to not be torture. Simple, right? Not only is the Constitution unambiguously against cruel or unusual punishment, i.e. torture, but the entire history of the country at war has hewn to the same principles. Ronald Reagan was explicit in his condemnation of torture. The Republican Party today is best represented by Rick Santorum telling John McCain that he doesn’t understand torture.

2. They’re consistently against or dismissive of the religious freedom of gays, gay-supporting straights, Wiccans, atheists, Muslims. That the First Amendment ever be read in context with a world of varying beliefs is verboten. It’s about the Christian right to inject Christianity into anything they do, even and especially as a public employee. But when it comes to gays, the Christian right directly posits its beliefs as important enough to cancel out those of gays and to directly affect how gays live their lives by forbidding them marriage. The thought that Jesus might look kindly upon a loving gay couple cannot be entertained.

3. Search and seizure, forget it! Everything is open, up for grabs, ready to be peeped upon by Uncle Sam whenever he wants. The Drug War paved the way, the War on Terror planted the settlement and opened shop. Merely being suspected of having drugs can result in asset forfeiture, meaning your property rights are violated without due process, the police department acting as judge and jury. The burden of proof is often reversed onto suspects in such cases, and property is rarely returned regardless of charges.

Every phone and internet conversation has been opened up, and siphons through the NSA’s data miners.

Binney, for his part, believes that the agency now stores copies of all e-mails transmitted in America, in case the government wants to retrieve the details later. In the past few years, the N.S.A. has built enormous electronic-storage facilities in Texas and Utah. Binney says that an N.S.A. e-mail database can be searched with “dictionary selection,” in the manner of Google. After 9/11, he says, “General Hayden reassured everyone that the N.S.A. didn’t put out dragnets, and that was true. It had no need—it was getting every fish in the sea.”
Binney considers himself a conservative, and, as an opponent of big government, he worries that the N.S.A.’s data-mining program is so extensive that it could help “create an Orwellian state.” Whereas wiretap surveillance requires trained human operators, data mining is automated, meaning that the entire country can be watched. Conceivably, U.S. officials could “monitor the Tea Party, or reporters, whatever group or organization you want to target,” he says. “It’s exactly what the Founding Fathers never wanted.”

Power creeps, as the Founders realized, and always, always had to be balanced.

4. While ever ready to claim that rights not spelled out in the Constitution aren’t really rights, directly contradicting the Ninth Amendment, the Republican Party has declared that money equals speech. Why then should I be punished for bribing a police officer or judge? I’m merely talking to the them.

No, anybody knows exactly what money in politics means, it means buying politicians, period. Money buys politicians, it buys media outlets, it pays people to spout theories that testify to the greatness of the wealthy, and it’s all done for the sake of ever more money. As Danny DeVito said in The Heist, “That’s why they call it money.” It’s not the same as speaking your mind, it’s engaging in a transaction. There’s a reason “money talks” is a cliche. With money, speech isn’t so important anymore. It becomes the pretty envelope on a fat wad of cash.

5. Nor does it say anywhere in the Constitution that corporations constitute distinct immortal citizens with full rights. The very construction of a corporation is a legal designation, a product of government legislation. Who ever talks about it in those terms? Certainly not Republicans. Apparently God made corporations?

Ruling in Citizens United that not only could these corporations donate unlimited funds to candidates, but do so anonymously? Does anybody on this planet think the politicians don’t know exactly who donated? It merely creates a gigantic firewall against the public, keeping them out of the process, refusing to tell them who’s bought their supposed representative.

Jesus declared that the rich would not easily find their way into Heaven. He said no such thing about those with lots of opinions. Yet a party built on Judeo-Christian superiority delivers the sentiment, “money equals speech,” to us with deeply sincere faces, even strident faces. Add to that, “a corporation is a person,” whereas one soulless legal entity is equated to a human being, and the conundrum deepens. How do these people maintain such cognitive dissonance? With great strain.

6. Indefinite detention. Like torture, it is the complete and utter opposite of each and every plank, nail, and window in the Constitution’s house. It is the Gulag. It is the dungeon. It is the concentration camp. And now one of the two major parties has not merely let it fly under their radar, but made it their agenda. Take a few Dem politican scalps if you will, but only lefties and a few libertarians (where are you guys when we need you?) are going to bring this fight at all. Lesson from 2010: Letting more Republicans get into office is not a solution.

7. General Welfare: Abolishing the EPA? YHGTBFKM (You have got to be fucking kidding me). The Koch brothers need to dump more poison in our groundwater, Michele, won’t you help them?

The entire concept of the general welfare of the country has completely evacuated the Republican Party. In their eyes, fuck the general welfare. People get what they deserve, and if your life sucks, blame yourself. Of course, if everybody did a lot more looking in the mirror at themselves, we wouldn’t have many Republicans left. Instead, they survey only the oily shell of the individual, and perceive nothing of the complex lattice-work of society that supports their existence.

If you don’t fund schools, you end up living in a world of noisy uneducated people giving you rotten service, and you can only keep moving to new suburbs so long. If you don’t fund police departments, you end up with high crime rates and decreased property values. If you fund prisons while not funding rehab clinics, your Drug War will result in financial incentives that outweigh regular crime prevention. A Drug War waged primarily on minorities will turn jail into a martyrdom ritual, and your children will revere felons as heroes.

President Obama turned the health care system into a universal program, for which he is reviled by the right (not to ignore the political convenience…had there perhaps been a President Romney in 2008, his Massachusetts plan would be considered to be a rightful and just conservative blueprint to accomplish the goals of liberals through free-market means). The rather explicit permission of the Commerce Clause gives the government more than fair leeway to point out that uninsured people merely transfer the cost of their care to others. A mandate is really little more than a distribution of that cost among all citizens. You might not like it, but who’s going to be there for you if you have a stroke in twenty minutes and spend your remaining decades fully paralyzed?

8. Abortion. The government should enter the womb and put up a sign telling the mother to keep providing the nutrients but she’s not in charge anymore? That assertion of domain over the entirety of her body and its natural processes isn’t listed in the Constitution as a specific right, thus it does not exist?

As I mentioned, this is in direct violation of the Ninth Amendment, which explicitly states that the enumeration of certain rights is not meant to disparage the others. The Constitution is not a finite list of rights, and it says so clearly! And it certainly grants the government no power over a woman’s reproductive process. Anti-abortion sentiments were rare at the time of the writing of the Constitution, unfit for a special extension of government powers. And yet as the subject has become a crusade for religious fundamentalists, attempts to justify its Constitutionality have naturally occurred. Their crowing is as predictable as a rooster.

______

Republicans have in many cases not merely gone passive about certain rights, they’ve turned outright aggressive against them. Such a republic facing this prospect would rightly be deemed to be in or near its death throes, about to face a civil war. No matter how casually Republicans treat the Constitution, they’re emphatic about it, often moreso than Democrats. And that should just never be the case, because the only people I see left standing up for the Constitution anymore are left. And if libertarians were to be believed for half the things they say about liberty, there wouldn’t be Republican majorities anywhere.

-hw

What are those protestors complaining about?

Nov 29, 2011 in Politics

Or $7,700,000,000,000.

The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he “wasn’t aware of the magnitude.” It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.

“TARP at least had some strings attached,” says Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, referring to the program’s executive-pay ceiling. “With the Fed programs, there was nothing.”

Bankers didn’t disclose the extent of their borrowing. On Nov. 26, 2008, then-Bank of America (BAC) Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth D. Lewis wrote to shareholders that he headed “one of the strongest and most stable major banks in the world.” He didn’t say that his Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm owed the central bank $86 billion that day.
‘Motivate Others’

JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon told shareholders in a March 26, 2010, letter that his bank used the Fed’s Term Auction Facility “at the request of the Federal Reserve to help motivate others to use the system.” He didn’t say that the New York-based bank’s total TAF borrowings were almost twice its cash holdings or that its peak borrowing of $48 billion on Feb. 26, 2009, came more than a year after the program’s creation.

They committed fraud, basically.

Are you prepared for the Newt comedy?

Nov 22, 2011 in Politics

Leading with his chin, Newt Gingrich kicks off his lead in the Republican polls vocalizing something that’s been festering in the right-o-sphere: an end to those cumbersome child labor laws!

Grab your popcorn…

-hw

It’s racist to even defend Limbaugh at this point.

Nov 22, 2011 in Politics, Racism

#^!#%¥£€~>[]&$@*=+ uppity???

Did Limbaugh think playing the race card over true accusations against Herman “black people are brainwashed” Cain was a free pass to utter one of the worst racist slurs towards Michele Obama? No, because he’s been saying racist shit his entire career.

-hw

UPDATE: Glenn Beck seconds the motion.

A nice, clear, bright line.

Nov 19, 2011 in Politics

That’s what exists between this and the American way envisioned in the Constitution:

I guess we’re lucky we haven’t had another Kent State, or that we’re not being mowed down in the streets like in Syria, but that isn’t where the line between authority and individual rights lies in the US. Those aren’t our standards.

Let’s review that First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I don’t see the part in there that says, “But if we say no tents or stand here but not there and you don’t listen, we bash your head in and pepper spray you.”

There is absolutely nothing complicated about this. Anybody who’s even paid the slightest lip service to the Constitution should be steaming mad about this, period. If not, perhaps Syria might make a better fit for you.

-hw

Kenny Powers Has A Joe Walsh Moment.

Nov 16, 2011 in Politics

-mg

The rent is too damn high!

Nov 03, 2011 in Politics

Says the “person” who pays no rent:

(Reuters) – Thirty large and profitable U.S. corporations paid no income taxes in 2008 through 2010, said a study on Thursday that arrives as Congress faces rising demands for tax reform, but seems unable or unwilling to act.

Pepco Holdings, a Washington, D.C.-area power company, had the lowest effective tax rate, at negative 57.6 percent, among the 280 Fortune 500 companies studied.

The statutory U.S. corporate income tax rate is 35 percent, one of the highest in the world, but over the 2008-2010 period, very few of the companies studied paid it, said the report.

The average effective tax rate for the companies over the period was 18.5 percent, said Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, both think tanks.

Their report also listed General Electric Co, Paccar Inc, PG&E Corp, Computer Sciences Corp and NiSource Inc as among the 30 that paid no taxes. All 280 corporations examined were profitable over the period.

Corporations will say rightly that the loopholes that let them slash their taxes were perfectly legal, the report said.

“But that does not mean that low-tax corporations bear no responsibility … The laws were not enacted in a vacuum; they were adopted in response to relentless corporate lobbying, threats and campaign support,” the report said.

Despite the moaning and groaning, companies in the United States have it easy. Sure, they’ll threaten to “Go Galt” but that bluff was called after the Affordable Care Act passed and the biggest threat the 101st Fighting Keyboarders could come up with was to stop tipping their wait staff which we all knew was bullshit from the start because nobody tips the cashiers at McDonald’s. So why are they calling for more tax breaks for corporations that already pay no taxes? Because, as the above article points out, in the case of Pepco Holdings you’re receiving a net subsidy. Players gotta play, lobbyists gotta lobby and tricking some meth-addled sheet-rocker from Tulsa into footing the bill for your Bulgari cufflinks won’t weigh heavy on the conscience when your boss is a legal fiction with no responsibilities to its fellow “persons”. To do otherwise would be socialism!

-mg

Just Another Muslim Terrorist Plot

Nov 02, 2011 in Politics

By “Muslim” I mean “white Christian right-winger,” but hey, who’s counting? -TT

How to calmly tear somebody a new asshole.

Oct 25, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Occupy Wall Street, Politics

Chris Hedges almost loses his temper here for a second, as his arguments are responded to by A-1 doofus Kevin O’Leary with idiotic jeering, but he chooses systematic destruction via better facts and argumentation:

It’s strange that Occupy Wall Street protesters, who are really important for drawing our attention to the destruction Wall St. and the 1% have wrought upon the country, are continuously expected, by the usual suspects, to have all the solutions. Acknowledging that we have a problem is the first step, perhaps the most important one. Finding solutions can then come out of the dialogue we have as a result, and there needs to be a lot of wide-ranging answers as we’ve nearly been killed by a thousand cuts. Thankfully, Hedges does a good job of having all the answers and proving that O’Leary isn’t even trying to pay attention. More of this!

-hw