Archive for September, 2010

Big government!

Sep 30, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives

Oh, we definitely need big gubmint and dem TRIAL LAWYERS when somebody teases a conservative:

Breitbart didn’t respond to our requests for comment, but he has been using Twitter to lash out at those who describe O’Keefe as part of Breitbart’s “crew.”

“Not his employer. When criticizing journalism always try to practice good journalism,” he tweeted to Nicole Sandler, a radio host who had retweeted something that called Breitbart O’Keefe’s “employer/coward.”

When Oliver Willis, who writes for Media Matters, tweeted that “@andrewbreitbart’s crew strikes again,” Breitbart shot back, “‘@andrewbreitbart’s crew’? do you want to get sued for libel?”

Well, considering Breitbart has stated he pays James O’Keefe a salary, calling him one of Breitbart’s crew doesn’t strike me as libel, so I’ll say it: He’s one of Breitbart’s crew. And if you didn’t hear, Breitbart is trying to drop the O’Keefe connection because, get this, the ugly little fucker’s latest grand scheme was to fill a boat with sex toys, get a CNN reporter on the boat, then seduce her. What?

Even if he were a stud who could pull it off…what’s the angle there? Um, CNN reporters are sluts or something? UPDATE: John Cole answers here:

Any video he got from the boat would have been “proof” of whatever they claimed it would be. These are the folks who took a video of Shirley Sherrod rejecting racism and used it to… call her a racist. These are the folks who had Acorn officials fired for… calling the authorities when they went in and pretended to be sex traffickers and the Acorn folks did the right thing. All they needed was videotape of anything involving Abbie Bordreaux on that boat. It doesn’t matter if she was repulsed or what she actually did, they would lie and edit the video and it would become whatever they wanted it to be.

Yeah, keep running, Breitbart. And keep your lawyers in your pants, asshole.

-hw

There’s no need for the government to invest in the future.

Sep 29, 2010 in Politics

It would seem to be an essential function of any government- looking forward and realizing that the government can make certain investments in the future that pay dividends later:

A generation after Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping made mastering neodymium and 16 other elements known as rare earths a priority, China dominates the market, with far-reaching effects ranging from global trade friction to U.S. job losses and threats to national security.

The U.S. handed its main economic rival power to dictate access to these building blocks of modern weapons by ceding control of prices and supply, according to dozens of interviews with industry executives, congressional leaders and policy experts. China in July reduced rare-earth export quotas for the rest of the year by 72 percent, sending prices up more than sixfold for some elements.

While China is loaning us money, it’s building a country of the future and kicking our ass, using big government to smack us over the head with big capitalism. Somehow, I don’t think the Tea Party is really speaking to me about specific kinds of problems like these. After all, Republicans are busy making sure offshore jobs continue to replace American ones.

Just how far U.S. manufacturing has waned is apparent at a factory in Valparaiso, Indiana, where dogs skitter across a bare concrete shop floor, their nails clicking. This brick plant on Elm Street once made 80 percent of the rare-earth magnets in laser-guided U.S. smart bombs, according to U.S. Senator Evan Bayh, a Democrat from Indiana. In 2003, the plant’s owner shifted work to China, costing 230 jobs.

Outsourcing national security for a quick buck. Victory for the Invisible Hand of the Market!

-hw

No, Walter, you’re not wrong.

Sep 29, 2010 in Barack Obama, Disappointing Dems, Politics

I pretty much agree with everything in this piece from Peter Daou.

Virtually all the liberal bloggers who have taken a critical stance toward the administration have one thing in common: they place principle above party. Their complaints are exactly the same complaints they lodged against the Bush administration. Contrary to the straw man posed by Obama supporters, they aren’t complaining about pie in the sky wishes but about tangible acts and omissions, from Gitmo to Afghanistan to the environment to gay rights to secrecy and executive power.

The Greenwalds of the world are right, and I personally admire their principled stands a great deal. And the truth is, Obama never truly addresses their concerns; his rebuttals often focus on domestic issues, where Obama’s ground is much, much stronger (although when he says, “We could have fought for a public option and not had a bill,” this is clearly a false choice…we kind of fought for the public option, he didn’t, it didn’t get the votes and we got the bill anyway). And, rightfully, anybody who thinks of themselves as being liberal can brag about a great number of real achievements on the home front.

But if there’s a reason to be a bit depressed about being a liberal, well, Daou delivers a couple dozen. One or more may ring true for you:

# Sarah Palin can move the public discourse with a single tweet, promoting a worldview consisting of unreflective, nationalistic soundbites.
# Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Fox are dominating the national conversation, feeding a steady stream of propaganda packaged as moral platitudes to tens of millions of true believers.
# In the face of overwhelming evidence, climate deniers are choking the life out of the environmental movement and willfully condemning humanity to a calamitous future.
# From ACORN to Van Jones, liberal scalps are being taken with impunity.
# Feminism is being redefined and repossessed by anti-feminists.
# Women are facing an all-out assault on choice.
# Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is being co-opted by a radio jock.
# Schoolbooks are being rewritten to reflect the radical right’s anti-science views.
# The rich-poor divide grows by the minute and teachers and nurses struggle to get by while bankers get massive bonuses.
# We mark the end of a war based on lies with congratulations to all, and we escalate another war with scarce resources that could save countless lives.
# An oil spill that should have been a historic inflection point gets excised from public awareness by our own government and disappears down the memory hole (until the next disaster).
# Guns abound and the far right’s interpretation of the second amendment (the only one that seems to matter) is now inviolate.
# Bigotry and discrimination against immigrants, against Muslims, against gays and lesbians is mainstream and rampant.
# The frightening unconstitutional excesses of the Bush administration have been enshrined and reinforced by a Democratic White House, ensuring that they will become precedent and practice.

Damn.

There’s quite a bit there to ponder when considering one’s vote this November. I’m down with all the principled muthas out there who are swinging it strong and clean, but make no mistake: November is when you dust off your pants and get out there and vote to save the country from the absurdly blind fools determined to crash in and fuck up as many things as possible. Liberalism can flourish as long as liberals don’t forget who the hell to vote for. Sorry, but you want to plant flowers in D.C. you’ve got to dig in that dirt of messy humanity. Sustainability is green.

-hw

Bishop Long: Blatant hypocrisy or a classic case of liberal class politics?

Sep 27, 2010 in Religion

Gleaned from a post by Balloon Juice writer mistermix:

Bishop Long cuts a flashy figure in Lithonia, the Atlanta suburb where he lives and has built his church. He is often seen in a Bentley attended by bodyguards. He tends to wear clothes that show off his muscular physique. He favors Gucci sunglasses, gold necklaces, diamond bracelets and Rolex watches. He lives in a 5,000-square-foot house with five bedrooms, which he bought for $1.1 million in 2005.[...]

In 2005, for instance, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published tax records showing that from 1997 to 2000 Bishop Long had accepted $3 million in salary, housing, a car and other perks from a charity he controlled.

The author goes on to comment about the lack of political interest in taxing the non-charitable activities of high-rolling mega-churches but I think the real question we should be asking here is whether or not Eddie Long is truly rich. A Bentley, Gucci sunglasses and diamond bracelets may sound like they cost a lot of money but when you take into consideration his lack of a private jet it makes me wonder if we’re all just envious of his success.

-mg

The Democrats only failed to go far enough or go down fighting for what was right.

Sep 26, 2010 in Disappointing Dems

Of course, in CW-speak that means you have to accept people voting for any gibbering idiot who has an R next to their name. But in putting that aside and just looking at what the Democrats did and what could have changed perceptions about their efforts the past two years, it seems to me that one answer sticks out like a sore thumb: No epic public works project.

Look at the stimulus: too small, half of it a bunch of tax cuts that most people didn’t notice (because taxes are already low), and a few infrastructure jobs promised aside, stories of misdirected funds that didn’t create lots of jobs. That doesn’t mean it didn’t do a lot of good, just not enough good.

Yet tucked away in it was a billion dollar program that actually hired people. As if the Census jobs weren’t a clear enough sign, the government could, with relatively modest funds, make a dent in job numbers. People with jobs create demand. Demand is what the economy lacks most, not CEOs with unbruised egos. While Republicans are screaming, “We have to make the rich HAPPIER!” Obama and the Democrats could have kept passing smaller jobs bills the entire time, finding work that needs to be done and putting people to work doing it. Hire an extra goddamn guidance counselor, dammit. Most urban schools have 400 students per counselor. That’s not even pretending to care. Put some damn security guards around, hire more cops, fund more after-school programs…I could go on, but the basic principle is hiring people to do jobs that help Americans has a doubly reverberating effect on the economy and our national well-being.

Of course, Glenn Beck might call these programs Hitler youth clubs, so we couldn’t do more. The Democrats chose cowardice and gave us half-measures during a full-measure crisis.

Understanding that all perfectly well, the choice in November remains this: forward, or backwards? The Republicans have tried to make the case that Democratic programs actively hurt the economy, but this is patently ridiculous. Republican policies would actively contribute to our further ruin. No, a simple message needs to be sent to Washington: You’ve still got your jobs, being lucky in your enemies, but grow some goddamn balls and take the initiative or kiss it all goodbye.

-hw

P.S. Yes, I know I’m barking in the dark here. See some more chickenshit Democrats who can’t stand up for what they voted for here.

The Republicans never mean what they say on the deficit.

Sep 26, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Crazy Tea Party People, Deficit, Disappointing Dems

Bruce Bartlett describes what the cheap, “MORE tax cuts now, unspecified minor spending cuts later!” Pledge to America GOP “plan” illustrates:

Today, Republicans believe that deficits are nothing more than something to ignore when they are in power and to bludgeon Democrats with when they are out of power.

It’s important to remember that the deficit was just something the Republicans latched onto the second they were facing the prospect of being out of power. When they lost the elections of 2006 and 2008, they were at the tail end of six years of nearly uninterrupted Republican rule and the verdict was in. They had nothing. No plan for the future, no explanations for their failures, just anger. Whatever they could harness that anger to was good enough. George W. left behind a $1.3 projected deficit? Blame it on Obama, return to blathering about budget-busting tax cuts and vague spending cuts. The Republicans added the Tea Party moniker to rebrand, promised that they really meant it this time, and proceeded to bash Obama for two years without regard for the facts. Now their biggest priority is scaring the Democrats into passing along $3 trillion in tax cuts by declaring total war to win an extra $700 billion for the country’s wealthiest citizens. They were all about the deficit, until they got that tax cut candy waved in front of their nose.

If the next six years actually saw Democratic rule by a party that wasn’t constantly terrified of what people like Glenn Beck say, we’d be on the way back to fiscal recovery. As it is, even if Democrats survive this election relatively intact, they’ll only be more scared. I mean, if you can’t have a victory like 2008 and work up your courage, a close call is going to make you braver?

This country may be entering some kind of paradigm where the party out of power always has the drive, because things are constantly turning into shit. Of course, we’re still dealing with the fallout from GOP rule, but capitalism, the climate, and our resources have combined forces to launch the U.S. on a downward trajectory that we won’t soon escape. If Democrats in power can’t face that fundamental fact and fight for their solutions, then they’re going to get bounced in favor of Republican magical thinking. See, Republicans don’t have any solutions, but they don’t care. They’re just worried about winning elections, so they get their soundbite and go full steam.

The Democrats are in fact the only ones who can be trusted on the deficit, historically and presently. Every one of them can take the deficit issue and shove it right up Republican arses this Fall. We’ll see how many do.

-hw

The Pledge to America is a horrific flop.

Sep 23, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Deficit, Economy

I told ya for two years they were crazy and had no good policies. Somehow they got backed into providing specifics (*gasp*) and now that we can see them, we can safely laugh. The Republicans are charlatans, especially about the deficit, and the Pledge is a budget-buster, plain and simple.

Fortunately, it takes 60 votes to get anything done in the Senate nowadays, right? The Republicans taught us that. Whatever Democrats don’t like, we’ll filibuster, just like Republicans did. Until they want to disarm the filibuster, why should Democrats get beat over the head with a stick for two years and not pick up a stick to fight back with? Two years of pure Obstructionism, in its most concentrated form, has destroyed the normal expectations. We don’t have a fair partner in the Senate. Just Machiavellians.

So what part of the pledge can get past the 60 vote barrier and a presidential veto (presuming Obama doesn’t just cave into everything, a possibility)? I’m sure something truly popular could get 60 votes. After all, Democrats did it for Health Care.

Watch the folks over at CPST run into a brick wall on the Pledge here. It’s crickets right now after a brief volley, but perhaps the thread will draw some rightwinger martyrs ready to yammer about Obama being teh Commie.

-hw

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Postcards From the Pledge
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

I guess a Republican minority has already won the Senate.

Sep 21, 2010 in Politics

What about the will of the people again? A minority of Senators from empty states once again demonstrate who’s in charge. And that hate can still win in 2010.

-hw

If you keep writing nicely, you’re bound to get somewhere.

Sep 21, 2010 in Deficit

Michael Kinsley, who can be quite dense at times trying to search for something interesting to say, lets a few golden nuggets drop while discussing the burden the Baby Boomers are leaving for current and future generations and what to do about it:

The idea of my tax is to produce a lot of money that can then be used to pay off, or at least buy down, society’s debts. If we could collect just 20 percent of the alleged $41 trillion about to pass through two generations, that would be more than $8 trillion.

Critics of the estate tax like to say that it amounts to taxing the same income twice: once when it’s earned and again when you die. This is wrong, for the most part. People who leave estates of more than $1 million didn’t earn this amount through wages. Most of their fortunes consist of “unrealized capital gains”: property (paintings, houses, shares of stock, entire companies) that has become more valuable. As long as they don’t sell it, they pay no income tax. And there are plenty of other loopholes to provide untaxed spending money. Most of the people who would be affected by what we might as well call the Boomer Tax actually did pay taxes when they earned their money originally, because the loopholes and special rates don’t apply to plain old wages. They really will be paying twice, but that’s the idea. That’s what you do because you didn’t have to fight in World War II.

The point is to get the Boomers to really do something big to say they sacrificed for their country and the future. Undoubtedly, this will be a very difficult proposition, because they’re Boomers. It’s all about them, baby. And, of course, if you suggest end-of-life counseling as a measure of sanity-

One final thought: as we learned during the health-care debate, citizens of other advanced countries live longer than Americans, while spending far less per person on health care. How can that be? Well, it’s partly that they don’t try to save people through heroic, expensive, long-shot efforts, most of which fail. You’ve seen the figures: for example, last year Medicare spent $50 billion on the last two months of life. Trouble is, we don’t know when we’re two months from the end.

-then you have people start talking about death panels and Nazi euthanasia programs and God, because we might consider some restraint in dumping billions upon billions into the mindless pursuit for just a few more days or weeks of life. Okay, drain the Treasury if you like, but at least let me have the right to choose not to.

Kinsley has some other good notions, such as the fact that Social Security is supposed to keep old folks out of cruel poverty, not provide a return on an investment. We dole out so many checks to those who have provided for their retirement years, and such was never the purpose, and cap yearly payments.

Nevertheless, all is for naught. The Boomers will retire, ask us to pony up, and make sure they don’t have to foot the bill. “How’s that deficit we left you comin’ along?” may become the most popular question grandparents ask their grandchildren, even after their grown. And many will do it voting Republican and bitching about government spending.

-hw

A moment of actual conservative thinking.

Sep 21, 2010 in Deficit, Economy

Christopher Buckley:

I worked at the White House in the early Reagan administration, at a time when the deficit rocket really started to take off. The problem was that Reagan had promised to a) cut taxes and b) increase defense spending. You remember: supply side? Candidate George H.W. Bush called it “voodoo economics,” his argument being that you couldn’t cut the deficit without cutting non-defense spending. Mr. Bush stopped calling it that round about January 20, 1981. Reagan then cut taxes, increased defense spending, and didn’t cut entitlement spending. Oops.

As the deficits began mount–though they were mere trifles, pittances compared with the Mt. Everest variety with us today–I meekly raised my little voice and said, “But I thought we Republicans were supposed to be the ‘Daddy Party’–the responsible ones. The designated driver-party.”

The answer, rendered most succinctly, 20 years later by Vice President Dick Cheney, himself part of a Republican administration that managed to double the national debt in eight years, was: “Deficits don’t matter.” P.S. Go f— yourself.

And if we face a debt crisis, it’s just a good chance to slash entitlements and stop making Americans so lazy in Republican eyes. Not really the most responsible way to handle things, is it? They started instituting their philosophy thirty years ago and now everybody living today and their descendants will be left with the burden of our exorbitant conceits (such as trillion dollar wars of widespread slaughter to avenge the loss of 3000).

I think that we might as well face reality: we’re going to have to cut spending and raise taxes. (Good luck with that, America.)

And we’re left with cowardly Democrats and corrupt Republicans gleefully willing to take political power by promising people they won’t have to pay for our mistakes.

There can be no redemption for this nation without pain. It’s up to the people to demand honest politicians who will tell them they can’t have everything for nothing, and that certain bills simply must be paid. And the people who ran up the tab so high shouldn’t be lecturing us about fiscal sanity.

Entitlement reform has to come packaged with massive defense spending cuts and tax increases. Anybody else telling you different is selling a get-rich-quick scheme. And you ain’t the one getting rich.

-hw

Got four trillion bucks?

Sep 16, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Economy

Not only have Bush’s tax cuts helped put us in the hole, but should they be made permanent, as Republicans would like us to do, it would cost us $4 trillion in just the next ten years.

These are the people we’re supposed to trust on the deficit? Repeat after me: Democrats lead to surpluses, Republicans lead us further and further into endless debt. Obama and the Democrats are taking a major step forward towards fighting the deficit by letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the rich. If only our country had the balls to go back to Clinton-era rates for everybody.

-hw

p.s. It’s true, it must be noted that Obama wants to compromise with the Republicans to keep the bulk of the cuts, which would go to the poor and middle class. That’s the thing…he’s trying to find a middle ground between the right solution and the destructive one, but the result is still $3 trillion more in the hole, validating a tax cut we never needed and couldn’t afford in the first place.

Now were the Republicans actually willing to do something real about the deficit, and we could all agree to go back to the tax rates of the 90′s, the Democrats wouldn’t be trying to compromise. Were the Republicans not willing to call the pre-set expiration date a “tax increase,” we wouldn’t have the compromise. But we have demagogueing entertainers on the right and shiftless cowards on the left, and so Rome continues to burn…

Elizabeth Warren nomination can just about make up for Geithner and Summers.

Sep 15, 2010 in Barack Obama, Outstanding Democrats

It wasn’t necessary to have to wait this long to get a real voice for the people into a high-ranking position, but I do love that rope-a-dope game Obama plays. I suspected he would get strategic in September and October, and this seems to be yet another indication that he’s getting it. Progressives, you have Elizabeth Warren to set your hearts afire for November.

Along with the recent aid bill for small businesses…astoundingly voted against by 37 of 41 Republican Senators (or not so astoundingly, if you remember that all they care about is trying to stop Obama from getting popular victories), and the previous jobs bill saving teachers, firefighters and cops, Obama is on a roll. If he plans on keeping this up through October, then I’m frankly frickin’ ecstatic with anticipation.

-hw

p.s. And how disgraceful an end to Chris Dodd’s Senate career that he exits having tried to oppose Warren at every step.

Perspective.

Sep 13, 2010 in Election crap, Politics

If he were a Republican, Republicans would never shut up about how he saved America. Democrats, get your shit together. BTW, I loved this piece: Fighting liberals have nothing to fear in November.

-hw

Mike Thayer of the Coralville Courier is a chickenshit.

Sep 13, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives

All comments are moderated? The last one I left didn’t make it. (UPDATE: Most recent one actually got 80% chopped off!!! Subsequent complaining comment has yet to appear…)

Now I’ll always hand it to Dana over at CSPT that he damn near won’t block anybody, even though blubonnet deserves it (we can’t quite bring ourselves to do it either, but I’m considering striking a deal with Dana that we both do it in bipartisan fashion). Most rightwingers can only function in propaganda mode, and will quickly squelch a liberal who comes in kicking ass. Of course, when their revered leader Rush Limbaugh has built his career on preventing anybody from truly challenging him, it’s hard to expect the bottom-feeders to do much better.

My experience is that ten times out of ten a ranting rightwinger can be cornered and demolished via intellectually honest reasoning, so it’s kind of a knee-jerk self-defense mechanism for them to essentially function in propaganda mode. They’re usually there to just talk at you and repeat their soundbites over and over again like a mating call. They’re not trying to debate, they’re trying to find other believers so they can get together and cry over how mean liberals are with their elitist facts-and-logic stuff.

A guy like Thayer, a true bottom-feeder if there ever was one, regularly gets humiliated here at Iowa Liberal, where he can’t turn us off (as most any cocky rightwinger finds out soon enough). We, on the other hand, feel no threat whatsoever. In fact, our biggest problem is that while we know we have a lot of readers, we make it so excruciatingly difficult for wingers that they usually scamper off and don’t come around again. This is not a place where they can freely disseminate propaganda, so it offers little attraction for them. Why stay here and get beat up when they can congregate with like minds elsewhere?

Hell, even when we do waltz over to CPST and start drilling into pontificating fools like DNW, one starts seeing comments of shock and alarm that liberals are ruining the party.

Well, yeah. Sorry, guys, but you’re doing your best to ruin the country spouting piles of bullshit, and it’s got to be reckoned with sometimes. I know it makes righties extra angry when a liberal fights back, but that’s only because a fighting liberal is a huge threat to them. And a coward like Thayer knows it.

-hw

The intellectual giant of the right, Newt Gingrich.

Sep 12, 2010 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Racism

He’s an idiot, by the way:

“What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?” Gingrich asked. “That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”

“This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president,” Gingrich added.

“I think he worked very hard at being a person who is normal, reasonable, moderate, bipartisan, transparent, accommodating — none of which was true,” Gingrich continues. “In the Alinksy tradition, he was being the person he needed to be in order to achieve the position he needed to achieve. … He was authentically dishonest.”

Gingrich knows a lot about cons. His entire career has been one, and he only projects himself onto Obama. Gingrich has his finger in the wind and says the batshit crazy stuff required to pass Tea Party muster nowadays. Unfortunately, Newt does these stunts and it only makes people like him less. Rush Limbaugh is really popular for a radio host, but has 20% public favorability ratings. Newt wants to be thought of as an intellectual, but in the end he can’t hide the mean-spirited lunkhead inside and logic flies out the window. And like Limbaugh, he just can’t resist a racist dog whistle.

-hw

p.s. Special credit goes to that special idiot, Dinesh D’Souza, for cooking up this steaming pot of horseshit. Brutally smart takedown of D’Souza’s original piece here.

Who does he expect to make electric cars?

Sep 11, 2010 in Energy, Politics

What an absolutely outrageously manipulative insensitive hubristic piece of Green advertising bullshit. From a fucking car company! A car company who’s (non-electric) cars are helping to destroy the bear’s ice pack!

Cute but stupid, wiseguy. The ad is still for an electric car. The car companies are who needs to make the transition to electric from gas, so as they make this transition, they should deserve credit for that, revel in it, and seek more.

Another thing people love to do is bitch about where the electricity comes from. I really don’t trust such people, as it’s usually a winger trying to bash people for taking global warming seriously. Obviously electric cars get their energy from the electric grid, which is usually supplied by various methods but usually fossil fuels. Yes, of course, but the point is to also reform our electric production.

It’s not too difficult: Car companies need to transition to electric, and electricity needs to transition to clean, renewable resources. People who are temperamentally smartasses need to make sure they’re actually being smart in their assery.

-hw

Another hard choice…

Sep 11, 2010 in Politics

Maybe don’t attend a political rally on 9/11?

-hw

So goes the way of democracy?

Sep 11, 2010 in Politics

Yes, a democracy is potentially threatened by the citizenry getting greedy then needy with benefits.

The *American people* do not want to hear that they have to pay for the services that they receive from government. They want something for nothing. All of these politicians wouldn’t be following this path if it was going to get them thrown out of office.

Yet this is emblematic of the choices each of us makes, and a product of the same. I may discover that I can eat a box of Swiss Cake Rolls for little over a dollar a day and make myself very happy, temporarily. When I need to park my fat ass in a scooter, I may realize that I shouldn’t have eaten so many Swiss Cake Rolls. So yes, just eating junk and doing nothing else will destroy one’s health.

One may immediately suggest not eating so many Swiss Cake Rolls. Such is good measure, but one has another option: exercising. Good eating will only get you so far if you don’t exercise.

America has some junk food to get out of its system, but it also needs to exercise. Once we’ve decided what we need to be spending on, we need to be willing to have the tax rates necessary to pay for them. Democrats are trying to get our asses off the couch and doing a little cardio, but Republicans are complaining that they get enough exercise walking to the fridge.

Who’s being responsible?

Of course, Republicans like to call Democrat spending programs junk food, and vice versa. So we do need to make some decisions. And I think the people are fundamentally comfortable with preferring to have Social Security and health care vs. spending more than the rest of the world combined on the military, but, of course, the Republicans (and Democrats who take money from defense contractors) start flopping around on the floor in convulsions if we talk about shaving a percent or two off our military spending. So in the end, we’re largely satisfied with our spending. We want some of the junk food, and actually a lot of the domestic spending is pretty healthy stuff. So, what does a person who likes that extra fatty sugary food do? Exercise harder.

A vote for the GOP this fall is voting for sitting on the couch longer and eating more. I mean, sure, Republicans say they want to cut spending, but six years of complete GOP control (and with a Democratic minority that rarely filibustered, as was tradition) proved that the GOP loves spending more than anybody. It’s nothing more than a campaign tease. “I’ll eat better, I promise!” Well, maybe.

Democrats have, at least, the advantage that Bush’s tax cuts were so deep that they were made temporary (it’s almost as if they were meant to expire if we weren’t doing so well…). They can, by doing nothing, immediately get America exercising more to counteract the eating.

We may be a doomed nation, but not yet. We still have choices to be made. Our choice in November is pretty simple, I’d say, but the noise is hard to cut through for people who aren’t paying deep attention. The GOP is power hungry, nothing more. They went nuts with it during Bush’s reign, and they went nuts when they lost it. If put back in control, they will continue proposing further destructive measures to keep themselves in power longer. We will continue to lose ground on the real hard choices necessary to fight deficit spending, health care costs, global warming, peak oil, you name it. Nearly anything that might cause a little pain today for gain tomorrow, the GOP will oppose it.

Don’t get me started on how many of them don’t care because they think the Rapture is coming, and that it’s important that they be in power and have lots of weapons when it happens.

The point is, that way lies destruction. Fiscal conservatism and responsibility require a tax increase. America needs to step it up and prove that we can sustain this experiment in democracy. We need to prove that we aren’t going to just be here 200 years, but 2000, 20,000, 200,000…hell, we can even make it a 2-4 billion years before the sun blows up. But not if we aren’t willing to make a hard choice.

Unemployment may be high, and Democrats may be having a hard time getting quick results (ahem, thank Republican filibusters for much of that), but voters need to send the GOP a message that the way they’ve been carrying on isn’t the way to be trusted with responsibility again.

That said, we probably won’t, and we’ll probably survive a while longer. Our problems are deep, and long-term. All the same, it’s those daily choices that add up. November is likely to be a step backward.

-hw

Persecuted Christians.

Sep 10, 2010 in Religion

Atheist group puts up sign letting non-believers know they’re not alone, Baptist minister says, “It’s kind of like they’re poking a finger in your eye.”

I guess it just feels good to think you’re being attacked. Of course, if an atheist said the same about a sign telling Christians they weren’t alone, the same guy would say he was, again, being attacked.

-hw

Getting warmer…

Sep 06, 2010 in Politics

If Obama still has his sense of jiu-jitsu, he knows this is where he can press the offensive on Republicans. I dare the bastards to filibuster a single jobs bill before November.

-hw

Laugh while you weep.

Sep 06, 2010 in Science

Science News Cycle

-hw

Just a friendly reminder.

Sep 03, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives

Republicans still love Bush.


They love him, they love his policies, they wish it had never ended. They didn’t learn a thing in 2006, they didn’t learn a thing in 2008, they just think they got robbed by the librul media. They would bring him back in an instant, and if they could find a way to pretend Bush had been right about anything, they’d be throwing parades in his honor and trying to put him on Mt. Rushmore.

It seems axiomatic that everybody’s forgotten just how awesome Republicans thought Bush was during his reign, how perfectly he embodied who they said they were.

-hw

Obama is more of a Christian than Glenn Beck.

Sep 03, 2010 in Christian Right, Clueless Conservatives

Ways to kill a room full of babbling rightwingers saying Obama isn’t Christian: Point out that Glenn Beck’s Mormon Space-Jesus-who-hung-out-with-Jewish-Indians-as-told-by-con-man-Joseph-Smith is barely “Christian” itself.

Mormons are about as goofy as Scientologists, it’s just that they aren’t running an blatant scheme to get every last dollar out of your pocket. But they’re willing to work with Catholics and Protestants for causes like hating the gays and controlling wombs. So they get the pass. If you’re liberal and Christian, no matter how much more closely you may actually hew to the words of Jesus, you’re suspect. Obama doesn’t run around waving a Bible or getting into wars because God told him to, so he’d already be suspect, but add the opportunity to suspect he’s Muslim too (even if it’s via an absentee atheist father) and the rabid right simply can’t control themselves.

Sadly, what we’ve lost is respect for the Constitution here, which requires that no religious test be required for office. That shouldn’t just be a technicality, it should inform our entire understanding of public office holders. It shouldn’t matter if they’re Mormon, Scientologist, Catholic, Wiccan, Jewish, Atheist, or Muslim, or any other particular variety of creed. But our discourse is ruled by a pack of wild hyenas who babble about the Constitution out one side of their mouth while shitting all over it the second it stands in the way of their tribalist mania.

-hw

Clarity on presidential polls.

Sep 01, 2010 in Barack Obama, Disappointing Dems, Polls

I think Obama’s poll numbers are mostly news because they’re not where we expect them to be. Obama was, literally, supposed to walk into office and everybody would calm down a little bit and work towards solving the nation’s problems. Some of us did think he could ride the sixties and seventies all the way.

Of course, it’s a rather familiar tale we’ve been telling: a good chunk of America is going clean off its rocker, denying the Bush years ever existed and deciding that Obama is literally some new Stalin/Hitler/Bin Laden master cocktail of the world’s evils, a possible Anti-Christ. Then add in the actual aggrieved people, liberals who were often shoved aside and told to be quiet while Obama endlessly compromised for diminishing gains. Indeed, Obama did divide America a bit, often behaving as if its own base were out in far-off territory asking for simple effective ideas like the public option, when we were firmly in the center. Too often they still seem to be grabbing for the mushy middle, with Obama actually saying he isn’t for gay marriage (although his actions are to help bring it about, thus all the more senseless the claim).

And so it’s 47%, during a time of immense economic crisis. Pretty amazing numbers, and honestly the last ones we should be worried about. Working Americans need more direct stimulus, the recent jobs bill being a sterling example. Obama needs to do nothing more than get a good bill put together, and then ride that sucker right through November. Republicans have consistently been the enemy of anything that would help normal Americans, so let’s be clear this election about what the choice is. Take all the money from an arcane military project and watch them try to spin it away.

For two years, the Republicans have been bleeding. Will Democrats smell it and go in for the attack? George W. Bush was extolled as the complete embodiment of the Republican President in his time, and the GOP has little more than warmed-over Bush policies. Why? Because Bush got to do almost everything he wanted during GOP control of Congress. It was Christmas every day for Republicans as regulations were shredded and Pat Robertson graduates were getting hustled into high-ranking government positions. Of course they don’t have any new ideas…those were their ideas.

And how well did those poll? The GOP is trying to take us out for a Weekend At Bernie’s, except instead of Bernie it’s Bush.

-hw