Archive for July, 2011

You’ll be surprised to know that seniors aren’t concerned about bipartisanship.

Jul 29, 2011 in Politics

By way of the LLSM’s hottest female commentator:

CNN’s been doing segments all morning at a senior citizen’s center in Pasadena and they keep ignoring what these people are actually saying in order to create a narrative that these people are upset by the “sausage making,” when what they are actually upset by is the fact that the safety net programs are on the chopping block. They jsut refuse to acknowledge the substance of their complaints.

(Some patronizing talk about feisty seniors followed by a one on one)

Randi Kaye: Are they alarmed by what they see happening, or not happening, in Washington?

Sandra Endo: Absolutely Randi. A lot of emotion, strong opinions coming from a lot of the seniors we’ve spoken to. People are scared, they’re worried, they’re angry about what’s going on in Washington. A lot of people are just frightened because they rely on their social security and of course Medicare and Medicaid for their livelihood. Let’s talk to Bobbie right now.

You were talking to me earlier about what’s going on in Washington right now. Tell me how angry are you?

Bobbie: very, very angry. It’s because I wouldn’t be able to live the lifestyle I live if I did not have my social security, even though I work part time, 36 hours a week. I could not live on either one of them alone.

Sandra Endo: So you would be out on the street?

Bobbie: probably worse than that because I don’t think, the way I see some people on the street, I don’t think I would be able to live that kind of life. I wouldn’t be able to function. So I hate that that might be staring us in the face.

Anastasia, what do you think of all the back and forth bickering?

Anastasia: I think I would like to see all of them have to trade places with us and let them try to live on what we don’t have and what they’re trying to cut even more of. Social Security has not even contributed to the deficit and yet they’re more than happy to take it and use it wherever they’d like.

And all the back and forth, the fighting?

Anastasia: The political games that they play. It’s a bad role model for our kids I must say. Truth has become obsolete. And that’s very sad. And yet we claim to be a country that tells the truth and that’s democratic and yet we’re not doing a very good job of that ourselves.

Sandra Endo: Alright. Thank you so much for sharing your opinions. Obviously a very emotional time for seniors and they wait, as the whole country waits Randi for some kind of deal, some kind of compromise, something, answers to come out of in Washington.

Randi Kaye: It sounds like some folks are worried about the long term and any changes that might happen to entitlements, social security, medicare, medicaid?

Sandra Endo: Oh absolutely, they are relying on these checks to come. And even president Obama when he spoke saying we will be in limbo that if the country is broke and they won’t have enough money to send out these checks…

It’s a buzz here, people grabbing me wanting to say what they think is going on in Washington, they’re angry feeling like they’re being held hostage.

So, yeah, they’re oblivious but what else is new? Every journalism major I knew in college could afford to spend their summers at unpaid internships. In one class I distinctly remember a few students rushing up to the professor and asking him what they should write in their papers in order to get an ‘A’ and thinking to myself that they’ll probably be very successful in their professional careers. (It was around this point in my life when I was starting to realize the rewards that frequently accompany obedience.) If journalists were truly concerned about the welfare of the aged they would travel to their local nursing home and shoot some footage of those seniors that suffer from common maladies like senile dementia, Alzheimer’s, chronic respiratory illnesses, arthritis, etc. Perhaps they could ask the charge nurse what percentage of those people are dependent upon Medicare/Medicaid for their treatment? It wouldn’t be difficult story to write but there are a few factors that prevent it from being pursued. First, old people are out of sight and therefore out of mind. Normal 8-5 working stiffs don’t see them. How could they? Unless you work with them directly you would have no idea. And if you’re like most people you just assume that you get old, have a heart-attack in your sleep and pass on. If only that were case. Furthermore, regardless of what right-wing urchins would have us believe, receiving government assistance isn’t a badge of honor that you enthusiastically pin to your shirt for all to see. The sick and debilitated don’t stand up for themselves either because they can’t or they’re too ashamed to do so. So I think it’s safe to assume that if you’re wearing Bruno Mali loafers and Barth & Sons golf putters are on your Christmas wish list then you’re not going to be concerned about a stroke victim that spends their days living in subsidized housing.

-mg

More lectures on fiscal responsibility from deadbeats.

Jul 28, 2011 in Politics

Unlike others who have built up an industry out of it I don’t like to go into psychological speculation about my ideological foes. Ann Coulter has made millions selling books to readers looking for equal servings of self validation and simple explanations to questions like “Why doesn’t everyone just shut up and agree with what I say?” and “conservative” blogs are famous for their obtuse escapades into bullshit psychoanalytic territory. For instance, I recently read on a plankton level blog that liberals are dysfunctional because they didn’t spend enough time sipping lemonade under their grandmother’s willow tree as children. What? That doesn’t sound reasonable to you? Stop it! You’re only laughing because you’re jealous you didn’t think of it first! And so on and so forth.

I am more interested in the disparity between what people say and what they do and since I follow politics there are plenty of opportunities to point and grimace. Some even provide a little “a-ha!” moment where even I can’t help but draw a simple correlation between a persons politics and their personal life. Take this gentleman for example:

Freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a tax-bashing Tea Party champion who sharply lectures President Barack Obama and other Democrats on fiscal responsibility, owes more than $100,000 in child support to his ex-wife and three children, according to documents his ex-wife filed in their divorce case in December.

“I won’t place one more dollar of debt upon the backs of my kids and grandkids unless we structurally reform the way this town spends money!” Walsh says directly into the camera in his viral video lecturing Obama on the need to get the nation’s finances in order.

I know it’s bad manners to point out the difference between a Republican’s actions and words and their defenders would even dare to argue that it’s irrelevant (or even rude) but is it so much to ask that moralizing, finger-wagging, fiscal conservatives pay their bills on time and uphold their obligations to their own flesh and blood?

-m “shrill” g

We’re glad Jon Stewart watches FOX news so we don’t have to.

Jul 28, 2011 in Politics

-hw

The permissive parenting style.

Jul 28, 2011 in Politics

Michael Tomasky has earned some love from me, so I respect even more this incisive skewering of Obama’s “adult in the room” approach. It doesn’t exonerate the snot-nosed brats in the GOP, but adults who let the brats drink whiskey and burn down the house don’t get free passes either.

-hw

Politics is not about your ego.

Jul 27, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives

Well, I kind of feel a bit sorry that we here at Iowa Liberal have chased off most of the Republican commenters over at Dana’s site, but Dana’s real problem is that he has more faith in Republican theory than it deserves. Republican ideas do no thrive and survive in a contentious but honest debate where score is actually kept and commenters are held accountable for their words. They’re about power, not truth. They’re farmed thought, developed in paid think tanks and talk radio diatribes controlled by fat sweaty men locked in their studios with the power to screen calls and cut the mic when things get too hot. They’re sold to the masses with promises that they’ll get rich too, and that if they seek to steer the economy in a way that benefits anybody other than the top 1%, they’re being greedy and they’ll scare away the delicate rich people and then there’ll be no more money.

Dana’s had liberal commentators for some time, sure, but they lacked our killer instinct;) When I debate, it’s towards an end: actually sorting out who’s full of shit and who’s right. There’s a verdict to be had, and there are rules for getting there. If you follow the rules, you’re more likely to not be the one with your pants down at the end of the debate.

Republican blogs and other media formats generally exist to create echo chambers where rightwingers can mutually inflate each other’s egos and reinforce the daily talking points from FOX/Limbaugh/etc. On most Republican blogs, Democrats are squelched quickly and banned unless they’re easy to kick around, but Dana had the idea that his Republican site was going to have free speech. Well, sunshine kills the lies, Dana. And one by one we’ve gone over there and gone head-to-head with the commenters at his site until they’re forced to either concede (almost never happens) or just run away (almost always happens). Brian, Sharon, DNW, Eric, assovertincups, ropelight, Hube, I’ve had knockdown drag-out battles with each of them, and in each case I simply stood my ground and argued my case, making them exhaust all their tricks (a combination of continuous insulting and whining) until they had no choice but to slink off. And standing my ground doesn’t mean just repeating myself it means this: Have I answered all of your questions? Have you answered all of mine? Invariably, I am expected to jump hurdle after hurdle, but most of my questions are dodged. Well, sorry, guys, but why should I run away with my tail between my legs when I can see you dodging my points? It only makes me smell blood.

Of course, they hate posts like this the most, because they can’t stand being held accountable, somebody else saying, “No, you’re wrong, and this is why,” until it can’t be ignored any longer. Their method is always to challenge certainty, to sow doubt, to pretend there’s a valid alternative theory (BUT BTW THE REPUBLICAN ONE IS RIGHT!!!) where there is none. But when I turn around and ask why I shouldn’t say I won an argument, on what grounds should I believe I was actually the person in the wrong, I just get more flailing.

Well, I’m conservative that way. There are standards that should be upheld, even if they interfere with somebody’s agenda. If you don’t serve Truth, you will eventually be lost. And what a better week to illustrate that than this one, where supply-side tax-cutting Republicans look out at a low tax/low demand world they created yet can’t understand because it’s sinking. They are ready to throw the country to the credit wolves to avoid acknowledging how we got here.

We’re done coddling bullshitters. They’ve hurt the country now, and they should be expected to answer for what they’re doing. Sorry about your delicate feelings, guys, but there are more important things in the world.

-hw

We may to be too late to stop the damage Republicans are trying to do to the country.

Jul 27, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Crazy Tea Party People, Deficit

America has a AAA credit rating, but because Republicans suddenly decided to play chicken with the useless formality called the debt ceiling, something that was never supposed to happen, US debt is starting to look riskier and riskier. Republicans have kept up their anti-deficit campaign to such a high volume that the world is starting to believe them in a sick self-fulfilling prophecy. Problem? Republicans value tax cuts for the wealthy more than they do fixing the deficit, and they’re dangling our economic future over the fire in order to pursue their real agenda.

Analysts with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, the nation’s top two rating agencies, declined to be quoted on the record, indicating that even benign statements about timing and ratings decisions can rattle markets and startle investors. But earlier this month, both agencies placed the U.S. government on notice of a downgrade of at least one notch, if not more, to a AA rating. In a written statement, S&P analysts said they believed “there is an increasing risk of a substantial policy stalemate enduring beyond any near-term agreement to raise the debt ceiling.”

In other words, we aren’t even supposed to be having this conversation. A plan to solve our deficit problems, great. An ultimatum that we do it the Tea Party way or they willingly induce a recession, not so great.

America, do you still feel like these guys are looking out for you?

-hw

Quote of the day.

Jul 26, 2011 in Politics

From Alex Pareene:

I can understand how the self-preservation instinct would make sober reflection among the professional hate-mongering Islamophobia crowd unlikely, but I didn’t really expect everyone to be blaming the liberals for getting shot by a fucking Norwegian Freeper.

It’s an easy message to interpret: If you don’t like lunatics murdering your children you shouldn’t provoke them by disagreeing with their right-wing ideology.

-mg

The Republican id speaks.

Jul 26, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Crazy Tea Party People, Deficit

And there it is, what they’re thinking:

TRUMP: Frankly the Republicans would be crazy unless they get 100% of the deal that they want right now to make any deal…If this happens, for instance if this stuff is going on prior to an election, he can’t get reelected. He possibly can’t get elected anyway…The fact is, unless the Republicans get 100% of what they want, and that may include getting rid of Obamacare, which is a total disaster, then they should not make a deal other than a minor extension which would take you before you the election which would ensure Obama doesn’t get elected, which would be a great thing.
BRIAN KILMEAD: If you look at the average American when they’re polled, it seems the President of the United States gets less of the blame than Republicans do, but you see Republicans with maximum leverage.
TRUMP: Absolutely the Republicans have the leverage. I don’t care about polls. When it comes time to default, they’re not going to remember any of the Republicans’ names. They are going to remember in history books one name, and that’s Obama. They’re not going to be talking about Boehner or anybody else. [...]

The funny thing is that Kilmeade’s main concern is that the plan might not work, not that it would be nearly treasonous and destructive.

I know I’m supposed to be nice and not toss around the Treason word and Republicans are generally nice people and their feelings are going to be oh so bruised if I point out the obvious, but the question is, is it true or not? And if it isn’t true, I need to hear some real reasons, quickly. When you hold the US economy hostage to prevent the rich from paying more in taxes, even when Democrats are conceding and compromising and bending over backwards to work with you, have you not crossed a line?

I don’t care about bullshit excuses, wayward math, and ideological babble about freedom, you don’t deliberately seek to tank the country just to get your way, especially when you’ve only got the House.

Hat tip to our awesome media for doing such a shitty job of informing the public about what’s happening and still trying to play the “both sides are at fault!” false balance game instead of practicing journalism. Yes, people are blaming Republicans more, but 58% think Obama isn’t compromising enough? As Bill Maher said, what do they want Obama to do, put on a leash too? The compromises Obama and Reid have put forth look like Reagan’s wet dreams, they’d be huge Republican victories if a pre-Tea Party Republican had proposed them.

How’s that Tea Party working out for folks? Maybe electing the people who wanted the economy to fully tank in 2008 wasn’t such a great idea?

-hw

Comments are gone. *Updated*

Jul 25, 2011 in Politics

Database issues. I’m on it.

-mg

PS: By “I’m on it” I mean the friendly folks at HostGator are on it.

Update: I’m in the ticket cue. Comments have been restored up until June 24th but everything after that remains out in the space-time ether.

Depressing.

Jul 24, 2011 in Politics

It just occurred to me that the fact that the shooter in Norway was yet another right-wing extremist will be obscured by a bunch of babble about gun control.

-mg

“If Obama is for it, I’m against it,” isn’t a principle.

Jul 22, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Deficit, Politics

It seems to me that after foisting one of the worst presidents in U.S. history upon us for eight years, Republicans couldn’t accept what they did emotionally, instead resolving themselves to treat Barack Obama as if he were not just a bad candidate/president, but some kind of arch-evil Manchurian genetic freak mixture of StalinMaoHitler indoctrinated to bring Sharia law to America who had to be stopped at all costs. They’ve acted like depraved lunatics ever since it looked like he was going to win in 2008, and now we’ve gotten to the point where they’re willing to actually, actively harm the United States over the fact that they’ve rendered themselves incapable of working out any deal with him that doesn’t involve his 100% complete submission to them (they won’t fight him on, say, letting Bush tax cuts persist).

Michael Tomasky, who is starting to become my hero:

Now that’s not what Republicans go on cable television and say. But it’s quite obviously been the whole strategy since the stimulus bill: Obama gets nothing from us. And every so often, someone slips, and the truth is revealed. The other day, after the Gang of Six released its new plan, a Senate leadership aide tweeted the following to Politico’s morning Playbook, which gets read by every Washington insider: “Background guidance: The President killed any chance of its success by 1) Embracing it. 2) Hailing the fact that it increases taxes. 3) Saying it mirrors his own plan.”

Obama ran in 2008 as somebody who was basically the Great Liberal Hope, the guy who was going to be the ultimate refutation to the Bush years, and even three decades of Reaganism. Riding a huge Democratic wave in 2008, he was accordingly viewed as a huge threat to Republicans and their past dominance. He was going to bring the nation the healthcare reform it was so hungry for, rescue the cratering economy, and be charming while he did it all.

In the past two and a half years, liberals have been at times rather excessively disappointed in Obama while those on the right (I can’t really call them conservatives anymore, they’re not) have been excessively warlike towards him. In other words, a despirited home team and an utterly maniacal opposition, which gave us the 2010 election and implanted a gang of complete loons/representatives of loons who are now poised to chop the legs out from under the US/global economy because they believe that in a conflict between revenue being low and spending being high, we can only address one of the two, and that no level of compromise is acceptable. After all, would you compromise with Satan?

Liberals, progressives, Democrats, centrists, libertarians, anybody and everybody who isn’t in that 20% Republican-primary voting nutblock, need to realize that we’ve unfortunately gotten the government we deserved, and that Obama alone can’t do much more than try to mitigate the damage Republicans do to the country. Yet fake “balance” has perpetually convinced “serious” people that the loony right isn’t important, doesn’t matter, can’t really affect things, etc. But here we are, where we actually need them to take an affirmative step forward and cooperate with the Senate and the president to rescue the country from disaster, and if the scales haven’t fallen from the eyes of those who must always insist Democrats are just as much to blame, then default, here we come.

I mean, we’ve had a pretty good run at trying to avoid human fallibility, but the fate of the nation rests in a group of spectacularly fallible people. Time for empire-crumbling contingency plans…

-hw

“But the CRA forced them to break the law!”

Jul 21, 2011 in Economy, Housing Bubble

The CRA-caused-the-crash myth had all of the right elements to make it popular amongst the brethren. Supposedly, librul Democrats passed the Community Reinvestment Act to force banks against their will to underwrite risky loans to families in urban areas. When those loans predictably underperformed, the hapless mortgage lenders were put out of business thereby paving the way for a government takeover of the private sector. The message of the story is obvious; business-hating politicians pulled the levers of Big Government and used listless Negroes as pawns in their long term goal of steering the USA further down the road towards Communism. There’s a couple things wrong with that story. Mortgage lenders lobbied hard for that legislation (under the twin banners of deregulation and “ownership society” propaganda) and sought to issue more risky loans far beyond what the CRA required because of the potential for higher rates of return. Remember “Lost another one to DiTech”? Who could forget besides the willfully blind? Anyone breathing and with a pulse during the past decade knew how aggressively companies pursued risky borrowers and as it turns out the motive for higher and higher profits obscured all other concerns. Wells Fargo was recently fined $85 million dollars for committing fraud against its customers by pushing them into higher interest sub-prime loans and, among other things, falsifying legal documentation. $85 million is a pittance compared to the tens of billions Wells Fargo received in bailout funds and the free money they continue to receive by borrowing money from the Federal Reserve at 0% interest but it still shows that nobody was forcing giant lenders into a precarious financial predicament. Nevertheless, the CRA myth will carry on. The allure of an easy answer that conveniently absolves the home team of responsibility and heaps it upon minorities is too great for them to resist. Which isn’t racist, of course.

-mg

How dare you suggest I’m Polish!

Jul 19, 2011 in Politics, teh gay

Exactly:

My guess is that the only people who are seriously offended by those wondering if Marcus is gay are probably people for whom “gay” is a terrible insult, and they’re also the people who oppose gay civil rights. Similarly, in 1948, the people who would be extremely offended by the notion of Strom fathering a black child are those who opposed civil rights for African Americans. Well-intended non-bigots like Joyner and Thomas, who are not offended by the notion of homosexuality, shouldn’t feel the need to carry water for someone who’s devoted his life to ruining the lives of vulnerable teenagers and denying civil rights to fellow citizens. Marcus Bachmann doesn’t deserve it.

Michele and Marcus Bachmann have made one thing clear, and that is their contempt for gay people, which in Marcus’ case seems to be largely self-directed. And in GOP world, that’s awesome-sauce! But I prefer to think gay people are awesome-sauce, and these two are wankers.

-hw

All hail Newscorp!

Jul 19, 2011 in Journamalism

Because you should never say anything on the phone you wouldn’t want Rupert Murdoch to publish.

-hw

Tax Cuts Cure All Ills.

Jul 18, 2011 in Economy

After thirty plus years of “supply side” economics there is no longer any demand. Whooda thunk?

-mg

So how are we feeling about that Tea Party?

Jul 16, 2011 in Crazy Tea Party People

Did you enjoy getting huckstered again, America? The verdict on the Tea Party is in: no jobs, a war on women and unions, and holding America and the world’s economy hostage.

One can only imagine what they’d get to do if mean gangster usurper Obama weren’t holding them back. I just wonder what happens if the voters reject the Tea Party after letting them in with a name change and some sweet talk? Where from there? They’re absolutists, there’s no room for anybody else’s choices.

-hw

Two Trees Left…

Jul 15, 2011 in Politics

…might as well get it over with and blow those down too, goddammit.

Every season in Iowa is life threatening. This morning we awoke to the sounds of civil defense sirens (socialism!!) warning the neighborhood that something wicked was coming our way. Last time I heard them I was seated exactly where I am now; in the kitchen on the family computer, and glanced out the window just in time to see a beautiful sugar maple along the side of the house sheared in half by a freakish gust. This result is typical of most maples. The primary limbs of the tree frequently diverge close to the ground creating a weakness near the trunk and therefore a tendency to split straight down the effected side. Like its twin that stood fifteen yards away, the silver maple that provided ample shade to the front of the house was beautiful but was fast growing and therefore suffered the same defect. Next weeks 90 degree stretch should be fantastic.

-mg

Music reunions

Jul 14, 2011 in Britpop, Music, We'll post whatever we goddamned want to

As I bid farewell to the UK, there are some things that I will miss.

One is, the amazingly awesome summer music festivals, that I never go to anyway.

However, I am able to watch them from the comfort of my own home.

This weekend, I will get to see, The National, Echo and The Bunnymen and Suede!!!!!

The latter 2 are legends in their own right and, let it be known, that I missed a chance in 1988 to see Echo, and have rued the day ever since, and have never had a chance to see them.  Suede, well they were just too sassy and British, to make it to the midwest, plus the gay-bashers would have probably killed them all anyway, for looking too well dressed and too bloody handsome.

So this weekend, I will rock out from my living room as I bid farewell to my once homeland.

With that I will leave you of an image of the newly reunited Pulp who played a gig in London this month.  I remember seeing them with my friends from IW in ’95 in Minneapolis at First Ave.
Pulp Disco 2000 Live in London 2011

–AA

You know, once the plane is pointed straight down it’s kind of hard to get it flying forward again.

Jul 14, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Deficit

Detecting a little nervous energy around here? This is why:

Moody’s Investors Service has placed the Aaa bond rating of the government of the United States on review for possible downgrade given the rising possibility that the statutory debt limit will not be raised on a timely basis, leading to a default on US Treasury debt obligations. On June 2, Moody’s had announced that a rating review would be likely in mid July unless there was meaningful progress in negotiations to raise the debt limit.
In conjunction with this action, Moody’s has placed on review for possible downgrade the Aaa ratings of financial institutions directly linked to the US government: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Banks, and the Federal Farm Credit Banks. We have also placed on review for possible downgrade securities either guaranteed by, backed by collateral securities issued by, or otherwise directly linked to the US government or the affected financial institutions.

Do you know what that sound is? Reality, like a windshield to a bug. Because bugs are pretty speedy thinkers, I’m sure they still get a few bug moments to say to themselves, “Oh, that’s weird, something is moving near me. Oh, there’s nothing there, I can see all the way to the back seat! HEY, WHAT THE F-”

Seriously, the window for action is shrinking quickly. If you have a moment, this insight into the delusional cult thinking on the right, whereas they tell themselves the little sippy cup will transport them to a better place with Nordu, the god of ten thousand living planets in the mysterious eleventh dimension (a deeper layer to our reality, curled up the size of a fingernail).

Then there’s Murray Rothbard, a von Mises acolyte whose intense libertarianism led him toward the posture that taxation is theft. Indeed, his contribution to this literature was to discover that since public debt is repaid at the end of the day by taxes, i.e., by stolen money, making such payments stinks of immorality. Bartlett then cites conservative financial analyst Christopher Whalen, who told The Washington Post in 1992 of default, “If it’s good enough for Mexico and Brazil, why not us?” Now, there’s a slogan one doesn’t hear often enough from conservatives: Let’s be the new Mexico!
In our current times, there is a quote from the Cato Institute’s John Tamny, who wrote in Forbes that for Americans to be concerned about a default is “like the parent of a heroin addict fearing that his dealers will cease feeding his addiction.” And finally, yes, there is a proper evangelical angle on all this too, just in case you thought that base wasn’t covered. Gary North, an “economist” who bases much of his work on his reading of the Pentateuch, especially Deuteronomy, leads the charge here. You can read his four-volume study Inheritance and Dominion: An Economic Commentary on Deuteronomy, which comes in at a bracing 1,700 pages. Or you can digest this more manageable piece, in which he avers that the United States would be a “utopia” if only a “Great Default” came along to wipe out all that debt brought on by old people, sick people, public employees, and foreigners.

If I had a nickel for every “taxation is theft” guy I’ve run into on the internet…

If you want to believe that the public debt is immoral and that taxation is theft, go right ahead and believe those things. But acting on them in a world that does not agree with you is a different matter. I can believe that driving on the left side of the road is a superior method of locomotion, but if I try it on the way in to work in the United States, I’ll be a public menace, endangering myself and my fellow citizens.

And yet here we are. Dozens of members of the United States Congress are driving on the wrong side of the road, forcing the rest of us into the ditch as they trundle on their reckless way. And the Democrats don’t know how to go to the American people and make these folks sound like the sowers of chaos they are? And the conventions of journalism require that they be given “equal weight” in analyses and discussions, and taken as seriously as the other side? We are a society in deep, deep trouble.

I think we’ve reached the point where we’re really talking about a financial 9/11 here. A group of zealots are trying to steer the planes into the frickin’ global economy. The nervous, smart ones are peeling off, but the zealots are still steering. If America can’t right itself within a matter of days, we are talking about September 2008 being a goddamn practice run.

-hw

For the good of the country…

Jul 13, 2011 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Deficit

Lordy I hope this is true.

“Talk about arbitrary,” he said of Cantor’s figure, according to a Democratic attendee. “I am totally willing to do the hard stuff to get well above what you need and you won’t do it because you can’t put one penny of revenue on the table.”

“At least Mitch McConnell, to his credit, was willing to work for a solution,” the president added, acknowledging the proposal by the Senate Minority Leader to, essentially, give him the authority to lift the debt ceiling without passing commensurate cuts.

“I have reached the point where I say enough,” Obama concluded, according to Reuters. “Would Ronald Reagan be sitting here? I’ve reached my limit. This may bring my presidency down, but I will not yield on this.”

Please, please, please let it be true. The truth is so simple. Obama has put forth a real compromise, Republicans are demanding complete surrender. There has to be a point where sanity meets spine, and I hope so dearly that I cannot express it Obama has reached that point.

It sounds cheesy as hell to say the country needs Obama right now, but the country needs Obama right now. Hell, don’t ask me, ask the business community, freaking out as Judgment Day approaches. Democrats, Independents, and sane Republicans need to band together on this one and send a clear, explicit message to Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and Eric Cantor, that the bullshit has to stop.

-hw

Virus Hunter X

Jul 13, 2011 in Curiosities

Fascinatin’ bit on the Stuxnet virus, designed specifically (by Israel, the US or both) to ruin Iranian centrifuges, and the anti-virus experts who unraveled the huge (500k, most viruses are 10-15k) deeply encrypted file that was supposed to stealthily enter Iran and destroy its nuclear program. It obviously failed at being stealthy and didn’t really do much more than piss off the Iranians and make them twice as determined, but in a movie it would have totally been like that virus that broke all the alien ships in Independence Day.

-hw

Ghostwriting my own thoughts

Jul 13, 2011 in Anti-War, Barack Obama, Disappointing Dems, Foreign Policy, Middle East, Pakistan, Politics

I usually get on here, to post some perspectives on my homeland Pakistan and what’s going on in that region and Afghanistan. I have been away for a while, so many readers probably don’t remember me or know who I am.

There has been too much going on for me to catch up with what I wanted to write about. Then I stumbled upon this post in Salon.com

Not only does this writer hit on every topic I was going to write about, but h/she tackles every point I was going to make.

Just some bullet points:

1) I thought I was the only one thinking, why the fuck are we invading Libya? Didn’t we just elect Obama to get us the fuck out of Iraq and Afghanistan? Aren’t we trillions of dollars in debt because of those wars, why repeat Iraq pt Deux?

2) The whole African crisis, which is in part due to our meddling and misguided interventions or lack thereof (see Rwanda and Somalia)

3) Finally someone who understands a topic close to my heart. The Afghan crisis….the Durand line, and the fact that like the Africans, people are fighting on tribal lines to protect the lands of their tribes from foreign invaders. They have done that since Alexander the Great, through to the Victorian British Empire, to the Soviet war machine. O-fucking-Bama, do you think you are greater than Alexander, or the Imperial warriors of the past? Get the fuck out.

Please read the Salon article, it hits the nail on the head, gingerly and then caresses it.
–AA

Mitch McConnell being slime isn’t news.

Jul 12, 2011 in Politics

How come our media doesn’t pick up on chestnuts like these and pursue them until they get an answer?

Meanwhile, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said that he does not think a significant reduction deal can be reached as long as Obama is in power. He said, “After years of discussions and months of negotiations, I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office, a real solution is probably unattainable.”

Why? Because everybody reporting on DC already knows the answer: Mitch McConnell declared at the beginning of his term as Speaker that his primary mission was to make President Obama a one-term president. Every word out of his mouth is geared towards either that end, or complete submission by Obama to the full Republican agenda.

McConnell is asking for absolute surrender by Obama to all of his demands, and has spent every one of these “years of discussions and months of negotiations” saying one thing over and over again: All spending cuts, no tax revenue increases, period. And yet he casually asserts that it’s Obama’s fault that a real solution is unattainable? Just like it’s the police negotiator’s fault when a hostage is killed, I guess.

Obama’s doing a pretty good job of casting himself as centrist, whereas centrist is “what Republicans wanted before Obama agreed to it.” Even though Democrats have been remarkably willing to make cuts and negotiate ways out of our deficit problems, he’s gone even further to stick himself between the reasonable compromise and the GOP position, and still the GOP says NO. Most sane people see this now, most of the press sees it, and I’m sure many independent voters are watching and taking notice right now just how dangerous it is to let the modern GOP anywhere near the steering wheel. So they can’t sit around any longer letting irresponsible lies just sit there, told and left to rot in people’s brains. It’s time for some actual journalists to start holding McConnell’s feet to the fire.

My god, people acted like Nancy Pelosi was terrible (who knows why) and they can stand this greasy blatantly dishonest son of a bitch? Why, because he says everything in a folksy accent? Mitch McConnell is what the Tea Party brought us, and he’s been a cancerous boil on the rotten belly of DC. Nobody has to make anything up about him, they just need to keep reporting on him and demanding a straight story that isn’t filled with continuous whoppers.

-hw

UPDATE: Right after I wrote that, I caught this bit of schadenfreude…McConnell actually proposed a sensible reform of the debt ceiling (short of eliminating it) and pissed off the deranged GOP base. You have to cut Republican politicians some slack when they’re up against raging dumbasses like Erick Erickson

Well, fer fuck’s sake.

Jul 07, 2011 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Deficit, Disappointing Dems

White House already caving on the Fourteenth Amendment?

When there’s nothing Republicans won’t risk, and nothing Democrats will risk, where the hell do you dipshits think things will end up?

I’m done with it. We’ll see what the deal struck is, but I don’t expect to see any surprises. The Republicans have already gotten almost everything they’ve wanted, and even if they crack a bit and give in on some revenue increases (somebody better tell Mitch McConnell), it’ll still be a pittance. If Obama’s going to get a birdie out of this shit trap, then he has certainly outsmarted me at this point. While he generally tends to come out with a net positive, he has this miserable, shitty habit of giving up too much too damn soon and getting less, while sitting around wishing remorsefully that Republicans would stop being so belligerent and uncooperative.

News flash, Mr. President: They’ve hated you from the beginning, have done everything they can to stop you from having any success, and they don’t give a damn if the country goes to hell because they’re just going to point the finger at you anyway. Flashing a bit of leadership and then hiding isn’t an option right now. You’ve got to be a leader every day now, because now every day matters, more than ever.

-hw

You’ll turn us against our brothers?

Jul 06, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Israel

Just how little Republican Zionism has to do with Jews at all:

In any event, Republican Zionism is not aimed at the Upper West Side. Its intention is to solidify and animate the Christian right, attract Reagan Democrats, and appeal to the broad swath of Middle America that instinctively sees Israel as a friend and ally. The Gallup poll found that 60 percent of independents prefer Israel to the Palestinians. Democratic Jews may, too, but they aren’t going anywhere. If and when the Obama administration seriously clashes with Israel—over the “peace process,” recognition of Hamas, Iranian nukes, or outreach to Islamist enemies of Israel like the Muslim Brotherhood—the president will have nothing to fear from his Jewish base. Hell, a lot of them would rather join the Muslim Brotherhood than vote for a Republican.

It can never be stressed enough just how much contempt for Jews lurks on the right. Their fandom for Israel has little substance beyond service to their hatred for Muslims. The enemy of their enemy, etc.

I am somewhat a product of indoctrination by the American Jewish community, what with my skin steeped in Hollywood liberalism and the principles espoused by “elitist” Jews who permeate the highest echelons of intellectual achievement that have so inspired my awe and loyalty. Wherever I point to for leadership, one finds Jews. And so when it comes to Israel, I have always loved everything I see within their borders; as one could always expect, within Israel among Israelis exist the highest of man’s aspirations, and a model for all to follow as Western liberal democracy springs up out of desert soil. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere.

I never felt an inch of space existed between myself and the Jewish people until I met a Jewish right-winger, who could not hesitate a moment to drive a wedge between us if I advocated the slightest measure of fair play between Jews and Palestinians. And yet, despite the noxious year I spent as a roommate with this individual, he never swayed my faith in the greater wisdom of the wider Jewish community. I recognized that my antagonistic relationship with this person had nothing to do with his Jewishness, and everything to do with his rightwing, black/white absolutist nature that ruled out, as he readily confessed to me, many or most Jews as well.

All you have to do is look at the vehement hatred Republicans will quickly deliver towards Jews they dislike to see the illusion broken. Glenn Beck, with his rabid slobbering over Saul Alinsky, and the visceral hatred he and other members of the GOP elite sputter over George Soros, has made sure this paradigm isn’t going anywhere, as one can hardly visit a thread on a rightwing blog without somebody blathering about Saul Alinsky, whose “Rules for Radicals” is nothing less than the template for the Tea Party.

-hw

US Right-wing Honors self in UK

Jul 05, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Politics

Like the statue of Saddam in Iraq, and the statue of Mao in China, the US right-wing have thought to honor themselves not on US soil but in UK.

Read about it here

I would just add one more paragraph to the article, in addition to Reagan’s Latin American legacy.
Let us not forget that it was his policies, and his proxy war in Afghanistan. He who funded the training and gave birth to the predecessors of the Taliban, and created a political vacuum in the country which allowed Taleban and Al-Qaeda to flourish.

Yes, let us raise a drink and statue to them man, without whom 9/11 could never have been conceivable or possible.
–AA