Bain is endless fail for Romney.

May 31, 2012 in Politics

Mitt Romney was never afraid to stick the taxpayer with a bill if it maximized his profits:

Classic crony capitalism: privatize the gain, socialize the risk. When Romney drove GST Steel into bankruptcy, he and his partners made $12 million in profit and another $4.5 million in consulting fees. But Romney stuck the taxpayers with a $44 million tab for the company’s underfunded pensions.

And this is what we know to be true of anybody who preaches the gospel of capitalism and small governments and ooooooh my god MY TAX DOLLARS, etc. They’re just worried that poor people might get a spot at the trough they’ve lobbied for. That means their share could go down, instead of up, and it’s gotta go up. The amount is secondary, it’s the direction, and all must go their way. The absolute last thing that ever matters is the country.

Is it really such a surprise Mitt Romney ran for governor of Massachusetts with that same Bain record and ended up 47th in the nation in job creation? He says he knows capitalism, but he only knows how to look out for Mitt.

-hw


White people are pissed at black people.

May 23, 2012 in Politics

Check the comment thread for the underbelly of the Republican Party that polite company doesn’t like to talk about.

None of them are racist, of course.

-hw


The first rule of Mitt Romney’s campaign is you do not talk about Mitt Romney!

May 22, 2012 in Politics

Apparently everything about Mitt Romney is off-topic. The one thing we were allowed to talk about, Bain Capital, is supposed to be off-limits as well, unless Mitt Romney wants to say he created 100,000 jobs (a purely fictional number that even his campaign is starting to back off from). Of course, that doesn’t pass the laugh test, but cue a moron “centrist” Democrat waltzing in to say attacking Romney’s imaginary Bain claims are beyond the pale. Cory Booker realized his comments were so indefensible that he quickly backtracked, but it was too late, the Beltway was happy to jump on that as permission to nod their heads and declare that Obama is wrong to rebut anything Romney says about the small portion of his record he is willing to talk about.

After all, did we forget that it’s actually Governor Mitt Romney? Yes, Romney brought his job-destroying Bain record into Massachusetts and left 47th in job creation, BUT BAIN! Until it doesn’t work for Romney, in which case it’s BUT CAPITALISM!

Because of course, after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, caused by Wall Street, and while JP Morgan is busy losing $2 billion $30 billion, we must not question fiscal destruction because it means the commies win. So we’re left with Bain being good for Romney BECAUSE CAPITALISM and none of the fact matter BECAUSE CAPITALISM.

Need we even point out that Republicans think we really need to talk about Jeremiah Wright some more without discussing Mormonism’s Jewish Native Americans and Spaceman Jesus, and the possibility that God was just a nice plumber named Fred from another planet who didn’t hurt anybody and went to church every week?

And since it’s an ironclad law in DC that all news is bad for Democrats and good for Republicans, it’s worth noting one of the only loopholes, that it’s good news for any Democrat to stab other Democrats in the back, regardless of how poor their reasoning is. Such is true in the eyes of Washington, though it’s worth noting that Harold Ford jumped on the bandwagon, and how did things work for him in running for office while bashing and betraying Democrats at every turn? It’s not really about loyalty, per se, but the stupidity. Booker’s comments were full of holes, and his regret seems somewhat genuine in that he appears aware he didn’t have a leg to stand on.

Back to Romney, what a campaign. Don’t talk about him, don’t talk about him as Governor, don’t talk about the people that lost jobs while he raked in millions without producing a single thing of value, don’t talk about his religion, don’t talk about his policies that would explode the deficit and slash most spending that isn’t on the Pentagon, and so on. And of course we can’t talk about Obama much either…not his actual foreign policy record, not the actual measures he took to help the financial crisis, not the things he wanted to do that Republicans wouldn’t allow because they were sabotaging the economy, nope. We’re allowed to talk about one thing: the economy is still in rough shape, blame the guy in office…because Mitt Romney says so.

Well, you ain’t king yet, fucker, so stop telling me what I can say and start explaining why I shouldn’t say it. Because I sure as hell should.

-hw


Expansion and fluff are no strangers.

May 19, 2012 in Journamalism, Politics

I love Star Trek but have never had any interest in slash fiction about Kirk getting it on with Spock. Similarly, i did not enjoy seeing TPM give Ed Schultz a blowjob in the public square.

Don’t nuke the fridge, Marshall.

-hw


We’re deciding to specialize in things that are not news.

May 18, 2012 in Politics, teh gay

Paul Cameron finally admits what we know about all anti-gay crusaders, that he has some serious issues with his own gay feelings.

It’s tragic that Cameron was raped as a young boy, but that does not excuse the years of hatred directed at homosexuals that he built his career around. I remember back in the debates of the nineties, when anti-gay sentiment was still the prevailing attitude, Cameron’s studies fueled hundreds of thousands of Christian fundamentalist attacks on gay people. I ran into them in the dorm hallways, the internet, and on the street, all touting studies by Cameron that were quickly laughed out of serious debate by any actual scholars. He was a man with an axe to grind, and he made up whatever numbers would fit into that mission.

-hw


Succinct.

May 17, 2012 in Politics, Welfare of the rich

This, as is the parlance of our times:

You know, it’s interesting, as an attorney, I spend a lot of time reading the libertarians over at the Volokh Conspiracy.  To a man, they purport to believe in the sanctity of contract rights.  During the auto bailout, they raged and gnashed their teeth when various bondholders were forced to take losses by the big unions and their lackeys in the administration.  Remarkably, they never have anything to say when a worker gets screwed out of earned pension benefits or health care coverage.  It’s as if the contract rights of labor are somehow illegitimate or second-class compared to the inviolate rights of the One Percent.

That goes to a very pronounced disconnect in our national discourse. These things are so often about values, and the values of people like Mitt Romney are built upon a foundation of privilege. You lose public services because he deserves a few extra hundred thousand a year on top of his $25 million annual income, but oh, did you have a pension contract with your employer that you worked thirty years to honor? Fuck you, hippie.

-hw


Iowa Liberal, now with more graphs.

May 11, 2012 in Politics

Clearly, we need Mitt Romney to rescue us from this horrible class warfare.

-hw


Want 7% unemployment? Easy answer.

May 11, 2012 in Politics

Shave off some Pentagon money, tax some billionaires and hire back the teachers, nurses, and other public workers.

Reagan and GW Bush benefited from government expansion, but under “socialist cuz I think it’s a bad word” Obama we’ve had extreme public sector cuts that damage the economy. Not that we’re broke as a nation, but because, thanks to Republicans, we’d rather spend money on the Pentagon and lathering up the one percent of Americans for whom this system works.

-hw


Real America!

May 10, 2012 in Politics

The dirty, filthy liberals over at JP Morgan have released a chart showing the benefit of monetary unions within political borders:

The chart above has an unintended lesson: that you can choose to live in a low tax, low regulation paradise like Mississippi and live like RealTrueAmericans but only when there are Left Coast Liberal Elite states around to foot the bill for you.

You’re welcome, Red Staters!


The gay person’s Abraham Lincoln.

May 09, 2012 in Barack Obama, teh gay

And mine. I started fighting in 1996, so obviously this is long past due, but justice doesn’t often come quickly in this country and there is still so far to go after the disgrace of North Carolina.

Click here for the celebrations…

-hw


I fell between two mighty trees.

May 09, 2012 in Politics

I realize I’ve only ever spoken here about the political influence of my father, but as I spoke to my mother last night the subject turned to politics and the woman was preachin’ it!

She is reeeeeally not amused by the war on women brought to us by the supposedly economics-focused Tea Party Republicans (hey thanks for that unemployment rate-raising austerity, guys!), the Paul Ryan budget which expands the war to include the poor, young and the elderly, nor is she fooled for an instant by by-the-wealthy-for-the-wealthy Mitt Romney.

Young women out there, you’d best be listening to the ones who remember that what Republicans call the good old days were the bad old days for everybody who wasn’t a straight white Christian male.

-hw


Exactly.

May 09, 2012 in Politics


In Bipartisan Spirit, Obama Makes Deal To Get Kicked In Balls


Pathological, serial liar Mitt Romney (many posts before November will have this title).

May 08, 2012 in Politics

You get no credit for the auto industry recovery, Mitt Romney, because you a) weren’t president b) nobody listened to your ideas, and c) your idea was that we SHOULDN’T HAVE BAILED OUT THE AUTO INDUSTRY. We know because you even wrote an op-ed saying it.

“If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye,” Romney wrote. “In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.”

Romney also spoke out on his opposition to the government loaning money to the industry in 2009, placing some of the blame on Bush.

“Bailout of enterprises that are in trouble, that’s not the right way to go,” Romney told CNN’s Larry King in 2009. “I know President Bush started it with the auto industry. I thought it was a mistake.”

Obama’s campaign immediately responded to Romney’s comments on Monday evening, stating that Romney was attempting to “fool” the public.

“Mitt Romney may think he can fool the American people by hiding his belief that we should ‘let Detroit go bankrupt,’ but the American people won’t let him,” Obama campaign co-chair Ted Strickland said in a statement, referencing Romney’s Times editorial. “Mitt Romney seems to think Americans will just forget the past and his very vocal and clear opposition to the successful auto rescue.”

Mitt Romney would have cratered the auto industry in America and sent millions packing. Because that’s how vulture capitalists like Mitt Romney of Bain Capital roll.

I guess it’s not Mitt, but Me-too Romney, never mind what came out of his mouth yesterday. Man, I guess above all I cannot believe the contempt he has for the voters. He thinks they’re stupid, he thinks they can’t remember how bad things were after eight years of tax cuts and deregulation, and he’s going to lie from now until November because he sees it as the only chance he has to get what he, for some inexplicable reason, thinks he deserves. Amoral doesn’t even come close to summing up the sociopath the Republicans are trying to sell us.

-hw


Real health care reform.

May 08, 2012 in Politics

Oregon is ready to go statewide with health care cost reform, ending fee-for-service in their Medicaid program. The Obama administration is helping them get started because this is one of the most important components of the ACA, creating a path for health care costs to get under control.

On Thursday, the Obama administration made a $1.9 billion bet that Oregon can dramatically reduce health costs in an unprecedented way.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it will chip in $1.9 billion of start-up costs to get Oregon’s Medicaid reforms going. In return, Oregon made a big promise: The state says it will keep its Medicaid costs growing 2 percent slower than in previous years.
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber thinks he can save the federal government $11 billion in Medicaid costs over a decade. (Bruce Ely – AP)
If Oregon can make good, it will save the federal government $11 billion over the course of a decade — even counting Medicaid’s initial, $1.9 billion investment made Thursday. Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) calls it a “defining moment for health care transformation in Oregon, and the Obama administration.”

Massachusetts wants to go this route also because they already passed a plan, signed and touted by Mitt Romney, very similar to the Affordable Care Act, and it’s entirely self-defeating if the care isn’t affordable.

Most of our future budget worries are about affording health care. While the Beltway can’t quit Paul Ryan’s imaginary fiscal conservatism, Oregon and the Obama administration are practicing it, conserving our medical safety net by making it affordable.

-hw


Frontline: Money, Power & Wall Street

May 02, 2012 in Politics

No apparent way to embed it, but this is a superb epic of television journalism, a four hour opus on the global financial crisis so click and view (tip: Open it in a separate browser window and put it on the right side of your screen to watch while you continue to surf, makes four hours go by easier).

-hw


Wacky polls!

May 02, 2012 in Politics

This is hilarious: Mitt Romney has a 38.7% favorability rating. This is clearly impossible, as nobody likes Mitt Romney. When was the last time you heard a Republican say, “Man, I just really like Mitt Romney”? You haven’t. You’ve never said it. Nobody has said it. Even his family members are all, Obama’s pretty cool too, is even great. Okay, outside of the family and other Mormons, nobody says they like Mitt Romney. He is likable in the way you look at a LED television showing you magical worlds that don’t exist: gee, what a neat effect. He gets up there and looks presidential, and then he opens his mouth and it’s continuous garbage. It’s all about some Straw Man Obama that makes sense only to Republicans hopped up on Fox and rightwing conspiracy bloggers. It’s about saying the stimulus didn’t work when it worked. It’s about saying he is against Obama’s health care plan when he told Obama to adopt his Massachusetts program and Obama replied, ‘Okay, sure! Now we can all celebrate universal health care together!’ It’s about saying he was for the bin Laden operation when he wasn’t before. It’s about pretending he would be capable of that 50/50 roll of the international dice when he still thinks we’re battling the Soviets. It’s about promising us Bush, Updated Inc. and telling us that we need to return to the policies that led directly to the Great Recession and the debt that resulted.

I was about to go back through and provide links, but please…everybody knows this stuff. Because you can’t build illusions about a guy you don’t like, and nobody likes Mitt Romney. And Mitt Romney asks only one thing of us, that we forget everything we know about Mitt Romney and just hand him the job, please, because it’s his turn.

How bloody charming.

Anyhow, don’t look for this number to improve in the next six months as people start paying attention and learning about the man. More gaffes and blunders are on the way, because no matter how nice the LED television looks, you never actually get confused and think you’re battling orcs in Middle-Earth. Ironically, Romney may be at his most authentic when he is an image in a lie-filled advertisement, paid for by One-Percenter SuperPACs.

-hw


Tomasky writes the book.

May 01, 2012 in Politics

This is an absolutely brutal takedown of the Republican whining over the fact that President Obama rolled the dice on an incredibly risky bin Laden mission (and added the helicopters necessary for it to be a success) and isn’t afraid to take credit for it. He notes the most stunning contrast, that Republicans shamelessly politicized the 9/11 attacks when they were a result of Republican failure in the form of Iraq-obsessed/Al Queda-dismissive incompetents George W. Bush and Dick Cheney followed by seven years of coming up empty (after first screwing up in Tora Bora, giving up entirely), yet they can’t stand Obama getting credit for his actual success.

Six months after 9/11:

Yet Republicans have been happy to smear any Democrat as weak or soft on terrorists. We haven’t seen much of it since bin Laden was killed, but Mitt Romney continues to go on the campaign trail deliberately lying about President Obama “apologizing” to the world for America (begging the question of whether or not we actually do have anything to apologize for, since of course we do).

Just for kicks, go into a rightwing blog comments section and point out that 9/11 happened because Bush dropped the ball, watch the fun ensue. They can’t stand it because it burns, it burns!

Andrew Sullivan throws in a few more kicks, especially at the incredible chutzpah of John McCain saying heroes don’t brag. This from a guy who built his career on getting shot down and captured in Vietnam, but I don’t think anybody’s listened to McCain much since he squandered his integrity in his last two campaigns. “If Bush had done it, he would have jumped out of a helicopter in a jump-suit with fireworks,” snarks Sully to great effect.

Really, is anybody fooled by what’s going on here?

-hw

UPDATE: One thousand words here:


Do libertarians really think they’re on their own?

Apr 30, 2012 in Politics

For those TAXATION IS THEFT!!! types:

Even if you were entitled to your property holdings, you are not entitled to coercive public enforcement of those holdings. Just because we have negative rights doesn’t mean that those rights merit full public accommodation. Once libertarians start demanding that their property is protected and their rights are publicly enforced, we can think of taxes as the public fee for that enforcement. If the public is the guardian of your wealth, who are you to tell your security guard how to spend his paycheck? This isn’t how states work, but it does point to a possible justification for redistribution.

The author is trying to forge a kinder, gentler libertarianism, but I don’t know how many she will convince since she drives this dagger into the very heart of the libertarian conceit. What she’s doing is elaborating on the attempt to draw lines within the libertarian camp between “hard” libertarians and the so-called BHLs (Bleeding Heart Libertarians). This isn’t new, of course. Chomsky always described himself as a socialist libertarian, as do I, and there was a concerted effort to coin the term, “liberaltarian,” by Markos Moulitsas a few years ago. I’d wager the differences between BHLs, socialist libertarians and liberaltarians are pretty slim. They’re people who care deeply about liberty but grow suspicious about private entities accumulating enough wealth and power to bend the government into a tool for control of the majority on the behalf of a few. My liberty is just as gone if a corporation has taken it away.

But the heart (no pun intended but enjoyed after the fact) of the matter is that these people aren’t representative of the group that most often self-applies the libertarian label. This isn’t going to peel off the Randian “fuck everybody I’ve got mine and I’ll sue or legislate to keep it that way!” types. But it can bring new people into the fold, people who want to stand up for liberty outside the usual Republican box. It creates a space for them within the label, so that asshats like Paul Ryan have to clarify what kind of libertarian they are. And it chips away at the notion that if you care about liberty you have to start babbling about going Galt and cleansing the parasite cockroaches from the system by yanking children off Medicaid.

-hw


Rainy Sunday Posting

Apr 29, 2012 in Politics

My sister has a website.


Like Lenin saying he wasn’t really a fan of Marx.

Apr 28, 2012 in Politics

Just in case you didn’t think Paul Ryan was a liar.

Paul Ryan is a Republican, therefore he knows he can’t really talk about what he really believes much. Now, granted, if he were smarter he wouldn’t have created the Ryan (buy bombs with money taken from Medicare, hope lowering taxes on the rich yet again will finally beckon the Supply Side Fairy to help us) budget, as that really does tell the public what Republicans believe in, thus serving as a useful foil.

But like Ayn Rand herself, or like Ron and Rand Paul, the more you find out about these egghead libertarians with their escapist fantasies of free market paradise the more you dislike them. They’re just savvy enough to try putting it in a pretty package, but I think if Paul Ryan weren’t Mr. McDreamy to the Washington Press Corps he’d be getting a lot less credit for such clumsy and blatant lying.

-hw


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 hang my weary head.

Apr 25, 2012 in Election crap

Okay, so the new smartass Beltway vomit is that, even though everybody knows Mitt Romney has reversed every position he’s ever held and landed on “severely conservative,” the Obama campaign must either attack him for being a flip flopper without attacking his policy promises, or they must attack the policy promises and never call him a flip flopper.

The Washington elite seems to have a pretty easy time with their view that Romney may be a serial liar, but that’s a good thing since the horrible things he’s saying won’t really matter. This is a pretty remarkable contortion, isn’t it? Isn’t the fact that he flip flopped into a pile of dog crap doubly incriminating? Why should anybody running against him expect to leave out half the story?

Are we to see a repeat of 2004, where the Republican is given carte blanche to lie freely while the Democrats were scolded for telling the truth? I suspect that Romney’s anti-charisma will eventually make this conceit unsustainable, but as long as Jake Tapper or Mark Halperin collect paychecks, and as long as Politico exists and the Washington Post editorial board is run by wanker Fred Hiatt, bullshit like this will continue to pass as common wisdom among the Very Serious People. Oh, wait, this came from Huffington Post. Thanks, Arianna.

-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


Murderous conscience.

Apr 23, 2012 in Abortion, Religion

In a Sullivan post describing the Vatican crackdown on nuns for getting a little too free in their manner and thinking, this stuck out:

In 2009, a woman arrived in the emergency room at St. Joseph’s hospital in Phoenix. She was twenty-seven years old, eleven weeks pregnant, and she was dying. Her heart was failing, and her doctors agreed that the only way to save her life was to end her pregnancy, and that her condition was too critical to move her to another, non-Catholic hospital. The member of the ethics committee who was on call was Sister Margaret McBride. She gave her approval, under the theory that termination of the pregnancy would be the result but not the purpose of the procedure. The woman, who had four small children, went home to them. When the Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix heard what happened, he excommunicated Sister Margaret on the spot. A Church that had been so protective of priests who deliberately hurt children—keeping them in its fold, sending them, as priests, to new assignments—couldn’t tolerate her. A spokesman for the diocese called her a party to “murder.”

The diocese would have murdered her before that baby was ever born and washed its hands under the pretense of caring about life.

I’m just not sure how anybody perceives the papacy and its entourage of freaks and monsters to be in any way functional, humane, or particularly holy. It’s just an anachronistic club of men strangely convinced they should hold the world in thrall of a wisdom they haven’t been perceived to hold since before the days their penchant for children-buggery came to light. Increasingly the church has cheapened itself with political zealotry, attaching itself most fervently to issues of sex and sexuality, allying itself with the warmongering, poor-hating, torture-loving Republican Party. Let’s not mention the bright little fat bishop who declared President Obama to be just like ol’ Hitler n’Stalin (who the Vatican got so up in arms about back in the day you could hear a pin drop on a Jewish skull).

It’s especially strange that the Catholic Church, supposedly the same 2000 year old church that directly sprang from Jesus and the disciples, has so fervently jumped on a historically recent bandwagon in American culture where people decided abortion was so bad they had to have a reason why and therefore declared every zygote a fully fledged human being with more rights than the mother herself. Especially since this has involved more of an alliance with Evangelical Protestants, not the American Catholic population. Again and again, the priesthood pursues its own interests and priorities, and expects the world to get in line.

Bless each day we resist.

-hw


On our skewed political spectrum and how it permits the nuts in the Republican party to rise to power.

Apr 16, 2012 in Crazy Tea Party People, Racism, Straight-up madness

This could serve as everything that needs to be said about the increasingly deranged idiot Allen West, who has apparently smelled the money in being the hero of those rabid conservatives frequenting blog comments sections. That he is a black man willing to echo or top the vilest Tea Party rhetoric makes his popularity guaranteed, as there’s nothing white racists love more than a token black to shield them.

One thing Americans could do is stop electing such stunt politicians. Yet they’ve become a Republican staple. Bachmans and Palins and Wests cranking up the crazy and then acting persecuted to raise money when people slap their foreheads in disgust.

How can the Republicans be considered a responsible governing party with such fools as their heroes?

-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


Sweet mercy, already.

Mar 12, 2012 in Religion, teh gay

Sullivan charts the Catholic Church’s corruptive doubling down on the anti-gay:

The leaders of the current Catholic hierarchy are the Pharisees of our time. They are the people Jesus came to liberate us from. And he does. And he will.

Once again, Catholicism would greatly be improved by treating the papacy as some kind of entertaining kabuki theater. I can’t think of any organized body other than NAMBLA whose sexual philosophy should be entirely dismissed and disregarded as utterly without merit or grounds to speak.

-hw


Real women have curves.

Mar 12, 2012 in We'll post whatever we goddamned want to, Where's the outrage?!?!, Women, WTF?

Meghan McCain makes a good point about the expectation that women in the media be attractive and slim. I don’t know about you, but every time I’ve ever seen Meghan McCain, girl looks good as hell.

I saw a Fox News reporter (local) the other day, and I couldn’t believe how skinny she was. She was, in an auditorium, possibly the skinniest female in the room over the age of 18. It’s an important reminder that what passes for normal on television looks like a gaunt bag of bones in person.

Back in my single days, I dated every kind of woman on the planet. Six foot models, short chubbsters, girls with ninety-five pounds of hair and makeup and ten pounds of body, athletic-types, and so on. What I realized was that I didn’t want a prize chihuahua for a woman. I liked muscle on women, and I liked softness. To me, that kind of hard/soft has a nice yin yang quality that completes the definition of female. Feminine female. This is what Renaissance painters understood. I am fortunate to be married to a very beautiful woman in that regard.

So stick-and-bones Laura Ingraham dissing Meghan McCain was quite ironic to me. But it also resonates. Ingraham, who sounds like the meanest sorority girl on campus every minute that she speaks, doesn’t represent anywhere near the majority of women. Meghan McCain could walk into 95% of the bars of America and be one of the hottest gals in the room.

The bulk of people aren’t very attractive. It’s a wonder so many people do get married and have sex with each other, because frankly most people are pretty damn unsightly naked. Most people are happy to have a particular feature that is nice, even if they can’t point to anything other than their eyes or hair. The grassroots is fugly, folks.

And so are most men who get paid to air their thoughts in the media. Unless you think a three-way between Chris Matthews, Bill Maher, and Neil Cavuto would be teh hawtness.

Yet the secret of it all is that most of us do learn to transcend external beauty. Even the beautiful must wither before time and accept humility or be crushed (or chopped up on a plastic surgeon’s table until they look like freaks). The normal, human experience of love is between two somewhat oddly-shaped people who look at each other and see the complete person in all their glory. And they don’t ignore what feels good when it comes to appraising what looks good. People who like to tout “heartland values” ought to recognize that in the heartland, Meghan McCain is practically Marilyn Monroe.

Unfortunately, while we treat male commentators and other important figures in generous fashion, waving through all manner of disgusting lumpy bodies and hairpieces (only extremes- turtle-faces like Mitch McConnell or gigantic lard-masses like Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, or Chris Christie- really get razzed much), we apply a stringent standard to women in the public eye. It’s bad enough that it matters at all, but the window is so narrow only anorexics can get through. It’s frankly quite deranged.

So perk up, Meghan. You’ve correctly identified the transgressors, and it’s certainly not you.

p.s. All this applies to Michele Obama as well, who is the sexiest damn First Lady since Jackie Kennedy, if not all time. Holy smokes, how anybody criticizes her for having a feminine ass when she’s so crazy fit just blows my mind.

-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


Oh, Olympia Snowe, one of the most reasonable Republicans…

Mar 05, 2012 in Clueless Conservatives

Maybe she’s a nice person, but Olympia Snowe joined Mitch McConnell’s filibuster crusade and blew all records for filibusters out of the water, transforming the Senate by creating a de facto 60 vote requirement. Obama and the Democrats bent over backwards to make Obamacare something she could vote for, and she still wouldn’t abandon the filibuster. As in, she wasn’t just going to vote no on it, she was going to actively prevent a vote on it, because she would lose.

If that’s a reasonable Republican, then the term is useless.

-hw


Fundamentals.

Mar 05, 2012 in Clueless Conservatives, Culture, Women

This post by John Cole is about as good a breakdown of the multiple levels of wrong at play in the Sandra Fluke scandal as I could hope to come up with, so read it first. The factual errors in Rush’s attack are as egregious as the moral ones.

If nothing else, Limbaugh will learn not to call a Georgetown law student a slut. Poor minority women, don’t be looking for any reprieves soon.

-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.


Hey, Liz Trotta, go fuck yourself, you dirty bitch!

Feb 13, 2012 in Women

Yeah, not my most enlightened moment, but at least I’m not laughing and brushing off women being raped in the military.

“What did they expect?” Well, if being raped is to be expected when signing up for the military, perhaps our government should be a little more up front about this, since Ms. Liz Trotta regards this eventuality as inevitable. And is it just for women? Do rapists in the military deserve immunity, perhaps? So many questions for Liz Trotta, the Herman Cain of women.

-hw