Orange High Speed Train wallpaper, Conservative Arguments Hypocritical and Cheap

Orange High Speed Train wallpaper

After the years of reading the conservative blog The Astute Blogger it finally dawned on me that the title was meant to be ironic. Their all caps report – OBAMA AND SAUDIS IN BIGGEST ARMS DEAL OF ALL TIME









That would be the weapons deal to be brought before Congress for approval referred to in this report, Congress to be told of 60-billion US-Saudi arms deal

The administration sees the sale as part of a broader policy aimed at shoring up Arab allies against Iran, the report said.

The 60 billion dollars in fighter jets and helicopters is the top-line amount requested by the Saudis, even though the kingdom is likely to commit initially to buying only about half that amount, the paper said.

[  ]…Earlier media reports said that to assuage Israel’s concerns, the Obama administration has decided not to offer Saudi Arabia so-called standoff systems, which are advanced long-range weapons that can be attached to F-15s for use in offensive operations against land- and sea-based targets.

The three major weapons ( weapons systems) to be sold to the Saudis are the F-15 is made by McDonnell Douglas, the Apache helicopter is made by Boeing, and the Black Hawk helicopter which is made by Sikorsky Aircraft of New York. The Saudis already have some of the same equipment. Like the sale or not it will be a boon to workers in the defense industry – keeping and creating jobs. Maybe TAB is just jealous since Bush’s arms sale to the Saudis in 2008 which was only worth $20B. That deal included JDAMS “The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is a guidance kit that converts unguided gravity bombs, or “dumb bombs” into all-weather “smart” munitions.” So what is TAB’s point: They have a conveniently short term memory, have no real grasp of US foreign policy and objectives, cannot make a cogent argument, but gosh and jumping g-willingers they get  to associate Obama with his Muslim brethren.

As the world turns some may remember Bill Kristol’s Weakly Standard has had a long time crush on Sarah Palin. Will they part ways over the wacky Sharron Angle(R-NV) of Delaware Christine O’Donnell. TWS have posted this piece on O’Donnell – Citing “Mental Anguish,” Christine O’Donnell Sought $6.9 Million in Gender Discrimination Lawsuit Against Conservative Group…and falsely implied she was taking master’s degree classes at Princeton.

O’Donnell alleged in a July 1, 2005 complaint filed in district court that she had been demoted because ISI’s conservative philosophy dictated that women must be subordinate to men. She claimed she was fired when she contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding her demotion. ISI told the Delaware News Journal that she had been “terminated for operating a for-profit business.”

O’Donnell’s finances, honesty, and stability have been called into question in light of her false and strange claims.

As this thrilling episode unfolds we find Conservatives4Palin ( isn’t that ‘4’ so cute) are bragging that Palin’s endorsement of O’Donnell has put her ahead in the Republican primary – Christine O’Donnell and Kelly Ayotte Lead in their Respective Primaries in Delaware and New Hampshire

In fact, it’s difficult to argue that O’Donnell would be in such a strong position without Governor Palin’s endorsement. O’Donnell leads Castle by an 83-13 margin among those more likely to vote for her because of Palin’s endorsement. Castle is winning among everyone else but O’Donnell’s ability to win over those more likely to vote for her because of Governor Palin’s endorsement by such an overwhelming margin is what has her in the lead.

Is there is a far right nut bag who is too crazy for Palin to endorse. Apparently not. I would have thought the same of The Weekly Snooze before today, but even they see O’Donnell is a sure looser in a state where there are actually a few moderate mom and pop Republicans for who the Palin/Beck/Angle/ O’Donnell crowd is too fringe. For a serious take on O’Donnell – Dangerous Sociopaths Have Taken Over the Republican Party. I preferred this funny – though not safe for work post by TBogg – The Law Offices of Grief, Shame, Humiliation, Embarrassment, Anger, Chagrin, Disappointment & Worry

For those who may not remember Dinesh D’Souza is a conservative gadabout who spent a good part of 2001-2008 trying to blame President Clinton, birth control pills, comic books and pop culture in general for the 9-11 terrorist attacks. No seriously, he did –  Dinesh D’Souza: Mediocre Tequila, Worse Pundit. Newt Gingrich picked up one of D’Souza’s recent columns for the phrase “if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior ” to explain President Obama’s policies. Kind of like explaining atomic theory by citing Zeus and the power of the gods. D’Souza and Gingrich, not unlike 99.9% of conservative pontificaters like to reach for a bag full of adjectives and invectives and let them fly. They do not feel they should be bothered putting their propositions on a foundation of facts. Purely emotional arguments which appeal to their base are what matters. Forbes gets credit for publishing D’Souza’s original bizarre reference to ‘Kenyan anti-colonialism’ – Forbes Jumps the Shark

Now sure. Steve Forbes is an ultraconservative true believer. But this is still a mainstream business magazine,1 not a John Birch Society newsletter. And D’Souza is the guy who wrote an entire book blaming 9/11 on the “cultural left,” a book that expressed such obvious sympathy for the revulsion of conservative Muslims toward the American left’s “deluge of gross depravity and immorality” that even most of the folks at National Review couldn’t stomach it.

Even The National Review could see D’Souza’s premise was America was to blame for 9-11. His argument sounding very much like statements made by conservative clergymen Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. Kevin points to this smack down of D’Souza – Obama, Anticolonial Hegemonist?

…It must be his deeply-held anticolonialist beliefs that have led him to escalate the U.S. role in Afghanistan, launch numerous drone strikes on Pakistan, and authorize the assassination of U.S. citizens in the name of antiterrorism. Yes, zealous anticolonialism is the obvious answer. Even for D’Souza, whose last book was a strange exercise in blaming Western moral decadence for Islamic terrorism, this is simply stupid.

[   ]…D’Souza’s initial assumption that Obama is “the most antibusiness president in a generation, perhaps in American history” is not much more than assertion. Viewed from most places in the country, Obama does not appear anti-business at all, but rather he seems pitifully captive to business interests in the worst way. One can find this reassuring or disturbing, but that is the reality. (emphasis mine)

D’Souza must have his head buried so deep up his ass the only information that gets in is the sound of his own echo – Second Helpings

When President Obama unveiled an array of new tax-cut and spending proposals last week, one word was noticeably missing from his speeches: “stimulus.” Republicans, meanwhile, energetically set about decrying the plan as “more of the same failed ‘stimulus’ ” and as simply a “second stimulus”—as if the word itself were a damning indictment. The idea of using countercyclical fiscal policy to help get a weak economy moving is hardly radical. But in Washington stimulus has become the policy that dare not speak its name.

This wouldn’t be surprising if we were talking about a failed program. But, by any reasonable measure, the $800-billion stimulus package that Congress passed in the winter of 2009 was a clear, if limited, success. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it reduced unemployment by somewhere between 0.8 and 1.7 per cent in recent months. Economists at various Wall Street houses suggest that it boosted G.D.P. by more than two per cent. And a recent study by Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder, economists from, respectively, Moody’s and Princeton, argues that, in the absence of the stimulus, unemployment would have risen above eleven per cent and that G.D.P. would have been almost half a trillion dollars lower. The weight of the evidence suggests that fiscal policy softened the impact of the recession, boosting demand, creating jobs, and helping the economy start growing again.

There are two possible legitimate criticisms of Obama’s Recovery Act. Both of those arguments are from the liberal perspective. There was not enough done to create more jobs immediately and some of that Recovery money went to undeserving scumbags on Wall St who did not deserve to have their asses saved. To say that Obama is anti-business requires powers of denial, that if harnessed into energy, could power the country’s electric grid. Obama’s newest incentives include billions of tax incentives and tax breaks ( stats from Bloomberg and Yahoo/AP news) for small business and for investments made by small business.

US Flag Brooklyn Bridge at Night wallpaper, Logic Bounces Off Conservatives

US Flag Brooklyn Bridge at Night wallpaper

Muslims and Islam Were Part of Twin Towers’ Life

Sometime in 1999, a construction electrician received a new work assignment from his union. The man, Sinclair Hejazi Abdus-Salaam, was told to report to 2 World Trade Center, the southern of the twin towers.

In the union locker room on the 51st floor, Mr. Abdus-Salaam went through a construction worker’s version of due diligence. In the case of an emergency in the building, he asked his foreman and crew, where was he supposed to reassemble? The answer was the corner of Broadway and Vesey.

Over the next few days, noticing some fellow Muslims on the job, Mr. Abdus-Salaam voiced an equally essential question: “So where do you pray at?” And so he learned about the Muslim prayer room on the 17th floor of the south tower.

He went there regularly in the months to come, first doing the ablution known as wudu in a washroom fitted for cleansing hands, face and feet, and then facing toward Mecca to intone the salat prayer.

On any given day, Mr. Abdus-Salaam’s companions in the prayer room might include financial analysts, carpenters, receptionists, secretaries and ironworkers. There were American natives, immigrants who had earned citizenship, visitors conducting international business — the whole Muslim spectrum of nationality and race.

Leaping down the stairs on Sept. 11, 2001, when he had been installing ceiling speakers for a reinsurance company on the 49th floor, Mr. Abdus-Salaam had a brief, panicked thought. He didn’t see any of the Muslims he recognized from the prayer room. Where were they? Had they managed to evacuate?

He staggered out to the gathering place at Broadway and Vesey. From that corner, he watched the south tower collapse, to be followed soon by the north one. Somewhere in the smoking, burning mountain of rubble lay whatever remained of the prayer room, and also of some of the Muslims who had used it.

One Muslim business who had used the Muslim prayer room noted how this religious respite was also in the worlds’ epicenter (New York) of capitalism. While its frequently been a rough road haven’t we always been the country that manages to fit a lot of religions, ethnicities and beliefs into a big melting pot and making it work. Often times to the utter amazement to the rest of the world. The demagoguing of a mosque two blocks from the old Twin Towers site is not about being rational it’s about condemning all Muslims as murders or complicit in murder for the acts of a small percentage of Muslims. Than there is that little thing called the 1st Amendment – yet another component of the Constitution the GOP is willing to sacrifice on the altar of xenophobic bed wetting. The mosque inside the WTC Towers was not an issue for the thirty plus years the WTC existed. Neither was the mosque at the Pentagon. The Pentagon mosque a reminder that the Muslims, who most of the rabid Right has now decided are all murderers, is for the Muslims who are serving their country in the U.S. military. Crescents among the crosses at Arlington Cemetery

Today, nearly 15,000 Muslims serve in the US Armed Forces, under situations of conflicting loyalties and misunderstanding both by their non-Muslim colleagues as well as other Muslims. “We don’t have to prove anything,” said Imam Ghayth Nur Kashif, a Korean War veteran and former counselor for the Muslim American Military Association. “Many of us were born here so it’s really kind of an insult for people to question are you an American.”

When two Christian Republicans blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, we didn’t ask that no more churches be built out of respect for the dead – many of them Christians. Because it would not have made sense. In a report by John Jay College of Criminal Justice it was found the Catholic Church committed 6,700 acts of sexual abuse. We haven’t put the 1st Amendment on hold out of respect for those victims.

A conservative blog called Weasel Zippers writes about the NYC story, Dumbest Defense of GZM to Date: Before Islamists Flew Planes Into the Towers There Was a Small Muslim Prayer Room There…

It’s so mind numbingly stupid I’m at a loss for words which is probably why the lefty blogs (LGF, Daily Kos to name a few) think this it’s “proof” there should be no controversy surrounding the construction of a giant victory mosque next to Ground Zero…

Arguments – in the classical sense of the word – are made up of propositions followed by rational justified beliefs. If there was some logical argument against seeing the hypocrisy and ignorance bound up in opposition to the Park 51 commmunity center/mosque he either could not make one or was too lazy to try. So the moronic resort to its “too mind numbingly stupid”. A right-wing conservative cannot be bothered to make an argument for something about which they have strong feelings about. Much easier to plea to the commonality of malicious ignorance of his readers – borne out in the comments,

Dim Bulb says:
September 11, 2010 at 12:51 AM

Liberal Premise: Muslim’s are not squeamish about killing Muslims in the name of allah.

Liberal Conclusion: Therefore, having a Muslim Mosque near Ground Zero is foolproof protections against a Muslim attack.

Liberal Corollary: Dude, torch that doobie and pass me the Cheetos.

“Dim” has no doubt slayed a field of straw men with similar rhetorical flourishes. If the inability to deal with logic is a vest Dim and Weasel are bullet proof.

The Newt Does show business, Newterdammerung

First of all you know it’s going to be good when the liner notes read “Citizens United Productions presents in Association with Gingrich Productions and Peace River Company, LLC America at Risk: The War with No Name.”

Do you want to see a primer on the Clash of Civilizations and the coming Islam-fueled Armeggedon hosted by a disgraced & philandering former politician and his third and current trophy wife? If that’s a movie you need to see, join me after the jump.

Here’s the trailer for the movie, which will no doubt be an instant classic in the genre Islamophobia hate fest snuff films along with those earlier produced by the Clarion foundation.

Newt is competing with Glenn beck to be the P.T. Barnum of politics. that would be the P.T. Barnum who once said there is a sucker born every minute. Newt is on record as being a professional shoveler of bullsh*t,

The profile paints a silhouette highlighting the intersection of Gingrich’s personal life and political career:

“There’s somebody else, isn’t there?”

She kind of guessed it, of course. Women usually do. But did she know the woman was in her apartment, eating off her plates, sleeping in her bed?

She called a minister they both trusted. He came over to the house the next day and worked with them the whole weekend, but Gingrich just kept saying she was a Jaguar and all he wanted was a Chevrolet. “‘I can’t handle a Jaguar right now.’ He said that many times. ‘All I want is a Chevrolet.'”

He asked her to just tolerate the affair, an offer she refused.

He’d just returned from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he’d given a speech full of high sentiments about compassion and family values.

The next night, they sat talking out on their back patio in Georgia. She said, “How do you give that speech and do what you’re doing?”

“It doesn’t matter what I do,” he answered. “People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.

As for 2012, Marianne Gingrich shared her take on speculation swirling over the possibility of Newt Gingrich making a run for the White House in the next election cycle. The bottom line, she said, is that “there’s no way” he’ll be president.

It’s a busy busy time for the conservative Bullsh*t corps. When Newt isn’t milking the Park 51 controversy, he can be found milking the tea baggers ( sorry about that mental picture), 5 Ways the Tea Party Agenda Screws Tea Party Supporters

If people could be counted on to vote in their own best interests, there would be no Tea Party movement, for if the economic agenda embraced by Tea Partiers — a vastly pro-corporation, government-killing plan — Tea Partiers would find themselves among the people most hurt by it.

To hear Tea Party activists tell it, they seek to save future generations from the crushing demands of big government. Yet the agenda they advocate, dictated by the big-money players behind the muscular interest groups that keep the movement growing, will likely render the Tea Partiers themselves the economically squeezed subjects of a corporate state, one in which the elderly will be left to scrounge for crumbs, small businesses will be crushed by lack of capital, and their own ground-level online organizing supplanted by the networks built by giant, corporate-funded astroturf groups.

[   ]…2. Ending Medicare: See No. #1, Ending Social Security. “Within seven [years], Medicare is dead, bankrupt, broke — broke,” Bachmann told the Tea Partiers. Her solution? End it for everybody but “the truly needy and the truly disabled.” (I shudder to think what constitutes “truly needy” in the Bachmann moral universe.) Her solution? You can buy your own health insurance policy on the private market with pre-tax dollars. Sure, you’re 70 years old: How much do you think an insurance company is going to charge you for your coverage? Pre-taxed or not, you’re going to need a whole lotta dollars to make that one work for you.

But Bachmann’s fans likely found comfort in her sunny optimism. “It is possible for every American to be able to retire a millionaire,” Bachmann told the Tea Partiers. “It’s entirely possible to do that if you plan early and you put away money — and there are alternatives that we can put forward.” Just what those “alternatives” might be were left to the audience’s imagination.

I may never know for sure, but I always wondered who bought those gadgets that give you ripped abs while you sit on the sofa eating double-chocolate chip ice while watching TV.

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) On Health Clinic Funded By Stimulus He Opposed: ‘One Of The Core Pieces Of The Solution’ America Needs – It might be that Republicans lack the neurons required to understand what  boneheaded hypocrisy is.

Autumn Path wallpaper

fall wallpaper

Autumn Path wallpaper . That is a statue at the end of the path, not a person.

This is handy link to some other links about the general mood of Democrats and some mistaken perceptions – Events, New Realities, and the Right Attitude

Apparently there’s been some hand-wringing about Josh Marshall’s piece published last night entitled “Events Create New Realities.”  Is he giving up on the midterms?  Well, no, but Josh has a crucial point to make:

How well will Democrats stand up to the headline that says Republicans win 50 House seats?

And remember, it won’t be “Republicans win 50 House Seats.”

The headline will read “Angry Country Repudiates Obama Agenda, Embraces Small Government Conservative Values.” And that will be the Times. Believe me, it won’t be pretty.

In any case, a lot of folks are thinking, well, sure the Republicans take the House and maybe they even take the Senate. But Obama’s got the veto pen and the big legislation has already been pushed through. And if they come after Social Security, c’mon, let them try: Obama can veto whatever they pass. And they’ll kill themselves for 2012.

But all of this is based on the premise that the Democrats — congressional leaders and the White House — are going to be something like the same people on November 3rd as they were on November 1st. And a lot of painful history, the post-Scott Brown victory period being only the most recent example, says that’s a very bad assumption.

It is a mistake to feel defeatist and then console oneself about that self-induced defeatism with the hollow consolation that Obama still has the veto. Government will not shut down if Democrats lose both Houses. Republicans will run down the clock to 2012 with witch hunt based hearings and with the help of conservative Democrats may be able to override some vetoes. What is the electorate upset about? There are specifics on the periphery, but the problem that accounts for the most points in polls is jobs:

Political scientist Jonathan Bernstein, in one of those necessary takedowns of Matt Bai, said it the best:

It’s not complicated at all: Obama’s approval ratings have fallen because the economy stinks.  End of story.  Anything else is on the margins…and it’s certainly possible that everything else is pushing his ratings up, not down.

President Obama is clearly not a progressive’s dream president, but he is progress. He might not be as much progress as many would like, but that is the nature of moving forward in politics. What we’ve gotten so far (90 Accomplishments of Pres. Obama Which The Media Fails to Report, Voters’ anxiety clouds Obama’s historic successes) is not bad considering the Republican minority – with the help of Senate rules – has managed to block so much. President Obama is civil to a fault and I will have to wait for the autobiography in 7 or 8 years to really understand his obsession with reaching out to conservatives when “They talk about me like a dog”. One thing that is frequently over looked is Obama’s presidency and the Supreme Court. If Little John and Sarah were running the joint we’d have two more right-wing extremists on the court. In 2012 if my choice is the less than perfect Obama versus what will certainly be a rabid right-wing conservative opponent I’ll vote for Obama because the SCOTUS has such a far reaching effect on how the Constitution is interpreted. Jobs are an important issue on the front burner and a tragedy a whole generation will pay for, but the SCOTUS is about having a country worth living in. According to polls which says many Americans – regardless of party – cannot even name a SCOTUS justice, this may seem like an esoteric issue, but its a damn good reason to at least vote for a Democratic senator in 2010 and the Democratic presidential nominee in 2012. Obama’s poll numbers and jobs are important in the short term. In the long term as the Supreme Court goes so goes the nation. If we get a couple more moderates like Sotomeyer and Kagan on the court than it would certainly help with all those issues which spike Glenn Greenwald’s blood pressure – Obama wins the right to invoke “State Secrets” to protect Bush crimes. If there is a SCOTUS dominated by moderate justices neither Obama or any other president will be able to cloak paranoia and political considerations in supposed national security concerns.

The National Review On-lines Andrew McCarthy has had another public bed wetting episode – Late Night: The Unbearable Wetness of Andy

Andy McCarthy thinks sensible people are “enraged” at him just because they say “what the fuck are you talking about?” His perception of this response is inaccurate. Sensible people merely tend to become irritated at nonsense.

This is because the idea that “in terms of doctrine there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam’” is gibberish. It is, indeed, precisely the kind of charge that could be leveled at any doctrine or ideology. I could just as easily prove that “defining yourself as a Conservative leads inexorably to a tendency to make an ass of yourself on the Internet,” for instance.  Probably it’d be even easier.

If there are no moderate Muslims shouldn’t we be nuking about a dozen countries right now. Estimates vary but the US has about 3 to 6 million adherents of Islam. More than enough to have a 9-11 every week if they are all truly all murderous radicals. McBedWetter’s arguments are not about logic or facts. They are, as they have been for nine years, about eliminationism. Chip away at the veneer of any conservative stance on any issue from university education to women’s rights to the Constitution’s equal protection clause and you always get that defining eliminationism. If Islam suddenly disappeared tomorrow, conservatives wouldn’t miss a beat in creating the next boogeyman to soil their Depends over.

CHART OF THE DAY: A Huge Chunk Of The Old Stimulus Hasn’t Even Hit The Economy Yet

Golden Gate Bridge at Night wallpaper

American cities

Golden Gate Bridge at Night wallpaper

Right-wing media shamefully try to pin Discovery Channel bomber’s actions on Gore

Lee promoted living “WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children” and “programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility.” In his manifesto against the Discovery Channel, Lee wrote that “[f]ocus must be given on how people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution.” (emphasis in original) Lee demanded that the Discovery Channel promote this goal by creating “programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility.”

Gore promoted “stabilizing” the human population through literacy, access to contraception, and reducing infant mortality. In Gore’s book Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, he advocated stabilizing the populations of Third World countries to guarantee access to resources. Gore recommended achieving this goal through literacy and education, access to contraception, and reducing the infant mortality rate:

A more careful analysis suggests that rising per capita income is also associated with several of the basic causes of demographic transition. High literacy rates and education levels are important, especially for women; once they are empowered intellectually and socially, they make decisions about the number of children they wish to have. Low infant mortality rates give parents a high level of confidence that even with a small family, some of their children will grow to maturity, carry the family name and genes (and in the belief of some societies, the spirits of ancestors), and provide physical security for their parents when they are old. Nearly ubiquitous access to a variety of affordable birth control techniques gives parents the power to choose when and whether to have children. [Page 311; italics in original]

Lee criticized An Inconvenient Truth for not providing “real solutions.” In a post on his MySpace page, which has since been taken down, Lee reportedly wrote that Gore’s book “was very enlightening” but “he didn’t offer any real solutions”:

Think Progress also noted James Jay Lee’s extremist anti-immigration views. Views not typical of  liberals. It is possible sometimes that a violent gunman defies easy political categorization. TP seems to imply – though they may not mean to – Lee’s politics were right of center. Maybe Lee was just a deranged nut. One realizes that the wing-nuts are in sore need of some political points on the deranged wackos scorecard – they lead liberals by a mile. Conservative Republicans have murdered cops and doctors; with what many consider mainstream Republican political leaders using violent rhetoric to insight their genuflecting followers.  The growth of extremist right-wing groups had been on the rise since Obama was elected.

I thought president Obama’s line “They talk about me like I’m a dog” was a mild joke. A good humored way of making note of the unmerited level of hate speech directed his way.

It’s easy for folks to stir up stuff and turn people on each other, everybody sets their sights a little lower. That’s not who we are. We do not give up. We do not quit. Whenever times have seemed at their worst, Americans have been at their best. Because it is in those times when we roll up our sleeves and remember that we will rise or fall together – as one nation, and one people. That’s the spirit that started the labor movement. Alone we may be weak, divided we may fall, but if we are united, we are strong. That’s why they call them unions. That’s why we’re called the United States of America. I’m gonna make this case all across America.

It was a safe bet that the hate mongers would take offense at being joked about, the Republican lawyer Legal Insurrection ( that is the blog’s real name, not a joke) writes – Demonizer-In-Chief Upset People Demonize Him

The entrepreneurs and workers who built the great technology companies that drive our economy are nowhere to be found.  It is the proletariat of the old economy who live in Obama’s imagination.

Step one in any right-wing extremist post: posit tenuous association between Obama and socialism. Abraham Lincoln once wrote – “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” Workers create wealth. You can have a great idea for a new product or service and all the money in the world – nothing happens without workers.LI was not content to leave it at that,

This truly is another of those windows into his divisive soul.  The Demonizer-in-Chief and the class warfare expert doesn’t like being treated the way he treats others.

Li would know something about demonizing. In January of 2009 he wrote,

Being nice to Obama does not result in Obama or his supporters being nice to you. As I have noted before, Obama is one of the most aggressive politicians ever, and conservatives are kidding themselves if they think a few kind words now and then from Obama reflect a change in agenda.

So should we do unto Obama as Obama did unto Bush? Will the country be better off with a real opposition party? As Sarah Palin would say, “you betcha.”

Obama had not been president for a week and already LI had declared a war of  demonizing. It was to be expected but excuse Obama for making a little joke that spoke honestly to the full-out character assassination the right has engaged in since day one and gee the Right got their little feelings hurt. In December of 2009 LI wrote,

For the record, again, I want to focus on the mountain of paper Obama wants Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to push through the Congress which will wreak havoc on our economy, narrow our liberties, and ruin our health care system.

Bush wreaked havoc on the economy, but like all good right-wing sheep LI has mastered the power of denial and deflection, throwing in some hyperbolic trash about the end of the world while he’s at it. Nothing like looking into that crystal ball and making one’s demonizations early. Someone once said the average person can’t get through the day with out a rationalization. The Right would be dumbstruck and malnourished without their demonizations. They have built a cottage industry out of dehumanizing the opposition and push lies big and small to serve their agenda.

Black and White Amateur Boxing wallpaper

Black and White Amateur Boxing wallpaper

I guess I should be mad at Ezra Klein for his report President Obama was going to propose a payroll tax cut, but with twenty-twenty hindsight Ezra does get it right today – Wonkbook: Obama proposes $50B for infrastructure, $100B for R&D tax credit; Orszag’s first NYT op-ed

But there’s a $50 billion infrastructure investment program, a $100 billion proposal to make the R&D tax credit permanent, and a $200 billion idea to allow companies to deduct the full cost of the capital investment in 2011. Add in the small business bill that’s sitting still in the Senate, and the anti-business White House has thrown its muscle behind hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts and credits for, well, business.

Speaking of tax cuts and credits, former OMB director Peter Orszag makes his debut in the New York Times this morning with a column arguing that the Bush tax cuts should be extended until 2013 — and then allowed to lapse altogether. Yes, even the middle-class ones. That might be more important than you think: Though it’s true that money can’t buy you happiness (at least not after $75,000 a year), it can buy you a feeling of deep satisfaction.

There is no reason to up taxes on those making below the $250K threshold. What should bother everyone if the reasoning behind keeping the Bush cuts for those making over $250K. Economist Michael Bordo sums up the political dogma that has infested much of economics like bed bugs – Yes, their benefits outweigh their costs

THE Bush tax cuts should not be allowed to expire at the end of 2010. There are two good reasons. The first is that a tax increase, by reducing aggregate demand, would damage the wobbly US recovery. Second, even if taxes were only allowed to rise on the 3% of families earning over $250,000 per year, the higher taxes on those groups—which include many of the nation’s entrepreneurs—would hamper investment and future economic growth.

The potential long run costs of perpetuating the tax cuts in terms of a larger fiscal deficit and higher debt-to-GDP ratio would be less than the costs of lower real activity in the short-run and lower economic growth in the long-run of ending them. Higher output and growth would eventually reduce the elevated deficits and debt ratios.

The Bush cuts were made over the course of 2001-2003. Where was the economic benefit for the middle-class or the economy as a whole. The nation lost three trillion dollars in wealth, but the rich got richer. Bush had an anemic job creation record. The nation’s business and entrepreneurs got richer during the Bush years and are still – despite a real unemployment rate of around 16% – raking in profits. Bordo’s argument must be ivory tower based with the window closed on what is happening in the real world. Business has the money to hire and invest, but have no economic incentive to do so when they can make just as much money by scaling back operations. If we’re going to keep the Bush cuts than at least be honest about it rather than covering up the reasons in economic doublespeak. Ezra’s explanations was closer to the mark – we’ll probably be keeping them, regardless of how fiscally irresponsible they are because those cuts make rich people smile. Robert Reich is a smart guy and an adult, but he obviously doesn’t understand that the nation ain’t in no darn mood for smart adult conversations right now, Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He’s Wrong

President Obama reportedly will propose two big corporate tax cuts this week.

One would expand and make permanent the research and experimentation tax credit, at a cost of about $100 billion over the next ten years. The other would allow companies to write off 100 percent of their new investments in plant and equipment between now and the end of 2011 at a cost next year of substantially more than $100 billion (but a ten-year cost of about $30 billion since those write-offs wouldn’t be taken over the longer-term).

The economy needs two whopping corporate tax cuts right now as much as someone with a serious heart condition needs Botox.

The reason businesses aren’t investing in new plant and equipment has nothing to do with the cost of capital. It’s because they don’t need the additional capacity. There isn’t enough demand for their goods and services to justify it. Consumers aren’t buying because they’re trying to come out from under a huge debt load, including mortgage debt; they have to start saving because their nest eggs are worth substantially less; and they’ve lost or are worried about losing jobs and pay.

In any event, small businesses don’t have enough profits against which to use these tax credits and deductions, and large corporations are sitting on over a trillion dollars of profits and don’t need them. ( see Newsweek link)

Republicans and corporate lobbyists have been demanding tax cuts on corporate investments for one reason: Big corporations are investing in automated equipment, robotics, numerically-controlled machine tools, and software. These investments are designed to boost profits by permanently replacing workers and cutting payrolls. The tax breaks Obama is proposing would make such investments all the more profitable.

In sum, Obama’s proposed corporate tax cuts (1) won’t generate more jobs because they don’t put any cash in worker’s pockets (as would, for example, exempting the first $20,000 of income from the payroll tax and making up the difference by applying the payroll tax to incomes over $250,000); (2) will subsidize companies to cut even more jobs; and (3) will cost $130 billion — money that could better be spent helping states and locales avoid laying off thousands of teachers, fire fighters, and police.

I’m not changing my position no matter how much sense Robert makes. Let Obama and Democrats slash and burn as much revenue as possible and let the Republican president and Congress in 2012 worry about savaging what’s left of the wreck. Republicans are responsible for the train wreck in the first place. They think drowning government and the lives of millions of people is fun, than they can enjoy trying to resuscitate them.

* I genuinely support the R&D credit. It is direct enough to have some long term benefit especially in moving toward a more progressive energy policy. That said this package is probably dead in the water – The Great Orange Man John Boehner (R-OH) speaks.

Rainbow Farm Field Illinois wallpaper and I’m Sure Jonah Goldberg is Much Nicer Than Josef Mengele

American landscapes

Rainbow Farm Field Illinois wallpaper

Jonah Goldberg wanted to be taken seriously as a conservative intellectual so he wrote a book called “Liberal Fascism” riddled with lies, inaccuracies, half-truths, distortions and to be redundant, sloppy research.  I wouldn’t say that no one liked his book. Other conservatives who regularly deal in historical revisionism seemed to love it. Having been hammered for what appears to be a career of turning out right-wing tripe for the right-wing tripe eaters, did Goldberg have a moment of reflection and redemption? Of course not. One paragraph from a new column and so much propagnda, What Kind of Socialist Is Barack Obama?

Fourteen months into his presidency, in March 2010, Obama succeeded in muscling through Congress a partial government takeover of the national health-care system. That legislative accomplishment followed Obama’s decision a year earlier, without congressional approval, to nationalize two of the country’s Big Three automobile companies. In the intervening months, he had also imposed specific wage ceilings on employees at banks that had taken federal bailout money—the first such federal wage controls since an ill-fated experiment by Richard Nixon in 1971. Obama also made the federal government the direct provider of student loans, and did so by putting that significant change in American policy inside the larger health-care bill. In a September 2009 press conference, Obama suggested that a publicly funded health-care system might help “avoid some of the overhead that gets eaten up at private companies by profits and excessive administrative costs”—thus mistaking the act of making money, the foundational cornerstone of capitalism itself, with the generation of unnecessary expenses.

Given his conduct and rhetoric as president, we have every reason to reopen the question from 2008 and ask, quite simply, What kind of socialist is Barack Obama?

This is the kind of paper one might expect from an over zealous 12 year old. based on the thin gruel, lies and bullpoop provided – we the jury are to find the defendant guilty of some kind of socialism. Jonah once again plays the plausibly rational card – oh you know Obama isn’t Stalin, but a purveyor of a soft socialism that is incredibly dangerous.

*The Patient Protection  and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is not even close to a government take-over of health-care. The general outline of the plan is very similar to the one drawn up by the right-wing Heritage Foundation and previously endorsed by one of the GOP front-runners for president in 2012, Mitt Romney. So the Heritage Foundation and Mitt Romney are also socialists by Goldberg’s definition. Private health-care corporations like tea bagger Rick Scott’s remain privately owned entities – maybe Rick can rip off health care reform for another billion. Health insurance companies remain private and will benefit from the anticipated 30 million new policies they’ll write. Conservatives have taken credit for some of the health care reform bill here and here – they too are socialists by Goldberg’s standards. Some of the ideas in the PPACA were put in at the suggestion of Republicans – maybe that makes Obama only half a socialists and those Republican only half socialists.

*Obama “nationalized” the two auto makers? That would be the nationalization initiated by the Bush administration and Bush appointee Ben Bernanke. As talks were underway for assistance during the Obama administration prominent right-wing conservative shock jocks were blaming the possible lack of assistance on the unions. The government took an equity state in GM and Chrysler as collateral against government loans. You know, so tax payers would get their money back if either company had to be sold off whole or in pieces – which sounds a lot like capitalism. There are/were some good arguments for and against those loans, but being socialistic is not one of them unless you’re an maliciously ignorant rube who’s mom got him a job on the wing-nut welfare circuit. Jonah has all the integrity of his ilk, when you make a bet with a liberal while on winger welfare you don’t have to pay off when you lose. If bail-outs are always socialism than Reagan and Bush 43 were also socialists when they bailed out the savings and loan industry. A crisis brought about – much like the current recession – largely by Republican policies and corruption.

* Obama’s reform of the student loan program? Formerly a boondoggle of free money for banks that acted as intermediary leeches. That horrible reform saved tax payers approximately $70 million dollars. Money which banks made for lifting up their poor tired little hands and writing checks. In Jonah’s fetid view of reality this is just the kind of thing Mao would have done.

*Given his conduct and rhetoric as a right-wing nimrod, we have every reason to reopen the question and ask, quite simply, What kind of proto-fascist anti-American moron is Jonah Goldberg? I’m not saying that Goldberg is a Nazi or a Communist. It is just that so much of what he believes in and advocates resembles those totalitarian political schools of thought. I’m sure he is much nicer than Dr. Josef Mengele.

Black and White Sand Dune Prints wallpaper

black and white wallpaper sand dunes

Black and White Sand Dune Prints wallpaper

Pier Summer Sunset wallpaper

From a Paul Krugman column back in February of this year- The Bankruptcy Boys

For readers who don’t know what I’m talking about: ever since Reagan, the G.O.P. has been run by people who want a much smaller government. In the famous words of the activist Grover Norquist, conservatives want to get the government “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

But there has always been a political problem with this agenda. Voters may say that they oppose big government, but the programs that actually dominate federal spending — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — are very popular. So how can the public be persuaded to accept large spending cuts?

The conservative answer, which evolved in the late 1970s, would be dubbed “starving the beast” during the Reagan years. The idea — propounded by many members of the conservative intelligentsia, from Alan Greenspan to Irving Kristol — was basically that sympathetic politicians should engage in a game of bait and switch. Rather than proposing unpopular spending cuts, Republicans would push through popular tax cuts, with the deliberate intention of worsening the government’s fiscal position. Spending cuts could then be sold as a necessity rather than a choice, the only way to eliminate an unsustainable budget deficit.

When Vice-President Darth Vader said deficit don’t matter he was not being flippant. Some of us have read and used the quote so many times it may have lost its impact in terms of insight into conservative thinking. Bush, Cheney, Mitch McConnell(R-KY), Tom Delay, John Boehner(R-OH) along with the Republican majority in Congress publicly whined about spending, but having the power to balance spending and revenues did absolutely nothing. These people are not as bright as the physics teacher who lives down the street, but they knew politics follows cycles. The economy was anemic under Republic rule even before the bust started in 2006 and they created the biggest debt in the nation’s history. Reasonable people keep calling the Bush era economic policies a disaster. It is not that those folks are wrong, it is that Republicans got exactly what they wanted. The wealthy are not suffering and those Republicans who are in the median income range (household income around $53K) they’re in denial about what happened during the Bush years. That segment of Republicans are the ones whose political views are shaped by Fox, right-wing web sites and urban myths. They’re the 25 percenters who loved Bush, think Saddam had something to do with 9-11 and really believe there will be a civilized country called the U.S.A. in good operating order if all federal income taxes are repealed. Krugman’s current column is the reiteration the stimulus was not large enough. Probably true and also spilled milk as it were since it is too late to double it,

So it’s left to the blogs. Cohn gets two economists on the record. Dean Baker, president of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, says that a rough calculation would just multiply the impact of the actual stimulus by two: “The Congressional Budge Office estimates that the stimulus added 1.7-4.5 percent to GDP and that it lowered the unemployment rate by 0.7-1.8 percentage points. If it were twice as large, assume GDP growth in the 3.4-9.0 percent range and the drop in unemployment in the range of 1.4 -3.6 pp. In other words, the unemployment rate today would be between 7.7 percent and 8.8 percent.” He also thinks there’s some chance it would have “kicked off self-sustaining growth with a bigger round of investment coming on board and maybe even some real wage growth.”

Larry Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, agrees that more stimulus would’ve meant more jobs. Maybe as many as 5 million of them.

So President Obama is going to float a plan that includes payroll tax cuts. Shouldn’t we be responsible adults and oppose the real possibility such cuts will make the deficit larger and will not spur the kind of growth required to bring down unemployment a few percent. Let’s all be Republicans about it. So what if it is irresponsible. President Obama and Democrats lose in 2012. So what. Republicans are left holding the bag. They will have to fix the continuing recession with those principles followed by Alan Greenspan to Irving to George Bush 43 to Newt Gingrich. The long game – and remember the current rise of the extremist right has been playing and organizing the long game for fifty years – for Democrats is how to fix the mess without destroying the programs which would literally abandon grandma and grandpa to live in tent cities begging for health care and food. Republicans are currently planting the seeds of their destruction. That was a historic inevitability regardless of the vain attempts by the tea nuts at rebranding conservatism. The sad part of the end of right-wing conservatism is that it is not going to be painless. Millions of Americans will be a lost economic generation – poorly paid labor at low-end jobs, lack of independence, America’s place at the forefront of science and technology will slide and culturally that sunny American optimism will be lost for a decade or more. White House considers pre-midterm package of business tax breaks to spur hiring

Pairing targeted business tax breaks with an extension of middle-class tax cuts could help alleviate those problems.

Permanently extending the research credit would cost roughly $100 billion over the next decade, tax analysts said. And depending on its form and duration, a payroll-tax holiday could cost more than $300 billion. While costing significantly less than last year’s stimulus package, both ideas would be far more dramatic than anything the White House has so far acknowledged considering.

More spending on infrastructure, particularly transportation projects, is also under discussion. But it would be easier for a package composed purely of tax cuts to “avoid the stain of a ‘bailout’ or ‘stimulus’ label,” said one official familiar with the talks, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations were private.

Long term this might work – White House Preparing for a Payroll Tax Holiday?

Economists argue that spending increases tend to be more effective than tax cuts in stimulating the economy. But, the Congressional Budget Office examined (PDF) the effectiveness of a variety of tax cuts this winter, and found payroll tax cuts to be a good option, compared with, say, extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Moreover, they have positive impacts on employment — and the sustained high rate of joblessness remains the biggest drag on the American economy and a pressing public-policy issue.

According to the CBO, a payroll tax cut is about 25 to 33 percent more stimulative than providing a refundable tax credit for lower- and middle-income households, for instance.

It is important to remember this is largely a payroll tax cut, not an income tax cut. Like I said if it doesn’t work let the Republican president and Congress ( along with a couple more wingers on the Supreme Court) fix it all in 2012 or 2016. They won’t be able to fix it with the drown the baby tactics. The outraged 65+ year old Americans that are getting the shaft along with the high school seniors who will not have a future will make the tea bagger town hall freak-outs look like Sunday picnics. Conservatives want to play games with governance and people’s live than let them reap the consequences.

This is part of a good series on restructuring the Bush tax cuts – Presimetrics: How Democratic and Republican Administrations Measure Up on the Issues We Care About.

1.The Republicans who pushed the cuts claimed first that they were intended to return to taxpayers the surplus. Of course, that argument was laughable from the beginning: Bush deficits started in the first year of the Bush regime and got worse for the long term as the costs of a military budget pumped up by preemptive war and other augmenting of government spending at the same time that tax revenues were cut again and again throughout the regime.

2.Various Republicans also admitted that their goal was to cut the size of government–though they didn’t mean the military and they did mean any programs that protect average Americans (such as Social Security, unemployment compensation, environmental programs, OSHA, etc.). But the size of government grew in spite of the reductions in revenue, resulting in expanding deficits.

3.The various expensing provisions; repatriation with almost no taxation (in the 2004 “American Jobs Creation Act”); tax breaks for oil and other natural resource companies; international tax breaks; and other corporate-favorable provisions were supposed to stimulate entrepreneurial activity and job creation. Instead, businesses used the low-tax repatriated income to pay managers more and workers less, and laid off workers at the same time.

That is all very smart and adult, but Democrats might consider playing the Conservative game of Spite. Leave this giant cluster f**k for the wing-nuts to clean up and destroy right-wing conservatism at the same time.

Black and White Dallas Night Skyline wallpaper

Black and White wallpaper

Black and White Dallas Night Skyline wallpaper

If politics and good governance are all about snapshot polls than by all means be discouraged that health care reform has apparently notched down a couple points. On the other hand if you think good governance is about leaving a positive legacy – FACTBOX-US healthcare bill would provide immediate benefits – and about the common good than just say to hell with poll snapshots. Here’s why. Doing the right thing is not always popular. That popularity also takes a beating when you have a constant barrage of misinformation about big changes like health care reform. While I tend to think health care reform ( The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) involved relative modest improvements to accessibility and the protection against the worse excesses of the predatory health insurance industry, PPAC was the single biggest health care reform package since Medicare. The history of Medicare provides the single biggest reason that no Democrat or one of those few remaining moderate Republicans should regret supporting the PPAC. Health Care Reform Circa 1965: Polling on Medicare

A July 1962 Gallup poll found mixed feelings about President John F. Kennedy’s proposal, 28 percent said they held generally favorable views of his plan, 24 percent were generally unfavorable, and a sizable plurality (33 percent) said they didn’t have an opinion on it or hadn’t heard about the plan.

[   ]…Following Pres. Lyndon Johnson’s election, Americans remained somewhat divided on the plan, with 46 percent telling Harris pollsters in Feb. 1965 that they’d prefer “a Federal law which would provide medical care for the aged by a special tax, like Social Security” and 36 percent more inclined to support “a plan of expanded private health insurance.” Then, as now, Democrats were more apt to favor the government option (58 percent) than were Republicans (27 percent).

Asked another way, 62 percent said they favored “President Johnson’s program of medical care for the aged under Social Security.” A smaller majority, 56 percent, backed the American Medical Association’s alternative plan, which would have “everyone who could afford it covered by private health insurance” and “those who couldn’t afford it …covered under a government health plan.”

Medicare has had its ups and downs but continues to be a very popular program.

Those comparisons show the depth of Medicare’s popularity. According to a national CAHPS survey conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2007, 56 percent of enrollees in traditional fee-for-service Medicare give their “health plan” a rating of 9 or 10 on a 0-10 scale. Similarly, 60 percent of seniors enrolled in Medicare Managed Care rated their plans a 9 or 10. But according to the CAHPS surveys compiled by HHS, only 40 percent of Americans enrolled in private health insurance gave their plans a 9 or 10 rating.

More importantly, the higher scores for Medicare are based on perceptions of better access to care. More than two thirds (70 percent) of traditional Medicare enrollees say they “always” get access to needed care (appointments with specialists or other necessary tests and treatment), compared with 63 percent in Medicare managed care plans and only 51 percent of those with private insurance.

For today’s right-wing conservatives the only things which seem to matter are greed, power and the belief in some radical ideology that is the antithesis of an enlightened democracy. That blind herd mentality might win them a few seats in Congress, but history is not on their side. Despite all the BS about repealing health care reform, killing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Unemployment Insurance – those programs have remained popular with the public. It is not the popularity of these programs alone that matters. They are essential to any modern industrialized nation. If Conservatives are truly for the continuation of a free market based economy – they seemed to love the corrosive crony capitalism of the Bush and Reagan years – than they should be pro social safety net. Modern free markets with a capable labor force are not possible without the stabilizing effects of the safety net to counter balance the unpredictability of free markets. If modern right-wing conservatism’s aim is a permanent crony capitalism, a kind of cruel and unstable modern plantation nation, in which there is little real upward mobility than they are on the right path.

GOPers Decrying “Socialized Medicine” Go To Govt. Hospital For Surgeries