Chelsea Clock wallpaper – The Low Spark of The Conservative Mind

time. dual gradient, clock,

Chelsea Clock wallpaper

 

President Obama wants to pass a modest, at best Keynesian-lite jobs bill. That includes $250 billion in tax cuts. What does that mean? It is the end of the world as we know it. We’re taking the express elevator to Marxist paradise. Conservative Media Criticism Of Jobs Plan Only Off By Millions Of Jobs

Conservative media figures are citing the discredited myth that the stimulus failed to argue that President Obama’s jobs plan also will not help the economy. In fact, economic analysts have repeatedly said that the 2009 recovery act boosted the economy and increased employment, and economists estimate that Obama’s jobs plan is likely to add millions of jobs.

Right-Wing Media: Obama’s Jobs Plan Won’t Create Jobs — Just Like The Stimulus

Fox’s MacCallum: “$447 Billion In New Money To Stimulate The Economy On Top Of 800 Billion In The Original Stimulus Plan That Didn’t Work.” Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum discussed Obama’s jobs plan with Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ). MacCallum said that “one of the big questions that I think a lot of people were left with at the end of the speech last night was: $447 billion in new money to stimulate the economy on top of 800 billion in the original stimulus plan that didn’t work, as evidenced by the employment numbers and every other indication of the economy that we’ve seen.” She continued:

MacCALLUM: So why would this $447 billion — where are we going to get the money, and why should everyone be convinced that this time it will work? [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 9/9/11]

The original Recovery Act created  about 2 million jobs. If President Obama had done nothing rather than having a current official unemployment rate of about 9.1% we would probably have an official rate of 12%. It has become an unofficial rule of thumb to add about 4% to those figures because of the people who are no longer officially counted because they no longer qualify for unemployment benefits or they have given up looking for work. When it comes to official or unofficial, conservatives always seem to cheer and hope for the worse. One of the reasons is that conservatives think they benefit from a stalled economy. Conservatives have been blatant in their party before country ideology, especially since 9-11. With a majority in the House they have actively tried to make the economy worse. They see the USA as their toy and if they do not have control of their toy they are going to make life miserable for everyone until they get back complete control. Then they’ll double down on the misery – for a preview see Wisconsin, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Michigan. And of course the “analysts” at Rupert Murdoch’s perpetual propaganda machine are wrong about the new Jobs bill as well,

But Economists Say Obama’s Jobs Plan Would Create Millions Of Jobs

Zandi: American Jobs Act Would Add Nearly 2 Million Jobs. UPI reported:

President Barack Obama’s $447 billion job-creation plan would likely add 1.9 million payroll jobs and grow the U.S. economy 2 percent, a leading economist said.

The plan, which Obama outlined before a joint session of Congress Thursday, would likely cut the unemployment rate by a percentage point, Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi said as Obama prepared to tout the plan at Virginia’s University of Richmond. [United Press International, 9/9/11]

Macroeconomic Advisers: American Jobs Act Would Be “A Significant Boost To GDP And Employment.” From the blog of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC:

We estimate that the American Jobs Act (AJA), if enacted, would give a significant boost to GDP and employment over the near-term.

It is not that Texas is in the pits economically, the problem is with Rick Perry and the general claim of conservatives that the Texas economy is some kind of “miracle”. A few things follow  having such a high percentage of minimum wage workers, one is that many Texans are not able to afford groceries after they pay rent and utilities In Texas, 18 percent are facing hunger, The state’s rate of ‘food insecurity’ is 2nd-worst in U.S.

According to a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Texas ranks second in the nation in the percentage of people struggling with “food insecurity,” a term that refers to households where members have difficulty meeting their food needs.

In 2010, more than 4 million Texans — 18 percent — either experienced hunger outright or altered their eating patterns to avoid hunger, such as buying less healthy but more filling food.

Only Mississippi had a worse rating.

On the heels of the national report, a Texas group released a study that reveals the level of food insecurity among Texas’ 254 counties, using the newest data.

Thomas Frank could have used Texas or Mississippi instead of Kansas in his book What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America. Not all the residents obviously, but just enough in all three states keep voting against their own rational self-interests.

Eric Cantor R-VA Has a 9-11 anniversary present for America

On Eve Of 9/11 Anniversary, Cantor Insists On Massive Cuts To First Responders In Exchange For Emergency Disaster Aid

In December, Cantor opposed a bipartisan bill “to improve health services and provide financial compensation for 9/11 first responders who were exposed to dangerous toxins and are now sick as a result.” Now, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Cantor is pushing for further cuts to first responders in exchange for disaster relief.

Cantor and his staff continue to insist “There will be no delay in meeting the president’s request and providing people the aid they need.” But they have yet to support any such request absent more partisan spending cuts.

Just recently after the debt ceiling hostage crisis – a crisis created out of thin air by conservative – Senate leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY) admitted, “What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done.” So Cantor has also learned that if you can take hostages – in this case first responders and Americans in need of disaster relief – and win some kind of wing-nut trophy – he will. The Conservatives first, America last, agenda at work.

 

Another state which serves as a preview of the deeply ingrained culture of conservative corruption and pure malice is South Carolina’s governor Nikki Haley( she is occasionally mentioned as a VP candidate on the 2012 presidential ticket) – Nikki Haley’s Pay-to-Play Politics. Not happy drive her state into the depths of pay-for- play politics, Haley is jumping on Florida Governor Rick Scott’s costly and counterproductive drug testing program. Like Rick, Nikki has not and will not spend money to create jobs, save education or rebuild her state’s infrastructure but she is determined not to let anyone who has taken a drag off a joint not get a loaf of bread. Why Nikki Haley needs drug testing. As long as we’re spending money on tests how about requiring that all conservative politicians have to pass a psychological test that proves they do not suffer from some kind of severe personality disorder. They are completely oblivious to the morality of some people getting millions in unearned income yet get really upset at the thought that someone might get a can a beans they may or may not deserve.

Black and White Highway wallpaper – The Newest Zombie Lie, Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme

Black and White Highway wallpaper

Philip Klein is the Senior Editorial Writer at a new dungeon in Wingnuttia called Campaign 2012 ( I wonder if they paid Jon Stewart for the inspiration and the traffic they hope to leech). Klein gets the Conservative Most Likely to Dry Hump Rick Perry’s Leg Award for this idiotic column – Romney throws America’s youth under the bus

Mitt Romney doubled down on his attack against Texas Gov. Rick Perry this afternoon, warning in an interview with Sean Hannity that his critique of Social Security amounted to “terrible politics” that would cost Republicans the election.

Romney’s decision to pile on suggests that he’s willing to play the “granny card” against Perry if it will help him get elected, a tactic more becoming of the likes of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz than a potential Republican nominee.

[   ]…Romney is wrong — Social Security is forced upon us, and it is a failure. It is a scam foisted upon younger Americans who must fork over payroll taxes to fund current retirees and other government services with no prospect of actually recouping what they put into the system.

Social Security was enacted in 1935. That would make it the longest running and most successful “scam” in history. That “scam” has kept millions of seniors out of poverty. By making it able for many seniors to live independent lives in retirement Social Security has also helped millions more American families stay out of financial hardship. There has been no private business entity that has proved as financially viable as Social Security over the 66 years Social Security has been in existence. Private pensions can be wiped out with a company’s bankruptcy. To say contributors will not recoup those contributions in benefits is a lie. Most people do recoup their contributions and Social Security will be there if we continue to properly finance it. Klein is echoing Gov. Rick Perry’s(R-TX) argument that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme”. Social Security Is Not a Ponzi Scheme

When politicians make clearly false claims, reporters have an obligation to explain to readers why those claims are false—or at least quote someone who can. I would suggest political scientist Jonathan Bernstein:

Very simple: anyone who says that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme either misunderstands Social Security, misunderstands Ponzi schemes, is deliberately lying, or some combination of those…After all, a Ponzi scheme is a deliberate fraud. Saying that Social Security is financed like a Ponzi scheme is factually wrong, but saying that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme or is like a Ponzi scheme is basically a false accusation of fraud against the US government and the politicians who have supported Social Security over the years.

larger size chart.

 

A blogger at DK also has some inconvenient facts for the governor and his genuflecting fans – Social Security is NOT a Ponzi Scheme, Dammit! (copiously sourced)

Many of my most reasonable friends buy into the myth that Social Security is in deep trouble. It’s so accepted and commonly heard amongst major media talking heads, not to mention Republican politicians. In the debate held 9/7/11 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Rick Perry notoriously labeled Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” and “montrous lie.”

What are the facts about Social Security’s solvency?

Well, Social Security continues to be in better shape than everything else in government. It has run a surplus not a deficit for the majority of its years in existence.

Reasonable entities (meaning parties like the Congressional Budget Office not right-wing hysterics) assure us that Social Security will continue to be able to operate paying full benefits for the next 25 years.

[  ]… (the sources used for the column)

Defending Social Security. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The Hill, 3/02/11.

More on Raising the Retirement Age.” Ezra Klein. Washington Post, 7/08/10.

“To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security.” Nancy Altman. New Deal 2.0, 6/14/10.

Lawrence Mishel. Economic Policy Institute.

Top 5 Social Security Myths. MoveOn.org.

Straight Facts on Social Security [pdf]. Economic Opportunity Institute.

Social Security and the Age of Retirement [pdf]. Center for Economic Policy Research.

Operating Budget Actuarial Table. Social Security Administration.

Those who bought into the idea that Social Security was the third rail might want to think again. The Right does have its defenders of Social Security ( Karl Rove has been critical of Perry on the issue), but take a tour of the comment sections of some right-wing websites and their posts on Social Security. They really think the only thing standing between them and financial paradise is Social Security and Obama. We’re all familiar with these zombies and their mentality. All the charts, facts, diagrams and appeals to human decency have to be made and they certainly do have an affect, especially in the case of Social Security. Low income cultural conservatives have the same fears about losing what is in many cases is their only income as everyone else. The conservative zombies are another matter. The same people who believe that social security is a Ponzi scheme are the same people who believe Obama was not born in the US, who believe cutting taxes creates millions of jobs, who believe the earth is only a few thousand years old, who believe Saddam had WMD and was involved in the attacks of Sept 11,2011. So with the knowledge that we’re dealing with people who have a strong aversion to the facts please do not think you can just make their Ponzi scheme mythlogizing go away with some derisive humor and charts. Experience tells us it won’t. Just as there are conservatives who wish the racists elements of the movement would get a grip, there are conservatives who wish the conservative movement was a little more rational about core safety net issues like Social Security – i.e. the rift represented by Romney versus Perry-Bachmann-Paul. Just as their powers of denial and deflection work on so many issues it is likely to be a mistake to take this rift as proof conservative zombie-ism is on its last legs. The Right feels more threatened than ever by progress – even the slightest progress. That fear is driving a very strong far Right re-entrenchment. That fear is a large part of what brought us the teaservatives. If these people can pretend they had nothing to do with the Great Recession, had nothing to do with enabling the senseless deaths of 4,000 Americans, than denying facts about Social Security or taxes or science is a cakewalk. If you’re already tired of reading about Social Security and the Ponzi scheme comparison, get ready to be thoroughly burned out on the subject.

 

True confessions, I’m not overly fond of presidential speeches. Obama’s are frequently worth a listen. I reached a point where I just read Bush’s at the White House website. Thus as one can imagine I’m not big on speech analysis either. It’s like eating cauliflower, it has to be done occasionally. James Fallows does pick up on a couple of things in regards the intangibles of the speech. People respond to the facts, but emotions help sell what politicians have to say. Anyone who doesn’t think conservatives have their own brand of emotionally laden hopey changey, just look up some of the commentary or naked cowering conservatives have done over speeches by Bush 43 or Saint Ronnie. On the Tone and Structure of the Obama Jobs Speech

1) In his appraisal, the Atlantic’s Chris Good said that the speech’s refrain — pass this jobs bill; you should pass it right away —  amounted to a kind of begging to Congress. That may be the President’s real situation. But I thought that as a specimen of rhetoric, his approach in the speech was quite effective.

In style and structure the constant refrain provided the “music” of the speech. Do you wonder what point the President is trying to get across? Well, in case you’ve forgotten, every thirty seconds he will remind you: Pass this jobs bill; you should pass it right away.

It’s an approach familiar from religious speeches and sermons, and tent-revival orations. When done right, the recurrent refrain seems not repetitive and boring but rather cumulatively engaging: the audience knows where the speaker is going, anticipates the connections he is going to make, and sees how the parts fit together. Most listeners will not know about the theory of rhyme schemes or the structure of refrains in poetry. But we all recognize these patterns when we hear them. Recall how, in a more innocent age, Obama used Yes we can as a stylized connective refrain. After the jump is a passage where I thought the refrain worked well as a thematic device (and was delivered well).

Some wingers have declared that President Obama sounded very angry. I did not sense anger as much as urgency. That the president would be so quickly bounced by the Right for even the subjective appearance of anger is a lesson for liberals who keep calling for him to get angry. It will detract from the message. The message itself might be too late, but in terms of tone it hit just the right mark.

How about the substance? Mark Zandi writing at Moody’s Analytics makes that easy – An Analysis of the Obama Jobs Plan

   President Obama’s jobs proposal would help stabilize confidence and keep the U.S. from sliding back into recession.

The plan would add 2 percentage points to GDP growth next year, add 1.9 million jobs, and cut the unemployment rate by a percentage point.

The plan would cost about $450 billion, about $250 billion in tax cuts and $200 billion in spending increases.

Many of the president’s proposals are unlikely to pass Congress, but the most important have a chance of winning bipartisan support.

Curious wonks will find more detail at the link. Here’s the thing. How many votes will it require to pass the Senate? Do not look in your old civics textbook. The answer is not 51 votes or a simple majority. It will take sixty votes. The economic terrorists or tea bags have a big enough majority in the House to kill it from step one. Some analysis puts the chance of passage of some form of The Jobs Bill at 50%. Seeing that like the last stimulus( The Recovery Act) this one is composed of mostly tax cuts that would make Republicans look like hypocrites once again. Something that Obama has gotten good at doing. And hey Krugman kinda likes it – Setting Their Hair on Fire

Still, the plan would be a lot better than nothing, and some of its measures, which are specifically aimed at providing incentives for hiring, might produce relatively a large employment bang for the buck. As I said, it’s much bolder and better than I expected. President Obama’s hair may not be on fire, but it’s definitely smoking; clearly and gratifyingly, he does grasp how desperate the jobs situation is.

But his plan isn’t likely to become law, thanks to Republican opposition. And it’s worth noting just how much that opposition has hardened over time, even as the plight of the unemployed has worsened.

This story is a couple of week old, but worth a look at Paul Ryan(R-WI), one of the biggest wusses of conservatism. Ryan both insults a senior citizen and constituent,  and cowers at the thought of having to honestly answer a question: Ryan’s Approach to 71-Year-Old Dissenting Constituent: Tackle, Handcuff, Arrest, Disdain

Incredible video of Paul Ryan at his only, $15-a-pop public appearance, wherein he makes the lunatic claim that “most of our debt comes from our entitlement programs” – Bush tax cuts? Iraq? Afghanistan? anyone? – as police wrestle to the ground retired plumber Tom Nielsen for objecting.

As Ryan kept talking, Nielsen, 71, found himself face down on the floor being handcuffed by police. He was thrown to the ground, placed in handcuffs, and arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest after objecting to Ryan’s plans to gut Social Security and Medicare during his congressman’s only public appearance scheduled during the August recess — a $15 Rotary Club luncheon in West Allis, Wisconsin on Tuesday.

 

I probably have quite a few readers who have had jobs or still have jobs where you have to deal with the public. I bet you’ve dealt with much worse and managed to address the person’s concerns and calm them down without getting the police involved.

Foaming Blue Bubbles wallpaper – Zombie Conservatives Can Spare America The Faux Outrage

Foaming Blue Bubbles wallpaper

 

This story is over 24 hours old but the rabid Right is still flocking it – Fox Doctors Hoffa Speech To Fabricate Call For Violence

In an initial report on Hoffa’s speech at 1 p.m. on Fox News, Ed Henry reported that Hoffa said that “we’ll remember in November who’s with the working people” and “said of the Tea Party and of Republicans, ‘let’s take these sons of bitches out.'”

Henry made clear during that segment that Hoffa’s comments were references to voting out Republican members of Congress, not to violence. And roughly 20 minutes later, he explained on Twitter that the “full quote” of the “take these son of a bitches out” comment is “Everybody here’s got to vote. If we go back & keep the eye on the prize, let’s take these sons of bitches out”:

But in a second segment that ran at roughly the same time as Henry’s tweet, Fox News dishonestly edited the speech in the manner seen above. Andrew Breitbart’s Big sites, Real Clear Politics, The Daily Caller, the Media Research Center, and the Drudge Report have all highlighted that footage, using it to condemn “the violence emanating from union thug bosses” and demand that Obama “denounce” the comments.

The hypocrisy from the Right on the use of such metaphors is so awful its laughable. The official propaganda outlet for the Right, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News uses violent language and images frequently in its attacks on Democrats. As a matter of fact conservative superstar Michele Bachmann has used the same phrasing Hoffman used – The Tea Party’s ridiculous hissy fit over Jimmy Hoffa

Here’s Bachmann, at an April 2010 Tea Party tax protest gathering:

We’re on to this gangster government,” she declared…

She appealed directly for tea partiers to swing behind “constitutional conservatives” in congressional campaigns, just as they contributed to Scott Brown’s upset in the Massachusetts Senate race in an early test of their potency.

“I am the No. 1 target for one more extremist group to defeat this November,” she said. “We need to have your help for candidates like me. We need you to take out some of these bad guys.”

Now, there’s nothing wrong with Bachmann using this phrase. Bachmann’s use of this language shows that it’s a fairly common figure of speech, not a call for violence. In fact, Bachmann’s use of it shows that it’s fairly common to use the phrase in an electoral context, just as Hoffa did.

For better or worse this kind of language is here to stay. It turns off some voters, but it rallies the base. Below are two images further speak to the shrill faux outrage by the right. In the first Bachmann calls on her supporters to be armed and dangerous. In the second a tea partier sign warns that guns can solve problems elections cannot.

Bachmann wants people armed and dangerous

If Brown can’t stop it a browning handgun can – tea party sign

Unlike Hoffa and Bachmann’s “take them out” statements, these clearly go too far. And remember Rick Perry’s recent remarks about Ben Bernanke saying that moderate Republican Bernanke had committed treasonous acts and would probably be treated “ugly” if he ever went to Texas. If wing-nut keyboards were not soaked in enough two-faced bull, they’re also outraged, outraged I tell you, over a video game that features tea baggers as zombies – IN THE FUTURE, EVERYONE WILL BE A VIDEOGAME ASSASSINATION TARGET FOR 15 MINUTES (and Obama is one now). As NMMNB notes it didn’t take more than a minute to find a video game where the shooters could create roles as Obama hunting assassins. Whether playing violent games or watching violence leads to actual violence among adult viewers is one of those hot topics people have strong opinions about. I tend to think that for adults ( not children) playing such games and viewing such movies can be kind of cathartic. Some researchers have found that to be the case – Economists Say Movie Violence Might Temper the Real Thing . I’m a fan of the Jason Bourne movies and the Transporter series with Jason Statham – and similar movies. I never feel violent after watching movies like that. I used to play some shooter/strategy games like the now old Tomb Raider/Max Payne games( gamers consider them old in gaming time). Again they just seemed like an escape, a fantasy. The ones that use real people as targets might be in poor taste and inappropriate for children, but that is about it.

In other news:

Anyone wondering why government is broken need look no further than Sen. Richard Shelby(R-GA) – Shelby threatens consumer chief filibuster

Last spring, Sen. Richard Shelby(R-GA) promised, along with 43 GOP Senate colleagues, to block any nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unless the agency was essentially gutted.

This is a good recent example of what sleaze-balls like Shelby is fighting for, the right of banks to screw over average Americans – Banks Took $6B in Reinsurance Kickbacks

Many of the country’s largest banks received $6 billion in kickbacks from mortgage insurers over the course of a decade, according to a previously undisclosed investigation by the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The allegations, since referred to the Department of Justice, stem from lenders’ demand that insurers cut them in on the lucrative business of insuring the mortgages they produced during the housing boom.

In exchange for the their business, companies such as Citigroup Inc, Wells Fargo & Co, SunTrust Banks Inc. and Countrywide allegedly required reinsurance partnerships on generous terms that violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, a 1974 law prohibiting abusive home sales practices.

Welcome to the kind of dysfunctional deregulated American economy that conservatives and libertarians are fighting for. How can Shelby do this with a slight Democratic majority in the Senate? The same reason we will probably not see a real jobs bill. Just the threat of a filibuster requires a 60 vote super-majority to move nominations like Richard Cordray and to pass any legislation. The only good thing that Democrats can do is block the most regressive legislation passed by the zombie teaservatives in the House. Which brings us to another apology the rabid Right wants – Will Barack Obama condemn Joe Biden and Jimmy Hoffa for calling Republicans ‘barbarians’ and ‘son of a bitches’. Hoffa and Biden should only apologize for remarks that are not true. So there is no genuine cause in this case for them to apologize. Some day maybe in some miraculous moment of self-evaluation Shelby will admit that he is far worse than what Hoffa and Biden suggest, and apologize to America for trying to make it a weaker country. These are the kind of accomplishments Democrats can achieve with solid majorities in both Houses – To Those Who Consider President Obama a Disappointment; You’re Just NOT Paying Attention! Government can work for the people if we have good people who care about good governance. If the Founders thought government was evil they wouldn’t have created one.

 

The Cliff Notes to The Conservative Cult

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult reads like a Cliff Notes version of all the Democratic blogger posts, Krugman, the columns by political analysts at Salon, The Nation and other web magazines for the last two years.

To those millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling extension, it may have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics. To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.

Modern conservatism was willing to send the country into another, even deeper economic ditch because ….well just because. Those following the debt ceiling talks could go to most of the conservative websites and find pundits and commenters who hoped for economic calamity. You can’t argue with that. By that I do not mean that a thoughtful Democrat could not make a logical fact based argument. I mean that you might as well have been yelling at a cheese wheel. Mr. Lofgren makes a good point about Democratic messaging. On the other hand it is not just the right-wing elected officials it is a large minority of voters who would commit financial suicide in the name of their lunacy. They are driven by an ideology that is the total antithesis of a modern democratic republic. They have nothing but contempt for the ideal of informed rational citizens.

Far from being a rarity, virtually every bill, every nominee for Senate confirmation and every routine procedural motion is now subject to a Republican filibuster. Under the circumstances, it is no wonder that Washington is gridlocked: legislating has now become war minus the shooting, something one could have observed 80 years ago in the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic.

Comparisons to the Weimar Republic and the Reichstag are tricky because of the genocide which followed. Yet it is a fair comparison just on the political science plain. When they are out of power Republicans make sure government does not work. When they are in power they expand government powers in a way that benefits them – voting rights are mentioned in the original column and are a good example. Every state that has a conservative governor and legislature has attacked voting rights. It is not a coincidence that large voter turn-outs favor Democrats. With many elections won by hundreds or even dozens of votes in local elections, one can see why disenfranchising as many voters as possible benefits conservatives. One more excerpt,

There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters’ confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that “they are all crooks,” and that “government is no good,” further leading them to think, “a plague on both your houses” and “the parties are like two kids in a school yard.” This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s – a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn (“Government is the problem,” declared Ronald Reagan in 1980).

Government is an easy one word way of saying public institutions – the courts, education, the legislature, the military, emergency and catastrophe response. If those things are broken they cannot respond to the people. Without those institutions there is no social contract to speak of. A democratic republic simply does not operate without a social contract. We’re left to what Garrison Keillor described, “We’re Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore,” In These Times,

The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk.

The Right wants the “Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons” to run America. These are the people the Right thinks are best suited to be in charge of our lives. Make government even worse than these people and that is all you have left to have faith in. These are the people who don’t care if your drinking water is radioactive because regulations against it cut into their profits and power. These are people who do not want minimum wage for the same reasons the Confederacy gave for protecting slavery – free people and a minimum wage are bad for business. At least one major star of the tea smokers elected in the 2010 elections wants kids back in the coal mines. Those opposed are against capitalism. They do not want business regulated because while business profits are at historic highs, they are not high enough. Taxes are at historic lows. Still not low enough for the greedy lunatics who depend on labor to generate their wealth – either as workers or customers.

Rick Perry’s sugar daddy is the cause for the line about radioactive contamination – Meet the Shady Dallas Mega-Billionaire Industrialist Pouring Money into Rick Perry’s Coffers

In D magazine, reporter Laray Polk explained how Simmons and a company he owns—innocuously named Waste Control Systems—manipulated state and federal law to allow him to build a nuclear-waste disposal site in West Texas. But construction has been delayed for years in part because the site appears to overlay the Oglalla Aquifer, an underground water supply that serves 1.9 million people in nine states, raising obvious concerns over radioactive contamination. In the Simmons profile and subsequent posts on the Investigative Fund website last year, Polk explored the controversy over the proposed WCS facility, including strong objections by staff analysts at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality who found evidence that atomic waste might indeed leach into a huge pool of drinking water.

What kind of monster thinks making money trumps contaminating drinking water for people. The people who oppose this are – according to the mindset and rules of conservatism – not just anti-business, but Red Book worshiping Maoists. Who are the fanatics in scenario after scenario like this – the people who think we can find better ways to make money or Perry and his pal Simmons. If you’re one of those Fox/Limbaugh/Washington Times low information voters – hey you can all just man up and drink some radioactive waste for God and country. With the possible exception of one conservative presidential candidate – they all believe that government regulations that protect life and property must be done away with in order to create larger profits for business. Don’t at least the median wage conservatives realize they’re hurting themselves and their families. The same bring on economic Armageddon during the debt ceiling talks is also in play when it comes to regulations. For some reason many blue-collar conservatives think they are immune from toxic waste and economic calamity. And if civilization does starts to fall apart than that means the End Times are near, oh boy. Thus a conservative questioning anyone’s patriotism is like the pig people would do in a real life Twilight Zone, they are not just trying to make you believe they’re normal, they’re kidding themselves.

Republicans For Government By and For The Elite

The Conservative idea of freedom

 

A conservative Republican pundit has a brainfart and actually comes out with how conservatives really feel about freedom in a democratic republic – Columnist: Registering Poor To Vote ‘Like Handing Out Burglary Tools To Criminals’

Conservative columnist Matthew Vadum is just going to come right out and say it: registering the poor to vote is un-American and “like handing out burglary tools to criminals.”

“It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote,” Vadum, the author of a book published by World Net Daily that attacks the now-defunct community organizing group ACORN, writes in a column for the American Thinker.

“Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn’t about helping the poor,” Vadum writes. “It’s about helping the poor to help themselves to others’ money. It’s about raw so-called social justice. It’s about moving America ever farther away from the small-government ideals of the Founding Fathers.”

Most conservative criticism of voter registration drives aimed at poor and minority communities has been under the guise of worries about voter fraud. Vadum’s column is notable because he isn’t just pretending to be worried about the nearly non-existent threat of in-person voter fraud — he just doesn’t think poor people should be voting.

Vadum’s original post was picked up by The Election Law Blog and seemed to be one of those posts that generated a lot of buzz. It has generally been the tactic as noted by TPM for conservatives to make it more difficult for people to vote, period. Especially students, seniors and minorities. They have used over the top fears of voter fraud – which is practically non-existent. Voter registration fraud happens a little, but since the registration never amounts to actual voting it doesn’t mean much. The Right has also gone after any voter drive or organization that attempts to register low income voters – remember ACORN and the propaganda campaign against them.Vadum, under such scrutiny decided to walk back his claims just a bit, writing – Rick Hasen(Rick is at the Election Law Blog)law isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer

In my recent American Thinker op-ed, “Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American,” I argued that it is destructive to register welfare recipients to vote so that they can vote themselves more government benefits. It is even worse that our tax dollars are used to register welfare recipients at welfare offices. It is a policy that would cause the Founding Fathers to roll over in their graves.

[  ]…I never made that argument but Hasen is either too stupid to understand this or he is deliberately sliming me. Of course those who are legally qualified to vote should be allowed to vote but our tax dollars shouldn’t be used to underwrite the destruction of the republic. (emphasis mine)

Odd that Vadum uses the word ‘republic’ in his post but does not seem to understand its import. A republic ( small r and has nothing to do with conservative philosophy or the current incarnation of the Republican party) is a nation that esteems individual rights. Not individual rights based on a laundry list of preconditions such the correct religion, gender, religion, height, eye color, shoe size or income status.

Vadum’s assertion that only some people be allowed to vote is not new. The old guard far Right, The John Birch Society, made voting rights contingent upon owning a certain amount of property a centerpiece of their political philosophy ( The Koch brothers father was one of the founding members).

Poor people vote for what is in their best interests? In contrast to who, the wealthy who regularly vote against theirs. The voting to get a free ride on welfare is specious. There is no welfare program in the U.S. to speak of. There is a program for women with children who are very low income. That program can only be used for five years during the mother’s lifetime regardless of her financial situation. A requirement of this “welafre” program is that she must work forty hours per week. President Clinton made the requirement thirty hours with the idea that these women would take job training classes or community college courses to upgrade their job skills. Bush 43 changed the requirement to forty hours, thus lowering the chances of said poor mothers to get ahead. Food stamps should not technically be called welfare – when people work their taxes go to pay for it. If you can imagine living on $3 a day for food than enjoy ( I generally don’t eat a big breakfast . Today my muffin and coffee, not take-out, came to about $1.50. That would be half my food stamp allowance). That is hardly enough for someone to declare to hell with work I’ll live off food stamps. Such people certainly are not getting welafre because the federal government does not recognize an individual able bodied person as deserving of any federal income handouts ( just a factoid: some of the people who rely on food stamps are large military enlisted families). Such a welafre program only exists in the fetid imaginations of wing-nut assclowns who get all their information from the 24/7 right-wing media. back to people who vote in their own interests. If the poor are having any affect on how income in the US is distributed, why are they giving the wealthy so much money,

 

I am sorry to burst Mr Vadum’s bubble. We do not live on some sea to shining sea socialist co-opt, or even the egalitarian utopia that Thomas Jefferson wrote of,  we live in a plutocracy where the little peasants he is so worried about destroying democracy not only have little property, but very little power. Why should the poor be allowed to fully participate in our democratic republic. Where Susan B. Anthony uses the word woman/women substitute the poor, low income Americans or any other group of American citizens that Vadum and the Right don’t approve of –

Friends and fellow citizens: I stand before you tonight under indictment for the alleged crime of having voted at the last presidential election, without having a lawful right to vote. It shall be my work this evening to prove to you that in thus voting, I not only committed no crime, but, instead, simply exercised my citizen’s rights, guaranteed to me and all United States citizens by the National Constitution, beyond the power of any state to deny.

The preamble of the Federal Constitution says:

“We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people – women as well as men. And it is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democratic-republican government – the ballot.

For any state to make sex a qualification that must ever result in the disfranchisement of one entire half of the people, is to pass a bill of attainder, or, an ex post facto law, and is therefore a violation of the supreme law of the land. By it the blessings of liberty are forever withheld from women and their female posterity.

To them this government has no just powers derived from the consent of the governed. To them this government is not a democracy. It is not a republic. It is an odious aristocracy; a hateful oligarchy of sex; the most hateful aristocracy ever established on the face of the globe; an oligarchy of wealth, where the rich govern the poor. An oligarchy of learning, where the educated govern the ignorant, or even an oligarchy of race, where the Saxon rules the African, might be endured; but this oligarchy of sex, which makes father, brothers, husband, sons, the oligarchs over the mother and sisters, the wife and daughters, of every household – which ordains all men sovereigns, all women subjects, carries dissension, discord, and rebellion into every home of the nation.

Webster, Worcester, and Bouvier all define a citizen to be a person in the United States, entitled to vote and hold office.

The only question left to be settled now is: Are women persons? And I hardly believe any of our opponents will have the hardihood to say they are not. Being persons, then, women are citizens; and no state has a right to make any law, or to enforce any old law, that shall abridge their privileges or immunities. Hence, every discrimination against women in the constitutions and laws of the several states is today null and void, precisely as is every one against Negroes.

Susan B. Anthony – 1873

Are people who work hard and earn low wages persons? Yes they are. It is conservatives such as Vadum who have made remarkable progress on destroying the ideals and substance of this democratic republic.

 

Desert Landscape wallpaper – Conservatives Pee Themselves With Joy Over Loss of American Jobs

Desert Landscape wallpaper

 

Conservatives do not hate America. They do cheer for America to fail while Obama is President. Conservatives are not petty. Conservatives are not childish and venal. Conservatives do not wish other Americans to have hardships. Conservatives only want what is best for America. Yea, right. Solyndra, Solar-Panel Company Visited by Obama in 2010, Suspends Operation

The company will likely file for bankruptcy in Delaware next Wednesday, Spokesman David Miller said in an e-mail, while it evaluates options including selling itself or licensing its technology. About 1,100 full-time and temporary employees have been dismissed, effective immediately.

 

These (cough, cough) fine patriotic conservative bloggers are thrilled that Solyndra has filed for Chapter 11 and 1,100 Americans are now out of work. National Review, Pajamas Media, NewsBusters.org blogs, The Heritage Foundation, Wizbang, Patterico’s Pontifications, The Gateway Pundit, Weasel Zippers, Campaign 2012, Michelle Malkin, American Power, Hot Air, and the ironically named americanthinker. These conservatives are wetting their pants in joy at the prospect that another slice of the world-wide solar technology market will belong to the Chinese. Because when it comes down to Obama and Democrats getting credit for something, or the Chinese once again eating our lunch, they have always chosen the Chinese. One possible reason for that is the debt conservatives owe China for buying the debt Bush/Cheney used to finance their escapades in Iraq. One of the reasons conservatives give for being so thrilled over the demise of an American company and 1,100 Americans out on the street looking for work is that the government should not have provided loan guarantees for Solyndra solar panel factory on top of the private start-up capital they received from  Argonaut Private Equity, GKFF Investment, CMEA Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Rockport Capital Partners LLC, US Venture Partners, Virgin Green Fund, and Artis Capital Management LP. There is some irony in this whole solar start-up business. Conservatives claim that only private capital should be involved. Only privately funded businesses can be a success. The lesson to be learned is that once again the gov’mint can’t do nut’tin right. One of the reason Chinese dominates the international solar energy business is because their government will not let private business fail. In partnership with private enterprise the Chinese plan is to be the number one player in alternative energy and guess what. They are well on their way. A Competition Worth Winning

Since 2009, the Department of Energy’s Loan Program has supported a robust, diverse portfolio of more than 40 projects that are investing in pioneering companies as we work to regain American leadership in the global race for clean energy jobs.  These projects include the world’s largest wind farm, several of the world’s largest solar generation facilities, one of the country’s first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants, and the first new nuclear power plant in the U.S. in the last three decades.  Collectively, the projects plan to employ more than 60,000 Americans, create tens of thousands of indirect jobs, provide clean electricity to power three million homes, and save more than 300 million gallons of gasoline a year.

Our loan program catalyzes American innovation and private sector investment behind promising companies — so that American workers have a chance to compete against China and other countries that much more heavily subsidize clean energy companies.  While each transaction undergoes months of extensive and careful expert review to minimize risk, there will always be an element of risk with investments in the most innovative companies.  The alternative is simply walking off the field and letting the rest of the world pass us by.

Solar panel manufacturing is a growing international market, with increasingly intense competition from Chinese manufacturers who are supported in many cases by interest free government financing that is much more generous than what the U.S. provides.  The price for solar cells has fallen 42 percent since the beginning of the year — even as European countries, currently the largest market for solar panels, are facing economic turmoil and have greatly reduced subsidies for solar power.  The changing economics have affected a number of solar manufacturers in recent months, including unfortunately, Solyndra, a once very promising company that has increased its sales revenue by 2000 percent in three years and sold more than 1000 installations in 20 countries.  As a result, Solyndra now plans to suspend its manufacturing operations and file for bankruptcy protection.

This loan guarantee was pursued by both the Bush and Obama Administrations.  Private sector investors – who put more than $1 billion of their own money on the line – also saw great potential in the company.

We have always recognized that not every one of the innovative companies supported by our loans and loan guarantees would succeed, but we can’t stop investing in game-changing technologies that are key to America’s leadership in the global economy.  These projects, which include more than 40 other companies, are on pace to create more than 60,000 jobs.

 

This would make for the next highly rated talent show, Who’s America’s Best Serial Liar and Best at Feigning Outrage – Exclusive: Condoleezza Rice fires back at Cheney memoir

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday she resented what she viewed as an attack on her integrity by former Vice President Dick Cheney in his just-published memoir.

Speaking in an interview with Reuters, Rice rejected Cheney’s contention that she misled President George W. Bush about nuclear diplomacy with North Korea.

“I kept the president fully and completely informed about every in and out of the negotiations with the North Koreans,” Rice said in her first public comments on the matter. “You can talk about policy differences without suggesting that your colleague somehow misled the president. You know, I don’t appreciate the attack on my integrity that that implies.”

Rice, in a telephone interview, also disputed a passage in Cheney’s memoir, “In My Time,” in which he says the secretary of state “tearfully admitted” that the Bush administration should not have apologized for a claim in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address on Iraq’s supposed search for uranium for nuclear arms.

Cheney, who opposed a public apology for the unfounded claim, wrote that Rice “came into my office, sat down in the chair next to my desk, and tearfully admitted I had been right.”

“It certainly doesn’t sound like me, now, does it?” Rice said in the interview. “I would never — I don’t remember coming to the vice president tearfully about anything in the entire eight years that I knew him.”

“I did say to him that he had been right about the press reaction” to the administration’s acknowledgment that the remarks about Iraq seeking uranium in Africa should not have been in Bush’s speech, Rice said.

That Cheney has this running fantasy where a woman comes crying to him admitting she was wrong is no surprise. His arrogance and manic need to be seen as all-knowing is legendary. As VP he thought he was the Fourth Branch of government. He had powers he alone invested in himself to justify exceeding the powers of his office and any powers that Bush assigned him ( To see the influence of Cheney on government powers just look to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker or Florida Gov. Rick Scott.) Now serial liar Cheney is fighting with serial liar Rice over who did or said what. Can either of them tell fact from fantasy. Its like some dark graphic novel in which the only choices for who to root for are between evil and less evil. Rice lied about making terrorism a national security priority before 9-11, she lied about reading a report that warned of planes being used as weapons, she lied about Saddam Hussein being involved in the 9-11 attacks as did Cheney. Cheney went so far as to claim Iraq had nuclear weapons and thus posed an urgent threat. Rice and Cheney both have reputations as being especially smart. There is reason to believe that Rice is bright enough, but like many bright conservatives her intellectual gifts get so tangled up with her ideological devotion that eventually she became incapable of being intellectually honest. In Cheney”s case, while clever enough, his reputation as an intellectual is greatly over stated. John Nichols, who is a correspondent for The Nation, wrote in “Cheney, Dick: The Man Who Is President (New Press)” – “Cheney did not rise on the basis of his competence, as the official spin would have it. His career has been characterized by dashed hopes, damaging missteps, and dubious achievements. No, it was not competence; rather, Cheney has climbed the ladder of success because of his willingness, proven again and again, to sacrifice principle and the public good in the service of his own ambition and of those who might advance it.” How does Cheney get away with falsehoods piled on top of more falsehoods. Unlike like Democrats who have little reservation about being highly critical of their own, the conservative base catapults every Cheney lie, exaggeration, and half-truth to status of the new reality. Just think of the more infamous Dick Cheney screw-ups: conflating Iraq with al Qaeda and 9-11, outing a CIA NOC agent for political revenge against her husband, falsifying the justifications for invading Iraq, suspending habeas corpus when it came to retaining terror suspects and gagging EPA scientists so they would not say anything about climate change. Those things were vicious and maybe clever, but not smart and a long way from patriotic.