White Lighthouse Tower wallpaper – Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility

 

White Lighthouse Tower wallpaper

 

 

Black and White Lighthouse Tower wallpaper

update: I made adjustments to the colors and contrast on both wallpapers since yesterday.

Rush Drags Right-Wing Radio Over the Cliff in Massive Sponsor Exodus

 Ninety-eight major advertisers—including Ford and Geico—will no longer air spots on Premiere Networks’ ‘offensive’ programs. Insiders say the loss will rock right-wing talk radio.

According to John Avlon of The Daily Beast, the entire clown car of rabid rightwing radio firebreathers getting dragged down by Rush Limbaugh goes well beyond His Lumpiness …

Premiere Networks, which distributes Limbaugh as well as a host of other right-wing talkers, sent an email out to its affiliates early Friday listing 98 large corporations that have requested their ads appear only on “programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity).”

Contrary to the sniffling and whining on conservative web sites this is not censorship. This is the free market in action. Censorship would be for the FCC to barge in and take Limbaugh off the air simply for political speech it finds offensive. Maybe I listen to Limbaugh more than conservatives and the corporations who just let their advertising dollars pay for anything that sells their products, but the current flight of these corporations is long past due. Limbaugh has a history of sexism and misogyny as long as his career as a conservative propagandist. He revels in cruelty against people who either cannot fight back or do not, and never will have the kind of media soap box he has.

The comparisons to Bill Maher. Maher used the c-word in a joke directed at a woman. That was without equivocation, wrong. Even though that woman has a pretty despicable set of beliefs. If she would have been a he, Maher would not have gone there. That said comparing Maher to Limbaugh is ridiculous. Maher is in no way a spokesperson for libertarians ( which he identified himself as, some years ago) or as a spokesperson for Democrats. Limbaugh is a highly regarded spokesperson – among conservatives with a questionable set of morals anyway. Conservatives who have criticized him have been made to back off and apologize for those criticisms. RNC Chairman Michael Steele said that Limbaugh’s show was “incendiary” and “ugly.” A few days later under pressure from conservatives Steele backed off, “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate… There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.” Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-GA): “I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party. ” A few days later Gingrey gravelled, “I clearly ended up putting my foot in my mouth on some of those comments and I just wanted to tell you, Rush, […] that I regret those stupid comments.” A similar scenario with former ultra conservative S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford who said Limbaugh was “stupid” for wanting President Obama to fail. When is the last time a Democrat made a statement and Bill Maher and friends made them apologize. Limbaugh moves policy, legislation and public perceptions about people, events and issues. Maher is a kind of modern-day muckraker. He has taken shots at and satirized everyone across the political spectrum. Even conservative columnists George Will, a long time member of the conservative establishment admitted that conservative political leaders are afraid of Rush. Ever heard of a Democrat that shivered at the idea that Bill Maher might not like them or approve of what they say.

I and everyone else regardless of politics should be against any attempt to have the FCC remove Limbaugh from the air. Limbaugh and other right-wing shock jocks provide a kind of steam vent for far Right conservatism. Free speech means you have the right to be a sexist racist idiot. Let the market work. Limbaugh may go on, but he and his conservative radio clones have been severely hobbled by this recent episode.

I am quickly losing respect for Politifact. A site that had there for a while provided a much-needed service to the public in terms of fact checking. Sure my side took the occasional hit, but so be it. Watchdogs that call things straight up are ultimately good for my side and the general health of democracy. Politifact Jumps the Voter — er, Shark

Last week, a guest appearing on Stephen Colbert’s segment about voter fraud — a school teacher was charged for registering her civics class students without following the onerous new rules about how quickly registrations need to be turned in — claimed that voter fraud in Florida was more rare than shark attacks. Seeing the country’s reliance on FACT imperiled, Politifact swung into action: which happens more, voter fraud or shark attacks?

One of the people Colbert interviewed for his sarcastic report, which aired March 1, is Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. Florida officials claimed they needed to pass the law to prevent voter fraud, but these cases are actually pretty rare, he said.

“There are probably a larger number of shark attacks in Florida than there are cases of voter fraud,” he said.

We couldn’t resist diving in: Are there more shark attacks than cases of voter fraud in Florida?

Of course, what Politifact ended up comparing were allegations of voter fraud with documented shark attacks:

The shark attack figures include documented instances of sharks attacking human victims. The voter fraud cases indicate the number of cases deemed legally sufficient for an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Shark attacks vs allegations of voter fraud: not exactly the factual fulcrum on which the Republic falls or succeeds.

That shark analogy has become so common most reasonably intelligent adults know that he has become a near English idiom rather than a comparison to be taken literally. Though ThinkPpro did do a comparison with lightning strikes and found that instances of being struck by lightning are greater than the rate of voter fraud. Politifact could make this all go away by having a little humility and just say my bad, we were wrong to compare apples and imaginary oranges.

Good post about Dennis Kucinich and “hippie punching” by some liberals,

Glenn Greenwald and Digby say most of what needs to be said about the distressing tendency of many left-of-center types to eat their own, but I have a few things to add. Kucinich’s main sin, according to the Church of the Savvy establishment liberals who had it in for him, was his “weirdness.” And sure, some of Dennis’s New Age rhetoric and beliefs were pretty goofy.

But they were also completely harmless. Members of the Christian right like Rick Santorum have beliefs that not only at least as weird, but that are also quite malevolent, particularly where women and LGBTQ folks are concerned. And yet, you never hear their own political comrades-in-arms on the right taking them to task for that kind of weirdness. Conservatives tend to see, correctly, that what matters most is having a good soldier in the fight, and they generally don’t engage in bitchy, self-defeating behavior like attacking a comrade-in-arms because of his or her personal quirks. They realize that that’s a distraction from more important goals and that it hurts their movement’s effectiveness.

Liberals, not so much. I’ve heard establishment liberals go after Kucinich which a ferocity that I could only wish they’d unleash on conservatives — or on Blue Dog Dems, for that matter. There was never any substance to their complaints that I could see, beyond their own personal discomfort with some aspect of Kucinich’s personality — his eccentricity or (in one case I remember) his “ego.” (Like he was the only dude in Washington with an ego? Stop the presses!). The fact that he was a progressive champion who for so many years strongly and consistently fought for working people, against war, and against the egregious civil liberties abuses that have been carried out by presidents of both parties went unremarked. That he was often willing to stand up for unpopular but righteous causes should have made him more valued by his comrades on the left, but for establishment Dem types, this was seen as all the more reason to mock him.

Look at the Right. Conservative after conservative politician at the state and federal level -total wackos – from headless bodies in the desert to birth certificates obsession to guillotines to accusations that the President who got Bin Laden is a radical Muslim sympathizers – all of this unhinged behavior is normal to conservatives. Elected Democrats have a few eccentrics whose voting records are pure mainstream America, and the triangulating Democratic centrists feel obligated to kick one when he’s down.

One voter myth down, many more to go – The Swing Vote: The Untapped Power of Independents

Start with the premise of the book. It is that independents are all swing voters ready to move right or left politically—or in Killian’s feverish imagination, toward some inchoate centrist formation of the No Labels variety. This premise is based on the greatest myth in American politics: that independents are actually independent. They are not. As numerous studies have shown, the overwhelming majority of Americans who say there are “independent” lean toward one party or the other. Call them IINOs, or Independents In Name Only. IINOs who say they lean toward the Republicans think and vote just like regular Republicans. IINOs who say they lean toward the Democrats think and vote just like regular Democrats.

Just how strong is this relationship? In 2008, according to the University of Michigan’s National Election Study (NES), 90 percent of independents who leaned Democratic voted for Obama, actually a higher level of support than among weak Democratic partisans (those who said they were “not very strong” Democrats), 84 percent of whom voted for Obama. Among Republican-leaning independents, a still-high 78 percent voted for McCain, compared to 88 percent support among weak Republican identifiers.

Evidently, these two groups are quite different animals. On the one hand, we have a group of “independents” who voted 90 percent for Barack Obama. Moreover, as Alan Abramowitz and others have shown, the policy views of Democratic-leaning independents look just like the policy views of Democratic identifiers.

Just my experience, your mileage may vary, is that people who identify as independent do not want to offend anyone. If you talk politics in public – a lot – you’re labeled. So people avoid the stigma of labels by saying they are not affiliated. Democrats would be wise to remember this and stop playing to that pretty much imaginary Centrist Unlabeled voter. Especially at the federal office level you have the votes to win if you run on a Democratic platform, not a Right-wing lite platform.

Interesting historical letter recently donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History,

Washington wrote the letter to Dr. David Stuart from Mount Vernon on November 30, 1785. Stuart was both a trusted associate and a member of Washington’s extended family. He joined Washington’s family in 1783 when he married Eleanor Calvert Custis, the widow of Martha Washington’s son John Parke Custis, and became stepfather to the Washingtons’ four grandchildren. At the time of the letter Stuart was a member of the Virginia legislature.

The letter remained in the Stuart family until last year, when the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History acquired it through a donation by Dr. Peter Buck.

…………………………………………………………………

Transcript of the Letter

Dear Sir;

Your favor of the 16th came duly to hand & and I thank you for its several communications.

The Resolutions which were published for consideration vesting Congress with powers to regulate the Commerce of the Union have, I hope, been acceded to.—If the States individually were to attempt this an abortion, or a many headed monster would be the issue.—If we consider ourselves, or wish to be considered by others as a United people why not adopt the measures which are characteristic of it—Act as a Nation—and support the honor & dignity of one?—If we are afraid to trust one another under qualified powers there is an end to the Union. Why then need we be sollicitous to hold up the farce of it?

It gives me pleasure to hear that there is such an accordance of sentiments between the Eastern & Western parts of this State.—My opinion of the seperation has always been to meet them half way, upon fair & just grounds & part like friends disposed to acts of brotherly kindness thereafter.—I wish you had mentioned the territorial line between us.—

The Port Bill, the Assize Law (or any substitute for the speedy Administration of Justice) being established—Good faith with respect to treaties preserved by public Acts—Taxation continued & regularly collected that Justice to one part of the community may keep pace with relief to the other and our national character for Justice thereby supported.—A due attention to the Militia—And encouragement to extend the inland Navigation of this Commonwealth where it may be useful & practicable (which will not only be of amazing convenience & advantage to its Citizens, but sources of immense wealth to the Country through some of its Channels) are amongst the great & important objects which will come before the Assembly a due attention to which will, I trust, mark the present epocha for having produced able Statesmen—sound patriots—and liberally minded men—

At a late meeting of the Directors of the Potomack Company at the Great Falls, & from a critical examination of the ground we unanimously determined to petition the Assemblies of the two States to be relieved from the expence of sinking our Canal four feet deep as a considerable expence & no advantage that we could discover is like to attend it.—As the Petition which is herewith sent under cover to you & Colo. Syme recites the reasons on which it is founded I shall not repeat them.—The public, as well as the Company, interest calls for an economical use of the fund which has been subscribed for this undertaking.—The enemies therefore (if there are any) to the Navigation are equally bound with its friends to give it support.—

I should be much obliged to you for desiring the public printer to send me the Journals of the present Session from its commencement & to do it through the Session as they are printed by the Post—I pray you to pay him for them, and for my Gazettes (if Hay is the public printer) and I will repay you with thanks when you return.—

I am very glad to hear you have got so well over your fever—Mrs. Stuart has had a bad cold but is getting much better of it. All here join me in best wishes for you—and

I am—Dear Sir

Sincerely& affectly. Yrs

G Washington

Washington, who is still generally thought of as the “father of our country” was pro united union, pro regulation, pro public projects for the common good. In other words U.S. history, real history, not the word salads emitted by conservatives like Palin, Santorum or Gingrich, has a distinctly liberal bias. Just an odd factoid about the Washington administration, he proposed a federal excise tax on distilled spirits.

“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry is own weight, this is a frightening prospect.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

City Skyscraper Reflections wallpaper – Conservatism in every place and time is founded on deception

City Skyscraper Reflections wallpaper

 

I don’t know that conservatives ever loved the U.S.A. They love some kind of dytopian vision of Amerika. A country that doesn’t exist. Certainly after sixty years of demonizing liberalism – you know that reportedly godless philosophy on which the Founders based the new nation, some people actually believe that conservatism is not just patriotic, but the embodiment of patriotism. They and the deceptive spokespeople they follow are at best ultra-nationalists. In the defense of our friends and neighbors who describe themselves as conservatives, they are not the first people to confuse love of country and nationalism.

The tactics of conservatism vary widely by place and time. But the most central feature of conservatism is deference: a psychologically internalized attitude on the part of the common people that the aristocracy are better people than they are. Modern-day liberals often theorize that conservatives use “social issues” as a way to mask economic objectives, but this is almost backward: the true goal of conservatism is to establish an aristocracy, which is a social and psychological condition of inequality. Economic inequality and regressive taxation, while certainly welcomed by the aristocracy, are best understood as a means to their actual goal, which is simply to be aristocrats. More generally, it is crucial to conservatism that the people must literally love the order that dominates them. Of course this notion sounds bizarre to modern ears, but it is perfectly overt in the writings of leading conservative theorists such as Burke. Democracy, for them, is not about the mechanisms of voting and office-holding. In fact conservatives hold a wide variety of opinions about such secondary formal matters. For conservatives, rather, democracy is a psychological condition. People who believe that the aristocracy rightfully dominates society because of its intrinsic superiority are conservatives; democrats, by contrast, believe that they are of equal social worth. Conservatism is the antithesis of democracy. This has been true for thousands of years.

The defenders of aristocracy represent aristocracy as a natural phenomenon, but in reality it is the most artificial thing on earth. Although one of the goals of every aristocracy is to make its preferred social order seem permanent and timeless, in reality conservatism must be reinvented in every generation. This is true for many reasons, including internal conflicts among the aristocrats; institutional shifts due to climate, markets, or warfare; and ideological gains and losses in the perpetual struggle against democracy. In some societies the aristocracy is rigid, closed, and stratified, while in others it is more of an aspiration among various fluid and factionalized groups. The situation in the United States right now is toward the latter end of the spectrum. A main goal in life of all aristocrats, however, is to pass on their positions of privilege to their children, and many of the aspiring aristocrats of the United States are appointing their children to positions in government and in the archipelago of think tanks that promote conservative theories.

Conservatism in every place and time is founded on deception. The deceptions of conservatism today are especially sophisticated, simply because culture today is sufficiently democratic that the myths of earlier times will no longer suffice.

 

Whether there were ever any good conservatives or not in the U.S. is debatable, but there used to be a few decent Republicans – Some Republicans Used to Love America at Least a Little, What Went Wrong

Does anyone else remember the Western Hemisphere’s only functioning socialist paradise? In that bygone land, the top income-tax bracket for millionaires was 90 percent. Thanks to a heavily—and proudly—unionized workforce, collective bargaining resolved most labor-management disputes. To stave off recession, the government instituted the largest public-works program in Country X’s history, from which its now largely unwitting citizens still benefit today.

Although Country X did possess a sizable nuclear deterrent, the trade-off was a reduction in spending on conventional military capabilities. “Our most valuable, our most costly asset is our young men. Let’s don’t use them any more than we have to,” was the typically commonsensical explanation given by paradise’s wildly popular leader for his reluctance to commit Country X to adventurist foreign wars. Despite an excruciating level of world tension at the time, not a single member of Country X’s armed forces died in battle on his watch.

Those happy days were America’s. True, it would be going much too far to call Dwight D. Eisenhower the architect of the United States in the 1950s. From the GI bill’s vital role in creating the midcentury middle class to our powerhouse postwar economy, the catbird seat America then occupied wasn’t Ike’s doing. Well, except in the sense that winning World War II made it all possible, and he’d been the guy who said “OK, we’ll go” on D-Day.

But Eisenhower the president was more than paradise’s caretaker. At the very least, he’s the man who made it all seem normal. That’s some achievement when you think of the astounding metamorphoses in American life, self-perception, and role on the world stage that his reign enshrined.

Besides being the most underestimated president of the 20th century, Eisenhower deserves to be every Democrat’s favorite Republican White House occupant this side of Abraham Lincoln. The reasons range from creating an Interstate highway system that’s rightly named for him and deciding to perpetuate the New Deal, to his crucial decision to enforce Brown v. Board of Education in the teeth of Southern resistance. No militant on civil rights, Ike nonetheless ordered the 101st Airborne to Little Rock in the crunch to remind everybody that even unpopular Supreme Court decisions had better be respected. If not for that resolve, desegregation might have ended before it began.

Eisenhower was not perfect as noted in the rest of that article – he let the CIA get involved in changing leadership in other countries, propped up a few dictators – the rationale was the same then as now, they might be dictators, but at least they are friendly toward America dictators. he did have the right-wing conservative panderer Richard Nixon as Vice-President. He used Nixon as his pacifying blanket for the extreme Right conservatives who, instead of radical Muslim, saw commie pinkos under every bed. The level of conservative paranoia and their fetishistic need to cling to paranoia has not changed. Rush Limbaugh, the unofficial head of the conservative movement, and friends, supplies some examples – Five Insane Conspiracy Theories Limbaugh’s Advertisers Have Sponsored  

On July 20, 1993, the body of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster was found in Northern Virginia’s Fort Marcy Park. According to multiple investigations, Foster died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But conservatives, led by Rush Limbaugh, incessantly cast doubt on Foster’s suicide, suggesting instead that the Clinton White House had murdered Foster and covered it up.

[  ]…The Soccer Conspiracy

On April 13, 2010, American Thinker writer Cat Corben posited an elaborate conspiracy that involved Obama “venturing out to a soccer game that didn’t exist in a high-crime area” of Washington, DC. Corben wanted to know why Obama lied to the press and the Secret Service so he could hang out in this high-crime area by himself, writing: “Something is most definitely wrong.”

[  ]…Canceling The Elections

On September 30, 2011, Judi McLeod of the Canada Free Press published a column warning that President Obama was planning to suspend the 2012 elections in order to remain in office. The column, which swerved into birtherism and the absurd theory that Obama’s autobiography was ghostwritten by Bill Ayers, counseled: “Patriots who want their grandchildren to grow up in a Marxist-free America should start the counter revolution called the ‘Revolution for an Obama-free America’ and they should start it ‘like yesterday.'”

[   ]…Obama The African Colonial

On June 25, 2009, the American Thinker published a piece by L.E. Ikenga arguing that “the key to understanding [Obama] lies with his identification with his father, and his adoption of a cultural and political mindset rooted in postcolonial Africa.”

[  ]…For Rush, however, D’Souza’s “anti-colonial” theory was “very consistent with the way I’ve analyzed” Obama:

LIMBAUGH: Dinesh D’Souza has a book out, and a cover story in Forbes magazine, what really motivates Obama is his father. And his father hated colonialist America, hated colonialist Great Britain, and had profound influence on Obama. And Obama’s anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist, and looks at the United States as colonialists. And I think this is very consistent with the way I’ve analyzed this guy from the get-go.

When Palin and McCain were running in 2008 Palin could not discuss issues and solutions. The best she could do to make her case to the U.S. public was that Sen. Obama was “palling around with terrorists” ( she also refused to apologize). This is from a person who incessantly complains about being treated unfairly by the press. How can someone so morally bankrupt tell the difference between fair and unfair. In public speaking classes they generally advise people to record and listen to rehearsals of their talk. One can then check for vocal idiosyncrasies, fact check yourself and check for gaps in logic. The latter is especially important if you are trying to convince people of your point of view or trying to sell them something. One wonders if Palin has ever made the slightest effort to follow any of those basic ingredients for public speaking. If she did listen to what she said, would she understand herself and how ridiculous she sounds – to anyone except her fellow zealots,  PALIN WAS BORN A POOR BLACK CHILD

SARAH PALIN: … He (meaning President Obama) is bringing us back, Sean, to days that — you can hearken back to days before the Civil War, when, unfortunately, too many Americans mistakenly believed that not all men were created equal, and it was the Civil War that began the codification of the truth that here in America, yes, we are equal and we all have equal opportunities, not based on the color of your skin. You have equal opportunity to work hard and to succeed and to embrace the opportunities, God-given opportunities, to develop resources and work extremely hard and, as I say, to succeed. Now, it has taken all these years for many Americans to understand that gravity, that mistake, that took place before the Civil War, and why the Civil War had to really start changing America. What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days, when we were in different classes, based on income, based on color of skin. Why are we allowing our country to move backwards instead of moving forward with that understanding that, as our charters of liberty spell out for us, we are all created equal?

Wait a gosh darn minute, “What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days, when we were in different classes, based on income, based on color of skin.” Did Palin not get the memo from the Breitbart sites – Simply Shocking, Breitbart’s ‘Bombshell’ Video Shows The President Fighting for…for….Racial Equality

Critical race theory does not have an absolute set of principles, but later in the interview O’Brien accurately describes it as a theory that “looks into the intersection of race and politics and the law.” CRT emerged from a broader movement known as critical legal studies, which examines how factors such as race, gender and social class can often skew legal decisions in favor of privileged groups. Critical legal theory is, by definition, critical of how our law has developed and often calls for significant departures from existing law—but its central premise that judges are prone to decide cases in ways that advantage their own social group has certainly been vindicated by cases such as Citizens United.

CRT looks specifically at how race and racial privilege shapes the law. The purpose of CRT isn’t to wage war against white people, as Pollak and others of his anti-liberal ilk would have us believe. Indeed, its entire goal is to ensure that race not be forgotten as a significant factor in the operation of society. The value of this perspective is certainly demonstrated through voter ID laws, immigration policies, and drug enforcement penalties that disproportionately impact non-white populations. Policies that target racial majorities, by contrast, would never become law in the first place because the majority possesses the power to veto them.

The President should be applauded for standing with great minds who do not accept that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 marked an endpoint in the fight for racial equality. It is those who seek to disregard the experiences of all people of color — lest they confront the persisting effects of racial injustice — who should be ashamed.

So Palin thinks Obama is evil for not fighting for equal opportunity and Breitbart’s Big sites has found a video which proves President Obama is evil for fighting for civil rights. Don’t yea just hate it when the conservative meme fax machine breaks down. The rest of NOMNB’s commentary on Palin,

But what’s really going on here is Palin (and Hannity and the audience) all agreeing that they’re becoming America’s oppressed blacks. And, to them, not being able to drill in ANWAR really is as bad as slavery and lynching and Jim Crow and the Birmingham church bombing all the way down to a racist drug war and racist stop-and-frisk policies and on and on.

It’s either that or these people are simply jealous of black people because black people won some white sympathy for their plight. Wingers want the rest of America to feel sorry for them, too! Bill Maher makes fun of them! Sandra Fluke criticizes them! That’s as oppressive as slavery and Jim Crow, right?

This is the conservative concept of values. Point out that not everyone is treated fairly under the law – sometimes because of race or gender or sexual orientation – and you are a radical liberal meanie. Conservatives Like Palin, Limbaugh, D’Souza, American Thinker are the real victims and they’re frustrated as hell that no one with mental faculties better than a bullfrog’s can see that. Related: Job numbers for the month of February show continued, though not stellar improvement Current unemployment rates: 7.3% for whites, 14.1% for African Americans, & 10.7% for Latinos

Being discriminated against, being a victim has a whole different meaning in Wingnuttia than in Webster’s dictionary and the real world, Helping the Super Rich at the Expense of the Super Poor

Bloomberg reporter Max Abelson created quite a stir in the blogosphere with his tales of woe from the top 1 percent. “People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress,” said a specialist in financial planning for the wealthy. Maybe he should talk to the heads of the estimated 1.5 million households, which include about 2.8 million children, that the National Poverty Center estimates live on $2 or less in income per day in any given month—one of the World Bank’s main indicators of poverty in developing countries.

I’m around these poor, not usually 1%ers, but top 10% people sometimes. They complain about not being able to belong to three country clubs because the waits on the golf course are so long. They have a 5-series Bimmer but and a Range Rover, but want a 7-series. They can afford to send their kids to private prep schools starting in middle school, but not grades one though five. The poor pitiful things. It just makes you want to cry. They would never for a moment pause and think two things. One, be grateful. Two, maybe their income is not the problem, their whims and desires are bigger than their wallets.

 

Al Capone Chris Chrsitie (R-NJ) calls former Navy SEAL an ‘idiot’

 

From the Smithsonian: Mystery Files: Making Marco’s Tall Tale Taller

With over 100 known versions written of Marco Polo’s story, researchers struggle to find the original tale embedded in hundreds of years of elaboration.

Map Time Zone Chart of the World 1927 – It Used To Take Mind Altering Drugs To Be Delusional, Now You Just Have To Drink The Conservative Kool-Aid

Map -Time Zone Chart of the World 1927

Description of the chart:

The annotation on this map reads: “Used for laying out route for New York to Paris flight, San Diego, California, 1927 C.A.L.” Charles Lindbergh (1902–74) was the American aviator who made the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 21–22, 1927. While Ryan Airlines of San Diego, California, was constructing his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, Lindbergh was busy obtaining charts and plotting his course. In his book The Spirit of St. Louis (1953), Lindbergh described purchasing a number of charts of the North Atlantic at a store in San Pedro, including this time-zone chart of the world: “The salesman pulls out two oblong sheets. They’re Mercator’s projections and—yes, I’m in luck—they extend inland far enough to include New York and Paris. Then, like stumbling over a nugget of gold, I see a gnomonic projection covering them both. . . . Rummaging around still farther, I locate a time-zone chart of the world, a chart of magnetic variation, and others showing prevailing winds over the Atlantic for April, May, and June. I buy them all.” Lindbergh planned his route on this time-zone chart in 500 mile-long segments that follow the great-circle route from New York to Paris. He did not indicate the number of charts he bought in San Pedro, but it appears that he purchased the two Mercator projection charts, upon which he plotted his intended course in 100-mile segments and which were actually taken on the flight.

My love of the map/chart and the historic solo crossing of the Atlantic by airplane  is with the acknowledgement that  Lindbergh was in many ways a morally repugnant individual. While typical of the highly romanticized biographical movies of the era The Spirit of St Louis (1957), about the cross Atlantic journey, is a wonderful film.

Conservatives who do not like Romney and Romney’s rivals can spin Super Tuesday anyway they like, he seems on his way to wining the nomination. Unless someone convinces Newt or Santorum to drop out, there will be some bumpy patches ahead, but nothing the massive Mittens money machine cannot handle – A Predictable Super Tuesday

Not all of the delegates have been counted yet, but once they are, Mr. Romney should come extremely close to the tally that we projected for him beforehand of about 224 delegates — just slightly more than half of the number that were at stake. The only state where there was a significant deviation was in Tennessee, where a late surge in the polls did not manifest itself, and Mr. Romney might finish several delegates below the projection of 19. In every other state, he should be within about three delegates of the forecast.

[  ]…It should not really be surprising that Mr. Romney lost Tennessee — not when more than 70 percent of the turnout consisted of evangelical voters…

Matt nails the general zeitgeist that has settled in over conservative voters, “Republican voters have gotten a good, long look at Mr. Romney; they find him likeable enough and not much more than that. ” It might have been someone on Twitter that said Santorum did a great job of winning votes in states that have more animals than people. Newt is just in fizzle mode. While he definitely has a few die-hard supporters – including Sarah Palin – Newt has no road to recovery. As of this writing Romney has 415 delegates, Santorum 176 and Gingrich with 105. 1,144 delegates are needed to win. Even if Romney just keeps getting 40% of the primary votes he wins. The one possible – and way outside chance for a Santorum catch-up is if Gingrich drops out – his delegates switch to Santorum ( which may not be possible in some instances) and wins big in the rest of the primaries.Someone crunched the numbers and in a best case scenario Santorum ends with 1075 delegates.

One assumes that since she voted for Gingrich that Palin is hoping for a brokered convention in which Newt either wins the nomination or has enough delegates to bargain his way into the VP spot. Santorum winning the nomination will be a political miracle. Newt having that kind of pull would be proof that unicorns exist. NO, SARAH, SOME THINGS CAN’T HAPPEN

Sarah Palin revealed late on Super Tuesday that she voted for Newt Gingrich in the Alaska caucuses.

After declining to reveal to a CNN reporter which 2012 candidate she voted for, Palin said in a later interview with a Fox News host that she had cast her ballot for “the cheerful one.”

“Who can best bust through that radical left’s kind of dispensation and desire to mistreat those who are defenseless, mistreat those who perhaps have some disadvantages by making them more beholden to government? Who best can contrast themselves from that?” she [said]. “I thought who best could do that [and] my own personal opinion is, the cheerful one, is Newt Gingrich. I have appreciated what he has stood for, stood boldly for.”

They’re called polls, Sarah — read a few. You wasted your vote. Any idiot who’s actually following the race could have told you that.

That was from a Fox Business Channel interview. Earlier, on CNN, Palin confirmed that she still hasn’t grasped Mitt Romney’s inevitability:

In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin did not shoot down the idea of accepting a proposal to run for president should the Republican presidential race lead to an open convention in August.

“Anything is possible. I don’t close any doors that perhaps would be open out there, so, no, I wouldn’t close that door,” Palin said after casting her vote in Alaska’s Republican caucuses. “My plan is to be at that convention.” (emphasis mine)

What that bag of sliced and diced words means in regards the “left” ( there are maybe a few hundred actual leftists in the U.S. but let’s assume since she is so far right, she means anyone to the left of Eva Braun) and the mistreatment of the disadvantaged requires leaps in interpretation. That America should do away with medicare and Medicaid because they are a plot to kill people ( she invented the death panel smear and myth). And make those who survive the death panels dependent on those programs so they do not get off their wheel chairs and respirators to do for themselves. If the elderly and infirm, if people with cancer or limbs missing do to complications from diabetes would just get off the government tit, serve a half term as governor, foist some ghost written books on the public, get signed on to the wing-nut welfare circuit they could be making well-earned millions just like Palin. The only thing really holding these people back – according to the penetrating minds of conservatism – is the sense of helplessness that liberals drill into the the heads of the disabled when they are asleep at night. Back in the 60s people used to take LSD to be that delusional. Palin does it without drugs. If Palin ever emerges from her natural state of delusions, it is way past time for her to apologize to the American people for the disinformation, the crazy conspiracies and the generally anti-American philosophy she espouses.

Why Are Taxpayers Forced to Support Broadcasting Conservative Smiley Faced Fascist Rush Limbaugh

Iraq war veterans Miranda Norman, Kayla Williams and Robin Eckstein, and Katherine Scheirman, the former chief of medical operations for the U.S. Air Force, all with the organization VoteVets, released a statement calling for Limbaugh’s show to be removed from taxpayer-funded American Forces Network, which is heard by troops serving overseas. (Like all who syndicate Rush’s program, AFN pays for the privilege.) They wrote:

Rush Limbaugh has a freedom of speech and can say what he wants, but in light of his horribly misogynistic comments, American Forces Radio should no longer give him a platform. Our entire military depends on troops respecting each other – women and men. There simply can be no place on military airwaves for sentiments that would undermine that respect. When many of our female troops use birth control, for Limbaugh to say they are “sluts” and “prostitutes” is beyond the pale. It isn’t just disrespectful to our women serving our country, but it’s language that goes against everything that makes our military work. Again, we swore to uphold our Constitution, including the freedom of speech, and would not take that away from anyone – even Limbaugh. But that does not mean AFN should broadcast him. In fact, it shouldn’t.

The Pentagon, though, doesn’t seem interested in dropping Limbaugh yet. A spokesman told the AP it would continue to air a variety of programming.

The general discourse has been moved so far to the anti-American conservative extreme that a college dropout draft dodging drug addict racist misogynist is considered a ‘variety” of programming. With that kind of reasoning NBC radio should have run Tokyo Rose’s show during WW II, you know so we could hear every side. If radio syndicates in the free market want to run Limbaugh – and they should so the morally confused can have someone to listen to and have their weirdo world view echoed back to them, by all means continue. There is no reason for tax payers to pick up the bill.

We know that conservatives have learned absolutely nothing from the financial crisis. I still find it bizarre that they have actually surpassed not learning and graduated to the unlearning stage, The banks’ anti-regulation fantasy

The March 5 Wall Street Journal reported that as the Federal Reserve prepares to release the results of the latest round of stress tests, evaluating how banks would respond in the event of another severe financial crisis, “Bankers are pressing the Fed to limit its release of information — expected as early as next week — to what was published after the first test of big banks in 2009.”

“Three years ago, as the financial crisis was abating, the Fed published potential loan losses and how much capital each institution would need to raise to absorb them. This time around, the Fed has pledged to release a wider array of information, including annual revenue and net income under a so-called stress scenario in which the economy would contract and unemployment would rise sharply.”

The banks cite competitive concerns, but regulators “view full disclosure as critical to assuaging investor concerns about banks’ capacity to withstand a market shock or economic setback.” Add to the mix the banks’ fear of further government interference – when it’s of the nonbailout variety, that is – and continued resistance to the new rules imposed by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Before the Wall Street crisis we had 12 too big to fail banks. Now we have seven. Those seven have no plan whatsoever to deal with another meltdown.

Meanwhile, Simon Johnson, the savvy MIT and former International Monetary Fund economist, warns that if the Republican Party takes over both the House and Senate, they may attempt to force the heretofore nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which evaluates the impact of the federal legislature’s fiscal proposals, to switch to a scoring system “that would attach magical growth implications to tax cutting.

At the Baseline Scenario website, Johnson writes:

“If you cut taxes, revenues will fall and deficits will increase. If you change the CBO’s scoring process to hide this fact — as is under consideration by leading Republicans on the House Budget Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee — you are engaging in exactly the same sort of deception that brought down Greece.”

The banks do not want the feds in their business unless the feds have check from tax payers in their hands. Conservatives plan to institutionalize this into banking culture. Conservatives are always trying to score rhetorical points by comparing anything and everything to Europe. Yet conservatives plan to make the U.S. financial system more like Greece.

There are so many conservative economic myths that they provide the service of making conservative cultural myths seem a less alarming. According to one of the big myths even though taxes are the lowest they’ve been since 1958 taxes are the cause of unemployment. Businesses just will not expand. Even if taxes were lower, myth number two, there is all that red tape. If conservatives worked as hard at progress for the America they claim to love as they do at lying we could tackle our economic problems overnight, We Want Our Money Back – Good governance groups are fighting back against companies that take state subsidies and then head out of town

One can understand why North Carolinians hold a grudge against Dell Computers. In 2009, the company shuttered its Winston-Salem plant, laid off 900 people, and made off with $6 million in state subsidies and incentives.

Most states and cities will do almost anything to induce companies to set up shop within their borders—or to keep them there. It seems no tax incentive is too plush, no subsidy too bountiful. Businesses, in turn, will make grand claims about the jobs and other benefits they bring to a community.

But what happens if they renege on the deal and pack up or simply don’t live up to their promises? Too often, the answer has been “nothing.” States and municipalities are left scrambling to explain why they spent the taxpayers’ money and got nothing in return.

Fortunately, this is starting to change. Good-governance groups are putting forth a simple message for businesses that do not deliver on their promises: We want our money back. Nonplussed by lax subsidy standards, advocates—from public-interest watchdogs to labor unions to elected officials—are introducing stronger “clawback” language into subsidy agreements and are using public pressure and the courts to compel delinquent companies to return taxpayer subsidies that they have received. “Clawback” provisions in contracts require that companies repay cities and states if they fail to deliver the economic gains they’ve promised.

In the south you can close your eyes and throw a pebble and you’ll hit a city that has given away and promised everything to corporations in exchange for sometimes a couple hundred jobs. In many circumstances the residents end up picking up the tab for the new company because they have to pay for the new roads or road improvements and otherwise have to take up the slack in lost revenue. If the company leaves, they’re responsible for any environmental clean-up, but getting them to pay can take years, if ever.

Grass Stalks Rain Drops wallpaper – The Conservative Dream For America? Permanent Midnight

Grass Stalks Rain Drops wallpaper

This is from a Paul Krugman blog posts from a couple of days ago some of you may have missed, Stimulus Denial, Part N

Mark Thoma posts about another Cochrane rant, and about what John Taylor really said. Go read. I thought I should point out something else about Taylor’s claim (pdf) that aid to state and local governments had no effect, because they would simply have borrowed the money. Christina Romer (pdf) has already answered this, in devastating fashion:

Cogan and Taylor (2011) present a different view. They show that states had been borrowing heavily before the Recovery Act, and then borrowed less after the receipt of the state fiscal relief. From this, they conclude that the state fiscal relief in the Recovery Act had no net benefit—it just replaced state spending financed by borrowing with state spending financed by Federal aid.

Cogan and Taylor’s analysis shows the importance of specifying the counterfactual. Most states have balanced budget requirements. The requirements leave some room for deficit financing of current spending for a year or two, by running down rainy-day funds or the use of various accounting devices, especially if the deficit is the result of a downturn that was not expected when the budget was passed. But states didn’t have the option of continuing the pace of borrowing they had done in the 2008 and 2009 fiscal years. Absent the Recovery Act, states would have been forced to contract spending greatly. Therefore, relative to the plausible baseline, state spending was substantially higher following the receipt of the Recovery Act funds.

This is just one of those things where you have to ask, what is Taylor thinking? Does he really believe that states and localities could have borrowed all the money that they received from the ARRA, and thus spent at the same rate? Because if he doesn’t believe that — and he shouldn’t — his whole case falls apart.

Many of us thought states were using stimulus funds to balance their budgets – which they did do in part – including conservative tea baggers like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Florida’s felon-in-chief Rick Scott. With those stimulus funds ( Recovery Act) they still proceeded to lay off a few hundred thousand teachers and public employees – people who buy stuff and create demand. The net result, those darn stimulus funds still helped state economies and the national economy. How much more effective the Recovery Act would have been if conservatives had not sucked at the stimulus tit all the while cutting public employees and giving tax breaks to corporations that were sitting on precession level profits. Krugman did a kind of follow-up in his regular column and wonders out loud what the economy would look like if conservatives were not doing their best to sabotage it purely for spite, States of Depression

In fact, if it weren’t for this destructive fiscal austerity, our unemployment rate would almost certainly be lower now than it was at a comparable stage of the “Morning in America” recovery during the Reagan era.

Notice that I said “government in America,” not “the federal government.” The federal government has been pursuing what amount to contractionary policies as the last vestiges of the Obama stimulus fade out, but the big cuts have come at the state and local level. These state and local cuts have led to a sharp fall in both government employment and government spending on goods and services, exerting a powerful drag on the economy as a whole.

One way to dramatize just how severe our de facto austerity has been is to compare government employment and spending during the Obama-era economic expansion, which began in June 2009, with their tracks during the Reagan-era expansion, which began in November 1982.

Start with government employment (which is mainly at the state and local level, with about half the jobs in education). By this stage in the Reagan recovery, government employment had risen by 3.1 percent; this time around, it’s down by 2.7 percent.

Next, look at government purchases of goods and services (as distinct from transfers to individuals, like unemployment benefits). Adjusted for inflation, by this stage of the Reagan recovery, such purchases had risen by 11.6 percent; this time, they’re down by 2.6 percent. ( Obviously Reagan was a much bigger Marxist than Obama)

And the gap persists even when you do include transfers, some of which have stayed high precisely because unemployment is still so high. Adjusted for inflation, Reagan-era spending rose 10.2 percent in the first 10 quarters of recovery, Obama-era spending only 2.6 percent. ( the right-wing conservative site Real Clear Politics ran this article on April 14, 2011 – Obama’s Plan: Massive Government Growth. Do not hold your breath waiting for them or any of the other conservative sites who have run similar stories without a shred of supporting evidence and certainly no heads-up comparisons to Saint Ronnie)
Why did government spending rise so much under Reagan, with his small-government rhetoric, while shrinking under the president so many Republicans insist is a secret socialist? In Reagan’s case, it’s partly about the arms race, but mainly about state and local governments doing what they are supposed to do: educate a growing population of children, invest in infrastructure for a growing economy.

In public policy there are moral imperatives. Do what is best for the country – the Democratic agenda. Or do what makes the conservative movement look good in the eyes of people whose lips are glued to the asses of conservative pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge and Bill O’Reilly. Conservatives who have genuine difficulty doing the moral thing because their moral compass has been broken for over half a century and they have no plans to fix it.

Coincidentally a new report from the CBPP just came out which looks at where this mythical out of control government expansion is coming from, Are the Size and Reach of the Federal Government Exploding?  Non-Interest Spending Outside Social Security and Medicare Will Fall Well Below Prior 50-Year Average as Economy Recovers

Total federal spending indeed rose considerably in 2008 and 2009 as a share of GDP and remained high in 2010 and 2011, in part because GDP was unusually low as a result of the severe economic slump. But, as an examination of the latest Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data indicates, the claim that this indicates a very large, permanent expansion of the federal government is very dubious. Total expenditures have already fallen noticeably from their 2009 peak. Most importantly, the government outside Social Security and Medicare is set to shrink significantly below its historical average size as the economy recovers.

[  ]….Under a continuation of current policies,[2] total federal spending — including interest — will drop from 23.9 percent of GDP in 2011 and 23.5 percent in 2012 to 22.4 percent in the middle of the coming decade, then climb back up to 23.6 percent of GDP by 2022. All of the increase between mid-decade and 2022, however, will come from higher interest payments on the debt.

Interest payments are not a federal program, and increases in interest costs do not themselves represent an expansion of the government’s activities or reach. Moreover, a significant share of the projected increase in interest payments stems from the increase in the amount of debt on which interest must be paid that would result from extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. In other words, an important part of the increase in total federal spending as a share of GDP in the latter half of the coming decade will result from tax cuts. (Interest costs also will rise as interest rates return to normal levels after the economy recovers.)

If the conservative budget peacocks were genuine about reducing the deficit they would be first in line to let the Bush tax cuts expire. Sure we would all have to live with people who make a quarter million dollars a year pay an incredible extra 4% in federal income taxes – the same rates they paid during the Bush 41 presidency, but somehow I think most Americans would still be able to sleep at night knowing they would have inflicted this horrendous burden on people who biggest decisions are when to trade in their new Porsche.

The recent shift among conservative presidential candidates to cultural issues and their echo in the conservative noise machine has made some moderate Americans wonder if the conservative cultural agenda is not more radical and threatening than their economic agenda. GOP’s Economic Agenda Is Way More Radical Than Its Social Plan

Nocera actually equates Republican radicalism entirely with social conservatism. But ask yourself: what is this radical social conservative agenda? Well, they want employers to be able to offer health insurance that does not cover contraception, sure. But that’s a mere way station to the larger goal of denying any health care coverage at all to tens of millions of Americans. The GOP has committed itself to a host of radical new economic policy goals that Ronald Reagan never dreamed of. Where are the radical new social goals? (Yes, Republicans still want to overturn Roe v. Wade, but many advanced countries ban abortion; the United States is the only country where basic health care must be earned.)

Santorum may be more genuine about his social conservatism than most Republicans in Washington, but his actual program is no more radical than Romney’s, nor any more radical than the party social agenda has been for three decades. But economically, the party has abandoned Keynesianism, adopted hard money policy, and sworn to roll back seven decades of government. For Nocera to identify social conservatism as the locus of the party’s extremism shows just how unshakeable his assumptions are.

The conservative cultural and economic agenda is and always has been joined at the hip. By going the economic route and pretending to be cultural moderates or “compassionate conservatives” is just so much smoke up America’s back side. Paul Krugman nailed it in his book The Conscience of a Liberal. Conservatives never cared about balancing the federal budget when they had the power  – they spent like “Drunken sailors” in the famous words of John McCain. If they ran up deficits – those very deficits gave them the ammo they could use to dismantle as much of the safety net as possible. All conservatives currently think the road to economic nirvana is through dismantling Medicare. Dismantle that or privatize it ( thus gutting it as in the Paul Ryan plan) and that is one liberal commie program down. Money for any program that might help people in dire straits – food assistance, supplemental heating fuel assistance, public education – look at the budget, we just can’t afford those things – American needs a fundamental change or we’ll need up like gasp…Sweden or Germany ( both doing very well in terms of education, health care, free market competition), but anything European serves as a good boogeyman (remember the French and freedom fries). If America is broke – in warped conservative minds – that is a good thing because it provides the perfect cover for dismantling anything that is not pure market solutions. Everything – for conservatives anyway – is going according to plan. This is why they are reacting so badly to any good economic news or studies that show President Obama has actually shrunk government and is running a much tighter ship under much more difficult circumstances than Reagan.

Limbaugh’s Justification For Attacking Fluke Is Nonsense

Rush Limbaugh’s ugly attacks on Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke have centered on the idea that she — and other women who think birth control should be covered by health insurance — “wants all the sex in the world whenever she wants it, all the time, no consequences.” For support, Limbaugh has referenced a CNS News blog post by CNS communications director Craig Bannister that’s headlined “Sex-Crazed Co-Eds Going Broke Buying Birth Control, Student Tells Pelosi Hearing Touting Freebie Mandate.”

The blog post obsessed about the cost of condoms and postulated that $3,000 — the amount Fluke said some female Georgetown students pay for three years of birth control — could buy enough condoms to have “sex 2.74 times a day, every day, for three straight years.”

First of all, Fluke wasn’t talking about condoms — she was talking about birth-control pills. And when used as contraception, birth control pills must be taken regularly to be effective, regardless of how much sex the user is or isn’t having.

As libertarian law professor Eugene Volokh noted on his blog:

The logic makes no sense. There’s nothing substantive in common between being paid to have sex, and having contraceptives be provided by a health plan. (Would you call a man a gigolo because he uses a condom that he got for free from some university giveaway?) The allegation that somehow Ms. Fluke is “having so much sex” strikes me as misunderstanding the way birth control pills work: You have to take them all the time even if you’re having sex only rarely, and even if you’re having sex with only one person (I mention this because the implication seems to me that Ms. Fluke is being promiscuous).

And second, Fluke’s testimony wasn’t about sex. Much of her testimony was about women who take birth control for medical reasons, rather than as a contraceptive, including the story of a friend who was taking birth control to prevent cysts from growing on her ovaries and ultimately had to have an ovary removed….

It is going to take up a lot of space, but this deserves to be posted everywhere. The Right has gone off on things that were never said. They have gone berserk on what their crazy brains have ground up for conservative fantasy politics. What Did Sandra Fluke Actually Say That Ignited Conservative Rush Limbaugh’s Psycho Misogynist Attack

My name is Sandra Fluke, and I’m a third-year student at Georgetown Law School. I’m also a past-president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice or LSRJ. And I’d like to acknowledge my fellow LSRJ members and allies and all of the student activists with us and thank them so much for being here today.

(Applause)

We, as Georgetown LSRJ, are here today because we’re so grateful that this regulation implements the non-partisan medical advice of the Institute of Medicine.

I attend a Jesuit law school that does not provide contraceptive coverage in its student health plan. And just as we students have faced financial, emotional, and medical burdens as a result, employees at religiously-affiliated hospitals and institutions and universities across the country have suffered similar burdens.

We are all grateful for the new regulation that will meet the critical health care needs of so many women.

Simultaneously, the recently announced adjustment addresses any potential conflict with the religious identity of Catholic or Jesuit institutions.

When I look around my campus, I see the faces of the women affected by this lack of contraceptive coverage.

And especially in the last week, I have heard more and more of their stories. On a daily basis, I hear yet from another woman from Georgetown or from another school or who works for a religiously-affiliated employer, and they tell me that they have suffered financially and emotionally and medically because of this lack of coverage.

And so, I’m here today to share their voices, and I want to thank you for allowing them – not me – to be heard.

Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school. For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that’s practically an entire summer’s salary. 40% of the female students at Georgetown Law reported to us that they struggle financially as a result of this policy.

One told us about how embarrassed and just powerless she felt when she was standing at the pharmacy counter and learned for the first time that contraception was not covered on her insurance and she had to turn and walk away because she couldn’t afford that prescription. Women like her have no choice but to go without contraception.

Just last week, a married female student told me that she had to stop using contraception because she and her husband just couldn’t fit it into their budget anymore. Women employed in low-wage jobs without contraceptive coverage face the same choice.

And some might respond that contraception is accessible in lots of other ways. Unfortunately, that’s just not true.

Women’s health clinic provide a vital medical service, but as the Guttmacher Institute has definitely documented, these clinics are unable to meet the crushing demand for these services. Clinics are closing, and women are being forced to go without the medical care they need.

How can Congress consider the [Rep. Jeff] Fortenberry (R-Neb.), [Sen. Marco] Rubio (R-Fla.) and [Sen. Roy] Blunt (R-Mo.) legislation to allow even more employers and institutions to refuse contraception coverage and then respond that the non-profit clinics should step up to take care of the resulting medical crisis, particularly when so many legislators are attempting to de-fund those very same clinics?

These denial of contraceptive coverage impact real people.

In the worst cases, women who need these medications for other medical conditions suffer very dire consequences.

A friend of mine, for example, has polycystic ovarian syndrome, and she has to take prescription birth control to stop cysts from growing on her ovaries. Her prescription is technically covered by Georgetown’s insurance because it’s not intended to prevent pregnancy.

Unfortunately, under many religious institutions and insurance plans, it wouldn’t be. There would be no exception for other medical needs. And under Sen. Blunt’s amendment, Sen. Rubio’s bill or Rep. Fortenberry’s bill there’s no requirement that such an exception be made for these medical needs.

When this exception does exist, these exceptions don’t accomplish their well-intended goals because when you let university administrators or other employers rather than women and their doctors dictate whose medical needs are legitimate and whose are not, women’s health takes a back seat to a bureaucracy focused on policing her body.

In 65% of the cases at our school, our female students were interrogated by insurance representatives and university medical staff about why they needed prescription and whether they were lying about their symptoms.

For my friend and 20% of the women in her situation, she never got the insurance company to cover her prescription. Despite verifications of her illness from her doctor, her claim was denied repeatedly on the assumption that she really wanted birth control to prevent pregnancy. She’s gay. So clearly polycystic ovarian syndrome was a much more urgent concern than accidental pregnancy for her.

After months paying over $100 out-of-pocket, she just couldn’t afford her medication anymore, and she had to stop taking it.

I learned about all of this when I walked out of a test and got a message from her that in the middle of the night in her final exam period she’d been in the emergency room. She’d been there all night in just terrible, excruciating pain. She wrote to me, ‘It was so painful I’d woke up thinking I’ve been shot.’

Without her taking the birth control, a massive cyst the size of a tennis ball had grown on her ovary. She had to have surgery to remove her entire ovary as a result.

On the morning I was originally scheduled to give this testimony, she was sitting in a doctor’s office, trying to cope with the consequences of this medical catastrophe.

Since last year’s surgery, she’s been experiencing night sweats and weight gain and other symptoms of early menopause as a result of the removal of her ovary. She’s 32-years-old.

As she put it, ‘If my body indeed does enter early menopause, no fertility specialist in the world will be able to help me have my own children. I will have no choice at giving my mother her desperately desired grandbabies simply because the insurance policy that I paid for, totally unsubsidized by my school, wouldn’t cover my prescription for birth control when I needed it.’

Now, in addition to potentially facing the health complications that come with having menopause at such an early age – increased risk of cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis – she may never be able to conceive a child.

Some may say that my friend’s tragic story is rare. It’s not. I wish it were

One woman told us doctors believe she has endometriosis, but that can’t be proven without surgery. So the insurance has not been willing to cover her medication – the contraception she needs to treat her endometriosis.

Recently, another woman told me that she also has polycystic ovarian syndrome and she’s struggling to pay for her medication and is terrified to not have access to it.

Due to the barriers erected by Georgetown’s policy, she hasn’t been reimbursed for her medications since last August.

I sincerely pray that we don’t have to wait until she loses an ovary or is diagnosed with cancer before her needs and the needs of all of these women are taken seriously.

Because this is the message that not requiring coverage of contraception sends: A woman’s reproductive health care isn’t a necessity, isn’t a priority.

One woman told us that she knew birth control wasn’t covered on the insurance and she assumed that that’s how Georgetown’s insurance handle all of women’s reproductive and sexual health care. So when she was raped, she didn’t go to the doctor, even to be examined or tested for sexually transmitted infections, because she thought insurance wasn’t going to cover something like that – something that was related to a woman’s reproductive health.

As one other student put it: ‘This policy communicates to female students that our school doesn’t understand our needs.’

These are not feelings that male fellow student experience and they’re not burdens that male students must shoulder.

In the media lately, some conservative Catholic organizations have been asking what did we expect when we enroll in a Catholic school?

We can only answer that we expected women to be treated equally, to not have our school create untenable burdens that impede our academic success.

We expected that our schools would live up to the Jesuit creed of ‘cura personalis‘ – to care for the whole person – by meeting all of our medical needs.

We expected that when we told our universities of the problem this policy created for us as students, they would help us.

We expected that when 94% of students oppose the policy the university would respect our choices regarding insurance students pay for – completely unsubsidized by the university.

We did not expect that women would be told in the national media that we should have gone to school elsewhere.

And even if that meant going to a less prestigious university, we refuse to pick between a quality education and our health. And we resent that in the 21st century, anyone think it’s acceptable to ask us to make this choice simply because we are women.

Many of the women whose stories I’ve shared today are Catholic women. So ours is not a war against the church. It is a struggle for the access to the health care we need.

The President of the Association of Jesuit Colleges has shared that Jesuit colleges and the universities appreciate the modifications to the rule announced recently. Religious concerns are addressed and women get the health care they need. And I sincerely hope that that is something we can all agree upon.

Thank you very much. (all emphasis mine)

Bottom line, Limbaugh and his conservative minions attacked a woman because she thinks women deserve the same equal access to health care as men.

The Portraits of Thomas Jefferson by The Smithsonian 

At the turn of the 18th century, Americans learned what their leaders looked like through paintings and drawings, explains a historian at the National Portrait Gallery.

Evening Lights and Pier wallpaper – Just The Facts About Insurance, Contraception Coverage and The Obama Rule Change

Evening Lights and Pier wallpaper

 

Limbaugh and the conservative echo chamber have become so loud and shrill it might be a good time to back up and get the basic facts straight about the contraception controversy, women’s rights, how or if religious freedom even enters into the debate once we know the facts and individual rights as an employee with health care coverage. This is the fact sheet released by the White House regarding mandated health insurance coverage for contraception.

February 10, 2012

FACT SHEET: Women’s Preventive Services and Religious Institutions

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans will cover women’s preventive services, including contraception, without charging a co-pay or deductible beginning in August, 2012.  This new law will save money for millions of Americans and ensure Americans nationwide get the high-quality care they need to stay healthy.

Today, President Obama will announce that his Administration will implement a policy that accommodates religious liberty while protecting the health of women. Today, nearly 99 percent of all women have used contraception at some point in their lives, but more than half of all women between the ages of 18-34 struggle to afford it.

Under the new policy to be announced today, women will have free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where she works.  The policy also ensures that if a woman works for religious employers with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide contraception coverage, but her insurance company will be required to offer contraceptive care free of charge.

The new policy ensures women can get contraception without paying a co-pay and addresses important concerns raised by religious groups by ensuring that objecting religious employers will not have to provide contraceptive coverage or refer women to organizations that provide contraception.  Background on this policy is included below:

Section 2713 of the Affordable Care Act, the Administration adopted new guidelines that will require most private health plans to cover preventive services for women without charging a co-pay starting on August 1, 2012.  These preventive services include well women visits, domestic violence screening, and contraception, and all were recommended to the Secretary of Health and Human Services by the independent Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.
Today, the Obama Administration will publish final rules in the Federal Register that:

Exempts churches, other houses of worship, and similar organizations from covering contraception on the basis of their religious objections.

Establishes a one year transition period for religious organizations while this policy is being implemented.

The President will also announce that his Administration will propose and finalize a new regulation during this transition year to address the religious objections of the non-exempted religious organizations. The new regulation will require insurance companies to cover contraception if the non-exempted religious organization chooses not to. Under the policy:

Religious organizations will not have to provide contraceptive coverage or refer their employees to organizations that provide contraception.

Religious organizations will not be required to subsidize the cost of contraception.

Contraception coverage will be offered to women by their employers’ insurance companies directly, with no role for religious employers who oppose contraception.

Insurance companies will be required to provide contraception coverage to these women free of charge.

Covering contraception saves money for insurance companies by keeping women healthy and preventing spending on other health services. For example, there was no increase in premiums when contraception was added to the Federal Employees Health Benefit System and required of non-religious employers in Hawaii.  One study found that covering contraception lowered premiums by 10 percent or more.

1. Let’s note that much of the conservative outrage is either manufactured or they have suddenly and conveniently found what they think is an issue they can milk for some kind of election advantage. In December of 2000 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that companies that provided prescription drugs to their employees but didn’t provide birth control were in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination on the basis of sex. The Bush administration did not challenge this ruling. None of the conservative pundits – Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Fox News, conservatives in Congress or the conservative blogs had much to say. Insurance companies were found to be covering men’s health care specific procedures and medications, but not contraceptives for women.

2. The Right claims – without a shred of evidence or example that tax payers have to pay for women’s contraception and for women to indiscriminately have sex. For example, Bill O’Reilly Attacks Sandra Fluke: Claims She Wants Government To Pay For Her ‘Social Life’

Bill O’Reilly has joined Rush Limbaugh’s sexist assault on 30-year-old law student Sandra Fluke. On tonight’s broadcast, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly attacked and mocked Sandra Fluke, claiming that Fluke was insisting the government pay for her “social life.” O’Reilly’s attack mirrors Limbaugh, who has insisted on that Fluke’s advocacy for contraception coverage is motivated by sexual promiscuity.

Bill O’Reilly’s attack is not only sexist and mean spirited, he has his facts completely wrong. Fluke is advocating for contraception to be covered under Georgetown University’s private insurance plan.

M’s Fluke has merely advocated for the legal opinion of the courts which the most right-wing conservative administration in our history supported. Employers should no more be able to deny health insurance coverage for contraception than medication for O’Relly’s enlarged prostate. O’Reilly did say he believed erectile dysfunction medication should be covered. In other words church affiliated institutions should be required by law to provide medication to men to help them achieve erections. Not always, men generally like to be able to have such physiological well being in order to have sex. Thus such men, to use the conservative logic, are sluts and prostitutes.

2. As the Fact Sheet notes no one has or is forcing churches to pay for contraceptives. This is such a simple statement of fact. The fact sheet is available at several places on the net. Perhaps part of the problem conservatives are having in discussing the issue is one of reading comprehension. Willful ignorance is another possibility. DePaul University, the largest Roman Catholic university in America, added birth control coverage to its plans after receiving an EEOC complaint several years ago. One would think that if the catholic hierarchy really believed that employees associated with its institutions should be denied certain medications under their insurance plan they would have proceeded with legal action. They have not. As of today there are no legal challenges being brought against the semi-new White House rules.

3. The vast majority – actually is you figure in standard statistical error, just about every woman in the USA uses or has used contraception. Most women regardless of political affiliation support the availability of contraception, including Catholic women. Catholics for Choice sited rulings by the Catholic Church itself as demonstration that the Vatican was pushing its rules too far on individual citizens of the U.S. –  Reclaiming religious freedom

Leaving aside that fact that many of the bishops already comply with similar existing state laws, it’s worth spending a few moments considering the subject of religious freedom from a Catholic point of view, for it is something that the Vatican has written on extensively — especially in “Dignitatis Humanae,” the Declaration on Religious Freedom.

[  ]…In fact, by not bowing to the USCCB’s pressure tactics and instituting a more expansive conscience exemption, the Obama administration respected Catholic religious teachings in the Declaration on Religious Freedom, which said, “Government is to see to it that equality of citizens before the law, which is itself an element of the common good, is never violated, whether openly or covertly, for religious reasons.” In this case, the bishops are the ones who are seeking the “discrimination among citizens” with their quest for an ever-larger exemption for religious institutions.

Catholics are called to demonstrate “respect both for the rights of others and for their own duties toward others and for the common welfare of all” in the “careful observance of the principle of religious freedom.” We can only hope that the bishops take this important Catholic teaching into account as this debate continues.

For whatever reasons American bishops have decided to take a sudden and by their own teaching, inexplicable far Right turn.

A conservative propagandist Dana Loesch  at Big Journalism opens up her entire factless diatribe with this opening – Republicans Fall For Manufactured Story

The Obama administration withered for several weeks under the intense criticism from Catholic leaders regarding the forced violation of religious liberty within the HHS mandate. In an effort to turn the tables, Democrats suggested that the GOP want to abridge women’s rights because Republicans expect women to obtain and pay for their own birth control. This afternoon John Boehner, Carly Fiorina, and Rick Santorum bravely provided cover for the President and the ridiculous narrative of “the war on women.”

No spelling errors. Other than that she obviously lacks basic reading and analytical skills. There is plenty of this particular straw-man argument across the hallowed halls of Wingnuttia – “Republicans expect women to obtain and pay for their own birth control”. She could have written for Soviet Pravda in its heyday. The argument in this case is about health care coverage for which women are paying and expect full coverage, not just the bits and pieces of health care coverage conservatives feel deep in their little hearts women should have. Everyone is paying for Michelle Bachmann and her husband’s quackery medical procedures, subsidizing the shenanigans of vulture capitalist like Mitt Romney and being forced to subsidize Exxon and BP – two of the world’s most profitable corporations. All of Breitabrt’s “Big” sites are a great study in alternative universes. Both the regular contributors and the commuters are the kind of people who go out and buy a do-it-yourself-surgery kit when they have a brain tumor.

This post brings up an interesting point,

OK, maybe it’s an inadvertent dog whistle. In any case, it’s not condemnation:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum labeled Rush Limbaugh “absurd” over disparaging remarks from the radio talk show host directed at a law student who testified before a House panel in support of access to contraceptives.

“He’s being absurd, but that’s you know, an entertainer can be absurd,” Santorum told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday. “He’s in a very different business than I am.”

The key word here is “absurd,” because it’s a word Limbaugh proudly uses. For years he’s described what he does as “demonstrating absurdity by being absurd” — in fact, the title of a chapter in his first book was “People: Think for Yourselves, Or Demonstrating Absurdity By Being Absurd.” In fact, just today he described his sex-video remark about Sandra Fluke as “illustrating absurdity here by being absurd.”

Either Santorum knows all this (and as a card-carrying movement conservative, he presumably would) or Santorum in understands that saying this is an easy way to attack Limbaugh without actually attacking him.

Over the years Limbaugh has claimed to be the truth teller exposing terrible things like a woman’s right to equal access to health insurance coverage and to be an entertainer. When he starts talking about being an entertainer he knows he has gone too far. That is the Limbaugh version of a walk-back. Limbaugh wants to have it both ways: he is just a harmless radio clown entertaining the tin-foil hat wearers of America or he is a serious analyst of politics and public policy. When should we take him seriously. Is their a secret decoder ring that ditto heads order through the mail. If he is going to compare absurdities shouldn’t he start with an absurdity based on an actual fact or is the new comic absurdity to make up one’s own facts and than make a sick comparison, thus assuring himself that he just won an argument based on a fairy tale version of events. Its not called the right-wing echo chamber for nothing.

Conservative Republicans Move So Far to The Extreme In Their Anti-American Values, They Oppose Violence Against Women Act

Does one really need another example of Washington gridlock? Likely not, especially if you read this blog from time to time, where obstruction of judicial nominations is noted often. But we’ll note one anyway, not for the process, but more as an example of just how ridiculous it’s all becoming.

As noted, possibly wryly by an editorial from The New York Times even in the “ultrapolarized atmosphere of Capitol Hill,” one would think that reauthorization of a once wildly bipartisan effort to combat violence against women could remain an exception to the out-of-control congressional obstructionism.

Last month, however, the Senate Judiciary Committee could not muster one Republican vote in favor of “a well-crafted reauthorization,” of the Violence Against Women Act, which has been reauthorized twice with bipartisan support since its inception in 1994. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Michael Crapo (R-Idaho), not a member of the Judiciary Committee, are sponsoring the reauthorization measure.

Reporting for The Huffington Post, Amanda Terkel, notes that several of the measure’s enhanced features have irked conservatives. Not surprisingly increased protections for minorities, specifically for the LGBT community, Native American women and immigrants, have spurred conservative lawmakers’ opposition.

If you are a non-native American and you commit a crime against a women on reservation land, failure to renew the VAWA makes it very difficult to prosecute. If a female illegal immigrant is assaulted, sure she is here illegally, is the conservative concept of justice that she deserves to be battered or raped as part of the punishment for being here illegally. Just another example of conservatism’s true values. They embrace injustice and brutality, and call that freedom.

Just noticed some more bad news for Mittens, Mitt Romney’s Advice For ObamaCare: Look At RomneyCare

Republican Presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney often fends off the attacks comparing the similarities between the plan he signed in Massachusetts in 2006 and ObamaCare by saying he took a federalist approach. The former Massachusetts Governor says his plan was done on a state level, where the central theme to both plans, the individual mandate, was a actually a conservative approach.

But in a July 2009 op-ed in USA Today Romney thought the President could learn a thing or two from the plan he signed into law in Massachusetts, including using the individual mandate as an incentive for people to buy insurance.

Mitt Romney closet Marxist.

Sailor’s wallpaper – Another Day in The Conservative Race to The Bottom

old map, steering wheel, sail, rigging

Sailor’s wallpaper

 

Limbaugh has millions in the bank, testimony to the rewards of laziness and mindless hyperbole passing for what conservatives consider keen political and cultural insights. His financial success says a lot about the status of the rube, the knuckle dragger, the mouth breather, the conservative who has to think a minute to figure out 3+5 – all species that thrive in the culture of hate and malicious ignorance cultivated by the far Right. That Limbaugh shovels out his garbage from the a temperature controlled room where there he is safe from any real counters to his bombast, is a daily example of the moral rot of conservatism. Limbaugh could not even sustain his own drug addiction. A multimillionaire with plenty of free time, he sent his maid out to doctor shop. So it goes with calling women “sluts”. “Slut”: The Voice Of A Right-Wing Bully. This is the kind of culture conservatives want for America. They say the word values a lot. They have values. Those values are dark perversions of what decent people think of when they think of their own values. Be grateful to the thousands of little ditto heads. They put a face on the underbelly of conservatism. The modern kind that some have described as smiley faced fascism (pdf). Not the full on fascism of European fascists of the mid 20th century. Modern conservationism has learned from those earlier iterations of authoritarian extremism. Wrap up “values” in the red, white and blue. Use bits and pieces of Christianity to hide behind – the Beatitudes always conspicuously absent. They seem to have as much contempt for what Jesus actually said as they do for facts. Fact: Young Women Need Contraceptives For More Than Just Pregnancy Prevention

Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) are primarily intended to prevent pregnancy. But they also offer a number of additional and immediate health benefits, particularly for women who experience menstrual-related disorders. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), OCPs help relieve or reduce the symptoms of severe menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea), which is experienced by up to 40% of all adult women and can lead to absences from work and school. The pill (as well as other hormonal contraceptives) is useful in treating excessive menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia), which can lead to anemia, and it also has the potential to reduce acne and excess hair growth (hirsutism).

Other noncontraceptive uses include prevention of menstrual-related migraines, and treatment of pelvic pain that accompanies endometriosis and of bleeding due to uterine fibroids. Additional benefits identified by ACOG are normalization of irregular periods and suppression of menstruation. For some women, predicting when they will have their period or avoiding it altogether may be a matter of convenience; for others, menstrual regulation may help prevent migraines and other painful “side effects” of menstruation. [Guttmacher Institute, November 2011]

Related and a window on the bizarre window conservative have on the world, one in which they seem to cheer for as much misery as possible on their fellow human beings – Two Romneys

Right now, Mitt Romney is two people. Romney #1 is the Romney that nearly got the nomination sewed up and wants to start running against Obama. That Romney was the one that came out when he was asked about the Blunt amendment yesterday afternoon:

Unfortunately, the journalist misrepresented the bill. The Blunt Amendment is about a lot more than contraception; it would allow an employer to deny an employee any coverage for any “moral or religious” reason through the health insurance after it’s been relinquished to the employee as compensation. Functionally, it’s no different than an employer denying you the right to spend your salary on beer or condoms, if they disapprove, and it’s closing in on giving the employer the right to require you to tithe to their church as a condition of your employment. Remember, the insurance coverage being debated here is yours. You paid for it, with a combination of labor and often cash. Giving an employer a right to dictate what care is covered is like giving your employer a right to live in your house because you used money they gave you in exchange for work to buy it.

This is part of a long tradition on the American right of demanding the right to control others while characterizing it as “freedom”. It goes right back to slave owners claiming that the federal government was encroaching on their freedom to own others, i.e. their freedom to deprive others of all freedom. Now the argument is that for employers to be “free”, they should have the right to deprive their employees of the freedom to use earned benefits as we see fit. ( all emphasis mine)

When one writes about conservatives – what they really stand for as opposed to what they say they stand for – if you’re a hack you can use all the over the top commentary you like. If you’re trying not to be a hack you weight the use of terms like wage slave and smiley faced fascist ( even though I used a qualifier someone will think it is too strong). Yet time and again these terms seem almost weak in describing the extreme extent of the conservative world view. Limbaugh is probably incorporated and pays himself a salary and the corporation pays for his health care benefits. But imagine if he or Santorum or Romney worked for $10 an hour at a tire dealership. That business goes to Limbaugh and says we’re not going make the co-pay on your health insurance – unless you stop buying cigars. Or Limbaugh could work in a cigar plant, they noticed he stopped smoking the company product, unless he starts again, no insurance. men that divorce multiple times have a higher mortality rate than men who stay married or only remarry once. Let’s cancel Limbaugh’s insurance for being a serial monogamist. What if an employer told Santorum he did not need a full size SUV that he was contributing too much to our pollution and oil dependence issues – go buy another car and listen to the Pope you say you follow or you’re fired – as an employers – conservatives see me as having those kinds of rights based on my personal rules of morality. What if an Evangelical employer – many Evangelicals see Mormonism as a cult – said I’ll let you work here but I am not paying for the health insurance of a cultists. if conservatives want to take all this personal conscious stuff to its logical conclusion we’ll live in a country where no one is considered a single human being entitled to certain inalienable rights – but rather a big lump of beliefs perpetually in conflict with everyone else. This is not something to imagine, it is not in the far off future, the denial of the individual and their individual health issues is what conservatives have decided to advocate. Here are ten things you need to know today.

Democrats Attack Romney over support of Blunt Amendment: Democrats are attacking Romney for supporting the Blunt Amendment, which would undo the administration’s contraception coverage rule by allowing employers not to cover anything they object to in employees’ health care plans. The DNC has released a new video called “What Romney Will Take Away From Women.”

Romney has already flip-flopped on the Blount legislation because of feigned outrage by the Medieval branch of the conservative movement. As he hears more mainstream voices I would not be surprised to hear him walk back some of that support.

Bush Appointee Conservative Federal Judge Sends Racist E-mail Joking that Obama Born of Bestiality.Federal judgeships are lifetime appointments. I’m not familiar with the judge’s history of rulings, but minorities who have appeared before this judge might now have cause to appeal.

Andrew Breitbart passed way today. This was his reaction to Sen. Ted Kennedy’s death, Andrew Breitbart Unleashed A Torrent Of Invective Against Sen. Ted Kennedy’s Legacy On Twitter

Over the course of the next three hours, Breitbart unapologetically attacked Kennedy, calling him a “villain,” “a big ass motherf@#$er,” a “duplicitous bastard” and a “prick.” “I’ll shut my mouth for Carter. That’s just politics. Kennedy was a special pile of human excrement,” wrote Breitbart in one tweet.

Conservatives are on the prowl looking for similar reactions by non-conservatives. They are using the opportunity to get in touch with their inner black helicopter – 25 People Who Think President Obama Killed Andrew Breitbart

 

This may sound like some rain of the current Democratic parade – Reports of the Republican Nominee’s Doom Are Greatly Exaggerated. The economy is up, unemployment is down, the conservative clown posse is beating itself up with clown shoes and among other promising news Olympia Snowe is retiring in a state that leans slightly blue. That said, now is not the time to get cocky.

2. Republicans Will Unite Behind Romney (or Whomever). Here’s the sort of sentence you can find in articles on nearly every presidential poll, with the numbers fluctuating slightly: “Still, 52 percent … say they are not satisfied with the candidates running and wish someone else would enter the race. And that level of dissatisfaction is up from the 45 percent who felt that way a few weeks ago.” But that sentence actually comes from a March 3, 1992 New York Times story on the Democratic primary. Unfortunately for those Democrats, no white knight rode in (damn you, Mario Cuomo!) and they were stuck with lesser candidate Bill Clinton, who went on to be the most successful Democratic president since Truman. In a January 30 Pew poll, Republicans gave almost exactly the same responses: 52 percent were dissatisfied with their slate, up from 46 a few weeks earlier.

None of this is to say that the primary process hasn’t been very bad for the Republican Party. It has. Nor is it providing the sort of improvement that the 2008 race did for Barack Obama, as party pollyannas would have you believe. In particular, Romney (assuming he holds on to front-runner status and wins the nomination) has a bad, and worsening, favorable/unfavorable ratio. But the party will coalesce behind him, or whoever gets the nomination, though it’s hard to see who else that could be at this point. Returning to the Clinton comparison, the Arkansan’s favorability was nearly as far underwater in April 1992 Gallup polling (34 favorable, 46 unfavorable) as Romney’s is now, but he still won.

It is entertaining in a dark sort of way to read the conservative blogs and right-wing web sites, reading all the insults passed about who is a real conservative. Do not be lulled into thinking these people who hate Romney or Santorum or Newt will not have a sudden glorious light from above moment about the eventual nominee and do everything they can to get him elected. We’ll hear the same litany of lies, the same disinformation campaign. All the old myths about Obama, Birtherism, Kenya and socialism. Democratic senate candidates will be demonized as bad if not worse than 2008.

President John F. Kennedy Greets Peace Corps Volunteers, White House, South Lawn

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This photograph shows President John F. Kennedy greeting Peace Corps volunteers on the South Lawn of the White House on August 9, 1962. Kennedy first proposed what became the Peace Corps in a speech at the University of Michigan on October 14, 1960, in which he challenged students to give two years of their lives to helping people in countries of the developing world. At the time, Kennedy was a member of the U.S. Senate campaigning for the presidency. Following his election, he signed an executive order establishing the Peace Corps. This photograph is by Abbie Rowe (1905-67), a photographer for the National Park Service who became an official White House photographer in the Kennedy administration and produced many of the best known pictures of the president and his family.

Photographer

Rowe, Abbie (1905-1967)

Date Created

August 9, 1962 CE