The austerity crowd, the very serious people, the anti-Keynesians or the people who do a darn good imitation of a neurotic parrot obsessed with a catchphrase have mostly won the economic debate. Though credit to people like Robert Reich, Jared Bernstein, Brad Delong and Paul Krugman for continuing to remind the very serious people they’re wrong. How to End This Depression
The truth is that recovery would be almost ridiculously easy to achieve: all we need is to reverse the austerity policies of the past couple of years and temporarily boost spending. Never mind all the talk of how we have a long-run problem that can’t have a short-run solution—this may sound sophisticated, but it isn’t. With a boost in spending, we could be back to more or less full employment faster than anyone imagines.
[ ]…But some readers will wonder, isn’t a recovery program along the lines I’ve described just out of the question as a political matter? And isn’t advocating such a program a waste of time? My answers to these two questions are: not necessarily, and definitely not. The chances of a real turn in policy, away from the austerity mania of the last few years and toward a renewed focus on job creation, are much better than conventional wisdom would have you believe. And recent experience also teaches us a crucial political lesson: it’s much better to stand up for what you believe, to make the case for what really should be done, than to try to seem moderate and reasonable by essentially accepting your opponents’ arguments. Compromise, if you must, on the policy—but never on the truth.
One of the reasons to hope for at least a mild course correction is the elections. To make a silly and obvious observation, with very few exceptions, politicians are just politicians. They all look at the polls and get a sense of what they perceive to be the correct course and act accordingly. Democrats and the White House probably over reacted to the tea bagger invasion of 2010. That so many of these flaky zealots made it into Congress had as much to do with a fired up far Right conservative base as it did with Democrats who were pouting over not getting everything they wanted. Democrats stayed home so we got some of the most unqualified and sometimes criminal politicians to ever hold office. Florida’s governor Rick Scott was literally a criminal – like to get away with grand theft, being a Republican ‘businessman’ not only pays more, you’ll be rewarded by conservative voters. Obama and Democrats do respond to mandates. A few more senate seats – a real possibility and retaking the House, means more progressive, if not a perfect economic direction. Another reason is that Europe seems to be slowly but surely rejecting austerity. It’s not working there either. Many of us were hoping that a European recovery would mean a boost to the U.S. via more trade. That might happen, but it there will be some lag time for new policies to take effect. There is one last reason to act as if there is hope even if you think there is none. It drives conservatives crazy. Pushing your agenda through voting, blogging, letter writing, making good arguments around the water cooler – whatever way you go about making your case – it wears away your opponent at the edges. Your blog may not get thousands of visitors a day – you can still make a difference. Your Tumblr or Twitter posts with links get issues and events attention, create buzz.
In the wake of a warm conservative reception for a web video trashing the president for “spiking the football” on the anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death, the conservative group Veterans for a Strong America plans to gather Navy SEALs and Special Forces operators to criticize the White House during the 2012 campaign.
“We’re looking to [put together] a coalition, to field SEALs and operators that want to come out publicly,” executive director of Veterans for a Strong America, Joel Arends, tells BuzzFeed. “I’ve had a lot of discussions with former SEALs and current SEALs. I’ve been talking to operators in the community. There is palatable discontent.”
Arends, a 35-year old Iraq war veteran who has spent the last six years in conservative activist circles, started the group last fall during the Republican primaries.
The group has already done events with former Republican presidential contenders Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Michelle Bachmann. “The Romney campaign didn’t return our calls,” says Arends, adding, “we’d be more than willing to sit down [with the governor.]”
Previously, Arends worked as a field director for Americans for Prosperity and Veterans for Freedom, two other conservative political organizations.
This has been described as another round of Swiftboating. Whatever one wants to cal it, it is purely political. It is not about President Obama doing something wrong or even questionable, it is about advancing the conservative agenda while using the military uniform as a shield and as a soapbox. These conservatives should be ashamed of themselves. Not for disagreeing with Obama’s policies, but for using their former military status to get some kind of instant incredibility. If John McCain were president and as Commander-in-chief he had ordered the raid that killed Bin laden, would these same people be running these ridiculous ads (they refuse to say who is financing them) . Of course not. It is not about spiking any footballs, it is all about kind of disgraceful dirty politics that have come to define conservative candidates. Democrats as a group are not as pure as the driven snow, but they do not regularly, as a matter of standard operating procedure, act in such a dishonorable manner. Conservative extremists want to have it both ways – Latest Attempt To Deny Obama Credit For Bin Laden Raid Falls Flat
The next morning [April 29, 2011], the President met in the Map Room with Tom Donilon, his national-security adviser, Denis McDonough, a deputy adviser, and Brennan. Obama had decided to go with a DEVGRU [SEAL team] assault, with McRaven choosing the night. It was too late for a Friday attack, and on Saturday there was excessive cloud cover. On Saturday afternoon, McRaven and Obama spoke on the phone, and McRaven said that the raid would occur on Sunday night. “Godspeed to you and your forces,” Obama told him. “Please pass on to them my personal thanks for their service and the message that I personally will be following this mission very closely.”
So the far Right wants to give all the credit to Admiral McRaven, but the Veterans for a Strong America and Joel Arends wants to blame Obama for some SEAL deaths that occurred on another raid because of killing Bin Laden. If McRaven gets credit for the entire decision than he also gets the blame. One of the problems with singling president Obama out for any negatives is that the far Right, in its unhinged zeal, also smears the reputation of the entire chain of command. That is not something an honorable group of people, much less veterans would do unless allegiance to the conservative agenda trumped genuine patriotism.
Last Thursday, Rep. Elijah Cummings announced that the IG would be releasing a follow-up report, and was referring his findings to the Office of Special Counsel “for potential Hatch Act violations due to Mr. Schaumber’s role as a senior advisor” to Romney. (The Hatch Act bans public officials from using government access to advance political campaigns.) The new report, released last night by the House Education and Workforce Committee Democrats, is a sequel that truly outdoes the original.
The same day Cummings announced the forthcoming report, Romney Etch-A-Sketched Schaumber – sort of. The campaign issued no statement, but a “Romney campaign aide” told the Hill that Schaumber had already stepped down from his campaign role sometime in December. That’s the same month that Flynn learned he was being investigated by the IG. (The Romney campaign did not respond to a request for comment.)
“It’s hardly a coincidence,” said AFL-CIO spokeswoman Alison Omens in an emailed statement, “that Schaumber resigned from the Romney campaign the same time his inside source at the board was notified he was being investigated.”
The conservative movement is paranoid about many things. One of their ongoing battles and fears is that employees, another term for most of America, might have some little inkling of power. Millionaire conservatives like Herman Cain, and living off his military pension and Congressional salary of $175k per year Allen West (R-FL) like to complain they refuse to stay on the Democratic plantation. A supreme irony in that the conservative agenda for our economy and culture is one where the average worker is nothing but an unquestioning wage slave. Mitt’s friend using inside information for political sabotage is just part of what conservatives see as the higher calling of assuring that employers can lock the fire exits if they want to, because they are the boss.
Was anyone missing the neocons. Especially the Bush Gang neocons. They manipulated the media and the nation, they strangled the truth and moral decency. They all went on to private sector “jobs” making plenty of money just waiting for the chance to return. They got thousands of Americans killed or maimed all in the cause of advancing the great cause of conservationism. So that made their sleazy and venal behavior OK. Thanks to Mittens they’re back – Mitt Romney Rewards Failure, Brings Back Bush Neocons
Jonah Goldberg Admits His New Book is Right-Wing Hackery on NPR. Goldberg is supposedly one of conservatism’s intellectual lights. Yet other than not writing his books in multicolored magic markers, there is not much difference between him and the misfits who carry the Obama is Hitler signs at tea bagger rallies. While we’re on the subject of Goldberg. it is Goldberg’s assertion that liberalism is the same thing as Nazism. If that is the case how come all the actual Nazis in the USA always have ties to the Republican Party and conservatives – J.T. Ready, Neo-Nazi and One-Time Pal of Russell Pearce’s, is Shooter in Gilbert Massacre (w/Update)
J.T. Ready, Arizona’s most prominent neo-Nazi and the one-time political protege of recalled state Senate President Russell Pearce, reportedly is dead by his own hand in what’s described as a multiple murder-suicide in Gilbert that left four others slain, including a 2-year- old.
A one-time member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, Ready, 39, was a committed white supremacist, a former Republican precinct committeeman, and a failed candidate for the Mesa City Council.(Pearce is an Republican AZ. state senator)
It would be best for conservatives to stick with the bad apple scenario. This is a truly awful tragedy. To murder a two-year old child is beyond comprehension. Yet what does Jim Hoft ( The conservative Republican who runs The Gateway Pundit) do? He tries to tie Mr. Ready to the Occupy movement. One of the problems the Occupiers have is that some nuts have associated themselves with the movement. That is one of the reasons I have doubts about their continued effectiveness. That aside, Far Right AZ Neo-Nazi Commits Mass Murder, Wingnut Bloggers Immediately Paint Him as a Left Winger
But J.T. Ready’s long history of associations with Republicans, right wing political activism, organization of a border militia, and involvement with the Tea Party means nothing to the Internet’s dumbest (and possibly most dishonest) man, Jim Hoft.
Hoft is busy trying to tie J.T. Ready to … wait for it … the Occupy movement.
Horror!… Neo-Nazi #Occupy Phoenix Protester Goes on Shooting Rampage – 5 Dead | the Gateway Pundit
Back in October we reported that Neo-Nazi Jason Todd Ready was patrolling the #Occupy Phoenix camp with AR-15’s.
Neo-Nazi Jason Todd (J.T.) Ready pictured on left patrolling the Occupy Phoenix protest and on right at Southern Poverty Law Center website.
Of course, since this was not a tea party rally the story was never picked up by the liberal media.
Good grief. This must be the most desperate and dishonest attempt at spinning away a killer’s right wing connections I’ve seen yet.
Hoft is in total denial mode. he does not account for the pictures and video of Ready at conservative Republican events or the official record of him as a former Republican precinct committeeman. If that were not enough one of Ready’s friends has a blog where I found these, The Late J.T. Ready. . . A Most Misunderstood American Patriot
The vast majority of conservative lean way too far Right, but they are not Nazis. I prefer historian Robert Paxton’s term proto-fascist. Strongly authoritarian, but most conservatives are not Mr Ready or his white supremacist and apologist friend. Hoft goes too far. He wants not only to deny the facts about Ready’s classifications with Republicans, but classify him as belonging to those people over there. Hoft should have acknowledged the facts and condemned Ready. Hoft’s commenters, like most conservatives have bought into the Goldberg liberalism is fascism meme. Nazism has facets of various political movements, but one thing it was not was liberal.
“There are two ways to make a revolution,” the newly-named Reich Minister said. “One can fire at the opponent with machine guns until he recognizes the superiority of those who have the machine guns. That is the simplest way. One can also transform a nation through a revolution of the spirit, not destroying the opponent, but winning him over. We National Socialists have gone the second way, and will continue on it. Our first task in this ministry will be to win the whole people for the new state. We want to replace ‘liberal’ thinking with a sense of community that includes the whole people.” Nazi broadcaster Hans Fritzsche praising Joesph Goebbels. How can you tell you’re arguing with a conservative who has the same subtle grasp of history as a dead China berry tree? They’ll point out that the official name of the Nazi Party was National Socialists. Socialists equals liberal in conservative clown town. Thus liberals are Nazis.
“The destructive effects of the past liberal era had especially serious effects on the German newspaper system. Anyone, even foreigners and those foreign to the German spirit, could with no regard for the people or the state write whatever he wanted about any political question, even if that which he wrote offered foreign opponents all possible support and aid.” -Nazi broadcaster Hans Fritzsche again in praise of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joesph Goebbels.
MAY 10, 1933 – JOSEPH GOEBBELS SPEAKS AT BOOK BURNING IN BERLIN
Forty thousand people gather to hear German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels speak in Berlin’s Opera Square. Goebbels condemns works written by Jews, liberals, leftists, pacifists, foreigners, and others as “un-German.” Nazi students begin burning books. Libraries across Germany are purged of “censored” books. Goebbels proclaims the “cleansing of the German spirit.”
One of the very first things Hitler did when he came to power was ban labor unions. Difficult to have a liberal state when you gut the power of workers to pacify business interests.
One last article. Maybe the best one on the subject: Obama’s Composite Girlfriend: How Politico and Drudge Created Fake News
Today was an exception — we can trace exactly how the false claim that Obama lied about his college girlfriends in his memoir got started. Rock-star journalist and presidential biographer David Maraniss has uncovered new information about President Obama, which he’s publishing in a forthcoming book. Vanity Fair has published an excerpt from the book, which focuses on Obama’s college girlfriends. Maraniss managed to contact Genevieve Cook, who dated the future president at Columbia University, and she turned over her diary to him. It’s an interesting look at the young Obama, and there are some cringeworthy revelations — first and foremost, that Obama responded to “I love you” with “thank you” (though really, what college guy isn’t afraid of commitment?) and, even worse, some just awful, pretentious, gibberish analysis of T.S. Eliot. The Atlantic Wire has more on the excerpt.
All well and good. Here’s where things go wrong: Politico media reporter Dylan Byers wrote a post, timestamped 12:08 p.m., with the headline, “Obama: ‘New York girlfriend’ was composite.” Here are the first two paragraphs:
One of the more mysterious characters from President Obama’s 1995 autobiography Dreams From My Father is the so-called ‘New York girlfriend.’ Obama never referred to her by name, or even by psuedonym, but he describes her appearance, her voice, and her mannerisms in specific detail.
But Obama has now told biographer David Maraniss that the ‘New York girlfriend’ was actually a composite character, based off of multiple girlfriends he had both in New York City and in Chicago.
Sounds like a pretty big deal, right? While the authors of literary memoirs are sometimes cut some slack, it’d be major news if the president of the United States was just now admitting that a character in his highly lauded, bestselling autobiography was fabricated, and only after being caught red-handed.
If you read Dreams From My Father (embarrassing disclosure: I have not), you may have already gotten to the punchline: Obama is clear at the start of the book that certain characters are composites, writing, “For the sake of compression, some of the characters that appear are composites of people I’ve known, and some events appear out of precise chronology.” Someone eventually pointed this out to Byers, and Politico added this doozy of an update-and-correction at the bottom:
UPDATE: In the reissue of “Dreams from My Father,” Obama writes in the introduction that “some of the characters that appear are composites of people I’ve known.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this blog post stated that Obama had acknowledged using composite characters in the reissue. In fact, Obama acknowledged the use of composite characters in the first edition of the book.
That’s misleading; both of those are really corrections. Taken together, they fundamentally undermine the premise of the item.
One other reason to make – and certainly to acknowledged composite character – as Obama did, is to allow the real people some privacy. We might be friends, but should you become a U.S. Senator some day or president, Like a lot of people I do not think that means I should be featured in a book and hounded by the press when it really isn’t necessary.