Conservatives Have Values, Only They’re Generally Nefarious Values

Wet Autumn Leaf wallpaper

Wet Autumn Leaf wallpaper

That wallpaper looks brighter on my desktop than on the net.

It should be a given that humans being flawed regardless of their politics, that Democrats and conservatives would do some things they’re not supposed to be doing. Conservatives, Fox news, Drudge and Michelle Malkin have made it a large part of their job to take the incidents involving Democrats and blow them up as much as possible. Their hope is that no one will notice that conservatives engage in all kinds of finical and moral corruption at a rate that makes Democrats look like amateurs. These two stories are god example: 1. Republican Mississippi sheriff indicted on 31 counts for abusing powers

The sheriff for Jackson County, Mississippi was indicted Friday on 31 criminal counts and accused of abusing his position to not only order a female deputy to give him sexual favors, but pursue a murder case against the wishes of an investigating detective.

WKRG-TV reported on Friday that the charges against Sheriff Mike Byrd include 10 counts of embezzlement, and 10 counts of fraud, two counts of extortion and one count of perjury, among other charges. Authorities contend that Byrd, a Republican currently in his fourth term in office, has used his position to target personal and political opponents and fudge his record to boost his re-election prospects.

Despite the daily shenanigans of law enforcement officers across the country, it is still a respected profession. People inherently trust law enforcement to, well, trustworthy. Conservatives have been toting their “values” for more than half a century. Despite a long and tortuous record of having less than stellar values. Add in the self righteous hypocrisy and they just end up looking pitiful and desperate. And 2. In Effort To Woo Female Voters, Mitch McConnell Touts Women’s Law He Voted Against

A press release distributed by Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) campaign at a “Women for Team Mitch” event on Friday brags about the Senate Minority Leader’s support for the Violence Against Women Act, even though McConnell voted against the measure in 1994, 2012, and 2013.

“Mitch was the co-sponsor of the original Violence Against Women Act — and continues to advocate for stronger polices to protect women. I am proud to call him my senator,” the document quotes a voter as saying.

Joe Sonka, a staff writer for Louisville’s Alt-Weekly first tweeted a copy of the release, hinting at the contradiction and noting that McConnell didn’t address women’s issues at the event or take any questions from women. Former Congresswoman Anne Northup, a spokesperson for the campaign, also told Sonka that bills like the Lilly Ledbetter Act and Paycheck Fairness Act — both of which McConnell voted against — “make the workplace more difficult for women.”

McConnell has embellished on his voting record in the past, insisting that he voted against VAWA because he sought a stronger version. During the event, McConnell’s wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, also claimed that her husband supports increasing cancer screenings and check-ups for women, even though he is campaigning on repealing the Affordable Care Act, which specifically increases women’s access to preventive medicine.

McConnell did sponsor VAWA in 1991, but didn’t support it in 1993 or back the GOP alternative in 2012.

Of course McConnell (R-KY) has to campaign on repealing the Affordable care Act (Obamacare) because the tea smoking base is obsessed with it. This is the same base that includes a lot of people on those government socialized programs called Medicare and Medicaid. No use trying to embarrass conservatives with their lies and hypocrisy. It is like some people are color blind, conservatives cannot see the web of convoluted contradictions their movement runs on. The National Partnership for Women & Families disagrees with Mitch and Elaine about how the ACA will affect women’s health,

Fact Sheets: Why the Affordable Care Act Matters for Women

Summary of Key Affordable Care Act (ACA) Provisions
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the greatest advance for women’s health in a generation. The ACA will improve women’s access to health insurance coverage, make health care more affordable, and expand benefits — all priorities for women. Quite simply, reform is making affordable, quality health care more of a reality for women and their families. More »

Expanding Access to Health Insurance
In 2010, the year the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law, approximately 19 million women — one in five women ages 19 to 64 — were uninsured. By 2014, the ACA will provide nearly all of these women with access to comprehensive health coverage More »

Affordability and Choice in the Insurance Marketplace
Between 2010 and 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) progressively implements an array of rules and protections to make the private health insurance system — including employer-sponsored plans — better meet the needs of women and families. In particular, the ACA will help rein in premium increases, improve the adequacy of benefit packages, and make coverage more reliable. More »

Improving Health Care for Older Women
Access to affordable, quality health care is central to older women’s quality of life and economic security. The good news is that if you are a woman 65 years of age or older, you have a lot to gain from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). More »

Improving Health Care Coverage for Lower-Income Women
The high cost of health care places a particular burden on lower-income women who need health services but often struggle to pay premiums and out-of-pocket costs. The problem has been exacerbated because many insurers charge women higher rates simply because of their gender, thereby putting health coverage out of reach — especially for many lower-income women. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will dramatically improve access to affordable health care for lower-income women. More »

Better Care for Pregnant Women and Mothers
The Affordable Care Act aims to improve conditions for pregnant women and new parents by providing the services they need to have healthy pregnancies and provide their children with a good start in life. More »

( click over to the click to get those expanded details.)

Here we have some problems with how conservatives define values. They claim to care about women, families, mothers and children yet they constantly fight against even the slightest improvements in the quality of life for working class families and cry crocodile tears over any tax increases for the richest 10%.

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Shameless Hypocrisy of the Day, The Supernaturally Incompetent Conservative Donald Rumsfeld Criticizes Foreign Policy

Heroes in Ebony

Heroes in Ebony–The captors of the Confederate steamer USS Planter (1862), Robert Small, W. Morrison, A. Gradine and John Small.

At 04:00 on 13 May 1862, while her captain, C. J. Relyea, was absent on shore, Robert Smalls, a slave who was Planter’s pilot, quietly took the ship from the wharf, and with a Confederate flag flying, steamed past the successive Confederate forts. He saluted the installation as usual by blowing the steam whistle. As soon as the steamer was out of range of the last Confederate gun, Smalls hauled down the Confederate flag and hoisted a white one. Then he turned Planter over to the USS Onward of the Union blockading force.

Besides Smalls, Planter carried 15 other slaves to freedom behind Union lines: seven crewmen, five women, and three children. In addition to the cargo of artillery and explosives, Smalls brought Flag officer Samuel Francis Du Pont valuable intelligence, including word that the Confederates had abandoned defensive positions on the Stono River.

While we’re delving into history, some quotes from former conservative Republican Secretary of Defense in the Bush administration, Donald Rumsfeld:

I can’t tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks, or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that. – Interview with Steve Croft, Infinity CBS Radio Connect, November 14, 2002

But no terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. – Hearing Before the House Armed Services Committee, September 10, 2002 [9]. Quoted on March 14, 2004. Iraq was not a leading exporter of terrorism against the U.S. then or any other time, and they had no connections to al Qaeda or 9/11.

We know where they [Iraq’s WMD] are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat….I would also add, we saw from the air that there were dozens of trucks that went into that facility after the existence of it became public in the press and they moved things out. They dispersed them and took them away. So there may be nothing left. I don’t know that. But it’s way too soon to know. The exploitation is just starting. – Interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News This Week, March 30, 2003. This is my favorite quote from Rummy. There was never any WMD, Bush called off the hunt for them several years after he kicked out weapons inspectors and invaded Iraq.

Rumsfeld, like the other neocons never had much humility or honor. That is why he shamelessly weighs in on the current situation in Syria,  Rumsfeld: Obama Administration Hasn’t Made Case for Intervening in Syria

Rumsfeld explained that “there really hasn’t been any indication from the administration as to what our national interest is with respect to this particular situation.” (Yesterday, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters it is “absolutely in the national-security interests of the United States and the international community” to respond to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.)

In an interview with Neil Cavuto that will air Wednesday night on Fox Business Network, the former Bush secretary of defense blasted the administration as “mindless” for tipping its hand and said he “[couldn’t] imagine what they’re thinking” by giving President Bashar Assad’s regime “crystal clarity, with respect to what they attempt.”

Of course the current administration should listen to the shameless venal rantings of someone who has proven to be singularly incompetent in foreign policy and management of U.S. military forces. Give the country fifty years and scholars will be writing about how the Bush administration, the invasion of Iraq and the management of that invasion was one of the most egregious betrayals of the American people in the nation’s history. The only episode that comes close is Nixon and Kissinger’s malicious prolonging of the Vietnam War for political gain.

Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein

“Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein,” Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, in Baghdad on December 20, 1983. This is after Iraq had used poison gas against Iran and the Kurds.

What Conservatives Believe Versus The Real Economy

Morning Meadow wallpaper

Morning Meadow wallpaper

Even before I started this blog and the Bush-Cheney administration watching conservatives try to be populists was like watching ninety-nine clowns on acid try to fit into a VW Beetle. Something has changed about such mind boggling efforts on the part of the conservative movement. The disconnect between what they say, what they believe and reality has never been greater. Conservatives can try to be on the side of the working class and complain about the pace of job creation under President Obama, even though that goes against the conservative mantra that markets are perfect and will decide how many jobs will be created. Let’s assume that have the trolls on the internet who claim to be conservative small business owners, are actually what they claim. They complain about the lack of growth, or put another way the lack of demand. Yet they shift blame to Obama, not the market, not the salary level of the average worker who cannot afford anything other than the basic necessities. The base, the tea smoking immigrant hating nativists at the bottom seem blind to the fact that hiring is slow, but executive pay and corporate profits at at historic highs. The tea smoker base cannot seem to put two and two together; the corporate elite that crashed the economy with the help of the anti-regulation wave that started under Saint Ronnie Raygun is still stronger than ever because the same tea smoking base don’t want no more stink’n regulations that might help put some of the money the plutocrats are stealing from the economy back in the tea smoker’s pockets: Some Filthy Facts about the Rich

The 400 richest Americans made $200 billion in just one year. That’s equivalent to the combined total of the federal food stamp, education, and housing budgets.First of all, who are they? Mostly the 1%. But the top 2-5% have also done quite well, increasing their inflation-adjusted wealth by 75 percent from 1983 to 2009 while average wealth went down for 80 percent of American households. The rest of the top 20% have been prosperous, realizing a 32 percent gain in inflation-adjusted wealth since 1983. The facts to follow are primarily about the richest 1%, with occasional dips into the groups scrambling to make it to the top.

1. Accumulating almost all the wealth

As evidence of the extremes between the very rich and the rest of us, the average household net worth for the top 1% in 2009 was almost $14 million, while the average household net worth for the bottom 47% was almost ZERO. For nearly half of America, average debt is about the same as average asset ownership.

The extremes are just as filthy at the global level. The richest 300 persons on earth (about a third of them in the U.S.) have more money than the poorest 3 billion people. Out of all developed and undeveloped countries with at least a quarter-million adults, the U.S. has the 4th-highest degree of wealth inequality in the world, trailing only Russia, Ukraine, and Lebanon.

2. Creating their own wealth

In another alarming testament to wealth at the top, the richest 10% own almost 90 percent of stocks excluding pensions. Consider what that means. The stock market has historically risen three times faster than the GDP itself. Since the recession, as the U.S. economy has “recovered,” 62 percent of the gain was due to growth in the stock market, which surged as much in four years as it did during the “greatest bull market in history” from 1996 to 2000.

Many stock owners see a couple thousand dollars added to their fortunes every time they go online.

But that’s not enough for the very rich. Thanks in good part to the derivatives market, the world’s wealth has doubled in ten years, from $113 trillion to $223 trillion, and is expected to reach $330 trillion by 2017. The financial industry has figured out how to double or triple its buying power while most of the world has proportionately less.

3. Taking ALL the income gains

If the richest 1% had taken the same percentage of total U.S. income in 2006 as they did in 1980, they would have taken a trillion dollars less out of the economy. Instead they tripled their share of post-tax income. And then they captured ALL the income gains in the first two years of the post-recession recovery.

4. Donating a smaller share than the poorest Americans

Two dependable sources provide pretty much the same information. Barclays reported that those with earnings in the top 20% donated on average 1.3 percent of their income, whereas those in the bottom 20% donated 3.2 percent. And according to the New York Times, the nonprofit Independent Sector found that households earning less than $25,000 a year gave away an average of 4.2 percent of their incomes, while those with earnings of more than $75,000 gave away 2.7 percent.

5. Making enough to feed 800 million people

India just approved a program to spend $4 billion a year to feed 800 million people. Half of Indian children under 5 are malnourished.

In 2012, three members of the Walton family each made over $4 billion just from stocks and other investments. So did Charles Koch, and David Koch, and Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett, and Larry Ellison, and Michael Bloomberg, and Jeff Bezos.

It’s not the obligation of any one of these individuals to feed the world. The disgrace is in the fact that our unregulated capitalist system allows such outrageous extremes to exist.

Here’s more to provoke outrage. The 400 richest Americans made $200 billion in just one year. That’s equivalent to the combined total of the federal food stamp, education, and housing budgets.

6. Taking two-thirds of a trillion dollars in subsidies

Even all that is not enough for the very rich. About two-thirds of nearly $1 trillion in individual “tax expenditures” (tax subsidies from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes) goes to the top quintile of taxpayers. An astounding 75 percent of dividend and capital gain subsidies go to the richest 1%.

And that doesn’t include business subsidies, like the $16.8 billion per year in agricultural benefits paid out to big companies and to wealthy individuals who happen to have farms in their portfolios. The filthiest fact, in terms of detestable extremes, is that much of Congress wants to cut the $4.35 a day food benefit to hungry Americans, almost half of them children, so that money can keep flowing to the top.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
Written by Paul Buchheit.  

New Jersey Republicans For Sale To Highest Bidding Wealthy Freaks

 New York Harbor

 New York Harbor, 1852 by Fitz Henry Lane (1804 – 1865).

Chris Christie Endorses Koch Brothers Operative For Senate

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) endorsed Steve Lonegan (R), the former New Jersey head for the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, for U.S. Senate on Tuesday. Though Christie ran in 2009 promising a middle-of-the-road “common-sense approach,” this move puts him squarely behind a far-right Tea Party candidate best known for his attacks on immigration and Spanish-language ads — and his own record of hiring undocumented immigrants.

Lonegan and Christie are trying to get in the good graces of the tea smokers by denying climate science. Lonegan says anyone who acknowledges climate science a has a radical agenda. he and Christie represent the views of people like the Koch brothers and the fossil fuel industry. The Kochs are worth billions yet they whine about how some green radicals. I guess you have to smoke lots of tea to not be able to see the absurdity. BP makes billions of dollars a day in profits. Profits, not gross income. Americans concerned about the future of their children and their country are not powerless in Washington or New Jersey, but they are the Davids fighting well funded megalomaniacs that have too much money to be running around acting like scared little wussies. Lonegan and Christie believe it is best if they are in charge of every woman’s uterus. I’m not sure what credentials they have to qualify them for having the powers of the Spanish Inquisition. Of course they both claim to have values. Of course they have values, They just happen to be the values of a 17th century feudal lord. Which is something the nation’s Founders were adamantly against.

The Great Emo-Prog vs. O-Bot Debate

Atrios today:

I try to avoid the emoprog-obot debates. I don’t really get them really. It’s just posing. I never claim to have the ultimate authority over things but, honestly, I’m really not posing. That I imagine I call-em like I see-em doesn’t mean I think I’m always right, it just mean that I’m mostly not being a hack. Tell me I’m wrong when I am! I listen.

The surveillance state is obviously out of hand, super expensive, and quite likely totally pointless (for its expressed purpose) and incompetent. I don’t even consider this to be a comment on Obama, except to the extent that he is dishonest/supports dishonesty on this issue.

Translation: If you express anything short of absolute condemnation of everything the NSA has done, your Twitter feed quickly fills up with hysterical proclamations from the emo-progs that you’re a right-wing shill, a government lackey, a useful idiot for the slave state, and an obvious fool. Conversely, if you criticize the NSA’s surveillance programs, your Twitter feed quickly fills up with equally hysterical proclamations from the O-Bots that you hate Obama, you’ve always hated Obama, and you’re probably a racist swine who’s been waiting ever since 2009 for a chance to take down the nation’s first black president.

This happens with other subjects too, of course, but the Snowden files have brought it out more than usual. I’ll confess that although the leftier-than-thou types have always been around, I’ve long been skeptical of the idea that Obama has a core group of supporters from 2008 who really do consider him The One, a shining beacon of light who can do no wrong. But I’m the one who was wrong. I don’t know how many there are, but they’re definitely out there.

UPDATE: Atrios adds a bit more here. “It’s not that I think everyone to ‘the left’ of me is a posing emo-prog and everyone to ‘the right’ of me is a posing o-bot. There are people genuinely to the left and to the right of me on policy….But there are also people who seem to enjoy judging your worth by how righteously you dislike or like the Obama administration. It’s annoying.” Yep. We’re talking about two particular subsets of the left here, not everyone who happens to disagree with us.

As briefly as I can: the NSA stuff. Most of it was and is legal. Want it to stop, get out the vote for progressive candidates in the 2014 election, get a Democratic majority in Congress that will rewrite surveillance law. Obama could reign in some of the worse excesses now and everyone has a right to be upset about that. Though as a practical matter, like all politicians he weighs the costs and benefits. He sees another 9-11 around every corner. If he stops the NSA completely and we have such an attack it will be 10 years or more before we even get close to the White House or a Congressional majority. Even though the NSA is not making us safer, it is the public’s opinion – left and right. The powers that be – the people that support the surveillance state and the Twitter folks who go on about having “nothing to hide,” combined, have a lot more power than the progressive base. Want to change things, get active, make a better case without resorting to Obama is as evil as Bush arguments or Obama walks on water arguments.

Drones: Of course we should all be concerned about civilian casualties. During WW II, the Korean War and Vietnam we had carpet bombing. Clinton used cruise missiles which have a fairly large blast radius depending on the size of the charge. The civilian casualties now, compared the past are a vast humanitarian improvement – though certainly imperfect technology – over how we wage war. Want stricter rules about how and when drones are used, vote in a more moderate Congress. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would be happy to write new drone and surveillance laws knowing that John Boehner (R-OH) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will not be able to shoot them down before they even got started in committee. And as with so many issues does anyone really think that a Romney presidency would be so much better on the surveillance or drone issues.

Malkin probably wonders why no one takes her seriously but the kool-aid drinkers who visit her web site. This is yet another reason why: Fox’s Malkin Invents Conspiracy Theory That Forever 21 Was Intimidated Into Silence On Obamacare. 

The Twisted Propaganda Machine of the Conservative WSJ, ALEC and Stephen Moore

Tuscan Spring wallpaper

Tuscan Spring wallpaper

If readers tick to the main news articles the Wall Street Journal is not completely submerged in Murdoch’s patented conservative yellow journalism. Though like many newspaper outlets they shape the news by what they report and how they report it. A main news article may be true, but lacks details important to tell the whole story. By covering certain aspects of, say, legislative news, repeatedly, they can project a picture of something as slightly radical – like equal pay for women working the same or similar jobs as men. That’s not radical, that is a mainstream American value concerning fairness and decency. Where Murdoch and the conservative movement really make their mark is on the editorial pages. In Conservoworld  all news is just opinion, but even actual opinions must have some basis in fairness and reality. If it is my opinion the world is flat, I don’t get off the hook for being a crank. Whatever my opinion on the earth’s shape, it is not flat. If someone feels that the HPV vaccine is bad idea, they still need to justify the death and suffering they might cause by perpetuating voodoo medical opinions from a big soapbox. The WSJ and  WSJ conservative Editorial Board Member Stephen Moore feels they can disseminate all the voodoo they like and do so without regard for basic journalistic ethics, The Wall Street Journal’s latest defense of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), penned by WSJ Editorial Board Member Stephen Moore, fails to disclose Moore’s deep ties to ALEC.

Moore’s op-ed attacks U.S. Senator Richard Durbin for scrutinizing ALEC’s role in peddling the Florida “Stand Your Ground” legislation as a model for the nation for more than six years. That law was initially cited to prevent the arrest of George Zimmerman for shooting Florida teenager Trayvon Martin to death, and that law proved to be instrumental in the failure to convict after the jury was instructed that in accordance with that law Zimmerman had a “right to stand his ground” and had “no duty to retreat.”

However, Moore failed to disclose anywhere in that op-ed that he has a long-standing working relationship with ALEC. These close ties include the facts that:Wall Street Journal Ed Board Member Stephen Moore

since at least 2007, Moore has been on ALEC’s “Board of Scholars,” one of five people with that designation; since 2007, Moore has been the co-author of one of ALEC’s main publications, “Rich States, Poor States,” which claims to rank the performance of states in accordance with their adherence to ALEC’s ideal economic policies, reports that have been strongly criticized; since joining WSJ’s editorial board in 2005, Moore has presented on issues such as reducing corporate tax rates at ALEC’s closed door task force meetings, where corporate lobbyists vote as equals with state legislators on “model bills” to be introduced into law in state capitols; and in 2009, ALEC said Moore “represents what we should expect of all journalists,” and gave him its “Warren Brookes Award” for “journalistic excellence”

[  ]…Byline of ALEC’s Rich States, Poor States Similarly, in the WSJ op-ed when he quoted newly-elected Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Moore failed to note that Cruz is one of the featured “plugs” for the 6th edition of this piece of work Moore co-writes that is published by ALEC. Likewise, in the op-ed when Moore quoted an unnamed board member of ALEC, he failed to mention his own long-time post on ALEC’s Board of Scholars.

Ted Cruz (R-TX) is remarkable for his ability to be a particular large freak in a conservative tent brimming over with freaks. ALEC is nothing more than the organized crime wing of the conservative movement. I forget his name, But I’ll never forget the Democratic congressional representative that said he was not so much surprised at the illegal things conservatives do, but the things they get away with that are supposedly legal. It is clever to have so much cash and powerful connections that they can twist arms to get anything they want, but ethical it is not. What remains of the old Pajamas Media – a network of conservative bloggers, gleefully and as often as possible bleep about how this administration has not delivered on all the transparency they promised. They is quite the shameless hypocrisy from people who voted for Bush-Cheney Inc. and support ALEC. ALEC is all about closed doors, deals made and legislation passed in the middle of the night. They’re the real deal, the Darth Vaders you see in political thrillers. No wonder Moore and the WSJ does not want the public to know that when they speak, they’re puppets for their ALEC puppet masters.

Extolling the virtues of stupidity is not an American value, Texas GOP rejects ‘critical thinking’ skills. Really.

Conservative Confederacy Lite,  Modern Vote Suppression Better Than Jim Crow, Still Pretty Bad

Conservative Republican Playbook, page one chapter one: When we can’t win by telling the truth, lie, lie some more and lie to cover up the lies, Bogus Study Tries to Scare “Young Invincibles” Away from Obamacare

Conservatives Crashed The Economy and Still Can’t Do Arithmetic

City Towers wallpaper

City Towers wallpaper

I feel a little bad taking down yet another wacky Rand Paul (R-KY) talking point, I am inadvertently helping the conservative establishment getting either Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Marko Rubio, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker (R-WI – Walker is the Hosni Mubarak of the mid-west, Michelle Malkin’s crew at Hot Air likes him because of the dirty corrupt way he got the police unions to go ago with busting other public sector workers. Rand Paul Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About (In Charts)

Yesterday, Bloomberg’s Joshua Green interviewed Paul, and when asked about the significant budget cuts he was proposing, the senator said this: “You know, the thing is, people want to say it’s extreme. But what I would say is extreme is a trillion-dollar deficit every year. I mean, that’s an extremely bad situation. I would say it’s a very reasonable proposition to say that we would only spend what comes in.”

First off, saying “that we would only spend what comes in,” i.e. that the federal government will never run any deficit, is not only not “reasonable,” it’s basically insane if you know the first thing about fiscal policy and its effects on the national welfare. But let’s leave that aside for now. What about these trillion-dollar deficits every year? Actually, according to the latest Congressional Budget Office (CBO) figures, the deficit for 2013 will be $642 billion. That’s a lot of money to you and me, but it isn’t a trillion dollars, and it’s the lowest deficit since 2008. The CBO is also projecting that in 2014 the deficit will fall to $560 billion, and in 2015 it will fall further, to $378 billion.

Those projections will inevitably be revised over time. Maybe the deficit will actually be larger, or maybe it will be smaller. One thing we can say for sure though, is that for the moment at least, there are no more “trillion-dollar deficits,” not every year, and not any year.

And two charts,

Obama and deficits

Rand Paul is a crazy bed bug

Maybe their little toy calculators all broke at once, but conservatives and pretend centrists like Alan Simpson, Erksine Bowles and  hedge fund billionaire Pete Peterson keep running around the country doing their little uncontrollable deceit dance, even though the deficit is shrinking. It is the best it has been since conservative ecknomics crashed the economy, wasted the Clinton surplus they inherited in 2000, lied us into a $3 trillion dollar war and held the country country hostage to keep tax cuts for millionaires. The latter always on the TeeVee complaining about how tough they have it and we need to convert grandpa’s Medicare into vouchers or the country is surely doomed.

 Rush Limbaugh’s looming presidential debate disaster

If some shortsighted conservatives get their way, we may soon be treated to Rush Limbaugh quizzing Republican presidential candidates about which liberal activists should be thought of as sluts. Now that’s the way to appeal to swing voters.

In case you missed it, the Republican Party has pledged to boycott NBC and CNN from their 2016 nomination debate schedule. They are also planning to cut back on the total number of debates. And even if Republicans don’t really decide to spotlight the conservative talk show hosts most likely to remind swing voters about what they don’t like about the GOP, the above is still enough to convince many observers that Republicans have lost all interest in talking to anyone beyond their most dedicated voters.

I watched enough of the 2011 Republican primary debates to lose a few brain cells. i wish them all the best in their version of caged death matches refereed by some freak like Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter. Freaks shows should be run by and for freaks. That way they cannot complain they are not getting their message across. I’ve noticed that most liberal pundits fell the same way. As this reaction reverberates through the far Right grapevine I would not be surprised if they do not back peddle this idea.

Poor, Poor Pitiful Conservatives

The War balloon at General M'Dowell's head-quarters preparing for a reconnoissance

The War balloon at General M’Dowell’s head-quarters preparing for a reconnaissance.  Illus. from: Harper’s weekly, 1861 Oct. 26, p. 679.

 

Its a weekend linkfest:

 The Tea Party’s paranoid aestheticTo understand the powerful appeal of the movement to many of its adherents, a narrative history is first required

Important as this is — and it is very important; its combination of righteousness and victimization is essential to the Tea Party’s image of itself as Innocence Aggrieved — it should not blind us to the second function of Beck’s rhetoric. For not only does his language summon a morally polarized universe (with all the benefits, tactical and personal, of such a scheme), but in doing so it underwrites a basic purpose of any narrative: It creates drama. The first duty of any storyteller is to hold the interest of his audience, and every prospective writer learns that the easiest way to do so is through conflict. But not all conflicts are created equal. Call your book “Deliver Us From a Less Than Fully Optimal Balancing of the Various Interests Involved in the Management of Global Conflict” and relatively few will beat a digital path to Amazon in search of it. But call it “Deliver Us From Evil,” as Tea Party favorite Sean Hannity did in 2004, and the dramatic appeal of your tome increases exponentially. If Beck had told his audience that the IRS’s mistake was just that — an error in judgment by well-intentioned, overworked bureaucrats — he would have been a) vastly more consistent with the available evidence and b) vastly more boring. In Tea Party politics, reasonable is what closes on Saturday night.

But the drama of Beck’s story doesn’t derive solely from his inflamed diction. It has a second, even more important, source. If we set aside the way in which he describes his dramatis personae and focus, instead, on what they do — on plot rather than character — we immediately notice something peculiar. Beck’s cast is crowded: There are federal agencies, journalists, civil rights groups, ministers, political parties, pilgrims. And Dr. King. And hookers. This suggests, superficially anyway, a plot with the potential to be somewhat complex. But the structure of Beck’s narrative mirrors the simplicity of its characters. There are many actors, but only two roles: oppressors and oppressed. The latter are represented by those increasingly rare descendants of our libertarian forbears who will “not abide convenient lies,” the former by everyone else. For Beck, a Virtuous Remnant confronts a landscape that is uniformly hostile. How many divisions do the “circus masters” have? Plenty. The IRS, EPA, ATF and FBI. The Republicans and the Democrats. Journalists. Civil rights and religious leaders. Feminists. Everywhere the Virtuous look, they are surrounded by those who want to corrupt and subvert them, to enslave them.

I did want to correct one thing that Kim Messick did in this very good essay, or at least left readers with the impression, that there was an IRS scandal. Even from hours after the media spread the news with the lede the IRS had “targeted” conservative groups, we knew that no conservative group has been denied its 501 tax exempt status, not one. We have since found out that language was used in the executive summary of the Inspector General’s report at the request of the perennially sleazy Darrell Issa (R-CA). Having grown up around the religious I have developed a automatic ignore mechanism. For my entire life they have been screaming and whining about their victim-hood. Beck is a fair example. he makes tens of millions of dollars a year. he does not make any great products, has never invented anything, if he wants to build a bridge he will have to call someone with the intelligence and expertise to do it. He has a mediocre mind, but is clover at manipulating his core audience. They buy his books, products and give him the ratings to make money from advertising. What does he do. he literally cries over how tough his life is. He goes on and on about how America is going to hell in a hand basket as he counts the stacks of money he has. As the tea party and far Right libertarians will always tell you in a comments section, they have houses and cars and pay taxes. Which is another way of saying they are doing well, yet thw end times are around the corner and they are suffering untold, immeasurable hardships. They’re both doing fine and carrying tremendous burdens. God loves them and is directly looking after them, yet their lives are also pure hell. Conservatives have been one big bundle of hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance for decades. They’re going to run that old dog until it dies, then stuff it and run it some more.

6 of the Nuttiest Right-Wing Statements Just from this Week Alone. Conservatives want us to understand two things, they hate immigrants and they will only tolerant their own brand of religious extremism.

Charter school threatened teachers for trying to unionize. And they’re using tax payer money to fight unionization. Hypocrisy is not just a noun, for conservatives it is an addictive drug.

Richard Wolff on Fighting for Economic Justice and Fair Wages. You can watch the video or read the transcript.

BILL MOYERS: But as the economist Dean Baker points out this week, “If the minimum wage had risen in step with productivity growth it would be over $16.50 an hour today.” We talk a lot about what’s happening to the middle class, but the American Dream’s really become a nightmare for the poor. Just about everyone has an opinion about the trouble we’re in – the blame game is at fever pitch in Washington, where obstinate Republicans and hapless Democrats once again play kick-the-can with the problems we face. You wish they would just stop and listen to Richard Wolff.

An attentive and systematic observer of capitalism and democracy, he taught economics for 25 years at the University of Massachusetts and has published books such as “Democracy at Work,” “Occupy the Economy,” and “Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do about It.”

Sarah Palin, Howard Dean, and Liberal Bloggers All Making Mistakes In Discussing the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board. I hope those liberal bloggers will read this and correct accordingly. Palin does not have enough character to admit errors.