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.

The Conservative Tea Party Still Stoned On Delusions

Lake and Mountain Range wallpaper

Lake and Mountain Range wallpaper

Steve has written one of the must read posts about Benghazi,  WINGERS HAPPY TO SCRAP THEIR ENTIRE BENGHAZI SCANDAL IN FAVOR OF A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BENGHAZI SCANDAL, featured in this post at Crooks and Liars. Another post featured at C and L is this,  There’s A Reason Why All Of The Reports About Benghazi Are So Confusing. Maybe its a just-me situation, but I do not find it especially confusing. Benghazi was basically a CIA op with some embassy personnel. We knew this almost from the first week and President Obama’s official statement and later when House Republicans were told the same thing by the CIA. The only real news that is kinda new is the size of the armed CIA force on the ground. Which is one of the reason the conspiracy theories conservatives started with – unprotected embassy, Obama weak on national security fell apart and now they are literally debating the number of armed agents. Erin Burnett has always been a willing water carrier for the far Right, CNN Benghazi Special Pushes Debunked And Deceptive Claims.

Back to new news or new old news. I check in on Steve’s No More Mister Nice Blog to see if that Benghazi link was working OK and find that he had the gull to criticize the tea smokers. A few of them see the link and the hoards of tea baggers descend writing about how wonderful, perfect, great, shiner than new patriots they are and how liberals kick puppies. You know, the usual. It is the same tiresome lies, sheeple under the delusion they have clear thoughts, feel strongly they can distinguish a lie from a truth they are strangers to, they’re like the nationalists of old Imperial japan though they were holier-then-thou or cultists who have seen the one true light and everyone else is a heretic. They’re literally the blast from the past, a modern version of the Spanish Inquisition mixed with some proto-fascism smothered in ingenuous platitudes, with a cup of outraged plantation master angry at the uppity. They’re the pure true plastic as compared to those fake patriots who founded liberalism and democracy, and created the syntax that became the Constitution, the tea smokers say they believe in, except the parts they don’t. To them the Civil War and White v Texas, decided nothing, if a state wants to conduct its govmint like Tehran, well that is fine with them. I know some of them and on a personal level they can be pleasant. Lots of pleasant people throughout history have believed in some wacko garbage, been great at denying reality, are champions at the utter inability to take an honest assessment of themselves and the shaky foundations of their beliefs.

Since the tea smokers are still around and high on some stuff reasonable adults should avoid, let’s ake a look back at some tea bagger history:

Matt Taibbi on Deluded Tea Partiers, Ayn Rand and How the U.S. Is Like the Soviet Union

MT: I wrote Griftopia really as a crime book about what happened on Wall Street in the last ten or fifteen years. But the politics are an element of the crime, and there had to be a mechanism through which they could get ordinary people to not pay attention to what was going on. To me, the Tea Party was an example of exactly how that works. I see it as a phenomenon where Wall Street has found a way to convince ordinary people to back their political agenda and their deregulatory aims, under the rubric of “we’re going to get the government off our backs,” and it’s really, in the end, it’s just going to be off their backs, but ordinary people believe in it.

MA: People say they don’t want government and yet they still want all the services that government does. But they somehow don’t connect the dots, it seems.

MT: Right, they somehow want their food to be clean; they don’t want to drink poisoned water; they want to have cops to protect them from burglars, but they’re very attracted to this whole idea that the government causes all of our problems. As I travel around the country, most of the Tea Party people I talk to — a lot of them are small business owners. They have hardware stores or restaurants, and they see regulation as an ADA inspector or a health inspector coming to bother them and ring them up with little fines here and there. That’s their experience with government regulation. And so when they think about JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs and regulating those banks, to them it’s the same thing. They have no idea that regulation for these big companies is really a law enforcement problem, that it’s not this little niggling health inspector type of business.

The whole Wall Street collapse was one of the first things one of the tea smokers said the tea baggers were formed in response to. At the beginning I remember hearing that and thinking maybe we had some common ground, but the tea hypocrites killed strong financial reform (After Watering Down Financial Reform, Ex-Senator Scott Brown Joins Goldman Sachs’ Lobbying Firm) and we got the watered down Dodd-Frank bill, which the tea smokers are still fighting against. So that is a lie, a sham, a delusion that goes so deep and at the same time is so ridiculous you wonder if you’re talking to someone from the same planet. Tea baggers till believe that Barney Frank and Fannie May caused the Wall Street collapse. Which is like believing space aliens left a loaf of white bread and mayonnaise on the front porch. So how is an organization that cannot tell the difference between a fairy tale and reality going to lead the nation to a better way. Tea Partiers Who Opposed Bank Bailout Take Campaign Donations From Bailed-Out Banks

Newly Elected Tea Party Conservatives Kill Jobs and Stop Progress. Because the great tea bagger in the sky will send locusts if we practice some old fashioned Keynesian economics.

Texas governor Rick perry is a tea bagger and has the level of integrity they have come to be known for, Rick Perry Sought State Profits From Teacher Life Insurance Scheme

When you smoke too much tea kids, this is what happens, Washington Legislator Calls For Tea Party To Stockpile Ammunition For Dystopic Future. But they claim to be reasonable and well informed.

Since I brought up puppies, as usual it is the far Right who believes it is every America’s constitutional right to treat puppies like sh*t, Tea Partiers barking mad over anti-puppy-mill humane measure in Missouri

And of course tea smokers hate Obamacare. Something to do with freedumb. That is the freedumb to deny working class Americans the right to have health insurance. The freedumb to keep American workers from organizing their purchasing power from the free market insurance industry. This is the way tea smokers define freedom – the right to make everyone else life as hard, miserly and miserable as possible. Those little store owners and big corps like Hobby Lobby have the freedom-right to treat their employees like trash. If the govmint takes way their right to act like little dictators, they fell oppressed. Tea smokers think of workers as disposable barely human-like creatures – 36 Senators Introduce Bill Prohibiting Virtually Any New Law Helping Workers. They like to think of themselves as populists, but they’re more like thugs who say they believe in free enterprise. Free for them, back of the bus for everyone else. Say something, do something about respect and dignity for workers and you’re interfering with tea bagger freedumb. Except, you know the ones that depend on Medicare and Medicaid to keep from falling into financial disaster or just to stay alive. What are no govmint-no way-no how tea smokers doing on Medicaid. They’re getting govmint assistance because the rest of us are subsidizing companies like Walmart. Where does the plasticroots tea baggers movement still get most of its money, from 501s running on Walton and Koch brothers money. Sure your neighbor is sending in twenty bucks a month that pays for the signs at the little rallies. The big bucks that buy legislation is coming from businesses, that the last things they want to see is competition and empowered employees.

The smoke in the tea tent is so thick, they believe – it is one of their “facts” that taxes are too high. They’re at their lowest level since the 1950s and that mean Obama has lowered taxes for small business 16 times. Bu those are real world facts, not the “facts” that come through the pipe and are sucked into the feeble brains of tea baggers.

Tea baggers are pro family? Yea right, Tea Partiers Protest Clean Water Rules Meant To Prevent Bladder Cancer. Because the Founders intended we have the freedumb to get cancer.

I could literally do this all day. Tea smokers, conservatives to the far Right of the far Right, are nothing new, they are the same freaks and thugs that have been fighting human progress since the days of feudal lords who claimed the peasants should shut-up and know their place. That they have convinced some working class Americans  big banks and corporations are their friend is both laughable and pathetic. Many of these tea baggers are paying more for basic services and getting less than. Their votes are giving private business a license, not to fairly compete, but to steal. They think hippie liberals are giving them the shaft. Nope, the tea baggers are so good at shafting themselves we don’t have to bother.

A Post About Obamacare Costs and Conservative Religious Zealots

Marina at Twilight wallpaper

Marina at Twilight wallpaper

Jonathan Cohn has another good post on Obamacare and basically deals with what some people see in their crystal balls,  Six Reasons Hipsters Will Bite on Obamacare

You’re a 26-year-old single dude, holding down a pair of part-time jobs tending bar and painting houses, and making about $24,000 a year. Thanks to Obamacare, you can finally get decent health insurance, just like people with full-time jobs at large companies do. But when you go online to check out your options, you see that even the cheapest “bronze” plan, which has high deductibles and co-payments, will cost you about $100 a month. Obamacare’s penalty for carrying no insurance next year is less than one-tenth of that. Do you buy the insurance anyway?

Obamacare critics think it will be a “tough sell,” as Reason’s Peter Suderman puts it. And they make a credible case. To get coverage under Obamacare, many young people will have to pay more than they’d pay for insurance today. That’s because Obamacare prohibits insurers from offering ultra-cheap, bare-bones policies and restricts insurers’ to vary prices based on health status. It’s safe to assume that at least some young, healthy people will look at the numbers, figure Obamacare’s coverage just isn’t worth the price, and pay the penalty instead. A story by Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in the Wall Street Journal last week profiled several young people from Oregon who were contemplating that very option.

The danger here isn’t just that these people will remain uninsured, leaving themselves exposed to crushing medical bills if they get sick or injured. If too many young, healthy people opt not to get insurance, then the insurers would be stuck with beneficiaries who are disproportionately older and sicker.

He notes that opting out the first year is certainly an option if you fall into that group that makes enough money they do not qualify for subsidies and see the premiums as cutting into their take-home pay. There are going to be bigger penalties down the road. he also points out that while those filled with the spirit of Obamacare hysteria think they young people do not need or want health insurance, two large surveys prove them wrong. I would throw in my personal experience. I’ve been to the emergency room a couple of times. Once I was in the hospital for just under 12 hours. The hospital bill, the radiologists bill and my personal doctor’s bill ( she came in once I was admitted) came to about $2 thousand dollars. When the penalty gets up to $625 a year, what are those young people going to choose. Two thousand or more ( I got out relatively cheap as far as emergency room admissions go) or are they going to pay the, say $90 a month ($1,100 to 1,250 a year. If it is employers supplied insurance with a group plan it could be less) for insurance . Look past the oh my goodness Obamacare is sooo expensive scare stories on the Right. Be afraid of the realities of living in the real world – of the ten most common reason for going to the emergency room, the cost ranged from a low of $10,403 to a high of $73,000. So even the $625 sounds like a bad deal when you could end up paying a half year’s pay for a simple back sprain. Cohn again concedes Obamacare and the insurance exchanges are not perfect – hopefully we’ll see some fine tuning like Congress did with medicare over the years, but it does look like most people will be better off.

Maybe I’m going Godwin here or maybe this is one of those cases where current events and rhetoric mirror history – You can’t be a Christian and a Democrat at the same time, Virginia’s GOP candidate for lieutenant governor E.W. Jackson says,

In a local radio interview this morning, Virginia Republican lieutenant governor nominee E.W. Jackson said the Democratic Party is “anti-God” and that Christians should leave it.

…He continued: “I said it because I believe that the Democrat Party has become an anti-God party, I think it’s an anti-life party, I think it’s an anti-family party. And these are all things I think Christians hold to very dearly.”

Religious zealot who think they are the last word on who is or is not a good Christian is an unfortunate American tradition going back to Cotton Mather and the Salem Witch trials to Jefferson Davis who claimed that God approved of slavery  – [Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty God…it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation…it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts.” – Jefferson Davis. And there is this,

“My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.

-Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)

Jackson seems to be substituting Democrat where Hitler used the Jews. These are the hallmarks of dangerous zealots. They control the ideological gates of who meets the purity  test of a set of beliefs that exists largely inside their minds. I see and hear conservative Christians and wonder how they so conveniently jettison the Sermon on the Mount. I don’t know that it disqualifies them from being Christians, but it does make one wonder about how they so conveniently ignore one of the most important lessons of the Bible. I’ve listened to Pat Robertson for enough years to know that the Christian Right can rationalize just about anything that serves their agenda. Jackson seems to be kool-aid drinking member of the club.

Conservativism Is Like An Amusement Ride Without The Fun

Country Highway wallpaper

Country Highway wallpaper

This report is from June of this year, Charles Koch launching Wichita campaign about economic freedom, government overreach. A clueless elitist billionaire sounding off about how rough life is for him and  other crony capitalists who count the money they make off the backs of people who do real work and have real ideas. They call themselves libertarians because they’re not honest or honorable enough to call themselves what they really are, proto-fascists. This is another concrete reason why the Kochs and their acolytes are against regulation, manipulation plus greed pays very well,  How Goldman Made $5 Billion By Manipulating Aluminum Inventories (and Copper is Up Next).

Since there does not seem to be any kind of recording thus far ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has some wriggle room to back-track his reported assertion, Report: Scalia Approaches Godwin’s Law on Judicial Activism

Scalia opened his talk with a reference to the Holocaust, which happened to occur in a society that was, at the time, “the most advanced country in the world.” One of the many mistakes that Germany made in the 1930s was that judges began to interpret the law in ways that reflected “the spirit of the age.” When judges accept this sort of moral authority, as Scalia claims they’re doing now in the U.S., they get themselves and society into trouble.

Scalia calls himself an “originalist,” which he defined this weekend as believing that “texts should be read to mean what they were understood to mean when they were adopted.” His pretty well-known frozen-in-amber take on constitutional interpretation pits him against anyone, including his fellow Supreme Court justices, who would read the Constitution in the context of changing times and societies.

Scalia ruled that Congress does not have the right to regulate campaign financing in Citizens United, based on the concept that corporations and corporate-like entities such as Karl Rove’s American Crossroads have the same rights as human citizens. That bit of judicial activism cannot be found anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. Just a couple good points here,

One, you profess a belief in originalism and for what is contained within the Constitution.  Judicial review is mentioned nowhere in the Constitution and the concept was alien to the common law concept of parliamentary supremacy.  It was only with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Marbury v. Madison, more than a decade after the ratification of the Constitution that judicial review was established as a power of the courts.  Therefore, on what basis do assert your power of judicial review?
Two, you state that every right that you hold to exist as a matter of law can be found within the words of the Constitution and that judges engage in ‘judicial activism’ when they find rights other than those specifically listed.  How do you reconcile this view with the plain words of the Ninth Amendment, which states:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

And of course there is the general conservative tendency to bend or rewrite history. The rise of Nazism in Germany has been well documented, its roots in the consequences and reaction to the Treaty of Versailles, a nationalism and nativism making antisemitism a large part of the appeal of Nazism.  Once Hitler became chancellor (prime minister) he and the Nazi party tried to destroy any possible rivals to his position, rearmed Germany, and launched a campaign of violence against the Jews. He became the dictator by burning the Reichstag building and blaming the communists. The general public, or enough of them anyway were worked up into a state of fear and hysteria allowing Hitler to suspend civil rights. No court rulings required. With a Nazi majority in the Reichstag, Hitler was then able to pass The Enabling Act, which gave him complete legislative and executive power for four years. Any regular court rulings Hitler did not like were ignored, not that at the time, there were any. Hitler established his own court so that he could carry out his agenda with the gaze of what appeared to be legal proceedings, The People’s Court,

The People’s Court (German: Volksgerichtshof) was a Sondergericht, a special court, established in 1934 by German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, who had been dissatisfied with the outcome of the Reichstag Fire Trial (all but one of the accused were acquitted). The “People’s Court” was set up outside the operations of the constitutional frame of law. The court had jurisdiction over a rather broad array of “political offenses,” which included crimes like black marketeering, work slowdowns, defeatism and treason against the Third Reich. These crimes were viewed by the court as Wehrkraftzersetzung (“disintegration of defensive capability”) and were accordingly punished severely. The death penalty was meted out in numerous cases in this court.

The Court handed down an enormous number of death sentences under Judge-President Roland Freisler, including those that followed the July 20 Plot to kill Hitler. Many of those found guilty by the Court died in the Plötzensee prison. The proceedings of the court were often even less than show trials in that some cases, such as that of Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans Scholl and fellow White Rose activists concluded in less than an hour, without evidence being presented or arguments made by either side.

Just my take, I would resist the temptation to call Scalia crazy. Since we do not have actual clinical evidence for that. Though we can assume, with what he has reportedly said on this and other occasions, that he is a malevolent zealot who has dishonored the nation’s highest court.

Quite a few years back a formerly Republican judge noted that conservatives had too often decided to take political and constitutional positions and than scurried around trying to find rationale for them. That continues to this day and seems to be getting worse.

Reeds in the Wind wallpaper

Reeds in the Wind wallpaper

Reeds in the Wind wallpaper

Neo-Confederate Rand Paul Aide A Daily Caller Contributor, Fox Regular

Jack Hunter, a congressional aide to Sen. Rand Paul with a history of “neo-Confederate” and “pro-secessionist” views, has produced dozens of articles and video commentaries for The Daily Caller and appeared as what one Fox Business host termed a “regular” guest on that network. He also helped then-Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), currently the president of The Heritage Foundation, write his most recent book.

The conservative Washington Free Beacon reported today that Hunter, a “close” Rand Paul aide who also co-wrote the Kentucky Republican’s 2011 book, “spent years working as a pro-secessionist radio pundit and neo-Confederate activist … Hunter was a chairman in the League of the South, which ‘advocates the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern States from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic.'”

And Jamelle Bouie also notes, I’m Shocked—Shocked!—That Rand Paul Has Ties to Neo-Confederates. MM and Bouie note the revelations started in the Washington Free Beacon, they do not speculate on the Beacon’s motivations. The Beacon is well known far Right rag that echoes much of the same trash that is part of the conservative echo chamber that includes Drudge, the Breitbart sites and Fox News. This story about Rand Paul might well be the only story with a political angles where they got their facts straight. Now why would an uber-conservative newspaper that sees it’s primary job as propelling the radical conservative agenda down as many throats as possible, go after Rand Paul. This is just my speculation. Matthew Continetti is the editor-in-chief of the Beacon. In the past he has worked for The National Review and Bill Kristol’s The Weekly Standard. In other words in his deep in connections to the conservative establishment. The conservative establishment usually gets it’s way. Those that kept up with Fox News reporting during the Republican primaries may remember that there was some, though not universal doubts and criticism about Romney. Once The national Review and Bill Kristol decided that Romney was THE conservative candidate, all criticism disappeared. It appears they are doing the opposite with Rand. It is an open secret that rand plans to run for president in 2016. Maybe they do not like Rand because of his murky opposition to the exploits of the NSA – there are too many conservative defense contractors making millions off the surveillance state for such opposition to become part of the Republican party platform. Radical religious conservatives like Rick Santorum do not like Paul because he is not enough of a dogmatist. Rand has said that conservatives need to become hipper. That kind of talk does not sit well with people who are literally still fighting the culture wars of the 60s and 70s. While like many i wish the r2016 had not begun, but it has. Right now Paul Ryan and Chris Christie seem to be leading in straw polls. So this move by the Beacon could be part of an early effort to knock out at least one of the fringe candidates before they can get any traction.

Another study and the Great Recession is still not the fault of liberals, Barney Frank or Fanny May, Two Sentences that Explain the Crisis and How Easy it Was to Avoid

The lenders were overwhelmingly the source of mortgage fraud.
The lenders were not only fraudulent, but following the “recipe” for ”accounting control fraud.”  They were deliberately making enormous numbers of bad loans.
This had to be done with the knowledge of the bank CEOs.  One of the wonderful things about being a CEO is the ability to communicate to employees and agents without leaving an incriminating paper trail.  Sophisticated CEOs running large accounting control frauds can use compensation and business and personnel decisions to send three key messages:  (a) you will make a lot of money if you report exceptional results, (b) I don’t care whether the reports are true or the results of fraud, and (c) if you do not report exceptional results or if you block loans from being approved by insisting on effective underwriting and honest appraisals you will suffer and your efforts will be overruled.  The appraisers’ petition was done over the course of seven years.  Even if we assumed, contrary to fact, that the CEO did not originate the plan to inflate the appraisals the CEOs knew that they were making enormous numbers of fraudulent “liar’s” loans with fraudulent appraisals.  It is easy for a CEO to stop pervasive fraudulent lending and appraisals.  Where appraisal fraud was common it was done with the CEO’s support.

Conservatism Disregards Women’s Rights and Health

Tricycle Autumn wallpaper

Tricycle Autumn wallpaper

 

This headline almost says it all about the current priorities of the conservative movement: Texas Lawmakers Too Busy Targeting Abortion Providers to Deal With Exploding Fertilizer Plants. I say almost because when they’re not protecting the right of corporations to kill their employees, they’re lying about immigration reform, still stalling financial reform and advocating the foreign policies of the same brand that cost so many lives in Iraq. I’m around quite a few conservatives and in everyday conversation i hear them express regrets about the employment situation ( they have different solutions than I do, but at least we agree there is a problem). Some of the ones that like to go fishing are still complaining about the pollution in our lakes and rivers, but still vote for people who exacerbate those problems. They complain about traffic, but don’t want to pay the higher taxes to build new over passes. Of there complaints, one thing I seldom here is the urgent national need to have more control over women’s personal health care decisions: Scott Walker Quietly Signs Mandatory Ultrasound Bill Into Law / Rick Perry To Have His Comrades Return To Passing That Draconian Abortion Bill, Says: Wendy Davis Should Be ‘Proud’ That Her Mother Didn’t Abort Her. Conservatives get all choked up thinking about the destiny of a clump of cells in someone else’s body, but actual human beings and their well being do not seem to get much sympathy or respect.

Rick Perry and Scott Walker

Rick Perry(R) and Scott Walker(R)