City Skylines Chattanooga Tennessee wallpaper – Republican Presidential Candidates Are Not American Citizens They’re From Uranus

American landscapes

City Skylines Chattanooga Tennessee wallpaper

Conservatives have always seemed out of touch. Sometimes so much so one has to wonder what country they think they’re in. Michele Bachmann(R-MN) take on where the U.S. is economically, how we got here and her solutions read like a politician on Uranus. What she sees, hears and thinks might well be the reality on Uranus, but not here on earth. Bachmann cites action, not words, in campaign speech

Republican Michele Bachmann on Saturday scoffed at being called extreme, and said she will be “the new sheriff” in Washington, D.C., if elected.

“I pledge to you, I’m not a talker. I’m a doer,” she said, in what seemed to be a response to rival GOP presidential contender Tim Pawlenty’s recent hints that Iowans shouldn’t let themselves be mesmerized by her soaring rhetoric.

Among things she would do: Repeal the federal health care reform law and the Wall Street reform act, “which takes away credit for small businesses in our country,” she said.

One can only understand what “extreme” is if they have a mental connection to reality. Most Americans think Obamacare did not go far enough. They approve of individual changes like being able to put their adult children on their health care plan until age 26 and they like health insurance companies not being able to cancel their insurance because, you know, they got sick and needed it.

WTF “which takes away credit for small businesses”? President Obama has given small business 17 tax cuts. Currently in the works is yet another tax cut/tax incentive for every new worker hired. if she is talking about repealing Wall St financial reform that means she is in favor of letting the same financial calamity that happened in 2007-2008 happen again. So in Bachmann’s future for America, more unemployment, more financial instability, more pensions funds drained, and more personal investment accounts devalued by half or more.

“And I guarantee you the (Environmental Protection Agency) will have doors locked and lights turned off and they will only be about conservation,” the U.S. Congresswoman from Minnesota said. ( It is not just Bachmann who is campaigning on gutting the EPA. In this article from the NYT all the candidates promise to revive the economy by? That’s right, all but destroying the EPA will save us, because as every economist knows it is the EPA that is single-handedly holding back corporate profits)

So Bachmann and the other conservative presidential candidates are running on the death panel platform. They want more American children, families and workers to die so that Massey Energy , Exxon or BP can supposedly increase their profits. Washington’s Anti-Regulatory Crusade, and Why Your Job Hasn’t Killed You Yet

Clearing the Air. Since the days of the Lowell mills, so-called “brown lung” has been a hallmark of the miserable toil of poorly ventilated, dust-clogged textile factories. The disease, also known as Byssinosis, has historically hit women especially hard, spreading its signature coughing and lung scarring to thousands of workers around the world. The epidemic was virtually ignored until the 1960s and 1970s. Then came OSHA’s 1978 rule requiring more lung-friendly machinery, and within a few years the prevalence of brown lung in the industry fell by an estimated 97 percent. And employers’ grumbling about the “costs” of the rule faded when it became clear that the reforms improved the industry’s efficiency as well.

[  ]…Rule of (Keeping Your) Thumb. You’d think a rule that helps keep workers from getting accidentally hacked to pieces would be somewhat popular. But in the late 1980s, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) didn’t mind sacrificing a few extremities here and there to resist the evils of regulatory “burdens.” Industry moguls sued to block the Lockout/Tagout rule, which would force employers to mark potentially hazardous equipment with colored tags and provide safety training for workers. But the rule passed, and according to Public Citizen, made the shop floor a much less terrifying place:

An analysis of two union databases conducted in 2000 showed that hazardous energy-related fatalities declined, depending on the industry, by between 30 percent and 55 percent in the years following the enactment of the Lockout/Tagout rule…. OSHA currently estimates that the regulation prevents a total of 50,000 injuries and 120 fatalities per year.

Even NAM eventually backed off its opposition to the rule, apparently recognizing that workers do a better job when they have all their fingers.

[  ]…OSHA issued safety standards for excavacation-related construction in 1989, designed to protect workers from subterranean collapse. Basic structural protections for trenching and excavation worksites have since become standard practice, and Public Citizen calculates that the reforms correlate with “a 40 percent decrease in the fatality rate.”

[  ] …Fire on the Prairie. A generation ago, America’s farming industry was booming, in a really bad way. Grain facilities like silos and grain elevators were prone to deadly explosions when combustible grain dust mixed with hazardous gases. In spite of initial opposition from agribusiness groups and Reagan administration officials, OSHA enacted the Grain Handling Facilities Standard, which established environmental controls for dust and gas and required protective gear for workers. After seeing a “95 percent drop in explosion-related fatalities for certain facilities,” reports Public Citizen, even industry groups eventually had to admit that workplaces that don’t spontaneously explode are good for business. (Pollution Causes 40 Percent Of Deaths Worldwide, Study Finds)

Bachmann, Perry, Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney are all running on the more dead, maimed and crippled Americans equals a better economy platform. Wow those are some Christian? values. Values that might be great on Uranus, but not so great here on earth.

The crowd jumped to its feet to applaud when Bachmann said: “You will never see President Bachmann step one toe out of the United States and apologize for this country. I will stand up for this country, and I will stand up for you.”

This urban myth about President Obama being an apologist for the U.S. to the rest of the world is big among the residents of Uranus. In this world it is just more crap shoveled out in extraordinary regularity by the people who wear their tin-foil hats one size too small.

“It was the tea party movement that stands for ‘We’re taxed enough already,’ ” she said. ” ‘Don’t spend more money than what you bring in and act within the bounds of the Constitution.’ Gee, that’s extreme. To the liberals it is. Not to the rest of us.”

Maybe she is referring once again to the alternative reality on her home planet, here on earth Republicans in the 2010 mid-term elections ran on the Anti-Constitution platform. Taxes here are also not as high as Uranus, federal taxes are the lowest they have been since 1950. Taxes are the price we pay to have a civilized society – roads, universities, science and medical research, weather satellites, fire fighters, and so forth. Oh, taxes also pay for the subsidies that Bachmann and her husband have received from the federal government. Of the current deficit, conservatives and conservatives policies are responsible for the largest share of the deficit. As a resident of earth i can honestly say Bachmann has no idea what she is talking about. Maybe Glenn Beck has loaned her his mental bubble. Call me a perfectionist but one reasonable expectation of people who want to be president is that they have some grasp of reality.

“(The debt) not only drowns us on one level. It leads to something far worse, and that’s enormous job displacement and job loss across the country,” she told a crowd of about 50. “This is something that we cannot abide.”

Bachmann must have slept through the borrow and spend years of her ideological clones like Bush, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner when they passed spending bill after spending bill without paying for them. As a matter of fact they suspended the Pay/ Go rules in 2001.

When Allen West (R-Fl) is not disgracing the U.S. military with an act of blatant cowardice he has the usual fantasies of the typical Uranus resident. He feels he is a beleaguered victim/hero in a world too stupid to understand him – It’s Only The Race Card When You Play It

Heh. Allen West:

Rep. Allen West says he is a “modern-day Harriet Tubman” who wants to lead black voters away from the “plantation” of the Democratic Party. There is a “21st century plantation” of African-American voters unwaveringly supporting Democrats, but the freshman Republican from Florida said Wednesday night that he is out to change that.

    “The people on that plantation are upset because they’ve been disregarded, disrespected and their concerns are not cared about,” West said in an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” responding to the anger that black Democrats showed earlier this week at a Congressional Black Caucus town hall in Detroit.

    “I’m here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman to kind of lead people on the underground railroad away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility,” said West, who is the sole Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

    Some black leaders are “are nothing more than overseers over that plantation,” West said, including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), whose remarks at that town hall expressing frustration with President Barack Obama have drawn widespread attention.

The black voters are presumably the slaves, Waters and company the overseers who do the slavemaster’s bidding, and West the freedom fighter who will lead them to liberty. West is effectively calling Waters a sell-out. West, himself, would of course go into a of frothing seizure should such a charge ever be lodged at him.

West finished his comments by noting that the Republican Party has not always done a very good job at “reaching out” to black communities. Presumably now that West is on the case, the Promise Land is upon us.

West has aligned himself with the modern version of plantation owners. The Right has worked tirelessly to make sure the wage slaves get as small a slice of the pie as possible and has whittled away at the Rights of Americans for fifty years.

On West’s plantation we’re supposed to believe the wealthiest 1% of Americans increased their productivity 281 % and thus based on pure merit deserve these lopsided rewards. GDP is gross domestic product. It is a standard measure of the value of the goods and service produced by the residents of the USA. West, being the new Harriet Tubman wants to lead us to a new reality, one in which the top 1% of Americans do around 281% more work and add 281% more value to the economy. While at least half of America’s labor force should be thankful for any crumbs the top – shall we say wage slave masters – let’s trickle down. Those at the top of this nationwide pyramid scheme will do all this without paying any taxes because to hell with any grand dreams of living in a civilized country. West and Herman Cain are very fond of using this plantation hyperbole against Democrats. As long as they keep doing it, I’ll keep throwing it back in their face. Republicans apparently don’t even know what a plantation and references to it means judging by their determination to pretend that slavery never existed – When Politics and Slavery Mix: A Slide Show

Slavery? What Slavery?

In January, when the Republican-led Congress took to the House floor to read the entire Constitution, members skipped over the slavery bits altogether but ended up drawing more attention to the issue with the glaring omission of several provisions of the document, including the “three-fifths compromise” and the fugitive-slave clause. If all it took to make something disappear from history was to never mention it, there would be a few politicians whose names we’d remove from our vocabularies, effective immediately.

John Stewart discusses Rick Perry’s love of America.

Have to mention Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). He is not running for president, but he does show Americans how the values on Uranus differ from ours. Exclusive: Goldman Sachs VP Changed His Name, Now Advances Goldman Lobbying Interests As A Top Staffer To Darrell Issa

Has Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) turned the House Oversight Committee into a bank lobbying firm with the power to subpoena and pressure government regulators? ThinkProgress has found that a Goldman Sachs vice president changed his name, then quietly went to work for Issa to coordinate his effort to thwart regulations that affect Goldman Sachs’ bottom line.

[  ]..When he took over the chairmanship of the Oversight Committee this year, Issa dramatically shifted the committee’s focus away from its traditional role of investigating major corporate scandals. Instead, Issa has used the committee to merge the responsibilities of Congress with the interests of K Street and Issa’s own fortune.

In June of this year, ThinkProgress broke the story about Issa’s own complicated relationship with Goldman Sachs. We revealed that Issa purchased a large amount of Goldman Sachs high yield bonds at the same time as he used the Oversight Committee to attack an investigation into allegations that Goldman Sachs had systematically defrauded investors leading up to the financial crisis. This conflict of interests, along with our exclusive story about Issa’s earmarks benefitting his own real estate empire, received coverage in a recent piece by the New York Times.

On Uranus they believe that corrupt government and crony capitalism are patriotic and godly.


As Pawlenty Exits The Corrupt Rick Perry Takes The Stage

Pawlenty Drops Out of Republican Race

Mr. Pawlenty, who had been weighing a presidential campaign for years, had developed a robust plan to win the Republican nomination. But his strategy did not take into account the rising popularity of a fellow Minnesotan, Representative Michele Bachmann, whose candidacy had overshadowed Mr. Pawlenty’s. He had staked his entire campaign around a strong finish at the Iowa straw poll, which he did not achieve.

In my last post about the Iowa debates I was going to hazard a prediction that Pawlenty would stay in the race through at least a couple of primaries as a way to set himself up for the VP slot on the Republican ticket in 2012. Who knows he might still lobby for VP especially if it looks as though Romney would lead the ticket. T’Paw is pretty far to the Right, but he is the natural fire-breathing fanatic that is the flavor of the season among the tea smokers. Huntsman will also likely be gone soon or also try to make a deal with Romney.

By now everyone has heard Texas Governor Rick Perry is running. He and Bachmann are cut from the same crazy mold. Conservatives are as interesting as a box of crayons that only has few shades of beige to choose from. They’re only interesting in a four car pile up kind of way. In that sense Perry versus Bachmann has some dark entertainment value. One the Right’s eye rolling qualities is their ability to believe their own hype. Bachmann on Pawlenty dropping out and why she won the straw poll,

“I’m talking about what people really care about,” she told Jake Tapper, the host of the ABC program. “You saw a big message sent to Washington. They really want someone they can trust and can believe in.”

Bachmann was one of the reasons for the S&P downgrade. So other conservatives who have a deep emotional investment in further wrecking the economy feel Bachmann is a kindred spirit. Makes perfect sense.

The great thing about Gov. Rick Perry is he is to deranged what gravity is to falling objects. He cultivates, believes in, attracts and magnifies the worse of right-wing nationalism, bigotry, misogyny, injustice, wage-slave economics, dog-eat-dog culture, the perversion of religious values and butt sniffing pandering to special interests:

Five Questions for Rick Perry

Despite his mediocre approval ratings [2], national conservatives credit Perry with governing Texas as a right-wing mecca: low taxes, few regulations to protect the environment, no mass transit, a bare bones social safety net, with guns and executions aplenty. (They also wrongly believe, a misconception Perry actively encourages, that Texas has experienced unusually strong economic growth and that this is attributable to Perry’s policies. As Brad Plumer demonstrated [3] in The New Republic, neither claim withstands scrutiny.)

[  ]…As Governor you’ve presided [7] over 230 executions. Of the thirty death row inmates whose sentences you commuted, twenty-seven were juveniles after the Supreme Court outlawed executing juveniles in 2005, and two were developmentally disabled adults after the Supreme Court outlawed executing that group. Do you think executing juveniles and the developmentally disabled should be legal? Is there anyone who you think should not be executed? Do you think it’s possible Texas has executed anyone who was innocent? [8]

Perry has also said Texas has the right to succeed. Here again right-wing originalists such as Perry claim they have the last word on the Constitution. The question of Texas or any state succeeding from the Union was decided in the Civil War and even in a legal suit involving Texas. In a case called Texas v. White the SCOTUS ruled that under the Articles of Confederation, adopted by the states during the American Revolution, was the law of the land – “the Union was solemnly declared to ‘be perpetual.’ The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase (a Republican appointed by Lincoln). This is not a matter of opinion but of the law of the land. We are not a free country in the sense that anything goes. We as citizens are bound by a legal and social contract. I can’t find the link, but in commenting on who were the best U.S. presidents I read a conservative write that one of the reasons he admired Lincoln is because Abe saved the Union. Perry and most of the rabid Right no longer feels that way, if they ever did.

Want to pray for rain. That is well within America’s social and cultural norms. Stuck on a rooftop during hurricane Katrina, afraid you and your family may die, and praying to be rescued. Even many atheists might pray just in case. A member of the government use the weather as a dog whistle to gather the religious extremists to your cult of personality. Not acceptable or even respectful to Christianity, Five Scriptures You Won’t Hear at Rick Perry’s Prayer Event

God doesn’t withhold rain because we’ve done something wrong

“God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matt. 5:45)

Perry recently called Texans to pray for rain, which implies that God steers clouds toward the worthy. According to Right Wing Watch, one of the events co-sponsors has said the earthquake in Japan happened because the emperor had sex with the Sun Goddess. It may be a part of our lower nature to blame disasters on people we don’t like or understand, but Jesus taught that God sends rain on the just and unjust.  Furthermore, he said our love should be equally nonselective.

I have chosen Christianity as my life’s religion, but when nonjudgmental love is taken out of its center, it becomes poisonous and predatory.


If one buys into the framing of the drought created by Perry and his exploitative co-believers than maybe Texas is in  one of its worse droughts in decades because Perry is acting like an arrogant and false prophet. If anyone thought Bush 43 injected too much of his peculiar brand of right-wing religion marinated politics into government just wait for the Perry presidency – New Exposé Reveals Rick Perry’s Close Ties to Radical Evangelicals and Self-Proclaimed Prophets

The Texas Observer has just published an explosive new article titled “Rick Perry’s Army of God.” It exposes how a group of radical Christians and self-proclaimed prophets from a little-known movement known as New Apostolic Reformation have been quietly pushing for Perry to run for president. The author of the article, Forrest Wilder, is a staff reporter at theTexas Observer. He’s joining us from Austin.

[  ]..FORREST WILDER: Well, as I write about in the article, the organizers and the endorsers of the event largely come out of what’s called the New Apostolic Reformation movement. And the founder of this movement, the sort of intellectual godfather, is a guy named Peter Wagner, and he’s termed it “the most radical change in the way of doing Christianity since the Protestant Reformation.” Little bit of a grandiose statement, but it is really this movement that’s happening at the bleeding edge of evangelical Christianity in this country. And it wasn’t—it’s not really widely known, although it does have growing influence.

And I think one of the defining characteristics of it is this idea that there are modern-day prophets and apostles, that the prophets and apostles didn’t end in the Bible, and we have them now walking amongst us. And so, the leadership of the movement are self-proclaimed prophets and apostles. They hold themselves out as such, and they’re recognized as such by their followers. So this was, by and large, the set of individuals and organizations that were running The Response.

Perry also has close ties to the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), an affiliate of the American Legislative Exchange Council. The Koch brothers in turn are one of the powers behind ALEC. Rick Perry Pushes ALEC-Backed Education Policies To Turn Texas Universities Into Businesses

The perils of running higher education like a business, meanwhile, are well-known. The nation’s for-profit college system — which targets efficiency and profits the way Perry hopes Texas’ universities will — is rife with fraud and abuse of students, promising quick degrees and quality job opportunities at low prices. In reality, they more often leave students with “crushing debt and bleak job prospects,” hardly the situation one finds in the current Texas university system, which is regarded as one of the nation’s top statewide university systems.

One of the things I wish more of the general public understood about education is that the tax dollars spent are the nation’s way of training workers. Business gets someone who has a good basic skill set and in the case of professional undergraduate/graduate degrees, some specialized skills. Asking business to pay back the expense of providing that training (taxes) is a reasonable arrangement for a modern enlightened civilization. Universities already have a close relationship with business. Which is fine, but universities already provide services off which businesses and workers make a profit. In a report by the very conservative Texas Comptroller’s office the Texas economy receives $5.50 for every dollar spent on education. What Perry and his sycophants want to do is turn the university system into one of those commercial paper-mill type schools where the standards are so low the degrees are sometimes meaningless. Basic economics – when you remove the value from something( a degree in this case) no one will want it anymore.

Remember K-Street, Jack Abramoff, Tom Delay, Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed and the Conservative Culture of Corruption. They have nothing on Rick Perry – Rick Perry’s Crony Capitalism Problem

The Emerging Technology Fund was created at Mr. Perry’s behest in 2005 to act as a kind of public-sector venture capital firm, largely to provide funding for tech start-ups in Texas. Since then, the fund has committed nearly $200 million of taxpayer money to fund 133 companies. Mr. Perry told a group of CEOs in May that the fund’s “strategic investments are what’s helping us keep groundbreaking innovations in the state.” The governor, together with the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the Texas House, enjoys ultimate decision-making power over the fund’s investments.

Among the companies that the Emerging Technology Fund has invested in is Convergen LifeSciences, Inc. It received a $4.5 million grant last year—the second largest grant in the history of the fund. The founder and executive chairman of Convergen is David G. Nance.

In 2009, when Mr. Nance submitted his application for a $4.5 million Emerging Technology Fund grant for Convergen, he and his partners had invested only $1,000 of their own money into their new company, according to documentation prepared by the governor’s office in February 2010. But over the years, Mr. Nance managed to invest a lot more than $1,000 in Mr. Perry. Texas Ethics Commission records show that Mr. Nance donated $75,000 to Mr. Perry’s campaigns between 2001 and 2006.

So a conservative politician sets up what seems on the surface to be a kind of Keynesian fund to stimulate business and job creation. Conservatives always swear government does not create jobs. So hypocrisy one. Said fund is milked of funds by  friends of Rick’s ( one went completely sour and tax payers left with the losses). Why would a conservative even take money from the government for a private business. That is not simply hypocrisy but an action fundamentally opposite what conservatives say they believe in. There is more about the uses and abuses of Ricky’s little scheme at the link. Let me reiterate that this fund is only Keynesian on the surface. It has turned out to be largely a fund for Ricky’s conservative Texas cronies or welfare queens in ten gallon hats.

Black and White Little City Harbor wallpaper – Conservatives Do Care About The Environment, Debates Were Recycled Garbage

bay lights, harbor at night

Black and White Little City Harbor wallpaper

The NYT, Politico and every other news outlet is describing the conservative debates in Iowa as some kind of clash of gladiators. All I saw as some people with no ideas, corrupt values, neck-deep in hypocrisy throw powder puffs at each other. if anyone forces you to listen to this crop of wretches, thieves, self-righteous miscreants, government subsidy queens, gay hating bigots and hoodlums in designer clothes, you would have a good case for filing a compliant based on mental torture. Want to know what economic plans they stand for? Look up the history of Europe’s most despotic monarchs. We must keep America’s kings, queens, princes, dukes and duchesses in their hollowed halls other wise they will stop throwing crumbs to the masses. Some of the coded language is interesting – 8 From G.O.P. Trade Attacks at Iowa Debate

The simmering animosity that has been building among some contenders broke into full view during the two-hour debate, with Representative Michele Bachmann defending her legislative accomplishments, her economic ideas and her experience to serve as president. She batted away the criticism, smiling at times and swinging at others, trying to prove she could take the heat.

The Reality: “A Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Huffington Post with three separate federal agencies reveals that on at least 16 separate occasions, Bachmann petitioned the federal government for direct financial help or aid.”

At one point, Rick Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, raised his hand for attention and asked moderators to be included. When he finally was given his turn, he went after nearly all of his rivals, accusing Mrs. Bachmann of “showmanship, not leadership” by opposing raising the nation’s debt ceiling.

Strange times when an off the wall nutter like Rick is the voice of fiscal sanity.

A couple more items from this report by ABC News – Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty Take Gloves Off At Iowa Debate

“I’m not going to eat Barack Obama’s dog food,” Romney said, referring to the debt agreement, which raises the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. “What he served up is not what I would have as president of the United States.”

Actually that would be John Boehner’s (R-OH) “dog food” – whatever that means, since Boehner the Speaker of the House claimed he got 98% of what he wanted.  Everyone knows there would have been no debt ceiling issue at all if there was a Republican president dealing with a Republican House. That whole cooked up crisis was all about spite and malice, not what was good for the country. It certainly wasn’t about ideological consistency as Reagan and Bush both had the debt ceiling raised multiple times with very little debate. What would Romney have done if challenged, let the economy take a bigger nose dive. He has never shown a tendency to political suicide so that means he’s just tossing peanuts from the grandstands.

It wasn’t just Bachmann and Pawlenty who clashed. Rep. Ron Paul and former Senator Rick Santorum got into a lengthy back and forth regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions, with Paul arguing that Iran doesn’t pose a threat to America’s safety.

“Iran is not Iceland, Ron” Santorum chided. “Anyone who suggests Iran is not a threat to the Middle East is not seeing the world very clearly.”

Ron Paul has a very tenuous grasp on sanity. Though I have to give him credit for not wetting himself over the trumped-up national security threats of his fellow conservatives.

And the last word goes to Romney,

“If you spend your life in the private sector and you understand how jobs come and how they go,” Romney said, “you understand that what President Obama has done is the exact opposite of what needs to be done.”

If there was a national contest for the poster child of clueless corporate handmaiden Romney would easily make the finals. Stephen Colbert explains: Corporations and context

“You see, Romney made a Mittload of cash using what’s known as a leveraged buyout. He’d buy a company with ‘money borrowed against their assets, groomed them to be sold off and in the interim collect huge management fees.’ Once Mitt had control of the company, he’d cut frivolous spending like ‘jobs,’ ‘workers,’ ‘employees,’ and ‘jobs.’ […]

“Because Mitt Romney knows just how to trim the fat. He rescued businesses like Dade Behring, Stage Stories, American Pad and Paper, and GS Industries, then his company sold them for a profit of $578 million after which all of those firms declared bankruptcy. Which sounds bad, but don’t worry, almost no one worked there anymore.

“Besides, a businessman can’t be weighed down with a bleeding heart. As one former Bain employee put it, ‘It was very clinical…. Like a doctor. When the patient is dead, you just move on to the next patient.’”

[   ]…Romney slashed American jobs as if his career depended on it — and it did. Frank Rich recently explained, “In [his 1994 Senate] campaign, Romney was stalked by a ‘Truth Squad’ of striking workers from a Marion, Indiana, paper plant who had lost jobs, wages, health care, and pensions after Ampad, a Bain subsidiary, took control. Ampad eventually went bankrupt, but Bain walked away with $100 million for its $5 million investment. It was an all-too-typical Romney story.”

Romney made a classic gaffe about corporations and persondom. I understood what he meant, but he and his handlers might want to make sure he expresses those thoughts in a way that is more digestible in the future. He was giving the crowd the same tired old conservative bromide that corporations are entities that create jobs. David Dayen at Firedoglake makes a good case that the most dangerous part of Romney’s speech was his take on Social Security – Romney’s Social Security Views More Dangerous Than His “Corporations Are People” Quip. I agree but that is still only part of a monumental problem with conservatism and with many centrist Democrats. Worse in terms of overcoming a false and dangerous political message is that a good portion of the public buys into the notion that we better stand back, let corporations do whatever they like and give them whatever they want because they create jobs. Corporations are generally a few people and a small stack of paper. Those people are be brilliant or devious or both, but they are not going to make a single dollar without the labor to make the product or provide the service. Once labor is in place they must have demand. Unless they only make $80k sports cars they are going to need a working public to buy what they provide. In short corporations are a three-way partnership between the person or persons who created them, labor and their customers. Labor can create and sell things without the Romneys or Trumps. The elitists, on the other hand can do very little without labor and customers. The most essential part of the partnership is labor and other laborers (labor is anyone who is non-management and usually anyone up to middle-management, and professionals like dentists) who are customers. Romney and millions of other Americans really feel that no sacrifice is too great to prop up the corporate part of the triangle. The least valuable part. It’s a myth that looms as one of the American economy’s biggest zombies. Shift the priorities to labor and consumers, and corporations will make reasonable profits and we’ll have an economy that does not have too big to fail corporations, and is much more stable in the long haul. Obama started out with a somewhat Keynesian plan that put an emphasis on creating jobs. Now Republicans who are playing at working class populism have taken away all the Keynesian tolls to create jobs. Bachmann and Palin have both said, incredulously, that taxes and regulations are stopping job creation. Taxes are the lowest they have been in sixty years. Regulations are certainly no more onerous than the same regulations were during the Bush or Clinton era. So non-kool-aid drinkers know those prescriptions are worthless.

This is not posted as an excuse for British rioters ( there is no excuse for hurting innocents the way rioters have), but some long-term issues are in play. The elite do not terrorize a society by taking to the street. They are much more devious than that – The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom

I cannot accept that this is the case. Indeed, I believe that the criminality in our streets cannot be dissociated from the moral disintegration in the highest ranks of modern British society. The last two decades have seen a terrifying decline in standards among the British governing elite. It has become acceptable for our politicians to lie and to cheat. An almost universal culture of selfishness and greed has grown up.

[  ]…Our politicians – standing sanctimoniously on their hind legs in the Commons yesterday – are just as bad. They have shown themselves prepared to ignore common decency and, in some cases, to break the law. David Cameron is happy to have some of the worst offenders in his Cabinet. Take the example of Francis Maude, who is charged with tackling public sector waste – which trade unions say is a euphemism for waging war on low-paid workers. Yet Mr Maude made tens of thousands of pounds by breaching the spirit, though not the law, surrounding MPs’ allowances.

A great deal has been made over the past few days of the greed of the rioters for consumer goods, not least by Rotherham MP Denis MacShane who accurately remarked, “What the looters wanted was for a few minutes to enter the world of Sloane Street consumption.” This from a man who notoriously claimed £5,900 for eight laptops. Of course, as an MP he obtained these laptops legally through his expenses.

Yesterday, the veteran Labour MP Gerald Kaufman asked the Prime Minister to consider how these rioters can be “reclaimed” by society. Yes, this is indeed the same Gerald Kaufman who submitted a claim for three months’ expenses totalling £14,301.60, which included £8,865 for a Bang & Olufsen television.

Or take the Salford MP Hazel Blears, who has been loudly calling for draconian action against the looters. I find it very hard to make any kind of ethical distinction between Blears’s expense cheating and tax avoidance, and the straight robbery carried out by the looters.

The Prime Minister showed no sign that he understood that something stank about yesterday’s Commons debate. He spoke of morality, but only as something which applies to the very poor: “We will restore a stronger sense of morality and responsibility – in every town, in every street and in every estate.” He appeared not to grasp that this should apply to the rich and powerful as well.

He leaves out Tony Blair who lied Britain into Bush’s Iraq quagmire. Blair left office, wrote a book, got a huge advance, did the talk show circuit and now lives a comfortable life most of Great Britain could only dream of. Lie your fellow citizens to their deaths and be rewarded. Spend your country’s treasures on foreign policy debacles and retire in leisure. The rioters should stop their abhorrent behavior immediately. That stills leaves Britain’s elite to explain why their immoral behavior and corruption is making the U.K. a better culture.

Rick Perry Says Social Security And Medicare Are Unconstitutional – Perry did not use the gun in the photo to shoot himself in the foot. He did that with his mouth.

Fact checking the GOP debate in Iowa. Facts and conservatives remains strangers that pass in the night.

Vintage World Map 1626 – Another Day In Twisted Morality From Conservatives

Vintage World Map 1626

Vintage Africa Map 1652


Murray Is Chosen as a Leader of Deficit Panel

Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, will be co-chairwoman of a powerful new Congressional committee that is supposed to recommend at least $1.5 trillion of additional deficit-reduction measures, the Senate majority leader announced Tuesday.

The leader, Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, also appointed two other Democratic senators, Max Baucus of Montana and John Kerry of Massachusetts, to the panel.

Mr. Baucus is chairman of the Finance Committee, which has authority over Medicare, Medicaid and taxes — three prime areas of attention for the new 12-member panel, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

Mr. Kerry, the Democrats’ presidential nominee in 2004, is chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Mrs. Murray, who won a tough re-election race last year, is a member of the Senate Democratic leadership, the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Budget Committee. Her selection raised eyebrows among Republicans because she is also chairwoman of the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

In that role, Mrs. Murray recently attacked Republican candidates, saying they wanted to turn Medicare “into a voucher program run by for-profit insurance companies in order to pay for more giveaways to oil companies and the very rich.”

Mr. Reid said Mrs. Murray, a senator since 1993, had deep knowledge of budget issues and had shown an ability to “work across party lines.”

That skill will be useful in the joint committee, which will be evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, with a seven-vote majority needed to make recommendations. “The world is watching the work of this committee,” Mr. Reid said.

While the math fumblers at S%P have given the U.S. a downgrade, the Republicans debt ceiling theatrics have come back to haunt them. The public, perhaps only slightly better at math than S&P, has downgraded the conservative movement. New CNN Poll: Majority want tax increase for wealthy and deep spending cuts. As one could have expected from following the talks and news of the offer of Obama’s Grand bargain, there would have been more spending cuts if only conservatives would allow some little increase in revenue through tax reform and closing loopholes, Obama’s poll numbers look better than anyone’s. We can disagree on how hard who fought for what, but at the end of the day, who in fact looked like the most reasonable person in the debt ceiling debate. If Republicans are the chess masters they claim to be they should have seen the consequences of their actions a few moves back. They were determined not to let anything that even hinted at Obama’s signature on a debt plan be put to a vote. They said they were going to pass the best spending cuts bill available. Obama signs off on a plan that Republican leadership claimed was better than Mom’s apple pie – Boehner said he got 98% of what he wanted. The public is left with the jaw dropping impression that yet another conservative caused economic train wreck was narrowly avoided. If this continues, and there is no reason to think Republicans will get a sane grown-ups booster shot, we could save the nation millions by having an unchallenged presidential election in 2012, as its is already a done deal. The choices are six to eight kinds of crazy or one guy that may not be the next FDR, but has shown no tendency to punish millions of American families in the name of some wacky urban myths about excessive federal spending. The CNN poll also means conservative golden boy Eric Cantor is still tone-deaf to what the American people want – Eric Cantor’s Pseudo-Economic Rationale.

The last good thing John McCain did for the U.S. was the McCain-Feingold law of 2002. The rest of the time he is a semi-regular pontificator on the Sunday talk shows. He has no particular expertise on anything – he doesn’t even know how many homes he owns. Has nothing of real value to contribute to the public discourse. Oh, wait, that’s it. Such qualities make him the perfect conservative and darling of the Beltway press. There is one good thing to be said of this dinosaur of empty-headedness, he looks good compared to some of his constituents, McCain heckled by Tea Partiers over ‘Agenda 21′

It’s angry Tea Party town hall month in America and, in Arizona yesterday, Senator John McCain got a taste of the kind of crazy that colored Colorado’s gubernatorial race last year. The longtime public servant and one-time GOP presidential nominee was called out of touch by Tea Partiers who were shocked McCain didn’t know about United Nations “Agenda 21,” a plan that will see a world government take over the United States by wresting control of its farms.

“First our firearms, then our farms,” one of the Tea Partiers called out, amid the hullabaloo, according to the Arizona Republic.

Baffled, McCain said no Congress would allow that to happen but few cared to hear it.

Media Matters and Think Progress have full-time staffs to keep track on and research all the myths and conspiracy theories these conservative dip sticks come up with and they’ll never keep up. As soon as one is exposed another takes its place. Conservatives must carry them like sleeping spores. It is just a matter of the right amount of moisture, heat and state of mind, than another piece of crackery comes to life. That McCain has to personally put up with this craziness is small comeuppance for the disastrous policies he has supported over the years, from which millions of Americans have suffered as a result.

National Review: Obama Secretly Supports Violent London Rioters

Violent riots have swept London all week. The Washington Post reports that last night, “Rampant looting and raging fires engulfed swaths of London on Monday as the wave of civil unrest that has gripped this sprawling capital escalated sharply.” Tonight, 16,000 police officers will take the streets to try to control the situation.

This morning in the National Review, Stanley Kurtz suggests that President Obama privately supports the violent protesters. Here’s how Kurtz makes his case:

The London riots have already kicked off the latest version of the seemingly never-ending debate over whether such events should be seen primarily as political protests by the powerless, or as out-and-out lawbreaking and vandalism. Back in 1992, Obama clearly leaned toward the former.

I found the press release Obama issued to get Project Vote rolling, in the ACORN archives at the Wisconsin Historical Society… Said Obama in 1992: “The Los Angeles riots reflect a deep distrust and disaffection with the existing power pattern in our society.” That’s Alinsky-speak for “We’ve got to use the power of the angry underclass to put capitalism in check.” […]

I certainly don’t think President Obama would openly speak about events in London the way he spoke about the L.A. riots nineteen years ago. What he thinks to himself is another matter.

What better way to figure out what Obama thinks about the riots in London than sifting through 20-year-old press releases in the ACORN archive?

Kurtz didn’t let the fact that nothing in the ACORN archive even begins to support the conclusion that Obama supports people who are burning down buildings and smashing store windows in London. He simply translates the press release into “Alinsky-speak” and the logic of his conspiracy theory is complete.

I’ll get to some specifics about the London riots in a moment. It appears that like many such phenomenon they started out as a mix of genuine protesters who had no intention of doing any property damage or cause harm to any persons. Like the L.A. riots those few legitimate protesters were over shadowed by people who used events as an excuse to riot. This is one of the reasons I’m not big on street protesting. Your perfectly legitimate agenda is easily compromised by zealots or the opposition looking to make your side look bad. After reading the above – see the proper nouns, the pronouns, the adjectives, the verbs: Obama, riots, sympathizes, leaned, the former, LA riots, London riots, direct parallels drawn, ACORN. Kurtz  reads the TPro write-up and he say he did not say what he said,

I see that a liberal blogger out there is claiming I think Obama “supports” the London rioters. No way do I think that, nor did I say that in my original post. My point was that Obama in 1992 saw the L.A. riots as a kind of political protest, a view quite similar, by the way, to the argument now being made by former London mayor Ken Livingstone, who thinks the British riots are implicitly a protest against the government’s austerity measures. Here’s a post from a blogger at Forbes who correctly criticizes the mischaracterization of my argument.

I was just casually observing that Kurtz engages in the kind of parallels Goebbels drew between the Jews and the decline of German power. But I really was not saying that. You can’t catch me making obtuse meaningless comparison because there are secret thoughts inside my head I didn’t use in the post which would clearly prove what I said was not what I meant. I would never engage in such Orwellian propaganda techniques because that would be unsportsmanlike conduct. This two young women have deeper insights than into the U.K. riots than Kurtz will ever hope to have – London riots: ‘A generation who don’t respect their parents or police’

Plenty of local young people, of course, were not involved – and many had little sympathy for the disturbances. “I think it was opportunism,” said Sarah, 17, who lives behind the Pembury. “I can understand why people would riot in Tottenham but here? I just thought it was a chance for them to cause havoc. It’s just an excuse.”

“But there is a problem,” interrupted her friend Ally, 21. “Growing up here, a lot of young boys, they are constantly harassed and stop and searched. The people, not just young people, they don’t like the police. They don’t get along with the police. They say the police are no good. They feel like they don’t help them. So what was happening, they were just trying to give the police the runaround. Just to piss them off.”

Both young women are currently looking for work, without success. “My dad talks about his generation, it was hard for them, but I think it’s worse for us,” said Ally.

Definitely some people are just taking a riot that was for injustice and turning it to something that hasn’t got anything to do with it. But maybe it’s a cry for help as well. People are doing it to be noticed, because there’s a problem.”

I watched some video from the networks and the net. There is no excuse for what the rioters are doing. I saw one young man throw some bottles at the police than turn and hit an elderly man who was just trying to get past. I also saw a lot of young people, those most discouraged by the U.K.’s austerity plan condemn the riots. One thing the National Review, Kurtz, Fox and the right-wing pundits could do to get the “left’s” take on the riots is to listen to what the ‘left” actually says. Britain’s Labour Party is, unlike America’s Democrats, truly left of center. Ed Miliband: No excuses for rioting

Labour leader Ed Miliband has said there can be “no excuses” for the violent behaviour which broke out in London and spread to other cities.

Visiting Peckham in south London, where shops were looted, he said restoring public order must be the priority.

He urged the government to provide resources to help people who have lost their homes and businesses.

The PM cut short his holiday to chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee in Downing Street on Tuesday.

And this from another Labour MP(Member of Parliament) – People need reassurance that the police have the resources they need to keep streets safe

Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, commenting on police numbers in London and across the country, said:

“The 16,000 police on the streets of London made a big difference last night in restoring calm. This is further evidence that the Tory-led Government needs to urgently rethink its cuts to police officers and police budgets. Now is not the time to cut over 16,000 police officers across the country.

“It is shameful that it has taken these appalling events to force Boris Johnson to realise people are concerned about police cuts, as he has already cut 900 police officers from the Met in the last year and the Mayor’s own plans mean 1,800 officers are expected to go in total over the next few years. The police, communities and campaigners have been warning that these cuts were unsustainable for many months. It should not take awful criminal violence on the scale we have seen for those warning voices to be heard.

“People in London and across the country need reassurance that the police have the resources and officers they need to keep the streets safe and maintain law and order. Now is not the time for 20 per cent budget cuts that make it harder not easier for the police to do their jobs.


We can all depend on the Right to give us just as accurate view of events in the U.K. as we can of Michelle Bachmann(R-MN) giving us an accurate history of the treasonous Confederacy and the institution of slavery – Bachmann’s ‘Must-Read’ List Included A Book That Claims Blacks Were ‘Better Off In Nearly Every Way’ Under Slavery. When they meet for lunch do the slavery was great conservatives have the same flavor kool-aid as the “Agenda 21” conservatives or the Obama loves a good riot conservatives.

Congratulations to the citizens of Wisconsin in turning back the tide of Republican fanaticism – Wisconsin wrap up, a real victory, and we fight on. The Democratic party of Wisconsin should be hounding the DOJ to investigate election fraud – Koch Group Mails Suspicious Absentee Ballot Letters In Wisconsin


Mr. Kurtz may have been enough twisted logic and right-wing propaganda for one day. For those who can stomach a little more, RNC Chair Blames Obama For GOP’s Unpopularity

Antique Pocket Watch wallpaper – Republicans Play Games With S&P Ratings

Antique Pocket Watch wallpaper

Republicans held a gun to the U.S. economy and threatened to blow its head off if they didn’t get everything they wanted (Explicitly admitted by their Senate leader) . That is well documented (here, here, here). Now that the games they have played may cost the government(tax payers) money it is all Obama’s fault – GOP Tries To Shift Blame For S&P Downgrade Of U.S. Creditworthiness

An ABC News report suggests U.S. officials are prepping for the credit rating agency S&P to downgrade the country’s AAA bond rating to either AA or AA+. This would be a slight reduction stemming from the Congressional circus over the debt limit fight.

According to the initial report, S&P sees the GOP’s intransigence on taxes as a reason to suspect the country will not be likely to reduce deficits in the years ahead, and Republicans are already trying to get out from under the blame.

S%P’s full explanation includes that part of the reason for the downgrade was their fear Congress will not let the Bush tax cuts expire as scheduled in 2013 – “the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for high earners lapse from 2013 onwards, as the Administration is advocating.” One of conservatism’s deepest thinkers Red State founder Erick Erickson tweets, “Dear Mr. Obama, while you blame the GOP for the downgrade, your party controlled all of Washington for two years & extended the Bush cuts,”. Erick really should cut back on the kool-aid, but he deserves propaganda points for getting so much wrong in such a short space.

The Bush tax cut extension of 2009 was another instance of Republican extortion. In order to get an extension of unemployment benefits for all those people conservatives assume are lazy pigs, Obama gave the Bush tax cuts as ransom.

Control of Washington? From 2088 to 2010 Democrats had a majority in the House. In the Senate Democrats held 56 seats and two Independents caused with Democrats for a total of 58. As everyone, who cares to be honest knows, to pass anything in the Senate  – because of the mere threat of a filibuster – almost all legislation requires a super majority of 60 votes. During the health care debate it was obvious that there were some very conservative Democrats opposed to the public option, dropping the Medicare eligibility age down to 55 and even many moderate Democrats were opposed to any public single payer plan ( Ben Nelson(D) almost singlehandley killed the public option. Max Baucus(D) was not particularly helpful as the Democratic point man on health care reform. Republican pundits get away with this kind of over simplification, spin and ingenuousness all the time. Or they really are the know nothing pundits they appear to be.

Why Erickson’s sudden about face about behaving like an adult and understanding the implications of playing games with the debt ceiling. If Congress had followed Erickson and Red State’s advice the U.S. would have defaulted and all three rating agencies would have severely downgraded the nations’ credit rating – Red State, Sunday, May 1st 2011 at 1:28PM EDT, The debt ceiling really doesn’t matter.

We’ve had a whole lot of talk about raising the debt ceiling in the last few months and the conversation, frankly, is mostly just hot air. The US is most likely headed for a financial wall at high speed without regard to action on the debt ceiling and that howling that if we don’t raise the ceiling we’ll damage the “full faith and credit” of the US government is laughable.

The inestimable Gateway Pundit and its chorus of teahadist commenters are ecstatic over Michelle Bachamnn(R-MN) response to the news from S&P –   Michele Bachmann: “I Call on President Obama to Demand Resignation of Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner” (Video)

Michele Bachmann reacted to the news tonight that S&P downgraded the US credit rating. Bachmann was on with Greta Van Susteren.

“This president has destroyed the credit rating of the United States through failed economic policies and his inability to control government spending… President Obama is destroying the foundation’s of our economy one beam at a time. I call on the president to seek the immediate resignation of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and to submit a plan with his list of cuts to balance the budget this year, turn the economy around and put our people back to work.”

Sure  going from a AAA rating to a AA+ by one of the big three agencies has “destroyed” the nations credit rating. Yet Bachmann advocated actually destroying the economy by defaulting on the debt ceiling. She even had a petition up demanding that the nations’ credit rating be destroyed. This is the person everyone at Gateway thinks would be the great wise, well informed leader of the country.

“Put our people back to work”? Is she advocating the position that government can and should create jobs. That is a liberal Keynesian position during recessions.

So much for the clown posse. As Matt Yglesias notes this S&P stuff is just another political football. It is just one rating agency and as the TPM link notes S&P based its decision on a $2 trillion math error. As Republicans play blame shift with S&P and the real or not so real consequences of conservatives playing games with the economy it is also worth remembering that all the political and market reactions are because conservative House Leader John Boehner(R-OH) got 98% of what he wanted,

The person who looks bad here, in my view, is John Boehner. President Obama wanted to do a “grand bargain.” The Gang of Six Senators wanted to do a “grand bargain.” And it looked for a moment like Speaker Boehner was going to be part of a grand bargain. But ultimately he decided that he didn’t want to sign a deal that would fracture his caucus, so the grand bargain talks fell apart. And yet the little bargain that did eventually pass the House ultimately couldn’t pass with Republican votes alone. So what did Boehner really achieve? If he was ultimately destined to strike a deal with the White House that needed Democratic votes to pass the House, why not go for the grand bargain? According to Boehner “When you look at this final agreement that we came to with the white House, I got 98 percent of what I wanted. I’m pretty happy.” How happy is he now? (emphasis mine)

Conservatives could have gotten bigger spending cuts and didn’t for a few reasons. Number one being that the best offer on the table had Obama’s name on it. Republicans choose to cut off their nose to spite their faces.

Paul Krugman notes that the rating agencies have been better at serving the interests of Wall St than being objective, S&P and the USA

OK, so Standard and Poors has gone ahead with the threatened downgrade. It’s a strange situation.

On one hand, there is a case to be made that the madness of the right has made America a fundamentally unsound nation. And yes, it is the madness of the right: if not for the extremism of anti-tax Republicans, we would have no trouble reaching an agreement that would ensure long-run solvency.

On the other hand, it’s hard to think of anyone less qualified to pass judgment on America than the rating agencies. The people who rated subprime-backed securities are now declaring that they are the judges of fiscal policy? Really?

Just to make it perfect, it turns out that S&P got the math wrong by $2 trillion, and after much discussion conceded the point — then went ahead with the downgrade.

This is what Krugman is talking about – `Race to Bottom’ at Moody’s, S&P Secured Subprime’s Boom, Bust

“Without these AAA ratings, that would have stopped the flow of money,” says Stiglitz, 65, a professor at Columbia University in New York who won the Nobel Prize in 2001 for his analysis of markets with asymmetric information. S&P and Moody’s “were trying to please clients,” he said. “You not only grade a company but tell it how to get the grade it wants.”

Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama lay responsibility for the carnage with Wall Street itself. The Securities and Exchange Commission in July identified S&P and Moody’s as accessories, finding they violated internal procedures and improperly managed the conflicts of interest inherent in providing credit ratings to the banks that paid them.

S&P and Moody’s earned as much as three times more for grading the most complex of these products, such as the unregulated investment pools known as collateralized debt obligations, as they did from corporate bonds. As homeowners defaulted, the raters have downgraded more than three-quarters of the AAA-rated CDO bonds issued in the last two years.

This is not to say the credit rating agencies deserve all the blame. The agencies – private enterprise entities – were supposed to serve as unbiased watchdogs. Those CDO’s they rated as AAA were junk. You can get the Cliff Notes version in the documentary Inside Job.

In other news:

What Caused The Deficit? A Reply To Megan McArdle. Another attempt by the Right to try to pretend we all traveled through a time machine from 1999 to 2008. Thus conservative economic policies are not, once again, responsible for any of the bad stuff.

Three connected links about the Obama presidency – Obama isn’t weak (he just isn’t a liberal) by David Sirota. There is some I agree with and some I don’t. When it comes down to specific legislation I still think good progressive soldiers like Sirota fail on the math. You either have the votes or you don’t and no amount of push back from Obama would make a difference. The debt ceiling was a good example. Conservatives ended up with less than they were demanding purely out of the desire to spite Obama’s attempts at compromise. SadlyNo contributes their thoughts- The New Incompetence Dodge – ” Moreover, like Ronald Reagan, Obama is fortunate in the stupidity (part hero worship, part battered-wife syndrome) and masochism of a large section of his base; he knows he can slap them repeatedly and they will love him anyway just because of who he is, never mind what he actually believes in, or how he actually governs.” Some good and not so good points. I’m looking ahead to 2012 and thinking yea, damn straight if my only choice is between any of the whackados on the Right and our the Reaganesque Obama, I’ll vote for the lesser evil. Would you rather have another Kagan or Sotomeyer on the SCOTUS or another right-wing judicial activist like Scalia? And Taylor Marsh chimes in on the discussion  FEATURE: A Friendly Rebuttal to David Sirota (from the ultimate outsider – a former Clintonite) – “Mr. Obama has no driving dream as a foundation, but is simply a formidable political performer that has the gift of oratory, which has become the facade behind which he stands. He can deliver the words, but has never cared about the deeds required to make those words manifest. He is a political actor, nothing more, which is why compromise is his tool, because he has no ideas of his own for which he’s willing to risk failure to pursue. It’s always about him, never you.” I disagree by degrees if I only go by what I have seen since January 2010. If Marsh had written that in 2009, based on Obama’s record I would have said she was completely off base. All these links have comment sections for those who want to contribute your thoughts.

Democratic City Skyline wallpaper – Republican Clowns With No Humility

Democratic City Skyline wallpaper

There is not much new happening in debt ceiling negotiations that everyone has not already heard of of mid-morning. John Boehner(R-OH) plan was doomed from the start. Democrats under Nancy Pelosi’s(D-CA) leadership were never let House Republicans loose with a sharp knife to whittle away at Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security at will. That’s just crazy to contemplate, but leave it to Boehner to think it was possible. Add to that there was a spoiler for the teahadist. The bill contained funding for Pell grants. Republicans think an educated populace is a danger to their agenda and hey, its one thing they are right about. So that meant Boehner could not lose more than about 20 Republican votes. The Boehner plan was weird in that it actually cut less spending than the Harry Reid(D-NV) plan. Anyone notice a trend here. Republicans voted for the Paul Ryan plan twice. That reduced spending less than Obama’s $4 trillion dollar plan One could say the Ryan plan was more progressive and liberal than the Obama plan in total cuts( though not in specific cuts. Ryan gutted Medicare). In the Boehner versus Reid spending cuts plan, Reid’s was further to the right in total cuts. Yet in the alternate universe that is the kool-aid addled mind-set of the Right, the Obama and Reid plans are Marxist attacks on the very foundation of this country. This is why I think liberals and moderates are ill equipped to fight this battle. The only thing we have to fight with are facts. Its like rock, paper, scissors – tea bagger kool-aid drowns facts.

here are the options for understanding the fanatical Right view of current events: They do not understand what is going on, they are in denial or it is another opportunity to practice their lying techniques. Possibly a combination of the three. Our first example is Red State’s Erick Erickson – Unfortunately, this isn’t a joke:

Of course, in the real world, voting to table something is exactly the same thing as voting to kill it. But alas, the above analysis by Suzy Khimm is just good reporting on looking-glass land, as seen in this pathetic Erick Erickson post (my emphasis):

One week ago the entire conservative movement was unified behind Cut, Cap, and Balance as was both House and Senate GOP caucus — no small feat to be sure.
Then, because Harry Reid denied CCB a vote through a procedural motion, John Boehner produces a crackpot plan that rips the conservative movement apart at the seams and after taking two stabs at it, still can’t get to the promised $1.2 trillion in cuts he initially claimed it would have.

I’m not sure whether Erickson is irresponsibly misinformed or telling a deliberate lie, but Harry Reid did no such thing. Allowing a vote to table is allowing a vote.

Shouldn’t Erickson be out hunting down people who are using environmentally friendly dish washing detergent? Rather than being focusing on what “tabling” a vote means, if Erickson had stopped playing pretentious town clown for minute and looked up the Senate rules he would have seen this bit about “Cloture”.

Cloture is the only procedure by which the Senate can vote to set an end to a debate without also rejecting the bill, amendment, conference report, motion, or other matter it has been debating. A Senator can make a nondebatable motion to table an amendment, and if a majority of the Senate votes for that motion, the effect is to reject the amendment. Thus, the motion to table cannot be used to conclude a debate when Senators still wish to speak and to enable the Senate to vote for the proposal it is considering. Only the cloture provisions of Rule XXII achieve this purpose.

Not disturbed by the dish washing detergent revolution or being too lazy fact check himself,  or understand basic Senate rules? Actual elected Republican officials call Erick for advice. Elements of Wingnut Style

Rule one for wingnut prose stylists: pretend it’s the 19th century. Rule two: you can never sound douchy enough. The Son of Erick:

In the past 48 hours I have had call after call after call from members of the United States Congress. They’ve read what I’ve written. They agree. But they feel the hour is short and the end is nigh.

So some are calling looking for alternatives. Some are calling looking for energy. Many are calling looking for absolution.

And so I address them and put it here so you can see my advice.

I can give no absolution for what you may be about to do.

He talks like this at Burger King, too. “I have come here, as the hour of lunch is nigh, to this drive-thru, to purchase, in God’s name, a Whopper, nay, its mighty scion, a Whopper Junior, and forsooth, prithee, I desire as well the fried potatoes of Freedom, and I declare that I wish my parched gullet to be watered with the chocolate of a shake, much akin to the manner in which the ground ‘neath the Liberty Tree is watered with the blood of… patriots.”

He’s actually talking to members of Congress here, and they probably think this is all Top-Flight Oratory. (emphasis mine)

Some have suggested that conservatism is a mental illness. If  Erickson was all one read about conservatism it not unreasonable to entertain at least the passing notion that conservatism is a virus. Once infected, you’re done. Well that’s not fair. There are well educated intellectual conservatives who make honest arguments with supporting evidence.   Conservative Douglas Holtz-Eakin is a college educated economist with a Ph.D from Princeton. He was the Director of the Congressional Budget Office under Bush. Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory, July 28, 2011 9:39 P.M. By Douglas Holtz-Eakin

Hard to believe what I’m reading, hearing, and watching. It’s a concerted, bipartisan effort to snatch defeat when victory is in sight.

Let’s start with the House Democrats, who are content to make a political statement and sit on their hands. That means that the Boehner plan must pass with only Republican votes and Democrats don’t care if financial markets melt down tomorrow morning (they will).

Add to this list the White House. Are they whipping Democrats to vote for the Boehner plan, move a legislative vehicle to the House, soothe financial markets, and work to a better (in their eyes) legislative outcome in the Senate? No; that’s called governing. Instead, they are pushing a Reid proposal that will never get 60 votes in the Senate.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin is 1)Lying  2) Has no idea of the offers that Republicans have rejected all of which reduce the deficit more than the plan he thinks is just swell 3) Has not read all the Republicans saying that raising the debt ceiling either does not matter or that another economic meltdown would be good for the country. Apparently it doesn’t matter whether one is listening to one of the conservative base teahdists or one of the conservative intellectual elites, its all assclown pie.

Palin vs Boehner

She waited till this afternoon to chime in, but she’s as hostile to the establishment as Bachmann. The passive aggression is also super-Sarah:

“I respectfully ask these GOP Freshman to re-read this letter and remember us “little people” who believed in them, donated to their campaigns, spent hours tirelessly volunteering for them, and trusted them with our votes. This new wave of public servants may recall that they were sent to D.C. for such a time as this.”

And, as of the moment, the Speaker has had to delay the vote because he cannot control his own party. We will soon see who runs the GOP. I suspect it’s less Boehner than Limbaugh.

Sarah Palin and economics.

So add Palin to the lengthy list of conservatives who would prefer to shoot the hostages than pick one of the Right of center compromises proposed by Democrats. There is an old saying in the south for people like Palin and her supporters – they think their sh*t don’t stink. No matter how much they screw up or how many Americans they screw over they cannot bring themselves to have enough insights or humility to admit wrong. Should anyone being taking economic advice that left the town of Wasilla (population 5,469 in 2000) $20 Million in debt. These are very likely the people who voted conservative from 2000 to 2008 and truly believe they bear no responsibility for the disastrous legacies of that era.

Bachmann Defends Using Federal Loans She Denounced: ‘It’s Almost Impossible To Buy A Home’ Without Them. This fact based piece of yet another glaring hypocrisy on the part of yet another conservative will have zero affect on how her base of supporters think about her. If science could synthesize those ginormous powers of denial into a serum we would have a cheap replacement for opiate based rugs.

And just because I heard another conservative parrot on the news this morning repeating the Big Lie that the U.S. is on the wildest spending spree in history and that’s the problem, not revenue – The GOP just can’t handle the truth: Tax cuts, war and the financial crisis created our huge deficits

Let’s see. We’re at war in Afghanistan, so “peacetime” is dubious. Obama has cut taxes — income taxes, payroll taxes, taxes for small businesses. Private sector economic forecasters say the stimulus increased GDP growth and kept the unemployment rate from rising higher. We could even range into the subjective, and argue that from the left side of the political aisle, Obama has been anything but hostile to business and hasn’t done nearly enough to regulate the financial sector. And we could note, just for fun, that Obama’s “grandiose” social program is modeled explicitly after the healthcare reform enacted by none other than Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. (And this guy, most political analysts think, poses the biggest threat to Obama’s reelection!)

But nothing is more ridiculous than the notion that Obama is a “binge” spender. Paul Krugman rightfully calls this scurrilous accusation a “zombie lie.”

Spending: Bush versus Obama