Oak Trees and Blue Bonnets wallpaper – Rand Paul (R-KY) and How The Conservative Cult Thinks

Oak Trees and Blue Bonnets wallpaper

Oak Trees and Blue Bonnets wallpaper

 

Straight to the sleazy serial liars and delusional fleabags, Rand Paul (R-KY) goes where few Republicans have gone: Howard University

Paul told the students he didn’t come to “preach” or “prescribe” a political point of view, but to ask each of them to write their own story in life and perhaps make conservatism a part of it. In other words: develop their own views of him, the Republican Party and their own political beliefs.

This is just another version of the Herman Cain and Dr. Ben Carson assertion that black Americans have been brain washed. If they would really “think” they’d vote for far Right ideologues. Nope, nothing insulting or wacky about that.

Few young minorities know the history of the Republican Party “chock full of emancipation and black history”. He talked about his passion for ending mandatory minimum federal sentencing for non-violent possession of drugs because they ruin the lives of kids who just make bad decisions. It was one of the most heavily tweeted and applauded lines of his speech.

How the two major political parties have changed since the 1860s can and has filled books. Rand probably has not read a history or political science book that does not regurgitate what he wants to believe his entire life – including his liberal college indoctrination. Rand Paul (R-KY) Must Think Blacks Have Amnesia

He left out the part that Republicans almost always leave out when they lament their lack of support from African Americans: the racial realignment that occurred during the 1960s, when Democratic politicians like President Lyndon B. Johnson and Robert F. Kennedy became champions for equal rights, and Republicans reinvented their party as a harbor for segregationists.

The simple truth is that the present-day Republican Party has virtually no resemblance to the Republican Party of, say, 1960, when Richard Nixon got 32 percent of the black vote in his race against John F. Kennedy. Four years later, the Republicans nominated right-wing Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, who based his campaign on opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. By 1968, Nixon had wholeheartedly accepted Goldwater’s advice to “go hunting where the ducks are” by adopting a so-called Southern strategy dedicated to wooing segregationists like Strom Thurmond.

They consolidated their approach in 1980 when Ronald Reagan delivered the first major speech of his campaign in Philadelphia, Miss., where three civil rights workers were murdered in one of the 1960s’ ugliest cases of racist violence. Reagan gave a ringing declaration of his support for “states’ rights” — code words for resistance to black advances clearly understood by white Southerners. Ever since then, the GOP has been the party of white privilege.

I did a current check on conservative racism in that Ben Carson post the other day. Another interesting thing to do is search for Obama images in Google, then trace the racist filth back to the conservative web sites that posted them. I still don’t think all Republicans are racist, though they seem to be in denial about their racism problem. It is common for political zealots to rewrite history. You don’t want people looking back at what actually happened and, to use Rand’s words, think for themselves. The radical Right has their noise machine fired up 24/7 because that is how much is noise required to keep the sheeple as true believers. And of course there is the morally reprehensible Conservative problem with being serial liars, At Howard University, Rand Paul Falsely Claims He Never Opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act

Following an awkward, earnest speech to an audience at Howard University, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) insisted several times that he did not oppose the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“I’ve never been against the Civil Rights Act, ever,” Paul told a questioner, following what was the first speech by a Republican legislator at the historically black university in decades. “This was on tape,” the questioner responded.

That’s true. It is on tape. Here it is:

In 2010, during an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal flagged by ThinkProgress, Paul made it very clear that he opposed a key part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that banned discrimination on the basis of race in “places of public accommodation,” such as privately owned businesses that are open to the public.

Such a short speech and meaningless in terms of actual substance. Though Paul did get a chance to repeat some of the dogma of the conservative cult,

He said after the Great Depression and Civil Rights Act, blacks wanted “economic emancipation” and began voting Democrat because Democrats promised “unlimited federal assistance”. He added: Republicans offered something that seemed less tangible-the promise of equalizing opportunity through free markets. After nearly 50 years of Democrat policies, Paul argued the evidence shows that big government is not a friend to African Americans. He pointed to persistent high unemployment among blacks, presently 13.3%, nearly twice the national average, blacks trapped in failing schools and their declining wealth.

Anyone want to guess what black unemployment would be now if the Civil Rights Act had not been passed. Rand believes, as conservatives dogmatists do, that the free market god will fix everything and anything if we all stand back and let it work it’s magic. Yet Rand supplied a example of a situation which proved that it does not work. It was about a hundred years between the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Act. The all knowing perfect gods of the market had a hundred years to wave the magic wand and make everything work for everyone. Certainly a hundred years of laissez-faire discrimination was a fair trial. Rand reminds me of the few remaining communists who claim that it never had a chance to work either.

Let’s move on to the next nutbar with as much integrity as rat droppings, Top Republican Blasts Obama Budget As ‘Shocking Attack On Seniors’

Well Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) — who also happens to be chairman of the House GOP’s re-election committee — just showed how it’s done, saying Obama’s budget “lays out a shocking attack on seniors.”

“I’ll tell you when you’re going after seniors the way he’s already done on Obamacare, taken $700 billion out of Medicare to put into Obamacare and now coming back at seniors again, I think you’re crossing that line very quickly here in terms of denying access to seniors for health care in districts like mine certainly and around the country,” he said on CNN Wednesday afternoon.

That used to be the $500 million lie. I guess with inflation it has grown. These wackos have been telling that lie about Obamacare and Medicare since 2009,

National Review’s Lowry: Obama Made “Meat-Axe Cuts” To Medicare. On Fox News’ Hannity, National Review editor Rich Lowry said that “$700 billion in cuts on current seniors” have been made to Medicare, adding, “These are meat-axe cuts that the president passed to fund another unaffordable entitlement right now.” [Fox News, Hannity, 8/14/12]

Fox’s Hannity: “There’s Only One Candidate In This Race That Gutted Medicare.” On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity said, “There’s only one candidate in this race that gutted Medicare. Who is it?” Hannity later said, “There’s only one guy that cut Medicare, $741 billion, and that was Barack Obama.” [Fox News, Hannity, 8/14/12]

….FactCheck.org: Affordable Care Act “Stipulates That Guaranteed Medicare Benefits Won’t Be Reduced.” FactCheck.org noted that the Affordable Care Act “does not slash the current Medicare budget by $500 billion. Rather that’s a $500 billion reduction in the future growth of Medicare over 10 years”:

As we have written many times, the [Affordable Care Act] does not slash the current Medicare budget by $500 billion. Rather, that’s a $500 billion reduction in the future growth of Medicare over 10 years, or about a 7 percent reduction in growth over the decade. In other words, Medicare spending would continue to rise, just not as much. The law stipulates that guaranteed Medicare benefits won’t be reduced, and it adds some new benefits, such as improved coverage for pharmaceuticals.

Most of those savings come from a reduction in the future growth of payments to hospitals and other providers (not physicians), and a reduction in payments to private Medicare Advantage plans to bring those payments in line with traditional Medicare. (MA plans have been paid more per beneficiary than traditional Medicare.)

And it assumes they actually happen. There’s good reason to think that some of those reductions won’t be implemented. The law calls for cuts in the future growth of reimbursement payments to hospitals and other health care providers — that accounts for $219 billion of the Medicare savings in the law. But Congress has consistently overridden similar scheduled cuts in payments to doctors. [FactCheck.org, 6/28/12]
And Ryan Adopted The Exact Same Method Of Reducing Medicare Growth
    
Washington Post: “Paul Ryan’s Budget Keeps Obama’s Medicare Cuts. Full Stop.” In an August 14 post on The Washington Post’s Wonkblog, Ezra Klein noted, “Since the Romney campaign wants to run against President Obama’s cuts to Medicare, it’s something of a problem for them that Paul Ryan’s budget includes those very same cuts to Medicare.”

As far as Republicans who has previously demanded chained CPI and are now attacking the White House for offering it, well if the White House had checked with the people who voted for them first, we could have told you what to expect. You are not dealing with people who regard honor as a virtue, So the Obama budget is out, Social Security cuts and all. Why is this happening?

Well, it’s all about the positioning. Ezra Klein gets at what I hear from the WH too (and what’s obvious in any case):

Today’s budget is the White House’s effort to reach the bedrock of the fiscal debate. Half of its purpose is showing what they’re willing to do. They want a budget compromise, and this budget proves it. There are now liberals protesting on the White House lawn. But the other half is revealing what the GOP is — or, more to the point, isn’t — willing to do. Republicans don’t want a budget compromise, and this budget is likely to prove that, too.

The question is, to whom are these things being “proved”?

Since the beginning, the Obama administration has seemed eager to gain the approval of the grownups — the sensible people who will reward efforts to be Serious, and eventually turn on those nasty, intransigent Republicans as long as Obama and co. don’t cater too much to the hippies.This is the latest, biggest version of that strategy. Unfortunately, it will almost surely fail. Why? Because there are no grownups — only people who try to sound like grownups, but are actually every bit as childish as anyone else.

After all, if whoever it is that Obama is trying to appeal to here — I guess it’s the Washington Post editorial page and various other self-proclaimed “centrist” pundits — were willing to admit the fundamental asymmetry in our political debate, willing to admit that if DC is broken, it’s because of GOP radicalism, they would have done it long ago. It’s not as if this reality was hard to see.

But the truth is that the “centrists” aren’t sincere. Calls for centrism and bipartisanship aren’t actual demands for specific policies — they’re an act, a posture these people take to make themselves seem noble and superior.

If conservatives were adults I can see the centrist strategy making some kind of sense – in a bargain with zealots you end up with some of what you want, with some not completely reprehensible concessions. Only the White House seems unable or unwilling to accept the fact that they’re not dealing with people who care about most Americans. Conservatives are captives of the crony corporatists, the libertarian hucksters and fundamentalist quacks who have time traveled here from 1850.

Italian Hills Spring wallpaper – Republicans Come Up Short On Economic And Constitutional Values

Italian Hills Spring wallpaper

Italian Hills Spring wallpaper

I have heard otherwise pretty sensible people repeat the now firmly entrenched myth that the federal budget is like your household budget. A testament of sorts to the power of repeating an untruth for long enough. Why the federal budget can’t be managed like a household budget

The Romney campaign said it. Paul Ryan claimed it, as recently as a little more than a week ago. It’s not, you can all but hear them saying, that we want grandma eating cat food when she’s 90, but gosh damn it, we need to restore some integrity to our federal finances. After all, you, John and Jane Q. Voter, reconcile your family accounts regularly and can’t spend a penny more than what is coming in. Why should those big spenders in Washington, DC get away with doing something you mere Americans cannot?

“Every family in America has to balance their budget,” recently thundered Speaker of the House John Boehner.

I guess that’s why an online poll last year found 69% of us never reconcile our checkbook and another 10% rarely bother.

So what can be the appeal of this less than truthful analogy? The sad truth is it is a product of our profound financial ignorance.

It makes a nice argument crutch to make the comparison even though people generally tend to just trust their memeory and the bank. The same people who, after eight years of “spending like a drunk sailor” as one senator from Arizona once put it, suddenly discovered they were vastly overdrawn. So in a recession no less, they decided that mending their fences should take priority over infrastructure and job creation.

Now, of course you could say a certain percentage of government spending is also a long-term investment. Just look at the economic stimulus plan enacted by the Obama administration. Not only does issuing debt and using it to build bridges and educate children offer an economic stimulus in the short term, it also boosts our prospects in the long run, as these investments ultimately improve our productivity for years to come.

Yet this nation of current and former mortgage holders doesn’t believe it. Internal Republican party polling obtained by the online publication Politico revealed that a majority of voters believe balancing the federal budget would “significantly increase economic growth and create millions of American jobs.”

Been to Great Britain lately? Greece? Italy? That austerity thing is working out just great for them. The more they cut, the worse the hole their economies face. That’s why Britain is likely entering its third recession in less than five years.

These are the facts. They are pesky things. Remember that recent blog post I did or the column by Ezra Klein about Republican strategist and pundit Mike Murphy. When confronted with the facts about how austerity has failed everywhere, Republicans just go into denial mode. As important as fact denial in the conservative mental bunker, beliefs are as important if not more so. Given a choice between the historical record and what conservatives hold as a belief, the belief wins. Given a choice between a study showing there is no connection between low taxes for the wealthy and job growth, the conservative will still go with their agenda. So what if the conservative agenda is ultimately a break on progress, bad for the nation morally and ultimately bad for the economic prospects of 90% of American workers. The conservative mind is only interested in seeing the fulfillment of its agenda.

Why Do Senate Republicans Hate Traditional American Judicial Values

Caitlin Halligan, facing a Republican filibuster, officially withdrew from consideration for a judgeship on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. This is not surprising or unexpected. Halligan, who was nominated to fill the seat vacated by Chief Justice John Roberts, had seen her nomination languish since 2010. The successful filibuster that snuffed Halligan’s nomination early this March represents another example of why real reform or (better yet) elimination of the filibuster is desperately needed.

The filibustering of Halligan is striking, even in the context of an utterly dysfunctional Senate, for two reasons. First, Halligan is a mainstream nominee, with broad support for her credentials and temperament from across the political spectrum. And second, Obama is the first president in at least 50 years not to get a single nominee confirmed to the D.C. Circuit, despite a relatively large number of vacancies. Obama isn’t packing the court or looking to staff it with radical liberals, and yet a minority in the Senate is preventing him from replacing a seat that has been vacant for seven years and counting.

Scott points out that Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made sure that he referred to Halligan as a judicial activist, twice. Truly a head spinner. This from the guy who supported the judicial activism of the SCOTUS in the Citizens United case and supported Janice Rogers Brown for the Circuit Court. Janice might be one of the most radical far Right judicial activist to ever serve on a federal bench, Bush Nominee to to D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

Brown has exhibited hostility to protections against discrimination. For instance, she has argued that victims of age discrimination should not have the right to sue under common law, that the state Fair Employment and Housing Commission did not have the authority to award damages to housing discrimination victims, that victims of disability discrimination are not entitled to raise past instances of discrimination that occurred, and that verbal conduct that creates a hostile work environment does not constitute employment discrimination.

Janice does represent conservative legal radicalism. She believes, as does the conservative movement, that those in power – corporations, state government should have the freedom to take away your freedom. In these Orwellian circle logic when victims of discrimination or harassment seek legal remedies, they are interfering with the freedom and rights of those in power to abuse others, because hey, that is how the conservative constitution works.

In a case involving a company sued for making false statements about the conditions in its overseas factories, Brown argued that the court should expand the contexts in which corporations could make false or misleading representations with no legal ramifications. In another case, she argued that the court should restrict the ability of investors to sue corporations that provide fraudulent financial reports.

For a movement that uses the word values so much, a look at the context, at how they apply those “values,” consistently comes up short on the accountability that forms the backbone of any values worth having.

Golden Autumn Path wallpaper – Republicans See All Fiscal Tax Issues As A Way To Sabotage American Values

fall, autumn, landscape, leaves

Golden Autumn Path wallpaper

 

I agree with the analysts who say we should not call the current budget negotiations the “fiscal cliff” ( I like Krugman’s description of it as an austerity bomb), but I can’t do much about other people calling it that. This is another issue that conservatives to have both ways – like chanting freedom and then listing all the freedoms that would flush. Cons in DC and on the net are warning of the most dire of consequences if President Obama and Democrats do not come to a “compromise”. Meaning as usual that if the austerity freaks do not get everything they want, Democrats did not compromise. While the usual suspects – Malkin, Redstate, Fox, The Washington Free Beacon are providing the echo, the noise machine’s messages still originate with the American Free Enterprise Institute, the Chamber of Chamber, David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. The economic calamity message from the radical Right is meant to get the conservatives next door to provide what looks like populist support. Once again convincing some working class Americans to advocate against their own rational self interests. This is a tried and somewhat proven tactic on the Right’s part. The reason, or at least part of the reason it works in regards the debt ceiling and balancing the budget is that Democrats are citing the very real dire consequences. So amidst all that chattering what are relatively clear facts get lost and the working class Right gets snookered into helping the wealthy put another heads they win, tails they win, Some of America’s richest people are about to get even richer thanks to the fiscal cliff

The risk that the US government could raise taxes on dividends as part of a deal on the forthcoming “fiscal cliff” has finally forced corporate America to do something with its massive pile of cash. Here’s a look a the Smaug-worthy* hoard companies have been accumulating:

US Corporate Cash

And what will they do with this haul? Spend it on investment? Hah! They’re rushing to give some of it to shareholders. Both the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times have taken note of the trend in recent days. The Journal writes:

The moves would send hundreds of millions of dollars back to shareholders before tax hikes that could kick in next year either automatically or as a result of negotiations between the White House and Congress.

And the FT reports that since the beginning of the fourth quarter, “a record 103 companies have announced they will pay special dividends before the end of the year, according to Markit. The data firm is forecasting that 123 companies will announce special fourth-quarter dividends, compared to the previous average of just 31.” This is similar to what happened during the fourth quarter of 2010 the last time that the so-called Bush tax cuts were about to expire.

With a ton of cash, there’s no reason companies shouldn’t be giving at least some of it back to shareholders. Especially if those shareholders are well, the controlling ones. The Journal rightly notes that some rich Americans stand to gain quite a bit from getting their cash now, thanks very much. For instance, Las Vegas Sands CEO—and well-known backer of Republican political candidates—Sheldon Adelson could collect about $1.2 billion from the $2.75 a share special dividend on his 52% ownership interest in the casino company, which said it would pay a new one-time dividend next month.

Some of America’s richest and laziest people are about to get even richer

We’ve been told over and over again the top 10% have to have low taxes so they’ll invest it and create jobs. They invest it in each other, they horde it and they spend very little on it in entrepreneurial enterprises. They’re sitting on so much cash that no honest argument can be made that tax rates are at levels that a disincentive to investment or job creation on their part. The Right has always claimed that we can cut spending to find our way to fiscal paradise. That was never true and untrue now more than ever, just ask anyone in Europe. The wealthy are whining because of greed. They just want your conservative neighbors to believe the fairy tale about them creating jobs if only they had a few dollars to spare, but big bad gov’mint is taking all their hard earned profits and buying stuff for the United Nations. The top 10% is going to win no matter how the tax cuts are finally settled. It is mind boggling to believe that someone with millions of dollars in assets is going to be really upset if they have to start paying the same marginal tax rates they did during the Clinton boom years. The real purpose of the tax cuts for the Right is to edge a little closer to not just gutting Medicare and other safety net programs, but to do away with the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency and anything else that protects the average citizen. Taxes will thus never be low enough until we reach the point where Monsanto can exercise its God given right to poison entire counties with impunity and the anti-rationalist can teach their children that humans were created out of space dust a couple thousand years ago with no competing science based narrative. I have read Democratic bloggers talk about their personal experiences trying to convince relatives of how dangerous the conservative movement is. That despite all the flag waving the last thing conservatives hold dear is the best interests of the country. Many Americans just find it hard to believe that a movement that talks so much about values has so little of them. Making the USA into a permanent Pottersville wasteland is hardly the dream of most Americans when you get the conversations down to specifics. If companies such as Walmart brought back have their exported jobs to the U.S. and paid their average retail workers a living wage they would still make billions. But money equals power for them and less power for the average citizen, and that’s the way they want it. Even if people have to die to keep it that way, Wal-Mart’s strategy of deniability for workers’ safety

The Bangladesh factory supplied clothing to a range of retailers, and officials who have toured the site said they found clothing with a Faded Glory label — a Wal-Mart brand. Wal-Mart says that the factory, which had received at least one bad report for its fire-safety provisions, was no longer authorized to make its clothing but one of the suppliers in the company’s very long supply chain had subcontracted the work there “in direct violation of our policies.”

If this were an isolated incident of Wal-Mart denying responsibility for the conditions under which the people who make and move its products labor, then the Bangladeshi disaster wouldn’t reflect quite so badly on the company. But the very essence of the Wal-Mart system is to employ thousands upon thousands of workers through contractors and subcontractors and sub-subcontractors, who are compelled by Wal-Mart’s market power and its demand for low prices to cut corners and skimp on safety. And because Wal-Mart isn’t the employer of record for these workers, the company can disavow responsibility for their conditions of work.

We’re not talking about a company that is forced to do what it does to make a fair profit. We’re talking about a company and a nation wide mentality when if they can make a hundred million doing things this way, hey, they can make even more if they export more jobs and give more workers the shaft. They’ll scream anti-American Marxist at anyone who criticizes them. I remember reading about Marx and the standard for being a Marxist has found a new definition according the current Republican Partay – anyone who believes in reason and decency. I think these figures are a little low because I have read other papers that say people tend to lie about their virtues or lack of them, Wall Street Professionals Admit: Yes, Lots of Us Are Corrupt

Is Wall Street corrupt? Responses vary depending on whom you ask. But ask the folks who work in the financial services industry and you’ll get a surprisingly clear answer: “Yes.”

A recent survey of 500 financial services professionals, conducted by market researcher Populus at the behest of law firm Labaton Sucharow, turned up some surprisingly candid results from the folks surveyed. For example:

39% of financial industry insiders surveyed “reported that their competitors are likely to have engaged in illegal or unethical activity in order to be successful.”
And this was more than just suspicion. “26% of respondents indicated that they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace.”
Nearly one in four “believed that financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct in order to be successful.
Nearly one in three said they themselves felt “pressured by bonus or compensation plans to violate the law or engage in unethical conduct.

Add in the ones who say they would engage in corrupt activity if pressured to by their company and you have almost half of Wall Street either engaged in criminal activity or willing to under the right circumstances. And even some irony for dessert,

All of a sudden, the epidemic of mortgage fraud, the Bank of America (BAC)-Merrill Lynch bonus debacle, the Madoff scandal — all of it starts to make sense. Suddenly, you start to understand why Goldman Sachs (GS) CFO David Viniar, when asked earlier this week whether decreased profitability at his firm was a cue to cut costs after he had just noted that Goldman was paying out 44% of all corporate revenue as compensation for his employees, responded simply that “we aren’t going to cut our way to prosperity.”

Another moving holiday story of sacrifices  by the hardest working people in America.

It pays to be rich, it does not pay so much for work. Or at least does not value work like the old fashioned values conservatives pretend to believe in,

American workers more productive than ever and getting less of the rewards