Victor Davis Hanson, a scholar of military history and longtime National Review foreign affairs columnist, has a habit of dipping his toes into racially uncomfortable water. In a past column, for example, Hanson accused President Obama of attempting to victimize white people for political gain.
[ ]…The thrust of Hanson’s argument — black men are criminals and you should stay away from them, my son — is largely indistinguishable from Derbyshire’s. “Be careful if a group of black youths approaches you,” Hanson quoted his father as saying before a move to San Francisco. “After some first-hand episodes with young African-American males,” he continued, “I offered a similar lecture to my own son.”
The Atlantic also has a good piece up on Hanson. What is moronic is to base one’s world view on an encounter with punks – note their apparent ethnicity and so feel entitled to forever claim that everyone from that group is cause for concern about your personal safety. Conservatives have been playing this game for years ( not all of them, but obviously still many). Norman Podhoretz, thought of as one of the great thinkers of the conservative establishment, once wrote an essay, now in many college English anthologies, that told of his being persecuted by blacks in his neighborhood while he was growing up. That is unfortunate, but says nothing about race, as much as he and like minded conservatives would like to think. Some black kids during that time were literally murdered by whites. So if we’re going to use the Podhoretz and Hanson standards, that means we should have a talk with our kids about how violent white folks can be. I have been shot at once in my life. It was by a white middle-class male. he was so arrogant about it he didn’t even care that I knew who he was. Look at the FBI’s Most Wanted List – there are no African Americans on that list of very violent offenders. Second worse terror attack in U.S. history was the Oklahoma City bombing – two white guys. Or we could say that individuals are on the FBI list, bad people bombed the Murrah Federal Building, some punks accosted Hanson’s dad. It’s only human to note appearance, but it’s a mistake to infer that millions of people are criminals because of one or two personal experiences. Hanson, being a supposed intellectual, knows better, so that is what makes his thinly veiled racism all the more damning.
Looks like a clean cut white surfer dude I used to hang out with in high school. He is wearing a hoodie though. He is Jason Derek Brown and he is wanted for robbery and murder. I wonder if all his victims and their families are now entitled to be suspicious of all white dudes.
Jack Hunter, the Rand Paul social media staffer who wrote columns attacking Abraham Lincoln and defending Southern secession under the name “Southern Avenger,” tells the Daily Caller that he’s leaving the senator’s staff and returning to punditry to clear his name and avoid dimming Paul’s rising star. Even though Paul defended Hunter when the Washington Free Beacon broke the news of his long career of neo-Confederate race-baiting…
I still think it is remarkable how much establishment conservatives are determined to knock Paul (R-KY) out of presidential contention. If liberals had started up on Hunter and Paul everyone would shrug and go on about their business. Though since the conservative media is after Paul (R-KY) the story stays alive.
Kessler has uploaded several profanity-laced videos to YouTube. In one video, Kessler berates “libtards” and warns of an armed rebellion against the government.
“F*ck all you libtards out there, as a matter of fact, read my shirt,” he says, turning around to show a message on his back which read, “Liberals take it in the a**.”
“You take it in the ass and I don’t give a f*ck what you say so you can all just go f*ck yourselves. Period. I wont be going to D.C. and I don’t give a f*ck. If you f*cking maniacs want to turn this into an armed revolt, knock yourselves out. I’m not about that, so see you on the other side.”
In a video on basic pistol defense, Kessler repeatedly shoots a picture of scary clown, which he says is Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Kessler is also known to be a fan of wacko Alex Jones and an antisemitic rock band. The Confederate flag he is wearing on his shirt in the video speaks volumes about his strange brand of “patriotism”.
A Fox News correspondent is attacking “the liberal, anti-South media” for unfairly “trying to crucify Paula Deen” over her admission in a court deposition that she’s used racial epithets.
Todd Starnes, who also hosts a Fox News Radio segment, wrote on his Facebook page that the “liberal, anti-South media is trying to crucify Paula Deen. They accuse her of using a derogatory word to describe a black person. Paula admitted she used the word — back in the 1980s – when a black guy walked into the bank, stuck a gun in her face and ordered her to hand over the cash. The national media failed to mention that part of the story. I’ll give credit to the Associated Press for telling the full story.”
Starnes also defended Deen via Twitter, writing: “The mainstream media hates Paula Deen […] I think it’s because most of them don’t eat meat.”
Starnes’ defense of Deen doesn’t square with reports about Deen’s deposition. The Huffington Post reported it “obtained a transcript of the deposition in question” and Deen is quoted as stating she “probably” used the word “in telling my husband” about the incident, and she is “sure” she’s used it since then, “but it’s been a very long time.” She went on to say “my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do.”
Deen also discussed planning a “really southern plantation wedding” and was asked if she used the n-word then:
Lawyer: Is there any possibility, in your mind, that you slipped and used the word “n–r”?
Deen: No, because that’s not what these men were. They were professional black men doing a fabulous job.
She apologized today in an online video “to everybody for the wrong that I’ve done … Inappropriate and hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable.”
In 2011, Starnes tweeted “Blacks riot at Burger King” and linked to a local news story about a cell phone camera capturing a brawl at a Panama City Beach Burger King. The story did not mention or discuss the race of the participants. The tweet was later deleted.
I don’t know where Starnes was born or where he lives. I suspect he is not a southern. Most of us are not crazy about having the kind of lingering racism that Deen is guilty of and that Starnes defends. When the media points out what someone said, under oath mind you, and that language is clearly racist, the media is not being anti-South, it is being anti-racist. I do not take offense at someone pointing out racism, so why is Starnes. Why does he think it necessary to defend racism to the point where he is willing to act like a clown without honor. It that how desperate conservatism has become. Every time someone does or says something deeply crude and offensive, Fox news runs to the rescue. Nope, we must not let millionaires who say things that are immoral take their lumps, they must be guarded from the reasonable reactions to unreasonable behavior. In driving the clown car of conservative racism Starnes for got to think that maybe he was, in addition to his own record of racism, displayed an amazing amount of pretension and contempt for the South.
We might be wrong about the conservatives how the SCOTUS thinking tat corporations are human. They actually seem to think that corporations are special units of being. Beings that require special rights and privileges exceeding those of human beings, Worst Supreme Court Arbitration Decision Ever
So, today, in American Express v. Italian Colors, the U.S. Supreme Court said that a take-it-or-leave-it arbitration clause could be used to prevent small businesses from actually pursuing their claims for abuse of monopoly power under the antitrust laws. Essentially, the Court said today that their favorite statute in the entire code is the Federal Arbitration Act, and it can be used to wipe away nearly any other statute.
As Justice Kagan said in a bang-on, accurate and clear-sighted dissent, this is a “BETRAYAL” (strong word, eh?) of the Court’s prior arbitration decisions. You see, until now, the Supreme Court has said that courts should only enforce arbitration clauses where a party could “effectively vindicate its statutory rights.” Today, in a sleight of hand, the five conservative justices said that this means that arbitration clauses should be enforced even when they make it impossible for parties to actually vindicate their statutory rights, so long as they have a theoretical “right” to pursue that remedy.
The plaintiffs in this case, restaurants and other small merchants, claim that American Express uses its monopoly power over its charge card to force them to accept American Express’s credit cards and pay higher rates than they would for other credit cards. This is called a “tying arrangement” under the antitrust laws — American Express is alleged to be using its monopoly power over one product to jack up the price of another product to higher rates than it could charge in a competitive market.
For plaintiffs to prove this kind of case, they have to come up with hard evidence — economic proof — that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. And each individual merchant has only lost, and thus can only hope to recover, a small fraction of that amount. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recognized that if American Express’s arbitration clause (and particularly its ban on class actions) was enforced, that would mean that none of the small business plaintiffs could enforce their rights under the antitrust laws. And under a long line of Supreme Court cases, arbitration clauses are only enforceable when they permit the parties to effectively vindicate their statutory rights.
Today’s decision turns that rule on its head. According to Justice Scalia’s majority opinion, even if an arbitration clause would mean that no individual would ever actually be able to pursue an antitrust claim on an individual basis, the arbitration clause still has to be enforced. The law has changed dramatically — parties no longer have a right to “effectively” vindicate their statutory rights; they are left with the meaningless but formal right to pursue economically irrational claims if they choose to do so.
This would be one of those pro-business arrangements that conservatives like so much. One that makes small business and consumers helpless victims, but which makes sure the feudal overlords of business can raid and blunder as much as they like. If conservatives politicians and legal wizards were ever hooked up to a device that made them loose a tooth every time they used their nonsensical doublespeak, they’d be toothless in a week. The average conservative blog and their comment section is filled with invectives about how tyrannical Obama or some Democrat is, yet they’re celebrating a SCOTUS decision that took away some, not just basic legal rights, but economic and human rights. This decision, along with Citizens United , are poster issues for the kind of tyranny that the conservative movement passes off as freedom.,
President Barack Obama’s budget, which will be introduced on Wednesday, takes a political position that some of his base is bound to bemoan. Rather than present an outline of progressive priorities, the White House has chosen to stake claim to the middle ground, offering up a mix of modest tax hikes to go along with spending cuts and entitlement reforms that Democrats have long warned against.
The specifics are as follows:
The budget would reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion over ten years — $600 billion of this reduction would come from revenue raisers, and $1.2 trillion would come from spending reductions and entitlement reforms;
It would change the benefit structure of Social Security (chained-CPI);
It would means test additional programs in Medicare;
All told, it would include $400 billion in health care savings (or cuts);
It would cut $200 billion from other areas, identified by The New York Times as “farm subsidies, federal employee retirement programs, the Postal Services and the unemployment compensation system;”
It would pay for expanded access to pre-K (an Obama priority) by increasing the tobacco tax;
It would set limits on tax-preferred retirement accounts for the wealthy, prohibiting individuals from putting more than $3 million in IRAs and other tax-preferred retirement accounts;
And it would stop people from collecting full disability benefits and unemployment benefits that cover the same period of time.
Looked at piece-by-piece, nothing in the above is all that surprising. President Obama has proposed these policies in various offers in the past. Most recently, they’ve been discussed as part of replacement options for the sequester.
Adults know that in the real world you do not always get everything you ask for and in the art of negotiation starting out with some tolerable compromises is usually not an unreasonable starting point for negotiations. Though for the last five years conservatives have made it clear that any proposal about anything must start far Right of center and move further Right during the negotiation process. Knowing this the administration has once again – probably – made the mistake of starting off giving away too much. A spokesperson from the White House says,
While this is not the president’s ideal deficit-reduction plan, and there are particular proposals in this plan — like the CPI change — that were key Republican requests and not the president’s preferred approach. This is a compromise proposal built on common ground, and the president felt it was important to make it clear that the offer still stands. The president has made clear that he is willing to compromise and do tough things to reduce the deficit, but only in the context of a package like this one that has balance and includes revenues from the wealthiest Americans and that is designed to promote economic growth. That means that the things like CPI that Republican leaders have pushed hard for will only be accepted if congressional Republicans are willing to do more on revenues. This isn’t about political horsetrading; it’s about reducing the deficit in a balanced way that economists say is best for the economy and job creation. That’s why the president’s offer –- which will be reflected in his budget — isn’t a menu of options for them to choose from; it’s a cohesive package that reflects the kind of compromise we should be able to reach.
I’m aware and prominent liberal political commentators should be as well, that conservatives in the senate will us the filibuster to stop any budget that does not meet their every whim. Democrats are in the minority in the House. Just in political terms there is the awful business of facing that reality and still passing a new budget – one that restores some of the spending from the sequester. And Krugman, Desperately Seeking “Serious” Approval
So what’s this about? The answer, I fear, is that Obama is still trying to win over the Serious People, by showing that he’s willing to do what they consider Serious — which just about always means sticking it to the poor and the middle class. The idea is that they will finally drop the false equivalence, and admit that he’s reasonable while the GOP is mean-spirited and crazy.
But it won’t happen. Watch the Washington Post editorial page over the next few days. I hereby predict that it will damn Obama with faint praise, saying that while it’s a small step in the right direction, of course it’s inadequate — and anyway, Obama is to blame for Republican intransigence, because he could make them accept a Grand Bargain that includes major revenue increases if only he would show Leadership (TM).
Oh, and wanna bet that Republicans soon start running ads saying that Obama wants to cut your Social Security?
The part that should drive everyone crazy – anyone who cares about seniors, the disabled and children anyway – is the implication that the deficit or the national debt is somehow connected to Social Security. No the administration does not say that, but by always including it as part of budget negotiations it is something many Americans believe. As Krugman and others note, we should be increasing benefits. Those benefits are not giveaways to lazy moochers. Because pensions and personal savings plans (IRAs) are not the great panacea that everyone thought they would be back in the early 90s, people need more to pay for basic living expenses. Society doesn’t loose anything. That money is not given to someone and it disappears into the Great Lazy Moocher Void. People pay rent and buy stuff with it. It goes back into the economy. Unlike Mitt Romney’s money and quite a few bankers, that money does not get hidden away in offshore tax havens – Offshore tax havens ($32 trillion hidden) rocked by bank account leaks $32 trillion (€25 trillion).
Last year, former Chief Judge Richard Cebull, a George W. Bush appointee to the federal district court in Montana, admitted to sending a racist email forward comparing President Obama’s conception to sex with a dog:
“A little boy said to his mother; ‘Mommy, how come I’m black and you’re white?’” the email joke reads. “His mother replied, ‘Don’t even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you’re lucky you don’t bark!’”
In the wake of this email, and the serious questions it raised about whether Judge Cebull is capable of handling politically charged cases or cases alleging racism with professionalism and neutrality, a judicial council overseeing Cebull opened a formal misconduct hearing into his actions at Cebull’s request. Late last year, Cebull announced that he would take senior status, a type of partial retirement for judges. Late last week, he upgraded this to a full retirement from the bench — effective May 3rd.
The noted surgeon and Johns Hopkins University neurosurgery professor has been subject to harsh criticism, including from students and staff at Johns Hopkins Medical School, since he compared gays who support marriage equality to pedophiles and practitioners of bestiality during a March 27 interview on Fox News’ Hannity.
During that appearance, Carson said, “Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition. So, it’s not something against gays. It’s against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of pillars of society. It has significant ramifications.”
…But on Levin’s show, Carson went on the offensive, saying that the criticism he has received proves that he’s right that “political correctness is threatening to destroy our nation because it puts a muzzle over honest conversation.” He added that “the attacks against me have been so vicious because I represent an existential threat” to his critics, who he says “take my words, misinterpret them, and try to make it seem that I’m a bigot.”
Others have already covered the not just offensive analogy between gays and “pedophiles and practitioners of bestiality”, but pathologically suspect behavior. Carson is wrong about the political correctness. What he said was a gift. He let everyone know here he stands. Had he kept it a secret, lied about his beliefs and radical agenda, and then been elected to some position of authority where he could force his pathology down America’s throat, that would have been a venal farce perpetrated on the American public.
After Levin claimed that Carson has been “attacked also, in many respects, because of your race” because “a lot of white liberals” don’t like black conservatives, Carson replied, “Well, they’re the most racist people there are. Because you know, they put you in a little category, a little box, ‘you have to think this way, how could you dare come off the plantation?'”
Carson has been through college and medical school so I’m sure he has at least brushed up against the scientific method.
Introduction to the Scientific Method
The scientific method is the process by which scientists, collectively and over time, endeavor to construct an accurate (that is, reliable, consistent and non-arbitrary) representation of the world.
Recognizing that personal and cultural beliefs influence both our perceptions and our interpretations of natural phenomena, we aim through the use of standard procedures and criteria to minimize those influences when developing a theory. As a famous scientist once said, “Smart people (like smart lawyers) can come up with very good explanations for mistaken points of view.” In summary, the scientific method attempts to minimize the influence of bias or prejudice in the experimenter when testing a hypothesis or a theory.
I. The scientific method has four steps
1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
2. Formulation of a hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.
3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.
4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.
If the experiments bear out the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory or law of nature (more on the concepts of hypothesis, model, theory and law below). If the experiments do not bear out the hypothesis, it must be rejected or modified. What is key in the description of the scientific method just given is the predictive power (the ability to get more out of the theory than you put in; see Barrow, 1991) of the hypothesis or theory, as tested by experiment. It is often said in science that theories can never be proved, only disproved. There is always the possibility that a new observation or a new experiment will conflict with a long-standing theory.
While that description pertains to the natural sciences, the social sciences – sociology, psychology, economics and political science have used those methods as well. One studies the evidence, collects data and publishes findings that is logical and verifiable. Where is Carson’s evidence that while liberals hate black conservatives just for being black. I have made it very clear on this blog over the course of eight years that conservatism is a malevolent political movement, that allowed to fulfill its agenda would destroy both democracy and capitalism. With every post I demonstrate how that is true in one way or another. I would be happy to look at the fact sheet, the data, the psychological experiment, the sociological experiment that shows conclusively that while liberals have put him or any conservative, black or white on anything resembling a plantation. That all probably sounds like snark, but it is the best I can do in taking Carson seriously. Listening to him is the same as listening to his mindless brethren; Limbaugh, Hannity, Mitch McConnell, Michelle Malkin and the hundreds of unhinged conservative bloggers. Carson fits in with the conservative movement perfectly. He lives in a mental bubble that is impermeable to the truth. Unlike Carson and other conservatives I read their side. I read more about what conservatives have to say than liberals, progressives or centrist Democrats. The NYT’s far Right columnist Ross Douthat wrote a column just after the first of the year encouraging both sides to read more of what the other side has to say. It was unintentionally hilarious. If conservatives started reading facts, studies, real history, not the history revisionism industry that has become a major source of wing-nut welfare, conservatism would cease to exist as a political movement. We’d have two parties – centrist conservative Democrats like Obama, and liberals. One of the reasons Carson and before him, Herman Cain are such ridiculous figures is the almost daily exhibitions of racism and misogyny from conservatives. Ross might have encouraged some critical reading of conservatives by conservatives. These are just a few examples, out of hundreds, of conservative racism from TPro,
Caucasian Student In Texas Starts Group To Advance White ‘Beliefs And Objectives’
… racism and discrimination on campus” and help…
Published on March 28, 2013
‘Veronica Mars’ Television Club: Race, Class, Sexism And The Outsiders
… in their lives, that questions of racism, sexism, and class…
Published on March 22, 2013 CPAC Participant Defends Slavery At Minority Outreach Panel: It Gave ‘Food And Shelter’ To Blacks ( Carson spoke at CPAC. He must have put his ear muffs on when others were speaking)
… the racism on display at this event. CPAC is the marquee…
Published on March 15, 2013
Why Scalia’s ‘Racial Entitlement’ Quote Is Even Scarier Than You Think
… that simply gave Congress free reign to engage in racism…
Published on February 28, 2013
Why We Still Need The Voting Rights Act: Perspectives From Supreme Court Spectators
…. As long as we have racism and bigotry in our country… [in racism at the ballot box], but at the same time… Right-Wing Columnist Implies Colin Powell Is Anti-Semitic After Defending Hagel
… of racism, or b) he should retract and apologize for his…
O’Reilly: Black Voters Don’t Believe In ‘Self Reliance’ Or ‘American Exceptionalism’
… is latent racism. But in his rebuttal, O’Reilly…
Racist Hate Group To Conduct Nighttime Patrols On College Campus
… “Commander” HeimbachA racist hate group at Towson University…
South Carolina Republican Suggests GOP Opposes Medicaid Expansion Because Obama Is Black
…, and responding positively to, racist emails in support…
Scalia: Voting Rights Act Is ‘Perpetuation Of Racial Entitlement’
… lawmakers are too afraid to be tarred as racists. His…
RNC Delegate Offended By Presence of ‘Mexican’ At Disney’s Epcot Center
… racist comments. County Commissioner Malcolm Derk told… by racist incidents this week; on Tuesday, two delegates…
GOP Congressional Candidate Accuses His African-American Opponent Of Pretending To Be Black
… of making a racist comment. He then levied an unusual…
20 Inflammatory Comments From State Of The Union Invitee Ted Nugent
February 11, 2013 4:17 PM EST
Rush: Cubans Aren’t “Popular In The Overall Hispanic Group” Because They’re Not “As Dark” And Are “Oriented Toward Work”
Hannity, Carlson Desperately Attempt To Manufacture “Racially Charged Rhetoric” From Obama Video
October 3, 2012 12:38 AM EDT
“Right On”: Conservative Media Applaud, Defend Romney For Birther Comment
August 24, 2012 4:38 PM EDT
Conservative Radio CEO Defends Anti-Asian Comments By Blaming “Political Left”
July 9, 2012 5:47 PM EDT
Huckabee: Hate-Crime Laws Are “A Form Of Reverse Racism Or Reverse Sexism”
April 23, 2012 4:00 PM EDT
Hannity’s Latest Attempt At Race-Baiting: “There’s A Picture” Of Obama With The New Black Panthers
April 10, 2012 12:14 AM EDT
Excuse me for putting anyone in a box, but black conservatives – Cain, Carson, West, Swann, Steele – do all seem to have one thing in common, the remarkable ability not to see and hear the profound and disturbing racism of their movement.
The chairman of the education committee in Idaho’s Senate introduced a bill earlier this month that would make students read — and pass a test — on “Atlas Shrugged” as a requirement for a high school diploma.
Then he backed away from the bill, saying he was just trying to make a point. The senator, John Goedde, told the Idaho Spokesman-Review he was “sending a message to the State Board of Education, because he’s unhappy with its recent move to repeal a rule requiring two online courses to graduate from high school, and with its decision to back off on another planned rule regarding principal evaluations.”
Why that book? It “made my son a Republican,” he said, then adding, “well, he’s not a practicing Republican. But it certainly made him a conservative.”
I should find it amazing that conservatives love Rand. An unfortunate woman who ran some weird sex cult think tank and depended on Medicare during her senior years to get health care. Atlas Shrugged, which I have read, twice, is like a bad graphic novel without any kool illustrations.
The right wing base is absolutely demented with dim-witted anger at Michelle Obama, ranting uncontrollably today at every single right wing website. They have a special hatred for the First Lady, so over the top it sometimes seems like a parody — but of course it isn’t.
I’ll just pick a few representative comments from two right wing sites. The references to “Star Wars” are their clever way of comparing Mrs. Obama to a Wookie. It’s one of their favorite racial slurs.
The proto-fascist web site Hot Air, run by proud America hater Michelle Malkin, the commenters write,
…Barf-o-Rama. And even in an updo the bangs make her look like Rick James.
…Hey skank, half the country hates you. Go away. Tired of having to windex my TV everytime you muck it up.
Just from looking at comments, articles on blogging, statistics on link clicks and blog posts themselves there is a type of blog reader. Someone who reads a few politically oriented blogs but they are not very political or they lean Democrat, but have conservative positions on an issue. They come by a blog like this and think, wow I’m very harsh on conservatives. You have not reached the rotten stinking fetid bottom of political discourse until you visit the comment sections of conservative blogs and web sites.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell(R) signed a bill that forced women to be raped by the state government before they could make a decision about their own bodies. That would pretty much earn a lifetime rating of conservative, of sane smart observers. Eric Erickson – he of the threatening to kill people over dishwasher detergent, and comparing sensible regulation of the health insurance industry to Nazism, thinks McDonnell, thinks Virginians are stupid. Why does Eric, the shining example of deep thoughful analysis think McDonnell is a traitor to conservatism? Because of a small package of tax increases to finance a transportation bill – road building and infrastructure. When the cognitively deranged start pointing fingers at the cognitively incoherent, I can only think of CNN paying Eric a six-figure salary for political commentary. Conservatives may be right, America might be going to hell in hand basket – and they’re shoving that basket down with both feet.
There are many warning signs that you are about to read of conservative twaddle when it identifies the author of the article as a pround memebr of the the wing-nut welafer circuit. In this case a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. The Hoover specializes in publishing verbal manure as though there was a shortage. They push it regularly without shame. Your average ten year old lemonade stand operator knows more about economics, but far less about insidious lies. Which brings us to Professor Meltzer H. Meltzer writing at the Rupert Murdoch rag the WSJ, Four Reasons Keynesians Keep Getting It Wrong
Those who heaped high praise on Keynesian policies have grown silent as government spending has failed to bring an economic recovery. Except for a few diehards who want still more government spending, and those who make the unverifiable claim that the economy would have collapsed without it, most now recognize that more than a trillion dollars of spending by the Bush and Obama administrations has left the economy in a slump and unemployment hovering above 9%.
Why is the economic response to increased government spending so different from the response predicted by Keynesian models?
First, did this dipstick poser bother to look at any data on the recession. Why bother with facts when you have garbage to write. Democrats saved the economy from tanking even more. And let’s all conveniently forget that it was conservative polices that got us into this mess in the first place. Tax cuts that would pay for themselves? I have a truck load of fairy dust for sale for anyone who stills believes that. And remember that three trillion dollar war Republicans put on your children’s credit card.
Meltzer is a Very Serious Person or advocate of austerity or give the middle-class the shaft while we wait for the economy to turn around. Guess what, austerity is not only not working but risks another recession. England has jumped on the Very Serious Person bandwagon and is sinking. Where as New Zealand and Australia have not and while they are not enjoying a new era of economic prosperity, at least they’re not losing ground. The UK Fundamental Picture Supports a Weaker GBP vs AUD, NZD
The problem with the UK economy is tight fiscal policy as the government continues its austerity drive, along with increasing unemployment, high inflation and low wages, which are squeezing consumers’ purchasing power and weakening domestic demand.
The implication to consider from Mr. Fisher’s comments is that even the extra quantitative easing announced in early October may not be enough to change the momentum of the economy and if economic conditions do not improve more quantitative easing may be necessary. He also did say that if conditions improve the central bank could cut short its bond purchases. The former seems to be more likely than the latter and therefore the prospect of even more money printing by the central bank should weigh on the pound in the coming months.
The Economist is on the case, highlighting two new studies showing that austerity and growth don’t mix in the short term. …
The professor also throws out some of the same uncertainty/regulation drivel that has been pouring from the right-wing meme machine for the last year,
Third, Keynesian models totally ignore the negative effects of the stream of costly new regulations that pour out of the Obama bureaucracy. Who can guess the size of the cost increases required by these programs? ObamaCare is not the only source of this uncertainty, though it makes a large contribution.
Meltzer is one of the best examples around for ending tenure for professors. The only place that would would employ mindless charlatans like him are right-wing think-tanks. Obama Wrote 5% Fewer Rules Than Bush
Obama’s White House has approved fewer regulations than his predecessor George W. Bush at this same point in their tenures, and the estimated costs of those rules haven’t reached the annual peak set in fiscal 1992 under Bush’s father, according to government data reviewed by Bloomberg News.
If you figure in inflation Obama era regulations cost less than those of either Bush 41 or 43. Meltzer probably got his predictions for the cost of health care reform from a fortune teller at one of the conservative debates. The CBO estimates health care reform will save the government over a trillion dollars over the next ten years. And yes it is absolutely safe to completely disregard any statistics that come out of the Hoover Institute. Want to repeal health care reform, that will add about $230 billion to the federal deficit by 2021 and leave 30 million Americans without health insurance. There will be a bump in cost to some small business for about a year. After that small business will save money. Meltzer writes a load of pure crap. The WSJ publishes as an editorial, but even editorials must have some basis in fact. Note the lack of cries for Meltzer to be fired. Note the editor that let that propagandist crap be published still has a job.
In 2010 every tea smoking conservative wacko campaigned on a jobs creation platform. Every Republican congressional representative and every governor. How many jobs have these Super Conservatives created? Zero. Actually less than zero – House GOP’s “Job Creating” Spending Cuts Destroyed 370,000 Jobs. Its like a political cartoon come to life. You have Democrats on one side laying bricks and Republicans on the other side tearing them down – all the while shouting they love America. You can’t recover from a recession if conservatives are going to do everything they can to make sure we don’t.
Today on Face The Nation, GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain claimed that Planned Parenthood wants to “kill black babies” and is part of an organized effort to commit “genocide” against the black community:
Cain finally got around to making a definitive statement about women’s health care rights. He is against them. Cain is against a woman being able to make her own decision about what to do in case of being impregnated during a rape, impregnated by her father or other relative or when her life is endangered by carrying a pregnancy any further. Cain is continuing his own much loved plantation theme. Cain believes that women should be treated the way they were before slaves were emancipated and clearly before sufferer. Cain, the plantation master as president. Since conservative keep fighting the Civil War, it would be another victory in pushing the entire union into the dream of being a backwards confederacy.
Politico’s Roger Simon says that Republican presidential Rick Perry’s recent embrace of birtherism amounts to a racist “dog whistle.”
“It’s not a ‘fun’ issue to poke somebody on,” Simon told CNN’s Howard Kurtz Sunday. “It is more than a little bit racist. Not everyone who believes it is a racist. It grew out of the belief that a black man could not be legitimately elected to the president of the United States.”
He continued: “Now, why would Perry use that in the primaries instead of saving it for the general when he’s running against President Obama? Well, it’s because being extreme, perhaps, and a little bit racist, perhaps, gives you good bona fides in a Republican primary. It shows them that you are on the same side as they are.”
Rick Ungar’s essay at The Washington Monthly – Democrats Wrong To Play Defense On Class Warfare – is mostly a caution to Democrats and President Obama not to shy away from calling class warfare what it is, the Republican economic war against middle-class/blue-collar working class America.
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday”, GOP Budget Committee Chairman, Paul Ryan, had this to say –
Class warfare may make for good politics, but it makes for rotten economics. We don’t need a system that seeks to divide people. We don’t need a system that seeks to prey on people’s fear, envy and anxiety.
Since Ryan’s appearance – one echoed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during his own Sunday morning talk show turn -the GOP has been using every opportunity to parrot the phrase.
In response, the Democrats have taken every chance presented to them to once again go on defense by rejecting the allegation. By so doing, they are completely forgoing the opportunity to acknowledge that there is most assuredly such a war, it’s been raging for decades, and it’s high time that people begin to focus on who is on the side of the rich and who is on the side of the middle class and the poor.
Considering that this war was launched in the mid-1970’s, when CEO’s decided that it no longer served their interest to continue paying their workers a fair wage, it’s difficult to understand how anyone could be shocked to learn that the middle class has been under attack since Jimmy Carter sat in the White House or be persuaded that, somehow, Barack Obama is responsible for its creation.
Back in the 1970’s, before the first shot was fired, the richest 1 percent of Americans earned 9 percent of the income. By 2007, that 1 percent was taking 23.5 percent of the money. The numbers are even more depressing when we add in the next 4 percent at the top of the income scale. Meanwhile, everyone else has been left to suffer stagnating household incomes.
Ryan has cojones the size of watermelons to seat there and talk about the politics of fear and envy to divide America. There would be no Republican party, no conservative movement, no right-wing hate radio, no Rupert Murdoch, no influence by right-wing sugar daddies like the Koch brothers without the politics of fear and hysteria the Right thrives on. It is not something to admire or respect, the phenomenon that conservatives have managed to use various kinds of fear – big gov’mint, ethnocentrism, fear of cultural changes, Islam, a woman’s right to have autonomy over her own body and nonexistent religious persecution – to get a sizable minority of middle-class/blue-collar to vote against their own best interests.
Not only have the forces of the wealthy, under the capable direction of four star generals like Charles and David Koch, managed to have their way with relative ease, they’ve cleverly succeeded in convincing many of their victims to join in on their side.
Exhibit ‘A’ to support that reality would be the Tea Party, a collection of middle class people financed by the Koch brothers who have locked arms with their enemy without even knowing they have done so. By sounding a false alarm about the dangers of big government, the upper class has fooled these people into believing that laying down the only defenses they’ve ever had – government and unions-is the way to solve the problems that plague them.
With successes like this in hand, it’s no wonder that Republicans believe they can sell the notion that Obama is somehow responsible for trying to start a class war that has already been going on for decades.
If you go to conservative websites you can read posts and comments b y these conservative middle-class culture warriors who have declared war on themselves. One good example of how they mangle reality to suit how they view the world: President Obama and Democrats are all socialists because they went through with loans to the auto industry started by Bush 43 and approved by Congressional Republicans. At which point the U.S. government held stock in two auto companies as collateral for those loans. Ronald Reagan had the government outright seize ownership of the savings and loans during their big collapse in the 1980s, he is still the conservative saint of everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Sarah Palin. If Obama and Democrats are socialists for proceeding with a plan already approved by Republicans, that should, with some consistency of thinking, make Regan the living embodiment of Karl Marx. One other myth that will not go away is the belief by conservatives especially self-described tea partiers, is that Obama raised their taxes. Not only has Obama not raised taxes or proposed raising taxes on the middle-class, he has cut taxes several times. Again, Saint Ronnie raised taxes four times. It was Bush who was steering the nation’s financial ship and decided not to enforce the bare-bones financial regulation we had left. These are some of the things Bush and Republicans could have done to avert the recession or made it less disastrous:
Alan Greenspan’s Federal Reserve, which lowered interest rates without increasing regulation, refused to enforce a 1994 law requiring prudent underwriting standards and turned a blind eye to abuses in the process of loan securitization.
The Wall Street firms that bankrolled subprime lenders and turned their high-risk loans into securities
The credit-rating agencies that blessed toxic subprime securities with Triple-A ratings. The SEC’s failure to police those agencies.
And, of course, the subprime lenders themselves.
Somehow the recession is still Obama’s fault, or the fault of liberalism, or if you’re fond of right-wing libertarians on the net is was the combination of statism and too much regulation. By believing bogus urban myths, the kind that Glenn Beck manufactures faster than Hostess makes Twinkies, the right-wing middle-class is prolonging this recession and setting us up for another one. Which you can bet they will also wiggle out of taking responsibility. These are also the same people who buy into Social Security being a Ponzi scheme, think doing away with minimum wages will create millions of jobs, if we only started letting the kids work in coal mines again the economy would be booming, if we let move health shattering pollution into the America’s air would have no economic problems and if we could just bring Fonzi back to give the jukebox a good wack we’d all live in paradise.
While we’re still on the subject of class warfare, urban myths and the wing-nut echo chamber, let’s kill this crap about the wealthy carrying too much of the federal tax burden – Understanding Class Warfare Hysteria
Next, you focus on the share of taxes each group pays. Few Americans have a sense of just how large a share of the pie is brought in by the most affluent. For that reason, the share of taxes paid by the rich is likewise surprising.
So put the two together, and you have results like this soundbite:
According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, the 1 percent of households with the highest incomes pay 38 percent of federal income taxes. The top 10 percent pay 70 percent of federal income taxes. Meanwhile, 46 percent of households pay no federal income tax at all.
And the president thinks that the wealthy aren’t paying the fair share?
That’s Chris Wallace on last weekend’s Fox News Sunday, but versions of this statistic are uttered almost every day.
Here is a fact that Fox, Chris and the echo chamber leaves out – the top 11% owns about 72% of the nation’s assets. The bottom 50.2% own about 2.8%. Why should people who own less pay the upper 11%’s share of taxes. This is also part of the myth that those in the bottom half pay no taxes. They pay a regressive amount of payroll taxes. They also pay regressive sales taxes, state taxes and fees. Basic arithmetic, would you rather make more money and pay a little more in taxes or make low wages and pay no federal income tax. Fox would have everyone believe that working class America has it made with those low wages because they do not pay federal income taxes. The average American, which includes the average tea smoker, will never make it into Bill Gates or Koch brothers income territory, but should that happen they’ll start to get the bulk of their income from capital gains and pay an effective federal tax rate of 15% ( thus the Buffet Rule). As a kind of bonus, the feds will also pay you to buy a McMansion by way of tax incentives. The conservative working class is not fighting big gov’mint or that mythical rising tide of socialism they have been paranoid about for sixty years, they are fighting for the right-wing plutocratic masters who have lowered their standard of living and made them more powerless.
Herman Cain, the upstart 2012 GOP candidate, said Wednesday that the black community has been “brainwashed” into voting Democrats into office.
In an interview with CNN tonight, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, said that African Americans have been told not to consider conservative points of view.
“I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the nomination as a conservative,” Cain said. “So it’s just brainwashing and people not being open-minded, pure and simple.”
You know who else thought African-Americans could not think for themselves, president of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis who said, “The condition of slavery with us is, in a word, Mr. President, nothing but the form of civil government instituted for a class of people not fit to govern themselves. It is exactly what in every State exists in some form or other. It is just that kind of control which is extended in every northern State over its convicts, its lunatics, its minors, its apprentices. It is but a form of civil government for those who by their nature are not fit to govern themselves. We recognize the fact of the inferiority stamped upon that race of men by the Creator, and from the cradle to the grave, our Government, as a civil institution, marks that inferiority.” Jefferson Davis and Herman Cain are thus blessed with some secret knowledge and insight that African-Americans, other than black conservatives, do not have. Cain like many in the Antebellum South believe black Americans to be weak-minded and weak-willed. If they would just all do as Cain says they’ll see the light. Cain has some special tin-foil that makes him immune from all the liberal “brainwashing” that other black Americans do not. Cain stands for the same economic policies as every other conservative – America as a plutocracy with ever-growing income disparity, even less opportunity to move up the economic ladder and fewer educational opportunities.
“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” – Warren Buffett
“In regards to the price of commodities, the rise of wages operates as simple interest does, the rise of profit operates like compound interest.
Our merchants and masters complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price and lessening the sale of goods. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.” – Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
Donald H. Rumsfeld. Remember him. He was the Secretary of Defense, the conservative wonder boy of straetgy and tactics. He and his likewise brilliant commander-in-thief George W. Bush(R) squandered victory in Afghanistan to divert resources to Iraq because, as he claimed about WMD ,“We know where they are.” He now swears he does not remember a request for more troops for Afghanistan.
…the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said that Rumsfeld refused U.S. commanders’ requests in December 2001 for U.S. troops to deploy on the mountainous Afghan-Pakistan border to prevent Osama bin Laden and his closest followers from escaping into Pakistan.
Conservatives do tend to live in their own little world. Perhaps as conservatives try and reinvent themselves they might try living in the real world enough of the time that it doesn’t let terrorists like Bin laden escape, claim there is an urgent need to invade a country because of weapons that do not exist and then get hundreds of thousands killed. Oh, and check the local community college to see if they have any classes in competence and how to improve one’s memory – or at least learn how to be better liars.
Burglars and hackers have attacked the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, apparently in an attempt to further the “Climategate” intimidation of global warming researchers. The Climategate smear campaign rests on the release of thousands of emails illegally hacked last month from the British Climatic Research Unit (CRU).
When not remembering where and what the troops were doing, attacking Latinos and the gay community or breaking into research facilities, conservatives enjoy circulating e-mails about confrontations with Muslims that never happened. Fish Stories More Risky Via Email
Guy sends an email to friends and family recounting his single-handedly thwarting a potential terrorist plane hijacking at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport by man-handling a group of Arabs in “full attire” and tossing them from the plane. The email goes viral on the right-wing interwebs, even ending up on Glenn Beck’s Project 9/12 website.
The airline has debunked the e-mail. Neither Beck or blogger Debbie Schlussel. Beck and Schlussel’s track record for truth-telling is such if they started claiming The Theory of Gravity was correct, I’d start to have doubts. Schlussel double checked with the writer of the e-mail who was not where he said he was and not involved in an incident where a Spanish gentleman was simply asked to turn off his cell phone. Schlussel is not the least bit phased by the facts:
WITH THE presidential campaign clock ticking down, Sen. John McCain has suddenly discovered a new boogeyman to link to Sen. Barack Obama: a sometimes controversial but widely respected Middle East scholar named Rashid Khalidi. In the past couple of days, Mr. McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, have likened Mr. Khalidi, the director of a Middle East institute at Columbia University, to neo-Nazis; called him “a PLO spokesman”; and suggested that the Los Angeles Times is hiding something sinister by refusing to release a videotape of a 2003 dinner in honor of Mr. Khalidi at which Mr. Obama spoke. Mr. McCain even threw former Weatherman Bill Ayers into the mix, suggesting that the tape might reveal that Mr. Ayers — a terrorist-turned-professor who also has been an Obama acquaintance — was at the dinner.
For the record, Mr. Khalidi is an American born in New York who graduated from Yale a couple of years after George W. Bush. For much of his long academic career, he taught at the University of Chicago, where he and his wife became friends with Barack and Michelle Obama. In the early 1990s, he worked as an adviser to the Palestinian delegation at peace talks in Madrid and Washington sponsored by the first Bush administration. We don’t agree with a lot of what Mr. Khalidi has had to say about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the years, and Mr. Obama has made clear that he doesn’t, either. But to compare the professor to neo-Nazis — or even to Mr. Ayers — is a vile smear.
Perhaps unsurprising for a member of academia, Mr. Khalidi holds complex views. In an article published this year in the Nation magazine, he scathingly denounced Israeli practices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and U.S. Middle East policy but also condemned Palestinians for failing to embrace a nonviolent strategy. He said that the two-state solution favored by the Bush administration (and Mr. Obama) was “deeply flawed” but conceded there were also “flaws in the alternatives.” Listening to Mr. Khalidi can be challenging — as Mr. Obama put it in the dinner toast recorded on the 2003 tape and reported by the Times in a detailed account of the event last April, he “offers constant reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases.”
It’s fair to question why Mr. Obama felt as comfortable as he apparently did during his Chicago days in the company of men whose views diverge sharply from what the presidential candidate espouses. Our sense is that Mr. Obama is a man of considerable intellectual curiosity who can hear out a smart, if militant, advocate for the Palestinians without compromising his own position.
All partisans have a tendency to underplay their candidates flaws, but since it is a well known fact that McBush financed Rashid Khalidi’s Middle-East studies, McCain supporters and McCain himself are disparately hoping for the purest of partisan blindness. For Obama, Khalidi was a fellow academic with a point of view. Since when has listening to various opinions been evidence of unqualified endorsement of those opinions. I read Conservative opinion pieces that covers the spectrum of the Right’s takes on polices and issues, that doesn’t make me a Conservative. McCain has claimed that Khalidi represented the PLO. That is an absolute falsehood and McCain knows it, Khalidi was in a delegation sent by the Bush Sr administration to peace talks in Madrid. No wonder McCain is struggling in his home state, Arizonans ae getting a good long look at the real McCain – a shameless modern McCarthyite.
The head of the Hillsborough GOP, David Storck, distributed an email from a Republican Party volunteer saying the voters are a threat.
That’s because, as the volunteer says in the email, he sees “car loads of black Obama supporters coming from the inner city to cast their votes for Obama.”
It goes on to say, “This is their chance to get a black president and they seem to care little the he is at minimum a socialist and probably Marxist in his core beliefs.” The Republican volunteer says that is because, “After all he is black- no experience or accomplishments but he is black.”
So the head of the Tampa NAACP chapter, a black Republican finds himself embarrassed and asking for Storck to resign. This another McCain campaign legacy, by casting Senator Obama as the radical other, they’ve set back any gains other, less reckless Republicans made in reaching out to the African American community.
Half of likely voters in the poll said McCain would mainly lead the country in the same direction as Bush, a figure that has held at about that level for nearly the entire campaign; 47 percent said he would lead in a new direction. It’s an association that cuts straight to the vote: Barack Obama’s support reaches 90 percent among those who believe McCain would continue in Bush’s direction, and more than three-quarters of such voters see McCain as a risky choice.
McBush is making zero progress in convincing moderate voters that he is not another Bush term. The Economist speels out part of the reason, The Moral of the Maverick Story
That, however, was Senator McCain; the Candidate McCain of the past six months has too often seemed the victim of political sorcery, his good features magically inverted, his bad ones exaggerated. The fiscal conservative who once tackled Mr Bush over his unaffordable tax cuts now proposes not just to keep the cuts, but to deepen them. The man who denounced the religious right as “agents of intolerance” now embraces theocratic culture warriors. The campaigner against ethanol subsidies (who had a better record on global warming than most Democrats) came out in favour of a petrol-tax holiday. It has not all disappeared: his support for free trade has never wavered. Yet rather than heading towards the centre after he won the nomination, Mr McCain moved to the right.
One thing that The Economist does that is wearing thin is the idea that the canidate the public is seeing is not the good old McCain. This allows those moderate Conservatives that were hoping Mccain would rescue Conservatism from the neocons a some after the election rationalizing. If only the old maverick had run. If Mccain was a man of true convictions, he would not have given them up so completely for the presidency. What the public is seeing now is McCain letting his, for lack of a better word, demons out. he’s obviously not trying to win on the issues, he’s hoping like hell he can win by destroying Obama’s reputation. If he campaigns like a hothead, he’ll govern like one. Peggy Noonan who has a fainting spell anytime someone mentions her hero Ronald Reagan almost accidently points out how shallow and fake McCain is in all his maverick glory, The case for Barack Obama, in broad strokes
His self-confessed role model for many years was Robert Jordan in Ernest Hemingway’s novel of the Spanish Civil War, “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Mr. McCain, in his last memoir: “He was and remains to my mind a hero for the twentieth century . . . an idealistic freedom fighter” who had “a beautiful fatalism” and who sacrificed “for something else, something greater.” Actually Jordan fought on the side of the communists and died pointlessly, but never mind.
Everyone likes Jordan, there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem is that McCain adopted him as a hero like a mindless fan-boy. McCain’s notions about Hemingway’s larger then life heroes served one purpose, to cast himself as a hero in that bigger then life mold. His political life has hardly been about “something greater” from dumping the starter wife to the Keating Five Scandal to his current campaign, his heroism has been more a figment of the way he imagined himself then what he has actually delivered.