Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Tea Party for Beginners

10 Things The Tea Nuts Cannot Get Straight - Lessons for Tea Baggers

1. President Obama Cut Your Taxes
2. The Stimulus is Working
3. First Ronald Reagan Tripled the National Debt...
4. ...Then George W. Bush Doubled It Again
5. Republican States Have the Worst Health Care
6. Medicare is a Government Program
7. Barack Obama is Not a Muslim
8. Barack Obama was Born in the United States
9. 70,000 Does Not Equal 2,000,000
10. The Economy Almost Always Does Better Under
Documentationat the link.

The Founding Fathers Versus the Tea Party

As a general rule, the founders favored limited government, reserving a special wariness for executive power, but they clashed sharply over those limits.

The Constitution’s framers dedicated Article I to the legislature in the hope that, as the branch nearest the people, it would prove pre-eminent. But Washington, as our first president, quickly despaired of a large, diffuse Congress ever exercising coherent leadership. The first time he visited the Senate to heed its “advice and consent,” about a treaty with the Creek Indians, he was appalled by the disorder. “This defeats every purpose of my coming here,” he grumbled, then departed with what one senator branded an air of “sullen dignity.” Washington went back one more time before dispensing with the Senate’s advice altogether, henceforth seeking only its consent.

President Washington’s Treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton, wasted no time in testing constitutional limits as he launched a burst of government activism. In December 1790, he issued a state paper calling for the first central bank in the country’s history, the forerunner of the Federal Reserve System.

Because the Constitution didn’t include a syllable about such an institution, Hamilton, with his agile legal mind, pounced on Article I, Section 8, which endowed Congress with all powers “necessary and proper” to perform tasks assigned to it in the national charter. Because the Constitution empowered the government to collect taxes and borrow money, Hamilton argued, a central bank might usefully discharge such functions. In this way, he devised a legal doctrine of powers “implied” as well as enumerated in the Constitution.
The tea nuts have to rewrite history to provide a foundation for their movement. That does not bode well for people who claim to be honest representatives of what America stands for.

The tea baggers are just grass roots everyday folks? In some ways they are, but mostly they are just plain old right-wingers who are servants to their corporate masters, How corporate interests and Republican insiders built the Tea Party monster

Suddenly, tens of thousands of Republicans who had been conspicuously silent during George Bush's gargantuan spending on behalf of defense contractors and hedge-fund gazillionaires showed up at Tea Party rallies across the nation, declaring themselves fed up with wasteful government spending. From the outset, the events were organized and financed by the conservative wing of the Republican Party, which was quietly working to co-opt the new movement and deploy it to the GOP's advantage. Taking the lead was former House majority leader Dick Armey, who as chair of a group called FreedomWorks helped coordinate Tea Party rallies across the country. A succession of Republican Party insiders and money guys make up the guts of FreedomWorks: Its key members include billionaire turd Steve Forbes and former Republican National Committee senior economist Matt Kibbe.

Prior to the Tea Party phenomenon, FreedomWorks was basically just an AstroTurfing-lobbying outfit whose earlier work included taking money from Verizon to oppose telecommunications regulation. Now the organization's sights were set much higher: In the wake of a monstrous economic crash caused by grotesque abuses in unregulated areas of the financial-services industry, FreedomWorks — which took money from companies like mortgage lender MetLife — had the opportunity to persuade millions of ordinary Americans to take up arms against, among other things, Wall Street reform.

Joining them in the fight was another group, Americans for Prosperity, which was funded in part by the billionaire David Koch, whose Koch Industries is the second-largest privately held company in America. In addition to dealing in plastics, chemicals and petroleum, Koch has direct interests in commodities trading and financial services. He also has a major stake in pushing for deregulation, as his companies have been fined multiple times by the government, including a 1999 case in which Koch Industries was held to have stolen oil from federal lands, lying about oil purchases some 24,000 times.

So how does a group of billionaire businessmen and corporations get a bunch of broke Middle American white people to lobby for lower taxes for the rich and deregulation of Wall Street? That turns out to be easy. Beneath the surface, the Tea Party is little more than a weird and disorderly mob, a federation of distinct and often competing strains of conservatism that have been unable to coalesce around a leader of their own choosing. Its rallies include not only hardcore libertarians left over from the original Ron Paul "Tea Parties," but gun-rights advocates, fundamentalist Christians, pseudomilitia types like the Oath Keepers (a group of law- enforcement and military professionals who have vowed to disobey "unconstitutional" orders) and mainstream Republicans who have simply lost faith in their party. It's a mistake to cast the Tea Party as anything like a unified, cohesive movement — which makes them easy prey for the very people they should be aiming their pitchforks at. A loose definition of the Tea Party might be millions of pissed-off white people sent chasing after Mexicans on Medicaid by the handful of banks and investment firms who advertise on Fox and CNBC.

The individuals in the Tea Party may come from very different walks of life, but most of them have a few things in common. After nearly a year of talking with Tea Party members from Nevada to New Jersey, I can count on one hand the key elements I expect to hear in nearly every interview. One: Every single one of them was that exceptional Republican who did protest the spending in the Bush years, and not one of them is the hypocrite who only took to the streets when a black Democratic president launched an emergency stimulus program. ("Not me — I was protesting!" is a common exclamation.) Two: Each and every one of them is the only person in America who has ever read the Constitution or watched Schoolhouse Rock. (Here they have guidance from Armey, who explains that the problem with "people who do not cherish America the way we do" is that "they did not read the Federalist Papers.") Three: They are all furious at the implication that race is a factor in their political views — despite the fact that they blame the financial crisis on poor black homeowners, spend months on end engrossed by reports about how the New Black Panthers want to kill "cracker babies," support politicians who think the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an overreach of government power, tried to enact South African-style immigration laws in Arizona and obsess over Charlie Rangel, ACORN and Barack Obama's birth certificate. Four: In fact, some of their best friends are black! (Reporters in Kentucky invented a game called "White Male Liberty Patriot Bingo," checking off a box every time a Tea Partier mentions a black friend.) And five: Everyone who disagrees with them is a radical leftist who hates America.

It would be inaccurate to say the Tea Partiers are racists. What they are, in truth, are narcissists. They're completely blind to how offensive the very nature of their rhetoric is to the rest of the country. I'm an ordinary middle-aged guy who pays taxes and lives in the suburbs with his wife and dog — and I'm a radical communist? I don't love my country? I'm a redcoat? Fuck you! These are the kinds of thoughts that go through your head as you listen to Tea Partiers expound at awesome length upon their cultural victimhood, surrounded as they are by America-haters like you and me or, in the case of foreign-born president Barack Obama, people who are literally not Americans in the way they are.


Monday, September 27, 2010

There Are No Elitist Republicans Who Live in a Bubble

Raese Wants To Go Back To ‘Capitalism The Way It Should Be’ — Before Child Labor Laws

Millionaire businessman John Raese is running on a hard-right “pro-business, anti-regulation and anti-tax platform” as the GOP nominee for a Senate seat from West Virginia. Despite having been rejected by the state’s voters three times — including once for the same Senate seat just four years ago — Raese is hoping to capitalize on the right’s current anti-government hysteria.

A self-described “flamboyant businessman,” Raese enjoys the finer things, owning over 15 cars, boats and motorcycles, and a home in Florida where his family lives full-time. But Raese is humble too, acknowledging that he didn’t earn all of that: “I made my money the old-fashioned way. I Inherited it,” he joked in a recent interview. “I think that’s a great thing to do,” he added.

[ ]...Of course, while rolling back a century of labor, environmental, and civil rights regulations might make it easier for Raese, it would be absolutely disastrous for every working American. “Capitalism the way it should be,” as Raese dubbed it, included regular use of child labor, widespread repression of organized labor, virtually zero regulations on workplace safety or fairness — including racial and gender discrimination– and unchecked environmental degradation. “At the beginning of the century, workers in the United States faced remarkably high health and safety risks on the job,” a Center for Disease Control history stated, noting the “large decreases in work-related deaths from the high rates and numbers of deaths among workers during the early 20th century.”

Regardless of whether Raese is actually advocating a return to 1900, warts and all, his nostalgic remembrance of the era reflects a larger conservative attempt to discredit the progressive reforms of the last century that made this country stronger and more equitable.
Conservatives always seem to yearn for the worse of America's past rather than envisioning a greater, better future.

Americans' Incomes Sank After Bush Tax Cuts

That latest indictment of the reckless Bush tax giveaway to the rich comes from tax expert David Cay Johnston. Just days after the Census Bureau reported a jump in poverty during even before the start of the December 2007 Bush recession, Johnston reported, "Total income was $2.74 trillion less during the eight Bush years than if incomes had stayed at 2000 levels."

After asking, "So how did the tax cuts work out?" Johnston paints a grim picture of economic failure:

Even if we limit the analysis by starting in 2003, when the dividend and capital gains tax cuts began, through the peak year of 2007, the result is still less income than at the 2000 level. Total income was down $951 billion during those four years.

Average incomes fell. Average taxpayer income was down $3,512, or 5.7 percent, in 2008 compared with 2000, President Bush's own benchmark year for his promises of prosperity through tax cuts.

Had incomes stayed at 2000 levels, the average taxpayer would have earned almost $21,000 more over those eight years. That's almost $50 per week.

And to be sure, the Bush tax cuts which have already drained the Treasury of $2.3 trillion were a major contributor to the record U.S. income gap:

In only two of the eight Bush years, 2006 and 2007, were average incomes higher than in 2000, but the gains were highly concentrated at the top. Of the total increase in income in 2007 over that in 2005, nearly 30 percent went to taxpayers who made $1 million or more...

One of every eight dollars of the tax cuts went to the 1 in 1,000 taxpayers in the top tenth of 1 percent, the annual threshold for which was in the $2 million range throughout the last administration.
Voodoo economics. Conservatives can never seem to get enough.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Republicans Have the Perfect Plan to Get America on the Right Track

GOP Pledge Architect McCarthy Can’t Name A Single Program He’d Cut From The Federal Budget

Yesterday, House Republicans rolled out their “Pledge to America,” which is supposedly a series of ideas that the GOP would enact tomorrow, if given the chance. At the top of the list, of course, is a full extension of the Bush tax cuts — at a cost of almost $4 trillion — and a promise to allow no tax increases.

At the same time, though, the Pledge claims to put the country “on a path to a balanced budget.” But when it comes to spending cuts, it is incredibly vague, including only a promise to reduce non-defense discretionary spending to the 2008 level and to “set benchmarks” for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Today, in fact, the lead architect of the Pledge, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), couldn’t name a single program that he’d cut from the federal budget when pressed by MSNBC’s Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd:

GUTHRIE: Everybody likes to cut spending, but the issue is where, how? What specifically are you going to cut? [...]

MCCARTHY: What are you going to cut? Discretionary spending. Anything that’s not security…

TODD: Well, hang on. What is discretionary? Give us two or three items that are discretionary.

MCCARTHY: You could go through every different program within government, outside of entitlements, outside of national defense, that is discretionary spending that Congress has control of. That has gone over 88 percent in the last two years.

GUTHRIE; So what comes to mind for that, if you could wave a magic wand and do it unilaterally, what would you cut?

TODD: If you had the line item.

MCCARTHY: The line item would be across-the-board.

McCarthy finally settled on cutting Congress’ administrative spending, which he said would save $100 million. So in a $3 trillion federal budget, with a $1.3 trillion deficit, McCarthy identified $100 million in savings, reducing the deficit by less than 0.01 percent. And those savings won’t even come out of a federal program. But McCarthy is not unique in this regard: plenty of Republicans, including House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), can’t identify a single program that they would cut.

With the Pledge, McCarthy and the rest of the House Republicans would have you believe that eliminating the deficit with cuts to discretionary spending is both possible and simple. But discretionary spending this year will be about $1.4 trillion. So you’d have to get rid of almost all of it — including discretionary defense spending — to eliminate the deficit.

The non-defense discretionary side of the budget — which includes all federal education funding, FEMA, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the National Park System, federal highway funding, food safety inspection, and the Secret Service — comes to about $530 billion, nowhere near enough to eliminate the deficit.

And if the Pledge were actually enacted, Republicans would be starting from an even deeper fiscal hole, as deficits over the next ten years would be $1.5 trillion higher under the Pledge than they would be under President Obama’s budget. That’s right, the House GOP pledge, taking Republicans entirely at their word that they’ll cut every dollar of spending they say they will, produces $1.5 trillion more in deficits than we would have under Obama’s budget.

Of course, since McCarthy can’t even be bothered to understand the economic policies laid out in his own book, it’s not surprising that he’s unable to justify the Pledge’s fuzzy math.
Republicans really should rename their party The Potemkin Village Idiots.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Republicans Reveal Super Plan for 2010. Smells Just Like Bush Redux

GOP’s Newly Unveiled ‘Pledge to America’ Is a Destructive Sham

Barring a dramatic last-minute overhaul, the “Pledge” appears to be something of a joke. I saw one analysis last night that characterized the document as “ridiculous,” “laughable,” and “dreck.” The review added, “This document proves the GOP is more focused on the acquisition of power than the advocacy of long term sound public policy.”

Did this come from the DNC? No, it came by way of a leading Republican media personality.

Looking at the bigger picture, it’s tempting to think House Republicans deserve at least some credit for making the effort. After all, the GOP hasn’t even tried to craft a policy agenda in many years. The point of the “Pledge,” presumably, is to help demonstrate that congressional Republicans aren’t just the “party of no”; this is a new GOP prepared to reclaim the mantle of “party of ideas.”

But that’s precisely why the endeavor is such an embarrassing failure. The document combines old ideas, bad ideas, contradictory ideas, and discredited ideas. The Republican Party that lost control of Congress four years ago has had an abundance of time to craft a policy vision that offered credible, serious solutions. Instead, we’re confronted with a document that can best be described as tired nonsense.

Ezra Klein’s take was entirely in line with my own.

[Y]ou’re left with a set of hard promises that will increase the deficit by trillions of dollars, take health-care insurance away from tens of millions of people, create a level of policy uncertainty businesses have never previously known, and suck demand out of an economy that’s already got too little of it.

You’re also left with a difficult question: What, exactly, does the Republican Party believe? The document speaks constantly and eloquently of the dangers of debt — but offers a raft of proposals that would sharply increase it. It says, in one paragraph, that the Republican Party will commit itself to “greater liberty” and then, in the next, that it will protect “traditional marriage.” It says that “small business must have certainty that the rules won’t change every few months” and then promises to change all the rules that the Obama administration has passed in recent months. It is a document with a clear theory of what has gone wrong — debt, policy uncertainty, and too much government — and a solid promise to make most of it worse.

If Republicans set out to prove that they’re wholly unprepared and incapable of governing effectively, they’ve succeeded beautifully. That may have been obvious when there was an actual GOP majority and they failed on a spectacular, generational scale, but any hopes that the party has since learned valuable lessons quickly fade with the release of the “Pledge to America.”

Indeed, the moral of the story this morning is very likely the fact that Republicans probably shouldn’t even try. Last year, the House GOP released an alternative budget, which was so tragically pathetic, it neglected to include any numbers. Several months later, the House GOP released an alternative health care reform plan, which made no effort to actually improve a dysfunctional system.
In 2001 Republicans and quite a few conservative Democrats assured us that a huge tax cut - aimed mostly at the wealthy - and not cutting spending, would cause an economic dreamland. Now we're in the Great Recession - which would have been worse without the stimulus. Now Republicans are saying even though their eight year old experiment crash and burned we should go in reverse and give it another try. I guess they're hoping most Americans are idiots with short memories.

Another IRB for Tea Party Conservative Ron Johnson's company?
One issue that has emerged in the Ron Johnson vs. Russ Feingold race is Johnson's use of industrial revenue bonds for Pacur, his plastics manufacturing company.

The Feingold camp has argued that Johnson has been hypocritical for going after industrial revenue bonds for his company while declaring on his campaign website and in public statements that "Government doesn’t create jobs – the private sector creates jobs."

Johnson has counterpunched that no government money was involved in the transactions, and taxpayers were not at risk.

A PolitiFact item on the ads surrounding the debate concluded that, while government money was not involved, industrial revenue bonds do constitute a subsidy.

Pacur and Johnson have said that Pacur received two industrial revenue bonds - in 1983 and 1985. Together they totaled $4 million
.Johnson - another self-made conservative welfare queen.

Forty ways in which Republicans failed governance under the administration of George W. Bush, 2001-2008

Forty ways in which Republicans failed governance under the administration of George W. Bush, 2001-2008

• 45 million Americans without health care
• 60 percent of EPA scientists report political interference with their work
• 1,273 whistleblower complaints filed from 2002-2008; 1,256 were dismissed
• 190,000 U.S.-supplied weapons missing in Iraq
• $212.3 million in overcharges by Halliburton for Iraq oil reconstruction work
• $455 billion deficit for fiscal year 2008; estimated to reach up to $1 trillion in 2009
• $9.91 billion for government secrecy in 2007 — a record
• 809 government laptops with sensitive information lost by FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
• 30 million pounds of beef recalled in 2007
• $300 billion over budget for Department of Defense weapons acquisitions
• Less than 3 percent of U.S. electricity needs met by alternative energy
• 2,145 troops killed and 21,000 injured in Iraq from March 2003 through November 1, 2008, by IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and other explosives — many while awaiting body armor. Additionally, tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in the conflict
• 34.8 percent of oil used in America imported during Nixon administration; 42.2 percent during first Gulf War; 59.9 percent in 2006
• $100 million for failed FBI computer network
• $100 billion in federal tax revenues lost annually to corporations using off-shore tax shelters
• 163 million airline passengers delayed 320 million hours; cost to U.S. economy: more than $41 billion in 2007
• $60 billion stolen in Medicare fraud each year
• 2.5 million toxic toys recalled in summer of 2007
• $12.5 billion for defective National Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellite System
• $4 billion to upgrade National Security Agency computers that often crash, have trouble talking to each other, and lose key intelligence
• 60,000 flights made by 46 Southwest Airline jets in violation of FAA safety directives due to lax FAA enforcement
• 12.8 percent job turnover at Department of Homeland Security in 2006 — double that of any other cabinet-level agency
• 730,000 backlogged patent applications
• 148,000 troops not enough to secure Iraq, enabling insurgency to take root
• $1 billion, six-year “Reading First” program called ineffective by Department of Education Inspector General
• 20,000 U.S. deaths annually from lack of pollution controls on diesel vehicles and power plants
• 60,000 newborns a year at risk for neurological problems due to mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants
• Two-thirds fewer clean ups of EPA Superfund toxic waste sites during 2001-2006 than in previous six years
• 935 demonstrably false statements in lead-up to Iraq war by President Bush and seven members of his administration
• At least $500 million for FEMA trailers contaminated by formaldehyde occupied by thousands displaced after Hurricane Katrina
• 558 detainees at Guantanamo detention facility reduced to 255 after court-ordered case reviews
• 26 percent of corporations holding at least $250 million in assets audited in 2006; percent audited in 1990: more than 70 percent. IRS audit staff slashed by 30 percent
• $431.5 billion spent on Medicare in 2007, double amount in 2001
• 47 dead in mining accidents in 2006 blamed on lax oversight
• $9 billion in federal oil and gas royalties mismanaged by agency linked to drug-and-sex scandal
• 275 largest U.S. corporations pay, on average, about 17 percent in taxes in 2007, half the standard corporate tax rate
• $45 trillion in credit-default swaps, without federal oversight, in 2007
• 760,800 disability claims backlogged, awaiting hearings at Social Security Administration as of October 2008
• 806,000 Veterans Affairs disability claims in 2006, up 39 percent since 2000; backlog reached 400,000 claims by February 2007
• 2,640 days Osama bin Laden at large since September 11, 2001 (as of December 10, 2008)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wisconsin Republican Senate Race and the Values Candidate Ron Johnson

Wisconsin Republican Senate and the Values Candidate Ron Johnson

Today's honoree is a guy who has been an unyielding source of entertainment in the past two weeks: Wisconsin Republican Senate frontrunner Ron Johnson.

In his campaign, Johnson has sold himself as a businessman who bootstrapped himself to greatness without any help from that damned intrusive government.


In an interview with 27 News on Aug. 17, Johnson railed against government subsidies for businesses and products.

"I'm in business," he said. "I have never lobbied for some special treatment or for a government payment."

He went on to say, "When you subsidize doesn't work through the free market system very well."

According to a July 19, 1985, article published in the Oshkosh Northwestern, a $2.5 million industrial development revenue bond was approved by the Oshkosh Common Council on July 18, 1985. An article in the same newspaper, dated Feb. 16, 1986, said Pacur Inc., co-owned by Johnson, used the money to build a 40,000-square-foot addition.

So, to recap, when this guy's business needed to expand, where did he go? Right to the government (in this case, the municipal government).

This, from a guy whose website includes the snappy one-liner “Government doesn’t create jobs – the private sector creates jobs.”
Please, please, please vote for Rob Johnson he has proven himself to be the kind of two faced lying hypocrite we need in Washington. He''l bring back the corrupt corporate cronyism of the Bush years. Rob is also a caring person. He has the deepest symapthies for sexual predators,
WI GOP congressman supporting Ron Johnson surprised that Johnson supports Great Lakes oil drilling.

Ron Johnson, a wealthy business executive and leading Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin this year, is beginning to receive scrutiny for his far right views. He has been criticized recently for opposing an anti-sex offenders bill, the Child Victim Act, and for saying that he is “glad there’s global warming.”

Ron Johnson is ready to speak up for child molesting scumbags. Another example of the kind of compassionate conservatism America needs. Ron may not have any ideas about how to create jobs or manage the defcit, but he has typical conservative values and that is what counts.

Sen. Russ Feingold speaks up for traditional American values and the Constitution

Sunday, September 19, 2010

We're Very Sad to Hear Mike Pence (R-IN) is a Another Decidophobia Republican

Decidophobia is the fear of making decisions. Fear of making tough and smart decisions is considered especially dangerous in political movements and their leaders. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for example were famous for their moral cowardice. This was typified by their inability to tell the truth or balance the budget or protect the American middle-class as the latter would mean millionaires would have to get by on a few thousand less a year. Pence is also a moral coward - Deficit Frauds Boehner And Pence Can’t Answer How Tax Cuts For Wealthy Will Be Paid For

Today on NBC’s Meet the Press, House Republican leaders John Boehner (R-OH) and Mike Pence (R-IN) had a tough time answering host David Gregory’s questions about how they would pay for extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

Gregory asked Boehner to respond to former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who said last week that extending the tax cuts without offsets would be “disastrous” and that they do not pay for themselves. “The only way we’re going to get our economy going again…is to get the economy moving,” was all Boehner could muster in response.

GREGORY: This tension that I got out with Leader Boehner. Republicans want more tax cuts seems to me he acknowledged that they’re not paid for and yet at the same time they want tax cuts but they’re so worried about the deficit. How do you resolve that tension?

PENCE: Well I think the way you resolve it is you focus on jobs. …

GREGORY: But congressman, you’re asking Americans to believe that Republicans will have spending discipline when you’re saying extend the tax cuts that aren’t paid for and cut the deficit, how is that a consistent credible message?

PENCE: Well I understand the credibility problem. …

GREGORY: You acknowledge, tax cuts being extended cannot be paid for, it would be borrowed money.

PENCE: Well no I don’t acknowledge that. … I think it’s apples to oranges.

The reality is that extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy will cost $830 billion over the next ten years and the Republicans — who have made bringing down the deficit one of their signature issues — have no idea how they will pay for them.
Bankrupt the country to reward wealth and punish the average worker - gee Pence sounds like a chip off the old Bush.

Colorado Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes Compares His Embellished Undercover Stories To Serpico. Dan also plays with his tugboat while he takes bubble baths.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Lovely Nuts Fall From The Trees. It Must be a Republican Autumn

Texas Republican House Candidate Caught Padding Resume And Plagiarizing An Obama Speech

Stefani Carter is a Republican House candidate in Texas’s 102nd District who rejected “the liberal line” to become a “proud conservative.” Boasting of her credentials as a “contributing editorial writer for USA Today and a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, one of the most well known conservative think tanks in Washington, D.C,” Carter is well-versed in the party line. She tells supporters she’s “no” on “more government debt” and that she “will fight any attempts” by President Obama “to force feed socialized medicine to Texas families.”

But, while proudly rejecting the Obama’s progressive policies in Washington, Carter plagiarized a few of Obama’s “liberal lines” in her pursuit to get there. A video released by Lone Star Project this summer revealed Carter “reciting almost identical passages” from Obama’s 2004 keynote...

...While the Dallas County GOP Chairman dismissed her plagiarism as “petty” and “small ball,” he may have a harder time defending the more “hostile” and “absurd” tactics of Carter’s “amateur campaign.” According to, Carter recently sent a campaign staffer “with a camera to stalk” her opponent incumbent Rep. Carol Kent. He “was caught in a parking lot hiding between cars.” Carter also made “bizarre accusations” that “she had to call 911 twice because of suspicious vehicles parked at her campaign headquarters.”

Unsurprisingly, Carter’s dubious antics failed to win over her employers at Sayles Werbner law firm in Dallas, who endorsed and donated to Kent’s campaign. But Carter shouldn’t worry about the bosses she dismissed as “liberal Democrats,” because if acts of plagiarism and paranoid accusations guarantee anything, it’s a natural home with the GOP. (HT: Burnt Orange)
M's Carter did what conservatives always do. Lacking any actual ideas of her own she repacked tired old corrupt corporatist conservative garbage - let BP run your lives America - and wrapped in the words of someone who actually has ideas.

Carly Fiorina will do for California what she did for business

"[H-P's board members] lost faith in Carly...It is difficult to find anyone involved with H-P today -- board member, shareholder, employee, customer, analyst -- who isn't happy that Ms. Fiorina is gone..." - Wall Street Journal, "H-P lost faith in Carly, but not in merger," May 24, 2006

"Fiorina was bad. Everyone seems to agree on this now... All in all, our judges seem to think Fiorina should win [the 'Worst Tech CEO' title]." - USA Today, "Can Fiorina trump competition for 'worst tech CEO' title?" February 16, 2005

"[Fiorina is] the worst because of her ruthless attack on the essence of this great company. She destroyed half the wealth of her investors and yet still earned almost $100 million in total payments for this destructive reign of terror." - Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of Yale University (USA Today, "Can Fiorina trump competition for 'worst tech CEO' title?" February 16, 2005)
Having failed in business Carly hopes to be rewarded for her failure with a job working for tax payers. Watch out tax payers!

Right-wing Republican Sharron Angle of Nevada Channels Bleeding Heart of Thomas Jefferson - Angle should learn Jefferson thought estate taxes were a good idea before citing him as an example of why we should do away with them entirely.

Memo to Forbes: D'Souza's "facts" are indeed in contention

In a September 9 Forbes cover story that has been praised by Newt Gingrich and Glenn Beck, Dinesh D'Souza asserts that President Obama's policies should be understood as a manifestation of his African father's "hatred of the colonial system." Forbes has said it "stands by the story" and that "no facts are in contention," but D'Souza's article contains numerous falsehoods and distortions.
Do all conservatives kids get a How to Write Conspiracy Theories Handbook when they're growing up.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Being a Republican Means Running Buck Naked in Traffic in Sub-Zero Weather is a Good Idea

Being a Republican Means Running Buck Naked in Traffic in Sub-Zero Weather is a Good Idea

3) A vote for the GOP is a vote for the politics of fear. Since President Obama was elected, the Republican opposition to his presidency has been built on fear. Rather than offering competing policies, the GOP chose to lie and obstruct with the end game being scaring Americans into believing that the president was a dangerous extremist. It's not just the deranged ravings of pundits like Limbaugh, Beck and Palin, either. Reliance on fear (and absence of positive policy proposals) has been a hallmark of the Republican minority in Congress.

The GOP policy of fear is most apparent in the recent fomenting of Islamophobia. With unemployment strangling the nation, Republican politicians thought it was important to demonize an Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan. Last month I discussed how Republicans are cynically using the Islamic community center for political gain. But the issue is really bigger than just this one building in Manhattan.

Despite the Obama administration's stellar record in catching and capturing al-Qaida and Taliban leaders, Newt Gingrich spews out nonsense like:

"What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]? ... That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior."

It's a blatant use of baseless fear for political gain, seeking to scare Americans into believing that the president can't keep them safe (even though, so far, he has). That is the way of the modern Republican party.

But the Republican use of fear goes beyond foreign policy and terrorism. Fear is at the center of GOP domestic policy as well.

Rather than debate the president's stimulus bill or budget on the merits, the GOP resorted to fear-mongering, calling the president a socialist. Debate health care? Why, when it is easier to scare senior citizens with made-up death panels and again trot out charges of socialism and government takeovers?

In his New York Times column today, conservative David Brooks described how the misunderstood and overly rigid application of anti-government theory by mainstream Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan is a recipe for a "political tragedy," a "fiscal tragedy," and a "policy tragedy." What especially struck me in Brooks' piece is a passage he cited from a Wall Street Journal op-ed penned by Ryan and American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks:

"The road to serfdom in America does not involve a knock in the night or a jack-booted thug. It starts with smooth-talking politicians offering seemingly innocuous compromises, and an opportunistic leadership that chooses not to stand up for America's enduring principles of freedom and entrepreneurship."

Ryan, one of the Republican leaders in the House, invokes terms like "serfdom" and "seemingly innocuous compromises," as well as making accusations that Democrats are not standing up for American principals. Let's be clear here. Ryan and Brooks are not saying that Democrats, in trying to dig the country out of an economic mess (created, incidentally, by a Republican president and Republican Congress), chose policies they thought would best do the job (which by any honest and fair assessment of the situation is the actual truth), but that they disagree with those choices. No, instead, they are accusing the president and the Democrats in Congress of actively trying to overthrow the American way of life, and to make citizens into serfs.

Ryan and Brooks aren't offering positive solutions. Rather, they make wild accusations to stoke fear in Americans.

Fear is really the only item Republicans are offering voters in November. The GOP isn't running on what they want to do (all they ever offer are more tax cuts for the rich), but instead on what bad things will happen if voters don't elect Republicans in November. Under the Republican narrative of fear, it's not that Democratic policies are well-intentioned but ineffective. It's that the Democrats are out to hurt Americans, and if voters leave Democrats in office, Americans will become serfs in a socialist takeover, which might not matter since the president is a Kenyan who doesn't want to defend the United States from Muslim terrorists.

Is this the country we want to be? Do we want to be ruled by fear?
Conservatives are suing fear ti divert America's attention. Don't look back on the national security disasters and the economic catastrophe they caused, think about the bogeyman under the bed. That is not an answer to America's problems, that's just running naked down a freezing traffic filled street crazy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Republicans Are Very Mature and Would Never Do Anything to Hurt America's Most Vulnerable Citizens

Republicans Are Very Mature and Would Never Do Anything to Hurt America's Most Vulnerable Citizen

On Saturday, ThinkProgress spoke to Teresa Collett, a Republican running against Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), at the Mayflower Hotel during lobbyist Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition conference. During the interview, Collett expressed outrage at the health reform bill passed by Congress this year and supported by her opponent.

Collett argued that tactically, even if Republicans take over the House, repealing health reform would be difficult because President Obama could easily veto any repeal effort. However, Collett reasoned that a Republican House of Representatives could defund programs to expand coverage made possible by health reform. She also said that “if the stakes are high enough,” she would support a move to shut down the entire federal government to force a showdown over health reform:

TP: I spoke to several of the delegates here, and some of the speakers, who said — including Newt Gingrich — who said it might come down to a budget battle where the federal government might need to be stopped temporarily to force President Obama to the table. What do you think about that?

COLLETT: I think if the stakes are high enough, we might have to do that. Now that has real consequences to real people in lots of different ways. So, certainly that is not the first best option, but what’s at stake is very important so that decision will have to be made at that time.

Collett’s sentiment about shutting down the federal government echoes a similar argument made by another speaker at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), speaking on Friday, said that Republicans would shut down the federal government — even veterans’ hospitals — to eliminate programs like health reform.
Republicans are obvious against Americans having the freedom to have health care coverage, enjoy good health and have some protection against bankruptcy caused by health care expenses. That also means if they have to screw overs vets, the elderly and the disabled to show how much they hate freedom, than that's what they are prepared to do in the 2010 mid-term elections. Why do conservatives have such a vicious hatred for the USA and its citizens.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What's That Smell. The Tea Party and History.

What's That Smell. The Tea Party and History.

Sometimes when you're thinking about how to express something, you find a perfect exemplification of it just by chance in the musty stacks of such an emporium. Here's a remarkable example. I'd been trying to find a way to write about Tea Party ideology, and in particular about the fraudulent history and distorted language it indulges in. Listen to Tea Partiers on cable news—or read the signs they hoist or their Internet comments—and you frequently encounter the flagrant abuse, the historically ignorant misuse, of words such as tyranny, communist, Marxist, fascist, and socialist.

You hear them say, for instance, that we live under "tyranny" because one side lost a health care vote in an elected legislative body. And that, in all seriousness, the president is a communist. For many Tea Party members, the word is not just a vile epithet; it's a realistic political description. Check out this clip in which Tea Party "celebrity" spokeswoman Victoria Jackson flatly tells a flummoxed Fox News host, "The president's a communist." When the host (the Fox host!) starts to object, she responds that Glenn Beck has taught her that progressive is a code word for communist. (Time to put that ugly hammer and sickle logo inside the "O" on your I-hate-Obama T.P. protest sign!)

Unless of course Obama is really a "fascist," as some T.P.ers have it, because he's a liberal, and liberals are fascists (as we all know from that magisterial work of history, Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg). So instead of the hammer and sickle, draw a little Hitler mustache on Obama's face on your T.P. hate signs. Or better yet, parade around with a swastika! (The Tea Partiers seem to get a special kick out of this, for some reason.)

Of course Obama is also probably an evil "socialist" which is apparently, in the Tea Party worldview, pretty much the same as a fascist or a communist. (One gets the impression that some T.P.ers have had major, life-changing, "aha!" moments when they first learned that Hitler's party was the National SOCIALIST German Workers Party. Slam dunk!)*

And if Obama's not a socialist fascist communist, he may be—ooh, scary, kids!—a "progressive," which, as Victoria Jackson learned from the erudite Glenn Beck, is really a secret "code word" for communist.

And they believe him! That's the thing. The recent New York Times study of T.P.ers reported that party members are "better educated" than most Americans. But educated in what? Clearly, they—or at least a significant, influential portion of them—are utterly uneducated in history. One can get a college degree without taking a single class in world history and thus still be ripe for the idiot distortions of a Glenn Beck.

Most people with a basic grounding in history find Tea Party ignorance something to laugh about, certainly not something to take seriously. But I would argue that history demonstrates that historical ignorance is dangerous and that it can have tragic consequences, however laughable it may initially seem. And thus the media, liberals, and others are misguided in laughing it off. And educated conservatives are irresponsible in staying silent in the face of these distortions.

The muddled Tea Party version of history is more than wrong and fraudulent. It's offensive. Calling Obama a tyrant, a communist, or a fascist is deeply offensive to all the real victims of tyranny, the real victims of communism and fascism. The tens of millions murdered. It trivializes such suffering inexcusably for the T.P.ers to claim that they are suffering from similar oppression because they might have their taxes raised or be subject to demonic "federal regulation."

The media for the most part has shown itself afraid to challenge the insidious distortions of language and history Tea Partiers promote. In the last few weeks, several news outlets have been propagating the meme that Tea Partiers are "just regular folks." And certainly some are. But if you examined the ideology that shows its face, the one that is apparent in sign carriers and blog commenters and cable spokespersons, you find something disturbing.

Consider this CNN report, which attempts to give a smiley face to the Tea Party's underlying ideology. Even Fox News recognizes Tea Party dogma as a seething cauldron of deranged and vicious lies about history. Look at the guy in the photo in this report and how proud he is of his illiterate swastika sign.

These swastika nuts look ridiculous. But words matter, sometimes in a life-and-death way. Take for instance the Tea Party demonization of "federal regulation" as the instrument of the tyranny that's been imposed on them. I would like every Tea Partier who has denounced federal regulation to write a letter to the widows and children of the coalminers in West Virginia who died because of the failure of "federal regulation" of mine safety.

Tell the weeping survivors that such regulation is tyranny, that their husbands and fathers had to die, but for a good cause: lowering federal spending so the T.P.ers could save a few pennies on taxes. That's worth 29 lives snuffed out in a mine blast, isn't it? They either don't see the connection or don't care.

Indeed the demonization of "federal regulation" could prevent cowardly legislators from strengthening protections for miners and other workers imperiled by unsafe conditions. But the happy T.P.ers will still go out with their swastika and Hitler-mustache signs, whining about tyranny. Wouldn't it be great if there were a liberal politician who, in the wake of the mining catastrophe, had the courage to stand up and say that federal regulations are often a very good thing? Don't hold your breath.

This is just one example of the toxic effect of Tea Party ignorance on the lives of their fellow citizens. But the damage done by the injection of fraudulent history into the body politic by Tea Party ignoramuses and their enablers will be more profound and lasting than one tragedy.

That's because ignorance of this sort isn't inconsequential. Historical fraudulence is like a disease, a contagious psychosis which can lead to mob hysteria and worse. Consider the role that fraudulent history played in Weimar Germany, where the "stab in the back" myth that the German Army had been cheated of victory in World War I by Jews and Socialists on the home front was used by the Nazis to justify their hatreds.

It's a historical lie, but it caught on, and Hitler rose to power on it, asking Germans to avenge the (nonexistent) stab in the back! It may be true that the Tea Party will disintegrate before it acquires any real power, as more and more of its leaders are revealed to be fanciers of racist jokes and bestiality videos. But one can't be assured of it. It's important to expose the lies for what they are before they further debase the language with their false use of words.

By the time of my serendipitous used-bookstore discovery—more on which in a moment—I was already troubled by the Obama/Hitler/socialist/fascist comparisons. But it was the ignorant trivialization of the Holocaust—the identification of Hitler as a "socialist"—that really got to me.

It took me back to the month I spent in Munich's Monacensia library archives a decade or so ago, looking through the original flaking and yellowing copies of Munich's anti-Hitler Social Democratic Party (socialist!) newspaper, the Munich Post. I devoted a chapter of my book Explaining Hitler to the courageous efforts of the Munich Post reporters to investigate the nature of Hitler's evil in the years before he came to power. Their investigation led to a kind of war with the Nazi Party: The Socialist reporters produced revelation after revelation, were met with vicious reprisals, and then produced new, more disturbing revelations.

One of the things these reporters were obsessed with was disproving the "stab in the back" myth, because they knew its sinister propaganda power. They even provoked one of Hitler's cronies who was propagating the "stab in the back" myth to sue them for libel. They called him a "political poisoner" and added that "if he were only an idiot his writing would make him look ridiculous, but he's worse than idiot." (If only some politicians and pundits would have the courage to say something like this about the T.P. poisoners of history.) They wanted him to sue so they could lay out the evidence against the "stab in the back" in court. In the end, they won the argument but lost the suit because the judge was a Nazi sympathizer.

These reporters lost a lot to the Hitler-friendly police and legal establishment in Munich, including a lot of their own blood. But they finally reached the heart of darkness, the ultimate hidden Hitler truth, when they were able to obtain and publish a secret Nazi Party plan for the disposal of the Jews after a takeover, a plan that contains the first known use of the phrase "final solution."

Few paid attention, but they got to the truth. And they were Socialists fighting the Nazis, you might recall. Listen up, T.P.ers: The Nazis were not Socialists. The Socialists were not Nazis. They were blood enemies. In fact, the Socialists fought the Nazis, while conservatives and nationalists stood by and thought Hitler would be their pawn. Hitler, need it be said, was not a Socialist. He hated the Socialists. Had thousands of them murdered as soon as he came to power.

I think this is why it bothers me so much when Tea Party ignoramuses put swastikas on their anti-Obama posters. They disgrace themselves, they insult the dead martyrs to the truth, by lumping socialism with fascism and Obama with Hitler. They not only disgrace themselves; they be-clown themselves, they distort the historical consciousness of everyone they spread the comparison to.

As for lumping Obama in with communism, and communism with liberalism, that's where the bookshop pamphlet comes in.

It was just a stroke of good fortune that a yellowing, 50-year-old pamphlet caught my eye as I was browsing the $1 bargain bin outside the Strand, New York's justly legendary used bookstore.

The title of the pamphlet was "Crimes of the Stalin Era: Special Report to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union."

It was Nikita Khrushchev's "secret speech." This 1956 speech denouncing mass murder and torture under Stalin's regime was one of the most important and influential historical orations of the past century. Delivered to a closed session over two days, it didn't stay secret for long, later circulating throughout the globe.

Yes, Khrushchev himself was a murderous thug and accomplice of Stalin, but his sickening revelations couldn't be dismissed as the product of Western propaganda by Communists and Communist sympathizers. His speech had a shattering effect on many of them throughout the world. The first crack in the monolithic façade of communism. It was a factor not only in the Hungarian and Polish uprisings of 1956 but began the process of internal and external disillusionment in the Soviet Empire itself, the slow creation of further cracks and then crevices that would eventually culminate in its disintegration.

Now, I'd read a lot about the secret speech, but I'd never actually read it. The full text of the speech—nearly 60 pages in my edition—is not widely available in print, and reading it for the first time, even after all the revelations about Stalin in books like Robert Conquest's pioneering work The Great Terror, Solzhenitsyn's novels, and more recently Gulag by Slate's Anne Applebaum, I still found it shocking.

And it suddenly occurred to me that Tea Partiers really should read this pamphlet, because it would teach them something about what "tyranny" is actually like. It would teach them something about what "communism" was really like. It would make them ashamed of themselves for whining about a health care bill turning America into a tyranny, for slandering liberals as communists who want to impose tyranny on them. It might snap them out of the intoxicated hysteria they whip themselves into.

The secret speech is also relevant to Tea Party slanders about liberals. The 1956 publication of the secret speech served to shatter the illusions of a significant portion of those on the left in this country who still harbored sentimental feelings about the Soviet Union. And helped cement the victory of anti-communist liberalism in America's Democratic Party, an important struggle that the Tea Partiers who think liberals are communists seem to be ignorant of.

Some publisher should bring out a new edition of the "Secret Speech" (perhaps with an introduction by Conquest or Applebaum). It's a totally fascinating document. One aspect of its genius lies in Khrushchev's use of the phrase "the cult of personality" to condemn Stalin. (In this translation it's called "the cult of the individual.") It's brilliant, albeit in a Machiavellian way: While it denounces Stalin' self-hagiography, it does so by transferring the cult of personality to Lenin, who is portrayed as the paragon of all the perfections the deranged Stalin supposedly departed from. Thus blaming Stalin, not the Communist system. All the while offering a pitiless portrait of it.

And there's a novelistic aspect to the way the speech injects the conflict of personality into its opening, when Khrushchev depicts the final clash between Lenin and Stalin as a quarrel over Stalin's alleged rudeness to Lenin's wife on the telephone while Lenin was sick on what turned out to be his death bed. Stalin killed millions, but let's not forget his bad telephone manner.
It is not that we should ignore the tea party only realize they are part of the dark side of American traditions - the crazy and ill-informed. It is one thing to be a neighbor that doesn't know squat about American history and public policy. It is quite another to vote such wackos into office. America is a country about living up to some ideals, not about letting the next wave of nut bags tear down those ideals.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Connecticut Senate race and Linda McMahon's Dead Wrestler Problem

Connecticut Senate race and Linda McMahon's Dead Wrestler Problem

So, where did McMahon's potential dead wrestler problem begin?

There's the 2005 heart failure of Eddie Guerrero Llanes, and the death last year of Eki "Eddie" Fatu -- a cousin of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson who was terminated by the WWE after he refused to go into rehab.

Then there's Chris Benoit. As the Journal Inquirer noted, the father of the late Benoit, who killed his wife and son and then committed suicide three years ago, has blamed his son's actions on head injuries he sustained in the ring. "As I am sure you are aware, WWE matches are scripted, and [McMahon's daughter] Stephanie McMahon Levesque testified before a congressional committee back in late 2007 that all stunts -- an example of that would be a chair shot to the head -- must be pre-approved by Vince McMahon," said Michael Benoit. "This type of scripted match, I believe, is the underlying cause of all the early deaths in this industry."

In addition, as the Connecticut Mirror reports, McMahon has been dealing with attacks from the father of WWE wrestler Lance Cade (real name Lance McNaught), who died suddenly this past August from heart failure at age 29. After McMahon rather brusquely suggested upon Cade's death that "I might have met him once," the deceased wrestler's father slammed McMahon:

"She disrespected him," Harley McNaught said. "She disrespected my family."

"Dead wrestler's father blasts McMahon, WWE" isn't exactly the kind of headline the McMahon campaign is looking for these days. The candidate later clarified a bit, saying:

I think that any father or parent that's lost a child, clearly, has pain relative to that. I understand that. So I understand the pain that he's feeling. I do believe there is more that can be known relative to Lance. I'm letting WWE deal with those issues.

The Dems have also attacked McMahon on another story. As the Journal Inquirer reported last week, the WWE included "death clauses" in their contracts -- removing liability for the company in case of a performer's death. In response to news of that politically problematic clause, McMahon campaign spokesman Ed Patru said that WWE "never exercised that option."

The Connecticut Dems then fired back, hosting Yale Law School professor Bob Solomon on a conference call with reporters to say that the company did argue with just that clause in litigation involving the 1999 death of wrestler Owen Hart, who fell to his death due to a malfunctioning quick-release mechanism while being lowered to the stage in a harness. The case was ultimately settled out of court for $18 million.

WWE spokesman Robert Zimmerman told us in a statement: "WWE talent are highly skilled professionals who only perform and promote their appearances; unlike employees, they do not have any corporate responsibilities or duties, and thus are independent contractors. As independent contractors, WWE talent are able to negotiate all aspects of their contracts including length of agreement, compensation, time off, disability provisions and other benefits that would not be afforded to an employee."

The WWE's longtime attorney Jerry McDevitt also told us that McMahon's husband, WWE chief Vince McMahon, had initially approached Hart's widow with a settlement offer, and ultimately paid her the settlement after the initial lawsuit in Kansas City courts ran into legal complications. WWE later won a $9 million settlement for product liability from the company that manufactured the quick-release mechanism. McDevitt also pointed us to sections of legal rulings from 2009, when Hart's estate attempted to reopen the case, in which the judge dismissed the motion and did not accept the contention that Hart was really an employee. We were also shown part of Vince McMahon's deposition from the lawsuit against the equipment manufacturer, in which he said he had pursued a settlement with Hart's widow because he felt responsibility for what had happened on his watch.

And just weeks after Cade's death, Gertrude "Luna" Vachon, who was on the WWE payroll from 1993 to 2000, was found dead. The WWE had sent Vachon to rehab for substance abuse last year. The News Times called it "the latest public relations setback" for a candidate trying to "parlay her experience in the business world into political capital."

Indeed, McMahon has tried to turn her experience at the helm of WWE into a political plus, with one ad declaring that she "tamed the traveling show world of professional wrestling," and another reminding voters that it's a "soap opera" that "isn't real." But with headline after headline reminding voters of the deadly consequences of a life in the ring, McMahon may have some trouble sticking to the lighter "soap opera" message.
What is the problem with filthy rich Republican millionaires like McMahon, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina? They all made loads of money just walking in the office door. They screwed up everything they touched and still came out millionaires. Aren't conservative business folks supposed to believe in getting a ahead on merit. They seemed to have discovered the fountain of unearned wealth. McMahon can't decide if wrestlers are employees or contractors who she barely knows. She does know she is not liable for anything that happens to them while they are - or are not? making millions for her.

Fox propagandist Dick Morris reveals he knows nothing about tax cuts and deficits

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Vote Conservative for Their Integrity

Vote Conservative for Their Integrity : Shady Right-Wingers and Glenn Becks

As Beck attempts to turn the world inside out and upside down by claiming the mantle of a movement he probably would have opposed, and whose means he is too small even to begin to comprehend, Milbank lists some of Beck's greatest moments as a champion of civil rights.

* As a radio host, performed an on-air skit that mocked a stereotyped Asian accent, forcing his station to apologize.
* On CNN, while interviewing Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, demanded proof that Ellison isn't working with "our" enemies.
* Called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people."
* Claims Obama was elected because he isn't white.
* Claims Obama is moving us into slavery.
* Asserted that the president's very name is Un-American.
* Claims Obama seeks reparations from white America, to "settle old racial scores."
* Has claimed Obama is tied to or influenced by "radical black nationalism" and "Marxist black liberation theology" and the New Black Panther Party, which Beck claims is part of Obama's "army of thugs."

It would almost be funny if so many didn't take it seriously. And if their taking it seriously wasn't part of a deeply disturbing hidden agenda. As Frank Rich explained, last Sunday:

There’s just one element missing from these snapshots of America’s ostensibly spontaneous and leaderless populist uprising: the sugar daddies who are bankrolling it, and have been doing so since well before the “death panel” warm-up acts of last summer. Three heavy hitters rule. You’ve heard of one of them, Rupert Murdoch. The other two, the brothers David and Charles Koch, are even richer, with a combined wealth exceeded only by that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett among Americans. But even those carrying the Kochs’ banner may not know who these brothers are.

Their self-interested and at times radical agendas, like Murdoch’s, go well beyond, and sometimes counter to, the interests of those who serve as spear carriers in the political pageants hawked on Fox News. The country will be in for quite a ride should these potentates gain power, and given the recession-battered electorate’s unchecked anger and the Obama White House’s unfocused political strategy, they might.

All three tycoons are the latest incarnation of what the historian Kim Phillips-Fein labeled “Invisible Hands” in her prescient 2009 book of that title: those corporate players who have financed the far right ever since the du Pont brothers spawned the American Liberty League in 1934 to bring down F.D.R. You can draw a straight line from the Liberty League’s crusade against the New Deal “socialism” of Social Security, the Securities and Exchange Commission and child labor laws to the John Birch Society-Barry Goldwater assault on J.F.K. and Medicare to the Koch-Murdoch-backed juggernaut against our “socialist” president.

And Rich referred to the chillingly essential article on the Kochs, by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker.

As their fortunes grew, Charles and David Koch became the primary underwriters of hard-line libertarian politics in America. Charles’s goal, as Doherty described it, was to tear the government “out at the root.” The brothers’ first major public step came in 1979, when Charles persuaded David, then thirty-nine, to run for public office. They had become supporters of the Libertarian Party, and were backing its Presidential candidate, Ed Clark, who was running against Ronald Reagan from the right. Frustrated by the legal limits on campaign donations, they contrived to place David on the ticket, in the Vice-Presidential slot; upon becoming a candidate, he could lavish as much of his personal fortune as he wished on the campaign. The ticket’s slogan was “The Libertarian Party has only one source of funds: You.” In fact, its primary source of funds was David Koch, who spent more than two million dollars on the effort.

Many of the ideas propounded in the 1980 campaign presaged the Tea Party movement. Ed Clark told The Nation that libertarians were getting ready to stage “a very big tea party,” because people were “sick to death” of taxes. The Libertarian Party platform called for the abolition of the F.B.I. and the C.I.A., as well as of federal regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Energy. The Party wanted to end Social Security, minimum-wage laws, gun control, and all personal and corporate income taxes; it proposed the legalization of prostitution, recreational drugs, and suicide. Government should be reduced to only one function: the protection of individual rights. William F. Buckley, Jr., a more traditional conservative, called the movement “Anarcho-Totalitarianism.”

The complete article is at the link. Whatever viral strain of conservatism one studies - it all comes up with the same appeals to eliminationism, a contempt for working class Americans, the desire for a permanent underclass that shops at Wal-Martish stores for products made in China and a dangerous disregard fro the environment and personal freedom.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Vote Republican. They're Not Finished Redistributing Income.

Record U.S. Income Gap Widening Again

In June, an analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities confirmed that gap between rich and poor in the United States reached levels not seen since 1929. Between 1979 and 2007, the yawning chasm separating the after-tax income of the richest 1 percent of Americans from the middle and poorest fifths of the country more than tripled. But while the Bush recession which began in December 2007 temporarily halted the stratospheric advance of the wealthy, the rich - and the rich alone - have largely recovered their losses. Which means that the record level of income inequality in America is growing once again.

The CBPP report found a financial Grand Canyon separating the very rich from everyone else. Over the three decades ending in 2007, the top 1 percent's share of the nation's total after-tax household income more than doubled, from 7.5 percent to 17.1 percent. During that time, the share of the middle 60% of Americans dropped from 51.1 percent to 43.5 percent; the bottom four-fifths declined from 58 percent to 48 percent. As for the poor, they fell further and further behind, with the lowest quintile's income share sliding to just 4.9%. Expressed in dollar terms, the income gap is staggering:

Between 1979 and 2007, average after-tax incomes for the top 1 percent rose by 281 percent after adjusting for inflation -- an increase in income of $973,100 per household -- compared to increases of 25 percent ($11,200 per household) for the middle fifth of households and 16 percent ($2,400 per household) for the bottom fifth.

To be sure, the deficit-exploding Bush tax cuts played an essential role in fueling the gap. (This is evidenced by the fact that between 2001 and 2007, the income share of the 400 richest American taxpayers doubled even as their tax rates were halved.) As the New York Times revealed in October, by 2007 the top 1% - the 1.5 million families earning more than $400,000 - reaped 24% of the nation's income. The bottom 90% - the 136 million families below $110,000 - accounted for just 50%.
The Republican fetish for redistributing income to the people that work the least and are already wealthy comes from conservatism's old European monarchists roots. By way of some divine aura the wealthy are simply entitled to be wealthy and made even more wealthy when possible. Conservatives do tend to forget that Abe Lincoln said all wealth is made possible by labor.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Republicans Are Sensitive and Humble

Bush-Era Iraq War Architects Emerge To Demand ‘Credit’ For Iraq War ‘Success’

In April 2006, ThinkProgress produced a report titled “The Architects of War: Where Are They Now?” We wrote at the time, “a review of the key planners of the conflict reveals that they have been rewarded — not blamed — for their incompetence.” Referencing our report in July 2007, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote, “To read that summary is to be awed by the comprehensiveness and generosity of the neocon welfare system.”

Republicans believe lying the US into a war is a good thing. Republicans believe over 4000 troops dying for their lies is something we should all be thankful for. Conservatives believe/believed a little despot dictator was the biggest threat to the US since Hitler. Conservatives believe spending over a trillion dollars on the Iraq debacle was patriotic and they also believe letting 18,000 Americans die every year from lack of health insurance is patriotic. If the average person would bang their head against a wall a thousand times and than stick their head up their arse they will be able to think of the world just like a Republican.

Jonah Goldberg still mad that no one liked his book - The "Liberal Fascism" author insists no one really got what he meant, also insists a book he hasn't read is bad

National Review contributor and terrible columnist Jonah Goldberg likes to complain, a lot, whenever anyone writes anything bad about his book, "Liberal Fascism," which was a book about how liberals are the real fascists, because Hitler was a vegetarian.

But, he always argues, every single one of his critics either didn't read or didn't understand his book. Today he reads reviews of a new book by Markos Moulitsas, called "American Taliban." And, reading these reviews, Goldberg is alarmed to discover that many people still think his book was stupid.

Paragraph one of Goldberg's complaint begins:

The Atlantic has a review of reviews of the Kos book. It's chock-a-block with Liberal Fascism bashing, mostly from people who I suspect haven't read it, plus activist Matt Yglesias who claims to have read it but has A) a very deep personal grudge against me and B) is an admitted fan of lying for political ends.

Paragraph two begins:

I haven't read the Moulitsas book, but I suspect the real differences are pretty obvious. While I do not smear all of my political opponents as monsters (people who say I do this, again, have either not read the book, are too blinkered to understand it, or are lying), it seems pretty clear that's exactly what Kos sets out to do.

In short, everyone who dislikes "Liberal Fascism" didn't read it or didn't understand it. Jonah Goldberg has not read "American Taliban," but he totally understands it, and it is bad.
Jonah is a very sensitive knucklehead. His mom told him he could write. She used her connections to get Jonah a job as a writer. Jonah has been trying to get people to take him seriously as a writer for years. Jonah still cannot write. Yes America, Republicans only get ahead by hard work and merit.

The GOP's new fake racial history - A Southern Republican with designs on challenging Barack Obama in 2012 offers a phony version of history

Almost 50 years ago, the Republican Party made a decision to embrace the backlash generated by civil rights among white Southerners.

Traditionally, they had been staunch Democrats, but they were also culturally conservative, and as Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Party embraced civil rights once and for all, they were up for grabs. The Republican Party offered them a home, a steady, decades-long realignment ensued, and today conservative Southern whites comprise the heart of the GOP -- just as culturally liberal Northerners, who called the GOP home before civil rights, have migrated to the Democratic Party.

There's nothing new about this story. In fact, it's the story LBJ himself predicted when he signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and supposedly mused, "There goes the South for a generation."

But it's an inconvenient story for today's Republican Party, which still relies on cultural, racial and ethnic wedge issues to keep its base in line -- but which also needs to win over less conservative suburbanites across the country to compete in national elections. And it's a particularly inconvenient story for Haley Barbour, the 62-year-old Mississippi governor who aspires to run as the Republican nominee against the nation's first black president.

So Barbour has invented his own sanitized, suburb-friendly version of history -- an account that paints the South's shift to the GOP as the product of young, racially inclusive conservatives who had reasons completely separate and apart from racial politics for abandoning their forebears' partisan allegiances. In an interview with Human Events that was posted on Wednesday, Barbour insists that "the people who led the change of parties in the South ... was my generation. My generation who went to integrated schools. I went to integrated college -- never thought twice about it." Segregationists in the South, in his telling, were "old Democrats," but "by my time, people realized that was the past, it was indefensible, it wasn't gonna be that way anymore. So the people who really changed the South from Democrat to Republican was a different generation from those who fought integration."

This is utter nonsense.

For a century after the Civil War, the South was deeply and overwhelmingly Democratic, a consequence of the "humiliation" visited upon white Southerners by the Republican-initiated Reconstruction that followed the Civil War. The level of support enjoyed by Democratic candidates in the region is almost too astronomical to fathom now. In 1912, Woodrow Wilson took 42 percent of the vote nationally in a four-way presidential contest. But in South Carolina, he snared 95 percent. In Mississippi, 88 percent. While he was grabbing 60 percent nationally in 1936, Franklin Roosevelt scored 97 percent in Mississippi and nearly 99 percent in South Carolina. The region's congressional delegation was uniformly Democratic -- and, thanks to the South's one-party status, disproportionately influential, with lifelong incumbents taking advantage of the congressional seniority system to secure the most powerful committee gavels.

For decades, they comfortably coexisted in the national Democratic Party's other major source of support, the machine-folk of the urban North. But as civil rights became a national issue -- and as the Great Migration of Southern blacks to the cities of the North and West turned civil rights into a priority for Democrats outside the South -- the coalition began to splinter. When the party ratified a civil rights plank at its 1948 convention, Southern Democrats staged a walkout and lined up behind Strom Thurmond, South Carolina's governor and (like all Southern Democrats of the time) an arch-segregationist. Running under the Dixiecrat banner, Thurmond won four Deep South states that fall.

Throughout the '50s and early '60s, Southern Democrats sat in political limbo. Their national brethren were inching their way toward a full-on embrace of civil rights, but the GOP wasn't much of an alternative, not with Dwight Eisenhower endorsing integration and not with the party's Northern-dominated congressional ranks strongly backing civil rights legislation.

1964, though, is what changed everything. In signing the Civil Rights Act, LBJ cemented the Democrats as a civil rights party. And in nominating anti-civil rights Barry Goldwater for president (instead of pro-civil rights Nelson Rockefeller) the GOP cast its future fortunes with the white electorate of the South. LBJ trounced Goldwater nationally that fall, winning more than 60 percent of the popular vote. But in the South, voters flocked to the Republican nominee, with Goldwater carrying five states in the region. Mississippi, the same state that had given FDR 97 percent of its votes 28 years earlier, now gave Goldwater 87 percent. That fall, Thurmond, now a senator, renounced his Democratic affiliation once and for all and signed up for Goldwater's GOP. The realignment was well underway, and it had everything to do with race.
Liberals and conservatives have been part of both parties until the late 60s. That is when Republicans became the far right extremists that we all know and can't stand.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Republicans Are Never Ever Lying Hypocrites About Public Policy and Government

Health Care Reform Hypocrisy: States Suing Government Willing To Claim Subsidies From Law

More than half a dozen states suing to overturn President Barack Obama's health care law are also claiming its subsidies for covering retired state government employees, according to a list released Tuesday by the administration.

About 2,000 employers have been approved for the extra help to cover early retirees, mainly private businesses. But the list also includes seven states suing to overturn the health care overhaul as an unconstitutional power grab by the federal government.

The seven are Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Nevada.

They are part of a group of 20 states that have challenged the law's requirement for most Americans to carry health insurance or face fines from the IRS. They argue that government cannot order individuals to buy a particular product. The administration counters that the mandate falls within broad powers conferred on Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

A spokeswoman said Indiana's Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels disapproves of Obama's overhaul, but will take advantage of specific provisions that benefit his state.

"Congress approved health care reform and the president signed it into law. Gov. Daniels does not agree with it, but Indiana will seek funds that help Hoosiers when there are no complicated strings or costs attached," said press secretary Jane Jankowski.

The list of employers who have expressed an interest in the subsidies includes about half the Fortune 500 companies, as well as state and local governments, educational institutions, unions and nonprofit organizations, the administration said. A total of 16 states have been approved, and more are expected to apply.

As medical costs soared in the last 20 years, employers have dramatically scaled back retiree health coverage. The share of large companies providing the benefit dropped from 66 percent in 1988 to 29 percent last year.

"Not only has this coverage disappeared, but individuals between 55 and 64 who are pre-Medicare are really struggling with the private health insurance market," said Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius. "This is one of the most vulnerable populations." Insurers usually charge older adults several times more than what people in their 30s and 40s pay.

To try to stabilize a precarious situation, the health care law provides $5 billion to help employers maintain coverage for early retirees age 55 and older but not yet eligible for Medicare.

The government subsidy amounts to 80 percent of medical claims between $15,000 and $90,000 – significant assistance to help cover high-cost retirees and eligible family members.

Companies can use the federal money to lower their own costs, or pass on the savings to their retirees through lower premiums and reduced cost sharing. Firms that receive federal help have to formally notify their retirees that they've gotten a subsidy.

The retiree assistance is designed as temporary relief until the health care law is fully in place in 2014. That's when competitive insurance markets will open for business, and eligible individuals can get government tax credits to help pay premiums. It's unclear what would happen if the $5 billion runs out before 2014.

The private employers approved for the subsidy include Levi Strauss, United Airlines, Kellogg Co., Mattel, Hewlett-Packard and Dow Chemical, to name a few.
Its an open secret that right-wing wackos like the tea nuts don't let register in their petty hateful brains because that would mean their elected leaders and the corporations headed by conservatives are using the tea nuts. IF ONLY MINNESOTANS WERE AS IMPORTANT AS PAWLENTY'S AMBITIONS....

The heads of Minnesota's most influential medical associations -- which nearly always keep political matters at arms' length -- issued a sharp rebuke. "The governor's decision just doesn't make sense for Minnesotans," the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, the Minnesota Hospital Association and the Minnesota Medical Association said in a joint statement late Tuesday.

That's clearly true, but this gambit has nothing to do with making sense for Minnesotans, and everything to do with pandering to right-wing activists in Iowa and New Hampshire. Pawlenty's constituents will not get aid available to other Americans, but his campaign will get a talking point.

Hari Sevugan, the DNC's press secretary, said in a statement, "After rejecting $7.8 billion dollars for his cash-strapped state where taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet and denying health care to a quarter million of his fellow Minnesotans, Tim Pawlenty's executive order to state employees might as well have read 'You will henceforth work for my Presidential ambitions instead of the people of Minnesota.'"