Friday, February 25, 2011

The Texas Model

Since WI's Gov is aping the Texas as a governing model, maybe he'd like to have that State's $27B deficit. Now you should remember that TX is the place to be for rich tax haven, privatised prisons, banned public unions, in fact just about every right nut wet dream actually in existence. I don't know if Walker can get away with the Confederate Party of Republicanism rhetoric about seccession...

I can't do much more than scribble to help the folks in WI w/o their heads up their *well you know* but if you can, please do.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fact Free GOP Shilling - On MSNBC

Today Contessa Brewer gave VA Gov Bob McDonnel (R) some fact free time to pimp his state's ban on public unions. Brewer fawned all over his state's economic record and ignored little things like the outcome listed below regarding SAT scores - WI#3/VA#34. She managed to miss the massive Federal Spending in VA, in fact she managed to miss anything to do with anything other than getting a GOPer to shill his shit and take credit for ... what?

Oh yeah, that would be on the uber liberal MSNBC. Sounded a lot like the GOP buttlicking of FauxNews.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Leeches In Wisconsin

TPM provides a bit of a counter-point to Walker's union horseshit. You could contrast and compare the values demonstrated to ... say bank bonuses.
It’s worth pointing out that, Jim Glassman, the Bush Center director who appeared on the show to argue against collective bargaining, said right after the poll was shown that “many” states actually don’t have collective bargaining. The truth is that only five states do not have collective bargaining for public employees — Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Those states rank 45th, 48th, 49th, 38th, and 34th, in average SAT scores, respectively. Wisconsin is 3rd.

Oh, I didn't mention up front that this was a Faux show and they reversed the numbers showing support for collective bargaining? Well, they're liars so that's not news.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Outrage Meter - Bent Needle

I don't know about all of you, but I'm finding my outrage meter spiking on a regular basis. This week the Bent Needle Award seems to be a tie between WI Gov Walker's union busting and the US House defunding Planned Parenthood. There has been plenty going on to peg that meter but those two just sort of stood out to me.

You all have some nominations? This stuff seems to be so constant as to run together and I can't tell if Haley Barbour and Forrest belong to this week or last ... and hell.

As Goes Wisconsin, So Goes...

The Teabaggery theme is being played out in Wisconsin. Too bad, I lived there for awhile quite some time ago and there was a lot to like about the place. (I don't include the sub-sub zero February) The history of the State in regard to Labor is remarkable, as remarkable as this turn-around ought to be.

I don't think the WI experiment is anything like a one-off. I think this is pretty much the first shot of the GOP at the one single entity that can stand up at all to the beneficiaries of the Citizen United decision. If it sputters it is because of the turn out in Wisconsin. Don't count on that, the GOP doesn't give shit about people in the streets if expensive wealthy things aren't on fire. I don't advocate breaking things or burning them.

One might look to someplace like France for what it is that does count to people like the GOP. When every Union worker in the State walks out in solidarity, then the message gets sent. When not one AFSCME is at work and is joined in that state of being by every Teamster, AFL-CIO, etc the message will get real clear. When wealth sees itself paralyzed it will back off, otherwise... Ohio? Michigan? ETC?

This ain't done but losing it will really mean something to an awful lot of people all around this country. Any Democrat that comes down on the wrong side of this one ain't one.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Center Right Nation, My Ass

It is one of the GOP mantras that this is a center right nation and it is often repeated by the media - other than FauxNews. It is reflected in the character of the Blue Dogs and even the current President and certainly the previous Democratic President. Worse, it is politically an understatement. By vote and results this place is a nut job right winger paradise compared to any other advanced industrial nation.

That statement considers rightwing to include plutocratic policies, imperialistic warmongering, racist and classist policies, and theocratic desires. It doesn't have spit to do with financial responsibility or any sort of unintended consequences analysis of policy.

Sure, this place isn't as theocratic as Israel or Iran - but it will be a cold day in hell before a non-believer or Muslim is elected to President; or could get onto the SCOTUS. While we've got 1 1/2 wars going on, there's little point in beating the imperialistic warmongering aspect. As we are essentially subsidized one way trade with China (amongst others) and ship overseas jobs and illegally import labor for the ones that can't be out-sourced and hand out tax breaks for the process it would be hard to argue that labor means shit to this country. We support and subsidize the masters of the universe with a capital gains tax that is less than the SS/FICA rates paid by all labor and that they don't pay on that money. All over this country "heroes" of the right are engaged in re-defining rape, insisting abortion is some kind of monstrosity in all cases, and wallowing in re-fighting the Civil War. When a State actually wants to put a puke like Nathan Bedford Forrest on a goddam license plate and its Governor with national aspirations can't say, "Whoa, bad idea," it is time to rethink ethnic cleansing. The swath Sherman cut across the south was obviously not wide enough and not inclusive enough - they continued to breed.

Financial responsibility? Why bother to have a brain and even consider debating this one? Our tax policies promote the pillaging of the national treasury by warmongers and other plutocrats and then puts the onus on those least able to pay for that subsidy. This results in 12% (or so) of the actual budget getting axe consideration and the T-Rex in the living room thriving on invisibly. (huh?) It is almost as though the economic policy of the last 30 years has been to turn this place into a banana republic with trappings of integrity. The GOP myth making around St Ronnie is coupled with the liberal myopia regarding Bill Clinton into absolute disregard of the consequences or even truths surrounding the actions of those characters in regard to the economy.

The United States House of Representatives is controlled by a political party that makes its political capital off screaming socialism, warmongering, gutting a social safety net, and fighting for the Lost Cause - with all its attendant racist aspects - all the while disregarding the descent of this nation into a third world status thanks to their behavior. The most ascendant wing of that party is hard to distinguish from the John Birchers and the KKK all married to a Christianity that almost completely ignores its namesake.

The "liberals" in this mess are impressed with the fig leaves of DADT and a pseudo-capitalistic-monopolistic-socialized Health Care and vote for more of the same. The outcome of having large Democratic majorities in the House and Senate with a Democratic President resulted in 80's GOP legislative victories and percentage population effects in "liberal" policies that are vanishingly small. However nasty DADT was, the number of people affected was minuscule compared all the rest of the nastiness that's going on. So the mindless political nay-saying lockstep of the GOP has been rewarded with ... the House.

I don't look for any better results down the road until stupidity has had its shot at running the show and smashed things good. The question is whether this place can recover from that kind of thing. I wish I didn't have a grand kid...

...what, you think I'm a little pissed-off?

Who Gets It For Blowing Up The Economy?

Well gee, anybody without political swat (=money, see SCOTUS) is going to take in the neck, or currently is taking it. The lords of the universe are above all such considerations - Madoff goes to jail and who else? Consider what it took for that to happen.

Banks sold junk and then took out insurance on that junk betting it would fall apart and pensions got whacked. Retirement goes in the toilet and the Execs at those banks get big bonuses. Even though the GOP was the elected architect of this mess it can't all be laid at their feet, they had plenty of Democratic enablers - including Bill Clinton, master of the middle way...

Now that the damage to blue collar started with St Ronnie has gnawed its way up into the middle class you'd think there would be a reaction. There has been - the House is now GOP and they're planning a slash and burn campaign on the poorest and neediest of the nation. The cost to the plutocrats? An extension of the BushCo tax cuts...

The military and wars are off the table. The fact that we spend more than the next 15 top military spenders put together means ... it is untouchable and WIC can just go away.

WIC? The beaters of the fetus drum give a shit if they grow up with multiple health difficulties because their early diet sucked thanks to economics. That is the kind of sense it makes to go after the nickle and dime stuff - but the beneficiaries can't buy politicians.

If you're a plutocrat things revolve around your happiness, and that includes the well-being of your enablers. But goddam, the left is just crazy ... ask the middle and the media.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

51% GOP Primary Voters Morons

Polls are only as good as the questions and the methodology but if this one is remotely accurate, well, the comparison to morons may be insulting to morons. 51% believe the President was not born in the US and only 28% believe he was which leaves that 21% who are only doubtfully stupid who don't know. I'm scarcely going into the evidence that he is a citizen but one does have to wonder if GOP policies are a reflection of that electorate.

I'd say stupid is a feature of GOPness rather than a side issue. You will note that the GOP leaders all hedge around this with, "I think so, but I won't tell anyone what to think," kind of horseshit.

There was a time I'd take a look at a Republican to see what was going on with them and have on a couple occasions voted for one. No more, I don't care - it is auto-pilot, the (D) gets the vote and it's done. What they can get from me anymore is mockery. That is pathetic.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

CPAC Straw Poll

I can't think of anything much more meaningless than a poll that repeatedly endorses Ron Paul. Or maybe one that puts Ron Paul on top and Mitt in second. Maybe a bunch that goes crazy for Limbaugh should be a clue to the meaningfulness of their polling.

The most telling thing is that they don't figure doing well ought to scare away most of the public.

It ought to, shouldn't it?

It doesn't?

Oh, no...

Friday, February 11, 2011

St Ronnie Tore That Wall Down

According to current GOP mythology R Reagan took a sledgehammer to the Berlin Wall and then a wrecking ball to the USSR. Those who had watched the slow disintigration of the Soviet Union and Soviet Bloc for decades might disagree with that theme, but the right is more than satisfied with such a thing because it fits their we're the greatest stuff going idea.


Is Obama the great one who Presided over Tunisia, Egypt, and who knows where next? Assuming it works out better than, say, Russia? Not a chance with the right (GOP), not a chance in hell - you could half expect GWB to get their credit or ... well you could take a look at Glenn Beck and the horrors that will be unleashed by the Caliphate.

I do think our President did a good job with a chaotic situation and no, I don't expect airports to be named for him because those nations' people had enough. Not one bit more than I approve of the St Ronnie myth.

See What Egypt Did?

The Egyptians went to the streets over a rigged system of politics and economics that crushed everyone except the rich and connected; so what have we done? We elected a GOP House.

Think about that ... just for a second or two.

To Co-opt

Co-opt is a political techinque that gets pretty neglected as a topic in regards to what happens today. It shouldn't be.

Co-opting is generally practiced against opposition groups and is used to disarm them by making them a part of the system and having a stake in its survival and well-being without making fundamental changes. This frequently involves the use of symbols and empty rhetoric or even acting on narrow areas while actively pursuing policies fundamentally harmful to the interests of that group. It can backfire but isn't currently showing much sign of it.

I can point to the GOP easily enough (and get applause around here) and its relationship with the Religious Right, Tea Partiers, and more. Maybe it gets a bit more sticky if I point to the Democrats? Sure, it was well past time to do something about DADT, health insurance (however stinky the results) and it makes liberals feel good but the end results address a tiny percentage of the population ... meanwhile the plutocratic rape of the nation rages on, unabated and screws well over 90% of the populace - unopposed.

This isn't "what have you done for me lately," is about "what haven't you done anything about for the last three decades?"

*I'm not going to hand you a list of links - they're real damn easy to do yourself. You will be pissed.

Egypt Celebrates ... and?

Mubarak stepped down and now Egypt celebrates and that's cool. Now that "who" they were against is done the "what" they are for part starts. It's been pretty easy to be against but it is going to get messy when it comes to the positive aspects because there isn't a system - not Parties, not much of anything except a military left behind if they're getting rid of all of Mubarak.

Good luck to them - they're going to need that, also.

(I'm real happy this Prez doesn't shoot from the hip like .... oh you know)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Continuing To Give A Damn...

**This is an older post, 3/19/09, but it covers one of the answers to a question I posed in my last post, 'why do I continue to give a damn?' It also is a reason I ask people to comment on here, because I want to know what you think and why and to expand whatever my thinking was.

"Giving A Damn, Whatever You Might Have Thought"

This has to be said and I will say it forcefully. There are many who scoff at the ability of the electronic communications structure to connect people in meaningful ways. My family has sustained a horridly tragic occurrence, we are in pain. Around 6 PM nearly 150 people had commented on my memoriam to my son and closing on 100 emails have come in. These people took time out of their day to read something they knew was going to make them sad and then took the time and emotional energy to write condolences. There is not a much lonelier position to be in than parents who have lost a child to suicide. People have flooded our life with care, people want my wife and myself to know that they are touched and that it matters.

If it meets some sociological thesis of yours that the internets corrupt and degrade human communication you need to read So Long My Boy and scroll through the comments and educate yourself. If this does not qualify as a high degree of humane behavior then come and see me so I can slap some sense into you.

There is nothing shallow or phony about the comfort my wife and I have taken from the expressions of caring by our fellows. It touches us and assures us of the nature of people. We will carry the memory of these people with us for a very long time, these folks have given of themselves to people they know only somewhat. They have given and they have taken us into their hearts, people have struggled to express what is beyond our ability to express - beyond the implication of the heart.

We are grateful and we are humbled. The intellect understands what has happened, the rest of the brain does not accept that, it is outside experience and it is outside of expectations - it is flatly wrong. This war between the intellect and the lizard brain hurts, imaginary scenarios keep trying to work their way into play. The what ifs, if only's, why's keep requiring pushback. There is no answer to why, if god himself came down and stated a reason it would be rejected. This is why the condolences and even the thanks hold so much meaning, they are a part of that firewall.

The funny snarky iconoclastic lefty crew from Balloon Juice is mixed together with the hard core car guys from the Novalistserve, and politicians to help with that firewall, to give. You folks should give yourselves a standing ovation, if not yourself - then your fellows. The applause should be deafening...scattering bytes like windblown butterflies.

Tax Cuts Good - Drool, Slobber

Maybe somebody ought to ask what conditions exactly need to occur where tax cuts are not the answer?

Tax cuts were wonderful for St. Ronnie and they were to pay for themselves - never happened. GWB inherited a government mostly paying for itself and the GOP figured that was a time for tax cuts. Once a war/s started happening and a hole opened up, they extended them because - well, because they're good and wars are good. When the Obama Admin looked at huge deficits and falling revenues they offered to tax the top 2% of earners and that wasn't the right GOP time because ... some horse manure about job creators.

So, when you've got money it is good to cut, when you don't have money it is a good thing to cut, and when the rich have tanked the economy it an even better time to cut. When isn't it? Taxes are at a low since 1950 and ... tax cuts. No matter their so-called Golden Years involved much more serious tax rates - that don't count. In fact, nothing that was shitty about the 1950s counts unless Truman was in office.

If you ask the Tea Party about the real numbers - you get mumble, drool, and spit flecked rhetoric. If you ask another large percentage you get .... DUH.

Other than blaming it on some sick inherited gene I can't figure out why I continue to give a damn.

Where's The Jobs, GOPers?

OK, I'm not advocating something as stupid as that sounds, any government action takes time to work into results. I'm not even asking where the voted on bills are. What I'd like to know is where are the concrete proposals about something other than going to war with women and low income earners?

No shit. All the talk about job killing stimulus and other crap and nothing to offer? What is offensive is that they get to do this 'for free.' The Obama Admin. had a stimulus proposal on the table virtually when the walked in the door. Whether you argue it worked or not (I'd say yes) is immaterial to this question. You GOP buttheads have been screaming from Inauguration that Obama was wrecking the country and going on and on about everything the Democrats have proposed or done and you have not one damned thing ready to offer? What? You haven't had time to put something together?

Who the hell is going to call them out on their crap? (that would be other than $0.02 bloggers)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Egyptian Discord, American Public Stupidity

If you have the mental fortitude to consider stupidity without harming yourself, you could Google "Palin Egypt" to see a pretty blatant example of a lot of people's thinking. (not limited to right or left) The thinking is that we, the USA, are somehow in charge in Egypt. It certainly is the case that Mubarak has survived as Egypt's leader thanks to our imperialistic behavior, it is not the case that we somehow established him or created his political party.

Sarah seems to believe that our government knows just what is going on and who all the players are and that we can dictate the outcome. Thanks to Mubarak's version of governing, any real opposition groups are of the clandestine variety, they are the sort of groups that can operate under the watchful eyes of security forces. Whoever has claim to any sort of leadership has not been on TV/print exhorting opposition - a la Teabaggers. This means that organization within this opposition is pretty much limited to - opposition - not governing policy.

Foreign aid and other foreign policies can help prop up a government but creating one out of chaos is well beyond the reach of even our considerable swat. Whether the President and diplomatic arms have been direct enough or not with Egypt's government might be debatable. What passes belief is that people seem to be asserting that the US should take an even more imperialistic approach to Egypt - that we should control the direction of the outcome. Gee whiz, not only shouldn't we do that, we flatly cannot.

People really ought to take a look at the state of US politics and control before they start thinking about controlling an even more chaotic situation. For Egyptians to have a government that reflects the will of the population is going to require some time to put together anything that remotely resembles political parties. Governing will require politics ... or strong arm tactics. Politics requires constituencies beyond "this guy sucks."

How Much Is That Blue Doggie In The Window

McClatchy takes a look at the Democratic Blue Dog Caucus' current state of ... (?)weakness. I don't think this bunch is exactly plugged into an actual reality and offer up their own thinking to buttress my dismissal of them.

Following a day-long New York City retreat, in which they hatched strategies and were addressed by former President Bill Clinton, the House Blue Dogs vowed to focus on issues like regulatory reform and deficit control. Where possible, they said, they'll work with politically amenable House Republicans.

You might be wondering who these "politically amenable" Republicans are or what stance you'd have to take to get them to be "amenable." I live in a 'red' rural Congressional District (OR 2) and as an active Democrat I do understand the challenge of winning an election. I also understand that replacing Rep Greg Walden (R-OR2) with 'Greg Walden (D)' is a net nothing.
"We still believe moderation is important, and we have to move toward that course," Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, said Monday. "We're looking to make sure that people know that there are moderates in Congress."

Maybe the confusion is over the word "moderates." Where does one have to go to qualify as a moderate? The best I can tell it seems to mean being St Ronnie of the GOP. Now I don't want to be a complete dick about it, but St Ronnie is scarcely a political or social model for a (D). I'm sorry, but that guy has a record that is available to anyone that cares to take a look. In the run up to the GOP Primary of the Saint's first election one of the concerns of the GOP was that he was too far right for the US. One of the complaints of the GOPers back a ways was that RR couldn't go as far as he wanted thanks to having to deal with Democrats in Congress. These guys seem to think there is some congruency between the Democrats of that era and the GOP of today. Uh, what?

The two San Joaquin Valley lawmakers have since been distancing themselves more explicitly from Pelosi's liberal Democratic leadership. Cardoza stepped down from the Pelosi-appointed House Rules Committee, and as a protest nominated Costa for House Democratic leader last month.

Costa returned the favor, nominating Cardoza. They were among the 19 House Democrats not to publicly vote for Pelosi as leader on the first day of the 112th Congress.

Given this performance you'd think there was some congruence between the leadership of Pelosi and Boehner or an utter disconnect with Pelosi being a radical and Boehner being a reasonable sort of guy. Excuse me while I roll around on the floor laughing. To believe these guys you'd have to think the "left" was in charge during the last two Congresses which is why we have a Health Care plan drawn up by the Clinton GOP and the rich are taxed less than working people and an employee choice act isn't fact. You could probably add in the fact that GWB and his cohorts aren't in jail to that list.

"We weren't nearly as effective in the majority as I think we'll be in the minority," Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., said Monday.

Sure, since the GOP is ever so much more reasonable than Democrats. OK.

Here's the consolation to these people's stupidity:
Cardoza and Costa are two of the 26 remaining members of the Blue Dog Coalition. Before November's election swept Republicans back into control of the House, the coalition claimed 53 members.

Fear not children, there is still magic in the world -
"We are the only group that tries on a regular basis ... to find bipartisan solutions," Costa said.

So they have the power (26/435) to work with whom, exactly? The GOP?

I'd like to thank the rocket scientists who thought replacing GOPers (R) with GOPers (D) made a bunch of sense.

Monday, February 07, 2011

AOL - Buy This Cheap

Per NYT AOL bought Huffington Post:
The two companies completed the sale Sunday evening and announced the deal just after midnight on Monday. AOL will pay $315 million, $300 million of it in cash and the rest in stock.


I bet I couldn't get $0.05 for this effort.

No, I cannot type with an accent.

Bush Torture Free Pass Expires - Somewhere

McClatchy is reporting on why GW Bush isn't going to Switzerland. It seems that in some places:

"The message from civil society is clear," it said in a statement. "If you're a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It's a slow process for accountability, but we keep going."

I must be getting old; since I can remember when this country took real pride in not engaging in such behavior...

In fact, you'd wind up in jail - at least.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Intimate Relationship - Rape And Abortion

Inclusion in the intimate relationship belongs to the GOP. The relationship is naked - if you will... US House GOP wants to redefine rape in terms of gender, violence, and - argh - something so that abortion in the case of abortion is much harder to obtain. Not satisfied with that level of horseshit, is GA Rep Bobby Franklin (R). You should take a look at ABL's not so friendly take over at Balloon Juice.

I don't know or care about some one person's moral take on abortiong - these are attempts to legally force those with no say in an act to bear the child of ... an unnatural freak*. Somehow, Godliness fails as a description. I cannot begin to state the level of disrespect I have for such people. I have no civil description or discourse to have with them. The GOP pandering is despicable and voters got what they wanted - or were too stuipid to see.

If you think this is just some left wing partisan position - when your daughter is date raped and pregnant from it you just tell me all about it. If you don't think this crap defines the GOP, then explain why they are it. The complete lack of humanity in such a stance - extends to what else?

*there are real words, but they just aren't suitable for this space

The March Forward Into the Eighteenth Century

I've made it pretty clear that I don't believe in some formalized religious understanding of God. I've also made it pretty clear that I have seen benefits to people from religion and I've seen some pretty obvious deficits.

There are a lot of things that are called Theories in scientific terminology. This doesn't occur because there is any real doubt that the things referred to as Theories actually exist. There is a Theory of Gravity - oddly enough even though it is a Theory we remain stuck to the earth and fall when we're not. A whole lot of things happen that are explained by and continue to happen because that Theory works.

Calling something a Theory as a condemnatory term ought to fall on its face when made in favor of a faith based concept. It ought to because the Theory clearly works as a matter of science. That it works as a condemnation should concern anyone that doesn't want to go back to wearing sabre tooth tiger skins as a fashion statement or riding dinosaurs rather than driving an automobile.

Virtually every modern technological device finds its basis and development in one Theory or another, or several. Even this idea of a six thousand year old world is not something stated directly in the Bible it is taken from, it is a theory of some sorts derived from generational reckonings. Taken together with denial of evolution this stuff alone virtually completely undermines the scientific basis for the modern technological world.

That is the crux. People drive their cars to the church that denies they can work and like driving that car there. What they don't like is the social construct of this century which has grown up around the science and technology that created this century. Denying that science means that this century is misguided, that the eighteenth or whatever was correct. (or whatever may actually refer to some idealized 3rd century BC) It is plainly an attempt to theocratize science and government and a successful outcome is another Dark Ages. No Thanks.

Is This Blog Back?

I don't know. Whether this thing lives or not has at least something to do with readers and their participation and whether I can find reasons to do something other rail against utter stupidity run rampant.

So, we'll see.

US History Means What To Egypt's Situation

I've been hearing a lot lately about what is happening in Egypt and the US Revolution and our democracy. I'd like to know how somebody can make those comparisons and act as though they know something about history. "Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it" has a lot of truth, but it also involves comparing history to something that has some congruence and making statements that also reflect what happened in history.

Now talking about how we succeeded in forming a government ignores a bit of something - the date of the Constitution. The government that came out of the Revolution was The Articles of Confederation and it failed. The great Constitution a bit over a half century later was sorted out by a bloody Civil War and in some respects is still not sorted out. Does somebody really think a good resolution of Egypt's current situation would be a conflict like our Civil War?

What happened in the US in response to our Revolution comes out of centuries of English evolution of government and Western European thought on governance. Egypt's experience with Western history involves colonialism from a dissimilar government and the economic/militaristic colonialism of also radically dissimilar governments. Whatever other issues the new and continuing US had with its former ruler their was a cultural and political sympathy between the two.

However corrupt English rule of the colony now the US was, it was more distant and of considerable lower degree. What exists in Egypt as corruption is within blocks not across an ocean and the results are more dramatic in their severity. Whatever context the US support of Mubarak is held in, there are not US soldiers standing in the streets enforcing the corruption and authoritarianism of the Mubarak government as there were Redcoats in the colonies.

I don't know where the Egyptian revolution is headed or what it will reach - I do know that using the US as a context is ludicrous.