Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Left And The President

The Professional Left, the second an article starts out with a quote like this without laugh emoticons or a Murdoch label you can only assume it will go downhill quickly.  It does, and the comments section follows suit with like thinking regarding criticism of the President from his left.  I don't have a problem with people thinking this President is great, hell - I agree that he's a standout in comparison to many but that has spit to do with things I regard as mistakes or just plain bad policy.  I don't bother blaming the President for the Congress or the quality of the Democrats he's had to work with; and that particular situation would really suck for anyone.

That is a liberal blog and its readers consider themselves as liberal.  Some of these people want you to know that criticizing the President makes it more likely that the GOPers will win (somehow left criticism will resonate with whom?) and that a GOP win would be a disaster because they are crazy.  Now if the left criticizes the President and pushes for more leftist positions that would result in what exactly?  It isn't reasonable to assume that criticism exactly gives the GOPers ammunition to use with their voters or likely voters to use on the President.  Maybe the thinking is that the dissatisfied will stay home and ensure that Mitt and his ilk will win. There is a common myth going around that lefties sat out the '10 elections and ensured the GOP wins, despite all evidence.  There are those few who think this country needs the lesson of having the GOP run it for awhile - I don't think it would work even though it would tear things up badly - but the left is not remotely in favor of screwing the populace beyond a few loose cannons.  The left is unhappy because the President is doing too little to address the screwing of the populace. (Hang his Congresses with that in spades)

What these critics of left dissatisfaction don't want to address is just exactly why the GOP is so damned scary today.  The GOPers didn't get there all on their own, they got there because it was allowed and became somehow acceptable in the national framework of politics.  I'm not saying something here that is speculation, these people got elected and get treated as sane in media, virtually all media, despite where they are at politically.  What has happened over decades is that the GOP's opposition, putatively the Democrats, has done very little that would qualify as opposition.  Opposition entails clear differences in point of view with those you oppose.  Actual legislation frequently means compromises are required, but compromise also involves having honest dealings and it doesn't mean appropriating those opposed point of view.  There is no meaningful push back when one side is going batshit crazy and your poitical campaign is to take half-steps in their direction.  The GOPers and plutocrats are not dissuaded when you assume some of their mantle, they are dissuaded when you make your case clearly and vigorously attack their craziness.

You may  lose Primaries against GOP and plutocratic enablers, you may lose a General against the GOP version, or you may not.  But you will at least have given the voting populace (and non-voters) something to measure against.  When large portions of the populace that could vote consider there to be no meaningful difference between the Parties or are simply voting against GOPer craziness you have demonstrated a loss of direction and convictions.      

Ayn, Under The Bus, Bitch!

Oh my, Ayn - you've gone and gotten known and now your acolytes will have to ditch you.  Paul Ryan may want to make an urban myth out of his statement regarding Ayn:
"The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand," Ryan said at a D.C. gathering four years ago honoring the author of "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead." ...
At the Rand celebration he spoke at in 2005, Ryan invoked the central theme of Rand's writings when he told his audience that, "Almost every fight we are involved in here on Capitol Hill ... is a fight that usually comes down to one conflict--individualism versus collectivism."
Since the Jesuits made a bit of a deal about Ayn's atheism and creed of greed and her link to Paul Ryan's budget ideas his outfit has been flailing around a bit.  He informed those Jesuitical god-botherers that the Church's ideas about the poor had spit to do with government - unlike unmentionable lady-parts - and nothing to do with opposing big government.  There was still that bit about Ayn floating around where the religious whacks he counts on might see it so:
 “I reject her philosophy,” Ryan says firmly. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas,” who believed that man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge. “Don’t give me Ayn Rand."
 So, I guess he'll no longer be handing out copies of her junk novels as Christmas gifts and requiring interns to read them.  Do you suppose he's been watching Mitt deny ever having anything to do with anything he stood for when it became momentarily inconvenient and he also figures nobody'll notice?

*BTW, I'm no religious scholar but I'd bet Thomas Aquinas would kick Paul's ass for using him this way.

Chris Matthews is no hero of mine but he asked a question (paraphrased) that I'd like an answer to as well, 'How do you reconcile the idea that the way to get poor people to work harder is to cut their money and to get the rich to work harder is to let them have more money?'

( I used to be able to manage fonts - now?)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why The Hell Am I Doing This Again?

For awhile I've been satisfied with using BalloonJuice and Charles Pierce for reading matter and commenting on          politics.  Over at Charles' place this is how that worked out with this comment regarding Mitt's address to the NRA and folks commenting who thought penis envy entered any discussion regarding firearms.
Well shit. I've spent most of my life shooting a variety of firearms, including competively and hunting and just plain fun/practice. Lots of guns, lots of loading equipment, lots of experience with how rounds perform. The NRA stopped speaking for me quite awhile ago other than their safety programs.

I do have to tell some of you that if you think my dick has something to do with my firearms, you have odd ideas of what a dick is for - one of those items is actually a weapon and should be regarded as such... I'd have thought out of respect and consideration of enjoyment of partners involving the other you'd think otherwise. In shorter terms: I regard you as big an asshole as Wayne LaPierre and just as stupid.

Yes, I have more than a couple firearms and every one of them is particularly good at one thing versus the others... and if you can't understand that you must think a VW Bug and Semi are the same thing because they're called motorvehicles.
Which gets me this kind of shit:
 Chuck Butcher Well, Chuckie you all come back when you learn some manners, okay? Chuckie you do so fit the stereotype of the r-wingnuts. Black, black, black vs, white, white, white

Maybe you're a bit surprised by that if you've been around here before or read anything I've ever written.  It isn't as though there wasn't other work at the same blog to reflect on.  Nope - it just shows that knee jerk stupid on some issues isn't just a GOP affliction.

The problem was trying to respond to this kind of crap and remain even sort of polite at somebody else house.  Here I don't have that consideration, I can, if I choose, rip this person a brand spanking new butthole and have an entire body of work spanning about seven years to back myself.  You're free to be as big a dumb-ass as pleases you here, I won't interfere minus links to crap like Stormfront or porn or completely out of hand (I have a fairly broad interpretation) but there's no promise you'll like my reaction.  One other thing is that this little "vanity blog" has such a small audience and one that is familiar with my stuff that it is unlikely I'd get this crap other than from spamming trolls.

I make no promises to post regularly but "attaboys" to other people's work isn't all that satisfying so we'll see.

(oh yeah, I downloaded Chrome to be able to do this - pissed me off, too, and that's all it will do)

Mitt's Problem - Primaries Are Over

Multiple Choice Mitt has a real problem about right now, you see - he's wrapped up the GOPer Primary race and while they're still actually on he has to do something about how he's won the mess.  He's got all these GOPerisms he's spouted to win haunting him.  Well, haunting might be a bit strong since he's shown a facility for denying everything he's ever said that was inconvenient at that moment, but those ghosts reside all over the place in the spectral form of video and audio tapes.

If he tries to back off enough to quit scaring women and Hispanics and ... well non-nutcases... the Right is going to lose their minds - publicly - and if he doesn't, those scared folks are going to stay scared awhile longer.  The longer such an emotional state exists the harder it will be to move them off it.  I am thankful that I don't have to try to advise such a candidacy on how to deal with all this.  All I have to do is point and laugh.

Watching the Multiple Multiple Choice Amniotronic Mittens Money Train run smack into the immutable and immovable object of its own words should be a great deal of fun as long as you're not ... well shoot, on their side.

GOP...Student Loans...Truth Optional

Student loan interest rates are set to go up July 1st and the President seems to be trying to make enough of an issue of it to keep that from happening.  So, the GOP response would be:

Mitt confused until someone tells him if the reichwing, moderates, or whomever is most important this week and on what side.

Roy Blunt (R) tell a complete and entire lie, ie:
BLUNT: Why is that rate as high as it is? Because it was one of the pay-fors in the president’s health care plan. If the health care plan goes away, as the court very well might decide, there is no longer an argument about this loan rate, because it was used to take money from students, and pay for health care. … The wrapping up of that student loan thing into the Obama health care deal is the real problem here.
Um, signed in 2007 by GOPer Pres GW Bush...
Who you might have noticed preceded Pres BH Obama by, well, an entire term.

Now what the House GOPers have in mind now is to yank money from ACA to pay for it.  Well, hell ...

I suppose it would be impolite to remind anybody that this is the same Party that was happy to run TWO wars off the books while running the BushCo Taxcutsforthewealthy thingy - the one they insisted on - um a year and change ago...

Blogging Chrome

Blogger has now forced me to use Chrome in order to post to this blog.  I'm not very happy to find out that my latest MS browser "is no longer supported" as though the thing is an antique.

In fact, I'm annoyed.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

GOP Politics

Good Christ, it's like watching Lord of the Flies, except the flies win all the arguments.

I could add what to that?

Chuck Dead?

The previous post probably makes the point moot, but my absence has to do with something other than death or illness or other catastrophe. Well most personal catastrophes anyhow. The politics of that last months is the catastrophe that's done it. Charles Pierce over at Esquire handles it with a delightful mix of mockery and sarcasm and facts. I can't manage that kind of writing and it is about my only refuge from the idiocy that's going on. I can do what I've done over the years and sing to the choir about things we all agree are somewhere beyond stupid or I can just let somebody like Pierce do it for me in a more amusing manner with a lot less effort on my part.

I don't know that the choices for voters will even begin to address what ails this nation. I'm real sure that one side is really a bad choice - but it is pretty hard to work up enthusiasm for writing about "not as bad as." The Democrats managed to do a couple things like Lilly Ledbetter and the DADT Repeal that weren't GOP policy. They did manage a stimulus that was hamstrung from the beginning by being written for GOP votes or sensibilities that weren't ever there. Otherwise it has been GOP policy dressed up. Sure, the ACA is better than nothing, but considering what it is in opposition to that is extremely faint praise - and that isn't because the GOP hung it; Democrats did that all on their own.

You can make a case that this President and the last two Congresses have faced unprecedented obstruction from the GOP. The problem with that case is that for the first two years Democrats could do what Democrats wanted to do and what they managed was essentially rewarmed GOP policy. In the face of the wreckage brought about by GOP economics the Democrats managed to pass GOP bills that the current GOP hates with a passion. I didn't expect a left agenda, but I expected something more than putting on the brakes - like pointing in another direction. Maybe it is my leftist viewpoint that makes just slowing the damage not seem in the least adequate or a generator of enthusiasm. How many times can I write that one side is crazy and our side is bought and owned to the extent that they'll do spit?

Just blaming the politicians is stupid, they do have to get themselves elected. Getting elected means that the voters are the folks sending them there to do this half-assed job and it appears that the voters don't know what it is they're trying to get done. If the voters don't know what the hell is going on; one would have to ask what reason there is for the media to have access to us? Radio and television use public space to spread their crap and when it pretends to be news or information and is nothing but corporate owned propaganda that space is being misused by those with no inherent right to use it at all. Print is another issue and its slow demise seems to make the case that it is not meeting the market's desires.

The real shame is that there are Democrats in office that understand what it is that I'm getting at and wouldn't need a hell of big push to go for some kind of change but the scared little corporate rabbits that make up the rest of the Party will make sure it is pointless just as they've done for decades. They have achieved real power with the advent of complete obstructionism from the crazy Party - so there you are. And here we all are.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Trayvon Martin And Guns

There has been a lot of talk about guns since the Martin shooting, a lot. Anybody who has ever followed this blog know that it takes a pro-2nd Amendment stance - and that firearms are not toys. This is also a place that has no tolerance for bigotry.

There seems to be an idea that the ability to carry a gun brought on this shooting or that standing your ground caused it. As far as I can tell an idiot stalked a black youth while armed and caused a confrontation that he resolved with a shooting. If there is a question, it ought to have to do with conduct that whether it was bigotted or not was entirely reckless in its stupidity. It is real sure that if Zimmerman had been armed with a lollipop the outcome would have been different, but making every gun owner a Zimmerman is stupid.

I've read a bit about Florida's manslaughter law and it seems to completely trump the stand your ground statute in such a situation. I do not understand the lack of detention of Zimmerman in the face of what was obvious - a dead unarmed teenager engaged in lawful behavior. In the absence of what would appear to be reasonable behavior by law-enforcement one gets pushed into thinking bigotry.

I'll support right to carry and right to carry concealed, but while doing so I want to state unequivocably that there are outcomes to behavior. If you play goddam cowboy with a gun and kill somebody who shouldn't have been you're in a serious jam, really serious jam. If law isn't real clear about this, and I'm not sure isn't in contrast to manslaughter and stand your ground, it should be. It should be very clear to anyone carrying that use of force at that level involves real responsibilities. This is what is lacking in the Martin case and has so inflamed people - aside from what looks an awful lot like blatant race based... bullshit.

I find it pointless to talk about any bigotry on Zimmerman's part, if it is there - he's one of very many people. There isn't spit I can do about bigots beyond mock and condemn them. Bigots or anyone else who kill or harm people need to understand that the law is going to stomp a mudhole in them if they do so without real justification. What Zimmerman's treatment seems to suggest is that this isn't so, that law-enforcement hands out free passes to some in such a case and that encourages the kind of behavior that led to this pass.

I like firearms but I never mistake them for toys, they are dangerous in all cases and need to be treated in such a way. There is a reason that the first law of gun handling is that all guns are loaded until proven otherwise - it can kill someone in the blink of an eye and you don't get do-overs. Everything follows from that and legal responsibilies also should.