Archive for the 'Americans are stupid!' Category

Jul 20 2014

Six New States????

Nothing like coming back to the land of the free-home of the stupid. I remain just furious every time I see someone come out in support of this incredibly ridiculous idea.

The plan would split the state of California into six smaller US states — each with its own governor and legislature — as you can see in this map:

Six_Californias

The proposal's chief backer, venture capitalist Timothy Draper, argues that with six states instead of one, government would be more decentralized and responsive. "The existing breadth of industry and various interests in California is untenable," Draper has said. He argues that the state's economy and educational systems have stagnated, partly because of the state's centralized bureaucracy — and he thinks dispensing with this bureaucratic baggage would allow for more innovation in governance. Under his plan, he told Gregory Ferenstein at TechCrunch, "Each new state can start fresh. From a new crowd sourced state flower to a more relevant constitution." Then, these "start-up states," as he calls them, "will be able to compete with each other, for us" — trying to lure businesses and residents.

So this is what I spent 29 years of my life in the service of a great nation, all so some rich douchebag can come along and propose an idea as positively dangerous and destructive as this? NO! I tell you. NO! Both the Constitution and the Civil War settled this-and quite simply, it is in really bad taste to even raise this issue at all. It is sedition pure and simple. "Any region caught leaving the State of California will be shot for desertion. Any one advocating the leaving of California will hung for sedition."

I can't tell you how much this really bothers me-and how much I hate people who dare to speak in its favor. California has a long and proud history-and until it started letting crackpots control the voting process by passing things like Prop-13, and giving credence to assholes like Grover Norquist. It deserves a lot better. The United States has a long and proud history too. And don't kid yourself, if an idea like this were to come to pass, it would destroy the United States. Maybe not right away-but it would start the US down a path it does not want to go down. I could see the US going the way of Europe-or Africa, increasingly smaller political entities, when in reality it needs bigger ones.

God this makes me angry. It really does. The reason the Union is inviolate-is that it forces, in the end, the people to decide,maybe after a lot of stupidity-such as that we are seeing from our teabagger crazed loons, maybe not-that they have to work to solve problems. Taking the lazy way out is not an option. You don't get to break up states! ( yes Texas, this applies to you too, spare the crap about your "special" status. You forfeited that when you took so many military bases.)

The State has problems, yes. The US, has problems too. But the solution is not to break up the Union-or to cede the solutions to a solution similar to the Balkans-and we have seen how well THAT has worked. Both California and the US have straightforward solutions to their problems. They just need to the will to exercise them-and stop letting crazed lunatics control the agenda.

I DID NOT give 29 years of my life in the service of my nation-only to see it kidnapped by rich bastards who care not a whit about it. NO!

Play nice in the comments or I will boot your ass in a heartbeat. I feel very strongly on this issue.

23 responses so far

Jun 30 2014

An open letter to Mr. David Green

For those who don't know, Mr. David Green, he is the worthless, religious zealot who runs Hobby Lobby. Today, in a decision that highlights just how political and out of touch with the law the Supreme Court has become-and how dysfunctional the American government has become-he was given a free hand to fuck over his employees.

 

Dear Mr. Green,

 

     First, I suppose, we should get the pleasantries over with:

 DROP DEAD!

 

The Supreme Court, in one of its worst decisions in a long time, just handed you a victory that you do not deserve-and is in no way fitting of your supposed reputation as a Christian. Need I remind you of Christ's warning to your kind?

"Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."


You believe, at least according to the statements of your Facebook page, that you are somehow being oppressed. I sure would like to know how. How is it you are being prevented-by the simple exercise of your corporate responsibilty to provide health insurance to your employees, some of whom might actually want or need , a good old fashioned, balls deep, at whatever time of the month they want, fucking? Without a condom if they so choose? How exactly is that keeping you from making the $3.3 billion in revenues last year that your worthless excuse for a corporation made?  Or better yet-how do you reconcile your supposedly devout beliefs with the  more than $73M invested in mutual funds, some of which invest in manufacturers of contraception, including some forms which are specifically named in the complaint, even though there exist several boutique mutual funds that specifically screen companies that are not in line with their client's religious beliefs? How do you sleep at night?

And please, Mr Green, worthless fuck that you are, how do you explain to those of us who actually do have a decent understanding of American History, The United States Constitution, and other such pertinent details, how you can fashion yourself as a champion of religious freedom, when in fact you are giving preference to one belief system over another? You want to know how I know that? Mr Madison told me-when he wrote rather fortellingly about what a worthless man you are:

"The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?"

And how too-does this particular case square with your rather blatant cases of anti-Semitism, you supposedly being able to "turn the other cheek".

In September 2013, a shopper reported being told by an employee of the store in Marlboro, New Jersey, it did not carry merchandise celebrating Jewish holidays. While the store carried Christmas items, they did not carry items related to bar mitzvahHanukkah, or Passover. The store employee told the shopper that these items were not sold, due to the owner's Christian values. In response, Hobby Lobby apologized for the employee's comments, stating that it has carried Jewish holiday items in the past, and would do so in test areas beginning in November 2013.

 

Of course it doesn't and just brands you as the worthless hypocrite I already knew you were. Would that I can grab you by the shoulders and slam your white haired visage against a concrete wall. But of course I can't. Your wealth buys you a level of protection your rather overworked employees will never be able to enjoy.

I despise you sir-and the supposedly upright things you believe in.  I have beliefs too-and your zealotry impinges on them. I believe that people should be free to have as much guilt free and consequence free sex as they can with whoever they want. I further believe that their employer should have no interest in what they do away from work or who they have sex with. I believe that access to health care is a right-and you as an employer should have to pay your fair share of that cost, because it is your responsibility as a corporate citizen. Furthermore- I do not believe that corporations have the same rights as you do individually. Corporations do not have souls.

A Christianity that seeks to rid itself of interacting with sinners or infidels is not a Christianity I recognize. A Christianity that can ascribe the core religious nature of a human being to a corporation is theologically perverse. Corporations have no souls. They do not have a relationship with God, as Jonathan Merritt points out here. And a Christianity that seeks to jealously guard its own defenses rather than embrace the world joyfully and indiscriminately is not one that appeals to me.

 

Here is the bottom line, you grey haired, Christianist freak: As a business owner-you are a corporate entity. Businesses are not people, and don't have the same rights as people do. As an individual, you have a right to whine to your fellow churchgoers about the decline of American society. Your business, however, has no right to dictate what insurance it will or will not pay for-and has responsibilities as a corporate entity to its employees first. Your church is not a part of that equation nor should it be.  How long till you convert to Christian Scientist? And decide paying for AIDS medications or chemo-therapy is against your beliefs?  A government has a responsibility to regulate its society-against the worst acts of its citizens, and Mr. Green, your beliefs are just as reprehensible as someone who steals from other people. You are stealing as well-just under a legal sanction to do so. Corporations are not people. If you can't live with that-you should close up shop. I mean its not like you will starve-you have a ton of money.

"This ruling chips away at the notion of a naked public marketplace, where we can leave our faiths behind and simply buy and sell goods and not worry about anyone else’s religion or lack of it. And that’s a loss. "

But you don't really care about that do you? I didn't think so you worthless excuse for a human being.  A real Christian knows where the boundaries are-and "renders unto Caesar, what is Caesars". That you feel compelled to impose your twisted and sick version of Christianity. Personally, these types of decisions, and the rabid beliefs of those who support it, do more to alienate me from the faith than it does to win me over to it. And I am a believer-just not your kind. America is as much about the freedom to sin as it is about the freedom to worship, and religion has no place in the work place or politics. If to be a "Christian business owner" is to be like you-then I will take a pass.

There is really no convincing you otherwise I know that-which is why this now has to be about hitting your where your heart really lies, in your pocket book. Labor unions need to organize truckers strikes against you. Other businesses need to refuse to trade with you. I count my blessings that I no longer live where your stores are located, but neither the SO or I will patronize your businesses. They and you suck.

This decision is a big loss for the United States and for the Christ you claim to love so much.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go to bed, maybe indulge in some Onanism, and go to sleep-praying for your imminent and painful demise.

I am ashamed to be a citizen of the same country as you.

 

11 responses so far

Jun 12 2014

The real winner on Tuesday night.

Apathy, hypocrisy, laziness, sloth, selfishness, and greed. They are all still hung over from celebrating their victory on Tuesday night.

 Another election season in the United States has come and gone. This previous Tuesday, a series of primaries in the most reactionary,   southern states produced a variety of results. It is my purpose today, to set the rest some of the most ridiculous commentary from the thugs of the blogosphere. They of the “Tut tut-I am so superior” set, think they can take the opportunity to lecture the rest of us on how we don’t get it, along with the usual notes about limited government is better, and power should be returned to the states. There will be a cite of James Madison to prove this-even though when you actually research it, Mr. Madison had no use for any of their philosophy.

Let us start with the expected result. Lindsey Graham trounced 6 Teabag loons all of whom thought that it somehow made sense for South Carolina to jettison a Senator with a great deal of seniority, because they don’t think he is crazy enough. Of course this is South Carolina, a state that has not been in the mainstream of American thought since before 1861. The GOP voters there actually showed some sense by voting for Graham-and against my fellow wearer of the ring sending her packing as she so richly deserved.

Of course Nancy Mace was never in it to win-rather it was build a campaign organization, test the waters to see how many Citadel alumni really remember the true circumstances of her being the “first” woman to graduate the Citadel, and build contacts for a her real ambition:  to run for a Congressional seat in some back water district in Georgia or South Carolina where the deluded Teabag folks she so casually allied herself with reside.

Moving on, the shocker of the night was, of course, the loss of Eric Cantor in the Virginia 7th district. Now some of the usual hacks are out proclaiming how this proves the public is fed up with Washington ways somehow this shows that Cantor was out of touch with the American people. If so, then its hard to see how the guy that beat him is much of an improvement. David Brat is hardly a worthy person to be elected to a school board-much less to the United States Congress.  Despite his assertions that his victory was a “gift from God”, trust me I can assure that God had nothing to do with it. ( And if he did, it just shows how much God really hates the United States.).

I mean really, its not like Eric Cantor was some sort of beacon of moderation in American politics. By tossing him out the voters in Virginia basically said that, “we don’t really care about being able to accomplish anything, we just want someone who will reaffirm our intrinsic selfishness and stupidity. Phib says it is because Cantor became to aligned with “Washington”. I say, that is utter and complete nonsense.

You know why Cantor lost? Dollars and lazy, stupid, American voting habits. Let’s start with the latter first.

The 7th district in Virginia has 758,000 people in it. In 2012 about 381,000 of them voted, 223,000 of them voting for Cantor. (And probably for the Mittster too, who after all represents the same kind of elitism that both Cantor and Brat are examples of). Now fast forward to 2014. Only about 65000 people, out of a population over 10 times that number voted. And only 36000 voted for this religious , Ayn Rand loving whack job. That is barely 5% of the district’s population and certainly less than 10% of the districts total GOP registered population.

Now in today’s America, where 27% percent of the voting age population would vote for Satan if he were to actively campaign against Obama-aided and abetted by a set of media organizations that prey on the weak minded. (Glenn Beck supported Brat after all) it probably is not that hard to get 36000 motivated idiots    voters to get out and vote for a certified whack job.

The second set of numbers is the dollars that media rabble rousers spent to make sure the faithful voted against their own self interest. Worthless people like Hugh Hewitt, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, and the ever hate able Mark Levin. Drudge of course was right there-egging on its completely clueless readership.  The Teabag front group , Americans for Prosperity gave Mark Levin ( he really needs to be run over by a bus) 800,000 dollars to get the word out. And Brat himself appears to to owe his job to Cato Institute president John Allison.

Dave Brat, the guy who won yesterday, may have had a lower profile than Cantor, but as Salon's Jim Newell pointed out, prominent members of the right-wing demagogue community pulled out all the stops for Brat:
 

… it was hard not to notice this morning that Drudge, in the prime upper-left real estate of his site, had listed a full 14 links regarding immigration and a supposed impending push for "amnesty" among the House Republican leadership….

What gives on this sleepy Tuesday? …

Hmmm … maybe something about Tuesday … primary season … it's a Tuesday during primary season … Ohhhhhhhh, we get it: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's primary is today!

… The [Cantor-Brat] race hasn't gotten that much national media coverage, but it’s sure grabbed the attention of the prominent right-wingers who devote their entire lives to stopping comprehensive immigration reform. There's Drudge, of course. And Ann Coulter. And radio/TV personality Laura Ingraham, who recently suggested that the United States should have traded Eric Cantor to the Taliban for Bowe Bergdahl. And the writings and tweets of Mickey Kaus, now of the Daily Caller, have been indistinguishable from those of a Brat staffer in recent months.

Glenn Beck also backed Brat.
 

Taken together it paints a much different set of reasons for Cantors defeat. Lazy Americans, most of whom are too stupid to understand the seriousness of the issues at play, who can’t be bothered to get out and fulfill their one and only civic duty, combined with a relentless , agenda driven propaganda machine epitomized by my least favorite Canadian , Mark Steyn, and conspired to create a set of circumstances that have foisted this rancid sack of human excrement, David Brat,  on the government of the United States.

This is how low your democracy has fallen America.  This is what passes for “principles”  in the brave new world of our Gaultian overlords.

A note of clarification: This is not to debate, by the way, Phib's assertion that there are people who spend too many tours in DC. He's clearly right about that. But that's a simplistic explanation at its heart.  We have to ask ourselves why that is-a Navy gets what it rewards. And a Congress gets what it legislates. The Congress, your Congress,  has essentially been useless for the last 6 years, primarily, "[because] the primary bona fides for Republican members of the House of Representatives is how thoroughly you can refuse to do the job of governing, especially in the area of immigration, but also as regards the critical elements of the national economy. " The Navy can fix its DC problem anytime it wants to by setting board precepts that reward operational excellence. Congress could fix a lot of the Navy's problems by voting for straightforward revenue increases and supporting the effort to leave the wars behind us.

However, its not DC-or the fact that there are a lot of foreigners who want to live the American dream working there-that are at the heart of the American problem of today, nor is it a reason Cantor lost. The real problem dear Brutus is our American selves-and how lazy and stupid our populace chooses to be. Aided and abetted by some really evil people ( yes that's you Messer's Steyn and Hanson) who prey on that selfishness, that laziness and overall lack of comprehension-the results are not surprising.

5 responses so far

May 28 2014

There is such a thing as decorum.

I once again, marvel at the stupidity of the pro gun community. The bodies from the Santa Barbara are hardly even cold-and yet we have to hear this:

"Your dead kids don't trump my Constitutional rights." – Joe the Plumber (yea, that guy) to the families of the Isla vista shooting victims,

 

Somehow, the word "douchebag" does not seem to cover it.  But then "Joe the Plumber" has a long history of stupidity. There are more eloquent ways of defending the Constitutionality of the 2nd Amendment. Sorry, but I find the statement callous, regardless of how it was prefaced.

Lets pretend shall we? Even if there is some merit to his argument ( of which there is not-again, the second amendment only makes sense when the first sentence is included), there is such a thing as timing and decorum. I mean really, did he have to make this point now? Really?

And he's not the only one. Look at this:

Here is a recording of a robocall received today by a voter in the 25th Congressional district, touting Tony Strickland's pro-gun stances, voting record, and support from organizations like the NRA.

The timing could hardly be more tasteless. Just yesterday, a UCSB student shot over a dozen people and killed six (three by stabbing) – most of them fellow students. Tony Strickland actually represented Santa Barbara and Isla Vista in the State Senate until late 2012, and many of these victims were likely former constituents of Strickland's.

I am always amazed these folks have a propensity to come out strongly immediately after a shooting. Can't they wait a while and be discrete? Can't they let the process of mourning go on? I mean after all-it is not like anyone is going to do anything substantial to stop it-or at the least, severely limit the ability of people to get guns they have no business having. 20 dead children? Too bad.  6 dead-13 wounded, "well I feel your pain but I have to have a gun to open carry to Chipolte".

I'm sorry, if you need more than a pistol, a shotgun and a rifle, to defend your family, then you have made some really bad lifestyle choices. And trust me on this one-I have made more than my fair share, but in all of them I never needed a weapon. 

This is neither the time or the place to have this discussion. That idiots choose to make it the time, completely disgusts me. Save your f*cked up arguments for when someone actually brings a meaningful gun control bill to the House floor. Because you will never have to use them. In our current world there is no Congressman with the ability to do so.

And idiots like Joe know that. So all they are doing is pissing into an open grave. I would hope even gun nuts find that offensive.

Charles Pierce sums it up well:

This is a country now at war with itself. This is a phrase that is generally tossed about when political debate gets too heated. It was popular to say it back in the 1960s, when it seemed quite possibly to be true, with leaders bleeding out on balconies in Memphis or kitchen floors in Los Angeles, and students bleeding out from gunfire on college campuses, and half-baked revolutionary idiots blowing themselves up in Greenwich Village. But this is not the same thing. This is a country at war with itself for profit. This is a country at war with itself because its ruling elite is too cowed, or too well-bribed, or too cowardly to recognize that there are people who are getting rich arming both sides, because the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, so you make sure that it's easy for the bad guys to get guns in order to make millions selling the guns to the good guys. This is a dynamic not unfamiliar to the people in countries where brushfire conflicts and civil wars are kept alive because distant people are making a buck off them.  In Africa, war is made over diamonds and rare earths. In South America, war is made over cocaine. Here, for any number of reasons – because Adam Lanza went crazy or because Elliot Rodger couldn't get laid – and the only constant in all those wars is the fact somebody gets rich arming both sides…

 

There are not enough words to describe how these pro-gun fanatics suck.

 

 

 

 

6 responses so far

Dec 17 2013

A Fox News Christmas……

Stuart Varney- who once was a competent business reporter, before he sold his soul to the devil Roger Ailes, would love this wonderful re-telling of "Its a Wonderful Life".

 

 

The douchebags folks at Newsbusters can't see the humor in this-but trust me, it strikes closer to home than one might think. Trust me, Noel Sheppard, I've spent Christmas with conservatives. You may think they are rooting for George, but only because its a movie. In real life-they root for no one but their own selfishness.

 

No responses yet

Oct 03 2013

The Vandals are hard at work.

Congress imposed a government shutdown? Fuck you, pay me. Oh, had a fire? Fuck you, pay me. The place got hit by lightning? Fuck you, pay me.

 

( All posts will start with this until the shutdown is over).

 

I awoke this morning at my usual time and I started to get up. I've got to get to work! Then I realized, that no, I don't have to because my worthless excuse for a Congressman, the not so Honorable Mo Brooks-had selfishly willed that I can't. So I got up,  made coffee,  surfed porn read the news, and tried to figure out how to file the insurance claims I need to file since I need every penny I can get.

It was never supposed to be this way, I tell myself. How did it get this crazy?

Well here is why:

This is the unspoken subtext of what the vandalism is all about. This is the real motivation behind all the tricornered hats and the incantations about liberty and all the conjuring words that have summoned up the latest crisis in our democracy. Corporate money is the power behind all of it, and that corporate money has but one goal — the creation of a largely subjugated population and a workforce grateful for whatever scraps fall from the table. To accomplish this, the corporate money not only had to disable the institutions of self-government that are the people's only real protection, it had to do so in such a way that the people expect less and less of the government and, therefore, less and less of each other, acting in the interest of the political commonwealth. (The dismantling of organized labor is a sideshow to the main event in that the goal there was to cripple organized labor's political power within the political institutions so that there would be no countervailing force that could be brought to bear against the destruction of its power in the workplace.For all the endless bloviation about the dead-hand of government, what the vandals in Washington are shooting for right now is a subject population whose tattered freedoms depend on the whimsical ethics of the American corporate class. This is the really deep game being played here, and they're more than halfway to winning it.

 

Got that? Having already fucked me and the lifesyle I need to live with the sequester-these assholes are now going for the rest of my existence. This, in a world where Jamie Dimon made 23 million dollars last year-with stock assets of worth over 3 times that-when the man should have been really getting ass raped in prison. ( For those that don't know-Jaime Dimon is the CEO of JPMorgan, the organization that fucked us all in 2008 with its bad bets on real estate, and then got bailed out 100 cents on the dollar). In case you have been living in a cave somewhere, let me remind you that JPMorgan is negotiating to pay $11 billion or so in fines to settle some regulatory investigations. These fines are on top of the billions of dollars of other fines that JPMorgan has already paid to settle other investigations, and the other billions of dollars of fines that JPMorgan will presumably pay to settle the investigations not settled in this $11 billion-ish settlement.  Interestingly enough-there are people who don't think he should be fired. The money is in the economy to fund the things that need to be funded in the Federal Budget.

Jamie Dimon does not have to sweat paying his bills. But he is part of the crew that is making sure I am sweating mine.

Fuck you, pay me.

 

3 responses so far

Sep 26 2013

Why I am glad they don’t have CSPAN over here.

So I don't have to listen to assholes like Ted Cruz babble on for 21 hours.

Law #1: Godwin’s Corollary Law of Teabagging Congress

“As any Teabagger protest in Congress grows longer, the odds of a comparison involving the Nazis or Hitler approaches ’1.’ Corollary: The first person to mention Hitler or the Nazis on the floor of Congress automatically loses the debate.”

You  knew Cruz was going to go there. Which is why its more than appropriate that Jon Stewart and he staff watched the speach so you didn't have to.

What Jon Stewart said.

 

 

 

Ted Cruz needs to be one of the first to go against the wall when the day comes.

No responses yet

Jul 25 2013

The reality of the situation is disturbing at times.

There are times, only a few, that I think that the election of Barak Obama-while quite necessary from the stand point of stopping some of the lunacy of the Bush years-may have been a bad thing in the long term. Perhaps it would have been better to plunge on into the Great Depression that Grandpa McCain and the worthless whore woman from Wasilla would have plunged us into.

Of course the problem with that line of thinking is that its nonsense, and besides which, McCain could have had a stroke and we could have had shit for brains as the first female commander in Chief.

Nope. It was the choice we made and we chose correctly among the available options.

Nonetheless, the election of Barak Obama has set into motion the largest lust for vengeance ever seen in this country since Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court house; the direct result of which is that the Republican party went insane. And when they do win a majority in Congress or the Presidency-stand the fuck by, life in the once proud United States is going to suck.

A lot. Take the altered reality of Hill Valley California in the altered timeline of Back to the Future part II, and times it by ten. That is the misery our Galtian overlords are waiting to inflict upon us.

The barbarians are at the gate-and I fear we will not be able to hold them off much longer. It might just be time to apply for that Thailand retirement Visa and drop off the face of the earth.

Charles Pierce provides us a glimpse of the trailer from the disaster movie that will be shown when it happens:

Of course, all of what he's railing against here has been going on since 2010, when the American people put their brains in a jar and elected a House Of Representatives full of Louie Gohmerts and a Senate minority for which Bob Bennett of Utah was Che Guevara. (Emphasis mine-SS) The president has paid a fearsome price for neglecting his primary duty as the leader of his party — to make the Republican party pay an even more fearsome price for rendering itself into the retrograde monkeyhouse. If he had fulfilled that duty as leader of his party, he would have been better able to fulfill his duties as leader of the country. Now, he's pushing back against a resistless tide of complete, unfettered vandalism and lunacy, as best expressed in the lead story in today's Times, in which the House majority produced its wish-list that absolutely will become law the first chance they get to enact it. They do not bluff. This was no posturing. This is what they believe good government is, and it is what they will do to the country if they ever get the power. This was the trailer for the eventual disaster movie.

The big concern that I have is that Obama is just coasting right now-hoping he can just hold on till 2014 and maybe, just maybe, he might get a favorable election result. Fat chance of that.

Meanwhile, I get stuck with a 20% pay cut-and the very real possibility of losing my job next year-because he has yet to dramatically take on and call the GOP agenda what it is: an agenda " infected by an almost pathological mean spiritedness".

The drift cannot go on -for this year or for the remaining 3 years. And much as it pains me to admit it-the President bears a part of the blame for this. His speech the other day was a good start-where in he bluntly pointed out what we have known since 2009:

"Once upon a time, in the middle of the last century, America had a thriving economy in which the middle class was at the center and everyone — poor and rich alike — did better. But then, starting in the late 1970s, a group of self-serving rich people began to sell a promise that if we took better care of them, their wealth would trickle down, and that would help everyone else prosper. The country bought that line. And for three decades both parties yielded to it. The results were great for the very rich — and disastrous for everyone else. Wages stagnated. Inequality became extreme. Mobility slowed. By 2008, things were so upside down and we had so lost our way that the economy collapsed. Out of that ruin, many began to remember the old ways: the truth that lasting growth and shared prosperity come from the middle out and not the top down. Now we are joined in a battle of ideas to see whether middle-out economics can dethrone trickle-down."

But with out execution-its nothing. It's all well and good to say it. But the crazy loons like Ted Cruz et al-they don't care, they will just wait the President out and hope they take the Senate  in 2014. Meantime-the disastrous drift would go on.

The popular viewpoint among the Teabagger set is that its all the President's fault-as witness James Taranto's latest stupid unhinged rant over at the Wall Street Journal. ( Zimmerman could have shot him instead of Trayon Martin-then it really would have been justifiable homicide).  But its not true-both sides could find a reasonable middle ground,  but they won't.

And so the slide towards my eventual unemployment will continue…………

Like I said-at this point in time, Mr Pierce may have it right:

By now, though the president is loath to point it out, it's obvious that, in terms of addressing the country's real problems, there was no particular point in having elected him twice, because there was no serious intention on the part of the opposition to recognize his administration as being possessed of a legitimate mandate to do anything, and no serious attempt on the part of the courtier press to push back against the very real danger of what that situation implies.

Anybody know of a bar for sale in Pattaya? Or what the number of that truck driving school was?

 

12 responses so far

Jul 21 2013

Some people remain true to form.

Some people are just incapable of change. Or understanding anything. Like Jim Hoft, The Dumbest Man on The Internet. Or his worthless colleagues at the Liars Club. Consistently-worthless pieces of s**t, each and every one of them.

And Charles Pierce had the temerity this weekend to point that out:

There is nothing in there that any sensible person would gainsay. There is nothing in there that could be interpreted as being in any way "divisive," unless you happen to be a person who considers the basic reality of the everyday contact between the races as being inherently divisive. (And, maybe, as a bonus, having said all that will make the president less likely to appoint Ray — Stop 'N Frisk — Kelly as his director of Homeland Security.) But it was unquestionably the most direct public remarks the president has made as a black man since he rose to prominence in 2004. As such, dear Jesus, has it jumped on some people's last nerves. Take, for example, the Dumbest Man On The Internet, who thinks the president's unremarkable remarks are a declaration of war on white people like him. Or some allied morons. But this swill is going to get some traction in more respectable circles because, in making those remarks, and in sounding for one of the very few times like what once was called a Race Man, the president broke what a lot of people assumed was a covenant he'd made with them when they permitted him to be president. That covenant was fashioned for him during his speech to the Democratic convention in Boston, wherein he told a divided country everything it really wanted to hear about itself. He was going to be the living demonstration of the progress the nation had made. His job, in addition to being president, was going to be as a redemptive figure. That was the deal by which the country would allow him to be its president.

 

See, it drives guys like William Jacobson, Hinderaker, and the rest of the herd of chronically stupid people-just up the wall that anyone might actually say the truth. Namely that it is a sad commentary on the state of the United States where: 1) People feel compelled to walk around with guns they have no business having-and the government of the respective states of Florida and Texas and others aid and assist them in that quest. 2) That people think it is perfectly fine for a non-policeman to gun down an unarmed man simply because he was walking down the street.

And to point out the criteria by which Zimmerman decided to stalk Martin and thus incite the altercation that got Martin killed-to point out that it was racial. That really spools them up.

But the facts are still the facts-as much as rumbling herd of morons who read the columns over at Breitbart's Mausoleum tell you differently. Don't read the comments there-it will make you despair of humanity in general and Americans in particular. Want to know why the United States of America is declining in the global competition? Just take a look at the Breitbart audience and multiply it a 1000 fold. Ramapant stupidity is spreading in the land of my birth.

I don't know which is more screwed up, the "Not Guilty" verdict-or the inability of the right wing to attribute it to tragic set of circumstances, which were completly avoidable.

Take this little gem for instance:

NB: I have included links for purpose of citation. I do not recommend going to any of them, except Wonkette.

As per an article released the 17th, Gateway Pundit is now circulating speculation that Trayvon Martin’s purchases—Skittles and Arizona-brand fruit juice—were to be used to create “lean” — aka sizzurp, purple drank. His source is American Thinker, which claims that a 2011 Facebook interaction between Martin and a friend included the former requesting a hook-up for codeine, to make drank.

 

What this guy says:

 

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Jul 15 2013

The Zimmerman verdict

There is not much for me to say about the verdict. I feel about the same way I did when OJ was aquitted-shock that it happened, and no surprise that it happened exactly the way it did in Florida. Florida's gun laws suck-and the "stand your ground law" that Zimmerman based his defense on, is poorly written and unevenly enforced. 

The two key issues of the case for me are: 1) Zimmerman followed Martin-after he was specifcally advised not to.  In essence he picked a fight he didn't have to pick-and could have left to trained law enforcement officers. 2) Despite the opinion of the jury, the case for self defense here was weak at best. Because Florida's law is written so poorly-and has a lot to do with determining Zimmerman's mental state-logical burdens of proof would not and could not be met:

Contrary to popular misconception, the burden of proof lies on Zimmerman to demonstrate that he acted in self-defense, not on the state to show that he didn't. "Innocent until proven guilty" only applies to culpability for the offense in question, and no one has argued that Zimmerman didn't pull the trigger that ended Martin's life. While someone who has committed a violent crime obviously has the right to defend himself, we set a dangerous precedent if we automatically give the benefit of the doubt to the murderer instead of the victim. Not only does the victim lack a voice to present his or her side of the story, but any murderer who has been caught will naturally be inclined to argue that his or her actions were somehow justified. Because a murderer's word is obviously suspect, and because murder is not an offense which we can afford as a society to sanction without the strongest of all possible reasons, we must demand that one who is known to have taken another human life establish beyond any shred of doubt that he or she had good reason to do so — and punish them, for the sake of protecting the sanctity of human life, if their culpability can be established and their justification cannot.

Zimmerman never convincingly proved that his life was in danger. His bloody nose and the scrapes on the back of his head do suggest that he and Martin were involved in a physical altercation of some sort, but had he had his head smashed against the pavement several times (as he claims), he would have sustained far worse injuries than that. As the evidence stands, all we know for certain is that he and Martin had a fight, which does not translate into justifiable cause for thinking his life was in danger. If, for example, two men are involved in a barroom brawl, and one pulls out a gun and shoots the other, the killer shouldn't be exonerated simply because both parties were equally engaged in the act of violence; he is only justified if he can prove that he had good reason to fear the other party would have killed him if he had not acted first. A charge of manslaughter may be substituted for a more severe account, but it is ludicrous to claim that he should be entirely acquitted. Similarly, Zimmerman simply fighting with Martin does not justify Zimmerman killing Martin precisely because the only sound evidence that could have proved his life was in jeopardy — the severity of his bodily injuries — failed to meet that standard of proof. In short, there is no good reason to believe beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman had to end Martin's life.

What's probably more troubling are the reactions of the brain damaged individuals who inhabit the Liar's Club and those of the totally deranged at "Breitbart's Mausoleum". It is the reaction of the learning impaired at of these locations that make one ashamed of the human race in general-and Americans in particular. If you want some real evidence of the decline of American civilization and the corrupting effects of a fake news organization like Fox News-just read some of the comments there. Then take several showers to wash the filth off of you.

Matthew Rozsa summed it up well-its time for a "J Accuse" type letter to the country as a whole:

Yet millions of people have ignored the facts, and the rather basic logic that can be applied to them, because they want to take his side. Even before the photographs of Zimmerman's injuries were released, or before Martin's character was smeared by Zimmerman's defense attorneys, these same people were scrounging around for ways to defend Zimmerman and condemn the child whose life he took. For all of the talk of political correctness inconveniencing white people, the primary beneficiaries of braindead etiquette are the racists who are allowed to spew their bile and then hide behind disclaimers of their own so-called "color blindness."

I say enough. And I add to that disgust the following:

I accuse George Zimmerman of being a common murderer, for the reasons explained before.

I accuse Zimmerman's defenders of believing that Trayvon Martin deserved to die because he was a black male.

Some of them undoubtedly have deluded themselves into thinking that they aren't racist; others, just as certainly, know that they dislike black people but lie so as to avoid the stigma of being labelled a "racist." All, however, are basing their opinions on the fact that Martin was black. If both men had been white, these same people would never dream of arguing that a heavyset adult male with a firearm could be defended for stalking an unarmed child and killing him. These same people, whether they admit it or not, would rightly dismiss his claim to have acted in self-defense once the aforementioned evidence was presented to them. Because Martin was black, however, they readily bought into the stereotypes our society teaches about African American men, and formed their opinions accordingly.

Finally, I accuse our society of systematically targeting African Americans using the same logic employed by Zimmerman, his supporters, and the Florida jurors.

20 responses so far

Jul 12 2013

Quotable

I love the writing of Charles Pierce.

First of all,he is not afraid of all the conservative concern trolls who get all bent out of shape when one calls one of the Representatives from Wisconisn , the "zombie eyed granny starver" he truly is. Nor does he fall apart when they whine about the supposed injustice on calling them out on their selfishness and cruelty. You know who you are trolls-please go fuck yourselves.

But the other reason I like him is he has a way with the words. This is sheer prosaic beauty:

Our Congress is now a cut-rate circus with nothing but eunuchs as performers. Some of these people, like Stutzman and his colleagues in the flying-monkey caucus, become eunuchs by choice. Some of them, like John Boehner, are drafted into the position. Their job is to be forcibly impotent so that the government itself becomes forcibly impotent. They are proud of what they do. They consider it a higher calling to public service that they decline to serve the public. They sing a soprano dirge for democracy in Jesus's name, amen.

Or this:

Do we need to mention that Mr. Stutzman is a member of the Class of '10, when the country decided with malice aforethought to elect the worst Congress in the history of the Republic? Do we need to mention that this bill has no chance of passing the Senate, or of being signed by the president, or of ever becoming law in this country? Of course, we don't. That isn't what this brutal act of maladministration was about. That isn't what this House is about any more. We've made jokes about how Eric Cantor has Boehner's balls buried in a Mason jar in his backyard. As far as governing the country goes, the rest of the House is more along the lines of Origen of Alexandria who, when he found himself tempted by the sins of the flesh, seized a knife and, as Flann O'Brien's vision of St, Augustine puts it, deprived himself in one swipe of his personality. Whenever the House majority feels itself tempted by the sin of actually governing, out comes the blade and all of them sing soprano harmonies.

 

They do this to demonstrate that government cannot work. They do this so that they can go home and talk at all the town halls and bean suppers to audiences choking on the venom that pours out of their radios and off their television screens about how government doesn't work, and how they stood tall against it, and against Those People who don't want to work for a living. (When Stutzman says he's a "fourth-generation farmer" who doesn't want the Farm Bill to be a "welfare bill," the folks back in LaGrange County don't need an Enigma machine to decode what he's saying.) They do this out of the bent notion, central to their party's presidential campaign last fall, that anyone on any kind of government assistance is less entitled to the benefits of the political commonwealth. And they all believe that; the only difference between Paul Ryan and Marlin Stutzman is that Ryan has been a nuisance for a longer period of time. That the country rose up and rejected that notion in a thundering manner is irrelevant. What does the country matter in the Third Congressional District of Indiana? There, they believe government cannot work, and they elect Marlin Stutzman to the Congress to demonstrate to the world that it cannot.


As James Fallows reminds this-it would be funny if it were not entirely true. Unfortunately it is, so it is nothing short of terrifying and crazy.

 

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May 15 2013

Yes Virginia, these people are that crazy.

I have been watching with great interest the cries of anguish over the so called "scandals" that have your dyed in the wool member of the Teabag set, salivating and dreaming of the day they get their revenge. Just for grins I actually dropped in on the group "that prides itself on its civilized discussion"-even though they very seldom actually do that. The members of this community are, by and large,  are a self reinforcing community-trading conspiracy theories among themselves and viciously attacking anyone who dares to challenge the conventional orthodoxy.

"I got a chuckle out of the intolerant part. That really is a pretty good joke. Lex would have gotten a chuckle from it as well."

Probably he would have-because the simple truth was they could not see intolerance if it bit them in the ass. But just because they cannot recognize-or they choose not to recognize,  their shortcomings, does not mean they don't have them. I reinforced that knowledge quite well-I got my fair share of abuse and am good to go for about 6 months. No need to return.

In case you have been in cave somewhere-here is a rundown for you:

Alex Pareene at Salon has an entertaining rundown of the three “scandals” that could supposedly lead to the impeachment of the president: Benghazi, the AP phone logs and the IRS-Tea Party thing.

Pareene figures the Benghazi issue is kaput because the GOP stupidly focused on meaningless talking points on Sunday shows rather than the real issue, which was inadequate security. And since austerity-humpers in the House were slashing security budgets like Fruit Ninja addicts in Arcade Frenzy mode, it’s a good bet they don’t want to go there. That and the preening Sunday performances of would-be soap opera stars like Senators McCain and Graham led the GOP to focus on the dud aspect of the Benghazi affair, soiling a once-promising bit of dirty laundry.

Likewise, Pareene points out that while the AP logs issue may have a built-in advantage due to its implications for the very media that would be charged with ginning up impeachment-level outrage, the GOP can’t claim clean hands there either: The Republicans are the ones who demanded that the administration investigate the leaks that led to the AP investigation in the first place. And the GOP isn’t really opposed to spying on reporters, at least if Republicans get to do it sometimes. This might lead to another brogressive boner for Rand Paul, but perhaps nothing more.

According to Pareene, the jackpot scandal has got to be the IRS-Tea Party thing because, even if, as seems likely, no one at the White House knew about it, it’s the “conservative movement’s dream scandal.

 

He is most certainly right about the last part-the IRS "scandal" is a Tea Party wet dream. The agency they hate the most-second only to their hatred of Obama, screwed up in actually trying to do their job. Which was namely, to weed out hack political movements that are trying to circumvent both the letter and the spirit of the tax code, in order to hide the fact that their donations are not just from the grass roots.

Tea Partiers love to lecture you on how its not just one movement, but several. And they love the idea that it is a grass roots movement-not orchestrated at all. Never mind that it ignores the fact that the Tea Party was the rebranded rump of the Bush dead-enders. It was a convenient fiction that they all tell themselves in order to hide the fact that their policy prescriptions are nonsense, that they would directly suffer the most if their plans were enacted, and that they are in fact-being exploited by men a lot richer than themselves. The media conveniently cooperated too-clinging to the absurd notion that it was a genuine grassroots movement. And they cling to it still, "like turds to a moth-eaten pair of faux-Colonial breeches."

And so they are shrieking with glee that they may finally have the chance they have been dreaming about since January 20th 2009. They think they can , dare I say it, impeach Barak Obama.

Never mind that none of this hardly rises to the level of "high crimes and misdemeanors"-never let the facts get in the way of a good, old fashioned, blood libel. The fact that they are so determined is enough to give any sober American pause. Pause and fear-that a significant portion of the nation's citizenry is so brutally demented.

I think the notion of impeachment is industrial-strength insane. There is utterly no proof that the President Obama even knew anything directly about the shifting Benghazi responses, let alone did something about them (yes, folks; under the Constitution, the President must do something). And as for the Internal Revenue Service story, from what we now know, those transgressions were committed by IRS staffers in Cincinnati who have never been closer to Obama than their television sets… Impeachment is crazy… and the idea that Obama has any direct culpability in either of these matters is, given what we know today, utter madness. Okay?

But this is my point: utter madness is what today’s Republicans do. You can present to me every logical argument you desire. Benghazi at the end of the day was a terrible tragedy in which mistakes, bad mistakes, were certainly made, and in which confusion and the CYA reflex led to some bad information going out to the public initially, but none of this remotely rises to the level of high crime. The IRS cock-up was just that, a mistake by a regional office. I get all this, and I agree with you.

But what we think doesn’t matter. I can assure you that already in the Pavlovian swamps of the nutso right, the glands are swelling. Theirs is a different planet from the one you and I inhabit….

… They do their base’s bidding, not America’s. How many times do you need to see them do this before you accept that it is the reality? And now there’s an added element. They want to gin up turnout among their base for next year’s elections. And if they gin it up enough, and the Democratic base stays home, they could end up holding the House and taking the Senate. And if they have both houses, meaning that the vote in the House would not be certain to hit a Senate dead-end, well, look out.

I hope the White House knows this. I hope they understand, I hope the President himself understands, that the fever has not broken and will not break. It might crescendo right up to his very last day in office. And yes, a lot of this Benghazi stuff is about Hillary Clinton. But not all of it. And the IRS thing, which Drudge led with for two days in a row and may yet be bigger than Benghazi, isn’t about her at all. If my worst fears are never realized—well, good, obviously. But it will only be because they couldn’t identify even a flimsy pretext on which to proceed. Never put the most extreme behavior past them. It is who they are, and it is what they do.

 

Yes they are that messed up and they are that crazy. These people are not caricatures-they really exist.

And that should scare the bejesus out of you.

20 responses so far

Mar 03 2013

Life in the fact free world

I have been reading the reactions to the sequester-and I am truly coming to the firm conviction that the United States of America has gone insane. Not only did Congress not avoid this abomination-but they didn't even stick around and try to work it out even after the deadline has passed. That astounds me beyond all belief. Even more so is the reaction of some in the proletariat who actually believe that this approach to budgeting is a good thing and are saying we need even more cuts ( without offsetting revenue restoration).

There are a whole host of lies and distortions out there-and that is what bothers me the worst. One cannot even correct the record-because there is no willingness to understand, much less believe the facts.

Lets review the facts shall we?

1) It is not just "a 2 percent cut" in federal spending. Its an almost 9 percent whack in defense and a combined 8% whack in non defense when the various non defense cuts are aggregated. And even more importantly-because the Congress did not act to allow the Administration to execute reprogramming actions, the various departments cannot do what common sense says they should do-make vertical cuts and tough reductions in programs wholesale. ( Like cancel LCS for example and move the money to other accounts). Yet there are people-I've argued with them who just go on saying that we can  do this and no one will get hurt. Well, they are wrong-and deserve to be beaten for their inability to understand. Yes I said that-its how I feel.

2) The GOP insistence that there can be no restored revenue-even when it makes sense and will better spread the burden around-is total lunacy.

Ezra Klein mans up and admits he was wrong. He had written a piece suggesting that if only Republicans knew how much Obama has been willing to offer, they might be willing to make a deal. Jonathan Chait set him straight, informing him that no matter what Obama put on the table, Republicans would find a way to say that it’s not enough. And sure enough, a Twitter exchange lets Klein watch that process in real time, as a top Republican consultant, confronted with evidence that Obama has already conceded what he said was all that was needed, keeps adding more demands.

So Klein admits that Republicans just don’t want to make a deal. Their objections to the deals on the table aren’t sincere; if convinced that Obama has met their demands, they just make more demands.

I think it’s important here to understand the broader implications.

The whole push for a Grand Bargain has been based on the notion that we can reach a fiscal deal that takes the whole fight over the budget off the table. What Klein has belatedly learned is how unlikely such a Bargain really is; but the same logic tells us that any Grand Bargain that might somehow be struck, via Obama’s mystical ability to mind-meld Star Trek and Star Wars or something, wouldn’t last. In a year — or more likely in a minute or two — Republicans would be back, demanding more tax cuts and more cuts in social programs. They just won’t take yes for an answer.

Meanwhile, it’s not just Republicans who refuse to accept it when Obama gives them what they want; the same applies, with even less justification, to centrist pundits. As people like Greg Sargent point out time and again, the centrist ideal — deficit reduction via a mix of revenue increases and benefits cuts — is what Obama is already offering; in fact, his proposals have been to the right of Bowles-Simpson. Yet the centrist pundits keep demanding that Obama offer what he has already offered, and condemn both sides equally (or even place most of the blame on Obama) for the failure to reach a deal. Again, informing them of their error wouldn’t help; their whole shtick is about blaming both sides, and they will always invent some reason why Obama just isn’t doing it right.

 

This is the whole false equivalency thing again. "Both sides do it". No, in this case only one side has-and since they don't experience any consequences for it-they do it again and again. The fiscal scolds and whack jobs in the GOP should have their balls in a vice right now-being squeezed until they pop. But no one is inflicting the pain on them to get them to do what is right. America only has two branches of government right now. Congress for all intents and purposes has ceased to exist. The founding fathers never intended for that to happen.

Basically its a continuation of the total freak out 30% of America had when Obama won in 2008 and when he won again in 2012. Unlike others its not about race, but it is about his proposing ideas that that show compassion for the non-wealthy. The 30% on the teabag side of the aisle don't really believe in the two party system anymore. They only know that if they can't be in charge than they are going to whine and cry like the selfish spoiled children they are.

Fact 3-Congress bears the bulk of the blame. Between the filibusters on the Senate side and the GOP in the house proposing nothing of substance-they created this situation and what's worse, they like it.

Meanwhile, budget cuts or no budget cuts, the military budget is being hollowed out from within by rising military health costs. Over the past decade, the military’s health-care costs have tripled, surging from $19-billion in 2001 to $53-billion in 2011. Health costs are projected to rise to $63.9-billion by 2015. An additional 6% cut atop those previous problems begins to look like a serious challenge to readiness and effectiveness.

Yet this serious challenge is not being taken seriously by the very people you’d most expect to be concerned. According to a Gallup poll released last week, 80% of self-identified Republicans feel it is very important for the U.S. to have the world’s strongest military. Only 48% of self-identified Democrats think so, as opposed to 51% of Democrats who say military predominance is “not that important.”

In Washington, however, it is the Republicans who are behaving cavalierly about the defense budget…….

The trouble is that the new Tea Party congressional GOP no longer minds defense cuts as much as it used to — or as much as the rank-and-file Republicans surveyed by Gallup. Congressional Republicans increasingly welcome the sequester as a good thing, or anyway, an acceptable thing.

According to Representative Steve Scalise, Republican of Louisiana and chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee: “[This] shows we’re finally willing to stand and fight for conservative principles and force Washington to start living within its means. And that will be a big victory.”

It should be stressed: The Republican Study Committee is an important group within the Republican caucus. These are not Ron Paul style isolationists, but mainstream conservatives. Unfortunately, mainstream conservatives are increasingly willing to risk national security to score points in the Washington partisan competition.

Americans sense the decline in their country’s strength. Gallup finds that only 50% now express confidence that the U.S. military ranks number one, the lowest number since the end of the Cold War. Such pessimism is exaggerated of course. But it’s not completely ill-founded. Not since the 1970s has Congress taken the kind of risks with national security that it seems ready to incur today.

 

 

I am becoming more and more pessimistic-and less able to control my anger. Ronald Reagan would weep at what his party has become, and Tip O'Neill would weep at the state of Congress today. No matter how polarized the discussions were in the 80's they were still able to negotiate compromises. But now-then, the debate was about the policies. Now, its about Obama. The useless people in the crazed 30% of America who make up the teabagger village cannot come to grips that there is a better and different solution than to give in to their inherently selfish instincts. And I am at a loss as to how to make them understand it short of depriving them of oxygen and letting them suffocate.

The truth is, most of what "conservatives" believe to be true is false. And there is no one in America who can convince them other wise. Such is the result of 10+ years of an alternative world-led by Fox News-that makes up its own facts, distorts the truth and allows shills to gain positions of prominence. The US has become what it says it despises-a 2nd rate power. It has no one to blame but itself. you can't cut, cut, cut-and not pay the bill.  We can have less government spending-but do not kid yourself, it comes at the cost of global retrenchment. By deciding not to decide-Congress has decided. Let the withdrawals begin. But please don't complain when the results are not what you wish.

11 responses so far

Mar 01 2013

Happy Sequester Day!

The douchebags elected representatives in Congress have once again failed miserably at their jobs..

You will notice the Countdown clock to your left, counting down the days till my furlough and or layoff-whichever comes first.

One of my favorite writers, Charles Pierce has summed up the situation quite well:

Whatever happens tomorrow, the utter failure of sequestration to do what it is designed to do is of a piece with the previous failures of the Gang Of Six, the Gang Of 12, and the king of all revered utter failures, Simpson-Bowles, which still has most of official Washington feeding Vaal at every turn in service to a commission that couldn't even muster a majority of its own membership, Whatever happens tomorrow, the utter failure of sequestration to do what it was supposed to do — namely, to be so utterly horrifying that it would force a deal — should bring an end to government by gimmick.

Government by gimmick is a dodge. Government by gimmick is a way for politicians to protect their status as politicians without actually doing the jobs they were elected to do. Government by gimmick depends vitally on the fundamental Beltway anti-democratic heresy — that the system as designed is inadequate to present circumstances and that the only way out of this is to go put together the proper group of bipartisan Very Important People to apply common sense to the problem. It was government by gimmick — the Tower Commission — that probably bought Ronald Reagan out of the Iran-Contra scandal because the gathering of wise men determined from the start that holding the president responsible by constitutional means would scare the children and disturb the horses. This is the principle that was applied to the useless Gang Of 14 solution to the "problem" of judicial filibusters. And, ever since the American people elected a Congress full of right-wing chew toys in 2010, government-by-gimmick has been the way the American economy has been directed, and now all the duct tape is failing, and the balsa's cracking, and the whole thing is coming apart, and the people in charge are spending long hours talking about how they couldn't have foreseen any of this.

The great thing about Pierce is that he does not succumb to all the nonsense about "both sides do it". He puts the blame squarely where it belongs-on the selfish children who inhabit the tea party crazed GOP.

4 responses so far

Feb 24 2013

Always acting against their own self interest.

Published by under Americans are stupid!

 The other day, a Facebook "friend" ( friend being a rather incorrect term-better defined as "someone I used to know and work with and have little, if anything,  in common with now -save for the fact we both served in the US Navy")

"Sequestration and its impacts are the choice of officials executing the budget. As a start, I would rather see the $2.2Billion Obama phone program go away before any "first responders" President Obama is saying will go. What is more important?

And so off he goes with a self satisfied "tut tut" -and his "acquaintances" chime in with congratulatory agreement. Well some did any way, there were also subsequent comments, which were subsequently deleted by the owner of the FB page-which pointed out how basically incorrect his position is, as stated. Guess he did not want his friends to see how easily such arguments can be debunked.

This particular exchange highlights in a most elegant way-the fundamental problem that is currently present in American political discourse. On the surface he sounds correct-if not more than a bit arrogant and self-righteous. But the truth is, none of what he says is correct. That so many supposedly "knowledgeable" Americans agree with him-when the facts are 180 degrees in opposition- should trouble any rational person.  Conservatives may be entitled to their own opinions. They are not, however, entitled to their own facts. Despite their attempts to create an alternate news universe-one where a person solely reads IBD, FOX, Weekly Standard, the NRO-and of course the dregs of American Society: John Hinderaker and the liars club-facts are facts.

If you lived in the fact free world that he lives in-of course you think its all correct and a great sentiment. But when the facts are exposed, well, nobody likes to be outed as an ignorant fool.

Fact #1: There is no such thing as an Obamaphone program. As much as his enemies like to blame every problem in the world on the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, this expenditure whether for right or wrong,  cannot be blamed on President Obama. Free and discounted phone service to low-income families has been mandated by the federal government since 1934, paid for by "above-cost" fees charged directly by phone companies to regular subscribers. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 codified the program and set up an independent corporation, the Universal Service Administrative Company, to facilitate the service, properly called "Lifeline". Cell phone distribution was made a part of the provisions of the act in 2008, while a certain George W. Bush was still President. Yet, no one calls it the "Bush" Phone. (Maybe it should be called the "Roosevelt" phone) Instead they reserve it as a convenient lie to call it an Obama phone, because it serves their agenda to have dim witted people believe the conclusion that it was a new federal program. It was not. It was an expansion of the existing program and implemented on a state by state basis.  Nonetheless it gives conservatives -especially those of the teabagger variety- an attitude of gleeful gross-out humor, like a fifth-grader making fart noises – though with an undercurrent of racism far nastier and more base than any bodily function.

And while we are on the use of the word "teabagger", you can spare me the righteous indignation at the use of the term. As I have repeatedly pointed out before, its arrogant on two fronts: 1) because the Tea Party originated the term and 2) despite the sexual connotation to the term "teabagger", when used to describe the tea party, it is simply a mild pejorative used to spell out a well deserved contempt. So if it bothers you-that is just too bad.

Fact#2: Even if the cell phone program were eliminated in its entirely, it would-with pretty much 100% certainty-not prevent cuts to the first responders program. It also would not reduce by one dollar the amount taken from the Pentagon budget.  One of the biggest problems with the whole idea of sequestration is the approach it takes to making cuts to the federal budget. The governmental equivalent of using a meat cleaver to perform surgery to remove an appendix instead of a small scalpel in the hands of a trained surgeon. You can do it-but your odds of killing the patient go up dramatically. I mean, think about it: the Lifeline program is not even funded by tax money. So unless Congress passes a law to amend the Telecommunications Act, something completely different from enacting cuts under sequestration, the program will still go on even after March 1st. Whereas 1st responder funds-especially for federal agencies such as the Coast Guard, FBI, other law enforcement agencies and grants to states-will be funds that will be under the gun as so called "discretionary" non defense spending. The author of the sentiment, since he is working in the Pentagon, should know this. Sequestration forces across the board cuts of non-exempt, non-defense discretionary funding by 8.2 percent. Non-exempt, non-defense mandatory programs see a 7.6 percent reduction. There’s not, however, much left to cut in this category because the large mandatory programs were largely shielded from the cuts.  Medicare cuts were specifically limited to 2 percent of the program’s budget. On the defense side of the equation, similar levels of cuts apply. Its not an either / or type of choice-the question is more properly framed as "Do you cut both sides of the pie or not?".

Now it may be, that in a time of fiscal austerity, that a program that assists people making just 22,300 a year or less ( 135% of the poverty line), which is an income 85% less than the individual who authored the above listed FB sentiment (His salary, as is mine, is a matter of public record)-may be no longer affordable.  I don't know about you-but trying to make ends meet on that amount of money in today's economy is tough. There are legitimate arguments in favor of this kind of assistance-particularly in an interconnected world. However any such reductions should happen as part of a rationale budget process-something our GOP led House of Representatives has proven itself unable to do for several years now.

Fact #3: Sequestration itself does very little to reduce the growth of the deficit.  The dirty little secret about the process, like so much of the political grandstanding that occurs in Congress these days, is that even with the cuts-they will not do much to impact the deficit. They will do a lot to hurt middle and lower class Americans though. As Paul Krugman points out, it is the height of arrogance to take pleasure in the fact that the sequester will only cost 700,000 jobs:

  As always, many pundits want to portray the deadlock over the sequester as a situation in which both sides are at fault, and in which both should give ground. But there’s really no symmetry here. A middle-of-the-road solution would presumably involve a mix of spending cuts and tax increases; well, that’s what Democrats are proposing, while Republicans are adamant that it should be cuts only. And given that the proposed Republican cuts would be even worse than those set to happen under the sequester, it’s hard to see why Democrats should negotiate at all, as opposed to just letting the sequester happen.

 So here we go. The good news is that compared with our last two self-inflicted crises, the sequester is relatively small potatoes. A failure to raise the debt ceiling would have threatened chaos in world financial markets; failure to reach a deal on the so-called fiscal cliff would have led to so much sudden austerity that we might well have plunged back into recession. The sequester, by contrast, will probably cost “only” around 700,000 jobs….

  And the effect on the deficit?  Not much at all-especially if health care costs continue to rise. And, as CBO has pointed out-they certainly would not be as effective in halting deficit growth than simply letting all the Bush tax cuts go away and lifting the cap on Social Security payroll taxes would be.

There is a right way and a wrong way to cut federal spending, but the sequestration plan about to go into effect is perhaps the most boneheaded approach that could possibly be concocted. The sequester won't reduce the deficit by anything close to the $85 billion that's being advertised. What's more, it may not reduce the deficit at all.  But hey, why let facts get in the way of righteous indignation?

It would seem to a certain segment of America, its better just to huff and puff and make loud noises. Without bothering to understand the true facts. What, to me, is even more disturbing is that some of the loudest voices in the "just make people suffer" movement, are coming from people such as the FB poster above-who are the most deeply dependent on government benefits and will be for the rest of their lives. He decries governmental largesse-while at the same time he will benefit quite appreciably from it.

There are things that can be done to get the government's financial house in order. But to go about it from a factually inconsistent position-which reeks of hypocrisy-is not a way to start down the path. "Friends" don't let "friends" indulge in conservative stupidity.

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