Archive for the 'Super Selfish Ayn Rand fans…' Category

Jul 18 2015

The wrong people are winning

Well, now that really bad things are going on, its probably time for me to get back to work. I have a lot to say about a lot of things-but just can't seem to either find the time or the volition to address them. But I just wanted to point out a fact that most educated readers of the remaining sane blogs on the internet already knew:

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My 10 years of blogging have proven that point back to me time and time again. Its been especially disheartening to watch the decline of so called "front running" milblogs become the kind of conservative cesspool that the Breitbart enterprise is known for. Ellen Pao is right to be jumping ship over at Reddit:

The Internet started as a bastion for free expression. It encouraged broad engagement and a diversity of ideas. Over time, however, that openness has enabled the harassment of people for their views, experiences, appearances or demographic backgrounds. Balancing free expression with privacy and the protection of participants has always been a challenge for open-content platforms on the Internet. But that balancing act is getting harder. The trolls are winning.

My own experience validates that , I can assure you. I like to think its been reasonably ok over here at my little place but we have had our run ins with moron set. It's been nothing to compare with some of the displays of lunacy that we have seen elsewhere though.

Take the tragic events of this weekend. Charles Pierce over at Esquire magazine, a real magazine with real editors and management, (something Tom Johnson has probably never had to deal with-more on that later), published a pretty reasoned piece on the shootings in Chattanooga. Pierce pointed out quite correctly that whatever the motive of the shooter, the insanely easy effort required to get guns in the United States did not help matters much.

Because he wrote eloquently and did not immediately jump in the cesspool of hatred, all the demons came swarming out of hell. 

As a regular reader at his place, I can assure you that the comments you see-especially in the last day are not typical of the kind of discussion that normally goes on at his place. There is a reason for that. In the general atmosphere of insanity that is prevailing in America after the horrific events in Chattanooga, it seems a certain percentage of our citizenry takes offense if you say anything but, "Kill Muslims! Kill more Muslims! Arms for every citizen"

And that is where a stellar specimen of humanity such as Tom Johnson comes in. 

Don't stay too long over there-just reading the comments will make you despair of humanity, or the fact that so many of my fellow citizens of the land of my birth are really tha f*cking stupid. 

He did accomplish his goal though. If you follow the link over to the Esquire piece you will see the hoards of really useless and stupid people commenting in a variety of useless and stupid ways. As Charles Pierce would say, "These people really are mole people".  For a minute there, I thought I had clicked the wrong link and had actually stumbled onto the useless idiots who write at The Federalist.

(When it comes to an overall level of douchbaggery, the folks at The Federalist are hard to beat. They take the conservative culture of victimhood to a whole new level. They, support Scott Walker after all-which is essentially the same as supporting Satan himself).

But the simple truth is that it gets worse. One cannot have a dissenting viewpoint anymore-and you can be certain that no one , even if they disagree with you will talk about the specifics of an issue. If there is one legacy of Fox News and its tenure during the 21st Century, that is it.  You are not even allowed to get angry at them any more-although the President did try:

 

 

 

The President had the correct response to Major Garrett. "That's nonsense and you should know better!"

One reason I have not been writing as much as I used to, is my overall level of disgust at my fellow citizens who should know better, but throw themselves willy nilly into the lanes of stupidity. It's barely been 48 hours since the horrific events in Chattanooga, and the swill that passes for commentary on the internet is , to put it honestly, appalling. I lalready showed you some from the Town Hall Harlot, but actually if you peruse either Facebook or Twitter, its even worse. The level of ignorance and stupidity in the land of my birth is appalling. Digby provides some really bad examples for all the rest of us to see.

 

 

 

As Digby points out, "Sadly, that thinking represents a majority of the Republican Party."

And indeed it does. She then goes on to point out an annoying little fact that bears repeating just like Pierce did:

If we were to compare our most recent mass murders (we have so many) and the reactions to them, ask yourself whether or not anyone was clamoring to punish Dylan Roof's family. Or round up all the white supremacists and put them in jail. No, there was a clamoring among some Americans to pull down the confederate flag from official buildings. And it's astonishing, when you think about it, that such a flag was even flying or that people were defending it — the same people, no doubt, who are clamoring for this family to be deported (or worse.) 





I noticed that while we don't know at this point the motives of the Chattanooga shooter, it's crystal clear what Dylan Roof's were — to start a race war. And yet the media is having no trouble calling Chattanooga suspected terrorism. The head of the FBI says he's just not sure about Dylan Roof. It seems too obvious now, if it didn't before, that the term is only applied to Muslims. 





Charlie Pierce has it right — this is about America and our love affair with violence.   I had been under the impression that the right had made its peace with that as the price we pay for the freedom to be armed to the teeth at all times.  But that's not true.  They are very philosophical about the consequence of violence when it's perpetrated by white people, to be sure. It's just a fact of life like summer storms and earthquakes.  But they get very, very angry when a racial or ethnic minority does it. There's some sick white privilege for you.

 

 

This is your democracy America. Enjoy it while you still can.

6 responses so far

Mar 19 2015

The madness is spreading…….

I was a Republican for  a very long time. Over 26 years to be exact. But the party I supported was the party that tried to actually improve the lot of average Americans in many ways. The Republican Party used to be a center-right party, conservative but mainstream. Now it's the home of extreme views. The Republican party used to care about the environment, it favored universal healthcare. A mandate to buy insurance was a Republican idea. Even Richard Nixon-no galloping liberal he, understood the need to fix the American system, and he certainly would never have dared gutting Medicare the way that the Zombie Eyed Granny Starver wants to. And even on taxes-the party was not insane. Under the old Republican philosophy, the purpose of taxation is to raise the revenues needed by the government. They believed, in theory, that the government shouldn’t spend money it didn’t have, so sufficient revenues were needed.

But now? All the men of stature and maturity have been driven out of the party or have died,  and what is left, is a group of spoiled children egged on by an increasingly overweight, selfish, and ignorant electorate, kept ignorant by a self serving bubble of its own truths and making up its own versions of the universe.

If you don't think so-you might want to check this out before speaking.  The party I knew is dead-killed by deranged crazy people.


We marvel today at the utter blind stupidity with which the European powers stumbled into a cataclysm. Centuries from now, historians, probably working on houseboats floating above what used to be Delaware, are going to look back at this period in our history and wonder how we tolerated a political party gone so completely mad, much less how we continued to empower it, election after election. They are going to marvel at how all the institutions designed to check the spread of the madness refused to look at it and call it what it is. These people are going to think American democracy was some sort of weird contagion that overcame the country, like ergot infecting the nation's wheatfields. They're going to believe we all just went crazy and ate ourselves.

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May 29 2014

Stupidity on Parade

Some things just set me off. Today was a day where I came across something quite innocently posted by someone on the old Facebook page, that when one reads it, you just have to shake your head in disgust.

Over at The Federalist, a slick conservative blog for the learning impaired, a writer named Bethany Mandel really showed her stupid chops today when she got her panties in a bunch over this Google header:(click to view properly)

CarsonGoogleDoodle-998x698

Seems it really bothers her that Google would honor a woman whose book was a landmark publication at the time, created a lot of discussion and controversy, and played a key role in our understanding of the consequences of not paying attention to our environment. Somehow, that really seems to bother her.

Those who decry life-saving anti-mosquito chemicals like DDT are the kinds of progressives who call conservatives anti-science and heartless. They do so while withholding environmentally safe chemicals from saving the lives of children in the developing world. Rachel Carson and her present-day admirers throw nets at those at risk of malaria and other mosquito-borne illnesses. There are charities that give them out like candy.

 

Next year, when Google’s doodle team thinks about what or who to honor, I invite them to spend a few nights under a suffocating net in tropical and scenic Cambodia. Experience the true legacy of Rachel Carson. After throwing off the net at 2 a.m. in order to breathe, I invite them to spend days or weeks ravaged by fever in Kantha Bopha Hospital in a non-air conditioned room with 60 other families. 

 

And here is the kicker-she has the gall to blame Carson for a setback that befell her-and blames it all on what Rachel Carson supposedly set into motion. After all she has a report from…….wait for it……..The Heritage Foundation to prove it. Like they are an honest broker.

Ms Mandel fashions Rachel Carson as some sort of genocidal murderer. There is just one problem with that conclusion and its typical of websites like The Federalist and morons like those who write for the Liars Club, it is not true. 

Not… one ….bit.

But never let the facts get in the way of a good wingnut tirade shall we

Google has really angered the Wingnuttospere this week. First off, on Monday, the search engine failed to put up a special doodle for Memorial Day, because Google Hates America — actually, the page did mark the day with an American flag and yellow ribbon icon, but they were too small and didn’t go up at midnight like they should have, but later in the day.* Then Tuesday, Google drew the wrath of all nine fulltime staffers of Twitchy by honoring Rachel Carson on what would have been her 107th birthday. This tribute to a known environmentalist sparked a Twitch-Fit, because of course by writing Silent Spring, a book that eventually led to the banning of DDT, Rachel Carson personally murdered millions:

 

Wingnuts love to distort history in any way, shape or form, so long as it makes them come out looking like the victim. Especially when the deeply disturbed people tending Breitbart's mausoleum are on the case.

Funny thing is Rachel Carson died two years after her book came out-and was never in government. How that somehow turns her into the Joseph Mengle of the 1960's is beyond me. Especially when you look at what she really believed:

Rachel Carson, who stoically weathered misinformation campaigns against her before her death from breast cancer in 1964, would find the current situation all-too predictable. As she said once in a speech after the release of Silent Spring, many people who have not read the book nonetheless “disapprove of it heartily.”

 

Rachel Carson never called for the banning of pesticides. She made this clear in every public pronouncement, repeated it in an hourlong television documentary about Silent Spring, and even testified to that effect before the U.S. Senate. Carson never denied that there were beneficial uses of pesticides, notably in combatting human diseases transmitted by insects, where she said they had not only been proven effective but were morally “necessary.”

 

“It is not my contention,” Carson wrote in Silent Spring, “that chemical insecticides must never be used. I do contend that we have put poisonous and biologically potent chemicals indiscriminately into the hands of persons largely or wholly ignorant of their potentials for harm. We have subjected enormous numbers of people to contact with these poisons, without their consent and often without their knowledge.”

 

Many agreed. Editorializing shortly after The New Yorker articles appeared, theNew York Times wrote that Carson had struck the right balance: “Miss Carson does not argue that chemical pesticides must never be used,” the Times said, “but she warns of the dangers of misuse and overuse by a public that has become mesmerized by the notion that chemists are the possessors of divine wisdom and that nothing but benefits can emerge from their test tubes.”

 

Carson did not seek to end the use of pesticides—only their heedless overuse at a time when it was all but impossible to escape exposure to them. Aerial insecticide spraying campaigns over forests, cities, and suburbs; the routine application of insecticides to crops by farmers at concentrations far above what was considered “safe;” and the residential use of insecticides in everything from shelf paper to aerosol “bombs” had contaminated the landscape in exactly the same manner as the fallout from the then-pervasive testing of nuclear weapons—a connection Carson made explicit in Silent Spring.

 

Furthermore-a lot of scientific evidence backed up her contentions. Kind of like the debate about climate change today, there is a dedicated body of folks, like the writers at The Federalist, who seem content to just spew out garbage and hope no one calls them on it. My hope in this post is to call them the contemptible liars they are. For example, I am at a loss to understand why Carson is somehow to blame for the deaths of children when she herself is gone and DDT is not banned. Seems Ms Mandel missed that little detail:

At one level, these articles send a comforting message to the developed world: Saving African children is easy. We don’t need to build large aid programs or fund major health initiatives, let alone develop Third World infrastructure or think about larger issues of fairness. No, to save African lives from malaria, we just need to put our wallets away and work to stop the evil environmentalists.

Unfortunately, it’s not so easy.

For one thing, there is no global DDT ban. DDT is indeed banned in the U.S., but malaria isn’t exactly a pressing issue here. If it ever were, the ban contains an exception for matters of public health. Meanwhile, it’s perfectly legal—and indeed, used—in many other countries: 10 out of the 17 African nations that currently conduct indoor spraying use DDT (New York Times, 9/16/06).

DDT use has decreased enormously, but not because of a ban. The real reason is simple, although not one conservatives are particularly fond of: evolution. Mosquito populations rapidly develop resistance to DDT, creating enzymes to detoxify it, modifying their nervous systems to avoid its effects, and avoiding areas where DDT is sprayed — and recent research finds that that resistance continues to spread even after DDT spraying has stopped, lowering the effectiveness not only of DDT but also other pesticides.(Current Biology, 8/9/05).

And even if you do agree with Ms Mandel ( and you are a moron if you do), the book was still a landmark incident of the 60's and worthy of historic recognition. Somehow Ms. Mandel seems to ignore that. Probably because, writing inside the wingnut echo chamber, perspective and context are things that easily get lost. Certainly it works out well for her. She gets to publish inaccurate precepts, her readership is generally too stupid to know better, and so in turn they spread it around to all their right thinking friends.

This is why we can't have nice things. 

She marking them begins a wailing note And sings extemporally a woeful ditty How love makes young men thrall and old men dote How love is wise in folly, foolish-witty Her heavy anthem still concludes in woe, And still the choir of echoes answer so. (William Shakespeare)

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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.

 

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Dec 11 2013

The Zombie Eyed Granny Starver, hard at work

Yesterday afternoon, the Devil's apprentice himself, Paul Ryan ( Worthless Cocksucker-WI) and his Democratic counterpart Mrs Landingham (H/t to Charles Pierce for the term) announced they had reached a budget deal.

Some deal. Rather than go for the straightforward approach of repealing the rest of the Bush tax cuts and lifting the cap on Social Security ( and let me make this abundantly clear for the all the deficit scolds out there, worthless people that you too are, Social Security does not contribute to the deficit and its time you stupid people stopped saying that.)

Instead we get this bit of trickery designed to fuck a whole lot of us at the drive through:

In a move expected to save $6 billion, the Bipartisan Budget Act announced Tuesday by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., calls for reducing annual cost-of-living adjustments for military retirees under the age of 62. Working-age military retirees would receive an annual pay adjustment that is 1 percentage point less than the rise in consumer prices. For example, the 1.7 percent COLA that took effect on Dec. 1 and will first appear in January checks would be just 0.7 percent for military retirees under age 62 but still be 1.7 percent for older retirees if the proposal were now in effect. The COLA reduction would be phased in three years. The December 2014 COLA would be reduced by 0.25 percent, the December 2015 COLA would be reduced by 0.5 percent and the full reduction would take effect with the December 2016 COLA. Disability retirees would not have their COLAs reduced. The plan could come to a vote in the House this week and, if it passes, be taken up by the Senate next week. The budget plan also saves $6 billion from changes in federal civilian retirement.

As Charles Pierce pointed out, once again the GOP gets to fuck over hard working people and steal,  while the Democrats simply can pat themselves on the back for politely letting them do it.

Apparently, the nation once again avoided a Grand Bargain by the skin of its teeth, but what makes me nervous is the fact that, at the press conference, the ZEGS spent most of his time celebrating what his side had gained out of the deal, while Mrs. Landingham spent most of her time celebrating the fact of the deal, and stressing that The American People would be glad to see both sides working together.

This is how the scale generally gets loaded in Washington — Republicans get enough of what they want so as to rest up for the next big grab while the Democrats throw themselves a parade to honor how mature and grown-up they are. For them, the deal is an end in itself. For the Republicans, it is a means to an end. The fight gets fixed that way. For all the huzzahs, you can hardly hear the cries of the people who are being sold down the river.

I am one of those people being sold down the river-and just reiterates for me why the Zombie Eyed Granny Starver has to go. If you have been reading here for a while you know that I have no sympathy for Paul Ryan, wishing fervently that he would drop dead in the early morning DC weather. There to be run over by a passing bus in his last brief moments of consciousness. And that would not even begin to repay him for the evil he conspires to do.

And take a look at the sleazy way this evil man tries to justify his thievery:

"We think it is only fair that hard-working taxpayers, who pay for the benefits that our federal employees receive, be treated fairly as well. We also think it is important that military families, as well as nonmilitary families are treated equally and fairly," he said.

Got that boys and girls? It's a back handed insult at federal employees and military retirees, as he implies that they don't work hard and have not earned their benefits. ( As opposed to say, greedy corporate CEO's) Not to mention its a double whammy for them since they have not had a pay raise since 2009 AND a lot are already contributing 15% of their salaries (same amount I have contributed since I left the military)  to our retirement accounts just to match the amount I would have been contributing were I still with my civilian corporation job. ( This due to the differences in how salaries are computed).

The Military coalition should be screaming bloody murder about this. So should a lot of other organizations. But they won't. It's for the children!

There are a whole bunch of other goodies tucked into this bill-many of them bad ideas that started not with politicians, but with budget hacks inside DOD. Who keep whining about treating people decently. And lets not even mention the abomination in the Defense bill that strips Convening Authorities of their authority to act in court martials. I'll have more on that tomorrow.

 There is a special place in hell reserved for you, Ryan,  and the rest of the herd. Please be speedily on your way.

6 responses so far

Dec 09 2013

“My country is a horror show.”

David Simon, speaking at a forum in Sydney Australia gave a very perceptive rundown about what ails the land of my birth. He points out very eloquently a theme that the Pope and others have been highlighting recently, namely that income inequality is dangerous  and if we don't do something about it, we are risking the very nation we claim to love.

You can read the entire thing here-and you should. I want to copy it and stick it in the face of every person who whines about how "socialist" the country is. As I have said before-they don't even know what the word means.

America is a country that is now utterly divided when it comes to its society, its economy, its politics. There are definitely two Americas. I live in one, on one block in Baltimore that is part of the viable America, the America that is connected to its own economy, where there is a plausible future for the people born into it. About 20 blocks away is another America entirely. It's astonishing how little we have to do with each other, and yet we are living in such proximity.

There's no barbed wire around West Baltimore or around East Baltimore, around Pimlico, the areas in my city that have been utterly divorced from the American experience that I know. But there might as well be. We've somehow managed to march on to two separate futures and I think you're seeing this more and more in the west. I don't think it's unique to America.

I think we've perfected a lot of the tragedy and we're getting there faster than a lot of other places that may be a little more reasoned, but my dangerous idea kind of involves this fellow who got left by the wayside in the 20th century and seemed to be almost the butt end of the joke of the 20th century; a fellow named Karl Marx.

I'm not a Marxist in the sense that I don't think Marxism has a very specific clinical answer to what ails us economically. I think Marx was a much better diagnostician than he was a clinician. He was good at figuring out what was wrong or what could be wrong with capitalism if it wasn't attended to and much less credible when it comes to how you might solve that.

You know if you've read Capital or if you've got the Cliff Notes, you know that his imaginings of how classical Marxism – of how his logic would work when applied – kind of devolve into such nonsense as the withering away of the state and platitudes like that. But he was really sharp about what goes wrong when capital wins unequivocally, when it gets everything it asks for.

That may be the ultimate tragedy of capitalism in our time, that it has achieved its dominance without regard to a social compact, without being connected to any other metric for human progress.

Mr Simon is writing about his astonishment that there are those who take utterly reprehensible ideas about abandoning the social compact and the original ideas of America as a commonwealth, in favor of a philosophy of out right selfish behavior.

That may be the ultimate tragedy of capitalism in our time, that it has achieved its dominance without regard to a social compact, without being connected to any other metric for human progress.

We understand profit. In my country we measure things by profit. We listen to the Wall Street analysts. They tell us what we're supposed to do every quarter. The quarterly report is God. Turn to face God. Turn to face Mecca, you know. Did you make your number? Did you not make your number? Do you want your bonus? Do you not want your bonus?

And that notion that capital is the metric, that profit is the metric by which we're going to measure the health of our society is one of the fundamental mistakes of the last 30 years. I would date it in my country to about 1980 exactly, and it has triumphed.

Capitalism stomped the hell out of Marxism by the end of the 20th century and was predominant in all respects, but the great irony of it is that the only thing that actually works is not ideological, it is impure, has elements of both arguments and never actually achieves any kind of partisan or philosophical perfection.

It's pragmatic, it includes the best aspects of socialistic thought and of free-market capitalism and it works because we don't let it work entirely. And that's a hard idea to think – that there isn't one single silver bullet that gets us out of the mess we've dug for ourselves. But man, we've dug a mess.

This is RMoney's 47% argument well refuted. But thanks to the Zombie Eyed Granny Starver and his buddies, the bad idea lives on and on.

And so in my country you're seeing a horror show. You're seeing a retrenchment in terms of family income, you're seeing the abandonment of basic services, such as public education, functional public education. You're seeing the underclass hunted through an alleged war on dangerous drugs that is in fact merely a war on the poor and has turned us into the most incarcerative state in the history of mankind, in terms of the sheer numbers of people we've put in American prisons and the percentage of Americans we put into prisons. No other country on the face of the Earth jails people at the number and rate that we are.

We have become something other than what we claim for the American dream and all because of our inability to basically share, to even contemplate a socialist impulse.

Socialism is a dirty word in my country. I have to give that disclaimer at the beginning of every speech, "Oh by the way I'm not a Marxist you know". I lived through the 20th century. I don't believe that a state-run economy can be as viable as market capitalism in producing mass wealth. I don't.

I'm utterly committed to the idea that capitalism has to be the way we generate mass wealth in the coming century. That argument's over. But the idea that it's not going to be married to a social compact, that how you distribute the benefits of capitalism isn't going to include everyone in the society to a reasonable extent, that's astonishing to me.

And so capitalism is about to seize defeat from the jaws of victory all by its own hand. That's the astonishing end of this story, unless we reverse course. Unless we take into consideration, if not the remedies of Marx then the diagnosis, because he saw what would happen if capital triumphed unequivocally, if it got everything it wanted.

As I said, the whole article is worth a read.

8 responses so far

Nov 27 2013

The Pope gets it.

I'm liking Pope Francis more and more each day. He is doing what Pope Palpatine did not, and for that matter what Saint John Paul II seemed unable to do either when he was Pope. Namely highlighting the societal trends that at odds with church teachings-and using the bully pulpit ( and the real pulpit in many locations) to stand up and say things that need to be said:

“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” he wrote. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”

He is coming straight out and saying it. Un-regulated capitalism kills. The key word there being "un-regulated". Obviously western societies need to be capitalistic. But the excesses that started under the reign of Reagan and carried onward till a group of self appointed banker "masters of the universe" nearly destroyed the global financial system has gone too far. Even worse in my view, is the completely selfish viewpoint of so many Americans who rather than speak of it in polite double talk, boldly come out and defend the actions of a few who are screwing over literally millions of their fellow citizens. They speak in glowing terms in defense of attitudes that can only be described charitably as manifestly evil. Cue Romney and his 47% nonsense. The selfish pigs who like Sarah Palin make their living spouting this nonsense.

Now the Pope is caling them out as the selfish pigs they are. If Francis can keep talking this way, he can bring me back to closer ties with the church. Especially if he would finally stop the whole birth control nonsense. Of course nothing will ever change the church's position on abortion which is also discussed in the same document and is as Charles Pierce points out :"the ideas on abortion in the same document are tough and ought not to be enshrined in law." But this is an important step for Pope Francis and Pierce goes on to lay out why:

"Trickle-down." The SOB actually used the phrase? In an official document? Classic. Faith in markets has "never been confirmed by facts"? Okay, right off the top, any time this guy wants space on the blog, it's his. I keep waiting for him to give me the Latin for "zombie-eyed granny starver."

 

"Crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power"? Neil Cavuto just had a stroke.

 

I know, I know. St. James. "Faith without works" and all. (And the ideas on abortion in the same document are tough and ought not to be enshrined in law.)  But one thing to remember is that the Church is still producing seminarians, and the new ones are going to be trained in obedience to this guy's ideas. That was how we wound up with a great generation of progressive priests during and after Vatican II. The problem came when John Paul II, a theological reactionary, got elected and spent more than two decades rolling back the achievements of those priests, particularly in the oligarchical tyrannies of places like Central America. Popes can transform the Church without noisily transforming its doctrines. We can hope (and pray, if you're so inclined) that historical precedent is not ironclad.That may not seem like much, all things considered, but I hope Paul Ryan, good Catholic boy, has made his nine First Fridays because this is a papacy with his name on it.

Good job Francis!



 

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Oct 15 2013

And people wonder why they hate them.

You can thank my worthless excuse for a Representative, the not so honorable Mo Brooks, for this lovely bit of stock advice:

 

Please go die in a fire.

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Oct 11 2013

I’m tired of hearing about the children……

In this debt fight nonsense, the deficit scolds continue to say "its for the children". Whenever I hear that what I want to reply is something profane-and with good reason. The children lose no matter what, if the cruel and inhumane policy prescriptions are carried out. What the arrogant and pompous preachers of the deficit really want is a way to back out of the contract. Basically, the talk of children and their needs is just a smoke screen to hide a more sinister emotion, " I got mine, so fuck off!"

I wrote a year and a half ago why this a flawed viewpoint. I think it bears repeating now:

 

So its about the children, eh?

Also known as-Why Mark Steyn sucks.
 
Phib presumes to lecture me on what issues are really about-sadly I missed most of his lecture because I was having a good time over the weekend-sightseeing and practicing not procreative sex with the S.O. In a recent post, he asserted that he was tired of discussing:
 
This totally contrived non-controversy has almost left me looking to either retreat to my country acreage to wait out the rioting of the unworthy, or join James Cameron in the undying lands to watch to new Dark Age take hold.

 

The fact that some are trying to bring this non-issue up at this time in our republic makes me feel at times that this nation is not worthy of the generations of sacrifice that brought us here … but that is crazy talk. This nation has gone through worse, and in the end all will be well.

 
The issue is not putting a sheep's bladder on your John Thomas; it is what legacy we leave to our children. This is an economic crisis we cannot fix with a peace treaty or a post-war boom; no, nothing that simple – but we need to fix it sooner more than later.
 
Well, jolly good and dandy-it’s for the children is it? Well, on that you are right-but it’s also about telling those same children the correct story-not just the parts that suit your narrative. I’ve got some suggestions about some things you might want to tell your children to warm their hearts as they struggle to keep their heads above water in the multi-polar world you are going to bequeath them, but I’ll do that at the end of this post. One should leave with the things that need to be remembered.
 
And something that is not worthy of any brain memory space are the silly words of that pompous twit, Mark Steyn.  Not the master-as Phib would present him-but just another worthless piece of Fox News paid excrement. Quoting another worthless piece of excrement-Paul Ryan, Mark Steyn has the balls to assert that the discussion about demanding that all employers provde a standard level of preventative care, is somehow a clever ruse to divert public attention away from the President’s recently released budget. ( As a matter of policy here at Far East Cynic HQ-we do not link to idiots, thus you will have to Google what I am about to quote to you). 
 
This is a very curious priority for a dying republic. “Birth control” is accessible, indeed ubiquitous, and, by comparison with anything from a gallon of gas to basic cable,one of the cheapest expenses in the average budget. Not even Rick Santorum, that notorious scourge of the sexually liberated, wishes to restrain the individual right to contraception.
But where is the compelling societal interest in the state prioritizing and subsidizing it? Especially when you’re already the Brokest Nation in History. Elsewhere around the developed world, prudent politicians are advocating natalist policies designed to restock their empty maternity wards. A few years ago, announcing tax incentives for three-child families, Peter Costello, formerly Timmy Geithner’s counterpart Down Under, put it this way: “Have one for Mum, one for Dad, and one for Australia.” But in America an oblivious political class, led by a president who characterizes young motherhood as a “punishment,” prefers to offer solutions to problems that don’t exist rather than the ones that are all too real. I think this is what they call handing out condoms on the Titanic.
 
Statements like these are why Steyn needs to be held down and have his smirk and beard dry shaved off of him. Besides the fact that the prophylactics are not under discussion here-a clever dodge by many of Phib’s commenters to not discuss the real issue-the standardization of services provided by insurers, something they solved a long time ago here in Europe. The services that Steyn and others say “just pay for it yourself” can actually be rather expensive: contraceptive services and related counseling, a number of related preventive health services such as: patient education and counseling; breast and pelvic examinations; breast and cervical cancer screening according to nationally recognized standards of care; sexually transmitted disease (STD) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevention education, counseling, testing and referral; and pregnancy diagnosis and counseling. Some of those items can run up a fairly healthy bill-more than just the cost of a box of condoms. Not a great deal for a wealthy man like Steyn-but some 800-1800(cost of screenings and prescriptions) a year in prescription costs can be a lot for someone making less than 25K a year. And what’s more –it’s clear that GOP candidates want to expand what the definition of contraceptive services means, if the “testimony” of that well known douchebag Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has any bearing:
 

Rick Santorum opposes all mandated coverage without co-pays. Rick Santorum is linking mandated coverage to abortion because it’s politically beneficial to him to do so. It doesn’t matter if the mandated coverage without co-pays is screening for gestational diabetes or amniocentesis, so this is (of course) not about abortion because screening for gestational diabetes without a co-pay (for example) has nothing to do with abortion, and Santorum opposes that, too. I know that because that’s what he said.
There’s really no reason to discuss amniocentesis specifically, other than the fact that media swallowed Santorum’s carefully calculated and misleading framing whole and thus discussed only what he wants to discuss. How about this headline: Rick Santorum is protecting large employers and health insurance companies, and he’s using disabled children to do that. The conservative opposition to mandated coverage in insurance policies is about opposing federal regulation of health insurance companies and large employers, not abortion, because conservatives oppose all mandated coverage without co-pays. All of the rest of this over-heated nonsense is misdirection. No one ever asked the religious leaders what other sections of the health care law that apply to large employers they opposed, and that’s a shame, because that would have been a very good question.
 
But then again-misdirection and avoidance of telling the entire story are Steyn’s trademark.  Steyn writes with "a shrill, mocking tone of moral certainty that consigns those who disagree with him to the status of appeasers or even terrorists; and a willingness to distort, misrepresent, and omit facts in order to advance his argument." One should expect nothing more from the man and his column linking the controversy over coverage to the deficit proves it yet again.
 
Which brings us back to the children. When you sit them down and tell then the story of the decline of a once great nation that failed to live up to its potential-make sure you tell them all the facts. Don’t leave out the important ones like pompous moral zealots like Steyn do. Make sure you tell them about the fact that:
 
The great majority of the debt that you so love to rail about-was racked up by a combination of spending on wars that we could not afford, and should probably have never gotten involved in, in the first place. And then tell them that –even for ones that were brought upon us, we failed to mobilize all of our potential strength and power to fulfill the first obligation to win quickly and decisively-because a presidential appointee wanted to prove some outdated theories on “transformation”. The other part was hinged on tax cuts that never should have been made.
 
And then tell ‘em that the President that appointed that same Secretary of Defense, refused to raise the necessary revenue to fund these wars. And decided to double down on not funding those wars when-as many critics had predicted-energy costs rose and impacted growth rates across the world and within the United States.
 
Tell them that in the end-both countries we went in to “save”-were hopeless basket cases, primarily because of the failings of the citizens of those countries. We, however, refused to pin any of the blame on those same tribally motivated people-even when it was clear that we could stay for 2 or 20 years and nothing would change. But we were able to send their aunts and uncles to die in the dusty corners of the far reaches of the American empire.
 
Then tell them tell them that the government-their government, pushed a policy of tax cuts for the richest one percent combined with a systematic dismantling of the regulations that were in place to prevent those same one percent from bringing down the house through unbridled greed.  Tell them that the lure of easy profits distracted the banking industry from its core mission: providing an efficient payments mechanism and assessing and managing risk. That instead of focusing on lending to small businesses and creating jobs-they concentrated on creating increasingly risky securities all so they could reap huge bonuses and transaction fees.  Don’t treat them to tired old explanations about the Community Reinvestment Act and Fannie and Freddie-without first pointing out that these criticisms are sheer nonsense. They had nothing to do with the 200 billion dollar bailout of AIG-which was based solely on derivatives, nor did Fannie or Freddie have anything to do with the massive overinvestment in commercial real estate.
 
Tell them about the money the banks were supposed to have used to restart credit. But didn’t.
 
Remind them that the so called “productive class” became so obsessed with short term returns-on which their bonuses and pay were based- that they engaged in repeated and reckless accounting gimmicks-that hid the truth.
 
Tell your children that because of your devotion to American Exceptionalism-they remain just one major illness or job loss away from bankruptcy and poverty ( assuming they aren’t there already)-that in the first decade of the 21st century, when faced with a clear moral and economic incentive to reform the healthcare system and in the end drive down the overall cost of a major driver of the government expenditures you love to lecture them about. Tell them that the rest of the advanced world solved this problem during the 80’s and 90’s offering the US some good ideas to pick and choose from-these countries providing equal or better care than the US,  but spending less than the US does-your country turned its back on literally millions of its fellow citizens in the name of “freedom”.
 
When you tell them the story of Greece-make sure you highlight the role the major banks and funds played in 2010 assaulting the Greek economy when they sold Greek bonds short. Be sure and tell them that the austerity doctrine that you and other “conservative” economic theorists pushed on them –simply created a death spiral that never increased aggregate demand. The banks and funds who demanded all this never got hurt-but the average middle class or lower Greek paid a terrible price. Tell them about the inherent Greek laziness-never too early to have them remember American superiority. But when you do-be sure to point out that the “people” who don’t pay taxes in Greece are mostly big corporations and professionals who can afford to hire people to help them evade taxes. ( Kind of like the GOP wants it to be over here). Remind them that banks got away with it and that linkage of the world economy made a default by Greece a nonstarter from the word go.
 
Tell them too-that companies that could well afford to invest in their companies failed to do so-but instead sold literally thousands of their workers down the river, to make a huge profit for one person. ( Insert well known CEO of a major corporation walking out on pension obligations).
 
Remind them that the banks pulled off one of the biggest frauds in history-but not one banker went to jail for it. Tell them too of the unbridled commodity speculation in 2008 –that literally starved people to death-but made a lot of people rich.
 
And then finally, tell them the God’s honest truth, that their country-a once great nation that still has great potential-frittered away the first decade of the 21st century by failing to recognize the changes that had taken place in the world. And in failing to adapt to those changes-it brought itself to the point where it failed at home and abroad. And in the end it had no one to blame but itself-because it let itself be seduced by an illusion: that things would stay the way they were some 30 years ago, because we were a great power.  We could have still been a great power had we made the necessary changes to fix our society and balance our budgets-but we were too easily fooled by our corporate masters, who were more than willing to write off some 90% of the American population to make sure they were comfortable.
 
Just like the Chinese.
 
 
 
 

18 responses so far

Oct 02 2013

What he said.

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).

 

The President summed up the issues at play in this shutdown pretty well yesterday. Its worth listening to his entire speech, not just the condensed or ignored version that would be shown at Fox Noise. (BTW I found it interesting that Fox was more concerned with showing Netanyahu's UN address than anything else-and they have taken their marching orders from Jim DeMint and referred to the shutdown as just a "slow down".)

 

 

 

He needs to talk this bluntly a lot more. 

“At midnight last night, for the first time in 17 years, the Republicans in Congress chose to shut down the Federal Government. Let me be more specific: One FACTION of one PARTY in one HOUSE of Congress in one branch of government shut down the government. All because they didn’t like ONE law.”

“The Republican shutdown did not have to happen, but I want everyone to understand why it did happen. The republicans in Congress refused to fund the government unless we defundedor dismantled the Affordable Care Act. They’ve shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. In other words, they’ve demanded ransom just to do their jobs…They don’t get to hold the entire economy hostage over ideological demands”…

This shutdown isn’t about spending, or deficits or budgets. After all, our deficits are falling at the fastest pace in 50 years. We’ve cut them in HALF since I took office. In fact, many of the demands the Republicans are now making would RAISE our deficit. So this shutdown isn’t about deficits or spending. It’s all about rolling back the Affordable Care Act…this, more than anything else, seems to be all the Republican party seems to stand for these days. It’s strange that one party would make keeping people uninsured the centerpiece of their agenda. But that is what it is.”…..

If you buy a car, and you don’t pay your car note, you don’t save money by not paying your car note. You’re just a deadbeat. If you buy a house, you don’t save any money by not authorizing yourself to pay the mortgage. You’re just going to get foreclosed on your home. That’s what this is about. This is routine. This is what they’re supposed to do as a routine matter.”

“Congress has to stop governing by crisis. They have to break this habit. It is a drag on the economy. It is not worthy of this country.

 

This is why, I have no time for people like this-who pontificate repeatedly about how "polite" conservatives are compared to progressives. For one thing its not true. The documentary evidence of the coarseness of the denizens of Earl Grey ville is on the record-and has been ever since this bunch of selfish folks and their manufactured outrage showed up on the scene. They have played havoc with the United States, and I am NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ANGRY ABOUT IT?

Spare me your condecension! You  have no right to it.

I'm sorry. Putting a gun to someone's head and threatening to kill them unless you do exactly what they say, does not exactly qualify as a "polite" thing to do.

To be sure, what the robber demanded of me – my money – was my own; and I had a clear right to keep it; but it was no more my own than my vote is my own; and the threat of death to me, to extort my money, and the threat of destruction to the Union, to extort my vote, can scarcely be distinguished in principle….

Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored – contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong…

Fuck you, pay me.

No responses yet

Sep 30 2013

The trouble with mitigation

Henry Hill: [voice over] Now he's got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with a bill, to Paulie. Trouble with cops, deliveries, Tommy, he calls Paulie. But now he has to pay Paulie every week no matter what. "Business bad? Fuck you, pay me. Oh, had a fire? Fuck you, pay me. The place got hit by lightning? Fuck you, pay me."

 

So tomorrow morning-if all goes as I expect it to. I will go into work, put my files in order, write a snarky "out of office" e-mail message, bemoaning the inability of Congress to do its Constitutionally appointed duty and passing along my sincere hope that every Republican member of Congress dies tomorrow night in a fire- and then I will shut down my computers, lock my files in the safe and head out the door to my car. And thus will begin the long lonely countdown to see if I can my next month's rent-and the house payment on the house in Shopping Mall.

No one, even the worst hater of Obama,  should be rooting for a government shutdown. And yet- I have read some pretty messed up people advocating exactly that. "Shut the damn thing down for year!". These morons actually believe that a government shutdown would not affect them at all. I weep when I think that some of the stupid people saying this, also wear the ring. They may wear the ring all right-but they long ago forgot what it stood for, or the real basis for the concept of the "citizen soldier". These people make me ashamed sometimes to be an American and a graduate of my alma mater. Notice I said sometimes-before anyone lays into me. My alma mater has also produced many fine men-but some folks do lose their way.

I wonder if some of that blase' ignorance is caused by the fact that we do during shutdowns what we always do. We muddle through it. Consider this, all you nay sayers. Hard working men like Maurice will go to work tomorrow-with no guarantee of getting paid back for his work, because what he does is necessary to the safety of his community. He does not agree with me in the least about the administration-but he will still get screwed by the shutdown.  The place I work at will have a military population doing twice the work it normally does. That will be repeated over 100's of locations.

Now to me-these things kind of miss the point. These mitigations allow shutdowns to happen. I keep thinking to myself, "Why not do the damn thing right? Have the government shutdown for real-all of it."

Air traffic would have to stop for lack of air traffic controllers.

Store shelves would rapidly become empty for lack of deliveries-or lack of safe products on its shelves.

Navy ships should just steam to the nearest port-and go cold iron.

Declare it open season for Mexicans to come streaming into Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California-because the border patrol would not be on duty.

Watch the markets freeze up because of lack of federal funds. Or better yet, watch creditor nations  sell just a small proportion of their American assets, they could send Wall Street into a tailspin, with unpleasant implications for the net worth of many Republicans and Democrats.

Watch literally thousands of Americans die on highways, and other venues for lack of safety inspections. If it went on long enough-some folks would die from tainted food.

Deny any guards at any government facility. Just leave the gates open and walk away. Open house for terrorists! 

And lots lots more.

Now that would be a shutdown. It might actually put the fear of God in both Congress and the hapless tea party dimwits who encourage this kind of irresponsibility. I think it would ensure that any shutdown would be short.

"You are talking nonsense!", you say. Sure I am-but its no more or less nonsensical than the idea that a small group of privileged Americans get to hold the country hostage. These assholes think they have nothing to lose.  Thanks to Republican legislatures back home they all have gerrymandered districts that protect them from any Democratic challenges.

And,  I might add, some dedicated Federal workers- who contrary to the popular caricature of them as lazy moochers-have a strong sense of duty.

What we have in America when Congress screws the pooch tonight is not an immediate Armageddon.  Rather its more like a slow stiffening of our country's body with rigor mortis. The country is dying all right-but instead of blowing up in an instant it just dies slowly.

Which gives the terrorists in Congress more time to play with matches in a dynamite magazine.

“Shut down” doesn’t really capture the impact of what’s more like a spending freeze that will gradually spread through the government like ice forming in water. That means its effects may creep up on citizens who don’t interact with the bureaucracy daily. Initially, a shutdown will be little more than a symbol of US dysfunction, but each passing day will make its economic impact more tangible, especially if prolonged squabbling spooks consumer and business confidence.

The shutdown is essentially a legal problem: Republicans in Congress refused to endorse a spending bill unless it delayed the Affordable Care Act, the law delivering health insurance to poorer Americans, which starts to take effect on Oct. 1. Now, when the new fiscal year starts, government officials won’t have the authority to spend new money.

The government doesn’t shut down “essential” services that protect life or would be more costly to suspend than keep going. That means soldiers stay on duty (though their pay is delayed) and nuclear reactors stay open, but most financial regulators  and trade negotiators are sent home without pay. Medicare and Social Security will keep paying out, since they are paid for out of trust funds, though the checks may be late arriving. Many departments and contracts will be able to continue using money that is already appropriated before that, too runs out.

The longest shutdown was 21 days. I have reason to think that this one may be longer. Because we have never had a Congress this full of lunatics before. I hope I am wrong.

You can call this a lot of things, but "gridlock" should not be one of them. And you can fault many aspects of the President's response — when it comes to debt-default, I think he has to stick to the "no negotiations with terrorists" hard line. But you shouldn't pretend that if he had been more "reasonable" or charming he could placate a group whose goal is the undoing of his time in office.

The real question now is what Boehner, McConnell, et al. can do about their hard-liners. A lot depends, for Americans and many others, on their success or failure.

So I have one message to Congress, courtesy of Henry Hill: 

Fuck you, pay me. 

One response 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

Sep 16 2013

And while we are on the subject……

Of Mark Steyn-a completely useless man.

Here's another point of view that highlights my steadfast belief that Mark Steyn should just go fuck himself:

“Had we rolled out something that was very smooth and disciplined and linear, they would have graded it well, even if it was a disastrous policy. We know that, because that’s exactly how they graded the Iraq war,” – President Obama.

So take that-you worthless Canadian turd.

2 responses so far

Aug 28 2013

She needs more than just a ring on her finger.

A lot of Alumni from my alma mater are going all out to convince other graduates of a certain distinguished military college-that one should support the primary efforts of Nancy Mace to unseat Senator Lindsey Graham in 2014. Now I am not a South Carolina resident, so in theory I have no dog in the fight, but at the same time I am interested in the race-for what it says about the sad state of Republican politics in the United States today.

Nancy Mace has the distinguishing feature of being the first female graduate of the Citadel, a feat obtained by being a transfer student and therefore not having to complete a full four years at the fortress of learning. ( to be fair she did complete a full plebe year as did many other women). Her association with the college is neither here nor there in my humble opinion-but it is important to use it as a backdrop to provide some context on why her candidacy is a really bad idea.

Contrary to what some Alumni believe-Citadel graduates can back the wrong side politically sometimes and have. It is for this reason and not the reason of being a graduate-that smart thinking South Carolinians should spurn her candidacy.

First of all, the idea of replacing a sitting Senator, who by all accounts, has served the State of South Carolina well and is a problem solver,  is pretty stupid. Its generally never a good idea to trade someone of that amount of seniority in the Senate for an inexperienced new comer. Furthermore, Graham-while not my favorite Senator by any stretch of the imagination-is a part of a dying breed in the Republican party. A moderate Republican who votes issues on their merits-not some screwed up conservative ideology. He's criticized the Tea Party-deservedly so-which in the screwy world of tea loving aficionados is tantamount to an unforgivable sin. Add to that the fact that he has worked to compromise on a red button issue such as immigration. ( He's right on that issue by the way-and no amount of head in the sand whining by Americanus Teabaggerus is going to change that).

Which leads us back to Ms Mace. To mount this challenge, she is allying herself with some very unsavory people. People who really don't care about her per se-but do care about destroying what is left of the Republican party. Their goal is change it over from Ronald Reagan's "big tent" to the brain dead organization we have today, producing such paragons of national leadership such as Paul "Zombie Eyed Granny Starver" Ryan, Eric Cantor, Aqua Buddha Rand Paul as well as the dumbest Congressman on earth ( a title formerly held by the poster child, but he got beat) Louie Gohmert.Freeeeeedoooooommmmmmm!

Taking on an established candidate like Graham is a big effort, and Ms Mace is cozying up to the folks who have all the dollars and the bad ideas. She has boarded the Tea Party Express train to hell-no local stops-even getting kind wordsfrom  that wise old man Glenn Beck. Yea-there's an endorsement for you.

She even attended a "Faith and Freedom" event held by Congressman Jeff Duncan, who's still a fking birther.

She is being backed by PAC's that are led by Jim DeMint as well as others led by equally whacked out people.

These people are destroying the Republican party, and in choosing to ally herself with Tea Party cause, Ms Mace gives lie to her statement that she is running to bring sanity back to Washington. The people supporting her and the tea party are anything but sane.

When you associate with scum-a lot of it sticks to your clothes. And the smell takes a long time to wash out.

Personally I think this is all part of carefully orchestrated Public Relations strategy on her part. She knows she will lose to Graham-and if it were any normal state she would never have even attempted such a candidacy. This is South Carolina however-the same state that elected such bastions of intellectual integrity as Nikki Haley. So by running and making noise now-she can establish a name for herself, scare Graham and force him to veer to the right into areas he has no business going into, and build up a war chest for her real aim, some Congressional seat in South Carolina or Georgia.

I find that more than a bit disturbing and for that reason, not her college diploma, she is undeserving of any support from any alumni.

 

 

9 responses so far

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?

 

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