Thursday, November 04, 2010

The current mess -- and the short memory of the American People

 
Let's recap W's record & how we got so screwed up in less than a decade shall we?
  1. 90% of his tax cuts go to top 1% of earners -- contrib to...
  2. Worst job creation record for an expanding economy in modern history (for a 8 year period of expansion)... Trickle-down again fails us.
  3. Turning record surpluses into record federal DEBT because...
  4. Starting a war with a country that had nothing to do with attacking us!
  5. NOT asking us to pay for the war, and spending a trillion on it ... not to mention building infrastructure in ANOTHER COUNTRY (while continuing to neglect our own infrastructure)
  6. Creating a new, completely unfunded (i.e. deficit financed) ENTITLEMENT (as opposed to Health Care with is proj to SAVE the gov money because of Medicare savings)
  7. Continued deregulation (which was started back in the '80s) that contrib'd to the collapse of the financial system
  8. ... i'm too tired to go on ...

Some people actually want this idiot and his cronies back? I mean how incredibly short a memory can people have? Dems may be ineffectual -- often! -- but at least their policies don't actively sabotage the economy, country at large and the world.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The best take I've read on the tea baggers... from the inside.

Tea & Crackers | Rolling Stone Politics
It's not like the Tea Partiers hate black people. It's just that they're shockingly willing to believe the appalling horseshit fantasy about how white people in the age of Obama are some kind of oppressed minority. That may not be racism, but it is incredibly, earth-shatteringly stupid. I hear this theme over and over — as I do on a recent trip to northern Kentucky, where I decide to stick on a Rand Paul button and sit in on a Tea Party event at a local amusement park. Before long, a group of about a half-dozen Tea Partiers begin speculating about how Obamacare will force emergency-room doctors to consult "death panels" that will evaluate your worth as a human being before deciding to treat you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why do Republicans hate America?

Obama to Republicans: 'Stop holding workers hostage to politics' - The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency
AFP
In unusually blunt, podium-pounding language, President Obama this morning called on Senate Republicans to stop blocking more jobless benefits for the unemployed.

I just don't get it ... You see, the GOP has somehow been able to create the illusion that they're for 'the little guy', 'the average worker' ... that they are there in DC looking out of "us". Well, if that's the case, why do they do everything in their power to obstruct economic recovery? ... and I mean EVERYTHING.

Most every economist will tell you: during a recession consumer spending plummets. As spending plummets, layoffs increase (due to reduced demand) and hiring slows down or stops. With decreased consumer spending, more unemployeed -- the cycle tends to intensity.

This isn't theory, these are the defining characteristics of a
recession.

The way out? Government spending.

And that's what's happened during EVERY recession since WWII (which, by the way was the way we spent our way out of the great depression).

During a recession the only entity that has the pockets deep enough to put cash in peoples' hands and jump start the economy is the Government... And on of the surest ways to get people spending money is to extend unemployment benefits. Remember: unemployment benefits aren't entitlements... they're extensions to insurance that the employer paid into and a policy the worker has for just such a situation.

But now, for the first time, we have Republicans in lock-step trying to thwart EVERY attempt to bring the country out of the worst recession in memory... Why? Well, only a few possibilities exist: they are either 1- hopelessly stupid, 2- political opportunists who put power over the welfare of the people, or 3- a combination of the two.

Given any of the causes, these people simply don't belong in government ...


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The complete intellectual bankruptcy of the GOP

To obfuscate is one thing... but to simply deny facts is another...

The GOP excels in the latter.

This is the caliber of representative the right brings to the economic table.

Ezra Klein - McConnell: 'No evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue'
Sen. Mitch McConnell, however, hit my sore spot today. "There's no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue," he told Brian Beutler of TPMDC. "They increased revenue because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy. So I think what Senator Kyl was expressing was the view of virtually every Republican on that subject." In other words, this is why Republicans don't think tax cuts need to be paid for. They pay for themselves.

Why does this make me sad? Because it's hard to see the country prospering when one of its two major political parties is this economically illiterate. McConnell isn't some backbencher. He's Senate minority leader. And he thinks there's "no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue."

There's an ontological question here about what, exactly, McConnell considers to be "evidence." But how about the Congressional Budget Office's estimations? "The new CBO data show that changes in law enacted since January 2001 increased the deficit by $539 billion in 2005. In the absence of such legislation, the nation would have a surplus this year. Tax cuts account for almost half — 48 percent — of this $539 billion in increased costs." How about the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget? Their budget calculator shows that the tax cuts will cost $3.28 trillion between 2011 and 2018. How about George W. Bush's CEA chair, Greg Mankiw, who used the term "charlatans and cranks" for people who believed that "broad-based income tax cuts would have such large supply-side effects that the tax cuts would raise tax revenue." He continued: "I did not find such a claim credible, based on the available evidence. I never have, and I still don't."

Here we are, 25+ years after Reagan and the right is still trying to convince us that lowering taxes INCREASES revenue. Well, it didn't work in the 80's (when deficits soared) and it didn't work under Bush. But, apparently, if you lie loudly enough, people will believe any nonsense you can spew. Vis a vi Fox News...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tea Party Crazies...

The Very Angry Tea Party - Opinionator Blog - NYTimes.com
the passionate anger of the Tea Party movement, or, the flip-side of that anger, the ease with which it succumbs to the most egregious of fear-mongering falsehoods. What has gripped everyone’s attention is the exorbitant character of the anger Tea Party members express. Where do such anger and such passionate attachment to wildly fantastic beliefs come from?

My hypothesis is that what all the events precipitating the Tea Party movement share is that they demonstrated, emphatically and unconditionally, the depths of the absolute dependence of us all on government action, and in so doing they undermined the deeply held fiction of individual autonomy and self-sufficiency that are intrinsic parts of Americans’ collective self-understanding.
This is one of the most concise reads on the craziness folks are calling the tea party movement... Give it a read.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Joe the Plumber -- idiot du jour...

Joe the Plumber is elected to party office in Ohio - Yahoo! News
Joe the PlumberWurzelbacher remains an icon for many antiestablishment conservatives.

"Illegal immigration?" he said. "Put a fence up and start shooting."

Wurzelbacher has never been shy about sharing his views even if they open him up to critics.

He told Christianity Today in an interview last year that he believes gays are "queer" and said he won't allow them near his children.

"I've had some friends that are actually homosexual. And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn't have them anywhere near my children," he said. "But at the same time, they're people, and they're going to do their thing."
an interview.
A true up-and-comer among today's conservatives. This is where a once serious party is going -- far into crazy-land. We all better hope these nuts don't get any true power in our government. If they do, it won't be long before the country starts looking like Germany in 1935...

The Neadertals strike again...

Human Voices
Senator Joe Lieberman is a cheap, pandering whore without a principle in his head and without much concern for history. Instead of being able to come up with some means to combat and prevent acts of terrorism, he's still looking for ways to make a criminal organization into a superpower complete with Army, Navy, Air Force and probably nuclear missiles. Any one working for a foreign terrorist organization should be stripped of his rights as a citizen. He doesn't bother to clarify whether that's before or after a fair trial, but I suspect the whole idea of a fair trial is anathema to his sort of Neanderthal conservatism. What an idiotic response to a failed truck bomb: attack the cornerstone of American liberty.

Aren't our representatives supposed to understand the concepts of due process? ... the idea that ESPECIALLY the accused are entitled to representation and their day in court?

The very thought of stripping a citizens rights because 'he scares us' is so pathetically anti-American and paranoid that I can't understand how anyone who professes to believe in 'freedom and liberty' can expound such ideas.

So much for enlightenment thinking... Back to the age of fear and loathing.

Conservatism in America... screwed

Poll: Limbaugh is most influential conservative - Yahoo! News
By a wide margin, Americans consider Rush Limbaugh the nation's most influential conservative voice.

Those are the results of a poll conducted by "60 Minutes" and Vanity Fair magazine and issued Sunday. The radio host was picked by 26 percent of those who responded, followed by Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck at 11 percent. Actual politicians — former Vice President Dick Cheney and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin — were the choice of 10 percent each.
If conservatives actually consider these idiots 'their voice' -- the movement is truly screwed: it has NO intellectual underpinnings. It's based completely on made-up-shit and crazy, previously discredited ideas.

I never thought I'd say this: I long for a real conservative leader.

Chill out...

Roe v. Wade isn't going anywhere... and the grandstanding around the issue by politicians is just one big waster of time ...

Justice Stevens: push for nominees' views improper - Yahoo! News
Stevens said Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio, that speaking about cases already decided is one thing, but speculating about issues that could come before the court is entirely different.

Stevens says often a judge doesn't know how he'll rule until the case has been argued.

Stevens was nominated less than three years after the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973 but wasn't asked a single question about abortion in his confirmation.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The embarrassment that is Arizona's government

Letter to my state reps...

As a long time Arizonan -- I can't remember being more embarrassed about being a resident of this state.

I moved here more than 17 years ago to start an Aerospace Engineering firm that employs more than 50 people. I, along with my co-owner, are simply appalled at the latest round of 'legislation' that has come out of the state.

At a time when budgets and services are in disarray, this body busies itself with non-sense (i.e. - requiring birth certificates for presidential candidates!!!). Additionally, the immigration bill just signed into law is an affront to the idea of liberty. I simply cannot understand how conservatives decry our "loss of liberty" because of new regulations on insurance companies, while at the same time enacting legislation that requires a people of a free nation to produce 'papers' on demand to law enforcement to "prove they have the right to be here". How can you justify such an blatant affront to the idea of liberty?

My father spent 2 years fighting against such non-sense -- in the form of imperial Japan... and I have seen 2 tours in central Iraq (as a Navy officer) dealing with the remnants of a similarly oppressive government.

Of course there are aliens here illegally. Just as there are wanted criminals walking our streets. But neither reality gives the state the right to stop people on the street to ask for identification. We are free FIRST... there is no guarantee to security in either the state or federal constitution. To sacrifice liberty for the illusion of 'security' is simply pandering to the lowest impulses in our society.

That our own state would pass such blatantly un-American and unconstitutional legislation -- that will surely be over-turned by the courts at a cost to the AZ tax-payers -- simply convinces me that this state's governance does not possess a modicum of common sense or a basic understanding of what it means to live in a free country.

Sincerely,

R

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Human Voices: Some kind of savior

Human Voices: Some kind of savior:

"Extending jobless benefits is now 'communism' and it costs too much. The unemployed are going to have to suffer because the millionaires at yacht clubs all over America need the lowest tax rates in the civilized world to stave off Communism and can't be expected to pay down that debt incurred by Bush and Obama in order to bail them out."

This is a really great post... it deserves a read.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

More hypocrisy from the Right...

Washington Times - Stimulus foes see value in seeking cash
Sen. Christopher S. Bond regularly railed against President Obama's economic stimulus plan as irresponsible spending that would drive up the national debt. But behind the scenes, the Missouri Republican quietly sought more than $50 million from a federal agency for two projects in his state.

Mr. Bond was not alone. More than a dozen Republican lawmakers, while denouncing the stimulus to the media and their constituents, privately sent letters to just one of the federal government's many agencies seeking stimulus money for home-state pork projects.

The letters to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, expose the gulf between lawmakers' public criticism of the overall stimulus package and their private lobbying for projects close to home.

"It's not illegal to talk out of both sides of your mouth, but it does seem to be a level of dishonesty troubling to the American public," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Mr. Bond noted that one project applying to the USDA for stimulus money would "create jobs and ultimately spur economic opportunities."
So, apparently - secretly - some Republicans actually do believe that government spending stimulates the economy... just like most-every economist: including republican's like Paulson, Bernanke, etc.  This makes them not stupid, but duplicitous liars. But we already knew that...

How broken is our politics? Representatives can't even get behind legislation they believe is GOOD for the country because it would be seen as supporting the opposition party. This is absolute craziness.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Twisted people and their twisted beliefs...

It's amazing the things people who can otherwise function in society can be brought to believe.

Some of you may know that the Prop 8 trial started on Monday. It will decide (or at least start the process of deciding) if gay people can marry. One of the defendants in the case, Dr. Tam, asked to be removed from the defendants list after learning that there was a good chance the trial proceedings would be posted on youtube... daily.

Now we know why...

Deposition Reveals Disturbing Tactics: 'After Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage, They Want to Legalize Prostitution. What will Be Next? On Their Agenda List is: Legalize Having Sex with Children.' - LAist

Some excepts:
Question: “And it is your understanding that part of the gay agenda is legalizing underage sex?”
Answer: “Right.” (Page 43 of deposition)
“They lose no time in pushing the gay agenda --- after legalizing same-sex marriage, they want to legalize prostitution. What will be next? On their agenda list is: legalize having sex with children.” (Pro-Prop. 8 email by Tam, page 78 of deposition and full text of email below)
Also introduced was a pro-Prop 8 letter from Tam:
Dear Friends:
This November, San Francisco voters will vote on a ballot to "legalize prostitution". This is put forth by the SF city government, which is under the rule of homosexuals. They lose no time in pushing the gay agenda --- after legalizing same-sex marriage, they want to legalize prostitution. What will be next? On their agenda list is: legalize having sex with children. I hope we all wake up now and really work to pass Prop 8. We have only 48 days left. Even if you have church building projects, mission projects, concert projects, etc, please consider postponing them and put all the church man/woman power to work on Prop 8. We can't lose this critical battle. If we lose, this will very likely happen......
You have to ask: what could possibly cause an otherwise functional person to hold such insane beliefs? Discounting psychosis -- which probably isn't a safe move -- I think we have some clues in the letter to 'church goers' above.

Yep, my favorite cause of mass mental-illness is probably at work here: religious indoctrination. All the fear-mongering and non-sense in this letter isn't based on any credible research. Its simply religious bigotry dressed up in scare tactics. It would appear Dr. Tam and his church going friend have completely bought into the nonsensical idea that letting a pair of people in a loving relationship share in a state-sanctioned relationship called "marriage" will lead to utter chaos.

Well - one good result of this trial: a bunch of this nonsense will be brought out into the open (I only wish the SCOTUS had the courage to allow it to be posted to youtube - it is after all the people's trial).