Friday, October 28, 2011

Zero Tolerance

“I have a zero tolerance for sanctimonious morons who try to scare people.”

I wish I’d said that. Of course the sentiment has been central to my ranting for years, but that brings it to a sharp point.

I wish I had a dollar for every time Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and their entire cartel invoked fictional Iraqi “nukular” aluminum tubes, weapons programs and mushroom clouds. The scary fictional links between Saddam and al-Qaeda had most Americans thinking Iraq was in on 9-11 just before Bush launched his crusade for political power and cronies’ profit. Now that was successful fear-mongering.

I’m old enough to remember LBJ’s nuclear blast “Daisy ad”. Most politicians, and especially Republicans, have a long history of using fear to coerce gullible voters into supporting them. There were never any such things as “death taxes” and “death panels” until Republicans made them up. The myth of “government takeover” of health care turned many ill-informed folks against health care reform. The list goes on.

So I wish to thank the person responsible for the above quote. I embrace it.

Unfortunately this is a very isolated comment from this individual. When placed in context with certain other remarks it becomes hysterically hypocritical.

Let’s just sample a couple meteorological references by our hero for some comparison.

(Regarding his prayers to keep Hurricane Gloria away from Virginia Beach) It was 'extremely important because I felt that if I couldn't move a hurricane, I could hardly move a nation

I apologized and I said I will be praying for him, but one day we will be staring nuclear weapons and it won't be (Hurricane) Katrina facing New Orleans, it's going to be a Venezuelan nuke.

Yup. That was Pat (9/11-was-the-fault-of-the-gays) Robertson.

So even a broken clock is correct twice a day, I guess.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Big Lies and the Truth

Warren Buffet is right. There is class warfare, and his side, the wealthiest one percent of Americans, is winning. He pays a lower percent in taxes than his secretary.

Why is this so? It goes back to the Reagan years when the foxes took control of the henhouse. Anti-tax wealthy elites gained influence in public policy making. Business insiders began to write their own regulations, which means de-regulation in the real world.

This de-regulation continued on throughout the Bush/Clinton/Bush years and ultimately led to the financial collapse in September of 2008. The debacle drained our economy of trillions of dollars and wiped out many of our pensions.

And more recently thanks to the Big Money-friendly Supreme Court, corporate cash is allowed more influence than ever in our elections and on our elected politicians.

The entire Republican Party and many corporate-owned Democrats are not representing most Americans. The radical Right is opposed to an informed public and to democracy itself.

The Right’s war on democracy begins with propaganda, falsehoods, demonization of liberals and moderates, and advances with their campaign to suppress the right of qualified Americans to vote. This is how they politically leverage the tax cuts for the rich, corporate welfare, and coddling of the elite.

There are many lies being spread by the Far Right through the corporate media. In fact their first Big Lie is “Liberal Media”. GE, Disney, Viacom, FOX(R), etc. are not “liberals”. They are corporations.

Most Americans still want real health care reform, accountability for Wall Street, fair taxes on the rich, and even Obama's jobs bill.

Thus the Right's war on democracy must continue. They must pursue their class warfare against most Americans on behalf of Wall Street and the wealthiest Americans.

You see, it’s not enough for the top one percent to take in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income and control about forty percent of our nation's wealth. Never mind the fact that 25 years ago the corresponding numbers were 12% and 33%. Greed has no limit.

Robert Reich gives us the best breakdown I’ve seen on seven of the primary lies told by Republicans to dupe the public into supporting their exclusive agenda for the wealthy top one percent.

Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton.
Published on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 by Robert Reich's Blog

The Seven Biggest Economic Lies
by Robert Reich

The President’s Jobs Bill doesn’t have a chance in Congress — and the Occupiers on Wall Street and elsewhere can’t become a national movement for a more equitable society – unless more Americans know the truth about the economy.

Here’s a short (2 minute 30 second) effort to rebut the seven biggest whoppers now being told by those who want to take America backwards. The major points:

1. Tax cuts for the rich trickle down to everyone else. Baloney. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both sliced taxes on the rich and what happened? Most Americans’ wages (measured by the real median wage) began flattening under Reagan and have dropped since George W. Bush. Trickle-down economics is a cruel joke.

2. Higher taxes on the rich would hurt the economy and slow job growth. False. From the end of World War II until 1981, the richest Americans faced a top marginal tax rate of 70 percent or above. Under Dwight Eisenhower it was 91 percent. Even after all deductions and credits, the top taxes on the very rich were far higher than they’ve been since. Yet the economy grew faster during those years than it has since. (Don’t believe small businesses would be hurt by a higher marginal tax; fewer than 2 percent of small business owners are in the highest tax bracket.)

3. Shrinking government generates more jobs. Wrong again. It means fewer government workers – everyone from teachers, fire fighters, police officers, and social workers at the state and local levels to safety inspectors and military personnel at the federal. And fewer government contractors, who would employ fewer private-sector workers. According to Moody’s economist Mark Zandi (a campaign advisor to John McCain), the $61 billion in spending cuts proposed by the House GOP will cost the economy 700,000 jobs this year and next.

4. Cutting the budget deficit now is more important than boosting the economy. Untrue. With so many Americans out of work, budget cuts now will shrink the economy. They’ll increase unemployment and reduce tax revenues. That will worsen the ratio of the debt to the total economy. The first priority must be getting jobs and growth back by boosting the economy. Only then, when jobs and growth are returning vigorously, should we turn to cutting the deficit.

5. Medicare and Medicaid are the major drivers of budget deficits. Wrong. Medicare and Medicaid spending is rising quickly, to be sure. But that’s because the nation’s health-care costs are rising so fast. One of the best ways of slowing these costs is to use Medicare and Medicaid’s bargaining power over drug companies and hospitals to reduce costs, and to move from a fee-for-service system to a fee-for-healthy outcomes system. And since Medicare has far lower administrative costs than private health insurers, we should make Medicare available to everyone.

6. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Don’t believe it. Social Security is solvent for the next 26 years. It could be solvent for the next century if we raised the ceiling on income subject to the Social Security payroll tax. That ceiling is now $106,800.

7. It’s unfair that lower-income Americans don’t pay income tax. Wrong. There’s nothing unfair about it. Lower-income Americans pay out a larger share of their paychecks in payroll taxes, sales taxes, user fees, and tolls than everyone else.

Demagogues through history have known that big lies, repeated often enough, start being believed — unless they’re rebutted. These seven economic whoppers are just plain wrong. Make sure you know the truth – and spread it on.


You heard the man. Spread it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Still Amazed

I'm still amazed at the fanaticism shown by those who are so passionate in defending the economic elites.

It would appear there's no higher priority for them than to keep their wealthy masters from paying a dime more in taxes. Never mind they are exponentially wealthier than before and can easily afford it. These minions are indoctrinated to protect and defend the aristocrats' wealth until their dying breath. It really seems to be the most important thing in the world to them.


It's as if they worship money. Or do they just worship the wealthy, in the vain hope they too will become wealthy? No matter. Either way, or both ways, it still has all the characteristics of cult worship.

Such selfless acts of delusion in the name of dismantling democracy in favor of a powerful minority are quite a spectacle. They're like American Kamikazes, in a way. They’re willing to sacrifice, unto death it would seem, their own interests to their own infallible Emperor/god.

They are more than willing to shut down government and public services to protect every nickel of billionaires’ wealth. Fanaticism may even be too mild a term for their devotion to wealth and greed.

What else could describe the many self-identified Christians so dedicated to serving Mammon? Do they think Jesus is impressed by that? Are they so twisted to think their Savior would be down on Wall Street, a temple of Mammon if there ever was one, admonishing the demonstrators and defending the banksters? I would have to conclude they are indeed that warped out from reality.

Some things seem certain. The cult servants of the aristocracy are oblivious to the concept that taxes are the price we pay to live in a civil society. And they are oblivious, or even contemptuous, of the concept of democracy. They utterly fail to understand, or be concerned about, the fact most people disagree with their views. They have no idea they are the ones out on the fringe. But this bears little effect on the absolute certainty of the authoritarian mindset. It is with absolute certainty they hold their sacred belief in wealth and minority rule by the wealthy.

No clue.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Big Surprise

The Republican’s have filibustered Obama’s jobs bill. Big surprise.

Also not surprising is the fact that about two thirds of Americans support the jobs bill. In fact, according to Gallup, “Americans Favor Almost All Proposals in Obama's Jobs Plan”. And we’ve known that approximately the same percentage favors restoring previous tax rates on the top one percent.

In a nation that values and respects democracy, the politicians would have no doubt how to proceed.

But not here.

The entire Republican Party and a couple corporatist Quisling Dems, Nelson and Tester, have killed it.

Senator Harry Reid offers his keen insight.

“The president’s plan contains many ideas Republicans have consistently supported over the years, especially when their party controlled Congress, the White House or both. Republicans oppose those ideas now. . . . I guess Republicans think if the economy improves, it might help President Obama.”

If it has taken the Senate Majority Leader this long to “guess” the obvious truth, then the Democrats may as well capitulate to the Republicans’ one-party dictatorship. What’s that? They already have?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Defenders of Democracy

The economic elites, or as FDR put it, economic royalists, are now looking out their Wall Street windows at Americans gathering in their neighborhood. Americans who are not only waking up to the fact they were ripped off, but are assembling and drawing attention to it. Attention from the ever so reluctant corporate media, which we all know would rather cover a dozen Tea Cultists than thousands who speak for the majority. The elites are probably getting a little nervous. Nothing worries a thief like having his victim near his lair.

I still hold little hope for reform, with only a bit of lip service from politicians. Corporatism’s choked hold on our democracy is nearly complete. I hope I’m wrong.

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations are also giving Americans a glimpse of what democracy looks like. Unlike the corporate manufactured Tea Cult, this group is representing the vast majority of Americans who have been swindled by Wall Street and their political puppets.

It’s a good lesson for our youth. Once upon a time the majority of Americans wanted to end a pointless bloody war of aggression in Vietnam. They marched and made their wishes visible to the powers waging that war.

Now the voices of democracy protest a class war waged on 99% of Americans.

One of my favorite signs carried there reads, “It’s only “class warfare” when we fight back!” And its way past time the people fought back.

Since Reagan. Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II shifted our government rightward over the past thirty years, we’ve see the results of the “trickle down economy” they lied about. The rich have been getting very richer. Turns out it was all a “trickle up” scam.

Gradually at first, and then suddenly in September of ’08, the working class and manufacturing base of America suffered their greatest loss since the Great Republican Depression. That was also triggered by the crash of a de-regulated market back in 1929.

The lessons of de-regulation needed to be learned all over again. The problem this time is we have non-stop corporate media giving Republicans face time to insist regulation, government and taxes are to blame for everything. The Wall Street Banksters are rewarding them for that service by contributing more to their election campaigns.

We now live under the greatest income inequality any alleged democracy has seen. The top one percent takes in about a quarter of the nation’s income, and they control even a larger share of the total wealth. This gives them more political clout than a democracy can survive.

And thanks to the vast Right Wing echo chamber of FOX(R) and extremist talk radio, they have loyal legions of indoctrinated members from the very class they’ve been screwing. Their cultists are rabidly defending the elites from the “tyranny” of paying a dime more in taxes, as if they can’t afford it. Talk about a great con. The duped minions are demanding they themselves pay more of their share to cover the debt and bills, all while receiving fewer public services. Astounding.

The elites all but own the politicians as well. Few speak out against Wall Street. Why? Thanks to the corporatist Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, Big Money has a lock on our elections and government. As former Senator Durban said, “They own the place”.

If someone still wonders what the protests on Wall Street are about, Former Florida Representative Alan Grayson put it eloquently.

Grayson and PJ O'Rourke were on Bill Maher last Friday. The Occupy Wall Street movement came up and the following exchange took place between O'Rourke and Grayson.

Grayson: Let me tell what they're talking about. They're complaining about the fact the Wall Street wrecked the economy three years ago and nobody's held responsible for that. Not a single person has been indicted or convicted for destroying twenty percent of our national net worth accumulated over two centuries. They're upset about the fact that they have iron control over economic policies of this country and that one party is a wholly owned subsidiary of wall street and the other party caters to them as well, that's the truth of the matter as you said before. And…

O'Rourke: Get the man a bongo drum, they've found their spokesman!

Grayson: If I…

O'Rourke: Get your shoes off, get a bongo drum, forget where to go to the bathroom and it's yours.

Grayson: If I am the spokesman for all the people who think we should not have twenty four million people in this country who can't find a full time job. Who should not have fifty million people who can't see a doctor when they're sick. That we shouldn't have forty seven million people of this country who need government help to feed themselves. We shouldn't have fifteen million families who owe more on their mortgage than the value of home, OK, I'll be that spokesman.

For more on the cancer of wealth concentration in hands of the few, see “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1% at Vanity Fair.

It’s no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent. One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be misguided. While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall.

We might still have a choice between democracy or corporatocracy. But we better make it soon. We know democracy’s adversaries are unrelenting, and they are winning.

Electing more Alan Graysons and fewer Bachmanns and Ryans would be a good start.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cult Trolls

“The only thing more dangerous than an idea is a belief. And by dangerous I don’t mean thought-provoking. I mean: might get people killed”. – Sarah Vowell, “The Wordy Shipmates”

This post started out as a comment under the previous post, but I think it needed to be more prominent. It also serves as a fitting follow up to the “Five Pillars”.

This will be my final response to an anonymous comment in this thread. Why? First, because I have previously announced I have my limit for trolls. This one gets a second and final response because he posed a reasonable interest in a source for my claim. I will offer the courtesy of providing it for him. Afterwards I will explain further why I’m finished with him on this thread.

You see, I don’t mind an occasional post from a cultist as an example of indoctrination or entertainment value. In fact I will honor this person by posting here what he wrote to me at Tom Degan’s blog.

Dave Dubya,
I won't declare you a Communist like you are complaining about being called on your blog, but you definitely belong to the general species "ism":

Liberalism, Socialism, Marxism, Communism, Progressivism or Nazism, etc; they’re fundamentally all the same – just separated by varying degrees of evil. Every time someone wants to “control” the population, bad stuff happens. The game-plan is always the same too, Social Engineering through Wealth Redistribution and fueled by Class-Hate

See what I mean about both cult indoctrination and entertainment? Ok. I admit I have a bit of a sick sense of humor.

Here is the source for my statement about Republicans believing Obama is the antichrist. It is from a Harris poll discussed at

14 percent of Americans say President Barack Obama may be the Antichrist. When split by political party, 24 percent of Republicans and 6 percent of Democrats viewed the nation's leader in this way.

Looks like some stupid Democrats go to the wrong church or something. Fear and ignorance are contagious.

Here’s more cult indoctrination:

38 percent say he wants to take away Americans' right to own guns.
32 percent say he is a Muslim.
29 percent think he wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one world government.
25 percent say he was not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president.
25 percent say he is a domestic enemy that the U.S. Constitutions speaks of.
23 percent say he is a racist.

Amazing! ...And depressing at the same time, isn’t it?

We all know damn well the Anonymous types fit into this picture.

I limit my time with these cult trolls because I won't waste time with people who think the Earth is six thousand years old, or who believe Obama is a Muslim, socialist, racist, and yes, even the antichrist.

These people are cultists every bit as much as Moonies. You know, the Washington Times owner and Republican friend of the Bush family, Sun Myung Moon’s Moonie cult. Seriously, there is something wrong with them, and that reflects what is wrong with our country. They are misinformed, gullible, ignorant, fearful, hateful and pathetic human beings.

I wish we could help them, but they don’t want help. They are stubbornly devoted to their cult beliefs. And they are stooges for the rising new Amerikan fascism.

If this doesn’t shock, sicken and awaken enough sane Americans into voting against Republicans, we can kiss our freedom, democracy and standard of living goodbye.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Five Pillars

Have you ever been called a commie by a radical Right wing fanatic? I have, and if you are at all like me you have probably been called a commie too. Many of us who dare point to the extremism of the American radical Right have been accused of being a communist. Consider it a badge of honor. You are now a pro-democracy freedom fighter.

Seeing this happen again and again got me thinking I should discuss this issue further. People are getting fed up with all this authoritarian hate mongering on behalf of a corporatist agenda. We finally have our freedom movement taking a stand on Wall Street, not that most Americans know about it, thanks to a corporate media that would rather cover a small Tea Cult gathering than a real grass-roots popular movement.

The members of the American radical Right are programmed to attack unions, public employees, teachers, and every other non-wealthy American who dares to think for himself, who dares to vote against the party of minority rule.

When fascism comes to America, "conservatives" will celebrate their victory over "socialism", while living in more squalor than ever before.

But they will already have been indoctrinated on who to blame. We liberals would be the equivalent of the German Jews in fascist Amerika.

The extremism of the neo-Republicans has even alienated long time conservative Republicans like former senators Chuck Hagel and Arlen Spector. So who does that leave in control of the Republican Party? Fanatics.

I suggest reading retired GOP Congressional staffer Mike Logren’s account of his finally leaving the cult. Yes cult. You see, I’m not the only “commie” calling the extremist party a cult.

He writes:

“It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant.”


“It is this broad and ever-widening gulf between the traditional Republicanism of an Eisenhower and the quasi-totalitarian cult of a Michele Bachmann that impelled my departure from Capitol Hill.”

This cult is the greatest threat to our freedom and democracy. They have a major political party and the power of vast wealth behind them. They must be called out for being a cult of American proto-fascism. It is beyond corporatism. They hate us for our freedom and democracy.

There are five pillars of Right Wing fanaticism shared by radical Republicans and fascists. Both promote rule by an authoritarian tyranny of the minority that is of, by and for the economic and political elites.

In addition to their mutual desire for minority rule and opposition to democracy, they also love to label their opponents as communists. This is essential to their Reich Wing ideology.

They hate unions. We’ve all seen the Tea Cult Koch brothers using their lackeys to crush unions.

The radical Right also regards public education, journalism, science, and all other endeavors to seek and share truth as threats to their radical belief system. Noted climate scientist, and oxy-moron, Rush Limbaugh is a great example.

The Nazis gave us the Big Lie. Orwell gave us, “Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery. War is peace.”

Republicans have expanded the Big Lie list. Pick almost anything said by Palin, Bachmann, Coulter, Beck, Hannity, or most of the FOX(R) propagandists. No wonder millions of Americans still think Obama is a Kenyan Muslim.

Thanks to them we can add “Tax cuts for the rich create jobs,” and “Saddam has ties to al-Qaeda and is building WMD’s with his “nuklular” aluminum tubes.” We heard Bush’s mouthpiece Fleischer tell us, “Americans need to watch what they say,” and of course, Dictator Dick Cheney’s advice to voters in ’04, "If we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again." And last but not least, “Expanded health care would become “death panels”. Note the especially threatening and ominous tone of the latter three.

They’ve added so much to the list of phrases that constitute neo-fascist creed and indoctrination.

Both Fascists and Republicans love their Big Lies. They love them so much they forget to thank the “liberal” corporate media for spreading them.

So in review we see fascists and radical Republicans share these characteristics:

1. Authoritarian opposition to democracy and advocacy of minority rule.

2. Fanatical hatred of unions and scorn for workers’ rights.

3. Red baiting and scapegoating anyone who disagrees with them as a commie.

4. Contempt for education, journalism, and science that questions their radical Rightist indoctrination.

5. The proven Propaganda method of the Big Lie.

There are surely more characteristics shared by radical Rightists, but I think I’ve covered the most prominent ones.

Cultists are going to hate me for saying this, but as FDR said, “I welcome their hatred”.

It is no virtue to tolerate the intolerant. It is no vice to stand up and demand justice, freedom and democracy.