Monday, December 31, 2012

More Brinkmanship to Come

What a year...

This election year is finally over, a small mercy at best.

Unfortunately, despite the facts that more Americans voted for Democrats for the House, by nearly a million, and Democrats gained in the Senate, and held the White House, our government continues to be held hostage by the radical Right Tea Cult fringe. 

Thanks to their 2010 wins, Republican gerrymandering has insured that the boot heel of the radical Right minority will continue to step on the will of the people for an indefinite time into the future.

And yes, although the corporate media are too cowardly, and of course too corporate, to assert, it is obvious the Republicans are the impediment to a functioning Federal Government. Watch them play the same hostage game again and further degrade our credit rating come debt ceiling time. 

The present Republican-manufactured "fiscal cliff" is just one wave of the brinkmanship mentality of the Radical Right. More shall certainly come this new year.

In the biggest unreported news of the year, two brave souls managed to speak the unspeakable in the Washington Post.

They had the courage to go beyond the lamestream media line, “Both sides do it” or “There is plenty of blame to go around”.

Here’s a sample from:

“Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.”

By Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, Published: April 27, 2012

Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. Of course, it’s not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from either side of the aisle to say something outrageous. What made West’s comment — right out of the McCarthyite playbook of the 1950s — so striking was the almost complete lack of condemnation from Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates.

It’s not that the GOP leadership agrees with West; it is that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for granted.

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.

The other significant reality ignored by corporate media is summed up by a Republican:

“...A Republican ideology pitting the “makers” against the “takers” offers nothing. No sympathy for our fellow citizens. No insight into our social challenge. No hope of change. This approach involves a relentless reductionism. Human worth is reduced to economic production. Social problems are reduced to personal vices. Politics is reduced to class warfare on behalf of the upper class."

Michael Gerson, head speech writer and a senior policy adviser to President George W. Bush.

Some liberals are excited about the demise of the GOP after this election. They’re fooling themselves, of course.

The Republicans are not going anywhere. They are the party of the rich and powerful and will always have the aristocratic Koch brothers' and Adelson type's "free speech" money to undermine democracy and suppress the interests of the American people.

The good news is democracy lingers, as exemplified by the sane and kind folks in Colorado and Washington who understand that having a harmless plant should not be a crime.

The not-so-good news is the Democrats will continue to be the Republican-lite party, as they too serve their Military Industrial Complex and Wall Street bosses.

The war on democracy continues...

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Two Perspectives

So the Democrats won the White House and gained seats in both the House and Senate... And FOX(R) was wrong. Shocking. And although more Americans voted for Democratic, rather than Republican representation, GOP gerrymandering allowed them to keep control of the House.

This is what Speaker Boehner called a “status quo election”. Yeah, that’s it.

But that’s not even the most unhinged lunacy from Republicans. Not by a long shot.

The brainwashing cult indoctrination of the radical Right is an amazing thing to see. These are some real true believers.

We see Public Policy Polling has some interesting findings. And before anyone denounces them for having “liberal bias”, please note: The Murdoch Wall Street Journal ranked PPP as one of the top swing state pollsters in the country during the last Presidential election.

PublicPolicy Polling reveals the madness:

“Republicans not handling election results well”

PPP's first post election national poll finds that Republicans are taking the results pretty hard...and also declining in numbers.

49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama. We found:

 that 52% of Republicans thought that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama, so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn't exist anymore.

Some GOP voters are so unhappy with the outcome that they no longer care to be a part of the United States. 25% of Republicans say they would like their state to secede from the union compared to 56% who want to stay and 19% who aren't sure.

One reason that such a high percentage of Republicans are holding what could be seen as extreme views is that their numbers are declining. Our final poll before the election, which hit the final outcome almost on the head, found 39% of voters identifying themselves as Democrats and 37% as Republicans. Since the election we've seen a 5 point increase in Democratic identification to 44%, and a 5 point decrease in Republican identification to 32%.

What a country! Turns out half of the Republican voters STILL think ACORN stole the election for Obama, from the grave apparently.

I'm not sure what hope there can be for a nation that is a quarter delusional. The good news is their cult is shrinking.

But they still number in the millions and American has its work cut out if it wishes to be a free and prosperous nation.

Yes, as the pundits and corporate "journalists" say, the polarization in American politics is wider than ever. No wonder. The corporate media stenographers do very little reporting of facts, while the propaganda arm of the Republican Party has duped it’s cult into believing they are “fair and balanced’.

Let’s look at the contrast between the two perspectives of a divided America. One is that of the so-called “conservative” radical Right, aka the Republican Party. The other is the opposite alternative, not necessarily that of the junior corporate Democratic Party.

"In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks." - Spencer Bachus (R) AL

And who can forget:

”There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it....And so my job is not to worry about those people—I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” Willard (R) the Loser
Now that’s the Right attitude.

In contrast we have:

On taxes:

Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”

But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money.”

So they brought Him a denarius.

And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”

And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  (Matthew 22:17-21)

On wealth:

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.- (Mathew 6:24)

On social justice for the poor:

 “From each according to his ability and to each according to his need.”

What? Too liberal, too compassionate, and too commie?

Well then, there’s this radical view:

 "All whose faith had drawn them together held everything in common: they would sell their property and possessions and make a general distribution as the need of each required."  (Acts 2:44-5) 

Verily I say unto thee, if Jesus were to come to America, he would be called a godless commie by the “real Americans” of the FOX(R) cult. If the Republicans were in power they'd want to toss the radical Leftist into Gitmo.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cult Deprogramming

Trusting authoritarian personalities has been a disastrous flaw in human nature. Dictators rise and wars are started because people trust the assertiveness of authoritarians. FOX(R) features Right Wing authoritarians more than any other source of information, or misinformation in this case.

In the following video clip we see the emotional pain that comes from realizing that bond of trust is betrayed by the authoritarian person. The woman realizes something more Americans need to understand. FOX(R) is not there to inform, but to propagandize the agenda of the radical Right.

One awakening is a good thing. Let's see more of this.

From Youtube:

A Fox News/O'Reilly climate change denier has her mind changed by the movie 'Chasing Ice', currently in limited release. Visit for screenings around the country. PLAYING NOW. 

A NOTE from me - @justin_kanew - the guy who shot it:

People have been asking me if this video is set up. I promise it isn't. I was at the theater helping with the release of the movie all weekend, mostly managing the guest list. Many people came out of the movie emotional, but none as emotional as this lady. She started talking to me in a very real way, with tears in her eyes, essentially apologizing to me for her previous position on the subject and letting me know she was a Fox/O'Reilly watcher who just had her mind changed by the movie. It occurred to me that that was a pretty powerful moment, and one you don't see every day, so i asked her if she would mind telling me that on video. She said she wouldn't, so I pulled out my camera, and what you see here happened.

I'm a supporter of the project, and the subject, but I would not call myself a climate change activist... however I do know a powerful moment when I see one, and this was that. There's no editing here, and this woman is not an actress. I would swear to it on the Bible, the constitution, or anything else you put in front of me.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Not Racist

“Another 4 years of this nigger. Maybe he will get assassinated this term.”

Oops. The lily-white California Girl’s sentiments, thought to be shared in private on a social network, were exposed by a former boyfriend.

Can’t a nice blonde girl express her feelings anymore? What’s all the fuss about? She couldn’t possibly be a racist, she's white AND conservative.

The local TV news reporter posed the simple question to the puzzled young woman.

“Are you a racist? It sounds like you’re a racist?”

“It does,” Aryann McBlondie* said, “but I am not. That’s what everyone’s been telling me, ‘You know, what you said sounded so racist,’ and it does, and you know, I take it back. If I could erase what I said, I would.”

Well then, like a shake of Romney's Etch-a-Sketch, she took it back. Nothing to see here folks. It’s all been fixed.
Now she's only hoping the president gets assassinated. No hate, or racism, there, right?

Besides, I’m sure she knows from FOX(R), Limbaugh, and Beck that only the President and his voters can be racists.

That is sadly the lesson from the radical Right.

Let’s hope this other reality based lesson is learned.

Racists never admit to being racists. Just ask one.

Or just ask Limbaugh, Beck and FOX(R).

* Name changed to protect the guilty.  


Perhaps we should consider this perspective from an article from the Atlantic:

"Fear of a Black President"

 "Racism is not merely a simplistic hatred. It is, more often, broad sympathy toward some and broader skepticism toward others." - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's Called Projection

"The president succeed by suppressing the vote, by saying to people, 'you may not like who I am and I know you can't bring yourself to vote for me, but I'm going to paint this other guy as simply a rich guy who only cares about himself' ... They effectively denigrated Mitt Romney's character, business acumen, experience."

- Karl Rove

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What Next?

Now it's time to sit back and enjoy the madness of the FOX(R) comedy channel as they wonder what happened to the "Center-Right America", and Rushbo the Clown's blubbering "explanation" of what went wrong.

Like most of the rest of you, I'm eagerly watching the mail for the new "Obama Socialist Giveaway Package" we were promised if we voted for him. I'm hoping for a new car and enough cash so I never have to work again like the chumps of the 53 percent. ;-)

Romney's Concession Speech

My fellow Real Americans. This is not a concession speech. For I did not lose this election to that godless socialist they call Obama. This is not my fault. I am not to blame. The liberal media have stolen the election, and I have been betrayed by my Party.

Now we can’t take my country back, I mean our country back, from the Marxist liberals.

I am the one entitled to the presidency. It is MY turn.

The American people must be confused. I have money, gosh darn it. And Big Money was on MY side. Why didn’t the American people respect that, and vote for me?

Don’t they know how things are supposed to work in America? More money was spent on this election by my friends than by those democrat bums. The Koch brothers and old man Adelson spent more than Obama’s Hollywood Satanist elites.

Is money not sacred in our elections anymore? Not even after Citizens United? My blue blood thaws at the very notion!

This must surely be the apocalypse that I warned you about if I didn’t win.

I know what happened. I’m a victim of treachery and betrayal from the likes of that brown-nosed Christie, who thinks federal aid for people after a hurricane is more important than ME.

And those turncoat Tea Party idiots have also cost me the election. They were supposed to win this for me. They told me America hates Obama and loves them.

After all my pandering to the Tea Party, look at how the ingrates turned their backs on me. They screwed up, not me.

Their rising stars Akin and Mourdock explained how women won't get pregnant from real rape, and even if she gets pregnant, it's God's will. And they still went and lost to the socialists. Unbelievable! Who can I trust if not the Tea Party?

And what happened to my home state? Massachusetts stabbed me in the back. I never did like those liberal New Englanders anyway.

And my other home state Michigan betrayed me too, and that’s where my birth certificate is!

But the joke is on them. Their trees are not the right height! I just told them that to make them like me.

I’m not buying any more homes in those states again. That'll teach them.

Thanks a lot...for nothing! I’ve taken every possible position on every issue, but was that good enough for you?? Noooo!

None of you are good enough for me now.

You are all now as useless as the other 47% of Americans I don’t like.

No, I will not concede the election to Obama. He didn’t really win.

Americans are too conservative for that to happen.

I said, Americans are too conservative for that to happen...

...Well...where’s the applause after that line from my teleprompter?

Hello?? Are you listening to me??


Friday, November 2, 2012


I thought I’d share with you what some consider “fair and balanced”.

The other day Governor Christie and President Obama exchanged compliments while sharing a microphone from the storm damaged New Jersey shore. It was a rare and much needed view of bi-partisan cooperation.  People expect leadership in times like this and both men were doing their job.

After they concluded their comments, we decided to see the FOX(R)’s coverage of this unusual and comforting event.

After switching the channel to FOX(R), the host muttered something about a “rude interruption” and continued his chat with a New Jersey Republican congressman.

I wonder why FOX(R) didn’t seem to care much for that story. Could bi-partisan cooperation be the problem for them? Or was it the image of intelligent, articulate and comforting leadership shown by President Obama at the heart of where such leadership is needed?

This morning we saw President Obama making a campaign speech in Ohio, but only on CNN and MSNBC, and nothing of it on FOX(R). Hmm.

Next up was Romney speaking at his campaign rally in Wisconsin. Perhaps he was speaking about his all new FEMA flip-flop, or telling one of his lies about Jeep moving all production from Ohio to China. He was on both CNN and MSNBC. And wonder of wonders. The “fair and balanced” FOX(R) decided voters needed to see a candidate. Their candidate, and only their candidate.

How’s that for a little snapshot of what is probably most wrong with America?


One more election note:

As we’ve been observing for the past several elections, the Guardians Of Plutocracy are feverishly fighting their war on democracy.

At the local level they have put out flyers urging people to vote on November 9th, after the election.

They have been busy at the state level too, doing all they can to throw roadblocks across the road to the polls. Voter ID laws are only part of it. They have tightened rules and restrictions for registering voters whenever possible. They love to purge voter rolls in Democratic leaning areas.

Remember Katherine Harris (R) putting her thumb on the scale in Florida back in 2000? Remember Ken Blackwell doing the same for Ohio in 2004?

Well, it looks like democracy is threatened in Ohio again.

From the Atlantic:

Didn't like having nine justices decide the 2000 election? Meet Jon Husted.

On August 31st, one day after the Republican National Convention ended in Tampa, a federal judge in Ohio issued a ruling that stymied an effort by Republican officials there to limit early voting dates for hundreds of thousands of registered voters. Citing the United States Supreme Court's Bush v. Gore ruling, the 5-4 decision which ended the 2000 Florida recount, U.S. District Judge Peter Economus wrote that Ohio lawmakers and bureaucrats couldn't, by "arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person's vote over that of another."

Upon receiving word of the federal court order, the man responsible for implementing Ohio's election laws at first decided not to enforce it. Secretary of State Jon Husted, the Republican who had fought for years against voting rights advocates in and out of the courts as a lawmaker and, later, member of the executive branch, initially disregarded Judge Economus' order. Not just that. He defied it. He specifically ordered his county election boards not to restore the early voting hours the judge had endorsed.

It was only when the judge ordered Husted to court to personally explain his disobedience, a sure sign of judicial anger, that Husted relented. Relented -- but did not give up....

The radical Right won’t give up. That would be letting the voters decide.

It could be a long election. Something tells me the corporate media is going to listen to Republicans and not call a winner next Tuesday. You may not need to bother waiting up on election night.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Election Winners and Losers

Will the winner be Obama or Romney, Democrats or Republicans?

Once again it is clear who the winners in this election will be. It will not be the majority of the American people. We lose either way, albeit more or less, depending on which party prevails.

As we the people lose more, someone always gains. Over the past four years corporate profits have gone up and the wealthy have been doing swell. The winners are unconcerned about the losers. Shared sacrifice is as alien to them as shared prosperity.

The winners are enjoying a rigged game.

The national corporate media are also perennial winners. Corporate media has done its job. Instead of reporting pertinent information for the public good, it’s all about sensationalism, ratings, spinning a close election, and scooping up campaign advertising dollars. They never come out and report the fact that one side is more deceptive and less honest than the other. It’s always a “Both sides do it” kind of false, but equal, “fairness”, for the wrong as well as the right.

Appearances mean everything in this neurotic, attention deficit afflicted culture. As Clinton said, "When people are insecure, they'd rather have somebody who is strong and wrong than someone who's weak and right".

People don’t deserve what we get from politicians. We don’t deserve a no compromise party exclusively in service to Big Money, and we don’t deserve a neutered “opposition party” that must also depend on corporate approval and support from wealthy interests.

What we deserve are news media serving the public interest on our public owned broadcast spectrum. We deserve uncorrupted public funded campaigns. We deserve equal access to the polls. We deserve hard copy, or otherwise verifiable ballots. And we deserve politicians who represent the people, rather than Big Money and powerful special interests.

But we will continue to be locked into a system that is rigged against most Americans. Will enough Americans wake up to the great scam of this facade of democracy? Will enough Americans be willing to raise their voices and demand our representational democracy be of, by and for the people?

Probably not. We have football games to watch on TV today. And the World Series is more important than elections and politics.

On second though, maybe we do deserve the politicians we get, if we are incapable of seeking information and thinking for our selves.

Humans as a species are very much like a herd, headed for their fate of austerity under corporate overlords, their bought and paid for politicians, and their rigged system.

It’s unfortunate for those who are conscious and actively aware. We’re caught up in the herd.

But isn’t this a thrilling new season of Survivor?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Promises, Promises...

“If Obama wins, it’s the end of conservatism? No, if Obama wins, let me tell you what it’s the end of; the Republican Party” – Rush Limbaugh.

Promises, promises...Or just another lie?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Class Act

So, what does class warfare from a classless, aristocratic, snob look like?

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax... my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives…. The president has been a disappointment. He told you he’d keep unemployment below 8 percent. Hasn’t been below eight percent since. Fifty percent of kids coming out of school can’t get a job. Fifty percent.”

— Mitt Romney, speaking at a private, millionaires only, fundraiser on May 17  

These obnoxious authoritarian Republicans really do believe their own swill, don't they? No wonder they've declared war on fact checkers.   This elitist, scornful snit is full of lies, of course. And it is insulting to almost half the country.

He told you he’d keep unemployment below 8 percent. 

  No. Obama never said that. Just like he never said, "You didn't build your business".  

I'd call that dangerous abundunce of pompous arrogance, befitting a prep school bully who wants the power of the presidency, a clear warning for us all.   

Why on Earth would a country elect a man who clearly has such mean-spirited contempt, if not outright hatred, for the less affluent half of the country?  

What kind of jerk would insult and demean so many Americans?  

A first-class authoritarian asshole.  

The larger tragedy is the number of low-class authoritarain assholes who think the same way.  

And they want to "take back America".  

God help us.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Remember Four Years Ago?

Every four years the presidential challengers ask, “Are we better off now than four years ago?”

Good question. As we know, the wealthy are doing better than ever.

How about the rest of us? It’s been tough, with the Right wanting to privatize public health and safety nets, and punish us with austerity. Stepping on the little guy while coddling the rich is always their solution

But economists are generally in agreement that we are better off.

Five Veteran Economics Reporters Who Say We're Better Off:

The economy has grown for twelve consecutive quarters; private sector employment has grown for 29 consecutive months, adding millions of jobs; and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has nearly doubled from its low point in March 2009.

"From an economic growth standpoint, clearly it is better," Kevin Hall, McClatchy's national economics correspondent, said about the country's finances.

"If you go back and look at the charts -- you can pull up the GDP chart, we are growing 2 to 2.2 percent -- you would say it is clearly yes, compared to a 3.7 percent contraction in the third quarter of 2008, followed by an 8.9 percent contraction in the fourth quarter of 2008."

He later added, "You look at how many jobs were lost, December '07 to June 2009, 7.9 million jobs lost. That is a big, big number. That recession encompassed mostly the Bush era, but also four month of Obama. In the last 28 months, there's been an increase of roughly 4.4 million jobs, which if you just look at that number, it is a tremendous growth period."

"Clearly we are better off. I don't know how you could say no," he stressed. "I think we have taken the steps to shore up our banking system, people have become more proactive in paying down debt, the American consumer has taken steps to be more responsible."

Greg Ip, U.S. economics editor for The Economist, offered a similar assessment.

"I would say [we are] better off than [we] would have been without his policies," he said in an email, referring to the president. "Ordinarily, presidents have limited influence over America's big, market-driven economy. However, Mr. Obama took office at a unique time when his decisions really mattered. His initial policy actions on stimulus and crisis relief for the banks really did make the recession less severe than it otherwise would have been

Steve Pearlstein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning business and economics columnist for The Washington Post, cited a lag in median income, but found most economic indicators point to a better situation than four years ago.

"The stock market was going down very fast back then and our housing prices were going down fast, they went down quite a bit in the early days of Obama, but they probably are now higher, wealth wise," he said in an interview. "If you look at direction, in those days things were falling fast and would fall quite far.

"Today they are rising, slowly, but the direction of things is much better than it was then. If you are doing a directional analysis, we are better off."

Here are some facts and numbers that agree:

September 2008:

Monday, September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. The Dow dropped 504.48 points.

September 29, 2008 The Dow fell 777.68 points, the most in any single day in history.

Unemployment rate on Election Day 2008 – 6.5%

On Obama’s Inauguration Day - 7.3%

Obama inherited a severe economic collapse and jobs were disappearing.

Stock Market Closing Prices – January 20, 2009

Dow Jones Industrial Average ( DJIA ) Close - 7949

NASDAQ Stock Market Close - 1440

S&P 500 Close - 805

The Bush Recession was rapidly hitting the fan before Obama took office.

Soon afterwards, auto company bailouts and Obama's economic stimulus plan, despite being gutted by the corpo-dems and Republicans, started to create the confidence needed to stop the panic.

On July 24, 2009, the Dow reached a higher high, closing at 9,093.24

What happened since?

October 2009: Peak Unemployment Rate – 10%

Current Unemployment Rate – 8.3%

Even measured by the lagging indicator of unemployment, it’s getting better. The direction is now postive.

And how’s the Market doing now?

Stock Market Closing Prices - September 14, 2012

Dow Jones Close - 13593 - Way up from Bush's 7949

NASDAQ Close - 3184 - Way up from Bush's 1440

S&P 500 Close - 1466 - Way up from Bush's 805

There’s no doubt the economy is better off now than four years ago, and headed in the right direction.


We don’t give it all back to the Republicans and go backwards to their same failed policies.

Republicans want us to forget. They’d rather tell you Obama is an un-American, Muslim Marxist apologizing for our values, and sympathizing with rioters and killers, and someone who said, “You didn’t build your business”.

They’re following the classic fascist techniques of inciting resentment among the people and fusing their Big Lies with hate mongering.

They need to make it harder for people to vote.

Why? Because it’s all they got...besides tons of "free speech money" from the economic elites, plutocrats, and corporations.

Democracy is in a life and death battle.

Use it or lose it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blame Bush?

George W. Bush was enjoying a long vacation playing rancher, when on August 6, 2001 these words were put in front of his eyes. “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” The messenger was told “You’re ass is covered”, and that was the end of the matter.

We all know what happened less than a month later.

Now in his defense, there were no specifics as to where or when such an attack would occur. This was not actionable intelligence, but an analytical assessment, backed by increased chatter form suspected terrorists. Still measures could have been taken to coordinate our law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and to place airports on high alert.

But even that didn’t happen.

(Just for a second, Imagine how the Right would have reacted if that was Obama in the identical situation. Yeah. The attack would clearly have been Obama the Muslim terrorist's fault.)

And no, I’m not blaming 9-11 on the befuddled Decider. But I do blame him for inaction and negligence, and buying into Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, and their fellow PNAC (Project for a New American Century) Neocon’s distraction and obsession with invading Iraq. After that attack they spent great efforts to link Saddam with 9-11. They fooled much of the country into that deception as well, and cleared their path for invading a country that didn’t attack us.

Bette Stockbauer presents a good review of PNAC’s vision of US global military dominance.

PNAC members believe that there are four vital missions "demanded by US global leadership," but claim that "current American armed forces are ill-prepared to execute" these missions.

1. Homeland Defense.

2. Large Wars

3. Constabulary Duties

4. Transform U.S. Armed Forces.

PNAC even expressed their concern that we’d need a “new Pearl Harbor” to kick start their transformation and war-mongering dreams.

Well, good news for the Neocons. They got their new Pearl Harbor and exploited that to advance their agenda. An agenda that ignored the threat of non-state terrorism.

But, we are learning that August Presidential Daily Brief was the last warning, not the first, of an al-Qaeda attack in the US.

Today’s New York Times tells us there were earlier warnings, not yet released.

The Deafness Before the Storm:

The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.

But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster. An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.

In response, the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real.

“The U.S. is not the target of a disinformation campaign by Usama Bin Laden,” the daily brief of June 29 read, using the government’s transliteration of Bin Laden’s first name. Going on for more than a page, the document recited much of the evidence, including an interview that month with a Middle Eastern journalist in which Bin Laden aides warned of a coming attack, as well as competitive pressures that the terrorist leader was feeling, given the number of Islamists being recruited for the separatist Russian region of Chechnya.

And the C.I.A. repeated the warnings in the briefs that followed. Operatives connected to Bin Laden, one reported on June 29, expected the planned near-term attacks to have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties. On July 1, the brief stated that the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.” Some of the briefs again reminded Mr. Bush that the attack timing was flexible, and that, despite any perceived delay, the planned assault was on track.

On May 1, June 22, June 29, July 1, and finally August 6, 2001 the alarms were sounded.

Kurt Eichenwald concludes his report:

Indeed, even as the Aug. 6 brief was being prepared, Mohamed al-Kahtani, a Saudi believed to have been assigned a role in the 9/11 attacks, was stopped at an airport in Orlando, Fla., by a suspicious customs agent and sent back overseas on Aug. 4. Two weeks later, another co-conspirator, Zacarias Moussaoui, was arrested on immigration charges in Minnesota after arousing suspicions at a flight school. But the dots were not connected, and Washington did not react.

Could the 9/11 attack have been stopped, had the Bush team reacted with urgency to the warnings contained in all of those daily briefs? We can’t ever know. And that may be the most agonizing reality of all.

So do we blame Bush for 9-11? No, we blame al-Qaeda. But I do blame Bush for his subservience to the Neocons narrow self-serving vision.

And guess who Romney would have as foreign policy advisors?

Yup, the same crew that got it all wrong eleven years ago.

Not the change we need.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Little "Joke"

Mitt Romney told a little “joke” in his stump speech in Michigan on Friday.

"I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born," he said. "Ann was born at Henry Ford Hospital; I was born at Harper Hospital. No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised."

Some joke.

At least Republicans call it a joke. I wonder what they’d call it if Obama said, “I’ve been married to the same woman for twenty years. No one’s ever asked to see how many wives I have.”

“Whoa, thar, pardner, ya done gone too fur", I suspect we’d hear. “That thar’s a pickin’ on a man’s religion. Ya’all need to shut up ‘bout us a clingin to our guns and Bibles, too."

But it’s ok for Republicans to pick up one of the most hateful and divisive themes of intolerance in our politics and make a “joke”, though isn’t it?

Of course, it's ok if you're a Republican.

Was it even a joke? Or was it a “dog whistle” to keep the ignorant racists in his camp?

The Washington Post asked a few members of Romney’s audience about the birther remark.

Still, several voters interviewed after Romney and Ryan ended their rally Friday in Commerce said they interpreted Romney’s comment as a swipe at Obama.

“How did I read it? Well, there’s a lot of controversy about where Obama was born,” said Annie Lehmann, 59. “But that’s a secondary issue at this point. He’s got to fix the economy.”

Susan Cardel, 51, said she thought Romney’s comment was “hysterical.”

“That is still a big issue, isn’t it?” Cardel said. “I think it is, that Obama wasn’t born in America. I think Romney was just making a statement. He wasn’t trying to be mean or anything.”

Jim Gorcya, 72, said he read Romney’s comment as a suggestion that Obama’s birth certificate is not real.

“Obama doesn’t have one,” Gorcya said. “He wasn’t born here, and he can’t find his. Romney’s got a birth certificate. Obama can’t find his. If Obama was a real citizen, he would show it.”

If it was a joke, it was inappropriate, and lame. It was as inappropriate and lame as my hypothetical one above. Either way, it is not his privilege to go there. Republicans can make all the jokes they want about what Obama said or has done.

Making light of a falsehood, one manufactured and propelled by racist hate that could only appeal to bigots, is outside the bounds of decency.

But Republicans never could win elections by being decent, could they?

Monday, July 23, 2012


As soon as I saw the movie theatre shooting on the news, I told my friend, watch, tomorrow we'll hear this was done by Obama as part of his evil socialist plot to take our guns.

Sure enough:

Is Batman massacre staged terror?

I'm reassured as this is all meticulously explained by Alex Jones's "overwhelming evidence" in his "gut".

It "magically happened". What more do we need to know?

Not-so-fast-but-but-furious Right Wingers probably won’t read the Fortune article that best explains the ATF Fast and Furious episode, because they already know all they need to know from FOX(R) and talk radio. I’d like to share my favorite short paragraphs just in case one might read what I write before their lunacy kicks into overdrive.

They (ATF) insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.

...Irony abounds when it comes to the Fast and Furious scandal. But the ultimate irony is this: Republicans who support the National Rifle Association and its attempts to weaken gun laws are lambasting ATF agents for not seizing enough weapons—ones that, in this case, prosecutors deemed to be legal.

This won’t help the irony-impaired, cult indoctrinated believers who cannot question the lie that Fast and Furious was a, ” progressive democrat sponsored death by way of pushing guns to Mexican drug cartels."

Nothing can separate the willfully ignorant from their beliefs. “Liberals are commies”. “Obama is a Kenyan Marxist out to destroy America with death panels”. “Democrats want to take our guns”. Yadda, yadda, ad nauseam.

I have been a firearm owner all my life. I was lucky to come from a small town/rural county where gun ownership was a common responsibility, not a paranoid fantasy of some right to kill other humans.

Sanity requires some common sense firearm restrictions. Even the NRA doesn’t advocate the right to carry rocket propelled grenade launchers or 20mm Gatling guns. Who thinks it’s a good idea to arm someone convicted of domestic violence, or prison inmates, or psych ward patients?

But there are fools and racists out there who think Zimmerman should have his pistol handed back to him, with an "attaboy, go git 'em" slap on the back.

I don’t think banning guns is a practical idea, but banning firearm regulations is foolish, hard-headed and dangerous. Bottom line: Everyone reasonably sane is in favor of some gun control. Period.

Only one side refuses reasonably sane compromise. As usual.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Republicans Against Thinking

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled Obamacare is constitutional, we can all huddle in terror and tremble for our lost liberty, the death of freedom, the complete government takeover of health care, and last but not least, death panels.

Cue fear reaction.

We were warned.

Those of us who are even moderately informed, and have a slight ability for critical thinking, won't be holding our breaths waiting to be shown those death panels the Right Wing authoritarians were shrieking about not so long ago.

Yes they lied. No matter. They will always lie.

The greatest threat to authoritarians is the ability of people to think for themselves.

It's time the Radical Right did something about this dire threat to their propaganda and power.

Let’s look to Texas Republicans for their solution to neutralize this threat. Check this from Education Week:

"Texas GOP: No More Critical Thinking in Schools"

The 2012 Texas Republican Party Platform, adopted June 9 at the state convention in Forth Worth, seems to take a stand against, well, the teaching of critical thinking skills. Read it for yourself:

“We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student's fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

Right. We all know whose “beliefs” and “authority” are threatened by critical thinking.

Not surprisingly, it turns out the authoritarians are urging for more authority.

In that same section of the document, labeled "Educating Our Children," the Texas Republicans go on to state that they "oppose mandatory pre-school and Kindergarten." And, in a statement that human rights groups (and many others) will find difficult to stomach, the platform says, "We recommend that local school boards and classroom teachers be given more authority to deal with disciplinary problems. Corporal punishment is effective and legal in Texas."

While corporal punishment is in fact legal in Texas—and 18 other states, according to The Center for Effective Discipline—we're still poking around to find the research backing its effectiveness in the Lone Star State. Nothing so far. Readers, let us know what you come across.

And while you’re at it, let us know where we can find one of those death panels, too.

Nothing so far? Keep looking. The “liberal media” must be hiding them somewhere.

Authoritarian leaders would never misinform us and demand we take their word for anything, right?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Flag Day

Typically we see everyone put their flags out on the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, or Veterans Day. Since it is not an official federal holiday, most Americans probably don’t know today is Flag Day.

A quick Wikipedia reference tells us:

In the United States Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777. The United States Army also celebrates the Army Birthday on this date; Congress adopted "the American continental army" after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

Once again I fly over our house my late father-in-law’s flag I inherited. I feel a strong sense to honor the man and his flag and our country in doing so. He was a Bronze Star veteran of Patton’s Third Army in the Second World War. His 318th Infantry Regiment was the infantry support for the famous Fourth Armored Division’s breakthrough to relieve Bastogne in December of 1944. I’ve been an avid reader of WWII history after learning of his service, and that of my uncle, who was awarded a Silver Star during the same Battle of the Bulge.

For perspective, America’s bloodiest battle cost us unimaginably horrific losses of over 10,000 killed, 47,000 wounded, and 23,000 missing.

This is but one reason I want to see his flag flying as long as possible. It represents the very best of our national spirit of freedom.

Yes, I am aware that the flag was also a symbol and representation of entirely different things for American Indians through history. Fortunately that was an exception and not the rule.

We need to be watchful that our flag does not become a symbol of theft, conquest and aggression.

And we need to remember the flag, for all it represents, is still a symbolic image and representation of something greater. It represents our nation, our people, our land, our dreams, our history, and our future.

And our Constitution.

As the late great Molly Ivans reminded us, former Rep. Craig Washington once said during a lonely soliloquy on the floor of the Texas Senate: "I prefer a man who will burn the flag and then wrap himself in the Constitution to a man who will burn the Constitution and then wrap himself in the flag."

Figuratively far too much of that has been going on the past decade.

Now if only we can bring more attention to Constitution Day (Citizens Day) September 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787.

We need to wave that more often.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Truth Spill

They say a gaffe in Washington is when a politician tells the truth. When a Republican does it, it's more than a mere gaffe. He's going to be in trouble.

From The Virginian-Pilot:

Stimulus helped Virginia weather crisis

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, wandered off script somewhat Sunday as a surrogate for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign, saying that President Barack Obama's stimulus measures helped his state weather the economic crisis.

McDonnell, a potential vice presidential candidate who has sought to walk a tightrope between conservatives and moderates, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that federal assistance aided Virginia in balancing its budget, but he said it had no positive long-term impact.

"Did it help us in the short run with health care and education and spending to balance the budget? Sure," McDonnell said. "Does it help us in the long term to really cut the unemployment rate? I'd say no."

During his CNN appearance, when asked whether Obama deserved "just a tiny bit of credit" for helping the economy, McDonnell said: "Well, sure. I think there are national policies that have had some impact."

Oops. Some truth was inadvertently spilled by a Republican. He’d better get back with the program. He's going to have to lie about how tax cuts for the rich are going to create jobs and deregulating Wall Street will lead to prosperity for all.
Ah, here we go.
McDonnell also criticized Obama for "overburdensome regulations" and argued that Republican-led states have fared better during the downturn and struggling recovery.

"Think how much better we'd do if we had President Romney," he said.

I'm afraid that little backtrack shall elicit little mercy upon him in the court of King Rushbo the Corpulent.

He's toast.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Don't Be Cruel

John McCain defended Romney's career on Fox News Sunday, saying, “The only place in the world that I can recall where companies never failed was the old Soviet Union. ... And yes, the free enterprise system can be cruel.”

Yes, John, it can be very cruel. Not to you, or Mitt (the Snip) Romney, or the aristocratic elites of the Republican Party, the economic elites of Wall Street, or the Koch Brothers. No, the "free enterprise system" is cruel to the American people trampled under the gilded jackboot of the corporatocracy that has seized our government and subsumed and neutralized our democracy.

The cold cruel claws of unregulated capitalism and it's servile class of minions in the Republican and Democratic Parties will reduce our country into the same conditions the Soviets inflicted on their population.

The cold cruel monstrosities of the Big Money Club already rub their hands in anticipation of austerity for the masses and increased wealth and power for the elites.

It takes cruel men to inflict cruelty on others. This is the inevitable result from the destruction of democracy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's About Character

Republicans love to tell us, “It’s about character”. Never their own, mind you.

John Edwards is a slimeball for cheating on his wife.

But Newt Gingrich is not a slimeball.

Simple enough for the simple-minded ideologue. We’ll look at an explanation for this in a moment.

Willard (Mitt-the-Snip) Romney led a group of fellow prep school bullies in taking down a fellow student and forcibly cutting his hair, while the victim screamed for help.

Everyone in his posse remembers the incident, except for Romney, for some reason.

“I don’t remember that incident,” Romney said, laughing. “I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual.”

I see.

So Mitt remembers the individual, but not what he did to him?

“Back in high school, I did some dumb things, and if anybody was hurt by that or offended, obviously I apologize for that,” Romney told Fox (R)’s Brian Kilmeade. Romney added: “I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school, and some might have gone too far, and for that I apologize.”

We note that he offered the typical Right Wing lame excuse for an “apology” laced with mitigating terms like “if” and “might”.

Well, “if” Willard can’t remember his bully behavior, then he “might” not be smart enough to be president. And if he lied about it, he’s not moral enough to be dogcatcher.

But we already know that.

Former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean’s 2006 book titled “Conservatives without Conscience” gives us valuable insight into the dark recesses of the radical right-wing mentality. Authoritarian personalities like Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh dominate their ideology.

They are bullies.

John Dean summarizes in a 2008 BuzzFlash interview:

In post-World War II, a group of social scientists were very concerned or very interested to find out if what had happened in Italy and Germany under Mussolini and Hitler could occur in the United States. They initially undertook their work with a little bit of empirical study, but mostly relying on Freudian psychology. And they did conclude that there is clearly an authoritarian personality. They issued their report in a book by Adorno and others that was called “The Authoritarian Personality”.

This research has really never been totally refuted. But other social scientists were critical of it because of its Freudian basis. So they quickly began studying to see if this personality type held up based on pure empirical study, by which I mean anonymously asking people questions that would reveal their personality types, their attitudes, their dispositions, and what have you.

The work on authoritarian followers showed a personality that is easily submissive to authority, be it political, religious or even parental. They submit quickly, and once they do, they become very aggressive in pushing that world view of that authority. They become submissive because they find great comfort psychologically in submitting. It helps them remove the ambiguities of life. And if they’re frightened by events, then this gives them a sense of security. And they’re typically very conventional in their lifestyle.

There are also, however, a lot of very negative traits which I’ve outlined in the book. They are very self-righteous. They are not self-critical. They have very little critical thinking about their own behavior. They are often nasty and mean-spirited. They are bullies. They are prejudiced. And the higher they test on these questionnaires and scales, the more conservative they are. You don’t find people on the left testing the same way. It’s very interesting. You cannot get even statistically significant numbers of people on the left that fall in this category of followers.

On the other side are the leaders. They are typically men whose desire in life is to dominate others and to be in charge. They are very aggressive when they do so. They are highly manipulative. They are also people who have absolutely no appreciation of equality of others. They see themselves as superior, and they are amoral in their thinking. They, too, have a host of other negative traits that are in many regards similar to the followers.

It’s not a very pleasant personality type, but it is certainly there. And it has certainly been established scientifically and corroborated and confirmed, time and time again. And this is clearly the core of the conservative movement.

‘The core of the conservative movement”. Amen.

Dean relied on Professor Bob Altemeyer of the University of Manitoba for much of his reference material. Professor Altemeyer has generously made his book available for free online.

“The Authoritarians

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Promises, Promises

Wasn’t it just last week when the most hateful thing ever said was by Hilary Rosen? Something about Ann Romney having "never worked a day in her life."

The horror!

Republicans and other aristocrats were shocked, shocked at the vile hate speech and quickly demanded more civility from those hateful Democrats.


So, why should anyone be upset by Ted Nugent’s latest display of venomous ignorance? Those silly politically correct liberals must be so thin-skinned.

For someone as intensely vocal in his opposition to drugs, Teddy boy certainly appeared to have taken a big shrill pill at last week’s NRA convention. After his paranoia and hate came pouring out of his mouth for the consumption of his fellow gun nuts, the Secret Service was obligated to investigate.

Ironically, once again another radical Right Winger just wasted some more of our tax dollars.

"We are aware of the incident with Ted Nugent, and we are conducting appropriate follow-up," said Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary in a statement. "We recognize an individual's right to freedom of speech but we also have a responsibility to determine and investigate intent."

Yes they had to go question Teddy boy because of his violence-inciting hate talk.

We remember back in 2008 when his typically foul mouth shot off, “Obama, he's a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun”. And, “Hey Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.”

Now he’s back with even more bile.

"We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November," Nugent said at the convention.

Ok. We get the bloody framing of the democratic process with this remark. Fine.

But that wasn’t enough. He needed to kick it up a notch.

At the convention Teddy boy admonished the solvent and oil scented firearms enthusiasts, if they do not "clean house in this vile, evil, America-hating administration, I don't even know what you're made out of."

Hateful American extremists really do love to call White House Democrats a “vile, evil, America-hating administration”, don't they?

People who listen to him are fools. Apart from hunting, Teddy boy is not an expert at anything. Your average high school music teacher knows way more about music.

Ted may be a better than average hunter and a mediocre, one-key musician, but he takes the cake as a reactionary royal asshole.

Now he’s off into the full-tilt ravings of a true fascist.

On the Dana Loesch radio show Tuesday he said, “It's about 'we the people' taking back our American dream from the corrupt monsters in the federal government under this administration and the communist czars [Obama has] appointed."

Fascism: Exhibit “A”. People you hate are a bunch of commies.

"I've never in my life threatened anyone's life," he added. Maybe not, but his incendiary hate speech is quite enough to inspire some fellow gun nut to do the job for him.

I happen to know a Secret Service guy. We both grew up in the same small town in the big woods where we hunted and fished throughout our younger days. He told me they call the fringe types, “gun fags”.

My favorite part was when Teddy told the frightened gun sheeple, "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year."

“Don’t laugh! Do you think that’s funny?” Teddy scowled at an amused listener.

Well I think it’s funny. Not that we rejoice in, or fear, the imminent demise or incarceration of a lunatic of the Hutaree Militia class.

No. I laugh at yet another empty promise from the radical Right BS factory.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Projecting Stupid

Obama was recently mentioning the hypocisy shown by the radical Right with their desire to have the Supreme Court overturn the Affordable Health Care Act.

Remember when they complained about a contemptable "activist" Supreme Court whenever it disagreed with the Right? Remember when they whined about the terrible lack of "judicial restraint" from the Court?

Now add an "attack on Supreme Court independence" to their shrill squawking.

On Twitter, Chuck "Death Panels"Grassley wrote: "Constituents askd why i am not outraged at PresO attack on supreme court independence. Bcause Am ppl r not stupid as this x prof of con law."

We can only hope and pray the "Am ppl" are not as stupid as Mr. Death Panels and Sarah Palin.

From Politico:

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is warning that Americans should be worried about an "end of life" provision in the House health care bill. “In the House bill, there is counseling for end of life,” Grassley said Wednesday during a town hall in Winterset, Iowa. “You have every right to fear. You shouldn’t have counseling at the end of life, you should have done that 20 years before. Should not have a government run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma.”

A rumor that the legislation will determine when older Americans end their lives is rampant at town hall meetings, propelled in part by former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin who warned the Democratic plan would create bureaucratic "death panels."

The House health care plan would require Medicare to fund voluntary end-of-life counseling sessions for older Americans. Grassley fueled -- rather than corrected-- the rumor at the packed town hall Wednesday morning, when asked about older Americans being "denied health care." “There are some people who think it is a terrible problem that grandma is laying in a bed with tubes in her, and that the government should intervene,” he said. “I think that’s a family or religious thing that needs to be dealt with.”

Yes, "you have every right to fear" all right, but not for grandma. You can fear for the future of our democratic republic. You can fear for our grandkids. You can fear the Republicans' war on democracy. You can fear the effects of the vile propaganda from ignorant liars and fear mongers like Grassley.

So, "Death Panel" Chucky, tell us please. Tell us where those death panels are lurking? Show your voters how smart you are compared to that "stupid" x prof.

Not that your voters care. Stupid is as stupid votes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Losing Our Democracy

The Republicans’ War on Democracy is taking its toll. Stealing elections and suppressing voters is a full time campaign, and the Guardians of Plutocracy are unrelenting.

Today’s New York Times article is a clear warning that democracy is losing in America. Fascism, totalitarianism, corporatocracy, or whatever you want to call the opposite of democracy, is prevailing.

The percentage of registered New Mexico voters has fallen. New voter registration rates in Florida are falling by 20 to 40% in certain counties. College voter registration tables are empty.

The League of Women Voters registration efforts have been crippled. The Florida Secretary of State is threatening a $50 dollar fine for each “late” application form.

It’s good to see the Brennan Center for Justice is challenging the Florida Republicans’ voter suppression laws on First Amendment grounds that registering to vote is protected speech.

In the meantime, the Republican Party has been winning their war on democracy.

I know it sucks to vote the lesser of evils. I hate voting for those almost as loathsome corporatist Democrats.

But is there any other real choice?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Oppose the Hate

I wasn’t going to comment on yet another incident of vile hatred spewing from Republican spokesman Limbaugh. Now I need to speak up. One reason is to support and report the fact that corporations have spoken up, in their way, that is meaningful even to the fanatics of the radical Right. Sleep Number, The Sleep Train, Quicken Loans, Legal Zoom, Citrix, Carbonite, and ProFlowers have pulled their ads from Limbaugh’s hate show. Several others are considering following their lead. Only when faced with losing sponsors did Rush "Mr. Oxycontin/viagra" Limbaugh even pretend to apologize to the woman he called a slut.

The second, and primary, reason I must address this topic is this:

Hate is a contagious and toxic infection on humanity. Limbaugh’s hate was passed on to an innocent girl with a painful medical condition treated by birth control medication.

From the article:

The note was in her locker when she opened it before her first class. She was so upset that she went to her teacher in first period and asked to be excused to go to the bathroom. She said for first and second period she tried not to be too upset- she cried a little bit but was just trying to figure out who would leave such a piece of trash in her locker. By third period, she had shown the note to a couple of her friends and they were so helpful, trying to play detective and at the same time telling her she should just ignore the stupid people!

She managed to get through a math quiz and Spanish test and headed off to lunch in a pretty solid frame of mind. And that's when it really fell apart; apparently, the girls from the day before were the authors of the note. They lined up behind my daughter to get their lunch tray and started in on her. "Birth control whore", "I told my mom you were on the pill and she said you were nothing but a little tramp" "My mom said some guy she listens to on the radio was just talking about girls like you- he even said you were a slut!" "Yeah, my mom said the same thing, said it's about time people spoke up and weren't afraid to tell the truth"!

They laughed, they harassed, they said so many things my daughter couldn't begin to remember it all- she walked back to her table without food and told her friends what was going on. She cried through lunch and through the rest of the day. She said she almost went to the office to call me to come get her but she was trying to be strong and not let them win! The last class of the day, however, was the final straw- it's her history class and 2 of these little monsters are in the class with her.

They start the class off by talking about current events. One of the little witches brought up Rush Limbaugh and the (male) teacher said that he was an American Icon- sometimes he says things that can be construed as insensitive but overall, he was one of the few people left in today's media who was not afraid to speak the truth!

Please read the full story. And then, please go to the link for the petition to remove the hateful arrogant Limbaugh off Armed Forces Radio. Our tax dollars must not be used to promote the evil of the radical Right.

Here is the petition and link:

Sec. Panetta, Get Rush Limbaugh Off Armed Forces Radio NOW! No tax money for abusive, divisive, insulting language.

It is not bad enough that he provides partisan blather, that he demeans our President.
He has regularly demeaned women.

His remarks this week were well beyond the pale of what should be broadcast to our military and their families, supported with our tax dollars.

We have a moral objection to our tax dollars being used for such a purpose.

You should move immediately to cancel any further broadcast through government facilities of his venom.

There is no excuse for the US Government, in any capacity, giving this man an audience.
It is an insult to the honorable men and women who serve this nation.

The people in our military services do not need the hateful evil of that man on their radio.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hate Fest, Litmus Test

Yee haw, it’s time once again for our gala annual hate fest, and litmus test, for Right Wing extremism. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Conservative Political Action Conference. (CPAC)

Yes it’s time for “real Americans” to fire up the old “two minute hate” machinery for a week. Time to whip up misinformation, stir up some paranoia, and pour out a heap a old-fashioned Right Wing fear and loathing of their fellow Americans; those evil America haters who’d rather not see money as free speech, corporations as super persons, Wall Street as master of government, and anonymous Big Money interests buying elections.

How dare those sniveling socialists stand in the way of aristocrats, theocrats and autocrats having their God-given, money bought, rightful, and complete power over the media, the economy, the elections, and their government?

Step right up and feel the anger, the rage, and fury of our courageous guardians of wealth and power. Sense the righteous outrage of the noble and brave protectors of the privileged. Bask in the mercies and compassion of our most oppressed minority, as we hear their woeful tales of persecution.

Congressman Allen West: “[T]he public good is a misnomer, created by our liberal friends. It is not the public good that matters, it is the personal good."

Cal Thomas: “Well I’m really glad, Genevieve, that you played the Rachel Maddow clip, because I think that she is the best argument in favor of her parents using contraception.”

Ann Coulter; “Democrats are like your degenerate brother-in-law who borrows money for rent, spends it on crack and hookers, then asks for rent money again.”

Wayne LaPierre executive vice president of the National Rifle Association: "All that first term, lip service to gun owners is just part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment during his second term.”

Victoria Jackson: former SNL cast member, reacting to Occupy DC protesters: “They’re communists, and they’re angry.”

Don’t be fooled by those liberals and their “public good” crap folks. They're like crackheads, and the best argument in favor of their parents using contraception. They’re communist degenerates out to take your shootin’ irons from your cold dead fingers.

And thems the NICE things we got to say bout them treasonous commies.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

USA! We're Number...What?


We’re number one! Other than chanting, just what exactly we are number one at? Besides maybe concentration of wealth at the top and militarism, it’s a mystery to me. We are not number one in health care access for our people. We are not number one in upward mobility.

Maybe we’re number one in levels of incarceration of citizens.

Yes, we’ve all heard the rousing chants. From Nuremburg in 1933 to the famous Palin/McCain rallies of ’08, there’s nothing that gives the feeling of belonging, and sense of pride, more than patriotic chants at mass rallies. From celebrating the birth of the Third Reich to the feverish shrieks against the commie Muslim terrorist Obama, the power of pride swells the masses into ideological frenzy.

It is the herd mentality of the human species. We are very much like sheep and cattle in that sense. We are manipulated like herd animals to huddle in fear, take off our shoes, show our papers, scream out our version of the “two minute hate”, and lash out militarily by unscrupulous authoritarian leaders.

Apart from understanding the herd instinct of their followers, authoritarian leaders universally know something else. A free press is as much their enemy as democracy.

The Nazis had Goebbels, the Soviets had Pravda, and the American Right has talk radio and FOX(R). Their common purpose is the political indoctrination of the population.

Investigative reporters are the enemy. Journalism itself is a political target. The message must be controlled.

The founders clearly understood the need for a free press. It is at the top of the Bill of Rights, along with the right of the people to free speech and assembly.

But how is that “free press thingy” workin’ out for us?

The radical Right has been attacking it for decades as “liberal media”. They want the American people to listen to the unfiltered ideology of the Right, and to distrust corporate news reporting because of a fictional liberal bias. Trust the Party line, not your newspaper or broadcast news.

That’s bad enough for a democratic republic, but it gets worse.

The worse news is the quality of a free press in the US has fallen. According to Reporters Without Borders, in the Free Press Index for 2011 /2012 we share the level of 47th place in the world, with Argentina and Romania.

Who’s at the top of the list?

“This year’s index finds the same group of countries at its head, countries such as Finland, Norway and Netherlands that respect basic freedoms. This serves as a reminder that media independence can only be maintained in strong democracies and that democracy needs media freedom.”

Wouldn’t ya know? Those darn socialist countries with universal single payer health care did it again. It's gotta be a communist conspiracy!

So what happened to us? Why is our free press sinking in the former land of the free? Perhaps it is because we no longer have a strong democracy. We are a corporatocracy. Times have changed.

The article explains: “The United States (47th) also owed its fall of 27 places to the many arrests of journalists covering Occupy Wall Street protests.”

In fact, much of the corporate media could barely contain its hostility toward the OWS protestors:

The front page of Rupert Murdoch's New York Post (11/4/11), urging a crackdown on Occupy Wall Street, proclaimed: "Enough! Mr. Mayor, It Is Time to Reclaim Zuccotti Park--and New York's Dignity."

CNN's Wolf Blitzer:On September 19: "Protests here in New York on Wall Street entering a third day. Should New Yorkers be worried at all about what's going on?"

Washington Post: November 16: "Is this an occupation or an infestation?"

Is this what democracy and its free press look like?

Tragically, no.

And how were reporters covering the Zuccotti Park crackdown treated?

Mother Jones’ Josh Harkinson reported:

"Can I help you?" an burly officer asked me, his helpfulness belied by his scowl.

"I'm a reporter," I told him.

"This is a frozen zone, all right?" he said, using a term I'd never heard before. "Just like them, you have to leave the area. If you do not, you will be subject to arrest."

By then, riot police were moving in, indiscriminately dousing the peaceful protesters with what looked like pepper spray or some sort of gas. As people yelled and screamed and cried, I tried to stay calm.

"I promise to leave once the arrests are done," I replied.

"No, you are going to leave now."

He grabbed my arm and began dragging me off. My shoes skidded across the park's slimy granite floor. All around me, zip-cuffed occupiers writhed on the ground beneath a fog of chemicals.

"I just want to witness what is going on here," I yelped.

"You can witness it with the rest of the press," he said. Which, of course, meant not witnessing it.

"Why are you excluding the press from observing this?" I asked.

"Because this is a frozen zone. It's a police action going on. You could be injured."

His meaning was clear. I let myself be hustled across the street to the press pen.

USA! USA! We’re 47th in freedom of the press.

“Frozen Zone”. Now that sounds like the state of our democracy.

Next stop, the Fascist Zone.