Monday, October 19, 2009

Weimar America

"Our democracy is under attack. Men in high public office and with control over our national airwaves are deliberately stoking a potentially violent movement opposed to our democratic process. They challenge the legitimacy of the last election, they label our elected leaders with the worst political curse words they can think of, they encourage the purchase of weapons at local gun shops and talk of secession in the capitals.

"You don’t have to be a Holocaust-obsessed Jewish academic to see what is going on. Or to remember that German mainstream conservatives were so opposed to the liberal reforms pushed by the democratic system Weimar system that they thought they could harness a violent radical and hateful movement to win political advantage. They were stupid. But we would be stupider the second time around."
Steve Hochstadt
Weimar America

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Creigh Deeds Making Virginia Dems Wish They'd Picked Terry McAuliffe

Several things in this news story illustrate the sorry state of American politics and the electorate.

First: "[Terry] McAuliffe came into the race with a huge financial network that he built on the part of the Clintons; and in the unlikely event that his network had not come through for him, he had enough of a private fortune that he would have been able to help himself."

In other words, in the world of US politics the race does not go to the best and brightest, it goes to the one with the deepest pockets. One the the reasons for the growing cynicism on the part of the average voter is the perception that state and national political campaigns are merely the domain of competing members of the same socio-economic class, i.e. the suburban coordinator class, to the exclusion of everyone else.

Second: "Perhaps the single most politically devastating moment for Mr. Deeds was when he gave a halting and fumbling answer...about whether he would raise taxes to pay for repairing the state’s transportation system. Republicans have used clips from it to produce two of the most devastating advertisements of the campaign, raising questions at once about his views on taxes..."

The sorriest fact of the matter is that the vast majority of Americans want to live on The Big Rock Candy Mountain. We want everything government provides without paying for it. Therefore as voters we truly get what we pay for.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Does anyone on the Left seriously believe that a President John McCain or a President Hillary Clinton would have promoted peace as much as Obama has?

"And when it comes to a country as powerful as the United States, gradations matter; they can be the difference between untold numbers of people living or dying, as Election 2000 should have made clear, when some on the Left said there was "not a dime's worth of difference" between Bush and Al Gore. "
Robert Parry

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Ayn Rand Redux

Ayn Rand Redux

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Middle class squeeze: The deep roots of an economic and social transformation -- DailyFinance

Middle class squeeze: The deep roots of an economic and social transformation -- DailyFinance

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Second Great Depression Still Possible: <I>The Financial Times</i>

Yes, it will get worse before it gets better. In fact the coming economic collapse, because the economy has not truly collapsed as yet, will make the "recession" of last year look like a child's tea party.

As for the public sector contraction, it is happening in my state. Our less-than-popular Democratic governor has instituted a ten per cent across the board cut to all state departments because of a short fall in tax revenue collection. Lay-offs will likely fall heaviest on unionized state workers, who do not lover our Democratic governor in the first place, putting added strain on the already overtaxed unemployment insurance fund.

Our governor's potential Republican opponents, however, offer the typical GOP response to economic crisis: cut public spending even more, especially to social services such as child care, job training, drug counseling and so on. The irony lost on the typical Republican politician is, many in the GOP base, rural whites, rely on Depart of Human Services programs.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

The “Tea Party” Movement and Its Misuse of History

The “Tea Party” Movement and Its Misuse of History

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

McCain must not know about the Internet

Either Arizona Senator John McCain hasn't learned about the existence of the Internet yet or he thinks, and perhaps rightly so, Americans have the memory span of a gnat. Or, to be generous, perhaps the good Senator is exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer's' disease for there must be a reason for this:
McCain: big troop buildup needed in Afghanistan
By CHARLES BABINGTON (AP) – 1 hour ago

WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain says President Barack Obama will make a huge error if he does not substantially increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan

McCain said he did not think the United States can win in Afghanistan unless Obama sends at least 40,000 more troops to augment the 68,000 now there. He agreed with those who see 40,000 new troops as the desire of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, although McChrystal gave Obama a range of options.
October 11, 2009

Here's why Senator McCain's position on sending more troops to Afghanistan is rather puzzling: back in the Nineties the Arizona senator as something akin to a pacifist.

You see back during Bill Clinton's presidency after the Blackhawk down incident in Mogadishu, Somalia, the ex-Naval aviator and POW said things like, "The longer we stay the more difficult it will be to leave. The loss of American lives is not only tragic, it is needless." and "Now is the time for us to get out of Somalia, as rapidly, and as promptly, and as safely as possible."

A few months later, when Clinton sent troops to Haiti peace-dove McCain was for getting them right back out.

Then when Clinton decided it was time that US forces intervene in Bosnia, hippie-boy Johnny said something like this , "I think you can draw a parallel to the military challenge in Bosnia with what the Russians faced in Afghanistan. Even with ground forces and with overwhelming air superiority, they were unable to defeat a motivated, very capable enemy."

So what could cause this most pacifistic of US Senators from the Nineties into a saber-rattling war monger he is today? Politics. The nature of today's Republican Party is to be contrarian on anything and everything which any Democratic politician proposes. It's just all a shadow-puppet show for the masses anyway. The real power is on Wall Street so who cares what an aging senator sliding into senility says or how many kids in the All Volunteer Force get ground up into so much hamburger.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Newt Pornographer Strikes Back: Gingrich Named Porn Fan of the Year by Scorned Dinner Date

The Newt Pornographer Strikes Back: Gingrich Named Porn Fan of the Year by Scorned Dinner Date

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Where are the "moderate" Republicans?

Today the burning question on the lips of all the talking heads--he wrote as he listened to David Byrne--is, "Where are the moderate Republicans?"

Indeed where are the "moderate," I guess meaning those expressing a willingness to compromise, Republicans?

Simple answer, the Democratic Party.

It should come as no surprise to pundits, commentators and the other various and assorted wise guys and gals of the mainstream media that from about 1980 until now the Reagan-Norquist-Limbaugh wing of the Republican Party has, with the exception of say an Olympia Snow, driven any semblance of moderation from the party of Lincoln. And actually this migration began long before the ascendancy of the great deity, Ronald Reagan.

In a word the migration of the moderate wing of the Republican Party began, truly began, the night of December 1, 1969 when the first Nixonian draft lottery was drawn. I was 1-A at the time and living in the Hillcrest dorm on the campus of the University of Iowa. And oh, the moaning and groaning I heard in the TV room. Of course the college campuses blew up afterward when it was disclosed US forces had widened the war by invading Cambodian, then the shooting of four demonstrators at Kent State University in Ohio. But I digress.

The effect of Vietnam was that many young men and women from Republican voting households switched allegiance to the Democratic Party, at least the peace wing. Our current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is a good example of that kind of individual.

So to answer the musical question, where are the moderate Republicans? There ain't any. Mayo Clinic Warns of Swine Flu Pandemic Mayo Clinic Warns of Swine Flu Pandemic

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Congratulations President Obama on the Nobel Peace Prize -- Now Please Earn it!

Cornell West said as much on "New Rules with Bill Maher," last night.

It is incumbent upon us, the people who elected President Obama, to keep him on the course we want, not one set by the corporations or by the Pentagon or by political action committees.

We do not elect dictators. We elect chief executives who are to carry out the will of the people. And the best way under our Constitution the will of the people can be carried out is by electing Representatives and Senators who understand what the will of the people is, and 2010 represents an opportunity expand progressive representation.

And we must keep pressure on President Obama through our letters, phone calls and emails. We can not let up on this guy for a minute. When he screws up, tell him.

And we must set aside our American need for instant gratification. We mandate the president and Congress to undo thirty to forty years of pro-corporate corruption and that will take time because we do not elect dictators.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Analogies for War: Vietnam and Afghanistan

Analogies for War: Vietnam and Afghanistan

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To rat fuck the Iowa GOP or not?

Look, incumbent Governor Chet Culver hasn't been all that good of Democrat. In fact I more or less predicted as much, a Culver governorship wouldn't be much different than that of his conservative '06 Republican rival Jim Nussel. Christ I hate being right.

But the thing is Iowans seem to like bland, go-along-to-get-along politicians in Terrace Hill and Chet kind of fits the amiable bumbler mold. But Chet stabbed one of his natural constituencies, organized labor, in the back with his veto of the "Fair Share" bill.

So with Chet's future looking cloudy goes this bit of sunshine for Iowa's Republicans.
Former Gov. Terry Branstad's formation Wednesday of a committee to explore running for governor exposed tension among Iowa Republicans over who would be the best candidate to take on Democrat incumbent Chet Culver as a steward of the budget.

By forming a campaign organization with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, Branstad took a step toward launching a comeback campaign, a move expected to whittle the field, although none of the six contenders already campaigning for the nomination quit the race Wednesday.

In 1992, Branstad admitted making mistakes in handling the state's budget, and later that year signed his administration's second sales tax increase to help close a $400 million gap.
The Des Moines, Thomas Beaumont, October 8, 2009

In today's political climate, however, to red meat Republicans, i.e. wing nuts, Branstad is little more than a Democrat under false pretenses.

So the question is: Should Democrats re-register as Republicans during the primary and vote for squirrel-bait bastard Chris Rants or let the Republicans bloody themselves?

I know, I know a lot of folks on the ideologically pure left don't buy the less-of-two-evils theory but, dope though he is, Chet is preferable to Terry and the GOP pirates.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Michelle Bachmann Saturday Nite

Yep, Minnesota US Representative Michelle Bachmann like to keep it clean.

Too bad her politics are so dirty.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Glenn Beck Wet Dream No. 1

Here ya go, boys and girls, a peek at what could be the GOP's dream ticket for 2012!