Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hobbeson's choice

Click image for full Rob Rogers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoon.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bill about Monica, Duhbya about cocaine

On day 1216, an incredibly smarmy, lying asshole...

Note which two of these liars committed a crime - and which party they belonged to.

(h/t Jed Lewison on DailyKos)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mordant laughter

"The next time a Republican tells you anything about 'fiscal responsibility,' laugh at 'em, just laugh at 'em," Biden said.
It's bullshit. Republicans only care about the deficit if we're going to spend money on people, y'know, socialism.


(h/t EricLykins on KnoxViews)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stupid and ugly election

Linky love...

As for us Democrats, in the last two cycles we elected the first female Speaker of the House, had the first competitive female presidential primary candidate, and elected the first black president. We saved our country from Great Depression 2.0, began winding down a senseless war, passed sweeping reforms that will begin the long overdue process of overhauling our health care and financial systems, made college more affordable for millions of students, and passed the largest middle-class tax cut in U.S. history.

So we got us some progressive change - some of it half-assed but change nonetheless - in spite of the just-say-no obstructionists who want to stop all progress and angry mobs who want to "take our country back." To 1861.

Go. Read.

Ignorance is truth

This is only a freeped on-line poll, but:

[E]ven if you grant that the poll was the victim of an organized attack, I'm still amazed by what we can learn from it. In response to the question "Which policy options do you support?" 42 percent of the respondents chose the answer "keeping science out of the political process."
Conservatives have embraced their schlerotic ignorance as a badge of honor. This is not a good thing for American society. Andrew Leonard could be channelling me (if channelling were real):
We need more science in the political process, not less. The countries that understand that will thrive and prosper. The ones that don't will undoubtedly fail, if they haven't already doomed themselves.

Lies, damned lies, and Republican propaganda

The GOP and its Tea Party allies have deceived the American people:

The Congressional Budget Office's projected budget deficit for FY2009, beginning four months before Obama took office, was already in excess of $1.3 trillion. Indeed, the 2011 budget deficit is projected to be ever-so-slightly lower than the one Bush left on the White House doorstep. Despite the one-time $787 billion economic stimulus (spread over three years), no huge growth in government spending has taken place on Obama's watch.
Yet it's an article of faith among wingnuts that spending is out of control. What's really out of control is lying.

My country won't be able to make better choices until its citizens learn enough not to trust Republicans ever again.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

But they're not coordinating

The Republican web of lies and smears is sustained by a web of so-called independent groups. They even have the nerve to call themselves "non-partisan."

Yeah, like the Swift Boat Liars were in 2004...

(h/t Mark Sumner on DailyKos)

It is what it is

Like it or not, election day gives an answer. It did in 2008, and belligerent wingnuts never accepted the result. In six days, it will in 2010, and I'll accept the result, though not for a femtosecond its wisdom.

Nationally, voters are poised to bring back the jackass Republican policies that in 8 years screwed America up completely - unjustified war on lying pretexts in Iraq, torture as an instrument of policy, financial deregulation that led to the meltdown, huge spending and tax cuts for the very wealthy that turned a surplus into a raging deficit.

We Democrats only had 2 years to fix that legacy of complete failure, which is incredibly unfair (but fair don't goddamn enter into it). We failed because we were too timid. We should have rammed the whole package of liberal reforms down their throats. We should have mocked their screams and smacked around their immense lack of insight.

But the revenge of the morans [sic] will be a fact. And, as a liberal, I deal with reality, rather than bullshit conservative fantasy.

The TV-driven fad of angry stupidity will bring back exactly the same Republican Bushist policies that created our serious problems. Still, wingnuts are going to win nationwide. Congratulations, idiots, you will win.

The returning Republican policies are based on obviously idiotic principles.

  • The wealthy don't get enough rewards to keep them working (if you can call creaming off all the best tidbits working), even though their share of the pie has grown to the point where the top 20% own 84% of America.
  • Public borrowing, even at microscopic interest rates, can never lead to a larger economy - even though private borrowing to advance private interests is a common and orgasmic fetish of the right.
  • The only positive thing that government can do is to lower taxes and reduce the deficit (yes, two contradictory thoughts at the same time), even if conservatives are never willing to name spending cuts that they would make to balance any budget.
  • Financial institutions that have just brought America to the edge of the precipice of depression can be trusted - constrained by the "free" market - to not do it again. Because every John Galt is perfect. (Though egoistically amoral in the original...) Never mind the experience of 2008, which would make wingnut heads explode if they didn't have Barney Fag to blame.
  • America is a Christian nation, never mind that the Constitution says, "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States," and the Bill of Rights says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."
  • Freedom means liberals can't make snide comments about wingnut bullshit.
Keeping the Senate in Democratic hands hardly even matters, though I believe it will happen. The cowed remnants of a 60-seat, then 59-seat, majority that couldn't even pass a public health care option will not kill the filibuster, no matter how richly it deserves to join legislative appointment of Senators in the ashcan of history. Republicans will filibuster any judicial appointment who even hints of the center, much less the left, never mind two-plus centuries' precedent of advise and consent.

These so-called conservatives are actually radicals. Their rank and file don't realize it, but their objective is no less than the return of aristocracy.

So the wingnuts will have a lot to celebrate, even though the triumph of ignoramus Teapublicans that they celebrate will be a disaster for America. Check back in two years, six years, ten years. It may be too late for the noble American experiment in liberty and self-government.

On a smaller scale, I'll have some wins to celebrate too. At least half of the various districts for which the Venn diagram includes my small precinct will choose good judgement over inchoate outrage at sincere and well-reasoned Democratic efforts to help, most of which have succeeded, even if they were not successful enough.

But then, I live in Massachusetts, where reason, though not ascendant, still has a fighting chance.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The coming bloodbath

Paul Krugman, in the continuing role of Cassandra:

The tragedy here is that if voters do turn on Democrats, they will in effect be voting to make things even worse.

The resurgent Republicans have learned nothing from the economic crisis, except that doing everything they can to undermine Mr. Obama is a winning political strategy. Tax cuts and deregulation are still the alpha and omega of their economic vision.

And if they take one or both houses of Congress, complete policy paralysis — which will mean, among other things, a cutoff of desperately needed aid to the unemployed and a freeze on further help for state and local governments — is a given. The only question is whether we’ll have political chaos as well, with Republicans’ shutting down the government at some point over the next two years. And the odds are that we will.

Imagine if the Democrats, long-term, were to learn the Republican political lesson of strident opposition regardless of any merits. Wouldn't that be a great way to govern.

Steamy sex and righteous violence

Did my headline grab you? That's the function of headlines. Especially in big media, headlines exist to tease, not to inform. Like much of the rest of their content.

So a story titled New Mexico candidate for governor says Republicans 'outnumbered' sounds pretty dull. What, is Susana Martinez trying to paint herself as the underdog, striving nobly against all odds like some Ayn Rand heroine?

No, it turns out that CNN took a dive on hooking readers into a sensational story. Martinez wore her concealed weapon to a media appearance!
Apparently more than once, probably all the time.

Couldn't CNN think of a better headline?

Armed New Mexico Republican feels 'outnumbered'
Republican for N.M. governor: 'Outnumbered' but never outgunned

The gun has got to be in the headline. Unless someone wants to hide a little teabag craziness...

Don't tread on me

Talking Points Memo has the story.

Don't ya love how the media is forcing an ad onto this clearly contributed video? Making money off the work of others, it's the lazy-fair way! Not just the local Fox affiliate, CNN, too.

(h/t Thers on Eschaton)

Since you asked

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce need not disclose its multi-million dollar corporate contributors to the wingnut takeover. Not even to identify the financiers of beggar-thy-neighbor bullshit.

Yet as the treasurer of a tiny grassroots PAC that had less than $1000 in activity during the reporting period, I had to file a report Monday under penalty of perjury with a personal fine of $25 per day had I been late.

That's why I'm pissed.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Return of the zombie lies

No wingnut article of faith is ever surrendered. WikiLeaks did not reveal that Duhbya was right about WMD, but that won't stop Fox from lying to its viewers and claiming that it did.

The existential danger to our country is not from al Qaeda. It's from our own schlerotic inability to break through denial and accept reality.

(h/t Atrios)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Don't we get at least four years?

Click image for full Rob Rogers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

If we can't win the election, maybe we'll start shooting

A wingnut offers his plan for electoral defeat:

Republican congressional candidate Stephen Broden stunned his party Thursday, saying he would not rule out violent overthrow of the government if elections did not produce a change in leadership.
It's not just the lone nuts who lust to refight the Civil War.

Dying for principle

Gun rights and the Second Amendment are not as simple as either side of the gun control debate pretends. There's no hope of getting the conservatives to acknowledge that - they don't do complicated - but liberals should be willing and able to learn.

Here's a case where a concealed carry permit seems like a good idea - assuming enough safety training to go with it. If you're being stalked by a weirdo or an old boyfriend, 911 may not be fast enough if the stalker has also availed himself of America's NRA-driven permissive gun culture.

I assume that Jennifer Willis must have chosen the double-action revolver over a semi-automatic for its added protection against accidental discharge. Gun nuts should acknowledge the danger every muzzle poses to its owner, as Willis appears to have done. Many of them won't, of course, and more of them - and their family members - will die in preventable accidents.

I still believe that government has a just and Constitutional role in the regulation of gun possession, but I no longer think an unarmed populace is the immediate answer. In any case, it's not politically possible, and we all need to deal with reality instead of pretending we live in an ideal society.


President Obama thinks in retrospect that he should have spent more time convincing Americans of the rightness of his policies!

"I think that one of the challenges we had two years ago was we had to move so fast, we were in such emergency mode, that it was very difficult for us to spend a lot of time doing victory laps and advertising exactly what we were doing, because we had to move on to the next thing," Obama said. "And I take some responsibility for that."
How can the man who built such a stunning 2008 campaign admit to such mind-blowing naivete? Governing is not an abstract policy exercise. You have to sell, sell, sell, and when you win, you have to keep selling. You have to constantly show the citizenry the benefits of your policies so that they'll give you a chance to enact more of them.

Obama lays out the puerile contradictions of Republican policy oxymorons in the CNN article, but he lays them out as argument. He needs to learn to go the next step: Assail their good faith directly.

The biggest problem that Republicans pose to the American polity is not their frequent (but not universal) bigotry. It's their dishonesty. You can't get there politely, but a successful future requires that we go there.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oppressed by facts

Teabagger rejoinders to the science of global warming:

“It’s a flat-out lie,” Mr. Dennison said in an interview after the debate, adding that he had based his view on the preaching of Rush Limbaugh and the teaching of Scripture. “I read my Bible,” Mr. Dennison said. “He made this earth for us to utilize.”
God and Rush tell him what he wants to hear. They couldn't both be wrong.
“Carbon regulation, cap and trade, it’s all just a money-control avenue,” Ms. Khuri added. “Some people say I’m extreme, but they said the John Birch Society was extreme, too.”
No comment!
“They’re trying to use global warming against the people,” Ms. Deaton said. “It takes away our liberty.”

“Being a strong Christian,” she added, “I cannot help but believe the Lord placed a lot of minerals in our country and it’s not there to destroy us.”

Pesky facts take away her right to believe whatever the hell she wants to believe, no matter how little evidence she might have for her infantile denial.

A pause in politics for dream time

Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

(h/t New York Times)

Citizens disunited

When the Supremes ruled that the FEC could not violate the free speech rights of desperately needy and self-expressive corporations (we just gotta be it!), many of us who are actual flesh and blood citizens and not mere legal fictions written on paper were sure that the 2010 mid-term election would be flooded with a river of dirty money, almost entirely from the corporatist right. I would rather have been wrong.

Defenders of the Citizens United decision took two tacks. Many argued that of course corporations should have First Amendment rights. After all, the New York Times has First Amendment rights, and it's a corporation. (And, frankly, that's a fairly persuasive argument.)

Other defenders of Citizens claimed it wouldn't make a difference anyway. How does the crow you're eating taste?

The Court has neutered all campaign finance reform. But don't legal limits still apply to candidates and parties? They're acting like it, but no. There's no hindrance to them incorporating and claiming the protection of Citizens United v. FEC. In fact, many of them are already incorporated. Republicans are holding back because they have so many well-heeled allies. Democrats are holding back - why is that?

President Barack Obama has tried to score political points against the anonymity of corporate contributions to the Chamber of Commerce's right-wing slush fund. We know that the Chamber takes foreign contributions in other areas. How do we know that none of that finance assists or is included in its political activities?

The answer: We don't.

A better issue, though, would be that the banking sector is undoubtedly contributing. We bailed them out, allowed them to return to major profits, and they're making common cause with the very people who insanely think that nothing should have been done to allay the credit crunch. They have theirs; now they want everything in the world you could possibly imagine.

Word to Obama: Tell the country that the bankers are trying to consolidate their ownership of the government and that you'll stop it. Of course, you'd need to fire Tim Geithner to look serious about that.

Sea to shining sea

Monday, October 18, 2010

Why liberals think conservatives harbor bigots

Because they do:

Fox's Brian Kilmeade has never been the sharpest tool in the shed - but conservatives also get really pissed when you find them to be a few bricks shy of a load. Kilmeade was trying to be profound, but all he attained was profound stupidity.

(h/t HuffPo)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Loscocco effect

Click image for full Dan Wasserman/Boston Globe cartoon.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Translating teabonics

"I'm not politically correct" means I reserve the right to be an asshole anytime, anywhere.

Face of royalty

Click image for full Mike Keefe/Denver Post cartoon.

You lie!

Surprise, surprise, surprise! You'd have to be a gomer not to know that Karl Rove is leading a bunch of deep-pocketed Republican shills to lie, cheat, and steal Congress - oh, and to buy it. But with the media AWOL, there are plenty of gomers:

[T]he sheer scale and dimension of dishonesty and distortion coming from the conservative side of this debate is a very big part of the story. And it's largely going untold.
This is why Democrats have been foolish since at least the political maiming of Bill Clinton not to attack Republican credibility at every turn. We need to man up from the bullshit Washington politesse and call a lie a lie - even if we share the cloakroom with the liar. They're not polite to us. Civility that's not a two-way street is not civil.

The truth matters, and we haven't been strong enough in exacting a stiff price from Republicans who are full of shit. Which to a first approximation is every one of them in any position of power.

(h/t Joan McCarter on DailyKos)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Who's paying for this?

Click image for full Dan Wasserman/Boston Globe cartoon.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A better answer to the NFL

Why do Democrats cave so easily?

When the NFL objected to Russ Feingold's use of a few seconds of NFL video in his campaign ad, he should have politely responded, "That's fair use, never mind the adhesion contract you're attempting to enforce without ever gaining consent to it."

If nothing else, standing up for himself would bring free publicity, and that ain't bad. But it also sustains a principle of law and the public sphere that's under siege from private interests who want us all to pay more for things we already have a right to.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Even Republicans prefer socialism

Two college professors, Michael Norton of Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University, surveyed American beliefs about current and optimal distribution of wealth. The vast majority - 92% - preferred the distribution of Sweden (unlabelled in the survey) over America's own hugely unequal distribution.

From the abstract:

All demographic groups – even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy – desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo.
I wonder what the teabaggers would say.

(h/t KnoxViews and

Running government like a business

Even when your house is burning down, you're on your own.

Yes, had the South Fulton fire department put out the fire, no one else outside the city limits would have ever signed up for the subscription again, and bye-bye additional revenue. That's why a government body shouldn't set up its revenue stream in a way that requires profit and loss calculations, rather than cost-benefit calculations.

(h/t KnoxViews)

Before HUAC

That's the (as yet mythical) House Un-Christian Activities Committee...

Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of a coven?

The truth is that Christine O'Donnell's teenage flirtation with witchcraft should not be an issue. It has no bearing at all on the votes of liberal (who won't vote for her anyway). Only the fundamentalists, who believe the so-called dark arts are real, and other social conservatives care.

Having once been so unrational as to cast spells means that O'Donnell is of questionable purity and puritanical character. She could be a sleeper for Satan! Call the Church Lady!

On the other hand, they could forgive her. Duhbya had been a drunk and a druggie, and he himself stated to a reporter at the 1988 Republican National Convention that he talked about "pussy" with his father. Though reformed from the booze at least most of the time, he plainly remained completely egotistical, yet his mere claims to be born again were enough to win the blind faith of many of his followers. They still think he's a godly righteous Christian man even after all the people he killed needlessly.

Still, witchcraft could be a bit too out there.

Freedom of my religion

Jim DeMint, like fundamentalists of a certain stripe, doesn't believe in the freedom of each person to make religious choices unhindered by government. This is what we mean when we call these people the American Taliban:

Speaking at a church rally in Spartanburg, South Carolina, DeMint told attendees people quietly told him he should not back down from a position he took in 2004 that openly gay individuals and single mothers who are involved in a sexual relationship should not be allowed to teach. He did not weigh in on whether unwed men should be allowed to teach.

"(When I said those things,) no one came to my defense," he said, according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. "But everyone would come to me and whisper that I shouldn't back down. They don't want government purging their rights and their freedom to religion." [emphasis added]

DeMint argues here that the government abrogates his rights by permitting someone else the free exercise of religion. It's an astonishingly stupid point of view, yet one that's very common among religious conservatives. (Conservatism, bad for you!)

And what the hell is a "church rally"? Sounds as though the IRS should be revoking more tax exemptions...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wages of sin

For Republicans, the wages of deceit is renewed power. They've offered nothing for the past two years but hypocritical, unyielding opposition to anything of benefit to Americans.

Iin a month, Americans, who have become so easy to scare and buffalo, will probably reward the GOP for their intransigence. We will get the government we deserve for our foolish inability to distinguish reality from bullshit and for our inability to stay the course in the face of furious and obviously unhinged opposition.

Bullshit deficit

Click image for full Tim Eagan/Press Democrat cartoon.