Friday, December 31, 2010

Slap on the ...

Click image for full Joe Heller/Green Bay Press-Gazette cartoon.

What if Rodney King never asked a rhetorical question?


Click image for full Tim Eagan/Press Democrat cartoon.

Is she a $100,000 granny?

The Republican ideology of health care is clear evidence of the GOP's lurch even harder to the right.  They no longer support universal health care.  That just encourages people who really can't afford it to get sick!

The clearest evidence for this is that Obamacare was born in the 1990s as a proposal from the Heritage Foundation, once upon a time just about the most ultraconservative bullshit factory that big media would quote.  Less than two decades later - like Mitt Romney, who proposed and signed an individual mandate here in Massachusetts - Heritage is running far far away from its disowned child.  Far to the right, to the Confederate theory of the Constitution.

The whole vast right-wing cabal that fantasizes a return to feudalism - though without the noblesse oblige - wants to kill any program that buys something the rich have and that would otherwise be hard or impossible for the rest of us to get.  If we die in the process, too bad.

Observing Republicans gear up to try to undo "Obamacare," I suspect the only thing that will satisfy some is to make medical care in the United States work like veterinary care. You get what you can pay for. Otherwise, tough luck.
If it costs too much, conservatives will let Granny die like Gene Lyons' horse Lucky.  But Lucky will still be aptly named.  At least he got the mercy of being put down.

Since religious fanatics dominate the GOP and they have perverted the gospel message of mercy into, "Tough luck.  Suffer," you won't even be able to offer Granny enough morphine to ease her going when you can't afford to replace and rehab her broken hip.

They accuse us of enacting death panels!  They would let the profit motive determine who lives and who dies.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Infotainment, not information



Mediamatters tries mockery to tarnish Princess Sarah, and that's good as far as it goes.  But mocking her as a misinformer is weak tea.  The teabaggers and indeed most Americans have already shown that they decide their votes based on infotainment, rather than information.

And the Princess excels at vain displays of a neck-snapping blend of self-entitlement and victimhood. 

It's puzzling that so many self-described real American men can't tell that yet another pretty, self-centered high school cheerleader is using them.  Even at the huge distance between their loungers and the set of Fox News, they're thinking with their dicks.  About which she'd say to herself, "You are never getting near me with that wrinkled piece of past-dated vienna sausage."

What do you think, video-pheromones?

More Republican insincerity

When I say Republicans don't care about the deficit, this is what I mean:

This is just one key feature of the GOP's playbook: CUT/GO. Under CUT/GO, all new spending has to be paid for, but tax cuts do not. Additionally any new spending must be paid for with parallel spending cuts elsewhere in the budget -- not with tax hikes. So unemployment benefits couldn't be paid for by closing a corporate tax loophole. But a corporate tax loophole could be widened without requiring any offsets.
You think the teabaggers will scream about this?  Of course they won't.  They are just as insincere as the Republicans, for whom they are the extremist wingnut base.

Update: Krugman (and dozens more, probably) beat me to this.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snookered

Click image for full Pat Bagley/Salt Lake Tribune cartoon.

Monday, December 27, 2010

What's the punishment for heresy?

Pat Robertson (R-another planet) slipped off his usual Calvinist orthodoxy - and his spokesman had to correct him:

Chris Roslan, a CBN spokesman, insisted Thursday that Robertson "did not call for the decriminalization of marijuana. ... Dr. Robertson unequivocally stated that he is against the use of illegal drugs."
But he should not feel so all alone.  Everybody must get stoned.  It's the mandatory minimum!

Republicans lie

... much more than Democrats do.


Now, of course, the GOP will have to accuse the fact-checking sites of liberal bias.  Even though the fact-checkers are much harder on Democrats than they are on Republicans.  If they were evenhanded, the tilt to conservative bullshit would be even more obvious.

Everyone knows Republicans have to lie.  They couldn't get elected with the truth.  Even Republicans know this.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Redemption means more than a quarter back

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

What Tiny Tim said

You know Krugman wanted to use the word bullshit:

[T]he production of humbug — which was still a somewhat amateurish craft when Dickens wrote — has now become a systematic, even industrial, process.
Conservatism in America is built almost entirely on lies.  Consciously and intentionally.  It's deeply un-Christian and wholly uncharitable.

At Christmastime, Tiny Tim said, "God bless us, every one."

Conservatives to the contrary say with their actions, Devil take the hindmost.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Orwellian conservatives

Fox, like its Republican Party fellows, is actually radical in conservative clothing.

Even compared to the manifest swindles and perversions of the past 20 years or thereabouts, the United States has never seen anything like Fox News. The closest comparison to what Fox does daily would be the party-line propaganda sheets of the far left and extreme right that made Orwell worry "that the very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world."
Fox doesn't care what's true, only what it wants to be true.
Orwell describes the corrosive effect of politicized mass media. In Spain, he wrote, "I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed ... I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened but of what ought to have happened according to various 'party lines.' "

More please!

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It's called the Daily Show. Is there a reason that good sense can't prevail every day?

Oh, right, Republicans...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bullies

Reading up on the material in the Fox ignoramus effect, I found some really fun facts from 2008 about Fox's bullying of the rest of the big media (poor widdle babies!).

I had thought that reporters shied from taking on Fox because it might hire them some desperate day when the News Corporation owns all the big media.  Turns out, like Elisabeth Bumiller whose heart went pitty-pat when confronted by the hugeness and brilliance of Duhbya, reporters are mostly scared off.

Even those who will stand up have been bullied enough to hesitate:

Like most working journalists, whenever I type seven letters — Fox News — a series of alarms begins to whoop in my head: Danger. Warning. Much mayhem ahead.
Fox is like a middle school punk on the street corner when the elementary school lets out.  (h/t mistermix at Balloon Juice)  This is their offense in defense of the ignoramus effect:
In a statement, Michael Clemente, who is the senior vice president of news editorial for [Fox News], said: “The latest Princeton Review ranked the University of Maryland among the top schools for having ‘Students Who Study The Least’ and being the ‘Best Party School’ – given these fine academic distinctions, we’ll regard the study with the same level of veracity it was ‘researched’ with.’”

...

For the record, the Princeton Review says the University of Maryland ranks among the “Best Northeastern Colleges.” It was No. 19 on the Review’s list of “Best Party Schools.”
But back to 2008...

Can you imagine any other network than Fox digitally altering the appearance of journalists, Steven Reddicliffe and Jacques Steinberg, whom they're attacking?


The Fox attack dogs making this attack are Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade.  Yes, those two who show the value of competition by competing with each other to be the stupidest man on TV news.  They have the unmitigated gall to call Reddicliffe and Steinberg "attack dogs."

Fox is dangerous to American democracy.

Only you can cause forest fires

If the global temperature trend were headed downward instead of upward, what would we do to forestall another ice age?

We'd burn every bit of slash and plant scrap we could lay our hands on to pump up the greenhouse effect of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Turning that into policy would be as easy as falling off a (burning) log, except that perhaps the oil industry would lobby for a cut of the burning program.  Hey, something for Republicans to do to gum up the works in favor of their corporate sponsors!  Even ethanol producers would start to ballyhoo the carbon footprint of their fertilizers, cultivation, and product transport in hope of having it both ways.  Bipartisan subsidy too!

No doubt someone - maybe me - would whinge about the disproportionate Chinese contribution to solving global cooling.  Why do they get to have all the campfires!?  I remember when America led the world accidentally sparking forest fires!

Bonus graphic:


When I first saw a graph like this in the late 1970s, it wasn't even called the Keeling Curve, but it was already cause for worry.  In the meantime, propaganda, not science, is the only force diminishing that concern.  CO2 keeps right on trucking.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Against ethics before he was for it

John Boehner (R-consistent hypocrite) decides that ethics might be useful in the House.  Finally.

His plan, I'm sure:  Take credit for the investigations that Democrats started of other Democrats.

Whitewashing

Nothing else to call it...

Haley Barbour (R-nostalgia for the white experience of Jim Crow) climbs down from his nostalgia:

When asked why my hometown in Mississippi did not suffer the same racial violence when I was a young man that accompanied other towns' integration efforts, I accurately said the community leadership wouldn't tolerate it and helped prevent violence there. My point was my town rejected the Ku Klux Klan, but nobody should construe that to mean I think the town leadership were saints, either. Their vehicle, called the 'Citizens Council,' is totally indefensible, as is segregation. It was a difficult and painful era for Mississippi, the rest of the country, and especially African Americans who were persecuted in that time.
But by no means far enough.  The White Citizens Council was actually coercing other people, uppity black people:
"Look," said Nick Roberts of the Yazoo City Citizens Council, explaining why 51 of 53 Negroes who had signed an integration petition withdrew their names, "if a man works for you, and you believe in something, and that man is working against it and undermining it, why you don’t want him working for you — of course you don’t."

In Yazoo City, in August 1955, the Council members fired signers of the integration petition, or prevailed upon other white employers to get them fired. But the WCC continues to deny that it uses economic force: all the Council did in Yazoo City was to provide information (a full-page ad in the local weekly listing the “offenders”); spontaneous public feeling did the rest.
Bless ol' Haley's heart. At least his esteemed bigots didn't lynch anyone. They had such high standards!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Why we should have hanged Jeff Davis

Secession was treason and should have been treated as such.

One of America’s worst traitors, a man who had committed or condoned far worse acts against his country than Benedict Arnold, was allowed to go home after his brief detainment in Virginia. But even that lenient punishment was enough to elevate [Jefferson] Davis to Southern martyrdom. Rumors were spread throughout the South about his mistreatment at Fortress Monroe, although Davis himself said the stories were untrue. Until his death in 1889, he found a stronger voice in passionately defending the right of secession and extolling the nobility of the Lost Cause. He became, like so many of his fellow Confederates, an unreconstructed rebel. As one might expect, he never believed that he had committed a single traitorous act; in fact, he boldly, even arrogantly, affirmed that every one of his actions was legal and constitutional. Unlike Lee, he never sought a pardon, which is just as well because he probably would not have gotten it (although President Johnson, who was courting the Democratic Party at the time, could have easily caved in on this issue). But he also never uttered a single word of regret or remorse for the bloody revolutionary war he had willfully led against his country.
It was and is unpatriotic to adhere to the Confederacy.

Fox ignoramus effect

What went wrong in 2010?

The good news is that Americans realize that the media is bathing them in bullshit bubble-bath.


The bad news is that most of us apparently have no freaking idea how to distinguish shit from shinola.

The New York Times buries its lead (lede to the kool kidz). It wants to shout out - as it should - that Fox News makes its viewers more ignorant, not less. But it has to dither first, nicking MSNBC for the mote in its eye before proceeding to the log in Fox's.

The simple fact is Fox News infects its viewers with lies. Here's the proof Fox is a vector for bullshit:
There's an unmistakable Fox News ignoramus effect. The percentage of misinformed viewers goes up as their viewing peaks. Watching Fox daily disinforms viewers on 10 of 11 topics and disinforms them badly on 8 of the 11!

Note that Fox can get the facts right when those facts support Fox's political bias. The single topic on which Fox viewers became steadily better informed the more they watched: whether Democrats had proven the Chamber of Commerce used foreign money to finance its ad campaign against them.

Even after getting to their justified smackdown on Fox, the Times misses a much more dire story. No matter what medium an American prefers for news, there's a whole shit-load of ignorance out there. Fox is worst, CNN is pretty bad, but MSNBC is only good by exceedingly low standards. Newspapers in general are worse than MSNBC.

All of which is why we suffered in November a triumph at the polls of the refuted economic doctrines of the right wing:

Put it this way: A policy under which government employment actually fell, under which government spending on goods and services grew more slowly than during the Bush years, hardly constitutes a test of Keynesian economics.
Now, maybe it wasn’t possible for President Obama to get more in the face of Congressional skepticism about government. But even if that’s true, it only demonstrates the continuing hold of a failed doctrine over our politics.
Zombie lies, kept alive by Fox and other right-wing propagandists, including the entire Republican establishment. Until we as a people become more discerning of the truth, we'll only get more politics of dogma, in which conservatives feel entitled to their own facts, no matter how contradicted by reality.

Update (12/21):  Fox misleads again - successfully! - though only the second sense of lie, not the stronger first sense.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Truth will set you free

Click image for full Ruben Bolling/Tom the Dancing Bug cartoon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A spectre haunting Europe

Soon the senescent secular Europe will be overrun by Muslim immigrants and the unassimilated progeny of their oppressed, veiled women. They'll move in, have as many babies as a renegade Mormon living on welfare in Moab, take the public dole, and spend every night plotting the violent downfall of the foolish system that makes their conspiratorial leisure possible.

Right?

Uh, no.

Slightly more than 4 per cent of Europe's population is “Muslim,” as defined by demographers (though about 80 per cent of these people are not religiously observant, so they are better defined as secular citizens who have escaped religious nations).
In our putrid excuse for a national conversation, every time some fearful trope turns out to be a bullshit lie, it came from the right-wing propaganda machine.

(h/t DougJ at Balloon Juice)

Waziri leaks

In all the hue and cry over Wikileaks, I haven't seen much to get too bent out of shape over. Most of it was, duh, obvious. A lot of it had already been reported.

While governments need to be able to keep their conversations confidential, even some that are merely embarrassingly frank, the main damage has been the need to blush a little.

Still, imagine this: You're a foreign service officer talking with your opposite number in another country's diplomatic corps. You know how certain you would be that he will keep your confidences, small and large! C'mon, no one is that naive.

Instead of laughing off the embarrassment, governments have pursued Julian Assange, arrested him, and locked him up on unrelated charges that look trumped up (h/t Digby). These governments have certainly responded with much greater focus than they would have had he been, say, Brett Favre or Kobe Bryant.

The biggest take-away from the whole affair so far has been how thoroughly inculcated the media is in the culture of secrecy that they are supposed to expose to light. Sure, they've reported on the leaks, but I'm starting to wonder how thoroughly.

When I heard that the Pentagon was directing its service people and contractors that they were not allowed to read classified documents even after they were published on the Internet, I thought they were typically, bureaucratically overreaching. Just like the world's most command-oriented bureaucracy to pretend that the genie right there in the room was still safely in the bottle. Even a genie not nearly as revealing as Barbara Eden.

Then, today, the New York Times carried the story of the U.S. CIA station chief in Islamabad had fled Pakistan after his name got out into the open in local media. What is his name? The Times pointedly wouldn't say:

The legal complaint that named the station chief, who was working undercover and whose name is classified, was filed on Monday over attacks that killed at least two Pakistanis. The complaint sought police help in keeping the station chief in the country until a lawsuit could be filed.
The agent’s name had already been revealed in a news conference last month by Mirza Shahzad Akbar, the lawyer who filed the complaint this week, and the name had been reported in local media.
The rest of the world can know, but Americans can't! The big media is in on the suppression of information.

Of course, Google is still up, so it's easy to find out. No, not the character actor by the same name.

I'm showing fear here, too, by not simply typing the name. I don't want to be charged with espionage for "revealing" something that's widely known the world just because there's a Top Secret stamp marking a piece of paper locked in a vault that I've never seen. Think about what that fear means to an open society, without which democracy is a sham.

The name I'm omitting is probably itself a cover identity. Really, would the CIA send someone to Pakistan for covert action under his own name? Of course not. Yet the Times and I won't simply type the name, and it's itself a fiction. Am I still allowed to name Winston Smith?

Funny, I don't recall the American big media being so solicitous of the classification status of non-official cover identity when the exposed agent was Valerie Plame.

The question: How long before the U.S., like China, decides it needs to block sites that expose its own citizens to this slightly uncomfortable sort of truth?

Update (1/7/2011): Related comment on Salon.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Party of no labels

In general, I'm in favor of a center right political party to replace the now-extremist Republican Party. The remnants of sanity on the right need a place to go where they don't have to believe the consensus absurdities of the GOP - science is a hoax, economics other than feudally inspired laissez-faire is a hoax, the corporate media is liberal, anyone who needs help is a lazy bum (except for the mostly white true believers), President Obama and the Democrats are socialists if not communists, etc.

No Labels, on the other hand, has problems. It's mainly Republicans and conservative Democrats who probably still admire Joe Lieberman's sanctimony, yet No Labels poses as the center. The big media, as always the handmaiden of power and especially corporate power, laps up this center-right pose of moderation.

It would be no surprise at all if No Labels turned out to be Michael Bloomberg's stalking horse for the Presidency in 2012. The problem of course is that, post-Citizens v. FEC, we mere citizens can't tell.

No Labels has no platform other than the one it rents for its luminaries to shine from. It's a "Truman Show" of politics, all manipulation and entertainment.

In short, there is no reason whatsoever for real Democrats to allow themselves to be cannibalized into an organization that reasonably ought only to pull sane conservatives out of the irredeemable GOP.

It always bears saying: Civility is not as important as the truth - nor as important as effective policy.

Goebbels warming

Always remember that Fox News exists to unbalance any factual discussion in favor of Fox's hard-right, anti-environment, pro-corporatist, pro-wealth politics:

Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data...

...we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.

Who said this?
That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result. It is not propaganda’s task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success.
(Wasn't Godwin's Law repealed?)

(h/t Atrios)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Politician

Lincoln was well known to oppose slavery vehemently, yet he said his first goal was preservation of the union. He was a politician - that's always important to remember about our sainted former Presidents. They weren't actually saints, just people trying to accomplish something, often against tall odds.

I think Lincoln might have considered carefully what his nation would actually go to war far. He might have found abolition wanting as a popular cause, even if it was in fact his real cause.

Marked “Private & confidential,” the letter instructed Kellogg to “entertain no proposition for a compromise in regard to the extension of slavery. The instant you do, they have us under again; all our labor is lost, and sooner or later must be done over. … Have none of it. The tug has to come & better now than later.”
I wish I were confident that President Obama were flawed enough to do political battle for his beliefs.

Principal over principle

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Media comment: Well, the Republicans may all be assholes, but they're really really good at all saying the same thing.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Let the cake-eaters pay my Social Security

Click image for full Tom Tomorrow/Salon cartoon.

Government too limited

[I]t's not up to criminal law to stop every morally reprehensible aspect of behavior. Rather, the law should be for punishing behavior that's particularly socially damaging.
This proposal limits government too much for me.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Still too complex for the Teapublicans

Paul Krugman, as always, gives us the gift of simple proof. High unemployment is due to a lack of demand, not a temporary dislocation that requires no intervention in the so-called free market.
There are no jobs, hence the need to extend unemployment benefits.

The Teapublican alternative: Stop benefits, tell the longterm unemployed that they're on their own, and necessarily reduce aggregate demand in the economy as a whole. This is a perfect way to continue to reduce demand in the labor market, leading to even more unemployment and exhaustion of benefits.

Who wins in a persistently deflating labor market? Not people who work for a living, that's for sure.

The 1970s were so socialist



How much has trickled down? Hardly any of it.

What we got by electing Ronald Reagan: We confirmed and made much more extreme previous policy choices by Congress and Jimmy Carter that put investment interests ahead of national interests and certainly ahead of the interests of the middle class.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Why Jim Crow was necessary

Race-blind democracy in the vanquished South after the end of the Civil War would have completely changed the last century and a half. Mississippi and South Carolina were majority black.


Can you imagine those two states leading the civil rights movement! Louisiana and Alabama weren't far behind, either.

Jim Crow - and the Ku Klux Klan for that matter - were necessary to prevent the permanent loss of political power by the landed white aristocracy that had wanted and lost the war. Enfranchised black folks would not have voted for the bullshit that white folks voted for.

Nowadays, disenfranchisement is done by dipshits attacking ACORN and by voter intimidation efforts. These are mainstream Republican activities.

The aristocrats and oligarchs never stop fighting to own everything.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Victory in class warfare

There was a class war. The rich won.


Felix Salmon says:

If you were structuring a tax code from scratch, it would look nothing like this. But the problem is that tax hikes seem to be politically impossible no matter which party is in power. And since any revamp of the tax code would involve tax hikes somewhere, I fear we’re fiscally doomed.
Digby says:
If I were you, I would print out this post by Felix Salmon and pull it out whenever you confront some bozo who's railing about the deficit and insisting that we have to put old ladies on a cat food diet to fix the problem.
Specific policy proposals in addition to letting Duhbya's tax cuts expire above $250,000 of income:
  • Once unemployment is below 7%, make the income tax more progressive with a 50% marginal tax rate on incomes over $1 million, to be lowered to 40% when the deficit (not including any surplus from Social Security) is lowered below 2% of GDP (currently, it's about 10% of GDP).
  • Make the payroll taxes less regressive immediately by removing the income cap on taxes subject to FICA, Medicare, etc.
  • Reinstitute the Paris Hilton tax at 50%, closing the loopholes that have allowed the lazy children of extreme wealth to escape taxes on their parents' estates, but raise the estate size floor to $4 million and index it for inflation.
But of course, President Obama has no taste for a fight. We needed FDR, not Mr. Rogers.

Circles and arrows





Click image for full Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Daily News cartoon.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Class warfare

Hedge fund managers spent millions - that we know about - to protect their 15% tax rate. Yes, you read that right. They pay the same rate as someone making $35,000 a year.

And we guarantee the risks they take.

This is totally unjust.

Control of the Internet

China's no longer so concerned about separating their people from freedom of information:

The message delivered by the office, the person said, was that “in the past, a lot of officials worried that the Web could not be controlled.’’

“But through the Google incident and other increased controls and surveillance, like real-name registration, they reached a conclusion: The Web is fundamentally controllable,’’ the person said.
The U.S. security apparatus is working on control, too:
The U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, Donald Beyer, told NZZ am Sonntag that Switzerland "should very carefully consider whether to provide shelter to someone [Julian Assange] who is on the run from the law."
Then there's Internet neutrality, which is doomed in the current environment in which corporations can buy the government they want.

Let's pretend

The Department of Defense and the rest of the government to employees: We prefer you to be ignorant even if it means not reading something potentially embarrassing to your management that everyone else in the world has access to.

"Classified information, whether or not already posted on public websites or disclosed to the media, remains classified, and must be treated as such by federal employees and contractors, until it is declassified by an appropriate U.S. Government authority," said the notice sent on Friday afternoon by the Office of Management and Budget, which is part of the White House, to agency and department heads, urging them to distribute it to their staff.
The strange thing is that doing something stupid like sending this notice is not embarrassing to the White House.

Wise guys

Click image for full Dan Wasserman/Boston Globe cartoon.

Too big to fail

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

There goes the neighborhood

Click image for full Adam Zyglis/Buffalo News cartoon.

Massive epidemic of laziness

Despite their having launched us into "by far the worst post WWII employment recession," Republicans don't want to extend unemployment benefits. Those benefits have to end sometime, they say, why not now?

Do they want to condemn all the willing workers represented by the red line to life-long penury?


With so many people out of work and so few jobs available for them to fill, the Republican answer is tough shit. Penury for the unemployed? Sure, sign me up. It's the libertarian creed.

Even though there are thousands of jobs where millions are needed, the Republicans pretend that the unemployed are being justly punished for laziness. Those malingering bums would rather scrape by on a few hundred dollars a month than work for a few thousand. They'll never learn to take care of themselves until they've spent a long time in a soup line. Which the GOP will make sure won't be there anyway.

The unemployed layabouts have to do more than send hundreds of resumes for every job opening.

(h/t Atrios at Eschaton)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Serbs and Croats

Hard as it may be to believe, the South still harbors people who believe the Civil War ended with the wrong victor. These pro-treason neo-Confederates blame the Union for its unprovoked attack on their peaceful secession (cough, Ft. Sumter, cough). They blame a tariff that didn't pass until after they seceded.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans don't blame their forefathers for holding other humans in brutal bondage. Their ancestors were fighting for liberty! Well, liberty for the landed white male gentry, anyhow...

Defense of slavery is still - publicly - a bridge too far even for these historical revisionists. So they deny that it was an important cause of the war. The overwhelming historical record that proves otherwise? Their heads are too far up their asses to see that.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

'Tis the season

Click image for full Paul Fell/Artizans Syndicate cartoon.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lying to you

I surely can't be the first person to notice this. (Don't call me Shirley. RIP.)

Paul Steinhauser of CNN completely misrepresented a McClatchy-Marist poll.

The actual poll asked whether voters think Republicans ought to compromise with Democrats to get things done:

The Republicans have control of the House of Representatives. Which statement comes closer to your view about what you think should happen:
  • The Republicans should compromise with the Democrats and President Obama to get things done
  • The Republicans should stand firm on their positions even if it means things don't get done
Steinhauser dishonestly portrays the results as showing that the voters want Democrats and Republicans to work together.
One day before a White House meeting between President Barack Obama and top congressional leaders from both political parties, a new poll suggests most Americans want Democrats and Republicans to compromise.
The actual poll is about what Republicans should do. Steinhauser spins it into a bullshit balance, portraying the voters as saying something they didn't say.

Some liberal media! In my newsroom, this would be a firing offense. If I only had a newsroom.

Why does it matter if the media lies about polls? Those lies can actually push people toward different positions. That's why candidates and parties pimp their biased partisan polls during election season.

What Republicans really care about

Lower taxes for rich people outweigh all other issues.

The deficit? Not as important as lower taxes for the rich.

A reduced risk of nuclear proliferation or war? Not as important as lower taxes for the rich.

Citizenship for immigrant soldiers? Not as important as lower taxes for the rich.

Extension of unemployment benefits? Of course, not as important as lower taxes for the rich.

Repeal of don't ask, don't tell? Oh, right, they're against that anyway.

The core Republican view of the world holds that, if rich people are even better off, everyone else is either better off or doesn't deserve to be better off. Mostly the latter. Peons.