Category Archives: Conservatives

The Politics of Silliness

Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Allen West in Joe McCarthy's Neighborhood

Allen West in Joe McCarthy’s Neighborhood (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The latest news on American politics has President Obama declining to play any more games with the Republican opposition, and member of that opposition thinking about how they are going to force the president over a barrel with their intransigence on raising the national debt level in the new year. I hate to point out to the GOP that they lost the election, Mitt’s not in the White House, and both the senate and the house are going to welcome some more Democrats in January. Yet they still think that they have leverage. For what, I wonder? For ‘entitlement’ cuts?

They’ve essentially got nothing left to work with. Boehner and his merry band are going to be held responsible for any rise in taxes that may take place if the White House and the House of Representatives can’t come up with a bargain. If they hold the debt ceiling hostage again and bring the country to the point of default, they will have abrogated their right to govern. The GOP at that point should cease to exist.

Why are they pursuing such silly politics? Can they not separate running for office from governing? We’ve got a country out there that is rife with problems, that needs responsible leaders who try to work together to actually help solve problems. Why is this such a difficult concept for Republicans to understand. More and more they remind me of Captain Queeg in “The Caine Mutiny”, a marvelous film (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046816/) about a mentally unstable ship’s captain who is finally relieved of his command. I mean, how much more craziness do Republicans have to show us before we need to remove them from power? Por ejemplo:

  • ”And what a bizarre time we’re in, when a judge will say to little children that you can’t say the pledge of allegiance, but you must learn that homosexuality is normal and you should try it.” Michele Bachman

  • ”This was a war of Obama’s choosing. This is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”

    Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, rewriting history while speaking at a Connecticut fundraiser about the war in Afghanistan, which President Bush launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks (July 2, 2010)

  • ”I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.”

    Mitt Romney, after being asked whether he follows NASCAR racing (February 2012

I haven’t even bothered to quote Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock on their ideas about rape, pregnancy, and women. Or Allen West, a completely bat-shit crazy black conservative who believes Obama is a marxist. This club seems to have an endless supply of loonies.

And then, of course, there are the Republican governors who, through serendipitous happenstance, find themselves in a state government controlled by their own party. What do they do? Well, for one they want to gut unions under the guise of making their state a ‘right-to-work’ state, where, as so disingenuously put it, no one can force a worker to pay union dues. They appear to be ignorant of the fact that all workers can opt out of unions right now, without this further legislation, so that can’t be the reason. Of course, it has to be to gut the unions, which traditionally vote democratic, and to get the same work for less pay. There is no evidence that Michigan’s hastily passed legislation will do workers any good. http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/12/11/1314751/snyder-right-to-work/

When a governing party puts members in charge of committees they are antithetical to, when it lies blatantly to the people it is supposed to help, and when its leaders are prepared to allow the country to default on its bills (bills this party helped run up in the last 12 years), then it’s time for them to go. So GOP, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!

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What, Exactly, Do Republicans Believe?

I believe the results from the election this year are in and President Obama won, while the Democrats picked up some seats in the senate and house. I’d say I was certain in that belief, but many of the members of the opposition are simply not. These poor deluded members of our body politic think the election was stolen! Talk about sore losers.

English: Savonarola monument, Ferrara.

English: Savonarola monument, Ferrara. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I will grant you that, when you offer an incredibly weak, tone-deaf, Teflon-like candidate and pair him with a partner who would make Savonarola look good, and when you approve a platform (that is, a list of ideas and policies that you as a party believe in) that overtly tells gays, women, and undocumented immigrants that they are lesser than you, it’s likely that you would also be so moronic as to believe the loss was all due to machinations by the other side. Really, you give stupidity an entirely new depth of meaning.

Ever since Newt changed the goal from governing to winning, gaining seats and power has been the GOP’s pole star. So I see how much this election, the one that Mitch McGoniff insisted he would deny to the president, must mean to you. And the only response you can come up with is to promise to destroy the sandbox you’re playing in if the Democrats don’t give in to your demands.

This is where I’m in a quandary. I’m assuming your demands reflect what you believe in. So it’s safe to say you do not want to raise taxes on the rich. After all, you took a solemn pledge to St. Grover that you would never, ever, ever, even consider it. Why, I wonder? Who is this schoolyard bully who forced you to take this ridiculous pledge? And what would possibly happen to you if you broke that promise? Would the sky fall? Would the earth cease to spin? I’m sure you think it’s much more personal than that. You might have to face a virulent primary opponent, one more anti-science, anti-intellectual, anti-global warming, and anti-government than even you are. But what if all of you decided to shove the pledge where the sun doesn’t shine? What might happen then?

Ok, so I get you want to protect the rich. But there must  be more, because you don’t give a shit about the middle class, and let’s not even talk about the poor. I have decided that you have a biased view of humanity in general. Since you have always been the party of business, I assume you think like many businessmen do. That is, you never believe that your employees are giving you the work you’re paying for, you always think they’re screwing you up the wazoo, and it’s clear to you that they want to take you for all you’re worth. Ok, ok, I know there are still some old Fezziwigs out there who truly care about their workers and their businesses, but the majority of you have joined the firm of Scrooge & Marley. It’s profits, profits, profits–that’s the bottom line. Workers are just interchangeable parts. No need to worry about them.

So you want to cater to the rich and not give a damn about middle class workers. As for the poor, I would bet a million that you think they are in the regrettable position they are because they are lazy, shiftless, no-account loafers, alcohol and drug abusers who want to rip off government the same way your workers rip you off. They’ve got no ambition and they are stupid, to boot. So why bother with them?

“A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion” by Thomas Nast. Harper’s Weekly, January 19, 1870. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ah, it’s becoming clearer. Protect the wealthy, barely tolerate the middle class working population, let the poor die by the wayside. “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” We sure have a hell of a lot of the former, so Ebenezer would feel pretty good about that. But what about those other odious groups? Women, for example. Well, we know you don’t want to pay a cent of public money towards women’s health care and you will never forgive the Supreme Court for its finding in Roe v. Wade. By the way, really nice to see how many fat, happy, white Republicans you picked for committee heads recently. What is it about women you’re afraid of? Must be something big.

There’s no question you still carry the seeds of racism within you. The blacks who join your cause are extremist to the core. As for the rest of the country’s blacks, you’re happy developing laws to ‘prevent voter fraud’ (ain’t happening, guys!) or, as it should be called, resurrected poll taxes. And you  have just about assured your party that the largest demographic of voters, Latinos, will not vote for you again. That leaves only the gays, and you certainly don’t want to offer them a seat at the table. They’d destroy your happy marriages, wouldn’t they?

So what we’ve got is a pro-rich, anti-middle class, anti-poor, anti-black, anti-women, anti-Latino, anti-gay party who is wondering where the hell they went wrong. And I saved the most nonsensical anti- for last. This party is anti-government. Yep, if elected they would move heaven and earth to dissemble the government. We’ve seen it countless times. John Bolton appointed as UN ambassador even though he hates the idea of a United Nations, congressmen like Todd Akins and Richard Mourdock with a dearth of science knowledge on the science and technology committee.

This has got to stop. The best thing for this country would be for the GOP to implode upon itself, like communism did in the old USSR. Let a new party arise, one interested in governing and happy to deal with facts and problems common to us all. That’s what I’ve got on my Xmas list this year!

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Mr. Romney Fails to Impress

Mitt Romney has managed to make a fool of himself on a national stage. Ostensibly to demonstrate how he could be ‘presidential’, the Mittster is on a tour of Great Britain, Israel, and Poland. (Nice combination, huh?) But he has managed to cram his foot into his mouth at least three times, pushing it in deep.

Now you would think that a pol who was governor of Massachusetts and ran for president before would have an idea on how to behave. But you would be–wrong! Does he really not know he’s not supposed to mention any connection to Britain’s MI6? Is he that brain-dead that he can’t remember Ed Miliband’s name? Is his heart so shriveled that he couldn’t find a way not to criticize the Brits on the eve of their

English: Sarah Palin at the Time 100 Gala in M...

English: Sarah Palin at the Time 100 Gala in Manhattan on May 4, 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Olympic moment? He boggles the mind.

Anyone with a degree from Harvard and the know-how to put together a business like Bain Capital cannot be stupid. But they can lack emotional intelligence, be unable to connect with people not in their socioeconomic class, and not give a jot for how the ‘little people’ are doing. And that is Mr. Romney in a nutshell.

I fail to see how Republicans can feel heartened by Mitt’s performance. Charles Krauthammer, Fox News’s heaviest intellectual hitter, could only say,  “It’s unbelievable, it’s beyond human understanding, it’s incomprehensible. I’m out of adjectives.” And this tour de force was in a country that’s our friend. What will happen in Israel? or Poland?

Just between you and me, I can only feel gleeful. Every mistake, faux pas, or stupid, vacuous statement (a lá Sarah Palin) that is makes is music to my ears. Because it’s clear he is simply not presidential!

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the V...

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the Values Voters conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I have to hope that independents, along with a healthy portion of Republicans, can see that, too.

The maddening part of this experience is how cheated Americans are when candidates are poor. We expect people who want to be president are tactful, briefed, and articulate. Romney is none of these. His statements are full of gobbledegook, and his positions change faster than the wind. The only thing he has going for him is his looks, which are presidential but not enough to lead the nation.

As the GOP encouraged Tea Party candidates to run for office and be elected, diminishing American government incredibly, so their months-long primary battle, with a line-up that looked more like a comedy audition, let the people down. None of the candidates running for president would be viable, but still the GOP supported them. It’s like the Republicans want the country to fail.

As for me, I just hope the Mittster keeps failing. I trust him to comply.

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Banish Them to the Wilderness!

If anyone has not yet caught on to what the Republican right is up to, it is time to open your eyes wide and take your hands away from your ears. They are working tirelessly to buy this election, seeking to put a man with no seeming convictions into the Oval Office, leading what, for the time being, is the most powerful nation in the world.

Oval Office, desk 1

Oval Office, desk 1 (Photo credit: Truthout.org)

They are not interested in the welfare of the middle class or the poor. They are obsessed with making sure the wealthy are more comfortable and protected.

It is impossible not to see they are attempting to develop an oligarchy.

Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning “a few”, and ἄρχω (archo), meaning “to rule or to command”)[1][2][3] is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who pass their influence from one generation to the next. –Wikipedia

English: Sheldon and Miriam Adelson recieve Wo...

English: Sheldon and Miriam Adelson recieve Woodrow Wilson Awards Español: Sheldon and Miriam Adelson reciben Woodrow Wilson Awards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And they are doing this in plain sight. When a billionaire like Sheldon Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands corporation, can keep dropping $10M at a time into super pacs whose sole goal is political  (to make sure Obama has only one term), the situation has moved from dire to outrageous. Adelson, along with his wife Miriam, are super Israel supporters, to the point that they deny Palestinians are entitled to be treated as a people. This is one of the men trying to buy the election.

The Koch brothers are trying to do the same thing. David and Charles Koch control Koch Industries, the second largest privately controlled company in the United States. They are incredibly wealthy, yet want more.

What, do you think, are Sheldon, David, and Charles looking for? My bet is an astounding reduction in business regulations, a sweet tax structure that let’s them get even more rich than they are, and control of the presidency. No one–no one–gives millions and millions of dollars to a presidential campaign without expecting something in return. They want access to the Oval Office. I am sure Sheldon wants to manipulate Mitt Romney [I don’t have time in this post to talk about what a straw man this guy is.] into being even more of a defender of Israel. (I’ll leave to another post just how absurd the basis for the Jewish state is.) And David and Charles want even less interference from the US government as they go on their merry way expanding their oil business.

That’s why it’s time for the Republican party and conservatism to be banished to the wilderness again! It happened after the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. It should be happening again, now. The GOP has passed the tipping point, demonstrating time and again it is not concerned with the middle class or the poor. (See my post “Mitch McConnell Boxed In.”) Jobs should be the goal of our legislators, yet we see Republicans in the House pushing endless legislation on abortion (31 bills in the last 2 years.) And no bill on jobs. Won’t even consider the president’s jobs bill.

They must be defeated, so soundly that they slink away in fear. Listen to their talk. Everything they accuse Obama of, they are doing.

This government should not be run by the Adelsons of this world and the Koch brothers. That is not what America is, or what it should be.

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Kinde, Küche und Kirche, Teil Zwei

In the late 1890s, a travel writer by the name of Marie Remick, in a book called A Woman’s Travel-Notes on England, made the following observation:

After Germany, where women apparently take no interest in public affairs, and seem to obey to the letter the young emperor’s injunction “Let women devote themselves to the three K’s, — die Küche, die Kirche, die Kinder“(kitchen, church, and children), the active interest and influence of English women on all great questions were refreshing.

Liberal writers used the triple K phrase numerous times throughout the 1890s and it became fairly well-known in the English-speaking world. The Nazis never used the term officially, but by deed they demonstrated that it still held sway in the Reich. For example:

Adolf Hitler in Yugoslavia.

Adolf Hitler in Yugoslavia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Hitler came to power in 1933, he introduced a Law for the Encouragement of Marriage, which entitled newly married couples to a loan of 1000 marks (around 9 months’ average wages at that time). On their first child, they could keep 250 marks. On their second, they could keep another 250. They reclaimed all of the loan by their fourth child. –Wikipedia

The phrase is reminiscent of the American concept that women should be kept ‘barefoot and pregnant’, and suggests that the speaker/writer believes women should be minimalized into birthing machines.

Republican Party (United States)

Republican Party (United States) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The German phrase indicates a woman’s place is with children, the church, and the kitchen, and nothing more. Clearly, a woman is not expected to have a career and a life of her own, and if she did work she should not expect to make as much as a man for the same labor. (Republicans do not support the Lily Ledbetter Act, giving women equal pay for equal work.) Is that not the same philosophy that drives the Republican right to pass 31 bills restricting or outlawing abortion but not one bill on job creation to date? The conservatives seem obsessed with controlling women’s bodies, passing laws requiring women to have transvaginal probes inserted in their bodies so that they may confront the fetus they plan to abort face to face, as it were. (Virginia) And are they not possessed by the fear that their Christian churches might be damaged by some federal law? (They don’t care a fig about synagogues and mosques, because they have convinced themselves that Christianity is the only correct religion.) And what argument do they make against same-sex marriage? That gay people can’t have children. So they are fixated on children, too. (They’re really off on this argument, given how far science has come.)

Of course, they are frightened. Their way of life is changing, the nation is moving from white domination to a mixed bag, and they fear that. So they want to keep those white Christian children coming. And they seem to want the mom to stay home, out of the workforce, and take care of the kids. How different is that from Kinder, Küche, und Kirche?

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On Being Wrong

Cover of "Being Wrong: Adventures in the ...

Cover via Amazon

I am currently reading a wonderful book by Kathryn Schulz called Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. Humans are not comfortable with making mistakes. But we do, and we do it pretty consistently. I have to assume, though, that some of you might have run into insufferable bosses or colleagues who insist that they rarely, if ever, err In fact, you might even find one in your family, perhaps Grandpa Hamid or Aunt Lucy, who never ever make mistakes. The skill they all have in common is the ability to blame an underling or other family member for their faults.

Schulz writes that;

A whole lot of us go through life assuming that we are basically right, basically all the time, about basically everything: about our political and intellectual convictions, our religious and moral beliefs, our assessment of other people, our memories, our grasp of facts. As absurd as it sounds when we stop to think about it, our steady state seems to be one of unconsciously assuming that we are very close to omniscient.

You know, the only creatures I’ve ever found with omniscience were gods! My, my, aren’t we all pleased with ourselves.

Of course, with ordinary mortals one can just ignore them or, in extremes, tell them off. But then there is the politician, the bloviating, slobbering, pompous, condescending paradigm of this hubris just described.

Most of us, according to Schulz, believe that falling into error is “dangerous, humiliating, distasteful, and, un-fun in the extreme.” She refers to this belief as the pessimistic model of wrongdoing. Schulz explains:

[o]ur mistakes really can be irritating or humiliating or harmful, to ourselves as well as to others. To dismiss that fact would be disingenuous, but as an overall outlook on wrongness, the pessimistic one is radically incomplete. To begin with, it obscures the fact that whatever damage can arise from erring pales in comparison to the damage that arises from our fear, dislike, and denial of erring. This fear acts as a kind of omnipurpose coagulant, hardening heart and mind, chilling our relationships with other people, and cooling our curiosity about the world.

Is this not the ultimate truism about the political class? Are they not petrified of making any error, lest the electorate throw them out of the comfortable homes they have found in government? And is this not true in every land on the face of the planet?

I can only speak for my own country, but the denial of committing error is running rampant in my government, and I must be honest and say the Republicans/Conservatives are the biggest offenders. Take, for example, climate change. Business has denied the existence of climate change for a number of reasons, but one big one is that it is afraid of the regulations that would burden them should climate change be true. Over the years, more and more scientists have reviewed the evidence and undertaken new studies and, unfortunately, climate change is a reality. The long-term droughts, violent storms, huge flooding, and monster hurricanes are telling us that something is wrong. And still Republicans deny it is happening.

I saw Bill Maher‘s panel discussion on cable tv the other day. Some Republican Luddite was arguing that these climate catastrophes were nothing more than the regular cycle of events, like the hurricanes he remembered from his childhood. Luckily, there was another panel member, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, science

Dr. at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NA...

Dr.Neil DeGrasse Tyson at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council, in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

communicator, and director of the prestigious Hayden Planetarium in New York City. Of course he was asked for his views. His  first comment was on what scientists expect from laymen who are told some  information they don’t like to hear. First, he said, they deny it. Second, they say it conflicts with the Bible (or Torah or Quran). Third, they say they knew it all along. But when asked for evidence, he pointed to nature itself. Plants and animals are moving northward, because it is becoming warm enough for them to survive there. They know what global warming is and they’re feeling it.

But the Republican party cannot bring itself to say it was wrong, and so we continue to have battles about environmental regulations that shouldn’t be. Because they would find it humiliating to say that they missed the boat. I don’t think they will acknowledge their effort until that boat is foundering. And we’ll all lose.

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Mitch McConnell Boxed In!

English: Nations with Universal health care sy...

English: Nations with Universal health care systems. Nations with some type of universal health care system. Nations attempting to obtain universal health care. Health care coverage provided by the United States war funding. Nations with no universal health care. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 04:  Senate Minority Lea...

WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 04: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivers an address at the conservative Heritage Foundation November 4, 2010 in Washington, DC. The Republican party made big gains in the Senate but failed to take control of the chamber.’If the administration wants to cooperation then it’s going to have to move in our direction,’ McConnell said. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-=KY) was interviewed the other night by Chris Wallace on the Republican’s home channel, Fox TV. Wallace asked McConnell three times how the GOP was going to provide universal health care for those 30 million Americans who don’t have it. Now, I’ve never heard President

English: Chris Wallace of Fox News seen at the...

English: Chris Wallace of Fox News seen at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C., before a gala honoring advocates of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program on Feb. 23, 2010. The 17-month voluntary intervention program provides training and education for high school dropouts, graduating 92,850 since 1993. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill) (Released) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Obama say the Affordable Care Act was meant to provide universal coverage, but Wallace came up with that description. It is a pleasure to see this pompous, condescending, imperial swamp rat squirm, because he can’t answer the question. The Republicans have nothing but empty nostrums to offer, all of which can be distilled down to “if you can’t pay for the care, tough s*%t”. Can’t you feel the arrogance when Chris Wallace brings him back to the question the second time, asking how he’s going to provide universal health care for the 30 million Americans without it, and he arrogantly proclaims that “he’ll get to that in a minute.” He was especially galled by the idea that we might copy any Western European health care program. Probably pisses him off that we pay twice as much per capita for health care as Germany or the UK, but get far less for our bucks. God, I love it when he gets apoplectic!

Enjoy!

McConnell Non-Plussed!

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