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    • The Attack In Ottawa will be used to justify losing more rights
      Prime Minister Harper pretty much confirmed it: ‘Our laws and police powers need to be strengthened’ Yup.  Never let a crisis go to waste. I’m very sad that MPs and their staff were scared, and I’m sadder that a soldier lost his life.  But one attack does not justify increasing the police state.  However, if [...]
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Cynically Sussing the Paul Ryan Choice for Romney

“Braaaaains”

On the surface, Romney’s choice of zombie eyed granny starver Paul Ryan as his VP running mate shouldn’t make any sense.  This is the guy who is determined that everyone who isn’t wealthy or well-connected take a severe haircut in services, that we pay for, by the way, so that the wealthy and well-connected never have to pay us back for all the money we let them have in the past 30 years.  If Romney was up against the *old* Democratic party, it would be a piece of cake to shoot this down.

But the fact that Romney even made this choice in the first place indicates something entirely different.  For one thing, the Republicans have been saving their ammunition, and they must have a ton of it, while Obama has been burning through campaign money like a wildfire trying to cripple Romney and he hasn’t gotten much traction.  Obama even threw the tax return issue out there, probably because he felt he had to.  Romney can stonewall that from now until doomsday but the best time to have brought it up would have been just before the election.  What do the Democrats have left?

There must be an advantage to Romney picking Ryan or he wouldn’t have done it. Republicans play to win. I’m going to guess that the deficit hawkery is really important to the GOP to ensure its wealthy base pays nothing in taxes.  But it doesn’t want to necessarily kill the donor as long as there are still organs to harvest.  You don’t want full scale insurrection on your hands. So, choosing Ryan might have been a safer choice. Let’s try to reason this out:

1.) By getting Ryan out of the House, the pressure is off the GOP to actually go through with any severely drastic cut his plan would have provoked the Tea Party lunatics to demand.  The Tea Party won’t be happy until no one gets anything they PREPAID.  It’s a power thing, not a rational objective.  They’ll push the envelope because they can, not because it’s wise or good for the party.  But with Ryan out of their hair, the GOP leadership can claim they now have a power vacuum and who is going to take his place for pushing and whipping like he did?  They will look in vain for a replacement but all of the up-and-comers will fall short of Ryan’s brilliant political skills.  Maybe they won’t be able to get all the way through Atlas Shrugged or they have a nugget of compassion that hasn’t been bred out of them.  Who knows, but for some reason, they’ll be more self-effacing and compliant than Ryan.

2.) By getting Ryan in the VP spot for the election season, the GOP has a twofer: It can run on the deficit issue, which means that it will be all deficits, all the time on TV and in the papers from now until November, AND it can deep six Ryan in the VP position after the election where we will never hear from him again.  The VP spot is where politicians go to die, er, not literally but functionally.  Think about it, how many VPs have gone on to become president after running a successful campaign instead of after some catastrophic event?  I can only think of one in the recent past- George Bush Sr.  So, what Ryan stands for is important to the GOP message machine, but Paul Ryan himself is not so important or they would have left him where he was.

3.) It will force the Democrats to either out deficit hawk the Republicans, driving the election season narrative to the right, or it will give Democrats an opening to defend the American people from additional demands for sacrifice and economy killing cuts in government spending.  Ehhhh, I’m going to guess that the GOP knows Obama really well and anticipates that he will continue to go right.  It’s what he was hired to do.  The bankers want him to get rid of all entitlements so they won’t feel obligated (do they even have feelings of obligation and responsibility?) to discipline themselves and not gorge on more than they can swallow.  If Obama hadn’t come down so hard on the Occupy movement on the bankers’ behalf, he might have something to hide behind- a moral message about how wrong it is to hurt the 99% of us who work hard and play by the rules.  But he did and now he can’t.

All in all, I’d say this was a win for the GOP.  They know their message and propaganda machine is more than adequate to skew the Democrats’ counterpunch in their direction.  Obama has done a lousy job and he can’t run on the things that are really important to the 99%.  If unemployment were not an issue, the deficit problem wouldn’t be a problem, would it?  If more of us were back at work, we wouldn’t be collecting unemployment benefits, we’d be paying our taxes.  But because unemployment was NOT the focus of Obama’s four years in office, he’s not only allowed the little Depression to impoverish people, he’s added to the deficit because revenue has fallen off. Sure, running up a big deficit during a recession/depression is not a bad thing, but you’ve got to have a plan to replace the money you spent someday while jump starting an economic recovery and this is not an argument that Obama has chosen to make.

Krugman, Stiglitz, Romer, and some other economists have tried to convince him to do it in order to put people back to work, but he only wanted to listen to his banker friends and now he’s stuck.  In order to turn this around, he’s got to grow a unibrow and become a FDR style Democrat on steroids.  Cewl, swave and deboner will not cut it, especially when there’s more desperation than commitment behind the nasal stopped Chicago accented delivery.  He had four years, two of them with his party in majority in BOTH houses of Congress, and he wasted them, falling right into the trap the GOP laid and the rest of us anticipated. Republicans wanted to make life so difficult that the only way to make it better would be to apply New Deal strategies, which they would try to oppose.  A skillful politician would have gone bold and big.  Alas, we got Obama.

For a guy who has so many political gifts {{cough, cough}} and plays a mean game of 11-dimensional chess, he should have seen it coming.

************************************

One other thing that should be glaringly obvious: the *presumptive* lineup for both parties will contain…

four men

You know, this is the 21st century and it’s almost like the 20th never even happened when it comes to women.  All of the other countries in the world are at least struggling with their females in government problem.  Here, we act like there is no problem.

Even Pakistan has had a female head of state.  Pakistan.  But here?  Not even on the radar.

I’ve always wondered why women stay in abusive religions where they’re not considered the equal of men.  What’s in it for them?  And why don’t women ask that question of their parties?

Just curious.

************************************

And here’s a blast from the past.  This goes out to Paul Ryan and his buds:

GOP candidate’s debate: live blog

Alright, do we want to live blog this thing?  What is more fascinating?  The stupid things the candidates say or the audience reaction to the stupid things the candidates say?

GoodHair Perry is supposed to be the frontrunner.  Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to me either but then, their side of the aisle exists in a parallel universe.  Let’s listen in, shall we?

Have at it.

Great. Just Great.

I slid down the stairs on Wednesday evening and ended up on one of my toes.  It’s now a lovely shade of magenta and has a sausage like stiffness.  I don’t think it’s broken but running today is going to be a bit of an experiment.

Meanwhile, the lunatics in the Republican party are definitely running the hen house.  I think the party is toying with the concept of self-immolation for sacrificial purposes.  What does it matter if the Republicans are done as a party for a generation?  They’ve managed to pull the Democrats so far right that even if Republicans lose their majority in the House next year, there will be no turning back all of the damage they’ve caused to the economy, worker’s pensions, medicare and social security.  To turn it around would take a strong, committed leader who believed in the power of government to intervene when the unfettered free market takes advantage of the common guy.

But all we have is Obama.

Seriously, Democrats, is that all you’ve got?  Is sticking with this guy so important that you would let the rest of us go up in flames when the Republicans finally flick the match?

I’m not voting for him.  My vote is my own and I’m giving it to someone who will actually fight for me.  Obama ain’t it.  There is nothing you can say to make me change my mind.  Quit playing this “Election by anointment” game.  It’s very undemocratic and I’m not putting up with it.  His performance has been substandard and he does not appear to know what he’s doing.

BTW, just because the Republicans and Charles Krauthammer are calling Obama a failure doesn’t mean we can’t also refer to him as a failure.  In fact, Republicans are probably counting on a knee-jerk reaction from the left to the word “failure”.  The more the Republicans say it, the more the left will deny it and pump out glossy propaganda about Recovery Summer 2.0.  But no one is fooled by this.  Obama *IS* a failure.  You don’t have to be from any political clubhouse to see it.  Denial isn’t going to make him more competent and successful and attacking your lefty critics is not going to change the utter enormity of the failure that Obama is.  If he had just been a mediocre, inexperienced president in another time, then he would have gone down in history as a McKinley or a Cleveland or one of those other presidents no one cares about.  But no, we had to have a mediocre inexperienced president during the worst possible time since 1929.  The guy has no idea how to put government to work to pull us out of this depression/recession.  That’s failure, my lefty friends.  And if you do nothing but let him keep failing for another four years, you condemn us all.  The GOP would never try to talk you out of running Obama again.  They like the way this is all playing out.  Only your friends will tell you the truth.

More “no duh”:

Krugman writes today about the rentiers and how this special interest is manipulating Washington.  Well, that was pretty clear when they bought the 2008 primary for Obama.  No wonder Congress can’t get enough rentier “sugar”.  To the rest of us, it seemed pretty obvious that the rich and powerful were going to take care of themselves to our detriment.   They don’t care about us.  We do not mean anything to them.  They will keep drinking our milkshakes until there’s nothing left.  The only people who care about it are us.  And the only reason we presumably do not have the power to stop the ravenous rentier grasshoppers is because we have a bunch of self-appointed creative class assholes clinging to Obama as if their lives depended on him.

What is more important at this point?  Saving Obama’s ass at all costs or saving the rest of us?  I am not cooperating. Do we look crazy to you guys?  We haven’t got fricking jobs anymore.  Get a new player.  NOW.

Dump him.

Uncle Sam Contracts Frater Magnus to Safeguard his Healthcare Liberty

Lincoln_A

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. – Abraham Lincoln

There’s a sucker born every minute. – P.T. Barnum

BenjaminFranklinWe, the People, are born every minute. The last ten years provides ample evidence about the regularity to which Lincoln alludes.

Geese are but Geese tho’ we may think ‘em Swans; and Truth will be Truth tho’ it sometimes prove mortifying and distasteful. – Benjamin Franklin

The Constitution of the United States is like a manual for building a nation of equals before the law. It embodies the wisdom that some people gain power and freedom by stealing the power and freedom of others. It enacts principles to thwart those who conduct such thefts. “Liberty” is a common code word for describing the nation’s promise of power and freedom to its citizens.

Interestingly, the founders were all too aware that the apparatus they made to uphold the liberty of the nation’s citizens, i.e. the government, could also fall under the influence of those who would thieve the liberty of others. Accordingly, citizens must be mindful of what they, and others, ask of their government, while using the government as a tool to promote liberty, and other Constitutional and DOI objectives, and thwart liberty thieves. Unfortunately, some citizens are so focused on defending their liberty from the government that they lose sight of the reason that the government was created, i.e. they lose sight of the enemies of liberty. They are so focussed on the tree, that they lose sight of the forest that is being clearcut all around them. Continue reading

When fooling “enough of the people, most of the time” stops working

There comes a point in every relationship when the oxytocin level starts to decline and the number of verbal inconsistencies increase to the point where the object of your affection is no longer the greatest thing since sliced bread.  When this happens, you can either reject or accept what you’ve got to work with and move on.  But one thing is for sure: the blinders are gone and it’s no use trying to put them back on again.

I reached that point back in the nineties when it comes to the news media.  After awhile, familiarity with its propaganda techniques bred contempt.  I was always an inconsistent student, something I have apparently passed onto my children.  But one thing I’ve always done well is analyze literature.  Add to that the experience that comes from reading tons of scientific papers and asking whether the authors proved their points and for me, the media lost its charm waaaaay too quickly.  It helps that like myiq, I wouldn’t drink the fundie juice and saw through the glazed eyed craziness of the religious right early in life. Anyway, you get the point.  Sadly, the honeymoon was over for me a long time ago.  The Clinton scandals never made much sense, I wasn’t surprised by 9/11 and the Iraq War was stupid at its inception.

That’s why I was a bit dismayed to read Paul Krugman’s piece yesterday about the Teabagger riots at various congressional rep appearances.  I love Paul Krugman.  He ranks right up there with Al Franken for me as one of those little flickering points of light that didn’t go out during the dark ages of the Bush administration.  Paul *mostly* sees what’s going on with the astroturfers and the birther nut jobs (no, don’t even go there.  I don’t care if Obama hasn’t answered all of your questions.  It’s a stupid, pointless, irrelevant distraction)  But he has a huge blind spot when it comes to the reason why the people who should be on Obama’s side are sitting it out.  I’m talking about people like us.  So. once again, I will try to spell it out for him.

We don’t support a man whose surrogates call lifelong advocates for civil rights and equality racists.  We don’t support a man who considers legitimate criticism of him racism.  We don’t appreciate the insinuation that because we don’t support Obama’s ill-conceived health care policy we might be racists.  To us, that doesn’t seem to be a very logical way to gain our support.  In fact, it hasn’t worked since Obama’s campaign rolled it out last year and it is still not working.  Really, Paul, don’t fall into this trap.  Not everyone who dislikes the way the Obama administration has handled things is a racist. Yes, there are plenty of people who are but there is a huge group of us out here who aren’t and never have been.  That peer pressure $#@% doesn’t work on those of us who know our own minds.

We’re not birthers.  Sorry, birthers, we don’t care about the birth certificate.  In fact, the birth certificate issue works brilliantly for both parties.  For the GOP, whipping up a frenzy about it helps them establish a new base of supporters.  For the Obama administration, keeping the issue alive makes its detractors look like irrational nutjobs.  Take this as a warning, former PUMAs: drop the birther thing before you lose all credibility.  You are not going to dislodge Obama with the birth certificate question.  For good or ill, he’s the president for the next four years.  Which brings me to my next point:

There is no divine law that says that Barack Obama is entitled to a second term.  We have had one term presidents before.  The last two were Jimmy Carter and George Bush I.  It can happen again.  And if Obama succeeds in redefining the American experience not forward but backwards to a new era of Robber Barons, I believe we still have just enough power to oust him.  It is up to the Democratic Party if it wants to risk this.  Sarah Palin could siphon away the part of the base that the Democrats left on the table during the 2008 primary season.  Palin could be the Republicans’ stealth weapon, even if she chose to run as an independent.  Keep it up Democrats and Obama will be a one term wonder. Which brings me to why we are different from the birthers and Palin supporters and GOP teabaggers.

We never bought the party unity thing.

Remember party unity?  Harold Ickes Jr. told the RBC hearing that what they were about to do was not in the interest of party unity.  Oh, you could engineer an illusion at the convention that everyone was behind Obama but that left a lot of Democrats deeply dissatisfied and feeling like they had no choice but to go along.  And so many of them did because the only alternative was another Republican president.

The reason that Obama’s health insurance reform policy is going down in flames with no support from his own party is because we don’t trust him.  We watched the way his campaign operated last year and we never bought the product. We saw how he allowed his supporters and the media to trash women.  We see that his wife has had to pretend to embrace a traditional female role to pacify the old white guys and snotty women who run the DC political press corps and punditry.  We saw how he lobbied for the first TARP bill without much concern for hapless homeowners.  We saw how he stuffed a sock into the mouths of single payer advocates during the public debate on the issue.  Even those of us who are open to plans other than single payer think they should have been at the table.

The Obama administration has a lot of nerve complaining about teabaggers now when they’ve eliminated a significant number of voices from the initial debate.  As for cries of “no fair with the astroturf!”, Obama’s team can hardly expect those of us who were bombarded by Axlerod’s campaign astroturf, destructive peer pressure, marketing and psychological manipulation techniques to have any sympathy whatsoever for it now.  It was only a matter of time before the media and GOP started to turn agains the Democrat.  Would that we had a President in the White House who had the character and intestinal fortitude to withstand it.  Karma’s a bitch.

We always said that if the Democrats decided to ditch us, half of its base, for Obama when they had an alternative who was winning in spite of intensely negative media coverage, that it was on its own.  The Obama Era began by squashing and insulting people.  It used unethical and in some cases possibly illegal tactics to get the nomination.  Obama and the Democrats erased everything it stood in order to get power last year and in the process cut out its most vital base. In fact, the Democrats in Congress have wasted a perfectly good opportunity to come out like gangbusters with a revolutionary new health care mandate that covers everyone, lowers costs and encourages real innovation by regulating the middle man.  It blew it.  Royally.

The Democratic party did not elect a leader.  His PR guys can keep saying it but it doesn’t make it true and more and more voters are starting to realize this.  Leadership is not the capacity to fool enough of the people, most of the time.  A leader has vision.  A leader has a philosophy.  A leader has courage to take on his or her opponents.  Obama is not a leader.  We knew this last year but the party forced him on us anyway.  Obama is good at one thing and one thing only: promoting Obama.  He can charm the pants off of people to promote him but he is incompetent in taking on the GOP message machine, the media and the entrenched establishment of neo-feudalists who can never get enough power. Obama made pacts with the devils in these power establishments.  But for what?  What did we, the voters, get for this exchange?  How did the voters benefit from Obama’s election and his subservience and obedience to the powers that got him into office?  There are quite a few bloggers who should be telling us what we got in exchange for this media darling.  I’m waiting.

But don’t blame us for seeing through him and standing back to watch the carnage between the GOP’s astroturf mobs and the Obama campaign’s astroturf mobs.  It is our prerogative to disagree with truly crappy finance industry and health “insurance” reform policies that don’t benefit voters. Without a major media outlet like a cable news station or a major newspaper like the Times, we have to hope that enough people read us and pass our site along as a refuge for rational, liberals whose minds are wide open but not so wide that our brains have fallen out.  When there are enough of us who are in agreement most of the time, then maybe we can turn this country around.

Let this be a lesson to the Democratic party.  If you decide to launch a war against your own side, don’t be surprised later if the refugees don’t regard you as liberators.  When it comes to Obama, we’re not stupid, Republican, birther or racists.  We’re just not that into him.

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