Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Right Will Never Stop Trying to Destroy Social Security







Do you know why Republicans hate Social Security and Medicare?





Because they work.









Nah, me neither:


I don’t see a lot of appetite for that kind of bullet-biting on the center-left right now, whereas on the Republican side there’s a much greater willingness, post-2010, to bite the alternative bullet of entitlement reform. And that matters: The emerging policy vision on the right only coheres and makes (at least some) fiscal sense because it includes proposals to change Medicare and (from leading politicians like Ryan and Marco Rubio, if not from the party as a whole) Social Security as well. A center-left analogue would need to come to grips more fully with the long-term cost of the liberal vision, and the need, eventually at least, for new taxes on someone other than the rich.


New taxes on "someone other than the rich" is doublespeak for "kill the poors." Occupy Wall Street scared the living hell out of the people who thought that they were going to be able to waltz into the decade with government-slashing politicians in their hip pocket. You know, the ones exactly like Paul Ryan, who was a middle class kid from Wisconsin who cashed in on Social Security death benefits and got an education in the very ideology that would condemn anyone who took a handout from the government.





Inadvertently, the American taxpayer funded the life plan of a man who hates what America does for kids just like him. When you get through that door, slam it hard behind you so no one else can have a good life just like yourself. Pathetic.





Here's an idea--accept government for what it is and what it does and attack the one thing we know that does NOT work, and that's giving the rich tax cuts in exchange for creating jobs.





People in this country actually are free, and they're free from worse levels of poverty and fear than the Republican Party is comfortable with. Social Security isn't broke, Medicare works, Obamacare works, and that drives people who have NO ideas crazy.





More and more, it looks like we missed the ball on Occupy as a movement for real reform and change, and, just like in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we lost a chance to talk about poverty and race in this country. We lost one hell of a good chance and I don't think we'll get it back until we defeat the ideas that give Douthat his woody.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Ethically Challenged World of Senator John Walsh




This is ridiculous. How can someone get away with such a blatant form of plagiarism? And then to use PTSD as a reason as to why plagiarism might have happened is the perfect way to cheapen what others are going through. This kind of logic would be great if you needed to get out of a speeding ticket, and it would be about as effective. What a disgrace.

Senator John Walsh of Montana has a long, proud history of cutting corners and creating opportunities for himself. He is a combat veteran, and we should be grateful for his service. That doesn't mean he should be a United States Senator and he definitely has not earned a higher degree. There's a track record here and it cannot be ignored. No one should get a pass because of their party affiliation or their service.

At a minimum, he should resign and accept the academic discipline that goes with blatant plagiarism, which would include, I suspect, the withdrawal of the degree he was awarded.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kurt Vonnegut Couldn't Have Said it Better




When I read things like this, I can't help but wonder how much fun Kurt Vonnegut would have had with the idea that troops invading someone else's territory should be given a peace prize and that they cannot be criticized for anything at all.

Here's what he thought of indiscriminately bombing and killing people:

Every day we walked into the city and dug into basements and shelters to get the corpses out, as a sanitary measure. When we went into them, a typical shelter, an ordinary basement usually, looked like a streetcar full of people who’d simultaneously had heart failure. Just people sitting there in their chairs, all dead. A fire storm is an amazing thing. It doesn’t occur in nature. It’s fed by the tornadoes that occur in the midst of it and there isn’t a damned thing to breathe. We brought the dead out. They were loaded on wagons and taken to parks, large open areas in the city which weren’t filled with rubble. The Germans got funeral pyres going, burning the bodies to keep them from stinking and from spreading disease. 130,000 corpses were hidden underground. It was a terribly elaborate Easter egg hunt. We went to work through cordons of German soldiers. Civilians didn’t get to see what we were up to. After a few days the city began to smell, and a new technique was invented. Necessity is the mother of invention. We would bust into the shelter, gather up valuables from people’s laps without attempting identification, and turn the valuables over to guards. Then soldiers would come with a flame thrower and stand in the door and cremate the people inside. Get the gold and jewelry out and then burn everybody inside.

Clearly, humanity has jumped the shark and we're left with the crumbs at a table that hasn't been pleasantly set for a long time. Humanity is starved for substance and truth in the age of instant communication and smart phones, and a symptom of the insanity that affects us all is when far too many people accept without questioning the kind of logic displayed above. War is always a horrible, horrible last result that rarely accomplishes anything other than killing people who no one would reasonably conclude should have been killed to begin with. We're clawing at the idea of being able to believe someone about something, but the sad fact is, the only thing that sells anymore are lies.

The fellow in the suit above is one hell of a salesman for lies. He has a counterpart in a similar suit somewhere, and I wonder how ridiculous that fellow is when he talks about killing for peace.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Remember When Conservatives Wanted Latin American Kids to Come Here?




I remember when there was a kid named Elian Gonzalez, and I remember when he came here as an illegal immigrant. I remember how conservatives railed against the rule of law, which forced him to go back to Cuba to live with his communist relatives. They didn't scream at him and tell him to go. They hid him in a closet and tried to keep the government from sending him back to where he came from. I remember how they went crazy and hated the government and ignored the actual laws and wanted him to stay so he could live a better life in this country.

What happened?

Oh, yeah. That's right. Instead of Cuba, the new wave of little kids comes from Central America where they are fleeing the predators in violent gangs, and where they are trying to get away from narco-terrorists. And not only are they not coming here to seek freedom, they're bringing their diseases with them, right?

Except that they're not:

With thousands of children from Central America arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, an old plague is once again sweeping the country—the fear of the diseased immigrant.


“Our schools cannot handle this influx, we don’t even know what all diseases they have,” U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)said recently. “Our health care systems can’t withstand this influx.” [Except that they can, thanks to Obamacare]


Fox News commentator Cal Thomas asks, for example, if “the unaccompanied minors pouring over the border…have brought with them proof of vaccination?” Thomas accuses the border-crossers of harboring vaccine-preventable diseases such as “mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus and diphtheria.”


Before demonizing undocumented children, we should look at the facts: The vast majority of Central Americans are vaccinated against all these diseases. Governments concerned about health, and good parents investing in their kids, have made Central American kids better-vaccinated than Texan kids. We fear them not because they are actually sick, but because of powerful anti-immigration narratives that link foreigners to disease.


Consider, for example, Guatemala. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Guatemalan kids are more likely than Texans to be immunized for most infectious diseases. Guatemala has universal health care. Vaccines are 100 percent funded by the government.


By comparison, one in six kids in Texas is uninsured, and even insured families often must pay for vaccination. That means that many Texas kids fall behind on vaccinations, or miss them altogether when their family can’t afford a doctor’s visit. Other families refuse vaccination.


Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, a Fox News commentator and former director of the ultra-conservative political group Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, writes in the McAllen Monitor that measles is among the “diseases the United States had controlled or virtually eradicated” that are “carried across the border by this tsunami of illegals.”


Fact check: UNICEF reports that 93 percent of kids in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are vaccinated against measles. That’s better than American kids (92 percent).

Oh, but American Exceptionalism and They're Going to Take All the Jobs and They're Going to Get Welfare Checks All Day Long. The bullshit gets so thick you can't even stand looking at a computer half the time. Thanks again, Jenny McCarthy.




Good God. 





You mean that Texas is now a third world country run by lunatics? Again, this happens? And that means it's time for the citizens of Texas to vote in another Republican who will continue to destroy the environment, the education system, and give handouts to corporations? Again?

I guess so.

Somewhere in Cuba a young man is grateful he didn't end up living in a Florida subdivision where you can shot for walking around with Skittles. And he's probably thrilled he didn't end up in Texas, either.

Whitewashed History




I have never visited a Presidential library, but I've had numerous chances to do so. To me, they are not destinations nor are they worthy of a visit due to the propaganda referenced in this article. I agree with some of it, but I do take exception to the idea that this is shocking or otherwise. It's not.

The mere existence of a Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library speaks volumes to how ridiculous it would be to "celebrate" his legacy. He tarnished his legacy and remains a disgraced and horrible figure in American history. His own library has to draw out the releases of embarrassing audio tapes and transcripts of conversations that demonstrate him to be a craven and power-hungry man.

However, you can find examples of the same behavior in virtually all of the other administrations that have gone before but not really since. The libraries that exist now are tourist traps that whitewash the "Nixonian" stain from history.

Friday, July 11, 2014

This is Why They Want to Impeach the President




The wholesale destruction of America continues, unabated. Soon, there will be a time when Americans have health care insurance and coverage for their families. Once that happens, America will turn into Thunderdome and we will all be driving cars that have no gas. Do you have four camels lying around who can pull the thing? I don't. But, thanks to Obamacare, now I have to find extra shotgun shells, a water purification system, a Geiger counter, and four freakin' camels because we're all headed for a post-apocalyptic hellsphere, fights to the death optional.

And while we all look for feathers and castoff shoulder pads, let's remember one salient fact--Obamacare was the devil. It was supposed to rip the fabric of American life to pieces and leave nothing but horror and destruction in it's wake. It was supposed to give rise to a thousand Hitlers and burn everything to the ground. If you've been listening to the clowns on the right, you would think that socialism was really, really bad or something. So far, it's looking pretty good.

The Republican Party now has to impeach Obama in order to offset the success of Obamacare. They have tried, dozens of times, to legislate it out of existence. Now that we know it works, they have to do something to head off the damage it is causing to their ideology, not the country. We have been cursed to live in an interesting time--government actually works? Really? Why don't we try having a little more of it, then?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

We Failed to Remember Our History One More Time




The Bundy Rebellion isn't over yet:

The victory a Nevada rancher claimed in a government standoff with armed militiamen has served to embolden right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorists across the country, an organization that tracks hate groups said in a new report Thursday.


The Southern Poverty Law Center based its findings on online chatter among extreme right-wing groups. 


Cliven Bundy's faceoff with the Bureau of Land Management agents and Las Vegas police at his ranch in southern Nevada in April has "invigorated" an extremist movement that has exploded since President Barack Obama was elected, growing from 150 groups in 2008 to more than 1,000 last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center said.


The report warns of the potential for more violence like the recent killing of two Las Vegas police officers by a pair of anti-government zealots — Jerad and Amanda Miller — who spent time at Bundy's ranch before they were asked to leave because of their extremist views.


"Cliven Bundy may have faded from public view, but the movement that spawned him is boiling," said the report entitled "War in the West, The Bundy Ranch Standoff and the American Radical Right."

This boiling movement has no fear of armed confrontation with the United States Government--they are actively encouraging it. How is that possible?

The example of Shays Rebellion is instructive. It was put down largely because reasonable people saw the threat to peace and stability; it led to a more powerful centralized form of government--the one we have today. The Bundy Rebellion weakens the power of the central government and exists because enough people feel the U.S. government has no legitimacy.

In other words, watch what happens when we forget American history.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Unemployment is Now 6.1% Because of the Worst President Ever




Despite a long, proud history of doing whatever it can to tank the American economy--government shutdown anyone? forty attempts at repealing Obamacare and no jobs bills anyone?--the Republican Party woke up to bad new today.

Unemployment has fallen to 6.1% in the United States. This is devastating news for the people who hate America.

The worst President ever, in the history of everything forever, just won the morning.