So it's been a while since I've posted here, and that's because I got bored with it and then moved to Facebook where I've been posting for a while. I don't write as many long posts because I just don't have the wherewithal to do it, and the news is far too depressing these days. Two years ago I was a news junkie; however, today just watching the Daily Show makes me want to kill myself.
The "Edward M. Kennedy Healthcare Reform for America Act of 2010" will have no Public Option (nor the lame "co-op"), and it will do nothing other than give 100 billion taxpayer dollars over 5 to 10 years to the health insurance companies (in exchange for their unenforceable promise to be a little nicer to people... if they feel like it every now and then).
Let's put it this way: the day after the Edward M. Kennedy Healthcare Reform for America Act of 2010 passes, stock in United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Aetna will go up 15%-20% each.
Despite that, the Republicans will STILL be opposed to the bill. They have no choice - they whipped their redneck followers into such a frenzy that it would be political suicide for any of them to vote for it. Especially if the bill is named after Ted Kennedy (that alone means it MUST be "liberal" and acceptable to "liberals"). And it most certainly will be acceptable to liberals. It's named after Ted Kennedy and the Republicans voted against it, so it MUST be good! Never mind what it actually does. Liberals will proudly note that when the Kennedy healthcare reform bill was passed, the DOW went up 400 points the same day, with the largest gains being the health insurance companies! And the Republicans said healthcare reform would be bad for the insurance companies. Hah!
I'm now opposed to healthcare reform because we need to kill off as many Americans as we can. People here are simply too stupid to be allowed to continue living. It's a great thing when Americans are dying at home because they couldn't afford or receive healthcare, because they will be happy that they fought for the "choice" of having no choice, proud that they defended their freedom from a Muslim, Kenyan-born Presi-nigger, and confident that their health insurance company - which denied their medical claims - knew more about medicine and what medical treatment they needed than their own doctors did.
The corollary to my belief that "people get the government they deserve" is that people treat themselves the way they deserve to be treated. Fuck us. Fuck us to death. Fuck us so it hurts, and then fuck us even harder.
Since when is there a cost/benefit analysis to enforcing the law? All these Republicans like Joe Lieberman are blabbing about how investigating violations of the law under the Bush Administration will be "detrimental to the country" and will "let the terrorists win" and "hurt morale at the CIA" among other things. Even if those things are true - so what? Since when is there a "crying CIA agent" exception to the law? Anything that gives right-wingers an excuse to repeat their 9-11 chant over and over again is detrimental to the country. So what? The law is either violated or it isn't. Convenience and cost/benefit have absolutely nothing to do with law enforcement. The right-wingers have no problem enforcing the law at all costs, no matter the circumstances, no matter how expensive or inconvenient, no matter how intrusive or abusive. They say people MUST be prosecuted under federal law for being drug kingpins even when it's undisputed that they were merely giving away marijuana to people with legitimate physicians' prescriptions in accordance with state medical marijuana/compassionate use laws.
But suddenly, when the government (more specifically Repubulican agents of the government) is the potential defendant, there is a cost-benefit analysis that must be done prior to initiating a criminal investigation, let alone before bringing formal criminal charges? It is ALWAYS inconvenient and disruptive (due to politics) to have an independent investigation of government agents or politicians. And it's always expensive. And the target of the investigation is always going to have their morale hurt. SO WHAT? Either they broke the law or they didn't. While I firmly believe in prosecutorial discretion, there is no cost-benefit analysis that must be done prior to bringing legitimate criminal charges. And certainly not prior to simply initiating a criminal investigation to see if charges are appropriate - one doesn't even know what the charges would be until an adequate investigation can take place. These people are ridiculous.
Of course, the notion that AG Eric Holder is actually going to allow a meaningful investigation into torture abuses to take place is also ridiculous. Nobody will be charged with any crimes, and that will be more damaging to our country's already ruined reputation than anything else. By bringing no charges, everyone is essentially forgiven, their actions ratified and formally approved with an official stamp of legality. Holder has said he doesn't want to investigate "anyone who was following the rules." Isn't that axiomatic? Wouldn't you only look for people who were not following the rules? We already know our laws against torture were violated, so when no charges are brought, the investigation was therefore fundamentally flawed from the outset. It would be better for Obama to simply PARDON the entire Bush Administration. At least that way the issue is over with and all the people who did commit crimes are given a stamp of guilt.
Bottom line - we cannot move "forward until" we look back and take responsibility for our actions, and hold those people who violated our laws responsible. Since when are law and order right-wing types against holding people responsible for their crimes? Oh yeah... when the victims are non-Christian terrorists.
So it looks like "change" means nothing more than getting a president who placates and gives in to the opposing, minority party.
At this point I've concluded that President Obama is either a complete fool who has reached the pinnacle of of incompetence, or he is secretly in the pocket of the health insurance companies. He doesn't come across as a fool.
By taking Single Payer off the table before his healthcare reform initiative even began, and by constantly insisting on "working with" Republicans who have no intention of working with him, Obama either never intended to get meaningful healthcare reform passed or he is the most clueless, incompetent, idiotic politician to ever hold public office.
There is no such thing as effective healthcare reform that does not harm, if not completely destroy, the health insurance companies. Obama insisted on preserving the H.I. companies from the outset, and has had only nice things to say about them. He's played into this ridiculous notion that people out there "like their health insurance" and that health insurance companies are the way we do it now, so this "existing framework" should be how we do it with any reform we ultimately adopt. It's broken, so we can't get a new working system, we have to try to work with the broken system we have. No reasonable, intelligent person who is serious about passing healthcare reform would take such positions or make such statements. As such, the only rational conclusions are that Obama is unreasonable and stupid, or that he doesn't really want to pass healthcare reform. My money is on the latter.
If only people understood that this
happens at least 10,000 times per day across America. I'd estimate that every American cop tells an incriminating lie (a lie to incriminate someone else, that is) at least twice per shift. Why? Because they Know they're the "good guys" and they Know they're doing the right thing to put away "scumbag bad guys" and they Know they're "protecting the children" with each untrue statement, which always justifies their actions. Oh, and they know that unless (like the cops in this article) they are stupid enough to leave their radio on so their fabrications get recorded, and don't take steps to delete the recording, there is absolutely no way that they'll ever get caught. That's because when it's their word versus the word of a suspect they've arrested, they will always win. Because they're cops.
I don't particularly blame them, nearly humans would do the exact same thing if they were given a license to lie about others, screw with other people, and protect themselves at all costs. You might say "I'd never do that" but yeah, you would. But keep this in mind next time a defendant says "he's lying" and the cop says "oh I'd never do that, what reason do I have to lie, I'm a cop!"
Hitler counted people, too!
- Glen Beck, FOX News Channel, April 2010
While they pretend to love the Constitution, the fact that it requires the federal government to conduct a census every ten years will be completely lost on the right wing extremists who so desperately "want their country back" from having a black president. So, come next year when the government begins counting Americans, seeing how many family members are in each household, etcetera, expect the Census to become a huge subject of protest by the right-wing extremists and racists.
They'll claim that the Census is Obama's socialist plot to send federal investigators from his big federal government into their homes to violate their privacy, to count how many pregnant women there are so the government can set aside sufficient funds for mandatory abortions, to count how many guns every American owns so Obama will know how many guns there are to take away, to compile detention lists for (imaginary) FEMA internment camps, and snoop around the homes of every American to copy their computer files and search their bedrooms, to know how many taxpayer dollars to give to ACORN, and of course to count illegal immigrants and make them full U.S. citizens. Glen Beck (the dumbest, most fact-adverse of the right-wing muckrakers) will go so far as to assert the Third Amendment is being violated by Obama sending "federal soldiers" to the homes of American citizens. The 2010 census will be the first time Sarah Palin ever hears about the federal decennial census. She'll be convinced that it is an unprecedented power grab by Obama... Obama's "Chicago Politics" in action, and that it has nothing to do with the Constitution (and the media will happily give her a national voice to express these clearly false idiocies). They'll all call the 2010 Census socialist, Nazi, Hitler, Soviet, communist, fascist, etc. They'll scream about their privacy, even though they're the same people who have been arguing against the existence of a right to privacy ever since Roe v. Wade.
And while they protest the census as being some evil plot created by Obama, they will contemporaneously come up with complaints about how the census should be conducted! For example, they'll scream, complain, and burn Obama in effigy because Glen Beck will tell them that the census is recognizing gay marriage. It doesn't matter if it's true or not (though it would make perfect sense to count as a "family" or "household" a legally married homosexual couple from a state that allows gay marriage). They'll demand the census be conducted as they want it, so as to violate the rights of homosexuals. And while there are certainly valid arguments against counting illegal immigrants in the census (as their numbers are used to apportion electoral votes and congressional representation), it's been done this way for a long time and is by no means a plot by Obama. It can only work to add to a state's population (and thus more congressional representation and electoral votes), so for census purposes... the more illegal immigrants a state has, the better.
What really bothers me is that this glimpse of our pending future is crystal clear to me, yet the Obama Administration will do absolutely nothing to prepare for it, or to make any effort at nipping it in the bud. Doing so would be simple - they could get statements, on the record in front of a video camera, from every elected Republican giving their thoughts about why the census is important to their home state (they'll give normal politician-style answers). This should be done before hacks like Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Palin, and Beck have decreed the census to be a big government scheme created by Obama to violate the privacy of the American people. Once these unelected leaders of the Republican Party contend the census is bad and must be stopped, none of the elected Republicans will be allowed to say rational things about the census any longer... all the elected Republicans in Congress will have no choice but to join in the attack, trying to stop the "ObamaCount Hitler Census" and its resultant rape of the American people. The key is to try to get elected Republicans to speak on the "rational record" before they are beholden to Rush Limbaugh's talking points.
Another thing Obama could do would be to decide not to count illegal aliens in the census "because it would legitimize their unlawful entry into this country." This would, on the surface, please the xenophobic radical right - they always take offense at illegal aliens being counted in the first place and they will surely complain about it when the census ultimately does count illegal aliens. But southern states have more illegal aliens than northern states, so not counting illegals would mean less representation in Congress and fewer electoral votes for the South. That's a good thing as far as I'm concerned. Who'd have a problem with that? Oh yeah, the southern states. But Obama should force the southern states and their southern right-wing leaders to look hypocritical and demand that the federal government count and include illegal aliens in the census.
Even better, Obama could offer to exclude anyone, or any state, from the census who doesn't want to participate (but if they're not counted, then they're not counted). There's nothing wrong with letting right-wing radical retards deny themselves representation in Congress, electoral votes, and federal funding for state programs. When Rick Perry threatens to have Texas secede from the Union over the "ObamaCount" Census, just tell him that the federal government will happily accommodate the whims of Texas and no federal census workers will show up in the state - Texas can be completely excluded from the Census if it wants to (and it can secede from the union). That way, either Perry will have to backtrack or Texas will have any growth in its population over the previous ten years excluded from the Census. That's called a win-win.
Unfortunately, Obama won't do anything about this, and will just let the radical hypocrites pile on the attacks, calling him a Nazi, a nigger, and everything in between, merely because the federal government is required to conduct another decennial census. I'd rather not have to see the "ObamaCount" issue play itself out at Fox News teaparties and town brawl meetings. I'm bored by it already, and if you read this then you probably are too.
Because they love "bipartisanship" so much, the weak and insecure congressional Democrats allowed the Republicans add a section to the healthcare bill that reimburses doctors for discussing end of life issues (living wills, DNRs, durable powers of attorney, etc.) with their patients. Not an unreasonable thing to add, I suppose. Paying doctors to have this talk will ensure that more people get this information and make these important decisions.
But for some irrational reason, despite all evidence to the contrary, the Democrats assumed the Republicans made this proposal in good faith. Now that they got that section in the healthcare bill, the Republicans are going around yelling and screaming about how this provision sets up "Death Panels" to execute senior citizens deemed unworthy to live by the nigger-president, that it's Obama's system for mandatory, government-sanctioned euthanasia, and how this provision is just like what Hitler did with eugenics (they know that's not true because most of these people, if you ask them about it in private, will admit that they admire Hitler and want a lot more of what Hitler did in our public policy).
When an interviewer told Newt Gingrich that the healthcare bill says nothing about euthanasia, eugenics, or "death panels", Newt's response was merely "well, the bill is 1100 pages long, who knows what's in there!" By that logic, the bill could contain a provision making Christianity the official religion of America, banning black people from public office, and giving everyone a huge tax cut who takes an oath to obey Jesus Christ, their Lord and Savior. Yeah that's not in there either, but who knows, the bill is 1100 pages long! So, why oppose it when something you want might end up in there....
It's bad enough that they're lying about what's in the bill, but their foundation for the lie is the provision that THEY THEMSELVES PUT IN IT! If the Democrats would stand up for themselves, quit being so weak, and stop letting legislative terrorists plant timebombs in their bills, this would not have happened. It is a given that ZERO Republicans will vote for the healthcare bill, regardless of its final form. Fortunately, ZERO Republican votes are needed to pass it. So why are the Democrats letting Republicans sabotage the bill from the sidelines? Since they have no intention of voting for the healthcare bill and are clearly against it, isn't it logical that any modifications they propose are made in bad faith, meant solely to sabotage the law's passage? Of course it is. Scaring people about what the law says and does is their only weapon, and by giving them the ability to add their own sections to it or change around the wording, the Democrats are in effect giving the health insurance companies the means of ensuring the law doesn't get passed. The Democrats are so fucking dumb they probably think that Republicans won't complain about sections that Republicans themselves added to the bill. Under what rock on what planet have the Democrats been living for the past 8 years? This is blatant sabotage, and the Democrats are giving Republicans not only the means, but the permission to conduct their sabotage.
I was reading some article about new laser weapons that we're currently spending billions of dollars developing. They even have a plan to launch a series of satellites with huge mirrors to deflect the laser beam anywhere around the planet - otherwise lasers can only travel in a straight line. They have systems already in place that can shoot down a missile or ICBM - or even a small aircraft - with a targeted high-energy laser beam.
But it seems to me these systems are completely worthless because of an extremely easy countermeasure - one that none of the articles discusses. What's the one thing that a laser can't hit? Hint: they plan to use them to bounce the laser beams around the earth. If you want to laser-proof your ballistic missile, simply give it a nice, shiny chrome mirror finish (and don't forget to take off the price tag and any other stickers). The laser beam will hit the target and harmlessly reflect off of it.
The same goes for body armor and Star Wars laser-blasters. I always thought it would make more sense for the Stormtroopers' uniforms to be mirrored instead of white, so as to make them impervious to the laser beams fired by the whiny Rebels. Since we know Stormtroopers can't shoot worth a shit, at least give them a good defense by making their uniforms mirrored on all sides. One might get lucky and reflect an enemy's laser beam right back at the enemy (who may or may not be wearing a protective mirror suit).
But it's the hundreds of billions of dollars we're wasting on targeted laser weapons to shoot down missiles that concerns me. Surely North Korea will be smart enough to pay the extra fifty bucks for the high-gloss mirror finish on its Dong-Dong missiles. So all the money we've wasted on developing worthless lasers could have been spent on something worthwhile, like eradicating religion or funding a single payer healthcare plan.
Here's another thought... I can't be the only one to have thought about laserproofing weapons/vehicles with simple mirror finishes. Surely someone smarter than me who is developing these powerful lasers must have thought of this. So, that means they knew that they were developing a worthless defense system. It's bad enough to waste taxpayers' dollars on something that you know doesn't work. But it's even worse to implement a flawed system and have us rely on it for national defense. We Americans love to pay a lot of money for a false sense of safety, but there is always a plausible, articulable basis for that false sense of safety. But if we know terrorists can get on an airplane without having to go through the TSA strip-search gauntlet, we'd feel pretty stupid about spending the time, money, and embarrassment of going through it ourselves.
Can we agree that the whole purpose of the Constitution's requirement (Article II, Section 1) that the President be a natural-born American citizen is that the Framers were concerned that someone born in another country (say, England) would feel an allegiance to that country and would be unable to be completely, 100% devoted to the interests of the United States? If you read the writings of the framers, the Federalist papers, etc, that is the reason why they required the president be a natural born american citizen. A mere naturalized american citizen was not good enough.
So I find it interesting that the "birthers" - who all supported John McCain in the last election - had no problem with the fact that McCain was a born in Panama. Yes, the Panama "Canal Zone" was, by virtue of a federal statute, considered American territory when John McCain was born, such that American citizens who gave birth there could legally claim their child as a natural-born American citizen. But the Canal Zone was not, and has never been one of the 50 states - it was not true American soil. Rather, it was foreign Panamanian soil, wholly immersed in Panamanian language, culture, religion, and dance. To be sure, little Johnny McCain Junior was exposed to Panamanian culture as a child. He played soccer (el futbol) with other little brown furriner children. Only by virtue of the "Canal Zone Loophole" is John McCain, with his natural-born loyalty to Panama and its brown-skinned, soccer-loving Panamexicans, able to be legally considered a natural-born American Citizen.
Thankfully, we closed the Canal Zone Loophole a long time ago.
So why do the racist "birthers" have no problem with John "Panamexican" McCain? According to the evidence, McCain is much more of a foreigner than Obama, even though the evidence indicates that they're both natural-born US Citizens. It's bad enough that McCain is a feeble coward who caved in to the North Vietnamese communists and spoke out against America during the Vietnam War, giving aid and comfort to the enemy. If he were a Democrat, he'd be unable to win an election for the local school board. But since he's a Republican he's a "war hero."
Why the irrational double-standard? They protest Obama, despite unequivocal evidence that he's been a loyal American citizen for his entire life, while they proudly support an America-hating traitor born in Panama who was only able to run for President due to the Canal Zone Loophole - a legal technicality that has long been abolished. I think the answer is clear - these "birthers" would rather have a white foreigner-traitor than a black American patriot as President.
Even if it were true that government-run healthcare would "kill old people" by denying them benefits, why is it okay for privately-run healthcare companies to "kill old people" by denying them benefits (assuming denied benefits that result in death equates to intentional killing)? It happens every day. I'd rather the government decide whether to deny my healthcare benefits than a public, for-profit corporation which has a conflict of interest any time a claim is made. Paying any benefit is a loss to the company, while the government is not run for-profit and doesn't have to answer to shareholders. The government only answers to the voters, which care about many factors -- and carrying a huge deficit has never been one of them.
Hypocritically, the same people opposing healthcare reform already support the death penalty, i.e. government-sanctioned killing.
While no version of the healthcare reform bill has included anything about limiting care to the elderly (as if AARP, one of the most powerful lobbyist groups, would ever allow such a thing), we really do need to have that discussion. And we need to have the discussion without "pro-life" people being allowed to claim a moral high ground. Nobody WANTS old people to die, let alone to actively murder them. But something like 80% plus of healthcare costs are for "end of life" care. Giving 90 year olds new body parts, $30,000 a month in prescription medicines, etc. Other countries (yes, in Europe, boogedy-boo!) have been able to have a rational discussion about taking steps to limit these costs, and America should be able to have a rational conversation about that as well. Of course, rational means not letting religious people talk. Baby Jesus doesn't want to kill off the elderly any more than Baby Lenin. It's not about WANTING to kill off old people, but merely coming to the logical conclusion that there comes a point in someone's life where it is both an undue burden on society to pay for their healthcare and extremely selfish for the elderly recipient to accept expensive healthcare. If I were 88, I would not feel right about having the taxpayers pay for an expensive medical procedure for me.
But then there's the common and too-often convincing argument of "well what about your family"? Am I the only person who can put the good of my country before myself? No, I don't want my grandfather to die, but if he was 90 years old, I would understand if a healthcare system (public or private) decided it was improper and imprudent to pay for a $325,000 surgical procedure. Whether the costs are borne by the taxpayers or from other people's monthly premiums, to spend 80% of the payouts on people 75 years old and over is simply irresponsible and wasteful.
But in America, unlike every other country in the world, we can't have this conversation without religious idiots going around saying limiting elderly care is "wanting to kill old people" to take an artificial moral high ground (as they support the death penalty by protest outside prisons with "GOOD RIDDANCE! EXECUTE HIM!" signs and as they protest Obama because he's black).
Why can't the Democrats fight back as hard as the religious wackjobs do? Why is there no commercial on TV about stopping "corporate-sanctioned killing of Americans" (i.e. healthcare companies denying necessary medical treatments to people of all ages)? Where's that commercial? Where's a commercial showing pictures of the "teabaggers" with their "NO NIGGER PRESIDENT!" signs, along with snippets from interviews of the teabaggers saying things like "Ahh jest ain't gonna have no nigga presdent tellin' me what to do!" (such clips exist, I've seen them, but it would be okay to use an actor - that's what the right-wingers do in their commercials).
WASHINGTON (AP) Federal authorities are considering making the potent anesthetic propofol one of the drugs found in Michael Jackson's home a controlled substance, which would put new limits on its distribution.
The Drug Enforcement Administration was petitioned two years ago to make propofol a so-called "scheduled" drug under the Controlled Substances Act. That designation is used to impose restrictions on distributing and prescribing certain drugs prone to abuse and addiction.
DEA spokesman Rusty Payne confirmed Wednesday that the agency is considering adding propofol to the list of controlled substances.
Until Jackson's death, the main concern about propofol was its potential for abuse by medical staff, because it is usually administered intravenously in hospitals.
Like I was saying a few days ago... Gee, what are the chances this drug, with no confirmed history of addiction or misuse, will not be made a controlled substance in the wake of Michael Jackson's death (regardless of what the tox-screens show)? A law can be passed, the government can grab a bit more power and control over our lives, and that's only because it will sound perfectly reasonable to the average idiot, uninformed, frightened American (i.e. the vast majority of people).
The Health Insurance Industry shoudl not exist. Why is it that nobody short of Michael Moore will point out that providing necessary medical treatment for its insured customers is lost profit and a direct conflict of interest for health insurance companies?
Lots of things can legitimately be insured. Homes, cars, boats, jewelry. Even life. But health insurance is so clearly against public policy it amazes me that this industry was ever allowed to exist at all. It should be illegal to sell insurance policies to cover medical treatment. The incentive to deny a claim for someone's medical treatment leads to a far different result than the incentive to deny a claim for a damaged roof, stolen watch, or crashed airplane.
However, that being said, no matter what healthcare system we have, either ALL claims are paid, or someone, somewhere, will review the claims and decide whether some are "unnecessary" or otherwise not payable. All else equal, I'd rather have a government bureaucrat making this decision than a for-profit corporation. But I don't like the idea of the government making that decision, either. Just like I'd rather have a government-paid firefighter put out a fire at my house than a private firefighting service I pay for (each fire they put out costs money, and risks equipment and the lives of trained employees so there would be an incentive to ignore the call or do as cheap, half-assed a job putting out the fire as possible). How many commercial airplanes have crashed because maintenance costs are high and the for-profit company would rather skip those costs? More than one...
On the other side of the coin, though... if all claims are paid as a matter of course without question, it gives hospitals and doctors a financial incentive to order unnecessary tests, treatments, etc. We can make that illegal, or more illegal, but it won't fix anything. And if we have the government pay all claims without question, for every American, there won't be enough money on the planet to pay for it all.
So I don't know how to fix this. Maybe a flat rate for treatment of a patient. Every patient a doctor treats, he gets paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000-$3,000. Maybe give doctors a good annual salary to treat all patients assigned to them, with limits for each field of medicine (a dermatologist can treat more patients per year than a brain surgeon). A standard rate for new doctors, or the average salary for the past X years. And usual standards of care would still apply for purposes of medical malpractice lawsuits (so the doctors don't get lazy).
Diprivan (propofol), the drug that may have caused Michael Jackson's death, is an extremely powerful medication used for anesthesia, and only in hospital settings. It's such a dangerous drug that until it was found in Michael Jackson's home, there were no cases of it ever being used recreationally. Here's what's interesting - it is so potent and requires so much expert administration and monitoring (breathing tubes, O2sat monitoring, etc) that it's not even a controlled substance under federal law (or under any state law as far as I can find). Of course it is prescrition only, just like penicillin and viagra, but unlike strong sleeping medicines like barbiturates and sedatives like valium, xanax, rohypnol, versed, Diprivan is not controlled.
What does that mean? It means the DEA has no jurisdiction over it and it means punishments for illegally selling, possessing or prescribing it are far less serious.
Regardless of what Michael Jackson's toxicology reports show, you can bet that even though there is no reported misuse of Diprivan, it will soon be scheduled as a Schedule II controlled substance - the most restrictive category including medicines like Oxycontin, Morphine, and Amphetamines. This will increase the costs of using Diprivan, decrease the willingness of doctors to use it (they will start to use less effective medicines for anesthesia), and not save a single life.
So, get ready for the government to step in and regulate something that clearly doesn't need to be regulated.
You know, for the children. In loving memory of Michael Jackson (regardless of whether it actually is proven to have caused his death or not).
Why are the democrats so cowardly? Why can't they come out and say what they really mean, and what they know to be the truth. Here's CIA Chief Leon Panetta
talking about Dick Cheney:I think he smells some blood in the water on the national security issue," Panetta said in an interview published in The New Yorker magazine's June 22 issue.
"It's almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it's almost as if he's wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point."
It's not "almost" or "a little bit" anything. But good for him for at least bringing some vague attention to the current Republican-Christian party strategy to get back in power.
It's become abundantly clear that Cheney, Limbaugh, and the rest of the right-wing Republican-Christian Party have realized they can't beat Obama on the merits of any issues, so they've just agreed to keep claiming that Obama and the Democrats are failing to protect America from terrorism, not doing everything necessary to fight terrorism, and are even intentionally doing things that will make foreign terrorist attacks on American soil easier. They keep saying this, over and over, so that when there is the inevitable Islamic terrorist attack on American soil - and it's only a a matter of if, not when - then the Republican-Christians will say "See we told you so! We said Obama could not protect you and your children
!" and "See, only we the Republicans are tough enough, and have the experience, to protect America from terrorist attacks."
And then the Republican-Christians will regain power, because the Democrats won't know how to respond. The Democrats won't be smart enough to point out that the worst terrorist attack ever, that 9-11 thing, happened on the Republicans' watch, during the Bush Administration (little known fact!). But the sine qua non of this current Republican-Christian Party strategy of "gallows politics" is for there to be a terrorist attack on American soil.
And of course the Republican-Christians only care about Muslim terrorism. The last thing they want to do is bring attention to their own right-wing terrorism, whether it's shooting abortion doctors or black people at the Holocaust Museum. Christofascist terrorism is perfectly acceptable, nay desirable, to the right-wingers. They don't even consider the murder of an abortion doctor at his church in broad daylight during public services to be terrorism, they see that as Christian Holy Warriors doing the Lord's Work in conducting a Jesus-Jihad (Jeez-had) in the name of Christ. As much as they'd like to, the Republican-Christians simply cannot blame their own terrorist acts on Obama and the Democrats, because that would bring negative attention to those acts, concede they are terrorist acts, and force the government to work harder to prevent similar attacks in the future. The Christofascists don't want any of those things. So, the best they can do is blame Obama for "making them" commit these "crimes" (they won't call it terrorism) by being such a divisive, dark-skinned communist.
Why can't democrats like Panetta grow spines so that they can say what they really mean? You watch, Republican-Christians will go nuts and Panetta will "apologize" for his comments about The Dick Cheney. Watch - it will happen tomorrow. He'll apologize and "clarify" his comments, saying he meant something completely different and he'll come right out and lie, saying "Dick Cheney does not want there to be a terrorist attack on Americans" - just to placate the angry Hannities and Limbaughs who will be yelling and screaming, feigning shock and contempt, over Panetta's comments about Cheney's gallows politics.
Come on Democrats! Grow a pair!
God has closed the door. It's no longer open for you - not even a crack. You should realize this.
So quit banging on closed doors. You had your chance, and God - in his infinite wisdom - said no way.
Stop fighting the clear will of God, because you're making Baby Jesus cry.
When you say "radical right" today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.
The Washington Post. July 28, 1994, Page C01.
Talk about foresight. Politics are indeed gone now that the former Republican Party is now the Republican-Christian Party - a anti-liberty, anti-tax, anti-minority, faith-based Jesus cult. And if you think Barry Goldwater must be rolling in his grave, think how Jesus must feel (rolling in his grave).
As the Republican-Christian party scares the Democratic party into believing that bringing the terror suspects detained at Guantanamo to prisons in the US will cause mass terrorism, the truth of the matter is they are relatively harmless - especially as compared to other prisoners safely locked away in American prisons. The spineless Democrats will cower over R-C scaremongering and probably build a new prison right next to Guantanamo, but call it something else so they can say "look we closed down Gitmo and kept the American people safe at the same time!" Idiots.
Either we leave them in Gitmo or we bring them to prisons here in the US mainland. There are plenty of people in our prisons far more dangerous than the average Gitmo detainee (many of whom are nothing more than innocent sheepherders, though many are indeed would-be terrorists). Pick a Gitmo detainee at random, and I'd rather have him walking the streets than spy Robert Hanssen or murderer Charlie Manson. But that's the false choice presented by the Republican-Christians - keep them in Gitmo or let them roam freely around American streets, blowing up schools and Starbucks. Of course they'd be in a high security American prison, and you know what? If you really hate these people you should be all for putting them there.
In fact, I'd bet that if you put them in a regular prison, not only would they not be an escape risk or otherwise pose any danger to the community, but the other prisoners would likely beat the shit out of them and kill most of them rather quickly, the way they beat up and kill child molesters and pedophiles and other people convicted of creepy sex crimes (incest, etc). If you just want to get rid of all these terrorist suspects (some of whom are not guilty of anything, but many of whom are), put them in General Population at a regular, high-security (but not Ad-Seg SuperMax) American prison and they probably wouldn't last a week. I'd suggest someplace like San Quentin or Pelican Bay. There would be a contest between the Aryan Brotherhood, the Bloods and Cryps, and the hispanic gangs to see who can shank and kill the most "9-11 terrorists" first. And there'd be nothing the guards could do to stop it. Half of them would be dead within a month, assuming no lockdowns or protective custody.
So, in the debate about moving the Gitmo terrorist suspects to American prisons, the question is not "What about our children?" but rather "What about the safety of the detainees?" And most people probably don't give a shit.
Our idiotic governor Rick Perry talks about Texas' cesession from the Union because he suddenly hates federal spending (translated: hate nigger president) and suddenly hates strings being attached to the receipt of federal funds by the states as has been done since, well, forever (translated: hate nigger president) and suddenly hates federal taxes because the money is being spent unwisely (translated: hate nigger president) and suddenly decided to turn town stimulus money to help jobless Texans when he had no problem accepting similar federal funds under Bush (translated: hate nigger president), so this
is quite amazing.AUSTIN, Texas – While Gov. Rick Perry is criticizing Washington bailouts, state lawmakers are planning to use $11 million in federal stimulus money to help rebuild the badly burned Texas Governor's Mansion.
Approximately $10 million in state tax money will also be spent on a renovation, which is expected to cost about $20 million, officials said Thursday.
Members of the state Republican-Christian Party think this is a great use of stimulus money (rather than helping jobless Texans). "If we're going to fix it up we're going to have to use stimulus money," said state Sen. Steve Ogden, RC-Bryan. "We've made a decision to use the stimulus money. This is a good use of it."
I hope this gets more attention because I really want to hear the Republican-Christians justify using $11 million in federal stimulus money on fixing up the Texas Governor's mansion on the theory that it will create construction jobs and thus help stimulate the local/Texas economy (seriously, wait for it, and they'll say it with a straight face, too).
Amazing. It's so hard being a racist bastard these days - there's just no way to do it without either (a) constantly contradicting yourself and being a blatant hypocrite or (b) coming right out and saying "I hate niggers and I'll do whatever I can do bring them down." Back in the days of Jim Crow it was a given that blacks were to be hated and thus seemingly inconsistent statements/actions were understood in their racist context. But nowadays no politician can just come right out and say they hate black people, mexicans, asians, jews, whatever - it's not politically viable, let alone politically correct. So they have to come up with other excuses to oppose certain things when they wouldn't (and didn't) oppose the same thing when it is/was done by a white person. It's impossible to do with any intellectual honesty, and the only question is how many people are cynical enough to see through their actions and realize that they're acting on nothing but pure racism.
According to the Republican-Christian cult, someone like Nancy Pelosi can "destroy the morale" of the Central Intelligence Agency and everyone who works there by saying (verifiably) negative things about the Agency - the same things Republican-Christians have said during the Bush Administration.
If the CIA and the people who work there are so emotionally fragile, so soft, so sensitive with feelings that can be hurt so easily by nothing more than a politician talking like a politician, then that's the real story - the CIA should be completely disbanded and restaffed. Everyone there should be fired. We can't have emotionally fragile people working at the CIA. Imagine if James Bond started to cry every time Moneypenny took a little verbal jab at him. Give me a break.
The R-C's are also saying it hurts morale at the CIA for them to be told they can be prosecuted for breaking the law. That's just amazing. If the CIA has such a strong believe that it is above the law, then that needs to be corrected no matter how much it hurts their feelings and breaks their fragile little hearts.
As far as I'm concerned, if the Republican-Christians are correct, the CIA is worthless, full of over-emotional pussies with bleeding vaginas, and they should be given Teddy Bears and immediately disbanded. Fortunately for America and the CIA, the Republican-Christian cult is always wrong. Why they are given a voice on the news is something we should be talking about - it's a remnant from the days when they were a legitimate political party. To let the Republican-Christians talk on the news along with the Democrats is like letting Raellian UFO cloning cult partake in the debate. Screw them and their insane beliefs. You have to earn a voice at the table, and you have to continue to justify your place in the discussion. The R-C's have completely failed to do that over the past few years.
As soon as the Minnesota state supreme court issues its opinion giving the election to Al Franken, Tim Pawlenty, the (Republican-Christian Party) Governor of Minnesota is supposed to certify the election so the state's senate seat can be filled.
Governor Pawlenty wants to do everything he can to either keep Al Franken out of that Senate seat, or delay his certification to keep him out of the Senate as long as possible. Apparently under Minnesota law, the Governor cannot certify the election results until all state court proceedings are complete. That doesn't seem to be in dispute, so Norm Coleman, who lost, has the right to exhaust his appeals in the Minnesota state courts. He's almost done with that (assuming the state supreme court doesn't remand the case back to a lower court, which there's no indication that it will).
Republican-Christian governor Pawlenty keeps insisting he's not delaying, because under state law he "cannot" certify the election results until the court proceedings are finished. Okay. So will he certify them when the state court proceedings are complete and fully exhausted? Because there's no question that Republican-Christian Norm "Sore Loserman" Coleman will go bring a lawsuit in federal court after he loses (and he will) in the Minnesota state supreme court. Pawlenty has no legal duty to not certify the election in that scenario. So Pawlenty keeps getting asked if he will certify the election when the state court proceedings are finished. He won't answer the question! He will not say anything beyond "I will comply with whatever the court says" knowing that he's not a party to the Coleman versus Franken state court proceedings so that the court is in no position to order him, the governor, to do anything.
So when Coleman tries to drag this case out by taking it to federal court, what will Pawlenty do and what will he say? Here's my prediction:
He will refuse to certify the election and let Franken be seated in the Senate. He will say he is doing "not to delay but to make sure all the votes were properly counted and to make sure the election results were fair for everyone" (or some bullshit like that, since that's the last thing he cares about and since those things were already adequately decided). The purpose will be solely to delay the seating of Al Franken, another Democrat senator.
What's funny is that the Democrats are talking like they seem to think Republican-Christian Pawlenty will actually certify the election upon the final ruling of the Minnesota state supreme court. This is how ignorant the Democrats are. I'm not even sure they realize that Norm Coleman will take this to federal court (to delay Franken's seating in the Senate, not because Coleman really thinks he has a viable legal case - he doesn't).
So what will Franken and the Democrats do when the Republican-Christian Party is bringing frivolous federal cases to keep him from being seated in the senate? What will they do when the R-C Party makes it clear they'd rather deny a whole state's population their due representation in the Senate than let a Democrat, who won the election, be a senator? Answer: Nothing (other than whine spinelessly).
We simply must get past this "it saved american lives" bullshit about torture, which the spineless Democrats have bought into now, too (sold by the Republican-Christian party). It does not matter. First of all, all the evidence is to the contrary - that it produced no actionable information. But even if it did, that doesn't mean there wasn't another non-torturous way of getting the same information. And even if there was no other non-torturous way of getting that same information, it simply does not matter. WE DO NOT TORTURE.
Don't give me the "ticking timebomb" scenario from the show 24 - where a terrorist says "The bomb is set to go off but you'll never find it muahahaha!" because that only happens on stupid TV shows and in dumb Nicholas Cage movies. NEVER (as in not once, ever) in real life.
It is worth the lives of 10,000 dead, bloody, charred, mangled American babies for us to not be a nation that tortures people. Unless you're willing to take that clear moral ground, you are as confused as The Dick Cheney.
Actually Cheney isn't confused, he's just concerned that the Obama administration is going to prosecute him the way the Bush administration would be prosecuting Obama and everyone he knows for committing acts of torture if the situation were reversed (and for once, Bush would be in the right).
I'm always talking about how prosecutors do everything they can to prevent the people they've convicted from getting DNA testing, because they're coldhearted bastards who don't care if an innocent person's life is ruined, languishing away in prison (or on death row), and because if the DNA test shows the person they convicted is actually innocent it makes the prosecutor look bad, and takes away a notch in their "win" column.
Here's a good piece at the New York Times
on this subject, quantifying this phenomenon better than I can based on cynicism alone. Definitely worth a read, and it should make you cringe whenever one of these horrible people invokes "the feelings of victim" or "the victim's need for closure" or "the system's need for finality" as a reason to risk keeping an innocent person locked up in prison. All prosecutors should be required by law to get big tattoos on their faces that say "I DO NOT REPRESENT CRIME VICTIMS" (in both forward and backward print so that they can read it when they look themselves in the mirror - assuming they do so). Hopefully this would serve to remind them that they do not, in fact, represent crime victims (they represent the government) and it would let others know that they are being grossly dishonest when they invoke "the victims" as a reason to act irresponsibly with respect to the lives of defendants.
Nothing justifies keeping an innocent person in prison. Not the risk of losing an election, not the risk of having whiny crime victims call your office 20 times a day to bitch about their desire for retribution, not the lazy cops who dont want to have to do any more investigation, not the need to box up a file and move it to offsite storage (also known as "finality"), and surely not a ding on a lawyer's career win-loss record. So prosecutors who use those reasons to deny someone DNA testing should be disbarred, at the very least.
What do they have to lose? If the test comes back and shows that they really are guilty, then that should shut 'em up for good. If it calls a conviction into doubt, then let justice be done. They'll feel good and sleep well at night. And if the "victim" can't handle it, the prosecutors should simply tell them to screw off - they're not their lawyer anyway. I'd like to think most crime victims would accept the fact that DNA evidence shows the person who they thought was guilty was not the one who actually committed the crime. But I do know better than that... they "Know" it was the convicted defendant and it's been reinforced in their minds a million times over, so they're not going to let one little DNA test convince them that they were wrong all this time, and the "real" criminal is someone else. But you know what? That's just too bad.
In case anyone is wondering what the Republican-Christian Party is doing to regain power, it's pretty clear to me that they've decided they can't win on the merits of any real substantive issues, so they're just biding their time, waiting, hoping, and praying for a terrorist attack on American soil so they can say "We kept America safe for seven and a half years, but Obama has failed in keeping America safe - so elect us if you want your children not to die." Why do they always say "seven and a half" years? Oh yeah, because half a year into Bush's first term, we suffered the worst terrorist attack on American soil EVER.
But that wasn't their fault... no no no... sure Bush had memos entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in United States" and sure Bush is so cozy with the Saudis he lets them into the country no questions asked (if only Mexicans had producing oil wells like the Saudis do, they'd be welcomed into America with open arms). But still, Bush was "picked by God" so nothing bad that happened during Bush's presidency can be his fault - surely the mass suffering and national degradation is just "God working in mysterious ways" (testing our faith, yeah that's it). But Obama was elected by Americans, not God, and not a 5-member majority of the Supreme Court inspired by the hand of God... as such, the Republican-Christian Party will hold Obama personally accountable for any terrorist attack that happens on his watch.
And the Democrats will be too spineless to make any attempt at holding the Republican-Christians accountable for the terrorist attack that happened on their watch. To this day they have not done so.
Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh, the Dick Cheney, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and the rest of the Republican-Christian party is hoping, wishing, praying every day for a serious, deadly, horrendous terrorist attack (by Muslims) to happen while Obama is in charge. Sadly enough, they'll probably get their prayers answered. Statistically speaking, there will be another terrorist attack at some pont.
What scares me is the prospect that since so many people in law enforcement tend to be right-wing fascist pigs who go to Church and vote Republican, some of them might intentioally fail to stop a terrorist attack and let it occur, thinking that it is for the greater good. To a lot of these right-wing wackos, it's worth a few thousand dead Americans (especially if they're gay, black, or mexican) to regain power so rich people can get tax cuts, poor people can get more Jesus sanctioned by government, gays can be discriminated against, and "the nigger president" can get out of office as soon as possible. A lot of them would do the terrorism themselves. It's even easier to just sit quietly and let the Muslims do it. I have no doubt that Bush wouldn't have stopped 9-11 if he had the chance (and he very well may have). It was the best thing that happened to him, politically. Would a right-wing, Obama-hating FBI agent act any differently? I don't know.
All I do know is that when terrorist attacks happen on the Republican's watch, their approval ratings go up. But when a terrorist attack happens on the Democrat's watch, their approval ratings plummet (in no small part due to Republican blame).
As a publicity stunt and a childish way to make themselves feel better about their status as complete losers, the Republican National Committee wants to pass the following resolution
:RESOLVED, that we the members of the Republican National Committee call on the Democratic Party to be truthful and honest with the American people by acknowledging that they have evolved from a party of tax and spend to a party of tax and nationalize and, therefore, should agree to rename themselves the Democrat Socialist Party.
It's no news that Republicans have no clue what the words socialist, communist, and fascist actually mean. But I think the Democrats should do the same thing, but they should be more clever about it.
What is called the "Republican Party" or "GOP" today in the year 2009 is nothing like the real Republican Party that supported small government, individual freedom, and personal liberty. That Republican Party is dead. It was suffering for many years, and it finally kicked the bucket last November.
The first mortal wound to the Republican party was selling out to the Southern Dixiecrat racists after Democrat LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act. When ignorant right-wing racists are your constituents, you have to cater to them. What was once the "Party of Abe Lincoln" turned into the "Party of Jefferson Davis."
The second death blow to the party was made by Nixon when he initiated the "War on Drugs" - no single policy has increased the power of government while simultaneously decreasing freedom, personal rights, and individual liberty moreso than enforcing drug prohibition.
Once the Christo-fascist Jesusfreaks violently hijacked the Republican party in the mid-1980s, it was on its last legs and its days were numbered. Bush finally killed it. The GOP officially died on election day, 2008, with the election of Obama and the total repudiation of everything the "Republican Party" now supports (e.g. tax cheats, bigotry, torture, and abolishing the First Amendment's Establishment Clause).
Since the Republican Party is dead, it is fundamentally misleading, bording on fraudulent, for the small, fringe group of pro-torture Christians to use the once-proud Republican name to describe themselves. For the past few years, I've been calling this group the "Republican-Christian Party" (among other, more colorful names). The Democratic National Committee should pass a similar "we say you should change your name" resolution. But instead of recommending something like "Republican-Fascist" or some other name that, while accurate, would never be politically viable, I think the Democrats should adopt my name - Republican-Christian Party. They can pass a resolution calling on the "Republicans" to change their name to the Republican-Christian Party, but they should also take it upon themselves to use that moniker in their own discourse. Instead of talking about Republicans, talk about Republican-Christians.
Would the Republican-Christians take offense? I bet a lot of them would be proud of that name and would feel it was complimentary. They're certainly not going to take offense at being called Christian. It will put them in an interesting dilemma - accept a name given by their opponents, or protest a name that they'd never claim does not describe who they are.
I like the name because it shows that religion (Jesus) is their main priority, and because it shows they are a party of exclusion. If you're not a Christian then you're not welcome. Moreover, aside from being in favor of tax fraud and defending tax cheats, everything in their party's platform - everything they stand for - is based solely on theology.
In the midst of pulling a "Bush" and not release
photos of prisoner abuse by American soldiers (using the Dick Cheney argument that releasing them will hurt the troops), Obama has made clear what his promise of an "Open Administration" will be. He hosted a "Poetry Jam" at the WH, where Michelle Obama introduced the event as an example of how the Obama administration will be open. It's worth noting that Laura Bush tried to host a "Poetry Reading" (as we white people call it) but Cheney/Rove made her husband make her cancel it because some of the poets scheduled to read were openly against the Iraq war. A cynic would note that none of the poets invited to Obama's "Poetry Jam" were openly for
the Iraq war.
So when Obama said he'd have an open admistration, he didn't mean he'd release information and not abuse the state secrets privilege. He merely meant he'd allow some poets to talk in the East Room of the White House for 45 minutes. Other examples of Obama's "open administration" include
:...the Obamas have played host to bagpipe and mariachi bands, Irish fiddlers and poets, pop stars and jazz singers. Performers have included Stevie Wonder and Earth Wind and Fire, Tony Bennett and Fergie, the singer from the Black Eyed Peas. Paul Muldoon, the Pulitzer-Prize winning poet from Northern Ireland, has recited his verses. The rocker Sheryl Crow and the rhythm and blues singer Alicia Keys have entertained cheering crowds in the East Room.
Now, it could be that "open administration" means two different things. The way it's been used by Obama during the presidential campaign was to mean not being unduly secretive; that is, not being like the Bush Administration. Now it's possible that he's using the phrase "open administration" to mean a wide diversity of people will be invited to the White House. It's my understanding only one speaker (Michael Chabon) at the Poetry Jam was white, while everyone else (including Chabon's wife) was "diverse" (do we really need to continue use this lame euphamism now that we have a "diverse" president?). Okay, more minorities will be invited to events at the White House. Whatever... do we really need an affirmative action program to govern White House invitations?
The problem with this dual usage of the phrase "open administration" is the likelihood for equivocation by the Obama Administration. When he's accused of not having an open administration because of refusing to release certain photos, Obama and his supporters will say "not true, we have an open administration - we just had a Poetry Jam!" It sounds like a moronic thing to say, but that's what public discourse is like these days (by way of example, yesterday on MSNBC (on "Hardball") I heard a member of the Republican-Christian Party say "waterboarding is okay because it's done to Navy Seals during their training." He said it with a straight face, too. If you don't see the problem with that statement, you should be dragged out into the street and shot.
As a side note, it's funny that every news report about this story inclues the caveat that it's a "Poetry Jam" and not
a "Poetry Slam" - how hip of them.
A lot of people don't know this, but 9-11 happened on the Republicans' watch, during George W. Bush's administration.
Because it's a terrorist attack, it seems a lot of people assume that it happened while the Democrats held power. But no, as a matter of fact, Bush, Cheney, and all those Republicans were in charge. It was their job to protect America, and they failed. They allowed it to happen. And they have been profiting off of it ever since. I'm convinced that if they had sufficient intelligence to have thwarted the 9-11 attacks, they would have quietly stood back and allowed it to happen. After all, 9-11 was the best thing that ever happened to them. For 8 years they've been blaming it on Democrats and saying that Democrats are the ones who don't know how to keep us safe.
But it happened on their watch. I wish more people knew that. Even Obama seems to have forgotten this fact (or never to have known it in the first place). I admit, it's a trivial fact that most people don't know. After all, it was amost a decade ago. With our average attention span at less than 30 seconds, with American Idol taking up the airwaves, and with one of the worst education system in the developed world, it makes sense that people would assume that Democrats are the ones who allowed 9-11 to take place on their watch. After all, that's what the Republican attack ads say. And when they say that they are the only ones who can keep us safe, then obviously 9-11 must not have happened on their watch, or else they'd be lying! But that's exactly what they are doing.
Don't forget this. And look it up if you don't believe me - George W. Bush was president on September 11, 2001. Look it up anyway, don't take my word for it.
talks about a Pew Poll
that indicates people who go to church at least once a week are more likely to support torture than those who go only a few times a year or those who do not go. The more frequently people attend church, the more likely they are to support torture.
I'm not going to rehash my negative thoughts about religion here, as they've been spelled out quite clearly on previous posts. But suffice it to say, this is more proof (on an already huge heap of proof) that there is a clear correlation between religiosity and immorality. And while much of the evidence relates to Islam, here's a nice piece of evidence that shows Christianity is no different, and no better. Yet people still dump their kids off at churces by the busload to be raped by the priests and made into little torturemongers. But church is still good, right?
I'm glad Arlen Specter left the Republicans and joined the Democrats insofar as it hurts the Republican party (and it does), but I don't see how anyone can respect Specter for changing party affiliation solely because he knew he'd lose if he had to face a Republican primary. He openly admitted this - he was quite blunt about his reasons for switching parties, and how it had nothing to do with principles, ideas, or anything beyond his own personal interests. He is becoming a Democrat solely because he likes and wants to keep his job in the Senate. He had no problem taking the Republicans votes and money for the past 5 elections, yet when that party no longer likes him he jumps ship because he wants to keep his job. How can anyone respect that?
Here's what I really don't understand:
First, why should the Democrats have to deal with a right-wing Democrat, who won't vote with them much of the time, when they could run a real 100% Democrat against a right-wing nutjob Republican come the next election, and win a big victory? Specter, a moderate republican, would certainly have lost in the primaries as the Republican party has become so right-wing that they only run fringe candidates. Moderates don't stand a chance anymore. But these fringe candidates don't stand a chance either, come time for the general election.
Second, the Democrats say they are "thrilled to have Specter" and they've given him amazing concessions - like letting him have the chairs of any committe he'd be entitled to had be been a Democrat ALL THIS TIME (the past 30 or so years). Unbelievable. The Democrats shouldn't have given him ANYTHING. Nothing. If he wants to join the democrats to keep his job, then he should start at the very bottom. Someone is desperate to keep their job, so he switches political parties (as his own party won't vote for him). He should have to deal with the party he associated himself with for the past 30 years. If they don't want him anymore, then why does he feel he's entitled to stay in office? Why should the other party help him out after 30 years of opposition (true he voted with the Dems occasionally but not as much as a true Democrat). It's like the Democrats need him and should be happy to have him. That's bullshit and couldn't be more untrue.
Specter is clearly not a loyal person, and will put his own interests above principles and the greater good. So whose to say he won't betray the Democrats now? If he left the Republicans because of ideological differences, then I could respect that - particularly since the Republican party has changed so much that it's really nothing more than a fringe Christian cult these days. Ronald Reagan wouldn't recognize today's GOP. But that's clearly not why Specter defected, by his own admission. He just didn't want to lose his senate seat. So he betrays the party that supported him for 30 years and now he expects the democrats to support him.
And the Democrats are "thrilled" to oblige him with full support, with both money and Obama.
Unbelievable. Truly unbelievable. Specter needed the Democrats far more than they needed him. It's my understanding that Pennsylvania law would not permit him to run as an "independent" like Joe Leiberman did when he faced the same problem. So why did the Democrats give him anything? He should be happy that they are letting him call himself a Democrat. That alone is more than he deserves, especially since it's basically untrue. A Democrat doesn't vote Republican 75% of the time.
Until the Democrats learn to work the system like the Republicans they will never accomplish any of their goals. That's unfortunate because unlike the Republicans, the Democrats' goals are well-intentioned (if not sometimes misplaced).
Fox News has ratings higher than the other news outlets. Fine, but I think it's horribly unfair to compare the ratings of Fox News to other news channels. First of all, Fox news is not really news, it's propaganda entertainment for white christians who like torture and hate gays and black people.
The few million people who fall into that group watch Fox News all day long - it makes them feel good to hear other people attempt to justify their own opinions about the world. Everyone else tunes into the news for an hour or so each night. Whether it's Keith Olbermann or any other broadcaster, they just tune in for updates on what's going on. I've seen Keith Olbermann and while he was certainly critical of Bush, he's not a liberal guy. Of course most right-wingers see being critical of Bush and being liberal as one in the same.
But I digress. People watch Fox News for different reasons than everyone else watches every other news channel. Having your world view affirmed gets people to tune in for several hours a day, and they'll watch nothing else. Meanwhile, all the other news channels have to share all the other, sane-minded viewers.
Comparing propaganda to news is quite unfair. Well, it's apples to oranges, at the very least. Like comparing the viewership of American Idol to a saturday morning cartoon. Fox News Channel is nothing but propaganda for the Republican-Christian Party. I have not watched FNC today, but I'll bet anything that the #1
"story" was bashing the hell out of Arlen Specter for being a left-wing communist traitor to America.
As the Republican party becomes less and less popular, and more and more of a theocratic, right-wing fundamentalist religious cult, its members will watch more and more hours of Fox News per day to feel better about themselves. In the meantime Fox News will continue to get the highest ratings. As more and more people flee the Republican party, those who remain will watch more and more Fox News. Fox News offers them something they cannot get anywhere else - it gives them a pat on the back and lets them feel good about being bigoted, racist, pro-torture fascists. Where else can they get that?
Look at it this way. Say it's 1945 and you are a Nazi, and the allied forces just won WWII - Germany just gave its unconditional surrender and you're feeling pretty down about yourself. You still hate jews, you have no apologies for the torture and murder your party committed over the past few years, and you "Know" with a capital "K" that your ideology is correct. You Know that "god" is on your side, and you on his, and the wrong people have won.
Now imagine that there is one channel you can watch that still offers Goebbels' Nazi propaganda 24/7. There's still one place you can listen to to hear about how all your problems are caused by the Jews - i.e. the victory of the allied forces was caused by the Jews; the surrender of Germany and the death of your Fuhrer was caused by the Jews.
You'd watch that channel day in and day out. It would be the only solace you had. It would be the only way you could still feel good about yourself. Without that, you'd feel like a big loser. You'd feel like the hounded war-criminal you really are. You'd be all sad and depressed. But you have O'Reilly! You have Hannity! You have Beck! They're no Goebbels, but they're better than all the other anti-German "news" spewed out by all the other news channels, right? Of course... you "Know" that's true. And you can jerk yourself off tonight while feeling good about yourself. Because you're not a jew, you're not black, and you're not gay (you're really, really not! Really! REALLY! NOT GAY! NOOO!). And that's all that matters.
Obama is clueless - he wants to be "bipartisan" which means not attacking Republicans the same way they attack (or would attack) him and the Democrats. But he promised that his administration would be transparent and adhere to the rule of law. That means Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and other high-ups in the Bush Administration must be criminally prosecuted. Why not appoint an independent prosecutor? I'd easily accept Pat Fitzgerald, a Republican. But that would mean he'd have to give up his horribly lame "look forward not backwards" Republican appeasement excuse. Meanwhile Democrats and sane people are demanding prosecution.
I said this would happen. We know Democrats don't have the balls to prosecute Bush Administration officials the way Republicans would prosecute Democrats were the situation reversed. It's the constant double-standard where Republicans are allowed to get away with certain things while Democrats are not. If Bill Clinton had sold weapons to Iran, he would have been impeached and we'd never have another Democrat in the white house again... But Reagan was allowed to sell weapons to Iran without question. If John Kerry had been tortured by the Vietnamese and had caved in and given a public radio address condemning America, he would never have been allowed in Congress, let alone have been a presidential candidate. But John McCain is a hero for being tortured, even though he was one of the only ones to pussy-out, give up, and give in to the commies who were torturing him. Other U.S. soldiers told the torturers to fuck off, and just took the pain. But no, no... John McCain, son of the admiral, caved in and said what they wanted him to say. It was "his lowest moment" but he did it. And he's a hero. If he were a Democrat he'd be a traitor, per the Republican's own standards. Obama is a trator merely for shaking Hugo Chavez's hand in response to Chavez, while Republicans were allowed to give Brezhnev a car (Nixon), and be photographed shaking both Saddam Hussein's hand (Rumsfeld) and kissing and holding hands with the Saudi prince (Bush). Bill Clinton was impeached for violating the rule of law - he misspoke about a blowjob. But George W. Bush violated hundreds of laws each week of his administration, we know about it, Obama now has proof of the worst of it, and he just doesn't have the balls to treat Republicans how they'd treat him. He wants to be their friend, and they're more than happy to take advantage of his weakness.
I said Obama should simply PARDON the Bush people when he took office. That would stop this problem and forever label them as criminals. But no, he was too weak and indecisive and pining for opposition love to even do that.
It's great that Obama released the Bush Administration's DOJ torture memos. First of all - what horrible lawyering. As a lawyer I'd be ashamed over the quality of this work. And one of the lawyers who wrote them, Bybee, was given a commission as a federal judge as a reward.
Now these same ideological morons are saying that by releasing these memos, the terrorists now know how we torture and as such, they will train against it. Jesus fucking Christ... it just amazes me how people can make such arguments with a straight face. How about asking whether "enhanced interrogation techniques" ever work in the first place? They try to avoid that issue because every study ever done shows that it does not.
But there is one rare circumstance where I think torture (of any kind) is perfectly warranted. This situation, however, never actually occurs in real life. But since it happens every week on dumbass TV shows like "24" (where we've been show a "fly on the wall" scene that proves the terrorist suspect is the evil terrorist - we were shown it firsthand so there is zero doubt, something that never happens in real life), those who support torture always cite this scenario as why we should torture willy-nilly. They often call it the "ticking timebomb" situation but that's too broad. It's the "I did it but I'll never tell muahahaha!" situation, with corroboration where torture, I think, is okay. It requires three things: (1) A suspect who admits to having information which would save many American lives that are in imminent danger but (2) refuses to give the information to us and (3) there is some form of independent corroboration that the suspect could actually have the information he claims to have.
So, we invade a terrorist bomb-making facility and catch a guy working on a bomb, and he admits that a bomb is planted somewhere, it's ticking away but he won't tell us where it is, followed by an evil "Muahaha!" In that extremely limited scenario, I think we can do whatever we want to the guy to get the information he is refusing to turn over.
Unless they say "I know but I ain't telling" torture is absolutely improper. But just torturing people because they could have information - information they deny having - is absolutely unwarranted. And this is the situation for every single person down at Guantanamo. Even if we caught Bin Laden himself, there's nothing to be gained from torturing him. Just put him on trial and then, assuming he's found guilty, execute him. Hopefully our government is not so incompetent that they couldn't convict Osama Bin Laden in an American court.
I find it amusing that we're still debating "enhanced interrogation techniques" without being given so much as one example of it ever producing information that proved to be valuable. Even if it did produce such information - and we all know it does not and has not - it would not justify its practice by American agents.
You don't get to blindly support an expansive and expanding federal government (Patriot Act, etc) for 8 years under a white president and suddenly decide that you oppose a big federal government the second a black man becomes president without revealing your true motivation. Nothing but racist bastards. To be sure, many of the signs being waved at the Teabagging events leave no doubt that hatred of "nigger president" is their true motivation.
Now the moronic governor of Texas, Rick Perry (who they said would make Bush look good when he took over as Texas' governor, and has not disappointed in that regard), is talking secession. Yes, Texas wants to leave the union - again. The first time was because Texans wanted the power over black people. Now they want to secede a second time because they don't want a black person to have power over them as U.S. president.
I say let Texas leave. Let Florida leave too. America will be far stronger and suffer less with those two states out of the union.
Of course some conservative idiots like Perry and Tom Delay are talking about an old urban legend that says Texas has the right to decide itself to split up into up to four separate states. While there is some language in the Texas Annexation Bill that on the surface makes this sound plausible (though it doesn't specifically say that Texas gets to decide to split on its own), Article IV, Section 3 of the US Constitution clearly states that in order for a state to be split up into more than one state, it requires both the approval of that state's legislature AND the approval of Congress. An Annexation Bill (a law passed by Congress that brings a state into the union... which is normally done via treaty but was not with Texas), like any other law, cannot provide for something inconsistent with the Constitution. It's funny that these people talking about secession are also claiming "the muslim nigger president" they all hate is violating "state's rights" under the same Constitution. But they want to take unconstitutional action by unilaterally leaving the union or splitting into multiple states without the approval of Congress in violation of Article IV of the Constitution. Duhhhhhhhhh.
But I say let 'em go.
My only concern is that the Secret Service won't be able to protect Obama and his family from these crazy racist bastards. One of them is most likely going to make some attempt on Obama's life over the next 4-8 years, as they get even more rabidly anti-black under the Obama Administration. We've already seen one of these wackos shoot and kill some police officers over the purported "fear of Obama taking his guns." As I have said before, I question that motivation, but let's take it at face value for the moment. It would be very easy for these racist facists to want to martyr themselves "to save America from Nigger Communism" ... and I worry that because so many in law enforcement tend to lean towards the right wing, that some Secret Service agents won't protect Obama as vigorously as they protected Bush. Is there any validity to this concern? I'd conservatively hope that 98-99% of Secret Service agents are extremely dedicated, competent professionals who can put their duty before their own ideology. But what about the other 1 to 2 percent? Also, what if they see their "duty" as "protecting America" over protecting the President, such that they would believe their "duty" requires them to not protect Obama? I'm sure all Secret Service agents take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. What if they convince themselves that doing so requires the death of President Obama? I wouldn't put it past anyone who sees himself as a patriot to think it's worth a death to protect the country from enemies both foreign and domestic. Surely, it is worth an American life to protect the country - that can't reasonably be debated. All it would take is for one Secret Service agent to be unable to tolerate a black man as president. I really hope that such people have been adequately weeded out.
So, to the Secret Service agents who are bound to read this blog entry because of the keywords it contains (assuming they're doing their job), please do your very best to protect President Obama from all these right-wing racist jackfucks. They don't have the balls to actually say why they are whining and protesting and holding up signs (well a few of them do, but most will say it's about "taxes" or "big government". They were happy with the white president expanding government's size a few months ago - never said a word about it - and most will get tax cuts under Obama since most are in the lower to middle classes, at best. So it's not really about taxes or big government. It's about black skin and not a thing more. And they'd lynch Obama from a tree given the opportunity. Please do your job and don't let this happen. These guys are a much bigger threat to Obama than foreign terrorists (who are still a threat, of course).
The 8 years of Bush's disingenuous, two-faced policies and consistent lies has resulted in a destroyed country. I don't think Obama could fix it in 20 years, let alone 4 or 8, and he's certainly going to have to do the same type of lying and two-faced, disingenuous form of political communication that Bush did to even come close to making a dent on the Bush damage. In an ideal world, politicians could be honest and effective at the same time. But democracy presumes an informed and intelligent citizenry. We don't have that - and we probably never will ever again. As such, the only way to be an effective communicator and to get anything done in Washington is to lie about it. The problems and issues facing the nation and the world are far too complex and sophisticated to be solved by open and honest communication. This is particularly true when the opposition Republicans are still the lying, two-faced, disingenuous bastards they were when they controlled the country, if not moreso now that they do not.
Just a quick example - Obama reversed the Bush policy of prohibiting U.S. funds to be given to any foreign entity that supports, and does not actively discourage abortion. By the following day, the uneducated, brain-damaged, idiotic people who listen to Republican radio/talk shows were yelling and screaming about how Obama is using American taxpayer money "to pay for foreign abortions." That's not what the policy reversal was at all, yet it's too complicated to explain, and they wouldn't want to understand it even if you could explain it to them. They have a vested interest in being wrong.
The bottom line is that when everything is too complicated for people to understand, and when everyone against you is lying about the problems, your solutions, and your actions, the only option is to lie right back. Complex truth cannot compete with simple, pithy lies.
One of the most common ways the Republicans spew misstatements is with tax policy. They love to confuse people by conflating overall tax rates with changes in the marginal tax rate. For example, if a tax rate is currently 2% and Obama proposes raising it to 3%, the Republicans will yell and whine in total disdain about a "50% tax increase" - 3 is 50% more than 2 - but people are confused and think that Obama wants to take 50% - half - of their money. Seriously - pay attention because it's really amazing how often the Republicans get away with this. Before you know it, a 1% proposed tax increase is "the Obama 50% tax hike" when in reality he's only proposing raising a 2% tax rate to 3% - a one point increase! You'd pay 3 cents on the dollar instead of 2 cents on the dollar, yet 99% of the brain-dead Republican dittohead Limbaugh sheep (including ones who wouldn't qualify for whatever the tax is for to begin with) are outraged that the Democrats want to "steal half their income" (to give to poor mexican terrorists, of course).
Ideally I'd like to see Obama point out all the hypocrisy and lies and disingenuous two-faced statemens and actions on the part of his opponents, but there seems to be an understanding in Washington that you just don't do that (I guess because you know that you're just as much of a hypocrite as they are, regardless of your party). And even if Obama could have a fresh, completely non-hypocritical start, he couldn't say the same for all the Democrats in Congress. For every Republican hypocrisy, a Democrat has done the equivalent thing. So Obama has no real choice but to keep on being a two-faced liar.
So the 24-hour news outlets are all wet over the story about this guy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who shot and killed three cops with various firearms before being captured, arrested, and charged with murder.
Richard Poplawski had feared
"the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon," said Edward Perkovic, his best friend.
So he becomes a prime example and blatant symbol for those who want to impose gun control laws on Americans. Obviously Obama has not signed a single law or executive order that mentions, let alone increases gun control. But crazyness aside, I have a hard time believing that this guy is really a gun-rights nut. I think it's the total opposite. I think he's a crazy advocate in favor of
gun control. If "pro life" advocates are willing to kill an abortion doctor "for the greater good" (where the ends always justify the means), why would a gun control advocate not be willing to shoot a few cops "for the greater good" to get gun control laws passed? Surely they think comprehensive laws banning private gun ownership are worth the death of a few cops, after all, they think by making guns illegal tens of thousands of Americans' lives (including many cops) will be saved each year.
I'm not going to debate the merits of gun control, because I don't think there are any merits. If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. It's as simple as that. If criminals don't care about laws on the books prohibiting murder and theft, why on earth would they care about laws prohibiting gun possession? Anyone who thinks there would be less guns and it would be harder for those willing to break the law to acquire guns if gun possession were illegal is either deluded or just plain stupid. But we've seen how far crazy people in fringe groups are willing to go in terms of killing innocent people for their cause.
Richard Poplawski will become a potent symbol for the anti-gun lobby and all those who favor gun control. Regardless of his position on gun control, we can all agree that the guy is mentally unstable, to say the least. But even crazy people tend to act rationally. Maybe not smart, maybe not prudent, and maybe not realistic or even based on reality... but whatever their reality is, they tend to act with an internal logic. So which is more likely, a guy willing to murder a few police officers with a gun is trying to preserve and defend
gun ownership rights, or he's trying to destroy
them? "I was afraid obama would take my guns, so I shot and killed some cops." Yeah right. This guy is a left-wing wacko who thinks every gun on the planet should be confiscated and melted down into peace-sticks.
Note that Poplawski didn't commit suicide, nor suicide-by-cop. In fact, he was wearing a bulletproof vest. He wanted to kill a few cops, survive to be arrested, and make all sorts of wacky pro-gun, anti-gun control statements - all to give gun control advocates a potent example of why we need gun control laws - to stop people like Poplawski.
Evil and unfair.
Yet another reason why the U.S. should withdraw from the United Nations and kick it out of the country - the UN passed a resolution that urges members to adopt laws outlawing criticism of religions
.The "defamation of religions" resolution, introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC), passed today by a vote of 23-11, with 13 abstentions. Muslim nations have been introducing similar resolutions since 1999, arguing that Islam-the only religion specifically cited in the text-must be shielded from unfair associations with terrorism and human rights abuses.
Of course Muslims and their countries (the "OIC") are behind this idiocy. All religious people feel their own Great and Wonderful religions are above any and all criticism, yet in the 21st century only Muslims go around rioting and killing when someone even slightly disrespects their religion (i.e. merely drawing a picture of Mohammad). Pointing out that allah is a false god and that Mohammad was a dirty, smelly faggot who enjoyed taking it up the ass by his follower's small clit-cocks should be equally protected speech, and religious people - particularly Muslims - simply need to accept the fact that their asinine beliefs are not above criticism and ridicule. The irony is that Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims spend plenty of time insulting each other's version of Islam (when they're not busy bombing, raping, kidnapping and murdering each other and everyone else). Christians whine about their religious beliefs being insulted, but few of them would go so far as to truly advocate amending the First Amendment to ban speech that is 'insensitive' to their beliefs. I'm sure assholes like Bill Donohue of the Catholic League is one of a very small minority of Christians who would actually support such an unamerican, idiotic law (and he'd only support it insofar as it protects his own Catholic religion from dissenting speech... to bring back the glory days of the Inquisition).
The UN serves no purpose other than funneling American and European money to the hands of islamic terrorists, and while it was a great idea at the time, it's severely outdated. Countries are not the problem. Religions are the problem. A warmongering Germany is of no concern these days. Warmongering muslims, on the other hand, are. Not only can the UN do nothing to ameliorate faith-based violence, it serves to empower it and give it a voice.
I'm not one of those people who fear the UN becoming a one-world government to impose a New World Order lead by secret societies like the Freemasons and Illuminati. No, I just don't see any constructive purpose for the UN, and for the past 10-15 years (maybe longer, in fact) the UN has been nothing but counterproductive to world peace. The world would be a better place without the UN. Move it to The Hague. Let the Dutch deal with a thousand smelly assholes yelling "deeeeplomahtic ahhmoooonutee!" as they tear up parking tickets they get for parking in the middle of the street because they're too lazy to find a parking spot. Of course, the Dutch are facing their own serious Muslim problems, so I'm sure they wouldn't want the UN there, either.
There is only one religious group whose members leave their native sandy shit-hole countries to take advantage of the freedoms of other countries, and then refuse to assimilate, and demand that they are "free from freedom" - only Muslims do this. Only Muslims come to America or Holland or France or England and demand the rules be changed to accomodate their beliefs. If a Jew went to Iran and demanded that all stores be closed to honor the Sabbath and that everyone eat Matzoh during Passover and that laws be passed making it a crime to insult Jews or Judaism, how long do you think that Jew would stay alive? Anyone think he'd live more than 5 minutes? I give it 3 minutes, tops.
Fuck Islam, and if you don't like it, you can go fuck yourself.
I often say religion is like pubic hair - keep it to yourself. You have no right to toss your pubic hair all over the city streets, and if you die your pubic hair green and insist on showing it to others, you have no right not to be insulted (at the very least). At the end of the day, though, all religious people are the same. They know they can't debate the validity of their religious beliefs on the merits, so they try to get laws passed to punish anyone who questions those beliefs in an attempt to prevent the debate from ever taking place. Every religion has tried this at one point in history - punishing heretics - yet in the year 2009 all the world's religions, except one, have outgrown such immature and unlightened behavior. Only Muslims think their religion is so special that it deserves the right not to be insulted.
How about this - when Muslims start saying nice things about Jews, maybe the rest of the world will think of a few nice things to say about Muslims. It doesn't matter who started what or who did what first, blah blah blah... I don't give a crap. If it were up to me the entire Middle East (Israel included) would be a radioactive toxic dump. Nuke it - every holy rock and holy brick and holy wall and holy temple and holy house and holy tree - and drill through the newly formed glass to get the oil. Problem solved.
Obama is having this online town hall, where the questions asked were voted on by people online. He pointed out that one of the most highly-voted question was whether legalizing marijuana would help improve the economy. I was thrilled - it's a great question and for a moment I thought he'd actually take it seriously and say we should decriminalize marijuana.
Nope. Not only did he laugh it off and say no, he actually insulted the 3+ million voters who thought it was a good question by saying that the high vote count for that question "might say something about the quality of the online audience we have here" (or something to that effect, I'm paraphrasing). Asshole. I changed the channel.
Of course making a highly-desired new product available would improve the economy. I'm not saying it would be a solution to all our economic woes, but that wasn't the question. New high-value (though lesser-value when legal) crops could be grown; new pot stores could be built, staffed and operated; new salespeople could be employed; and many new customers would be buying a product they're currently not buying, or buying on the black market for an extremely high price. In other words, it would pump money into the economy while saving some people money at the same time. Meanwhile, it would be taxed so the state and federal governments could get additional tax income to solve other problems or build new infrastructure. And the psychological effects of the drug would probably be good for people who are in a perpetually worried state. It's better than drinking alcohol, and better for you.
But no, that would just be silly.
Screw you, Obama. Especially since you said you were against locking up millions of Americans over marijuana. And of course the audience clapped as he insulted them. We get the government we deserve. I used to think Obama was too good for us, but now I'm beginning to think he's just a Bush who can actually talk in front of people.
I know Obama would like to "change" the way Washington works. Every president comes into office saying the same thing - Bush included (he called himself a "Washington outsider").
Now that the Democrats are in power, and the Republicans are out of power, there are only two (2) things that Republicans want. ONE: Continuing and worsening economic problems, and TWO: a terrorist attack on American soil.
Of course the Republicans will never admit this in public. Even in private only the most bold of them will admit that a terrorist attack would be good for them politically (the humanitarians among them will hope for a terrorist attack that only results in severe property destruction rather than lost lives, e.g. a 9/11 with empty buildings). The economic downturn began on the Republican's watch - why would they help Obama get the credit for fixing it? They're in a horrible position, politically - help Obama's approval rating ("make the magic negro look good" as the Limbaughs would say") or obstruct his efforts to help the country while hoping he fails. Limbaugh is the only Republican with the balls thus far to actually admit he hopes that Obama fails. Fails at fixing the economy, fails at preventing terrorist attacks.
People living in tent-cities (which I call Bushvilles, a la the Hoovervilles of the past) and exploding buildings are all the Republicans desire. It's the only way for them to get back in power, where they can continue what they started - allowing the economy to collapse and letting terrorists attack on American soil. Why doesn't Bush get blamed for 9/11? The WORST terrorist attack in American history happened on a Republican's watch. Had that been Al Gore or John Kerry, you can bet it would be 50 years before another Democrat got within 100 yards of the Oval Office. Why the double standard? I have my theories.
Anyway, I want Obama to QUIT wasting time trying to include Republicans in his process. The Bush administration was the most partisan in history, and I'm a firm believer in ideological estoppel. You don't get to be ultra-partisan for 8 years then seek bipartisanship. Meanwhile, "bipartisanship" is a means, not an end. And just like you don't negotiate with terrorists, you don't negotiate with people praying for imminent terrorist attacks. Anyway, for the purposes of a President whose party controlls both houses of Congress, being "bipartisan" means telling the members of the minority Republican party that they can vote with the Democrats on the Democrats' legislation. Or not. They can join in if they want to. It does not mean they get a say - they lost that right when they lost the last election. Democrats didn't get a say in any of the bullshit Bush or the Bush Congress did over the past 8 years, and Bush didn't even win the popular vote. Obama defeated McCain handily - a "mandate" if there ever was one.
So leave the Republicans alone. Quit inviting them over for lunch and don't let them stick their crap in your legislation. That's not why we elected you. Meanwhile, Fox News and the Limbaugh Party already have pre-produced videos ready to air blaming you for the next terrorist attack, claiming "Bush was able to protect America (NO HE WASN'T) yet Obama has been too weak on terrorism, now resulting in X number of deaths." Shephard Smith will fill in the X, with a huge smile on his face.
There are only two things on which Republicans agree: (1) they love America the most, and (2) they want tax cuts, dammit!
If you really love America, if you really get off on wearing that American flag lapel pin, if you really think America can do no wrong, if you really think America is the greatest country in the world - the beacon of freedom and liberty and democracy and happiness for all humanity, then you should LOVE paying your federal income taxes! April 15th should be your favorite day of the year. You should smile as you write your check to Uncle Sam, and you should include an extra 15% "Freedom Tithing" just because you have the privilege of doing so. Paying LESS taxes to fund the greatest country in the world should be the last thing on your mind if you are, in fact, a "real" American. This is particularly true when you have supported, and continue to support, the largest expendatures of taxpayer dollars. If you support the war in Iraq, if you support drug prohibition, if you support mandatory minimum sentences and no parole, then you should be not only willing to pay for it, but you should be happy to pay for it.
You can't love something and want to stiff it at the same time. Why is there a direct correlation between the unquestioning love Republicans claim they have for America and their insistence on paying less taxes to America? People who are to greedy to share their wealth with America clearly hate America. They also hate freedom and democracy, otherwise they'd do everything they could to fund it with as much of their money as possible. Republicans should be begging to have tax rates at 80% or higher... if they really love America the way they claim they do. It should be an HONOR to pay 80% of your hard earned money to the greatest country, under God, to ensure liberty and justice for all. The Rush Limbaughs of the world should be paying ALL their money in taxes - they should take a vow of poverty and, with a huge freedom-smile, give all of their money to the U.S. Treasury - what is more patriotic than paying a 100% tax rate?
Is there any greater way to show you love America? Anyone can wear a ten-cent american flag lapel pin. But only a true patriot, only a truly great American hero would volunteer 100% of his earnings to support "God's country."
But no, Republicans bitch about being overtaxed, come up with every possible excuse for tax cuts, no matter how inane, illogical, or financially irresponsible... and then they accuse the Democrats of hating America. Assholes. Freedom of speech does not include the freedom to be a hypocrite. The First Amendment does not go that far. Nor should it.
Republicans do not get to complain about Obama and the democrats spending money. Over the past 8 years, Bush and the Republicans presided over the largest increase in federal spending since the New Deal - but not to create jobs and build infrastructure to improve the country. No, their spending was to start needless wars, buy waterboards, print torture training manuals, violate the Constitution, and help increase the size of churches across the country.
If Obama wants to spend a few million dollars on contraception (or lip balm, roach spray, rubberbands, or duct tape) to improve the economy, the one group that has NO RIGHT to complain about such spending - no matter how illogical or seemingly wasteful - is Republicans. They are completely estopped from complaining about government spending increases. Their voices shall not be heard. As Obama succinctly put it, he won. They lost. So shut the fuck up and quit complaining.
And for what it's worth, federal spending on contraception does help the economy. It provides jobs for workers in the contraception industry, and when the product is used, it prevents unnecessary, unwanted children which are a drain on society - the government has to spend more taxpayer dollars supporting those children.
I don't believe government has a duty to help improve the economy, but that philosophy went out with Herbert Hoover. Now everyone sees it as the duty of the federal government to provide jobs and wages for every American citizen willing to work. Read the Constitution - that's not listed in there. But as long as we're going to have the federal government spending to bail us out of an economic collapse, the Republicans do not get to voice their opinions, and if they had any decency they'd keep their god damn mouths shut. But they'll keep on whining since they hate America and want the "magic nigger president" to fail.
Remember, dear Republicans, that it was not too long ago that you insisted with the pride and unwavering certitude of true fascists, that it is unamerican and unpatriotic to not support - or even question - the President during a time of war. And to do so, you said, is tantamount to "treason" and given comfort and support to terrorists.
According to you Republicans, we're still "at war" (one that by definition is perpetual) and as such, your own statements and ideology require that you fully support, and never question, President Obama. You wouldn't want to be an anti-American, terrorist-supporting traitor, would you?
Rush Limbaugh's statement yesterday that he "hopes our new president fails" is absolute proof that, by his own standard, Limbaugh hates America, supports the terrorist enemy, and is patently unpatriotic. All reasonable people have known this for years, but now Rush Limbaugh has basically conceded that it's true - he does hate America and he does support the terrorists and he does hope our economy crumbles.
Please don't try to defend Rush "al Queda" Limbaugh by trying to quibble over what, precisely, he said/meant he "hopes Obama fails" at. If Democrats were not allowed to say they "don't support the war but do support the troops" then Republicans don't get to say they "hope the President fails but support the Country" (I'm not saying those statements are equally logical, just to be clear).
Rush Limbaugh has shown he is a danger to America, and ne needs to be locked up without due process and tried before some form of military tribunal - given the same rights (or lack thereof) and procedure he has advocated for giving accused terrorists/enemy combatants. Limbaugh is clearly a traitor to this country - just ask Ann Coulter, if she's ideologically consistent and not a hypocrite, she'll readily agree that an American who hopes his president fails is a "traitor" - she wrote a whole book on how liberals who didn't support Bush are traitors (and none of them openly stated they "hoped president Bush failed."
Lock him up and don't give him any semblance of a fair trial. You thought I believed in fair trials? Yes I do, but not for those who do not - not for those who argue against giving fair trials to others. I support ideological estoppel above all else. There's no right to be a hypocrite. Hypocrisy cancels out the most basic and fundamental guaranteed human rights - you waive your rights when you argue that other people should not have them.
I'm glad Obama decided to have Roberts re-do the oath of office, this time in private in the Map Room of the White House. The best part - no Bible
was used! Truly impressive - between Obama acknowledging non-believers in his inauguration speech to not using a Bible at his "proper" oath of office, I'm extremely proud that he's my President.
Better yet, it seems, though I'm not certain, that just the 35-word Oath of Office, as stated in Article II, Section 1, Clause 8 of the Constitution, was used, without the four addition words "so help me god" placating religious people. If you're going to do it right, do it right... to both the letter and spirit of the Constitution. Say the words in the proper order, and don't add anything to it... especially unnecessary concessions to imaginary dieties.
It came as a surprise to me Bush didn't pardon any of the torturous war criminals in his administration. But he didn't because he knows with absolute certainty and unwavering faith that the Democrats do not have the balls to actually prosecute any of them.
Ironically, for the first time ever, Bush is actually correct.
As I said in a previous post, I'm hoping Obama will take it upon himself to grant Bush and his cronies pardons, so as to forever label them criminals while taking the high road and being able to say he's "putting our 8 year long national nightmare behind us so we can move forward and focus on the fixing our future rather than dwelling on the misdeeds of the past."
Yes, I'd love to see Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, and Gonzales indicted for their crimes, handcuffed and frogmarched off to the nearest federal detention center, held without bail until trial, and then tried and convicted for all the crimes they've committed against this country and the people of the world. But that just isn't going to happen. The Democrats don't have the balls to do it, and half the country would see it as a political vendetta, the same politicizing of the Department of Justice that Democrats complained about when done by Bush/Gonzales (i.e. hypocrisy). And of course, in american politics there is always the logical fallacy that government can only address one problem at a time - so by prosecuting the Bush criminals, Obama's administration would ipso facto be neglecting the economy and "war on terror." Of course all those things can be done at the same time, but people don't believe that, and they're too easily distracted by "we should be doing X instead of Y because X is more important" arguments.
"The safety of the people is the highest law." -- said by Pat Buchanan on MSNBC this morning to Chris Matthews.
Boy that sounds nice and fluffy. But no, general notions of keeping people (e.g. "our precious children") safe does not trump the Bill of Rights. We could make America far safer for everyone by repealing the Bill of Rights. But procedural and substantive due process, equal protection, no unreasonable searches and seizures, privacy, freedom of speech, the presumption of innocence, the right to a jury trial, the right to confront one's accuser, the right of to counsel of the accused, freedom of speech, freedom of and from religion, and the right to bear arms are all higher laws than the duty of the government to keep us safe.
To put this statement in context, the discussion was about Obama's plan to close Gitmo, and what to do with the several hundred detainees currently being held there. Of course, the logical and proper answer is either charge them with a crime, or let them go free (return them to their home country if applicable). But Pat Buchanan says the Gitmo detainees are dangerous, their countries may not take them back, so we may have to let them stay here. In that case, Pat says the government has a duty to keep them locked up perpetually, without a trial, without any evidence against them, because they are "dangerous" and "the safety of the people is the highest law." In other words, vague fears of certain individuals trumps the fundamental limits on government power set forth by the U.S. Constitution.
Pat Buchanan is a true moron. He should be forced to repeat a first-grade civics class, assuming he ever took one in the first place. It doesn't amaze me that people say such stupid things. What amazes me is we put them on TV, let them talk, and give them an audience. Even if there is a huge market for stupid, uneducated, unreasonable, uninformed TV commentators - and there most certianly is - don't the networks have the basic responsibility not to misinform their viewers, particularly at the cost of the very basic ideals for which America stands? The airwaves are a public resource, and it's long been established that they have to use them in a responsible manner. I could care less about bad words being said on TV. I do care about Our Precious Children hearing people - people given an aura of respectability and authority merely by being invited to appear and speak on TV - say things like "the government keeping us safe is more important than the government respecting the Bill of Rights" (which is exactly what Pat Buchanan meant). And shame on Chris Matthews for not jabbing Pat Buchanan in the eye with his pen, and twisting it around - it's the least he culd have done as a responsible American citizen.
Good riddance, Dubya. Here's a great article
at The Economist that sums up the Bush presidency as well as anyone possibly could.
Congrats to our 44th President, Barack Obama. I noticed that there was some confusion during the reading and recital of the Oath of Office, and upon further viewing, it was Chief Justice Roberts who caused the confusion by flubbing the placement of the word "faithfully" - the proper oath, as set forth in Article II, Section 1, Clause 8 of the Constitution, is I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
But Roberts moved around the worth "faithfully" to later in the initial clause.
My prediction: Crazy, right-wing nutjob idiot asshole jackfuck retard racist religious idiot morons will seriously argue that Obama is not legally president because he said the word "faithfully" in a different place than it appears in the oath of office as set forth in the Constitution. Seriously, I really think the Michelle Malkins and Rush Limbaughs of the world will try to make this argument (ignoring that it was Roberts' fault).
Meanwhile, these self-professed constitutional "originalists" and "textualists" who claim to believe the Constitution should be interpreted as it's written and as it was understood by the framers (unless doing so produces a result contrary to the GOP platform) insist on adding the phrase "so help me god" to the Oath, even though it appears nowhere in the Constitution. Not only did Roberts modify the Constitution's Oath of Office, but Roberts had the nerve to say "So help you
God?" (actually asking Obama this as a question!) instead of saying "So help me God" for Obama to merely repeat as with the rest of the delivery of the Oath of Office.
Only a religious nut would have the gall to add unnecessary, uncalled for god-babble to the Constitution's oath of office. Talk about "Judicial Activism"!
Damn I really hate religious people. After having to suffer through the insane religious babblings of that nutjob preacher Obama picked to give the invocation, I was comforted to hear Obama, in his inauguration speech, say "We are a country of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers
...." Thank you - that actually put a smile on my face. Obama's father was one of the half-dozen or so black atheists to ever live on planet earth, so he is likely more cognizant of the fact that a small but significant number of Americans are not infected with the mental disorder of religion.
Anyway, someone do a Google search and find the first right-wing website to claim that Obama's "flubbed" Oath of Office means his presidency is unconstitutional, he's not actually president, he is acting without any authority, etc. If they do make that argument, I will counter with the argument that Chief Justice Roberts, a Republican Bush appointee, intentionally messed up
his reading of the Oath of Office to Obama so as to interfere with the inauguration and proper swearing-in of the new president, a Democrat (because Roberts hates black people, of course).UPDATE:
My prediction is shared by the first website I looked at - http://wonkette.com/405609/did-john-roberts-screw-up-the-oath-on-purpose#more-405609
--Oh, this is sweet: Chief Justice John Roberts intentionally (allegedly!) fucked up the Presidential Oath, so the wingnuts could claim Obama really isn’t president, because he said the words in the wrong order. See, not only is Roberts a Republican hack, but Obama voted against his confirmation. But Roberts’ evil plan sort of fell apart, because he was dealing with Barack Obama the famous Constitutional Law Professor.
[Video of Roberts giving the Oath of Office to Obama]
See how Roberts put “faithfully” at the end? Obama starts to repeat it, then stops, and makes Roberts read it again, correctly this time. And then Obama grins and becomes the president of wingnuts on Free Republic, too …. or he would be, if he hadn’t put the “faithfully” part in the wrong place himself.UPDATE 2:
January 21, 2009 - Sure enough, Chris Wallace of Fox News (where else) has said Obama is not really the President because of the flubbed Oath of Office (flubbed because of Bush's Chief Justice John Roberts), "not saying the 35 words of the Oath in the proper order." He said it half-jokingly, half-seriously, and of course had no issue with the addition of the four words "so help me god" to the oath, which of course do not appear in the Constitution. But it seems that, out of an abundance of caution and to shut up people like Wallace, Obama has retaken the Oath of Office today in the White House.
It's the Cannabis Candle
... a scented candle that smells like pot.
"Light it up" and infuse your apartment with the illegal scent of smoking marijuana. Any nosy neighbors or cops sniffing around the vacinity of your abode will have probable cause to get a search warrant - all because you blew $48.00 on a stupid scented candle. And if you actually do have pot in your possession when the cops come through the door, don't expect to keep it by using the "it was just my candle" excuse -- that won't fly.
If there is one smell that you don't want emanating from your home, it's the smell of a Schedule I controlled substance. How dumb. Of course, anyone who'd spend fifty bucks on a scented candle (with an estimated burn time of only 60 hours, no less) deserves to be locked up.
Bush has been the most stingy president when it comes to granting pardons. But in the final hours of his presidency, how many of the criminals in his administration will he pardon? I think he will surely give Scooter Libby a full pardon (the commutation of his sentence wasn't enough of an injustice - Scooter needs to have a clean record so he can get his law license reinstated).
I would not be surprised if Bush gives last-minute preemptive, all-inclusive pardons to all the major players in his administration - Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Gonzales, etc. You know, to "stop the vindictive, bitter democrats from having a political witch-hunt against these honest public servants merely because they used all the necessary 'tools' [Republican speak for torture] to fight the war on terror and protect the American people at home and abroad."
There will be controversial last-minute pardons, you can bet on it. The Republicans will uniformly support them, while contemporaneously whining about Eric Holder's at his Senate confirmation hearing because President Clinton pardoned Marc Rich... which is somehow Holder's fault.
Of course, I've said that I support Obama granting pardons to Bush and his fellow criminal conspirators. But there's a big difference in Obama doing it, labeling Bush et al. as criminals, and Bush doing it, labeling it as a preemptive protection from democrats who want to victimize them with wrongful prosecutions.
They shouldn't. Just ignore them. The Republicans have ruled this country for 8 years and they've practically destroyed it. They've ruined our reputation, they've ruined our economy, and they've made those who hate us not only hate us even more, but with more concrete, articulable reasons for such hatred.
Republicans do not get to talk now. They've had their chance, they blew it, their opinions mean absolutely nothing. They should shut up, and stay shut up. They should crawl into their closets and pray to their imaginary gods. QUIETLY, and by themselves.
Meanwhile, the press should not be giving them any attention. "Republicans Question Obama Plan" is a headline we should not see for the next 4 years. They don't deserve the ink, and their opinions are worth less than nothing. If you're going to report what Republicans think, then you may as well report on what the Raelian Cloning Cult thinks, too, because they're both on the same level of relevancy. Actually, the Raelians have not run America into the sewer for the past 8 years, so their opinion is less meaningless than that of the Republicans. But both are irrelevant religious cults, neither of which deserves a voice in modern 21st century policy-making.
Fox News is the Ministry of Propaganda for the Republican Party, so we can expect them to keep spouting Republican spin and lies. But CNN should know better. I see CNN has this commentary piece
about "Big Risk in Obama's Stimulus Plan" written by the Republican Whip. CNN should know better than to give the same crazy, idiot, religious nutcase terrorists that destroyed our Constitution, economy, and worldwide reputation space on its website for their "opinions." Republicans have no right to have their opinions displayed on any legitimate news source. They have their own right-wing Christian forums for this sort of thing.
I'm sorry, but you don't get to run the country into the ground for 8 years leaving it in utter shambles, get voted out of power in a landslide, and then get your negative and baseless opinions about the new administration shown on equal terms as though they carry equal weight. Republicans should be seen, and not heard. And that's only because we can't make them disappear. But if they have any self-dignity, if they have any respect for the American people who voted them out of office, if they have any respect for the people whose lives they ruined, if they have any love for this country, they will SHUT THE FUCK UP and let Obama try to fix their mess completely unobstructed
. Republicans can talk, sure... but they have no right to have their words printed/broadcast on the mainstream media. And quite frankly, I think you lose your First Amendment right to speak when you've done nothing but destroy America. It's the same argument Republicans use for anti-flagburning laws. If you hate America then you should not get to enjoy its freedoms. Of course I don't agree with that argument, but I do agree with ideological estoppel. You should be bound by the terms of your own ideology. In other words, there is no constitutional right to be a big fat hypocrite.
News reporting does not mean "both sides" get to speak. When you interview a civil rights leader, that doesn't mean you also have to interview a Nazi. When you interview a Democrat, that doesn't mean you also have to interview a Republican. That's not reporting, that's polemics. The news should not be reporting any Republican positions until the Democrats have shown their own positions are a failure. Then the Republicans may earn the right to be heard from again. But that's at least 10 years down the line.
I keep hearing that the government needs to bail out certain companies (AIG, Bank of America, etc.) because they are "too big to fail." How does one guage the threshold of when a company reaches the point where the government should step in and keep it afloat because we as a society simply cannot afford to let said company fail? Do we not want it to fail because it means a huge loss of jobs, or because it is so intertwined with other companies, as well as whole markets, that its failure would infect, if not destroy, a large number of of businesses in the near term? Or some combination of both?
The way I see it, it is not the responsibility of government to save (e.g. bail out) companies that are "too big to fail." That's not a legitimate function of government, no matter how loud the whining, crying, and complaining may be of those who would be negatively affected by the big company's failure. But it is a legitimate function of government to make sure no company gets to be so massive that it is "too big to fail."
In my opinion, a company that reaches the critical mass of being "too big to (be allowed to) fail" is an impermissible monopoly and should have been broken apart by the government pursuant to our antitrust laws.
I do like the implicit concession that corporations are more important than the lives of individual people (and they are). Nobody is saying the government should step in because a person is "too young to die from X" where X is a treatable disease. We'll spend $700 billion of taxpayer dollars to keep certain financial services businesses afloat, but we wouldn't spend a measley one million of taxpayer dollars to give a 18 year old a heart transplant (assuming the status quo, i.e. no national healthcare system is in place).
We shouldn't be doing either. Corporations that fail should declare bankruptcy, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, and while I believe we should legalize drugs and tax them in order to pay for an all-inclusive national healthcare system, until we do so, we should not be using taxpayer dollars to pay for one-off medical treatments for people who need them (and we don't). But we are bailing out dying companies that could not succeed in the market for whatever reason (incompetence, corruption) because those companies grew to be so large that letting them fail will cause a lot of dumb investors who are not properly diversified to lose their nest eggs.
Which companies are to big to fail? WalMart? IBM? Microsoft? Apple? If so, the government should step in and split them up into smaller companies - they are illegal, impermissible monopolies that are anticompetive but even more importantly, their existence is a financial danger because it amounts to having all our eggs in one basket - a basket "too big to fail."
I don't believe any company is too big to be allowed to fail, but I am unemotional about it and I stay out of the stock market. So I don't care if the downfall of company X causes the DOW to drop 30% and 400,000 lost jobs overnight. Tough shit. Of course, big monopolistic companies that large don't fail because of tough competition. They fail due to the corruption and/or gross negligence of management (usually both - on that level you don't get one without the other). So not only are we deeming certain companies too important to let them fall apart, but we're looking away to ignore the fact that the only reason these companies are falling apart is due to the high levels of corruption and incompetence of those running them.
And we're telling them that it's okay - you can steal from the company, you can fuck the consumer, you can be irresponsible - because your company is so big that we can't handle it failing so we'll use taxpayer money to protect it. So steal from it, pocket what you want, run it into the ground... when things get really bad the government will come in and bail out the company.
Why are so many people so stupid?
May Bush rot in hell for interrupting new episodes of Bones and Ugly Betty. Yes, stupid TV shows are unquestionably more important than ANYTHING this lame dick president could possibly say. Unless, of course, you're a psychiatrist doing a study on self delusion. Calling Iraq a beacon of democracy and friend of America, calling 7 years without a foreign terrorist attack a resounding success (we had several hundred years without a foreign terrorist attack until the worst one in history happened on Bush's watch), and saying he has saved our economy are some of the most incredulous examples of self delusion the world will ever see. I expect psychologists and mental health experts will be studying this speech for decades.
Now, it could be that Bush realizes he's not telling the truth and he's just trying to lie for propaganda purposes in a pathetic attempt to protect his "legacy." But I think he truly believes what he was saying. For example, he really believes that Iraq was a success which history will bear out in the end.
His "legacy" is that of the worst, most incompetent, most corrupt president this country will hopefully ever have, as well as a jackass who interrupts primetime TV shows for his own selfish, psychotic rant.