Saturday, March 31, 2012

How the Fear of Their Own Lie Causes the Very Lie That They So Feared

Watch Colbert explain the Republi-con psyche with this example: How "[t]he fear of not being able to buy guns during a second Obama term leads to Americans buying so many guns that now they can't buy any guns, just like they feared." Watch The Colbert Report, Barack Obama-Gun Control Conspiracy:

The Republi-cons are "always one step ahead of where [Obama] is not planning to go. . . and the total lack of evidence is all the evidence [the Republi-cons] need."

Health Care Lawsuit Update, the Supreme Court Edition

UPDATE VII: "If the individual mandate goes, the government is going to put its hands all over your health care.

The individual mandate requires consumers to purchase health insurance in order to eliminate the problem of free riders — people who don’t purchase insurance until they get sick or injured or those who never purchase insurance and end up passing on to the rest of us the costs of care they can’t afford. Detractors argue that the mandate unconstitutionally infringes on personal liberty by forcing Americans to purchase health insurance. But compare it to three ways of addressing the free- rider problem in health care that are clearly, indisputably, constitutional."

Read the Washington Post, There was a reason conservatives once supported the individual mandate.

UPDATE VI: It's all about politics. So says "Charles Fried is a professor of law at Harvard University. From 1985 to 1989, he served as President Ronald Reagan’s solicitor general. He specializes in constitutional law and is the author of many books on the subject, including 2004’s 'Saying What the Law Is: The Constitution in the Supreme Court.' He also wrote a brief on behalf of 104 law professors arguing that the individual mandate is constitutional." Read the Washington Post, Reagan’s solicitor general: ‘Health care is interstate commerce. Is this a regulation of it? Yes. End of story.’

The article includes this question and answer exchange:

EK: To focus on Barnett’s argument, however, is it possible that the government can buy us insurance using our tax money but can’t compel us to buy insurance using our own money?

CF: I’ve never understood why regulating by making people go buy something is somehow more intrusive than regulating by making them pay taxes and then giving it to them. I don’t get it. It was comical to read the Heritage Foundation’s brief attempting to explain why they were changing their position on this. Something needed to be done about this problem. Everyone understood that. So, the Heritage Foundation said let’s do an individual mandate because it keeps it within free enterprise. The alternative was single payer. And they didn’t want that, and I’m in sympathy with that. So now all of a sudden the free-market alternative becomes unconstitutional and terribly intrusive where a government imposition and government-run project would not be? I don’t get it. Well, I do get it. It’s politics.

EK: On that, there’s been a real change from early on, when almost all Supreme Court observers thought this case was a joke, to now, when it seems truly up in the air. Did people underestimate the seriousness of the constitutional questions here, or did they underestimate the politicization of the judiciary?

CF: Politics, politics, politics. You look at the wonderful decision by Jeff Sutton, who is as much of a 24-karat gold conservative as anyone could be. He is a godfather to the Federalist Society. Look at his opinion. Or look at Larry Silberman’s opinion. I don’t understand what’s gotten into people. Well, I do I’m afraid, but it’s politics, not anything else.

As I stated before, this case should not be decided by "the justices’ politics." I've said since the start of the court challenges, and the parties and outcomes so far (with few exceptions) have reaffirmed my belief, the case involves a political question ("a question of whether or not the court system is an appropriate forum in which to hear the case"). The Supreme Court should simply dismiss the challenges as beyond "its judicial authority" to decide.

UPDATE V: The Supreme Court heard "two hours of oral arguments on the most-contested part of the nation’s health-care law: The requirement that Americans purchase health insurance or pay a fine. The individual mandate is easily the Affordable Care Act’s least popular provision, and the rallying cry of those who want to repeal the law. Here’s a Wonkblog guide to what it does, why it matters and where it came from." Read the Washington Post, Individual mandate 101: What it is, why it matters.

UPDATE IV: If you don't have time to listen to the complete court arguments, visit SCOTUSBlog, We listen to the whole AIA argument, so you don’t have to.

For a more in-depth review, visit the SCOTUSBlog Health Care page.

UPDATE III: A reporter that frees herself from the journalistic convention that there are two identifiable sides to a story and fresh from reading the main briefs in the case to be argued before the Supreme Court next week believes that that the "constitutional challenge to the law’s requirement for people to buy health insurance — specifically, the argument that the mandate exceeds Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause — is rhetorically powerful but analytically so weak that it dissolves on close inspection. There’s just no there there." Read The New York Times, Never Before.

I posted the following comment:

"I'm just an attorney in NW Florida who has never had any success in convincing the local federal courts (or the 11th Circuit for that matter) to impose any Commerce Clause limitations in federal criminal cases. But I think there is an easy way for the Court to decide this case 9-0 (OK, maybe 8-1, the one being Thomas) and to show that this case will not be decided by "the justices’ politics." I've said since the start of the court challenges, and the parties and outcomes so far (with few exceptions) have reaffirmed my belief, the case involves a political question ("a question of whether or not the court system is an appropriate forum in which to hear the case"). The Supreme Court should simply dismiss the challenges as beyond "its judicial authority" to decide.

UPDATE II: "The survival of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law may come down to wheat, pot, guns — and a nagging question about broccoli." Read Politico, Health law may hinge on wheat, pot and broccoli.

I posted the following comment:

You forgot body armor/bulletproof vests. See Alderman v. United States (09-1555, 1/10/2011).

UPDATE: "On March 26, the Supreme Court will begin three days of oral arguments over President Obama's health-care overhaul, pitting the Obama administration against 26 states that say Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty. [For a] look at the issues the Supreme Court will be considering — and how they fared under the lower courts", see the Washington Post, Obama health-care law before Supreme Court.

If you've been following the health care lawsuits, you know that several are now pending before the Supreme Court.

"If the Supreme Court decides to review President Barack Obama’s health reform law, it will also have to choose which issues it wants to hear — and that decision could have a significant impact on the law’s final fate.

There are four lawsuits pending before the court, and the Obama administration and five opponents of the law — a group of 26 states, Virginia, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Thomas More Law Center and Liberty University — have all filed competing petitions asking the court to take their cases and their issues.

All six certiorari petitions ask the court to review a key question: Is it constitutional for Congress to require nearly all Americans to buy health insurance? But several of them also ask the court to review other pieces of the law, too, such as the Medicaid expansion and requirements for employers.

The Supreme Court is expected to decide as early as next month which case or cases it will accept and which issues it wants the parties to argue. It could decide to hear only the challenge to the individual mandate or combine pieces of the other cases.

Here are six issues the Supreme Court could decide to hear:

The individual mandate . . .

Severability . . .

The Anti-Injunction Act . . .

The Virginia law . . .

Medicaid . . .

Employer mandate . . ."

Read Politico, High court zeroes in on health care.

And remember you can check the status of any of "the 22 cases challenging the health-care law" at the Kaiser Health News scoreboard.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What Goes Around Comes Around, Sexual and Reproductive Health Edition

UPDATE: "A site called Government Free VJJ has launched 'The Snatchel Project' with tips on how to 'knit or crochet a vagina or uterus' and send it to men in Congress. 'If they have their own,' the site says, 'they can leave ours alone!'" Read CNN, Vagina enters stage left -- or is it right?

With all the medical restriction on female sexual and reproductive health choices, why no government restrictions on the male part of the relationship?

In "in the arena of sexual and reproductive health, [aren't men] usually the other half of the equation and bear equal responsibility"?

Never fear though, in Ohio, a women has introduced a bill to "make it much more difficult - and embarrassing for many, many men - to get” anti-erectile-dysfunction drugs.

Read the Washington Post, Viagra and the little blue bill of Ohio.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Road to the Congressman's House

"Congressman Jeff Miller, Republican from Chumukla Florida who took thousands from local taxpayers to pave a road to his house isolated in the country. Taxpayers who couldn’t get their own roads paved without paying for the process themselves wound up paying for a five mile section of highway in Santa Rosa County that ended at his residence with no other residences on that stretch of road. This was while the local DOT could not afford lights in rural areas that would help local residents from being run down by tourists along US98 and US90 both of which are also vital hurricane evacuation routes but had to defer to 'his' project first when funds were very limited a few years back."

Read, On Congressman Jeff Miller (R-Fl).

Millions in farm subsidies, and now a paved road, courtesy of the federal government?!! It should be Republi-CON Jeff Miller, R-Hypocrite-ville.

The Republi-CON 'Cutting Taxes Stimulates Growth That Offsets Lost Revenue' Myth

UPDATE: Of course, Ryan's budget proposal "not now and has never been remotely serious." Read The New York Times, Flim-Flam Fever.

The budget proposed by Paul Ryan would 'reduce taxes for the wealthy, shift health care costs to the private sector, and increase the deficit and the debt far more than projected.' Read The New York Times, NYT, The Limits of American Exceptionalism.

The Republi-CON Modus Operandi: Taking Words Out of Context

Obamney learned from the best when misquoting others. Read The Atlantic, Quote of the Day: Karl Rove's Dishonest Reporting and/or Forbes, Shocker! Karl Rove Endorses Obama in WSJ Op-Ed. (Not) Really!

All part of the Republi-CON "not intended to be a factual statement" and "misinformation" propaganda industry.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Republi-CON 'Obama's To Blame For Higher Gas Prices' Myth

UPDATE III: The "problem with politics in the age of searchable online news archives is that it’s the opposite of an Etch a Sketch: Nothing ever disappears." Read the Washington Post, Romney: For high gas prices before he was against them.

UPDATE II: "U.S. energy policy has very little effect either on oil prices or on overall U.S. employment. For the truth is that we’re already having a hydrocarbon boom, with U.S. oil and gas production rising and U.S. fuel imports dropping. If there were any truth to drill-here-drill-now, this boom should have yielded substantially lower gasoline prices and lots of new jobs. Predictably, however, it has done neither. . .

Why, then, are Republicans pretending otherwise? Part of the answer is that the party is rewarding its benefactors: the oil and gas industry doesn’t create many jobs, but it does spend a lot of money on lobbying and campaign contributions. The rest of the answer is simply the fact that conservatives have no other job-creation ideas to offer."

Read The New York Times, Natural Born Drillers.

Actually the title of the article should be Natural Born Liars.

UPDATE: "Who's to blame for gas prices now hovering near a national average of $3.80 a gallon? Take your pick: Iran, market speculators, oil companies, India.

India? Really?

Yes. Already the fourth largest energy consumer in the world, India's demand for oil looks set to rise inexorably as more of its people buy cars and take to the road. Ditto for China and other emerging markets. Their rising demand is pushing up prices for everyone."

Read the Christian Science Monitor, Gas prices too high. Blame India?

The graph says it all. From the Washington Post, Nope, more drilling won’t bring back $2.50 gasoline:

As the article notes:

"[O]il prices are set on a world market, and there are a whole bunch of factors that affect prices. A healthier global economy means more global demand for oil. That pushes prices up. A new wave of middle-class consumers in China and India have been replacing their bikes with automobiles. That pushes prices up. Oil fields are declining in countries like Mexico. That pushes prices up. Saudi Arabia seems to be running low on spare capacity. That pushes prices up. Tensions in Iran have prompted traders to set oil aside for potential supply disruptions in the future. That pushes prices up.

America’s domestic oil production, by contrast, is a small part of the global picture. Dean Baker lays out some numbers: 'U.S. production is roughly 8 million barrels a day, it accounts for less than 9 percent of a world-wide market that is close to 90 million barrels a day. Even if U.S. production could be increased by a third (an almost impossible increase) it would only increase world supply by 3 percent. This would lower the price of oil by 7-8 percent. This is not trivial, but it is not the difference between $2 a gallon gas and $4 a gallon gas.' Yes, more drilling could allow us to reduce our oil-import bill, and that’s no small thing. But drilling alone can’t bring back $2.50-per-gallon gasoline.

At best, there are only a few minor things the United States could try to do to influence gasoline prices right now. U.S. diplomats could try to resolve the conflict with Iran, which would calm the jittery markets. The White House could order a release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, although analysts say this likely wouldn’t have a signficant [sic] impact on oil prices. If Congress really wanted to get creative, it could even shell out a bunch of money to prevent gasoline refineries from going bankrupt. (Okay, that last one isn’t a serious proposal, but refinery closings have helped nudge up gas prices in states like Pennsylvania.)

By and large, though, the country’s main option is the hard, boring option — the United States could try to become less dependent on oil, so that rising prices aren’t quite as difficult to cope with."

The best defense to rising oil prices, increasing efficiency (AKA conservation), which the Republi-CONs fight tooth and nail.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Spin of Pastor 2+2 Does Not = 4, AKA Pastor Dred Scott or Pastor Truthiness (Formerly Known as Pastor Poppins)

UPDATE VII: Birthers rely on "a lie wrapped in an absurdity swaddled in paranoia."

The lie: the birth certificate is a fake.

The absurdity: Obama is not constitutionally qualified to be president.

The paranoia: religious intolerance and racism.

UPDATE VI: For resources to respond to the birther baloney, see The Fogbow, "your best resource for debunking the lies of the 'birther' movement and discussing the birther antics" and, there is even a Birther Case Scorecard, 0-80 for the birthers.

Another resource is Native and Natural Born Citizenship Explored, "[w]here native and natural coincide."

UPDATE V: Pastor Egomaniacal (AKA Pastor 2+2 Does Not = 4, Pastor Dred Scott, Pastor Truthiness, and Pastor Poppins), continued to well advance his "relationship with conspiracy entrepreneur Jerome Corsi, who would very much like to sell you a copy of the birther book he has co-authored with Michael Zullo, the volunteer investigator who took the leading part in the sheriff’s recent press conference. There is a booming business in birther baloney."

The quote is from an article, Conspiracy, Again, in the National Review (which was founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr. and describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for Republican/conservative news, commentary, and opinion." It is usually considered the center of intellectual activity for the American Conservative movement in the twentieth century.")

As the article states, conspiracies "are long-lived because the underlying mental pathologies are long-lived: As T. S. Eliot put it, 'Humankind cannot bear very much reality.'"

In the meantime, based upon the Pastor's self professed 10-year law enforcement background and experience, I'm waiting for the arrests that he claims are imminent.

UPDATE IV: Chase learned yesterday that if you disagree with Pastor 2+2 Does Not = 4 then he'll accuse you of attacking him personally.

UPDATE III: Someone just called me regarding the show this morning and during the discussion of the Pastor's egomaniacal nature, I had an epiphany, Carl Gallups is the leader of a cult, the Cult of Carl (hereafter C Squared, because squaring is so much more than adding).

The proof, listen to the Pastor and his sycophants. It's all about Carl and his alter ego, PPSIMMONS.

He and the ego often state the fundamental tenants of his/their belief system and then claims that those who do not share those very specific beliefs are not 'true believers.'

Ironically enough, the Pastor defines a cult as a group that requires adherence to a specific belief system.

In other words, he acknowledges he belongs to a cult.

And don't try to argue with him. The video includes numerous text warning that if a comment is posted that disagrees with the Pastor, the commenter "will be permanently blocked from commenting."

Just ask Randy.

UPDATE II: I called out Pastor 2+2 Does Not = 4 and he responded claiming that he doesn't mind discussing and debating the issues.

Therefore, I issue a challenge to him to debate the issues. (FYI, I'm not available til mid March.) I'll try to set aside a week for our initial debates. The first issue: the delusion of the birthers. If he's not crying mercy at the end, we can continue regular debates.

How about it Pastor, Mike can moderate.

WARNING, expect a no mercy take-down of his fact-free fantasies, right-wing rhetoric and partisan hackery (all part of his fundamentalist subculture of ignorance that embraces 'discredited, ridiculous and even dangerous ideas'. He panders to fear, anger and hatred.

If you are one of them, watch out because I don't favor America's preference for rhetorical fairy tales to unpleasant realities.

But alas, I expect he's a chicken and will refuse the challenge.

UPDATE: Love listening to Pastor Dred Scott spin the loss. Unfortunately a long time listener, Randy, didn't know better and tried to talk reason with the Pastor.

Randy, remember what Lincoln once said, "If a man won’t agree that two plus two equals four, you will never win the argument because facts don’t matter."

And that's the reason Randy that the Pastor hangs up on people who don't agree with him.

As I've warned before, don't be duped by the Birthers

Well, the Birthers finally got a hearing, and no one appeared for Obama, and no evidence or argument was entered into the record on behalf of Obama. Nevertheless, "a state law judge flatly rejected legal challenges that contend he can not be a candidate." Read The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Judge: Obama eligible to be Georgia candidate.

Can't wait to hear our very own Pastor Dred Scott (you may remember the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857, which asserted that African Americans were "beings of an inferior order" who "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect." That ruling declared that African Americans could never be U.S. citizens and therefore could never be President) (AKA Pastor Truthiness (formerly known as Pastor Poppins) spin this one.

Expect a missile sighting somewhere over the U.S. to distract you from the news.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

OMG, Republi-CON Are Ready to Endorse ObamaCare (Again)

UPDATE III: "The White House and House Republicans don’t hold many similar views on how to reform health care, but as of Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget, they do agree on the goal: Both have outlined plans that would slow the growth of health costs. Both try to hit a target of slowing Medicare’s growth to just 0.5 percent faster than the rest of the economy. And if you dig into how they would get there, the policies start looking pretty similar." Read the Washington Post, What Paul Ryan learned from Obamacare.

UPDATE II: Listen to Gingrich explain and defend the individual mandate:

Now he and Republi-cons are trying to con you into believing they oppose the individual mandate as a matter of principle. That's why I call them Republi-CONs!

UPDATE: "On Saturday, David Fahrenthold wrote that 'more than a year after Republicans first pledged to ‘repeal and replace’ President Obama’s new health-care law, the GOP is still struggling to answer a basic question. Replace it . . . with what?' . . .

[But 1990-2006, Republi-cons had a health care plan.] The only problem? It was Obamacare."

Read the Washington Post, Newt Gingrich’s health-care problem — and the Republican Party’s.

Maybe that explains their support for the new Wyden-Ryan plan.

It seems one influential Republican is "now on record for the Affordable Care Act model, more generously funded than was his previous plan, with a public option." Read the Washington Post, What Wyden-Ryan hath wrought and Paul Ryan and Ron Wyden want to bring Obamacare to Medicare.

The Government Isn't Banning Incandescent Light Bulbs

UPDATE: "It’s a cheap political shot for Romney to blame 'Obama’s regulators' for a proposal that was signed into law by a Republican president and was broadly supported at the time. Moreover, we don’t see how higher efficiency standards translates into a 'ban,' especially when light manufacturers have embraced the new standards.

Three Pinocchios"

Read the Washington Post, Mitt Romney’s misfire on light bulb standards.

"The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to keep energy efficiency standards for light bulbs, which passed in 2007 and are set to phase in beginning next year.

So, do you have to stockpile those old-school, soft white incandescent bulbs now?

No. Congress hasn't banned them. All it has said is that, starting in 2012, light bulbs must use less power to create the same amount of light, saving the country electricity and Americans cash. Light bulb makers already have familiar-looking soft white incandescent bulbs for sale that meet the federal regulations, so you don't have to use extremely efficient compact fluorescent or LED bulbs if you don't want to. Continuing innovation, meanwhile, promises to make tougher rules easier to meet in later years.

The Natural Resources Defense Council calculates that these light bulb efficiency standards will eventually save Americans $12.5 billion a year in lower energy bills, reducing consumption by the equivalent of the output of 33 large power plants and slashing greenhouse and other pollution along the way. Newer bulbs are more expensive than the old clunkers, but often not by much, and they more than pay for themselves in decreased energy use."

Read the Washington Post, Tea Party 0, Rational Policy 1.

So many lies, so little time to refudiate.

Friday, March 16, 2012

For Those Who Favor the Republi-con 'Every Man For Himself' Governing Philosophy

UPDATE: "[T]he wealth of a country is most closely correlated with the degree to which the average person shares in the overall growth of its economy. . .

[I]ncentives matter . . . If national institutions give even their poorest and least educated citizens some shot at improving their own lives — through property rights, a reliable judicial system or access to markets — those citizens will do what it takes to make themselves and their country richer.

Read The New York Times, Why Some Countries Go Bust.

Before the modern era, life was nasty, brutish and short.

But you don't have to read history to see that. There are many countries you can visit today characterized by "social-Darwinist brutishness" where profound poverty exists next to fabulous wealth and the "economic system is geared to reward motivated and resourceful individuals with personal wealth" while others trade garbage.

Where do garbage traders feel lucky and "gain their sense of upward mobility by contrasting their lot with that of their less fortunate neighbors," 'miserable souls' who 'trap rats and frogs and fry them for dinner' or 'eat the scrub grass at the sewage lake’s edge'?

Where does the poverty of "[m]igrants fleeing a crisis-ridden agricultural sector cause an oversupply of cheap labor" such that a "boy whose hand is sliced off by a shredding machine turns, 'with his blood-spurting stump,' to assure his boss that he won’t report the accident"?

Where is this land that has the 'government economic and social policy' of an "insider network of patronage in which the powerful flourish""'to preserve and consolidate' their 'established privilege vis-à-vis those without privilege'"?

And where do 'maggots breed in the infected sores of the garbage scavengers and gangrene inches up fingers, calves swell into tree trunks, while fellow scavengers "'kept a running wager about which of the scavengers would be the next to die'"?

Where is this land of opportunity that "accrues to the already privileged in the age of globalization", this "hollowed-out democracy [of] mean-minded new capitalism", this utopia of laissez-faire free enterprise unburdened by government regulation or health care?

Closer than you think.

Read The New York Times, Fighting for Scraps.

How I Became a Pilot

From an email:

One of the questions from the career placement test given applicants for flight training and a military commission: Rearrange the letters P N E S I to spell out an important part of the human body that is more useful when erect!

Those who spell spine become doctors, the rest of us went to flight school.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Fundamentalist Subculture of Ignorance That Embraces 'Discredited, Ridiculous and Even Dangerous Ideas'

UPDATE II: After the movie Game Change (based on the book with the same name), do you think that Palin is the problem, or just a symptom of the fundamentalist subculture of ignorance that embraces 'discredited, ridiculous and even dangerous ideas'?

Read the Washington Post, Sarah Palin’s foolishness ruined U.S. politics.

UPDATE: For several recent articles on point, read:

Washington Post, The e-mail rumor mill is run by conservatives, and

New York Magazine, When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality.

And for more on the Republi-con problem with reality, re-read these prior posts:

More Partisan Zealotry Through Highly Selective Editing of Reality, and

Republi-CON Created Reality.

"The rejection of science seems to be part of a politically monolithic red-state fundamentalism, textbook evidence of an unyielding ignorance on the part of the religious." Read The New York Times, The Evangelical Rejection of Reason.

Read this article if you want to understand the Fact Free Friday show with Pastor Truthiness (formerly known as Pastor Poppins).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Save Us, Sarah, Save Us!

UPDATE IV: After the movie Game Change (based on the book with the same name), would you vote for Sarah?

Or has she "become a person who I think is filled with grievance, filled with anger who has a divisive message for the national stage when we need leaders in both parties to have a unifying message. . . . The lack of preparedness was a bad thing and the total disinterest in being more prepared and rectifying that is something that disqualifies"?

Read the Washington Post, Steve Schmidt’s brutally honest assessment of Sarah Palin.

UPDATE III: After more than a year, an update. "Will she run, or won't she. She just doesn't know, you know?? Read The New York Times, Chasing Sarah Palin.

All kidding aside, if she promised not be to "thin-skinned" and "vindictive", I'd vote for her.

UPDATE II: "Sarah Palin’s amateurism and liabilities are her badges of honor, and Republican leaders who want to stop her, and they are legion, are utterly baffled about how to do so." Read The New York Times, Could She Reach the Top in 2012? You Betcha.

UPDATE: Not everyone is ready to be saved, especially not a former Bush chief speechwriter and senior policy advisor. Read the Washington Post, Palin's erratic behavior mars 2010 elections.

He thinks Plain is "increasingly indifferent to Republican fortunes and increasingly tolerant of disturbing extremism."

I'm guessin he didn't get a Mama Grizzly Endorsement.

Will Republi-cons be able to put the Palin genie back in the box (actually a large jar)?

"If there's nobody else to do it, then of course I would believe that we should do this." -- from Entertainment Tonight, Sarah Palin: I will Run for President in 2012 If There's Nobody Else To Do It.

Can you say 'messiah complex'.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

To Republi-CONs, Women Who Use Contraceptives Are 'Sluts' and 'Prostitutes'

Just ask Rusty:

It is not hard to see how Rusty "has gone through four wives."

As Colbert noted, the apology only proved that Rusty "will do anything with his mouth for cash."

Monday, March 5, 2012

Republi-Cons Have No Shame, Judge Edition

UPDATE: Read The Huffington Post, Blinded by the Hate: The Real Problem With Judge Cebull's Email, which states:

"Earlier this week a Great Falls Tribune reporter found something startling in his inbox: a shockingly racist and misogynistic email forwarded from the most powerful federal judge in Montana, which 'joked' that the president of the United States was the product of his mother having sex with a dog. The story soon became national news, with groups like ours calling on Judge Richard Cebull to resign. . .

Attempting to explain his email forward, Judge Cebull told the reporter, John S. Adams,

The only reason I can explain it to you is I am not a fan of our president, but this goes beyond not being a fan. I didn't send it as racist, although that's what it is. Is sent it out because it's anti-Obama.

Judge Cebull is hardly alone in using the old 'I'm not racist, but...' line. In fact, his email was the result of an entire movement built on 'I'm not racist, but...' logic that equates disagreement with and dislike of the president with broad-based, racially charged smears. These smears, tacitly embraced by the GOP establishment, are more than personal shots at the president -- they're attacks on the millions of Americans who make up our growing and changing country.

Mainstream conservatives have genuine objections to President Obama's priorities and policies. But since he started running for president, a parallel movement has sprung up trying to paint Obama as an outsider and an imposter -- in unmistakably racially charged terms. Too often, the two movements have intersected.

The effort to paint Obama as a threatening foreigner sprung up around the right-wing fringe in the run-up to the 2008 election with the typically muddled conspiracy theory that painted him as both a secret Muslim and a member of an America-hating church. They soon coalesced in the birther movement, which even today is championed by a strong coalition of state legislators and a certain bombastic Arizona sheriff.

But the birther movement, the 'secret Muslim' meme and the idea that the president of the United States somehow hates his own country are no longer confined to the less visible right-wing fringe. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, until recently a frontrunner in the GOP presidential race, continually hammers on the president's otherness, most notably criticizing his 'Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.' Rick Santorum flatly claims that Obama does not have the Christian faith that he professes, and eagerly courted the endorsement of birther leader Sheriff Joe Arpaio. And before they dropped out, Rick Perry and Herman Cain couldn't resist flirting with birtherism. . .

When a federal judge has seen so much racially-charged propaganda against the president of the United States that he can claim not to know the difference between genuine disagreement and offensive personal smears, something in our discourse has gone terribly awry."

I posted the following comment:

"The hatred to which you refer to has been percolating on talk radio for years.

In April 2009 I received an email from the owner of a talk radio station titled 'Obama's Momma In Nude Porn Pictures? - not a joke'. I replied to the sender that I thought something like that was 'below even 'Republi-con' (my radio term for Republican hypocrites) low standards for newsworthiness. But I guess there is no shame for the sake of the party.'

In May 2009 the same person sent me the email the Judge received, it even had the same title 'A mother's love'. My reply was that the sender needed 'to get counseling. I am serious, your hatred for Democrats has warped your judgment.'

That talk radio station allows the pastor of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church two hours each Friday afternoon to promote what are now mainstream Republican ideas. The birther conspiracies, the 'secret Muslim' meme and 'Obama hates American' are regular topics on the show, with guests who parrot the ideas.

The talk-radio campaign of fear, anger and hatred has been fermenting since the last election. Rush Limbaugh's 'slut' comment is only the tip of the iceberg."

In April and May 2009 you may remember that I noted that there were no limits to shameless Republi-con hatred, as evidenced by emails circulated within Republi-CON circles.

Even a federal judge has been affected by the relentless Republi-CON campaign of fear, anger and hatred.

Read the Washington Post, A federal judge’s e-mail spreads racist venom about Obama.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What Next for the Republi-CONs

UPDATE IX: Obamney won Arizon by 20.7 percentage points, but only won his 'home' state by 3.2 percentage points. For analysis, read The New York Times, The Meaning of Michigan, which notes that:

"[T]he campaign will now shift toward less favorable terrain for Mr. Romney. . .

If Mr. Romney wins Ohio, for instance, a state that should be somewhat below average for him, that would provide a very strong suggestion that he has built a winning coalition in the Republican race.

If Mr. Romney loses Ohio, on the other hand, it would certainly revive questions about both his weakness in the industrial Midwest and his inability to close the deal with Republican voters. But after his wins in Michigan and Arizona, we might essentially revert to the status quo as it existed a few days ago, with Mr. Romney as a fairly weak front-runner, but a front-runner nonetheless. And in fact, the status quo is basically favorable to Mr. Romney. He leads in the delegate count, in the popular vote, in endorsements from elected officials, in the number of states won and in virtually every other conventional or unconventional measure of his standing in the Republican race.

Momentum has had fairly weak and unpredictable effects so far in this race. There is the possibility that it will shift against Mr. Romney over the course of the next week.

But how would this manifest itself? It is unlikely to cause Mr. Romney to lose Massachusetts or Virginia, where he and Ron Paul are the only candidates on the ballot. There was one poll that showed a fairly close result in Vermont, but I have trouble believing that Mr. Santorum could win such a socially liberal state, or that Vermont will come to be considered essential to a Republican’s path to the nomination.

Perhaps the worst-case scenario for Mr. Romney is that his wins are limited to those three states — Massachusetts, Virginia and Vermont. He loses everything else, including the several caucus state to vote on Super Tuesday — as well as Washington, which holds its caucus on Saturday.

Such an outcome undoubtedly would be damaging to Mr. Romney, and would make his nomination less assured. But Mr. Romney’s Republican opponents may now have missed their best opportunity to deliver a knockout blow to him. Michigan, Arizona and Florida were interesting precisely because losses there would have been hard to excuse for Mr. Romney — clear demonstrations that he does not have a majority coalition. And yet, his advantage was not quite so formidable in these states that it was impossible to conceive of him losing. . .

Mr. Romney could still lose the nomination, but his campaign is relatively well-equipped for a war of attrition, and would rather take that route than one where his candidacy seemed to be imploding and there was unambiguous evidence that he had been rejected by the Republican electorate.

His win in Michigan treads water at best; his win in Arizona was impressive. But Mr. Romney is doing just well enough (and not much better) to be on track for the Republican nomination.

His opponents might not have missed their last opportunity to upend him, but they may have missed their best one."

UPDATE IX: "After 5 caucuses, 6 primaries, 20 debates and $30 million in television commercials, Mitt Romney leaves here facing the same stubborn question: Can a onetime Northeastern governor with a history of ideological migration win the Republican presidential nomination in the era of the Tea Party, with all its demands of political purity and passion?" Read The New York Times, Romney Faces Stubborn Question, Despite Victories.

UPDATE VIII: To understand the Ham Rove hissy fit over the Chrysler ad during the Super Bowl, one must accept that Republi-CONs want further economic chaos, like '21% unemployment', to advance their election interest.


Because of "[t]he combination of the strong jobs report and comparisons between the inspirational commercial and Ronald Reagan’s stirring 1984 'Morning in America' campaign" Republi-CON election campaign around the country.

Read The New York Times, When Cars Meet Politics, the Clock Is Running, which notes that "[a]s soon as the monthly job report was released last Friday, one of [Romney's] advisers, the Harvard economist Gregory Mankiw, wrote in a blog post that the news increased the probability of Mr. Obama’s re-election by a full 2 percentage points."

UPDATE VII: "Republicans are expressing fresh concerns that Mitt Romney is limping toward the presidential nomination, suffering new blows at the very moment he needs to grow stronger if he is to take on President Obama in November.

Even before Rick Santorum’s surprising sweep of three contests on Tuesday, the Romney campaign was receiving a steady stream of advice — and warnings — from Republicans who are increasingly anxious about Romney’s performance, which has not improved over nearly six weeks since the state caucuses and primaries began.

One prominent adviser told the candidate to sharpen his use of conservative code words and create “small pictures” — vivid imagery, in other words — to connect with voters. Another flew to Boston to say that Romney’s message is too businesslike and broad to capture the passion of angry Republican voters. Still others have gone on television and written opinion columns to hammer home what is becoming a common theme this year: that Romney has not been able to ignite a cause when the GOP is primed to become part of one."

Read the Washington Post, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign stuck in lukewarm.

But the real reason for the lack of enthusiasm for Obamney, he's a Yes Man.

He tries "to please everybody but has ended up pleasing few. Just what David Riesman would have called an other-directed man."

Read The New York Times, The Crowd Please.

I made a prediction before, which I modify a bit here, if Obamney does not start exciting the Republi-CON base, he stays in the race, but only to collect delegates so that he can (after being hounded by party establishment) graciously reconsider at the nominating convention and set aside for a late entry to the presidential race before another nominee cripples the Republican brand.

And the question is, can he build enthusiasm when he's not really a Republi-CON (look the word up to understand what I mean) at heart.

UPDATE VI: Why is Ham Rove having a hissy fit over the "Chrysler ad during the Super Bowl, starring Clint Eastwood"? Read The New York Times, Uh-oh, It’s Morning in America, which notes that "behind the yelling lies, almost surely, a growing sense of panic":

UPDATE V: "In the aftermath of Rick Santorum’s clean sweep of Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, Mitt Romney is still, in fact, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. But the lack of enthusiasm for his candidacy among conservatives foreshadows a potentially ugly road ahead to Tampa and general election problems if he is nominee." Read the Washington Post, Mitt Romney and the enthusiasm gap.

UPDATE IV: Another twist in the 2012 election. "Santorum won the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses and a nonbinding primary in Missouri on Tuesday, raising fresh questions about [Obamney]’s ability to corral conservative support."

"Whatever your perspective on how likely Mitt Romney was to lose the Republican nomination race prior to Tuesday evening, it should be acknowledged that he had about the worst results conceivable."

Read The New York Times, G.O.P. Race Has Hallmarks of Prolonged Battle, which notes that of the "five paths forward for the Republican nomination" after Romney's Florida victory "some implied a much longer and more difficult race, and some put him at a tangible risk of defeat.

The evidence [after Santorum’s clean sweep of Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri] was much more consistent with those scenarios, and much less so with those in which Mr. Romney wraps up the nomination easily."

UPDATE III: Obamney wins Nevada. So maybe Republi-cons will finally "settle in with Romney for the long haul. Or maybe they'll look again at Romney and see a transparently inauthentic conservative of convenience with a propensity for mind-boggling gaffes ('I'm also unemployed,' and 'Corporations are people, my friend,' and 'Well, the banks aren't bad people,' and so on.)"

Some still pine for a Not-Mitt White Knight. Alas, they should read U.S. News & World Report, GOP Shouldn't Hope for a White Knight or Brokered Convention.

UPDATE II: Read The New York Times, Five Paths Forward for G.O.P. Nomination, which stated that "[a]lthough Mitt Romney is the clear favorite to win the Republican nomination after his victory in Florida, the evidence is mixed as to how robust his advantage is. Below, we will draw on the Florida results and historical precedents to consider five different scenarios for the Republican race going forward.

Interpretation No. 1: It’s All Over but the Concession Speeches. . .

Interpretation No. 2: Florida Is the New Normal. . .

Interpretation No. 3: Anybody but Romney? Certainly Not Newt. . .

Interpretation No. 4: Rinse, Lather, Repeat. . .

Interpretation No. 5: Florida Was a Fluke. . ."

UPDATE: Although "[t]he media ♥ Newt Gingrich", the journey may be near an end. Some predict that The Great Lecherer "will pull the plug before Super Tuesday, and maybe even within ten days." Read the Atlantic, Newt Exit Countdown: 10 Days?

In any case, as noted in October, Obamney's the inevitable nominee.

"Seven states will vote next month, although that includes a 'beauty contest' primary in Missouri that will not affect delegate allocation and several caucuses with nonbinding results." Read The New York Times, Advantage Romney in February, but Risks Abound, which describes the "general lay of the land" leading up to Super Tuesday, March 6, 2012:

"Feb. 4, Nevada caucuses. . .

Feb. 7, Minnesota caucuses. . .

Feb. 7, Colorado caucuses. . .

Feb. 7, Missouri nonbinding primary. . .

Feb. 4-11, Maine caucuses. . .

Feb. 28, Arizona primary. . .

Feb. 28, Michigan primary. . ."