Friday, July 31, 2015

Why Are Republi-CONs Such Suckers For Snake Oil Salesmen?

"[V]ery little of the $753,000 it spent from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2015, went directly to political candidates and committees. Instead, SarahPAC’s top expenditures largely helped fortify its own existence—or helped Palin personally. . .

Yet, during the first half of 2015, SarahPAC only spent $25,000 on candidate contributions—less than 4 percent of its overall expenditures.

Conservative Republican Reps. Louie Gohmert, Trey Gowdy, Raúl Labrador, and Ted Yoho are among the 43 candidates to receive SarahPAC cash so far this year, with most getting $500. The per-election federal limit is $2,700.

Palin’s PAC has never given more than a small fraction of its income away to the Republicans it supports."

Read Slate, Sarah Palin’s PAC Is Spending More on Hotels and Travel Than on Republican Candidates.

Read also, Cha-Ching, Baby, Cha-Ching

Her daughter also practices the con.  Read More Unbelievable Palin Family Hypocrisy

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Republi-CON Party of Angry White Men, "Steeped and Stewing in Right-Wing Xenophobic, Homophobic, Misogynist and Racist Hate"

 The man who opened fire in a Lafayette, La., movie theater [John Russell House] . . . was, by all accounts, a far-right ideologue. . .

Houser was steeped and stewing in right-wing xenophobic, homophobic, misogynist and racist hate. He was obviously crazy. It’s generally safe to assume everyone who commits mass murder is. But Houser was crazy and held some beliefs that were variations of more mainstream conservative beliefs. The roots of some of Houser’s political views are hard to distinguish from ideas espoused by many, if not most, of the candidates running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. . .

And yet when white men shoot up movie theaters or black churches, they’re given the benefit of individuality. We don’t automatically assume that they represent some disease within all, or even a subset of, other white men. Even in the face of evidence such as espoused racist, misogynistic views and participation in organized hate groups, we still resist drawing any broader conclusions about any white men other than the shooter. Meanwhile, most mass shooters are white men. Communities of color or of minority religions, as a whole, are rarely given the benefit of the doubt of collective innocence. White men, and white people in general, always are. That white privilege extends even to white mass murderers shows just how insidious it is. . .

We habitually scrutinize the ideology behind black and Muslim violence while letting white men off the hook. . .

Sure, there’s more to discover about Houser’s particular motives and state of mind that night. But we know what prompted Houser. We know he is not an accident of a hateful, us-versus-them ideology, but an automatic, albeit unfortunate, consequence. You cannot plant the seeds of hatred and antipathy and then curse them when they grow beyond your control.

Spread misogyny and anti-immigrant nationalism and homophobia and anti-black racial bias, and they will take root. As a seed, Houser was downright rotten. But he clearly fell from a very dangerous and rotting tree."

Read the Washington Post, We blame minority groups for individual crimes. Why do white conservatives get a pass?

Read also:

The Washington Post, Shooters of color are called ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs.’ Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?

Slate, Men Kill Women in the U.S. So Often That It’s Usually Not Even Newsworthy and

Daily Mail, The pro-Hitler rants of Louisiana theater gunman who idolized Timothy McVeigh and called for lone wolf attacks on the 'failing filth farm' of America

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

In 2016, First Trump, Then Palin, Who Next Bozo?

"If Donald Trump takes the White House, Sarah Palin might have an invitation to join his team."

Read CNN, Sarah Palin serving in a Trump administration? 'I'd love that,' he says

The Republi-CON 'We Love the Military' Myth (They Don't Even Like Ordinary Citizens)

UPDATE:  "Tucked into a dusty corner of the Senate’s Highway Trust Fund bill — legislation that must pass before the fund runs dry on July 31 — is a zombie proposal to hire private debt-collection agencies to hound delinquent taxpayers on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service.

The IRS has actually tried outsourcing tax collection activities to private debt collectors before, at Congress’s behest. Twice, in fact, over the last two decades.

Both times, the experiment was a disaster.

Privatizing delinquent tax collections led to complaints from taxpayers who got harassed and bullied by an industry known for rampant harassment and bullying, articularly of low-income people who don’t know their rights. In one oft-cited case, a private debt collector made 150 calls to the elderly parents of a taxpayer even after the collection agency learned that the taxpayer was no longer living at that address.

Perhaps more important, at least from a fiscal responsibility perspective, both times the program was scrapped because it actually cost taxpayers money on net, despite assurances ahead of time of the huge bounty it would lasso in."

Read the Washington Post, The Senate’s wrongheaded IRS proposal.

Republi-cons only love their corporate benefactors.

"House Republicans are pushing legislation to block predatory lending protections for American soldiers, under pressure from the banking lobby."

Read The Huffington Post, House Republicans Want To Block Predatory Lending Protections For American Troops.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Art of El Donald, He's Waiting for His Republi-CON Deal

UPDATE:  "There is nothing secret about the nativist views of Donald Trump, a dyspeptic business tycoon running for the Republican presidential nomination. His finger-jabbing speeches about Mexican rapists and murderers, flowing across the border “like water”, and American jobs being shipped to China have taken him to the top of most polls. More dismaying, his apparent popularity has unmanned more conventional presidential rivals, only some of whom have chided him for his bigotry. . .

The Trump surge has been startling. After all, lots of conservatives growl about immigrants changing America, and shops full of cheap Chinese goods, without enjoying such success. Mr Trump is funding his campaign himself, which means he has no need to flatter donors. Is it this outsider status as a non-politician that marks him out? Or perhaps the unfiltered quality of his rage?

The Trump technique involves confiding in unhappy Americans that they are victims of a plot—and a plot, what is more, that could be easily thwarted. In his telling, scheming foreign governments have outwitted a soft political elite in Washington and preyed on America’s openness and generosity. He is tapping into a political tradition with deep roots. The Know-Nothings are only one example. The “America First” movement of the early 1940s accused decadent Europeans and well-connected Jews of conspiring to drag America into a new world war. In the 1960s the John Birch Society saw communist cunning at every turn."

Read The Economist, El Donald

The article includes an interesting historical reminder, which I forgot if I ever heard:

"IT WAS a winter night in 1854 when nine men broke into the building site of the Washington Monument, stole a slab of marble and—according to a later confession—heaved it into the Potomac river. The stone, which once belonged to the Temple of Concord in Rome, was a gift from Pope Pius IX. The attackers belonged to an anti-Catholic political movement, nicknamed “Know-Nothings” on account of their strict code of secrecy. Their movement considered Catholic immigrants a menace to the republic. At its peak, followers included dozens of congressmen, some governors and an ex-president. The Know-Nothings feared that the papal stone was a coded call to arms, sent to spark an immigrant uprising. Their vandalism helped to halt the monument’s construction for years. To this day a change in stone colour, part-way up the obelisk, betrays that nativist moment."

"Mr Trump is in the real-estate business, an industry rife with red tape, in which a little political leverage can be worth a fortune. . .

You'd have to be astoundingly brazen to run for president, churning up toxic xenophobic sentiments, just to get the political leverage to win a huge tax break, or to build a casino or to stop somebody else's casino. But Mr Trump is neither a meek nor public-spirited man. And, astonishingly enough, he may have actually succeeded in putting the Republican Party in a corner.

If cutting a sweet deal is what Mr Trump was aiming to do all along, we might have to admit that he is more than the attention-seeking buffoon he appears to be. It may be that he is a attention-seeking, buffoonish genius.  In any case, Mr Trump has floated the possibility that he may try to wreck the Republican Party's presidential chances unless it coughs up a little 'fair' treatment, whatever that means. If the GOP doesn't think it can neutralise Mr Trump's threat of a third-party run by utterly demolishing his reputation, then they're going to have to consider a little fairness. Not a bad month's work for Mr Trump."

Read The Economist, Donald Trump's brazen genius.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Go Donald, Go! (FKA "Where’s the Donald?")

UPDATE XII:  "Whatever you think of Donald Trump, he’s now the hub around which the race revolves, and that only makes the rest of the candidates’ problem more acute. It’s hard enough to get noticed when you have 15 competitors, but when one of them soaks up so media attention, it becomes even harder. All that pushes candidates — at the debates, and elsewhere — to do something, anything, to get some notice. . .

The [upcoming GOP] debate could play out in a number of ways: candidates could attack Trump, or a few might go after Jeb Bush, hoping to become the alternative to the closest thing the race has to a non-Trump frontrunner, or something else entirely might occur. But if all of them are looking for someone to strike at, it could end up being a demolition derby — fun to watch, but not exactly the thing to inspire faith in the participants."

Read the Washington Post, The Republican demolition derby.

UPDATE XI:  "Republicans dreaming of shooing away Donald Trump may want to think twice.

By publicly rebuking the billionaire businessman for his inflammatory comments, the party may convince Trump to launch a third-party candidacy."

Read CNN,  GOP's nightmare: An Independent Donald Trump

Read also Vote Republi-CON, the Party of Fear, Anger, and Hatred in 2016!

But if The Donald runs as an independent, I just might cast my angry Republi-con vote for him. (Yes, I am a registered Republican.) 

UPDATE X:  For a great analogy and to better understand the Republi-con's dilemma with Trump, the Preschooler, read the Washington Post, You cannot fight Donald Trump with conventional weapons, which states in good part:

"If you attended preschool at any point in your life, you understand the problem with Donald Trump’s candidacy. You remember the one kid on the playground who makes everyone else’s recess hell.

'You’re out,' you say. 'You just got tagged.'

'No, I’m not,' he says. 'Nobody can touch me ’cause I’m made of fire.'

'No, you’re not,' you say. 'That’s not how the rules work.'

'Yes,' he says, 'Yes it is I made the rule that I’m fire and if I touch you you burn up and nothing you can do can undo it ’cause fire beats everything.'

'That’s not fair,' you say.

'And I touched you and now you’re out,' he says, and shortly afterwards the game ends in him winning, because that is the only way he will allow it to end.

Certain five-year-olds are impervious to rules. They won’t play nicely. They trample through your sandcastles. They arrogate sudden inexplicable powers to themselves which render them invincible and can therefore defeat you at a touch, or they announce that they can cross into your territory by special dispensation, or they simply refuse to stay tagged when you tag them.

'This won’t work if he doesn’t freeze when he’s tagged!' you complain, but — what authority do you have? The rules of games possess only as much authority as you allow them. There are no referees handing out red cards for Red Rover. You are in a state of nature unless the other kindergartners agree otherwise.

And this can be extremely frustrating when you are accustomed to playing by the rules. There you are, with Ted and Bobby and Carly, playing nicely, and then along comes Donald and announces that you aren’t playing Traditional GOP Primary Where Everyone Can Be Handicapped By Gaffes but instead King Donald’s Primary where everything everyone says has consequences except for what Donald says because Donald is made of fire.

He is the terror of the schoolyard for a reason. 'Can we play it my way?' you ask. No. You can’t. His way or no way at all. And now he’s got your favorite truck.

You can’t win against someone who refuses to admit that there are rules. Not only that, but you can’t declare him 'out.' If he wants to play with you, you’re stuck.

And this is the problem we’re running into now with Donald Trump. . .

We, as a public and as a media, are used to an election game that has, if not certain rules, certain — accepted formulas and traditions. It is supposed to be a kind of low-rent reality TV for people who couldn’t make it on real reality TV — proportionally more serious and less entertaining. If it is the GOP primary, the more it looks like Twelve Angry Men, the better. But the rules only exist by our mutual and silent agreement. So does the game itself, for that matter."

Read also Vote Republi-CON, the Party of Fear, Anger, and Hatred in 2016! 

UPDATE IX:  "How did America get to such a place that someone like Donald Trump can command a lead in the Republican primaries? Trump is the product of a deliberate Republican strategy, adopted by Richard Nixon’s people in 1968, to attract voters with an apocalyptic redemption story rather than reasoned argument.  It has taken almost 50 years, but we have finally arrived at the culmination of postmodern politics in which Republican leaders use words to create their own reality."

Read Salon, How did this monster get created? The decades of GOP lies that brought us Donald Trump, Republican front-runner.

UPDATE VIII:  Cruz will visit the Donald's "Manhattan throne to kiss his ring."

Read Slate, What a Trump-Cruz Alliance Could Mean for the GOP Race.

Here's hopin for a Cruz-Trump ticket in 2016 ;-). 

UPDATE VII:  "Trump has merely held up a mirror to the GOP. The man, long experience has shown, believes in nothing other than himself. He has, conveniently, selected the precise basket of issues that Republicans want to hear about — or at least a significant proportion of Republican primary voters. He may be saying things more colorfully than others when he talks about Mexico sending rapists across the border, but his views show that, far from being an outlier, he is hitting all the erogenous zones of the GOP electorate."

Read the Washington Post, Donald Trump is the monster the GOP created

UPDATE VI:  "There’s no world in which Donald Trump is a serious candidate for president. Republican elites don’t want him, Republican donors don’t want him, and if—through some cosmic fluke—he managed to win a major primary, every strategist and activist in the Republican Party would turn their aim toward him and his candidacy.

But just because Trump is an unqualified vanity candidate doesn’t mean he’s unimportant in the story of the 2016 GOP presidential primary. Unlike Chris Christie or Mike Huckabee—two vastly more legitimate candidates—Trump is popular with Republican voters. A new CNN national poll puts him in second place in the GOP field at 12 percent support—seven points behind the leader, Jeb Bush—while recent polls from Iowa and New Hampshire also show him with a second place spot in those crucial early contests. If Trump holds his position, he’ll be on stage with Bush, Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio when official debates start in August (he could even lose some support and still make the cut).

The obvious question is “Why?”—why does Trump have a hold on this thick slice of the members of the Republican base? The answer is, unlike the professional politicians in the race, Trump is—from his views on immigration to the “issue” of Obama's citizenship—one of them."

Read Slate, The GOP Base Loves Trump.  

UPDATE V:  "He has virtually zero chance of winning the presidential nomination. But insiders worry that the loud-mouthed mogul is more than just a minor comedic nuisance on cable news; they fret that he’s a loose cannon whose rants about Mexicans and scorched-earth attacks on his rivals will damage the eventual nominee and hurt a party struggling to connect with women and minorities and desperate to win."

Read Politico, Donald Trump bump terrifies GOP

UPDATE IV:  Let the show begin.

Read the Daily Mail, Donald Trump accused of hiring ACTORS for $50 each to pose as supporters at Trump Towers presidential campaign launch.  

UPDATE III:  "Everyone thinks Donald Trump's candidacy will be a disaster for the Republican Party. But here are three ways his presence could actually help the GOP."

Read the Washington Post, Why Donald Trump will be good for the Republicans in 2016.

UPDATE II:  The Donald "can’t seem to stop himself. Trump’s announcement (from Trump Tower, ’natch) that he is seeking the Republican presidential nomination was a veritable festival of the first person. A search of the transcript finds that he uttered “I” 195 times, “my” or “mine” 28 times, “me” 22 times and “I’ve or “I’d” 12 times — for a grand total of 257 self-references."

Read the Washington Post, Donald Trump’s festival of narcissism.

Read also the Washington Post, The Trump clown show, which notes that "America has its share (maybe a larger share) of hucksters, con men, pranksters and the like who seek to grab their 15 minutes of fame. We should not be surprised when they show up in presidential races. And while Trump is a ludicrous figure with no chance to win, there are lots of other candidates who have an equally low chance (zero) to make it to the nomination. Still, it is worse having Trump there, since he obviously is using this opportunity purely as self-promotion and to air his obnoxious attitudes."

UPDATE:  "The world's most big-headed businessman is about to enter the 2016 election, and the GOP is in trouble".

Read Salon,  Donald Trump is about to prove what a joke the Republican Primary is

"[I]f I were a Republican presidential candidate, I would do everything in my power to get Trump taken seriously. Oh, I know in previous years he has hinted at a presidential run and then done nothing. But the man provides a utility that the party dearly needs: He makes the other candidates seem reasonable. . .

Trump’s most interesting quirk is his touching conviction that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. You may wonder about the religious fervor of some of the candidates — the ever-running Rick Santorum, for instance — or the suppressed isolationism of Rand Paul. But nothing approaches Trump’s birther belief.

It remains remotely possible that Trump fastened on the birther stuff just to get some attention. After all, he is in other respects both smart and canny. He has built an impressive real estate empire and presided over a long-lasting and evidently successful TV show. He is a billionaire, and his brand is either an icon or a narcotic: People flock to his buildings, positioning themselves so the name Trump can be seen in their selfies.

It’s possible that even in American politics one can go too far. Maybe Trump has soiled himself. Now, it is true that Obama’s birth certificate was a bit late in showing up, but why demand it and not, at the same time, John McCain’s? Could it have been Obama’s race? Or that his father was born in Kenya? Or that his middle name is Hussein? Could it, in short, be a reflection of prejudice? I mean, black man, white mother, Kenyan father, strange middle name .?.?. can’t you connect the dots? Trump can. Follow them long enough and you’re in the loony bin.

Trump’s birther obsession is both distasteful and more than a minor tic, like his flamboyant hairdo. When, for instance, Hawaii’s health director, Loretta Fuddy, died in the crash of a small plane, Trump tweeted: “How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s ‘birth certificate’ died in plane crash today. All others lived.” Was he implying that Obama somehow killed her — maybe by drone? Who knows? Kenyans are capable of anything.

American politics sometimes seems to me to be a version of the movie “Animal House.” Every four years, some wholly unqualified person surfaces — usually in the Republican Party — and is swiftly declared some sort of political messiah. Last time around it was the ridiculous Herman Cain, pedigreed by right-wing pundits as the man we’ve all been waiting for, and before that the comedic Sarah Palin, a woman for whom the word unqualified is itself unqualified. This year, it could be almost anyone, but whoever it is, he or she (Carly Fiorina?) better pray that Donald Trump gets fully into the race. He’ll make everyone else look better."

Read the Washington Post, The GOP needs Donald Trump.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Enjoy Life, It Goes By More Quickly Each Day

Have you ever observed that time seems to be going by faster as you get older? . .

[Some theorize that] we perceive time by comparing it with our life span: The apparent length of a period of time is proportional to our life span itself.

We perceive our first few years to be much longer in duration than the years that come later -- as the graphic above this shows. If you measure your life this way, in "perceived" time rather than actual time, half of your "perceived life" is over by age 7. If you factor in the fact that you don't remember much of your first three years, then half of your perceived life is over by the time you turn 18, Kiener writes.

In mathematical terms, our time perception is logarithmic -- stretched out at the beginning and compressed at the end -- rather than linear, in which each year has the same length. If you don't know, or don't want to think about math, it's basically the difference between the graph on the left, which is how time proceeds according to calendars, and the graph on the right, which starts slow and then ramps up:

In mathematical terms, our time perception is logarithmic -- stretched out at the beginning and compressed at the end -- rather than linear, in which each year has the same length. If you don't know, or don't want to think about math, it's basically the difference between the graph on the left, which is how time proceeds according to calendars, and the graph on the right, which starts slow and then ramps up:

More recent theories about how we experience time draw on psychology and science. . .

One idea is that the passage of time speeds up with familiarity. As we get older, things become more familiar to us, and time slips by as a result. There is some evidence that we tend to remember events between the ages of 15 and 25 most vividly because we experience so many new things in that time. A related idea is that we can actually slow down our experience of time through paying attention to the present moment, what people call mindfulness.

This might seem depressing -- it kind of is. But it's also a reminder to savor our time and remember that it is precious."

Read the Washington Post, Why time really does seem to go faster as you get older.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Test of The Republi-CON Myth of Expansionary Austerity, Greek Edition

UPDATE:  "It’s astonishing even now how blithely top European officials dismissed warnings that slashing government spending and raising taxes would cause deep recessions, how they insisted that all would be well because fiscal discipline would inspire confidence. (It didn’t.) The truth is that trying to deal with large debts through austerity alone — in particular, while simultaneously pursuing a hard-money policy — has never worked. It didn’t work for Britain after World War I, despite immense sacrifices; why would anyone expect it to work for Greece?"

Read The New York Times, Europe’s Impossible Dream.

As noted before, expansionary austerity is a Republi-con myth.

There was the limited experiment on Kansas that failed.

Now for the grand test, "[i]t could be a chapter in an economics textbook: What happens when severe austerity is imposed on an economy that’s already lost a quarter of its output?

Greece will find out how bad it could be."

Read Bloomberg, Greece Rewrites Economic Textbooks With Austerity on Austerity.

Read also, the Washington Post, Europe’s dirty little secret is Greece will never pay back its debt, which notes that "if Greece can't cut its way out of debt and it can't grow its way out of debt, its only option is to default its way out of debt. There are more and less painful ways of doing this. Least among them is for the two sides to work together, so both can keep getting at least some money from the other. That's a polite default, or a restructuring. And the IMF has suggested three ways that might work. Europe can either give Greece money every year; give Greece a pass on some of what it owes; or give Greece far more time to pay what it owes, with a 30-year grace period at the start. But in any case, Europe is effectively going to have to give—notice how that word keeps popping up—Greece money. It just depends on how they want to do it."

And here's a dirty little secret for you -- well not really a secret, just something Republi-cons would never admit -- the United States of America only works because of money subsidies/transfers from rich, prosperous states to poor, needy states and labor mobility from poor, needy regions to wealthy, prosperous regions.

Read The New York Times, The Problem With a Euro Fix: What’s in It for the Dutch? and the Washington Post, The four ways to end the Greek crisis, from Obama’s former top economist.

And in the U.S., it is the Blue states that are rich and prosperous; the Red states that are poor and needy.

Read Slate, How The US Currency Union Works—Endless Subsidies To Low-Productivity Areas.

Read also, Rich state, poor state, red state, blue state: What’s the matter with Connecticut?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Haters Gonna Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate Any Deal

UPDATE:  "'There are three groups of people in the world who are against the deal: War-mongering Republicans in the U.S., Netanyahu and hard-liners in Iran.'

[But g]ive Bibi some credit: It’s hard to imagine many politicians who could suffer a historic defeat on their signature political issue, be blamed for bringing it about, and still somehow benefit."

Read Slate, Bibi Netanyahu Was the Iran Deal’s Most Effective Salesman."

"Conservative opposition to Obama’s expected deal with Iran is based on a critique of Obama’s peculiar failings. He is naive in the face of evil, desperate for agreement, more willing to help his enemies than his friends. The problem is that conservatives have made this same diagnosis of every American president for 70 years. They do not merely oppose this deal, they oppose all of them, because they believe evil regimes cannot be negotiated with. Their analysis of the Iran negotiations is not an analysis at all, but an impulse.

None of this is to say that the Obama administration has handled Iran the correct way. Even if it has, the agreement is unsatisfactory for the same basic reasons that every treaty with a brutal regime is unsatisfactory. The truth neither Obama nor his critics will acknowledge is that there probably isn’t any potential deal that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. On the other hand, bombing Iran is also unlikely to work, as is maintaining effective international sanctions for years on end. The least bad option will probably be, in the end, having to rely on deterrence to stop Iran. . .

But the conservative response to Obama’s negotiations is the expression of a pathological inability to grapple with the limits of military power at all."

Read New York Magazine, Conservatives Hate the Iran Deal Because They Hate All Deals.

Read also, Vox, The Iran deal began with George W. Bush, which notes that " the deal, so partisan today, follows a set of principles that even George W. Bush embraced."

Moreover, after the Republ-con's treason, no better deal was possible.

Republi-cons always prefer war for their selfish political reasons

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Republi-CON 'Mini Ice Age" Myth

Sunspot activity  have been observed and recorded for at least 400 year.

"Yes, numbers of sunspots can vary by that much [60%] or even more on an 11-year cycle, but the sun’s output—the total amount of energy we get—is extremely stable and only changes by about 0.1 percent, even in extreme sunspot cycles like the one [recently predicted in 2030] . . .

Past research suggests that an extreme decline in solar activity would lead to a shift of just 0.16 degrees Celsius globally—and even that is erased once a more typical solar cycle resumes in a few decades. . .

No matter what the sun does over the next century, we are not heading in to a new ice age. Why am I so sure about that? It may have something to do with the 110 million tons of carbon dioxide humanity is pumping into the atmosphere every single day. The resulting change to our global climate system is so huge, it overwhelms all natural atmospheric forces, including the sun. There is no other plausible explanation for global warming except us."

Read Slate, No, the Earth Is Not Heading for a "Mini Ice Age".

Read also, the Washington Post, News about an imminent 'mini ice age' is trending — but it’s not true.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Obama the Moderate and Republi-CON Extremism

UPDATE IV:  "One of the administration’s closest allies was Clarence Thomas."

Read Slate, Is the Supreme Court More Liberal Than Obama?  

UPDATE III:  "Obama has governed as a moderate conservative—essentially as what used to be called a liberal Republican before all such people disappeared from the GOP. He has been conservative to exactly the same degree that Richard Nixon basically governed as a moderate liberal, something no conservative would deny today. (Ultra-leftist Noam Chomsky recently called Nixon 'the last liberal president.')

Here’s the proof: . .

Cornell West nailed it when he recently charged that Obama has never been a real progressive in the first place. 'He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit,' West said. 'We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency.'

I don’t expect any conservatives to recognize the truth of Obama’s fundamental conservatism for at least a couple of decades—perhaps only after a real progressive presidency. In any case, today they are too invested in painting him as the devil incarnate in order to frighten grassroots Republicans into voting to keep Obama from confiscating all their guns, throwing them into FEMA re-education camps, and other nonsense that is believed by many Republicans. But just as they eventually came to appreciate Bill Clinton’s core conservatism, Republicans will someday see that Obama was no less conservative."

Read The American Conservative, Obama Is a Republican

UPDATE II:  The problem says another political scientist "is radicalism and irresponsible behavior, not ideological extremism." 

Read the Washington Post, 'The Republican Party is severely dysfunctional, not severely conservative'.

UPDATE:  "The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges. . .

Today, thanks to the GOP, compromise has gone out the window in Washington. In the first two years of the Obama administration, nearly every presidential initiative met with vehement, rancorous and unanimous Republican opposition in the House and the Senate, followed by efforts to delegitimize the results and repeal the policies. The filibuster, once relegated to a handful of major national issues in a given Congress, became a routine weapon of obstruction, applied even to widely supported bills or presidential nominations. And Republicans in the Senate have abused the confirmation process to block any and every nominee to posts such as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, solely to keep laws that were legitimately enacted from being implemented.

In the third and now fourth years of the Obama presidency, divided government has produced something closer to complete gridlock than we have ever seen in our time in Washington, with partisan divides even leading last year to America’s first credit downgrade.

On financial stabilization and economic recovery, on deficits and debt, on climate change and health-care reform, Republicans have been the force behind the widening ideological gaps and the strategic use of partisanship. In the presidential campaign and in Congress, GOP leaders have embraced fanciful policies on taxes and spending, kowtowing to their party’s most strident voices.

Republicans often dismiss nonpartisan analyses of the nature of problems and the impact of policies when those assessments don’t fit their ideology. In the face of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, the party’s leaders and their outside acolytes insisted on obeisance to a supply-side view of economic growth — thus fulfilling Norquist’s pledge — while ignoring contrary considerations. . .

No doubt, Democrats were not exactly warm and fuzzy toward George W. Bush during his presidency. But recall that they worked hand in glove with the Republican president on the No Child Left Behind Act, provided crucial votes in the Senate for his tax cuts, joined with Republicans for all the steps taken after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and supplied the key votes for the Bush administration’s financial bailout at the height of the economic crisis in 2008. The difference is striking. . .

And Mike Lofgren, a veteran Republican congressional staffer, wrote an anguished diatribe last year about why he was ending his career on the Hill after nearly three decades. “The Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe,” he wrote on the Truthout Web site."

Read the Washington Post, Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.

Remember, stupidity in the case of partisan extremism is no virtue.

"Placing blame equally on Democrats and Republicans for the stalemate over the debt crisis only encourages more bad behavior." Read The New York Times, The Centrist Cop-Out, which notes:

"Mr. Obama is in practice a moderate conservative.

Mr. Bartlett has a point. The president, as we’ve seen, was willing, even eager, to strike a budget deal that strongly favored conservative priorities. His health reform was very similar to the reform Mitt Romney installed in Massachusetts. Romneycare, in turn, closely followed the outlines of a plan originally proposed by the right-wing Heritage Foundation. And returning tax rates on high-income Americans to their level during the Roaring Nineties is hardly a socialist proposal.

True, Republicans insist that Mr. Obama is a leftist seeking a government takeover of the economy, but they would, wouldn’t they? The facts, should anyone choose to report them, say otherwise."

And the way to prove it is to call the Republi-CON bluff.