Sunday, March 28, 2010

Roll On, Big "O"!

"...Make those wingnuts throw a tantrum, in for-ty hours..."

(Readers 35 & over will remember that one :)

Barack Obama, lookin' good, on a roll... SWEET! Checks out books written by his foes, helps him burn them to a crisp when going head-to-head with the whole lot of them.

Pic is courtesy of The Daily What

Acceptable losses

If one studies congressional elections, its easy to see one thing is constant. The ruling party almost always experiences losses after two years. Rarely if ever are gains made. In order for people to be happy enough with the people they put in office to increase their majority, the ruling party would have to keep the promises it made. None ever does, no one ever can. The Democrats have made mistakes since they took power . Some accusations of incompetence or corrupt dealing could be seen as somewhat fair, I'm never pleased with what they do, the two party system is too amorphous the tent the parties spread is too big for the specific promises made to me to be kept and my desires to be satisfied.Honestly my biggest gripe with the Democrats is how weakly they deal with the abusive antics of the opposition. It makes me long for the days of Harry Truman and LBJ and the Labour Union AFL-CIO democrats of long ago that knew how to get tough with the scabs and the Brinks security men the bosses sent around to bully and intimidate. If I have any gripe its that the present party is too gentle too civilized in the way it deals with the thuggish mobs sent to intimidate a democratic majority. I blame the obstructionism and dirty tactics of the Republicans for hindering the process and impeding a rational discussion on issues like health care, and I think this is why
the Bill we got was substandard.
But I do grudgingly admire in a way how well the Republicans have learned to play a game that used to be ours. They do keep their minions in line during crucial votes and when they were in power they laughed when Democrats complained they were being shut out of the process ignored them and did as they pleased. Now that they are in the minority their exact same complaints are somehow now seen as righteous indignation and not the petty whining of the losers they painted democratic protests of just a few years ago. And Democrats are letting them get away with this. And it frustrates me,
to see our side be so weak kneed.
We have to do more than pretend to ignore them, do more than pretend we aren't intimidated by these thuggish bully tactics that border on terroristic violence and Fascist rhetoric. We have to grow a pair, excuse the phrase, we have to remember
that the Democratic party used to be the party of the tough union guy, and not the jacuzzi vegan liberal that the republicans want to paint us as. the party has changed the base has changed,fine time marches on we are the party of change. But that doesn't mean we have to be the party of saints that never return a punch and always turn the other cheek . We are a political party not Buddist Monks. And I think in order to keep losses acceptable this November we need to get energized, we need to come up with ideas..and i think we need a little of that blue collar toughness my grandfather's Democratic party had..I shutter to think what him and his Union brother's would have done if anyone tried to cut their propane lines.

Now I in no way wish to compare the Tea Party Mob to Al Capone and his mob(my apologies to honest gangsters for the inference)
nor do I in any way wish to advocate violent or illegal conduct, I use this little scene from the Untouchables as a Metaphor,
we are up against a tough enemy people that are ruthless and that will more than likely stop at nothing to keep
their status quo this society as they see it is their turf and we are stepping on their toes by trying to reform it,
(though i personally am NOT a big fan of Prohibition, I am sentimental about do gooding reformers)
we are as the metaphor may go the do gooders the people trying to clean up the injustice and corruption in an otherwise
good society.but the question remains?
what are you prepared to do? Edmund Burke once said all that it takes for evil to flourish in the world is for good men to stand by and do
nothing(apologies for the sexism Burke I believe lived in the 18th century)
But the question remains WHAT ARE WE PREPARED TO DO?
bloggings fine but if we want loses this November to be acceptable we do need to do more
in the words of Elliot Ness(at least the Hollywood version of him) "Let's do some good".

Frank Rich- The Rage Is Not About Health Care

I don't mean to sound sardonic, but Frank Rich wins the Obvious Statement Of The Week award for this column- The Rage Is Not About Health Care. His assertion is simply this; the Tea Party is the channeled rage of disenfranchised white people using health care as a proxy. He compares it to the Civil Rights Act:

But there was nothing like this. To find a prototype for the overheated reaction to the health care bill, you have to look a year before Medicare, to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both laws passed by similar majorities in Congress; the Civil Rights Act received even more votes in the Senate (73) than Medicare (70). But it was only the civil rights bill that made some Americans run off the rails. That’s because it was the one that signaled an inexorable and immutable change in the very identity of America, not just its governance.

The apocalyptic predictions then, like those about health care now, were all framed in constitutional pieties, of course. Barry Goldwater, running for president in ’64, drew on the counsel of two young legal allies, William Rehnquist and Robert Bork, to characterize the bill as a “threat to the very essence of our basic system” and a “usurpation” of states’ rights that “would force you to admit drunks, a known murderer or an insane person into your place of business.” Richard Russell, the segregationist Democratic senator from Georgia, said the bill “would destroy the free enterprise system.” David Lawrence, a widely syndicated conservative columnist, bemoaned the establishment of “a federal dictatorship.” Meanwhile, three civil rights workers were murdered in Philadelphia, Miss.

Remember how awful the Civil Rights Act turned out to be? How it ended free enterprise, established a federal dictatorship, forced association with murderers. Probably even created AIDS.

If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory. The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play. It’s not happenstance that Frank, Lewis and Cleaver — none of them major Democratic players in the health care push — received a major share of last weekend’s abuse. When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan “Take our country back!,” these are the people they want to take the country back from.

Blacks, Latinas and Gays, oh shit! And Rich is right. I wondered where all the racism had gone during the 2008 campaign. Looks like we found it. This "movement" (in the same sense that a turd is) may turn out to be the last gasp of the WASPs while they are the majority. Insanity, fear, and hatred have become the mechanisms of discourse in our country, and it is not the fault of the left. Not this time.

I recently had this diatribe launched at me during what was supposed to be a civil discussion of health care;

If you are a socialist than you do not belong in this country because this country was never intended to have a socialized government and to hold that ideology in this country is simply un-American.

In the right's America there is no freedom of speech, expression, association, or thought. It's their way or the highway. The sooner we on the left recognize that we are engaged against intellectual adversaries who do not mean us well the better. This is not an honest debate. It is a 6 year old telling a dentist that toothpaste rots your teeth. Let's drop the meme that "all opinions are equally valid".


Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Sorry State of Modern Conservatism

No words are necessary...

Stop The Socialism

Somebody in one of my groups sent this through, and I think it pretty much sums up the state of affairs in America today.

"Don't know the author, but the irony is in place..."

This morning I was awakened by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory. I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to send via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After work, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to a house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal's inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables, thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post on and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can't do anything right...


Mitt Romney Is The Worst

Matthew Yglesias thinks that Mitt Romney is America's Most Shameless Politician, and I'm inclined to agree. He's also the GOP's worst. He seems to be so utterly clueless as to what people think/want it almost hurts. His positions have shifted from the left of some Democrats to the right of George W. Bush, all in a vain attempt to appeal to people who want nothing to do with him.

It's as though, just before every public event he does, he spend a few minutes reading conservative blogs to see what they're saying, and then goes out and tries to one up them. How else can you explain his idea of "doubling Guantanamo"? He's like an alien trying to fit in while it studies us. His knowledge of people is entirely superficial. I'm not saying that he's stupid, not by a long shot. Just that he's completely incapable of connecting with the average human being on a personal level.

He is easily the crappiest politician in the GOP. To be a good pol, you have to be able to pander- but do so in a way that doesn't feel like pandering. Mitt doesn't know this; he seems to think that if pandering doesn't work, you pander harder, dammit! If you have to campaign against yourself in doing so, then so be it.

I never imagined I'd say this, but Mitt Romney makes Sarah Palin appear to know what she's doing...

And now for something funny, uncomfortable, and guaranteed to make any white viewer facepalm...


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Right-Wingers Unleash "Secret Weapon" to Stop Health Care Reform

...Which, of course, failed to work.

The day before the historic vote on HCR, Congressman Jack Kingston (guess which party-GA) snuggles up to "Teabaggers" on the East steps of the Capitol, joining them in an anti-healthcare prayer.

While this seems a tad creepy and cultish, it doesn't quite hold a candle to the anti-healthcare "Prayercast" held last December, on the eve of the HCR bill's 60-39 approval by the U.S. Senate. The "Prayercast" involved GOP "luminaries" such as Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), Sen. Jim Demint (R-SC), Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and Lemmy from the group Motorhead (actually, hyperconservative pastor Lou Engle :). Rachel Maddow provides a neat encapsulation of this melodramatic event:

Some-one's NOT LIST-EN-ING!!!

Mark T.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Liberal" is Not a Dirty Word


a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.

The embodiment of evil!


"A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority."

Freakin' disgusting!

"In general, the belief that it is the aim of politics to preserve individual rights and to maximize freedom of choice... Liberalism retains a faith in the possibilities of improvement in present social conditions, which is related to the idea of progress widely accepted in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. That idea embraced the prospects for developments in knowledge, in welfare, and in morality."

Who would want to adhere to such a hideous philosophy?

Mark T.