Friday, April 29, 2011

More Anti-union Crap from Republicans

Republicans hate unions, and will stop at nothing to get rid of every last collective bargaining agreement in America.

The fact that so many union workers vote Republican is evidence of how easily duped people can be.

in reference to:

"But lost in all the media hysteria vilifying the TSA was the appalling story of labor abuse against the agency’s screeners, a consequence of Republican anti-union policies. If anyone is wondering why collective bargaining rights are so important to public sector workers, look no further than the TSA, whose employees suffer the lowest morale and highest attrition rates of any federal agency, year after year."
- Did You Fall for It? America's Outrage Over TSA Naked Body Scanners Was Right-Wing PR to Prevent Workers from Unionizing | | AlterNet (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Republicans Turn to Wall Street for Protection from Angry Voters

Are Republicans so stupid that they have to be fed talking points from Wall Street in order to get questions they actually want to answer at town hall meetings? Or are they such pussies that they have to have their Wall Street bulliles step in and protect them from the voters who are asking tough questions?

It's obvious that the tea party, which was supposedly pissed off about using tax dollars to bail out Wall Street, has no idea that they are actually being controlled by a bunch of rich fucks from Wall Street.

It amazes me how ignorant Republican voters are about this kind of thing. They are being used by the very people they were angry at, and they don't even know it. It must be willful ignorance, too, because when confronted with the facts, they will only get angrier and threaten to "take it outside"--because we know that violence is the ultimate answer for conservatives.

That's how we wound up spending trillions on the Iraq war--a massive federal welfare program to defense contractors.

But, hey, if you're a conservative, every dollar spent on war is one less dollar to spend on food stamps or health care for the poor and old.

So, if you've got the balls to go shout at your congressman, remember, you're going to get shouted down by a bunch of violent shills who were bussed in with Wall Street money and Karl Rove talking points.

in reference to:

"American Action Network, a relatively new conservative front group founded by a group of Wall Street bankers, is loading up conservative activists with softball questions and talking points to bolster Republican lawmakers on the Ryan plan"
- ThinkProgress » Wall Street Front Group Loading Up Conservative Activists With Soft Ball Questions For GOP Town Halls (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Excess People

I've been lucky. I'm white. I was smart enough to get scholarships, a degree, a good union job, a great wife, great kids... Even though I'm retired on disability now, I have a safety net holding me up. I do a little work running websites for people. So while I was sitting here this morning drinking my organic Kona coffee, I finally read this terrific interview of David Simon by Bill Moyers.

Bill Moyers: I was struck by something that you said. You were wrestling with this one big existential question. You talked about drug addicts who would come out of detox and then try to steel-jaw themselves through their neighborhood. And then they’d come face-to-face with the question—which is…?

David Simon: “What am I doing here?” You know, a guy coming out of addiction at thirty, thirty-five, because it often takes to that age, he often got into addiction with a string of problems, some of which were interpersonal and personal, and some of which were systemic. These really are the excess people in America. Our economy doesn’t need them—we don’t need 10 or 15 percent of our population. And certainly the ones who are undereducated, who have been ill-served by the inner-city school system, who have been unprepared for the technocracy of the modern economy, we pretend to need them. We pretend to educate the kids. We pretend that we’re actually including them in the American ideal, but we’re not. And they’re not foolish. They get it. They understand that the only viable economic base in their neighborhoods is this multibillion-dollar drug trade.

Great way to start the day: a healthy dose of cynicism with my coffee and now I'll have that slightly pissed off quality for the rest of the day as I read story after story that oozes from the ether confirming every doubt I have that the oligarchy can make the trains run on time, much less find something constructive for the "excess people" to do in this country.

Bill Moyers: After all these years do you have the answer?

David Simon: Oh, I would decriminalize drugs in a heartbeat. I would put all the interdiction money, all the incarceration money, all the enforcement money, all of the pretrial, all the prep, all of that cash, I would hurl it as fast as I could into drug treatment and job training and jobs programs. I would rather turn these neighborhoods inward with jobs programs. Even if it was the urban equivalent of FDR’s CCC—the Civilian Conservation Corps—if it was New Deal–type logic, it would be doing less damage than creating a war syndrome. The drug war is war on the underclass now. That’s all it is. It has no other meaning.

I've been writing a lot about race lately, and Simon touches on race in the interview, pointing out that the people most affected by the drug war are black, brown, and poor. But the more I watch politics in this country, and the more I see polls that show that nearly half of Republicans in Mississippi would ban mixed race marriages, the more I realize that a huge part of the problem is racism. It's what drives the birther shit, it's what drives the Ayn Randian let-the-parasites-die mentality, and it's what drives the drug war.

This is why I like to read Dennis G. at Balloon Juice. His essays on the Republican Confederate Party consistently point out that the real desire of modern conservatives is to steal the labor of the underclass, especially the minority underclass. They are mostly chicken-hawk racists these days, afraid to come right out and say what they know a large portion of the Republican base is thinking, but it's all there, right under the skin. No matter how debunked The Bell Curve has been, they still believe it, and they will keep right on doing whatever it takes to keep their boot on the neck of the excess people in this world.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The federal government should spend when times are bad...

...and cut when times are good.

I'm so dismayed that otherwise progressive people (like some of my union brothers) are calling for cuts in federal spending in the middle of a huge recession. The fact that Republicans are saying we should cut should give us pause, as they are so often wrong, especially on economic questions (this is a Bush recession, after all).

The fact is that we are suffering from lack of demand while borrowing costs are extremely low. This is the perfect time to spend billions of infrastructure, which will pay big dividends in the long run, while employing lots of people in the short run.

And yet, here we are again buying into the Republican framing of the debate, that we need to cut, cut, cut, when, in fact and as usual, the exact opposite of what Republicans are saying is true.

The one exception I can think of to prove the rule is that some, and I mean very few, Republicans are actually calling for cutting the Pentagon's budget. Of course, when the time comes to actually vote to cut defense, it's a safe bet that we'll see just how serious they are.

For more, see:

and many recent postings to my recommended reading list.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chicken hawk racists

Not only are a lot of Republicans racists, they're afraid to say so to non-whites.

This article makes me think there are still a lot of Bell Curve believers out there who hide their racism. So, in polls showing how racist the GOP is (see the last post), the numbers are probably actually higher.

in reference to:

"When a nonwhite researcher was administering their study, research subjects were amenable to changing their minds about the president's religion and updating incorrect views. But when only white researchers were present, GOP survey subjects in particular were more likely to believe the Obama Muslim myth than before. The subjects were using "social desirabililty" to tailor their beliefs (or stated beliefs, anyway) to whoever was listening."
- The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science | Mother Jones (view on Google Sidewiki)

Racist Idiots

The large percentage of Republicans who think Obama wasn't born in the US doesn't really surprise me, considering that these same people don't believe in evolution or global warming. But, ignorance of evolution and succumbing to the millions of dollars of misinformation that comes from climate deniers is one thing. Refusing to believe the President was born in the US is, simply put, racist bullshit. No amount of ignorance could explain the seething hatred the birthers have for Obama.

Their hatred expresses itself through attempts to delegitimize him, to paint him a darker, more African shade of black. A recent poll showed that 46% of Republicans in Mississippi were opposed to mixed race marriages. President Obama is the child of a mixed race couple, so, right there, you've got half of Republicans who are openly racist. I'd be interested in seeing what percent of Iowa Republicans feel the same way.

I'm willing to bet that the percentage of Iowa Republicans who are against mixed race marriage is about the same as the percentage that thinks Obama wasn't born here.

In fact, I'm willing to bet that those percentages are the same for Republicans everywhere. Because they are, as a group, about half racist assholes, and the other half just pure assholes.

in reference to:

"A whopping 48 percent of Iowa Republicans said they don’t believe that Obama was born in the United States, according to the automated survey by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling out Tuesday. Another 26 percent said they weren’t sure whether or not the president was born in America as the Constitution requires to be eligible to serve in the nation’s highest office."
- Poll: Half of Iowa Republicans don't believe Barack Obama was born in U.S. - Juana Summers - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Confederate Party is Busy Rewriting History

"Our new government is founded upon … the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition."— Alexander Stephens, "vice president" of the Confederacy, March 21, 1861
Seems the majority of people "remembering" the Civil War for its 150th anniversary are really rewriting history
The South would change its view as well. It would begin to spin grand, romantic fables of a "Lost Cause" that had been fought for 'state's rights" or constitutional principle, or any other reason it could invent, so long as it was not slavery. Jefferson Davis, who before the war had flatly declared "the labor of African slaves" the cause of the rebellion, would write after the war that slavery had nothing to do with it.
Like Davis before them, the current Confederates want people to think that the Civil War was about state's rights. Well, yeah. State's rights to keep slavery legal, and to expand slavery into the territories (see Bleeding Kansas). They want you to think the south fought a valiant effort to restrain an out-of-control federal government, with, of course, parallels to today's socialist Muslim Kenyan's government.

What a crock of shit.

These people who want you to think the Civil War was about states rights are, quite simply, racists. To forget that slavery was the cause of the civil war is to paper over this country's racist past. Why would anyone want to do that? To perpetuate the practice of racism. Ask any Teabagger/Republican/Confederate party member of today why they want to gut government spending on social programs, they'll tell you we're broke, and that welfare is for parasites--mainly lazy minorities. 

There will be no mention of corporate welfare. No mention that Michelle Bachman's family farm got over a quarter million in farm subsidies in between 19995 and 2006. No mention of George Bush's idiotic war in Iraq. No mention of Bush's unfunded Medicare prescription drug benefit (corporate welfare to big pharma). Complete ignorance that the TARP bailout was Bush's. If you do manage to corner them on GW's drunken-chicken-hawk-spending ways, they'll be happy to tell you that they didn't approve of Bush's spending either.


It's what they do. During the Bush administration, those same people would have told you that Bush's tax cuts for the rich were going to spur the economy to new Galtian heights. We all saw how that worked out. Some of us actually remember the Clinton Surplus that Bush stole from our children in typical reverse-Robin-Hood fashion.

It's one thing to listen to them rewrite the history of Bush. It's another thing to listen to them claim that the Civil War was not about slavery.  Those fighting for the south were racist traitors (and the modern Confederates still want to aid and abet the theft of labor). Those fighting for the north were heroes. And we should never forget, or allow others to obfuscate, why.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The GOP War on Reality

My big problem with Obama's budget is that he fails to take into account that the majority of Republicans think evolution and global warming are myths.

How on earth do we expect some sort of Grand Bargain with people who, when faced with facts, stick their fingers in their ears and scream "LA LA LA"?

They want to teach the controversy and the media wants to report it, without ever telling you that one side is completely insane and will not listen to facts.

That is the context upon which we got Senator Kyl's statement that his previous statement (a lie about Planned Parenthood) "was not intended to be a factual statement."

Republicans just lie. On purpose. And now they are going to be lying to kids about science.

in reference to:

""There is virtually no scientific controversy among the overwhelming majority of researchers on the core facts of global warming and evolution," said Alan I. Leshner, the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which publishes the leading journal Science. "Asserting that there are significant scientific controversies about the overall nature of these concepts, when there are none, will only confuse students, not enlighten them,""
- Teaching of evolution under siege - CBS News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Answer to the Debt Ceiling Fight

This (link below) is the best strategy for dealing with the Republicans on the debt ceiling fight. Let the GOP's constituents suffer the consequences. Use the fight to make it clear just what the GOP wants to do to the middle class.

Unfortunately, I doubt anyone at the White House reads Yglesias. What a shame. This fight could be just what we need to show what a cruel bunch of sadists the GOP are for wanting to pay for tax cuts to the rich by screwing the middle class and poor.

in reference to:

"So the right strategy is to start stiffing people Republicans care about. When bills to defense contractors come due, don’t pay them. Explain they’ll get 100 percent of what they’re owed when the debt ceiling is raised. Don’t make some farm payments. Stop sending Medicare reimbursements. Make the doctors & hospitals, the farmers and defense contractors, and the currently elderly bear the inconvenient for a few weeks of uncertain payment schedules."
- Yglesias » A Debt Ceiling Hostage Rescue Strategy (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Republicans are Liars, Jon Kyl Edition

After being caught blatantly lying about Planned Parenthood, Republican Senator Jon Kyl,'s office responded with a statement that says "his remark was not intended to be a factual statement..."

No surprise. Republicans rarely intend to make factual statements. They intend to say whatever they think will help their side punch the most hippies, force the most births, spread the most ignorance, pollute the environment, and create the most wealth for the already filthy rich.

in reference to:

"Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) defended Republicans’ willingness to shut down the government over funding for Planned Parenthood by falsely claiming that abortion is “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” In reality, just three percent of its work is related to abortion."
- ThinkProgress » Kyl Walks Back Planned Parenthood Claim: It ‘Was Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement’ (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, April 07, 2011

GOP Government Shutdown is All About Beating Obama

The GOP's government shutdown will hurt the economy. The only way a Republican can beat Obama in 2012 is if the economy is in the shitter. Ergo, a standing ovation for shutting down the government.

What does this say about Republicans? That they care more about defeating Obama than they do about a strong American economy. Besides, who does a bad economy affect most? Not the rich people, who are the only people the GOP cares about. They have record amounts of money to sit on. They can ride out the bad times.

I guess I'm an optimist, but it seems like the whole thing is going to backfire on Republicans. Poor and working people (who are more and more poor) can only take so much sadistic bullshit from the Confederate Party that wants to steal their labor.

But beyond that obvious take on the whole thing, lurking under the skin of this GOP shutdown are the real reasons Republicans won't compromise: riders. Democrats may be a pretty spineless bunch, but apparently there's a whole bunch of GOP shit (PDF) they just won't eat attached to this "spending" bill. So, it's good to see them refusing to compromise on Planned Parenthood and the EPA.

Of course, all those riders would actually increase the deficit. But Republicans have never been big on letting any facts or hypocrisy get in their way.

The bottom line though, as always, is the economy. A recovering economy pretty much assures Obama of reelection, so the Confederate Party is going to do everything they can to tank the economy.

Don't worry. Donald Trump will still have millions to spend on his campaign marketing.