Big tax cuts for the rich and big business, two wars on the card, and now they’re bellyaching about paying for it. But no. They’re bellyaching that the democrats won’t let them make the poor, the sick, the elderly and the unemployed pay for it.
Republican North Carolina state legislators have proposed allowing an official state religion in a measure that would declare the state exempt from the Constitution and court rulings.
The bill, filed Monday by two GOP lawmakers from Rowan County and backed by nine other Republicans, says each state “is sovereign” and courts cannot block a state “from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.”
Arguments about religion are usually arguments about Who’s In Charge rather than arguments about religion. Same thing with arguments about Intrusive Government. Reverence allegedly paid to God is actually directed at the Tribe, in whose name God serves. Figure they’ll be holding a conclave down there somewhere in the old confederacy to elect the first Baptist pope any day now.
After the recent revaluations from former Florida GOP members that all that talk about voter fraud was itself fraud, you’d think people would finally stop listening to the rhetoric, and pay more attention to the behavior.
Yes, yes…they yap about “smaller government all the firggin’ time, but you need to understand what is meant in the first place by “smaller government”. It was never about reducing its staffage or its costs. Size is a relative matter.
What they’re talking about isn’t size, it’s power…specifically the power of the federal, not state level government. They want it small enough it can’t enforce equal rights laws. They want it small enough it can’t stop Wall Street and big corporations from raping the middle class. They want it small enough it cannot defend the rights of women, minorities, the poor, and the powerless. That is all that was ever meant by the term, “small government”.
This seems like beating on a dead horse…probably everyone knows by now that WalMart pays food stamp wages…but there’s a point here that needs constant hammering on. If you like WalMart’s Low, Low Prices! fine…except WalMart workers are living on food stamps and probably other public support too, and that’s a large part of how WalMart keeps its prices down (another part is their pressure on companies to manufacture goods in low wage countries abroad, thereby costing American families their livelihoods and decimating this country’s industrial base). So…the difference between what you paid for your WalMart goods and what they would actually cost if WalMart simply paid its workers a living wage is the part paid for by food stamps. If you shop at WalMart, you are on the dole too. Except you could probably afford not to be.
So who’s the lazy bum wanting a government handout here, because it isn’t the WalMart worker.
by Bruce |
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November 7th, 2012
Moral Nihilism Isn’t Only Believing In Nothing…
I just finished watching Rachel Maddow deliver a smokin’ hot riff on republican shock and confusion, as displayed on Fox last night, that the numbers they were certain were going to go massively in Romney’s favor didn’t. She showed clips from past Fox News predictions of a Romney landslide, showed that stunning live TV moment that’ll almost certainly go down in television history, when Rove got angry that the Fox News vote analysts called Ohio for Obama. Then…brilliantly…she added that no, the polls were not skewed, Obama was born in Hawaii, he didn’t raise taxes, the deficit hasn’t gone up, unemployment figures were not cooked, Saddam didn’t have weapons of mass destruction, climate change is real, evolution is real, FEMA isn’t building concentration camps…
…and god I hope I can get my hands on a video clip of it because it really said it all…especially how at the end of that grotesque litany of decades of republican right wing and religious right hallucinations she said that it is profoundly damaging to our democracy when one party is trying to cope with things as they really are and the other is living it it’s own detached insular fantasy world.
We need, she said thumping her pulpit, honest, good faith arguing and debating about policy…real argument not phony crap ginned up just to drive people to the polls or satisfy the pathetic conceits of religious and political fanatics…because it is in that honest debating of the issues that we have the best hope of finding answers that work. By cocooning in their own fantasy world the republicans have made that honest, good faith arguing and debating nearly impossible.
She said she hoped the shock of that collision with real numbers and real reality last night might break the bubble. I’ve heard others expressing this since last night, but I am not so sure. But there is the problem we face as a nation. It’s the problem we need to address before we can really and truly get down to addressing any of the others. The polls were not skewed. The unemployment numbers were not rigged. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Climate change is real. Evolution is real. FEMA is not building concentration camps. Homosexuals are not demon possessed tools of satan. Two plus two equals four. If any of this distresses you be assured that reality does not care about what you believe or about you. It just is what it is. You need to care about reality. If you can’t bring yourself to do that critically, honestly, with your eyes wide open, without letting your cherished preconceptions blind you to simple facts, don’t be bellyaching about the moral relativism, hedonism, nihilism whatever of the world around you. The nihilist is you.
by Bruce |
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October 28th, 2012
Dear Values Voters…
If you’re still committed to vote for this man admit it…you don’t care that he’s a brazen in-your-face liar. You care about something else. Maybe it’s the president is a darkie. Maybe it’s the homosexuals are after your children. Maybe its rape is a gift from God. Whatever.
You’re going to vote for the liar. Because he shares your moral values.
Although D’Souza has been married for 20 years to his wife, Dixie, in South Carolina he was with a young woman, Denise Odie Joseph II, and introduced her to at least three people as his fiancée…
The next day another conference organizer, Alex McFarland, distressed by D’Souza’s behavior, confronted him in a telephone conversation. D’Souza admitted he shared a room with his fiancée but said “nothing happened.” When I called D’Souza, he confirmed that he was indeed engaged to Joseph, but did not explain how he could be engaged to one woman while still married to another. When asked when he had filed for divorce from his wife, Dixie, D’Souza answered, “Recently.”
How the man who, while editor of the Dartmouth Review, penned a racist parody of African American students titled “This Sho Ain’t No Jive Bro” and later outed a gay student using stolen mail between members of the Dartmouth Gay Student Alliance can in any sense be labeled a Christian is something confederate christianists can explain I suppose. But here it is again: the righteous anti-gay moralist getting caught with his pants down around his morals.
Self-hating closeted gay people and anti-gay fundamentalists have this in common: they’re both so busy fighting the homosexual menace they never develop the skills necessary to honorably manage their own sexual desires. And every time they fail miserably at it they double down on their fight against the homosexual menace.
Republicans have enjoyed a state-level resurgence even as they have lost — and lost big — their once commanding national majority. The GOP was once the landslide party, the party of Eisenhower ’52 and ’56, Nixon ’72, and Reagan ’84. Even Bush I’s 53.4 percent in 1988 was very respectable. Reagan’s 50.7 percent in 1980 wasn’t a landslide but still demonstrated that an outright popular majority supported the Republican. In the five elections before ’92, the GOP won popular majorities in four.
You should go read this article in full. It’s a take down on today’s republican party, not bitter, but clearly ticked off. He comes close to saying it outright: the republican party is now the party of southern christianists and wall street financial barons, locked in a deadly embrace of money and highly motivated southern tribalists each demanding fealty from republican politicians…one for their money, the other for their votes.
Because the world view of each is so self-centered, insular and disconnected they have made the nation nearly ungovernable. They have their own facts, their own news channel, their own pundits all telling them their deranged conceits are the highest wisdom. There was a time when I could hope the money guys would eventually come to their senses: economic disaster has a way of making you pay attention to reality. But as their world has become more and more infected with Ayn Rand’s poison that seems a lost hope too.
They’ll let it all burn down: the christianists because Armageddon means Jesus is coming…the financiers because they won’t stop believing in their own Atlas-like infallibility until they’re jumping out their wall street windows because they’ve lost everything and this time there isn’t any money left in anyone’s pockets to bail them out.
I really wish I knew what the answer was. But it seems all there is left to do now is ride it out to wherever it’s going, and maybe grab whatever small piece of America you can as the pieces all float past and hang on to it.
by Bruce |
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I blew up a corner of the Internet last night. After reading this observation about Ann Romney’s speech at the Dish…
[Ann Romney says] what she and Mitt have is a “real marriage.” Who has a fake one, one wonders?
…I tweeted something about my unreal marriage and created the hashtag #unrealmarriage. The #unrealmarriage hashtag quickly trended as other people in marriages that the GOP doesn’t consider legitimate—and the Republican party has ways of shutting our marriages down—started tweeting out their unreal 140-character love stories, their unreal wedding pictures, photos of their unreal kids, etc., all with the #unrealmarriage hashtag.
Now I wasn’t watching Ann Romney’s speech—I also missed Rick Santorum’s speech—so I didn’t hear her “real marriage” remark in context before I tweeted. My bad. So here’s Romney’s “real marriage” phrase in context…
I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a “storybook marriage.” Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or Breast Cancer. A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage.
Angry conservatives soon swarmed #unrealmarriage to argue that we were being unfair to Ann Romney because she wasn’t drawing a distinction between her opposite-sex marriage and the same-sex marriages that keep Rick Santorum up at night. But “real marriage” is a loaded a phrase—particularly in the context of the Republican National Convention. It’s so loaded a phrase, in fact, that even those who were watching the speech—like Andrew Sullivan—took it as an unsubtle dig at folks in same-sex marriages. And while Romney’s comments seem benign in print/pixels), consider the reaction of the anti-gay crowd.
Here’s the thing… you can’t turn words like “Family” and “Values” into dog whistles for hating on gay people and then get miffed when whenever you use those words to actually mean Family and Values people keep hearing that dog whistle. You’re the one trashed the neighborhood and forgive me (or not) for thinking you did that out of spite because you couldn’t make the rent. And if you turn the institution of marriage into a seedy dive with a sign over the bar that reads…
…just remember, the one who devalued marriage, is you.
“…at Power Line, Steven Hayward asks, “WHY IS THERE NO LIBERAL AYN RAND?” He’s taking off from Beverly Gage who, slightly less stupidly, asks, “American conservatives have a canon. Why don’t American liberals?” Sure we have a canon — it’s called Western literature. And it beats the snot out of the sad, long-form political pamphlets wingnuts like to name-check. You will learn more about the human condition from the works of novelists, playwrights, and poets than you ever can from a thousand power freaks’ blueprints for the mass production of Procrustean beds.” –Roy Edroso
And now you know why they want to defund libraries and public schools.
by Bruce |
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August 13th, 2012
You Obviously Don’t Understand Our Revolutionary New Ideas About Government
Radley Balco tweets: “Surprised the Cato crowd is so big on Ryan. Votes don’t match rhetoric on fiscal policy, and he’s awful on social, civil liberties issues.”
Uh-huh. I see you’re still taking their libertarianism seriously. Something I discovered back in my libertarian days was you scratched the surface of a lot of them and you found a John Bircher who figured pot decriminalization would appeal to younger voters.
by Bruce |
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July 31st, 2012
You Say “Succeed” Like It’s A Good Thing…
Every election cycle the republicans run on deregulation, lower taxes and more jobs. And when they get power then it’s all about the culture war and everything they do seems to cost people jobs and depress the economy more and more. You wonder if they even care about the economy.
Get a clue: a productive economy, technological progress, and general prosperity, are the most destabilizing things for authoritarian cultural norms and religious fundamentalism. Religious fundamentalism and right wing authoritarianism flourish in stagnant or declining economies.
I’m not saying it’s a plan, I’m saying it’s a reflex. They act like they don’t want Americans to prosper because they have an allergic reaction to prosperity anywhere below the top 1 percent. Prosperous happy people don’t obey orders and generally don’t take a lot of crap from authoritarian louts.
by Bruce |
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July 17th, 2012
The Five Stages Of Election Year
First, denial. My country hasn’t gone crazy…it’s just going through a very bad patch. Then Anger. YOU FUCKERS KILLED THE DREAM I HATE YOU! Then bargaining. Maybe I can just ignore everything and pursue my job and my art and find peace and happiness that way…
RUSH LIMBAUGH: Have you heard, this new movie, the Batman movie — what is it, the Dark Knight Lights Up or something? Whatever the name of it is. That’s right, Dark Knight Rises, Lights Up, same thing. Do you know the name of the villain in this movie? Bane. The villain in the Dark Knight Rises is named Bane. B-A-N-E. What is the name of the venture capital firm that Romney ran, and around which there’s now this make-believe controversy? Bain. The movie has been in the works for a long time, the release date’s been known, summer 2012 for a long time. Do you think that it is accidental, that the name of the really vicious, fire-breathing, four-eyed, whatever-it-is villain in this movie is named Bane?
“Eight years was awesome, and I was famous and I was powerful. But I have no desire for fame and power anymore,” he said in a new interview with the Hoover Institute’s Peter Robinson.
Then acceptance. I live in a country that has gone completely fucking nuts and the more it drives me crazy the more I fit in.
by Bruce |
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July 13th, 2012
Where Are You When We Need You, Nikita Khrushchev…
Seriously, I often say I am thankful for the cold war in that regardless of how scary it sometimes was…
…it gave me a decent education.
But there is something else I miss about the cold war…horrible as it was. The communist line was that communism was a better deal for workers then capitalism and developing nations should go communist to protect their workers’ interests over the evil running dog capitalists. So we had a propaganda war going on between us and them and Wall Street and big business were keen to prove to the world that our system was the better one for workers.
“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” -H. L. Mencken
These are the times that try men’s souls. Also their charity. Granted Walker was swimming in corporate money. Granted he outspent his democratic opponent 30 to 1. But the buck stops with the voters and at some point you just have to accept that more of them would rather cut their own throats then live in a state of peace and prosperity with people they despise.
Fine. I won’t help you cut your own throat but I’ll be happy to stand here and watch. I might even applaud if you’re good. Just don’t call me “neighbor” if I do. Don’t use that word in my presence. Don’t even think of me that way. My neighbor is the guy whose face you’re kicking.
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