Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ryan, Rubio, et. al. If they can't be trusted in small things...

In a rational world where there is a difference between fact and fiction, between what is true and what is false, we would expect that those persons who wish to represent us in our government and make the laws under which we live would be heartily motivated to tell the truth, to lay before us the facts of their lives and their beliefs.

This is, of course, not a rational world, but a kind of surreal landscape which is covered in a foggy blend of superstition, corruption, desperation, and greed. It is a world in which just about anything goes if it serves one's purpose of getting what one wants.

In recent weeks, I have read several articles which tried to explain away the lies politicians tell with philosophical statements such as, "Well, every politician shades the truth," and "It's not so bad because it doesn't impact national security," or "He's just trying to make a point."

Such rationalizations are, of course, poppycock. And we, the people, wonder if a politico cannot be trusted in the small things, the easy things, how in the world can we trust him or her in matters that impact our nation and the world?

Paul Ryan we know to be an outright liar as he proved so dramatically in his speech at the Republican National Convention. When the corporate media get on his case for "shading the truth," or "not being entirely correct," we know Ryan's lies were obvious and easily falsifiable.

What bothers me even more than those lies, however, which he delivered in a blatant attempt to portray President Obama as a bumbling idiot, is the lie he told about his running marathons.

Just last week, when he sat for an interview, he was asked about running a marathon. When people who are basically trustworthy are asked such a question, they come out with the truth. And runners know exactly to the second the time in which they completed a race. I know because I'm married to a runner; she's run two marathons and many more races of different lengths. She would no more forget her marathon times than she would forget her birthday.

So Ryan lied. Maybe it's his nature. Maybe he is what they call a congenital liar. He said, "I had a two hour and fifty-something marathon. I hurt a disc in my back, so I don't run marathons anymore."

A runner would not have said "two hour and fifty-something." And it is inconceivable to me that Ryan forgot his actual time, that it was two hours and fifty two minutes and seven seconds, or whatever!

Note also the implication that he had run other marathons. " I don't run marathons anymore."

Why would he say that? Did he think nobody would check it out? Is he not only a congenital liar but kind of stupid?

Evidently Runner's World asked about his "marathons." And, as the Huffington Post reports, "the Ryan campaign confirmed to Runner's World that he has only run one marathon, the 1990 Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, which he finished in just over 4 hours"

But the Huffington Post is wrong to say this is merely "stretching the truth." This is out-and-out lying about not only his marathon time but the number of marathons he has run, which is one!

Ryan was chosen by Romney to be his vice-presidential running mate. Another man supposedly in contention for that spot is the Republican senator from south Florida, Marco Rubio.

Marco also has trouble with the truth. Maybe it's a disease of all vice-presidential contenders. Consider Sarah Palin. Liar is too good a name for her. She gave lying a bad name!

In Miami, the Cubans who think of themselves as real patriots, as tough people, as immigrants who came to this country under extremely difficult conditions and were able to make something of themselves, are those Cuban exiles who were tossed off or driven off or fled the island when Fidel Castro took over. Their lives were at stake. These people dare not go back to Cuba.

When Marco first came on the scene, he told a story which made it look like his family was part and parcel with the Cubans driven out of Cuba by Castro. This was a central part of Rubio's story. He wanted to identify himself with the political exiles; that has a poignant and dramatic ring to it.

But it was a lie. A big lie. Rubio's parents came to this country in 1956, two and half years before Castro came to power! They were not exiles, they were immigrants! The dictator, Batista (supported by the U.S.) was in power in Cuba.

There's more to the story that has to do with Rubio's grandfather who came to this country legally in 1956 but he didn't find the American dream so he went back to Cuba after Castro took over but wasn't happy there, either. Grandpa came back to Florida but was caught at the airport and ended up being deported. He did not "deport." For five years he lived as an "illegal alien" in the U.S. until he was able to stay here legally.

It's a fascinating tale. But the point is Rubio embellished the tale to make himself look good in the eyes of those who might vote for him and it worked for he was elected Senator.

So maybe that's the key. These politicians lie because they know it works. Until it doesn't. Then they tell more lies. Nobody checks and they go on their merry way tearing our country apart.

Ultimately, though, the question must be answered relative to any politician, Republican or Democrat (but I do believe that in the course of this campaign the Republicans have the longer noses): If they can't be trusted in the small things, can we trust them with our lives?

[Note:  The information regarding Rubio came from; an interview with Amy Goodman and Manuel Roig-Franzia.  Roig-Franzia is the author of The Rise of Rubio.]

Friday, August 31, 2012

Mitt Romney - A Human Being Who Built That

This is wonderful! Thanks to Crooks & Liars!

Gore Vidal and the State of the Union

Some years back, the late Gore Vidal, in concert with David Susskind (a New York TV producer), began his own "State of the Union" following the "State of the Union" of the then sitting president.

It is fascinating to read his words.  Certain phrases come to mind, and though they may be desperately trite, they still resonate:  "What goes around, comes around."  Or "those who forget history are destined to repeat it."

In his book, Imperial America, [2004] Vidal recalls his "State of the Union" from 1972.  "Looking back at past states of the union," he writes, "it is remarkable how things tend to stay the same.  Race-gender wars are always on our overcrowded back burners.  There is also--always--a horrendous foreign enemy at hand ready to blow us up in the night out of hatred for our Goodness and rosy plumpness. ...

"In the decades since this state of the union, the United States has more people, per capita, locked away in prisons than any other country while the sick economy of '72 is long forgotten as worse problems--and deficits--beset us.  For one thing, we no longer live in a nation, but in a Homeland.  In 1972:  roughly 80 percent of police work in the United States has to do with the regulation of our private morals.'"

Private morals, Vidal says, has to do with "what we smoke, eat, put in our veins--not to mention trying to regulate with whom and how we have sex, with whom and how we gamble.  As a result our police are among the most corrupt in the Western world."

Vidal says "All drugs should be legalized and sold at cost to anyone with a prescription."

Prohibition didn't work with alcohol and it doesn't work with drugs.  Because of "the busy lunatics who rule over us, we are permanently the United States of Amnesia.  We learn nothing because we remember nothing."

But even worse, "From the Drug Enforcement Agency to the FBI, we are afflicted with all sorts of secret police, busily spying on us."  [The amount of spying on U.S. citizens by the government has grown exponentially since Vidal wrote this in 2004!].

"Now (2004) that we have ceased to be a nation under law, but a homeland where the withered Bill of Rights, like a dead trumpet vine, clings to our pseudo Roman columns,  Homeland Security appears to be uniting our secret police into a single sort of Gestapo with dossiers on everyone to prevent us, somehow or other, from being terrorized by various implacable Second and Third World enemies.  Where is no known Al Qaeda sort of threat, we create one, as in Iraq, whose leader, Saddam Hussein, had no connection with 9-11 or any other proven terrorism against the United States, making it necessary for a president to invent the lawless as well as evil (to use his Bible-based language) doctrine of preemptive war based on a sort of hunch that maybe one day some country might attack us so, meanwhile, as he and his business associates covet their oil, we go to war, leveling their cities to be rebuilt by other business associates. ..."

Vidal, in his 1972 state of the union, explains that he strikes "a few mildly optimistic notes. 'We should', he says, 'have a national health service, something every civilized country in the world has.  Also, improved public transportation (trains!).  Also, schools which do more than teach conformity.  Also, a cleaning of the air, of the water, of the earth before we all die of poisons set looses by a society based on greed.'" ...

Mr. Vidal goes on to mention something I believe to be of utmost importance.  The question  may be moot as the Supremes have let the horse out of the barn and it may be impossible to catch it and put it back in the stall where it belongs.  I'm talking about campaign finance.

Vidal asked and answered an important question:  "What to do?  I proposed that no candidate for any office be allowed to buy space on television or in any newspaper or other medium:  'This will stop cold the present system, where presidents and congressmen are bought by corporations and even by foreign countries."

Oh, if he could see us now!

Furthermore, said Vidal, "'I would also propose a four-week election period as opposed to the current four-year marathon.  Four weeks is more than enough time to present the issues."

In 1972, Mr.Vidal noted that the people who listened to his state of the union had generally a strong hatred for the government.  Not much has changed since then.  From one end of the country to the other, people told him "We hate this system that we are trapped in, but we don't know who trapped us or how.  We don't even know what our cage looks like because we have never seen it from the outside.  Now, thirty-one years later, audiences still want to know who will let them out of the Enron-Pentagon prison with its socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor."

Just change a few words.  Make it the "Wall Street-Pentagon prison" or the "Corporate-Pentagon prison."  Remember the Citizens United decision by the so-called "conservatives" on the U.S. Supreme Court and Romney's words to the folks working in the trenches:  "Corporations are people, too."

Most everything Vidal wrote in 1972 remains valid today!  Which is damn frightening because it means we're spinning our wheels.  Actually, when you consider the Republicans who want to be in charge of the world, we've somehow slipped back into the 16th century, economically, religiously, sexually, politically.  It's not a pretty sight.

[Gore Vidal died a few weeks ago at the age of 86.  We will miss him in many ways, but perhaps most for his razor-sharp wit and political insight.  May he RIP!]

Obama to Eastwood - This chair's taken!

What a great sense of humor has our president.  This photo was tweeted by the Obama campaign after Eastwood's incoherent speech.

Ten Commandments of Republican Party

This was sent to me by a friend.  I do not know the name of the author.

The Ten Commandments - Republican Style

I.  Thou shalt talk about Christian principles, but not live by them.

II.  Thou shalt attack opponents personally when you can't win on policies.

III.  Thou shalt call yourself pro-life, but support the death penalty.

IV.  Thou shalt call yourself pro-life, but put guns in the hands of school children.

V.  Thou shalt give lip-service to democracy while taking away civil liberties.

VI.  Profit is the Lord Thy God; thou shalt not put the people's interest above those of
your corporate contributors.

VII.  Thou shalt make sure fetuses have health coverage, but leave children and babies behind.

VIII.  Thou shalt bear false witness against your opponents and liberals and demonize them.

IX.  Thou shalt run on a moderate platform and then enact right-wing policies as soon as possible after being elected.

X.  Thou shalt call the media liberal so that people forget the media are owned by corporations with a conservative fiscal agenda.

Notes on the RNC - A rat's nest of lies!

The RNC was a rat's nest of lies.  The Republican National Convention was built on these lies, and the Republicans did it all themselves with no help from the feds!  Even the building in which they met was built with government money, and if buildings could laugh, it would have laughed so hard tears would have run down it's glass cheeks as the Republicans proudly praised self-reliance and hard work and thanked God for unfettered capitalism.

It gets even more surreal.  The Repubs brought in two small business folks to speak about how they built their businesses from the ground up with no help from the government, thank you very much.  This, thought the Repubs, would show those damn socialistic Democrats what this country is all about!

Not really.  One of them was Sher Valenzuela who owns an upholstery business.  She did not build it herself!  She built it with the help of the government.  Her business has received at least $17 million in government contracts and loans.

The other, Phil Archuletta, spoke in some kind of 1984 speak.  Words and concepts were turned on their respective heads.  He was supposed to tell the assembled wingnuts that he had put together his business all by his little self.  But that's not what he said.  It turns out that Archuletta has received all kinds of government aid to built his sign business.  Not only so, but he went on to bitch that he hadn't received enough moolah from the government!

And then last evening we saw an empty head talking to an empty chair which actually turned out to be wonderfully symbolic of the Republican leadership and the Republican faithful, especially the teapot crackpots!

Clint Eastwood, an actor of some note, spoke about how Obama had failed to live up to his promises or maybe he was pissed because the empty chair in which he thought Obama sat had someone failed his elderly, failing body and mind.  It was bizarre.  An empty head talking to an empty chair!  But the audience clapped anyway.  "Make my day," they sang.  At that point, they'd take anything they could.  Even ol' Clint.

We've all read and re-read Ryan's speech.  Lies.  More lies.  And yet more lies.  All debunked, and Ryan knows it.  Which makes him an even worse person.  He's a lying hypocrite of the highest order.  Or lowest.  He told the same old stories as to how Obama "raided" Medicare of $716 billion (a lie) and how Obama did not care to keep open a GM plant in Janesville (a lie - it closed under the Bush administration), and how the stimulus failed (a big lie).  Ryan also complained that Obama had created our huge deficit, but the deficit was pretty much the result of programs for which Ryan voted:  Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (which Bush didn't even have in the budget!), tax cuts for the rich, drug benefits which benefitted mostly the drug companies...

And we can't forget that champion of the cause of Jesus, the Baptist preacher, Mike Huckabee.  We can't forget him because he gives Jesus a bad name.  He's one of the biggest liars in the Republican tent.

Huckabee prides himself on his "evangelical" righteousness - believing all the right things.  He made a statement almost as bizarre as Eastwood's rant:  "Of the four people on the two tickets," he said, "the only self-professed evangelical is Barack Obama, and he supports changing the definition of marriage, believes that human life is disposable and expendable at any time in the womb or even beyond the womb, and tells people of faith that they must bow their knees to the god of government and violate their faith and conscience in order to comply with what he calls health care."

Well, frankly, Huckabee is full of unadulterated doo-doo!  Obama has never, so far as I know, identified himself as an "evangelical."  He's just a Christian without a need for further labels and he tries to live his faith which is far more than can be said for Huckabee!  Obama does not, by any stretch of the imagination, believe that "human life is disposable and expendable," nor does he believe people must "bow their knees to the god of government."

This is the kind of crap that is preached from evangelical pulpits and Republican camp meetings in Alaska and Arizona and in most southern states every Sunday morning and it's all lies.  So much for loving Jesus!

And finally Romney.  He complained about Obama's failures, too, and how Obama had not created enough jobs.  But Romney, he said, knows how to create jobs.  Do you think it is possible that the group assembled was unaware of the fact that Romney is a job-killer?  Do you think even the teapot crackpots are unaware that Romney's so-called business experience will run this country to ruin; that if you think things are bad now, you should remember where George Bush left us and multiply by a factor of eight!

Bain Capital was not about creating jobs.  Bain Capital could have cared less about creating jobs.  Bain Capital was about making money - for Bain Capital and for its investors.  What happened most often was that Bain Capital took over failing companies, ran up the debt, bankrupted the companies and then fired everyone.  Bain and Romney made hundreds of millions of dollar destroying jobs!

I've saved the worst for last because Paul Ryan is perhaps the most despicable of Republican liars.  Joan Walsh, in an article for Salon, noted that Ryan, even though reprimanded by come Catholic bishops for his budget which tries to "save" the rich on the backs of the poor, said this:

"The greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak.  The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves."

But, as Ms. Walsh points out, "Ryans budget decimates programs for 'those who cannot defend or care for themselves.'"

The RNC - a rat's nest of lies!  The GOP - a rat's nest of lies.  The Republican Party, in its current incarnation, is probably one of the greatest arguments for the non-existence of a just god.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Greg Palast discusses Republican Crooks at the Republican Convention

RNC Opens with Pol who "Should be in Jail"

by Greg Palast | For Truthout
Monday, August 27, 2012

"Tim Griffin should be in jail." That's the conclusion of civil rights attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. after going through the evidence I asked him to review.

But Griffin's not in jail: he's in Congress. And Tuesday, he'll be the first Congressman the Republicans have chosen to bring to their convention podium.
Predictably, I haven't seen one US press report noting that in 2007, Griffin resigned from the Justice Department in disgrace, ahead of what could have been (should have been), his indictment.
Kennedy thought a couple of other characters should join Griffin in the lock-up: first, Griffin's boss, the man whom George W. Bush gave the nickname, "Turdblossom": Karl Rove.
And there's yet another odiferous blossom, Griffin's assistant at the time of the crime: Matt Rhoades. Rhoades isn't in jail either. He's the campaign director of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

This story is based on the investigations in Palast's new book, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps - with a forward by Kennedy and comics by Ted Rall.

Kennedy had gone over the highly confidential emails we'd gotten from inside Republican National Committee headquarters i Washington. (How we got our hands on private emails from the top dogs in the Republican campaign, well, that's another story. I can say, they were sent directly from the computer of Tim Griffin. Rove, a computer expert, is careful not to have his own).
“What they did was absolutely illegal—and they knew it and they did it anyway," Kennedy told me.
What they did was called voter "caging." The RNC sent letters by the thousands to soldiers, first class, marked, "DO NOT FORWARD." When the letters were returned undelivered, the Republicans planned to use these "caged" envelopes as evidence the voters were "fraudulent"--then challenge their ballot.
A soldier mailing in his or her vote from Iraq would have that ballot disqualified -- and the soldier wouldn't even know it.
That's not just sick, it's a crime, a violation of the Voting Rights Act drafted by Kennedy's late father. And it was a crime because of whom the RNC caging crew attacked: not just any soldiers, but soldiers of color.
Running a vote-challenge operation based on racial profiling is a go-to-jail felony.
And after the soldiers, the "Turdblossom" gang targeted students at traditionally Black schools (away on summer break), homeless men and a few precincts of Jewish voters. In other words, anyone whose politics was Blue-ish.
Look for yourself. Here is one Griffin 'caging' list, targeting the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.
The emails were dated August 2004, just before the presidential election. "Caging" would cost Bush's opponent John Kerry more than one state. At the time, Rove was Senior Counselor to the President, Griffin head of "Research" at the RNC and his go-fer Rhoades director of Opposition [read "Smear"] Research.
But they did more. Rove and Griffin were up to their necks in the firing of federal prosecutors. One, the US Attorney for New Mexico, David Iglesias, told me the two illegal acts were tied together: Captain Iglesias (he's a Naval JAG), himself a Republican, said he was fired because he refused to go along with RNC demands that he arrest innocent citizens on fake charges of fraudulent registration. Iglesias was horrified at this Soviet-style tactic. "I thought I was a Jedi warrior, but it turns out I was with the Seth Lords."
So Rove had Bush fired him and seven other prosecutors, including Bud Cummins, US Attorney for Arkansas. In his place, Bush appointed ...Tim Griffin.
Things Go Better with Kochs
Griffin won't talk to me, nor will Rove nor Romney's man Rhoades about the racial caging game and the related firing of federal prosecutors.
But never mind: I have his personal emails and the testimony of Captain Iglesias. And that was enough, in 2007, for BBC to put the "caging" evidence and the real story of the prosecutor firing on the air.
By the next morning, Tim Griffin resigned his post at US Attorney for Arkansas. He was in tears.
But Tim's tears were soon wiped away -- by the Koch Brothers. In 2010, Koch interests dumped $167,183 into Tim Griffin's campaign for Congress. For $167,183, your average congressman will wash your car -- with their tongue.
Tim won the Little Rock seat, and here he is in Tampa. Despite the fact that he's an unknown freshman from an un-swing state, he's been given the extraordinary honor of speaking for the entire Republican Congressional delegation.
And now you know why: In Congress, he's Rove-bot Number One, owned and operated by Koch Industries.
Why would the Kochs do this for the disgraced Griffin? Answer: It's what Griffin does for them.
Among other favors, Griffin is the top cheerleader in the House for the XL Pipeline--whose approval is vital to the billionaire Kochs making more billions.
But wait! The Kochs don't own the XL Pipe nor the Canadian tar sands from which it comes. So why do they care?
Well, that's another story, in another chapter, "XXXL Pipeline" in Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal the Election in 9 Easy Steps, out September 18. The Author's proceeds from the book go to the not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund for reporting on voter protection issues.

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and Vultures' Picnic.

Palast's brand new book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps, will be out on September 18. You can pre-order Billionaires & Ballot Bandits from Barnes & Noble, Amazon or Indie Bound. Author's proceeds from the book go to the not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund for reporting on voter protection issues.

Or donate and can get a signed copy of the book.

Go to Greg's website for additional information on the crooks in our government.

Romney - Liar, Liar!

This picture was stolen without shame from Dependable Renegade.

God did it, says CBN News with Pat Robertson

It's fascinating to listen to these fundies -- CBN's Robertson who seem to think God moved Isaac away from Tampa to "save" the Repugnican Convention.  Even though Robertson sheds a couple of crocodile tears for the victims of Katrina, the implication remains that God is still pissed at all those gays and other pagans in Louisiana.  But isn't there a remnant of "true believers" anywhere between Pensacola and Baton Rouge?

Not a few Repugs are claiming that it was their prayers that did the trick.  God heard them wailing away through the night and sent his angels to send Isaac bye-bye to kill other people.

And then there's the dim-witted drug-addled moron named Limbaugh.  He's so far out of the loop he thinks that Hurricane Isaac is a distraction created by Obama and the U.S. Weather Service to cause the GOP to cancel the convention and turn peoples' attention away from the Repugnican message.  It's a conspiracy, you see.  Obama and the weather folks deliberately arranged the hurricane forecasts to disrupt the Repugs from the business at hand.

We live in a weird twilight zone.

Paul Ryan says rape is just another "method of conception"

Where do these creeps come from?

Please pass this around.  It shows the depravity of Ryan's belief system.  And why is this guy still on the Republican ticket?

Another fun video from Tommy Korioth

Thanks Tommy.  Check out Tommy's blog, Basket of Puppies.

Religion makes for kinder, more moral people. Not!

Several hundred Christians have moved out of their homes in Islamabad, Pakistan, to hide in a forest and try to survive.  They are even building a church building out of tree branches.

It seems one of their number, a young girl of indeterminate age (11 to 16) with some possible mental problems was accused by one of her neighbors of burning pages of the Quran.  There seems to an overwhelming lack of evidence for this act, but "good" Islamists protested in front of her house and she was arrested by the police.

Burning pages of a Quran is considered blasphemy by Islamists and punishment can mean life in prison.

And that's why several hundred Christians ran off to hide in the forest.  They knew that trouble was sure to find them if they stayed in their homes.  They knew that mobs have converged on suspected blasphemers to beat and even kill them.  According to an article in the Huffington Post, "Last year two prominent politicians who criticized the blasphemy law were murdered, one by his own bodyguard who then attracted adoring mobs.  In July, thousands of people dragged a Pakistani man accused of desecrating the Quran from a police station, beat him to death and set his body alight."

It is mind-boggling that in this day and age, someone may be murdered for burning pages of a book, while the murderers are considered to be heroes by some kind of religious quackery.

Christianity and other religions aren't off the hook, either.  Throughout history, religion in its various forms has often resorted to horrible atrocities to keep people in line.  Although the human race has evolved physically, it hasn't evolved very far spiritually.

And the next time someone tells you that religion helps people be good, tell them they don't know what the hell they're talking about!

The people don't buy Republican economics anymore

Signing the Affordable Care Act
In the September 3, 2012 issue of Time magazine, Rana Foroorhar ["It's the Stupid Global Economy"] argues that the "voters don't blame Obama for low growth--and prefer spending to cuts."

I hope she's right, because the Republican economic plan as present by Romney/Ryan would be even more devastating that the George W. Bush plan, and the latter put us so deep in the toilet we'll be shoveling crap for many more years.

Foroohar notes that we are very much part of a global economy and that that economy has become much more complex and difficult than it was even a few years ago.  Our citizens "know that many of the headwinds facing our economy aren't due to  any particular Obama policy but to problems abroad..."

Furthermore, it is obvious that the Ryan budget is a disaster and gives to the rich while taking away from the middle-class and the poor.  They know that Romney's personal tax rate of a mere 13% is a joke and an insult!  Not only so, but Foroohar thinks Romney's evasiveness, his vast amounts of money stashed away in devious overseas accounts, gives people the feeling the system is rigged against them.  How many typical middle class people would know how to begin hiding money even if they had some to hide?

Foroohar ends her article thusly:

"Americans simply don't buy into supply-side economics anymore.  An April CBS News/NY Times poll found that when it comes to deciding the best way to promote economic growth, most Americans prefer spending more on education and infrastructure while raising taxes on the wealthy and businesses to pay for it (56%) ... [...]

"Americans overwhelmingly want the government---the government!---to do more to help the financial situation of the middle class, and that desire cuts across party lines."

Foroohar then notes that many business execs think Obama would be better for the economy than a Republican president.

That's not surprising, says Foroohar:  "CEOs look across the Atlantic and see austerity as a failed policy in Europe.  A reading of economic history tells them that although tax cuts have never led to a growth boom, government spending on smart things like infrastructure and education has.  Voters seem to have treated Obama's first-term economy as a write-off---like the Romney's horse.  They're more interested in the future.

"That's why Obama may still have one."

I think a lot of folks are praying to their God she's right!  Even a bunch of Republicans.

Jindal does 180 and begs for federal government assistance

Republican governors in the United States are really terrific.  What other group of people in this great country exhibit hypocrisy on such a massive scale?  They would be great in a circus when the call came to "send in the clowns"!

Example:  Bobby Jindal, the exorcist, the ultra-conservative, fundamentalist Roman Catholic governor of Louisiana, has been one of the  most adamant believers in the mythology that the less federal government the better.

But like all Republican governors in the midst of a storm, Jindal has experienced an epiphany!  He's seen the light!  Is he happy?  Nah, he wants more light.  He's not happy with the light he's been offered.

Hurricane Isaac is likely to slam ashore very soon somewhere in Louisiana.  Maybe New Orleans.  President Obama, trying to do the right thing ahead of time (which, as you know, didn't happen under the reign of G. W. Bushki), has declared a state of emergency in Louisiana, which "makes federal support available to save lives, protect public health and safety and preserve property in coastal areas."

Jindal, the hypocrite, cries "That's not enough!  We want more!  We've already spent $8 million on emergency measures to protect us from Mother Nature.  Send us more!"

I'm not surprised.  Jindal is a typical Repugnican governor who reduces taxes on the rich so he can cut spending in areas of social need.   And this means the first little emergency that comes along creates a panic as the state does not have the resources it needs to take care of its citizens.

Jindal is a typical Repugnican governor who blasts the feds for every calamity since the dawn of time, but at the first sign of trouble has his/her hand out pleading for federal assistance.  Jindal, though, is off the scale when it comes to hypocrisy.  He gets federal assistance and then claims it isn't enough.  While this is probably nothing more than a political ploy to turn conservatives everywhere against the president, it must really rankle the Jesus he pretends to love!

I'd say let Bobby Jindal sink or swim.  He is truly a nogoodnik who has turned over the Louisiana public school system to the fundamentalist wingnuts, who has trodden science into the ground, who  believes in demons and that he has the ability to exorcise them.

Well, Mr. Jindal, Isaac is a demon and it's heading your way.  Deal with it yourself.  Exorcise it!  Why should my tax dollars be used to help you when you refuse to deal responsibly with your state's financial responsibilities because your devious heart rests on top of Mount Success along with your wealthy patrons?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tea Party Unity Rally - Tampa

The slimeball preaching claims to represent God, to be a follower of Jesus.  But there is no truth in him.  Yet his message is clear:  he and others like him, and Tea Party members everywhere intend to destroy the government in order to remake it into a theocratic state based upon their tortured and convoluted interpretation of ancient and modern mythologies.

One cannot help but sense his kinship with fascist leaders of every time and place.

Video from Talk2Action

Stepping on the Middle Class - from

Musings on the Republican Convention, Republican Nutcases, and Other Weird Phenomena

* It's difficult to determine if someone is stupid or just uninformed and thus ignorant.  Not in the case of Michelle Bachmann.  She's all of these but mostly stupid.  At an anti-justabouteverythingbutmostlyabortion rally in Tampa, Bachmann opened her big mouth and proved to the world she's not only stupid but a relentless theocrat who neither understands nor cares for our Constitution and our country.  She wants to toss the Constitution and remodel the U.S. as a Christian fundamentalist nation.

Here's what she said at the rally:  "We are looking at a political hurricane in this country.  We are looking at a spiritual hurricane.  And it is time for each one of us to show up and suit up and stand up and realize that in this time and in this day we pour it out for Him."  ("Him," of course, being her mythological Christ figure.)  This is not a politician speaking, this is a TV preacher, a fundamentalist nutcase, a self-ordained whack-job for Jesus.

* During Obama's tenure as president, the average annual federal spending increased by 2.4 percent.  That is the lowest rate of increase since Harry S. Truman's presidency.  But ignorance prevails among the Republicans who constantly complain about Obama's fiscal profligacy.

* At least six U.S. states forbid an atheist from holding public office.

* In 2010, 15 private U.S. citizens were killed in terrorist attacks.  Sixteen were killed by falling televisions.  Maybe we need a new Patriot Act against falling televisions.

* Even today, 2/3rd of Republicans believe Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.  More ignorance/stupidity.

* Our country's transportation infrastructure is falling apart.  Just about everything needs repair and renovation.  The United States has spend 1.6 percent of its GDP on this task since 1970 and that is the lowest percentage of any developed nation!

* The Chicago Board of Education has proudly announced that it has increased the length of its school year and the student's time in class.  They must believe that being present means prescience or sitting next to a book increases knowledge.

Finland's school children spend the least time in class of any European nation.  Finland's school children are the highest performing students in Europe.

* We know the Republican Party doesn't much like immigrants.  That means something to the 16% of American workers who are immigrants and to the 18% of American small business owners who are immigrants.

* It has been found that countries in which a large percentage of people believe in Heaven have higher crime rates than those with a large percentage of people who do not believe in Heaven.  Countries with a higher percentage of people who believe in Hell have lower crime rates.

* In Uganda a thief stole a cell phone from an Ebola patient quarantined in a hospital.  The patient died, and the thief contracted Ebola.  Talk about justice!

* The State of Mississippi stresses abstinence-only sex education.  The State of Texas insists its schools teach abstinence-only sex education.  Mississippi has the highest rate of teen pregnancies in the country, with Texas close behind.

* NBC, on its website, reported that astronaut Neil Young had died at age 82.  Neil Young, a Canadian folk singer, while aging, is still alive.  Neil Armstrong, the astronaut, has died.

* Number One on Donald Trump's "bucket list" is to get Mittens Romney elected as president.  I think the country will tell ol' Donald, "You're fired!"

* He's not Jesus Christ nor is he Jesus Crist.  He's Charlie Crist, a former Republican, a former governor of Florida, and now an independent who is not only endorsing President Obama but will be a speaker at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, N.C.  Hey, we need all the friends we can get!  Welcome aboard, Charlie!

* James Madison would never be elected president today.  Madison was a lukewarm Anglican but was very strict about separation of church and state.  Rob Boston, in an article for AlterNet, says that Madison "opposed government-paid chaplains in Congress and in the military. ... [he] also opposed government-issued prayer proclamations.  He issued a few during the War of 1812 at the insistence of Congress but later concluded that his actions had been unconstitutional.  As president, he vetoed legislation granting federal land to a church and a plan to have a church in Washington care for the poor through a largely symbolic charter.  In both cases, he cited the First Amendment."

* Last year, 25 of the 100 highest-paid American CEOs earned more than their employers paid in taxes!

* 75% of Americans aged 17 to 24 are ineligible to join the military because of 1) obesity, 2) drug and alcohol problems, and 3) low 'aptitude'.

* 89% of all oxcycodone sold to doctors in the U.S. ended up in Florida last year.

* The military can create 11,000 jobs for every $1,000,000,000 spent.  Our educational system can create 27,000 jobs spending that amount of money.

* And finally, an example of the hypocrisy and hatred of the GOP exemplified by a man with the most sordid of backgrounds:  At a conservative rally in Tampa yesterday, Newt Gingrich said President Obama was "the most extreme, pro-abortion president in U.S. history," and that Obama condoned the "killing of unborn children."  Now, Gingrich knows that isn't true.  Which makes him not only a hypocrite by a monumental liar!

[Note:  Many of these musings come from Harper's Magazine.]

Robert Reich explains the pitfalls of Romney/Ryan's budget

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich tells it like it is.  Except for the very rich, the Ryan/Romney budget is going to be very painful!

h/t to Pensito Review.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

How to save $1 trillion

The following is from an article by Pat Garofalo at Think Progress:

"... according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office, allowing the high-end tax cuts to expire on schedule would raise $823 billion in revenue and save $127 billion in interest payments on the debt over the next ten years. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities used this chart to illustrate how much would be saved each year:
"As the CBPP noted, “Overall, this would mean $950 billion in ten-year deficit reduction, a significant step in the direction of fiscal stability.” That’s nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction for those concerned about the nation’s finances.

"In addition to blowing up the country’s budget, the Bush tax cuts did not lead to the promised economic growth. In fact, the economy has fared worse under the GOP’s supply-side policies, on a slew of economic measurements, than it did when supply-side was not in effect."

A Convention Reinvention

h/t to the Pensito Review

Christianist wailing about religious liberty

One of the truly amazing things that has happened in recent years is the ability of Christian fundamentalists (Protestant as well as Roman Catholics) to turn history on its head and to twist common sense and rationality so that the former becomes nonsense and the latter turns into irrationality.

There's been much ado over the past four years as to how religious liberty is being compromised in this country.  Usually, the culprit for this state of affairs is President Obama and his administration.  Blame is laid at the feet of a president who, ironically, is not only a Christian but who, upon his election, continued the Bush program of government gifting to religious organizations doing charitable work, much to the dismay of many progressives.

The fact that Obama is a Christian seems to elude most Christian fundamentalists.  They have come to believe the stories promoted by the Christian Republican Party and its media cohort, FAUX News, which have, over and over again, either implied or stated directly that President Obama is a Muslim.

Case in point:  James Tonkowich, a columnist for, published an article on August 15 titled "Religious Liberty Compromised."  His thesis was that "we are losing religious liberty in this country."  And he wonders why the Roman church is so involved in the fight to preserve religious liberty while his "evangelical" friends are more passive and lethargic.

Aha!  The answer is found in history.  Mr. Tonkowich, in one of the most tortured historical distortions I've ever read, blesses the Roman autocratic authoritarians for fighting for religious liberty during the French Revolution and in Mexico and in Eastern Europe under the Commies, and China, and Cuba, and Vietnam.  He even bewails the treatment of the Roman church during the Spanish Civil War.

This is just plain nonsense!  In every instance since its inception, the Roman church has demanded control of whatever territory it found itself in.  And what they couldn't control outright, they threatened their way into the driver's seat.  And in every instance where the Roman church had control, it demanded absolute and total subservience upon pain of death.  Those who dared oppose the Roman church, from emperor to peasant, were tortured and slaughtered.  The history of the Roman church is written in blood!   

It is no surprise then, that when countries found themselves freed from the shackles of the Roman authorities, they often sought retribution.  And quite often that retribution turned into a bloody shambles.

But the Roman church was never, ever about religious freedom.  Whenever and wherever the church was in control there was NO religious freedom.  And that's true of other Christian sects.  In England, those who disagreed with the Anglican church were denied religious freedom.  In Sweden, Lutheranism was the only recognized Christian cult until 1948!  If the Roman church had its way, it would take over the government and enforce its Law upon all inhabitants in the U.S.  Many dominionist Christians are working hard to do that very thing, but they would institute their version of religious law.

Mr. Tonkowich would have us believe that France and Mexico and Spain and Cuba, etc., were bastions of religious liberty before the "bad" guys took over and tossed the church out of the public sphere.  But that's not what happened.  In every instance where the church's influence was negated, it was because when the church had the power, the people lost their freedom.  And invariably, when the church didn't rule directly, it aligned itself with those who did rule directly and thereby ruled indirectly with the same result- people lost their freedom!

What's the problem in this country?  How is religious liberty being curtailed?  Why are we "losing our religious liberty"?

The fact is religious liberty is NOT being curtailed.  We are NOT in danger of "losing our religious liberty"!  And the notion that this is actually happening is an example of common sense being turned into nonsense and rationality into irrationality!

The Religious Right wants control.  The Christianist fundamentalists along with the Romans want political power; enough power to demand that their particular form of religion be the "accepted" form and be allowed special access to the public sphere!  Two issues have become especially significant in this religious liberty nonsense:  Abortion and contraception.  (But there are many others, ranging from prayer in public schools, to placing copies of the Ten Commandments on courthouse walls, to the teaching of Creationism, to banning stem-cell research, etc.)

Who would think?  We fought these battles years ago.  We won.  But these religious nutcases won't go away and tend to their own business.  Thus Tonkowich dares talk about "Liberty of worship" which he claims has been substituted by the Obama administration for "religious liberty" and that in France "it meant (and still means) private religious practice with absolutely no public profession of faith."

Then he gets to the nitty-gritty.  He's pissed off, along with the authoritarian, dictatorial, autocratic Roman bishops, because Obama's healthcare law tells religious organizations they must "provide contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion drugs as part of employee health insurance regardless [of] religious convictions," and this, says Tonkowich, "is an assault on religious freedom."

I don't think so!  The law merely says that if you are operating a business or running an organization you cannot deny these things to your employees (via their health insurance) merely because it offends your particular religious sense or nonsense.  In other words, it's no skin off your nose, and the fact that you want to be able to deny these things to your employees is actually a blatant attempt to impose your religious beliefs on other human beings, which is a no-no in this country.

Tonkowich then raises the issue of gay marriage (you knew this was coming, right?).  "Legal experts," he claims, "... agree on this:  if same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land, those who oppose it will find their religious liberty taken away."

Nonsense?  Irrational?  Of course.  It's the opposite.  If you are able, because of your religious conviction, to deny the right of two human beings to marry, then you're the one who is taking away religious liberty or liberty in general!

I oppose the right of Republicans to gather in convention because what they do there violates my religious beliefs.  They vote on budgets that will decimate Medicare and Social Security and increase funding for making war.

Are the Republicans taking away my religious liberty?

Of course not.  You can say all kinds of bad things about them most of which would be true but their nastiness does not destroy my religious liberty.

What it all boils down to, again, is that the religious right (Protestant and Catholic) insist that they have a right to impose their beliefs on the people of these United States.  They do not!  In both of these instances - the health care thing and the gay marriage thing - it's the religious right that would deny freedom to others!

In the name of their god, of course!

My favorite animal gifs by Tommy Korioth

Thanks to my friend, Tommy Korioth, for permission to use this very funny video he produced.  Please check out Tommy's blog, Basket of Puppies.

Sometimes reason just doesn't work!

Paul Krugman is one economist who makes a lot of sense.  That's probably why so many of our politicians ignore him.  And that ignorance has cost millions of Americans dearly. 

Thanks to mjs at Mortaljive for this photo.