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Current location: Somewhere in the NYC metropolitan statistical area
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 36,113

Journal Archives

A question for Republicans from Driftglass:

@Mr_Electrico: Remember 12 hours ago when the technical terms for teachers, firefighters & cops were "overpaid public employees" & "union thugs"?

Wingnut watch, countdown to blaming you-know-who

I really hate that I've become this cynical, or that the nuts in our country have become so predictable, but how long until we start hearing the nutballs turn this most recent horror shooting into yet another anti-Obama conspiracy theory "to take away our guns".

And why do I have the sinking feeling that the appropriate instrument to measure this with is a stopwatch?

Speaking of Fiscal Cliffs...

Don't show fear


Today I discovered that Grover Norquist agrees with me about something...

It's a conservative meme that liberals are stuck in 1968. The conservative bomb of a movie "An American Carol" had a whole musical number about it complete with choreographed tie-dyed, sandal-wearing, long-gray-haired university professors.

My counter has been that if you're going to reduce it to something dopey like that, then conservatives are stuck in 1978 (give or take a year): taxes are high, the economy is stagnant, crime is high and going up, looting of stores in the blackout and "the Bronx is burning" are still fresh in everyone's minds, Team B confirmed (for conservatives) that the Soviets were just chomping at the bit for world conquest (invading Afghanistan, overthrowing the legitimately-inherited dictatorship in Nicaragua, yadayadayada), every union is just like the mob-controlled Teamsters (and strict union rules cripple business), regulation is too tight, etc. etc. etc. Everything from views that were reasonable for that time to complete paranoid delusions were set in stone (and embossed with Ronald Reagan's profile).

Back to Norquist: from a 2009 "First Person Singular" column in the Washington Post:
When I became 21, I decided that nobody learned anything about politics after the age of 21. Look at people who grew up in the Great Depression, and their understanding of politics is Hoover and FDR. Fifty years later, everything is Hoover and FDR.

And when was it that Norquist turned 21? Why, in 1977, of course.

Thank you, Grover, for being so intellectually stunted as to prove my point with your own.

And let's not forget to add: by his very words, Norquist is obsolete and should be put out to pasture.


“People who just want stuff”: 1860

With all the conservative whining and wailing going on about Obama’s re-election, saying that he won because of “people who just want stuff” and other assorted poutrage, it’s worth noting that this is a trope they’ve been playing for a very, very long time.

Below is a conservative political cartoon from 1860, engraved by Currier and Ives and published in Harper's Magazine.

Back then, when “The Party of Lincoln” was actually running Lincoln for president, it was considered the liberal/left party.

See if you recognize the playbook:


"The Republican Party Going to the Right House"

Lincoln rides in on a (fence) rail, carried by Horace Greely (anti-slavery editor of the New York Tribune), leading his followers into a lunatic asylum.
GREELY: "Hold on to me Abe, and we'll go in here by the unanimous consent of the people."
LINCOLN: "Now my friends I'm almost in, and the millennium is going to begin, so ask what you will and it shall be granted."

Younger Woman: "Oh! what a beautiful man he is, I feel a passionate attraction' every time I see his lovely face."
Bearded Man: "I represent the free love element, and expect to have free license to carry out its principles."
Man with trim beard and hat: "I want religion abolished and the book of Mormon made the standard of morality."
Caricatured black man: "De white man hab no rights dat cullud pussons am bound to spect' I want dat understood."
Older woman: "I want womans rights enforced, and man reduced in subjection to her authority."
Scruffy man with bottle: "I want everybody to have a share of everybody elses property."
Barefoot man: "I want a hotel established by government, where people that aint inclined to work, can board free of expense, and be found in rum and tobacco."
Seedy top-hat man: " I want guaranteed to every Citizen the right to examine every other citizen's pockets without interruption by Policemen."
Man at the end: "I want all the stations houses burned up, and the M.P.s killed, so that the bohoys can run with the machine and have a muss when they please."

Let’s go down the list, shall we?:
Supported by "liberal media": Check
Liberals will embark on profligate giveaways to THOSE PEOPLE? Check.
Flighty, emotional, entranced by charisma/celebrity? Check.
People conservatives consider sexual deviants? Check.
People conservatives consider religious deviants? Check (and how ironic, this particular turn).
Grasping minorities after special rights? Check.
"Feminazis"? Check.
There's a vast army of layabouts, terrorists, and outright thieves who want to take your hard-earned stuff? Check, check, check, and check.

A hundred and fifty years later, and they're playing the same effing tune.

Heritage Foundation calls for war: "Stand with Us"

The chickenhawk speaking is Michael A. Needham, CEO of Heritage Foundation offshoot Heritage Action for America, Another champion of the free market who has spent his entire adult life not making a living in one.

Michael A. Needham's Experience
Chief Executive Officer
Heritage Action for America

Nonprofit; 11-50 employees; Political Organization industry
April 2010 – Present (2 years 8 months)
Heritage Action for America is a grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to promoting conservative values, policy priorities, and ideas.

Special Assistant
Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee
Privately Held; 51-200 employees; Political Organization industry
2007 – 2008 (1 year)

Chief of Staff and Director
The Heritage Foundation

Nonprofit; 201-500 employees; Think Tanks industry
2004 – 2007 (3 years)

Michael A. Needham's Education
Stanford University Graduate School of Business
2008 – 2010

Williams College
BA, Political Science & Economics
2000 – 2004

I especially love his talk about "not abandoning our posts" when military service is conspicuously absent from his resume during a time of war.

Remember the 2007 video about the College Republican convention, how they all supported the war and the military...as long as it was someone else? "Stay at your post" Mike was a little older, but the exact same type.

Translation question: What's teabagger for "shellacking"?

Mittloaf takes off (like a non-non-alcoholic bat out of hell)

See how the ball got rolling in DU's latest Epic Thread: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021634328

And we're not the only ones:

October 25, 2012, 10:35 pm
Rocking the Vote, Meat Loaf Endorses Romney

Standing on stage at a high school football stadium where Mr. Romney appeared, dressed in a black silk shirt with sparkling buttons and sequin-studded sleeves, Meat Loaf said that, at age 65, he was new to national politics, something that quickly became evident. “I want you to know at 65 that Paul Ryan has not pushed me off the cliff in a wheelchair,” he said to nervous laughter.

Yet. After last night, all bets are off.

In a globe-trotting survey, he assessed what awaits the next president. “There has stormclouds come over the United States.” (Yes, he said it just like that.)

“There is thunderstorms over Europe,” Meat Loaf said. “There are hailstorms, and I mean major hailstorms, in the Middle East. There are storms brewing through China, through Asia, through everywhere, and there’s only one man that on the other night when President Barack Obama, God bless him, said to Mitt Romney, ‘The cold war is over.’ I have never heard such a thing in my life. The man needs to understand Putin and Russia, so I want you to know that there is one man who will stand tall in this country and fight the storm and bring the United States back to what it should be … Gov. Mitt Romney!

Meat Loaf said that he began to privately support Mr. Romney a year ago and had decided to take it public during a rally on a high school football field, where he performed “Stand in the Storm.” “I know there’s one thing that you’ve been taught your whole life is that you never argue politics or religion with your friends, but 2012 is completely different,” Meat Loaf said, calling the race “the most important election in the history of the United States.” He said he had called three Democratic friends in California on Thursday to make the case for Mr. Romney. “I got two of them to switch to Romney, so two out of three ain’t bad,” he said.

And for more fun, on Twitter there's #Mittloaf

This list came up last year. My answers remain:

> 1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

You can, however, legislate policies that make it less attractive for the already-wealthy to get even more wealthy by squeezing everybody else. We did these things in this country, and it worked out pretty well for most Americans and let them earn a middle class income.

>2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

So you understand the problems people have with hedge fund managers, credit default swap traders, Wall Street wheeler-dealers, CEOs with cozy relationships to those determining their compensation, and others who seem to worship at the altar of Maximizing Profit? Up to a certain point most of these people do provide a useful service in allocating resources for wealth creation, and deserve compensation. However, above a certain level they are extracting more wealth than their services are worth. It gets worse when that extraction becomes detached from how they make their money and to any outside accountability for how much they stuff into their own pockets.

In those cases they are "receiving without working for", and that removes resources available to those who do the actual work.

> 3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

Get back to me on that one when you apply it to government contractors, especially ones for the Defense Department with cozy relationships with politicians and plenty of lobbyists. We spend more on our military than the next largest six countries combined, and most of them are our allies. You really think we're getting top value for all that money?

> 4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

Horseshit. You don't run an engine without "dividing" the lube. If it doesn't get to all the moving parts, it's going to break down quicker and harder.

If someone never changes the oil in their car, are they being thrifty and efficient? Or a short-sighted idiot?

>5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other
>half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does
>no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the
>beginning of the end of any nation.

So is believing that statement when it's not true. Acting on faulty information rarely produces the desired results.
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