Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Return To Sender

http://www.vox.com/2015/3/2/8138203/clinton-emails-bush

I have no idea what the meat of Hillary Clinton's email scandal is.  But the article makes a pretty compelling case that this was a pretty serious act.  And one that she should have known better.

One of the hallmarks of the Obama administration has been the lack of true scandals.  There have been plenty of "scandals" like Shirley Sherrod, Fast and Furious and the IRS issues that looked bad at first blush, but turned out to be nothing burgers.  Then you have things like Benghazi that were never scandals in the first place, but Fox News.

The "No-Drama Obama" persona was really appealing to me in 2008, and I appreciate it still.  The GOP remains a rabid, feral animal chained to the telephone pole by woven strands of lies, but Obama has been a hard target to make stuff stick to - beyond the confines of Fox World.

The Clintons were never quite so calm.  Just the other day, we found out the Clinton portrait for the Smithsonian has some grade-A trolling going on.  Bill survived this, because the economy was going well, and I think whomever takes the reigns in 2016 is going to have a similarly robust economy.

But this is exactly the sort of crap that led Democrats to look around feverishly for someone else in 2008.

A United, Not A Divider

Nice to see that Bibi is bringing together Jews and African Americans.  Just like Martin Luther King did...

Speaking of MLK, WTF?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lying Liars

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/pants-on-fire

Josh Marshall basically points out that Benjamin Netanyahu is pretty much an habitual liar when it comes to Iran.  His security community disagrees with his conclusions and has suggested that he has fabricated evidence.  Other sources support this.

More evidence of his propensity to lie?  He says he didn't mean to "disrespect Obama."  He just meant to come and meddle in the domestic politics of the United States before the one body that has zero foreign policy powers in the Constitution.  His assertion that he doesn't want to meddle in American domestic politics is so blatantly false, that you have to be slightly impressed by the chutzpah.  He hired a GOP operative to be his ambassador, who then arranged for this speech right before the Israeli elections and to take advantage of GOP energy.

I really would like to see Obama cut his nuts by allowing targeted sanctions to pass the UN.

Ideology Over Common Sense

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/maine-revoking-seat-belt-law

I was having this argument with a former student on Facebook last night.  The conservative position on laws is in stark contrast to the old accent on laws from conservatives ranging from Edmund Burke to William F. Buckley.

It used to be that conservatism venerated laws, because law meant order.  Today's GOP is more anarchist in its approach to governance, and this ridiculous effort in Maine is just the latest example in a long line of stupid ideas based on the reflexive ideological opposition to governance that doesn't involve keeping "dangerous" (blacks, Muslims, Hispanics) in their place.

A heard a quote from a state trooper who said, "I never unbuckled a corpse."  Seat belts are an easy way to save lives, save injuries and provide a positive good for the country.  Yes, there are times I don't like wearing a seat belt.  Suck it the hell up and buckle up.

But to the GOP, that's tyranny.  Literally, tyranny.

Take this quote:
But Republican Sen. Roger Katz, whose bill would allow people to use hands-free devices, rejected the notion that the proposal is just "another example of intrusion into our personal lives."
"If you chose to put yourself in harm's way, that's one thing. ... But when the danger and harm extends to others, then that's a different story."

Hey, dipshit?  You jabbering away on your cell phone puts all of us in danger.  And when you catapult through your windshield at 55 MPH and spend the rest of your days in medical care, we wind up paying for that, too.



Sunday, March 1, 2015

So Full Of Dumb

http://www.vox.com/2015/3/1/8125785/insurance-subsidy-poll

Yglesias has himself a poll.  It looks like this:



Only 7% of Americans over 65 think they get a government subsidy to help pay for their health insurance.  This is because they think the money they paid into Medicare over their careers was waiting for them in DC like Sleeping Beauty waiting for her true love's kiss.

Both Medicare and Social Security are inter-generational transfers of wealth.  They have always been thus.

But our level of understanding of how our government works is so piss poor and deficient that we are left with a staggering level of ignorance.

And this is why we routinely elect other morons to run the House of Representatives.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Would You Care To Stare Into The Void?

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2015/02/28/saturday-morning-cartoons-open-thread-cpac-edition/#more-166117

Meanwhile, Boehner once again had to rely on the Democratic minority to govern.

At what point do we fully acknowledge that the super-patriots of the Tea Party are basically "all in" on the failure of the US government?

Friday, February 27, 2015

RIP, Leonard Nimoy

There is a whole trove of internet art: Nimoy, Sunsets and Pie:


Also, this:

He lived long and prospered...

Morons

James Inhofe thought the fact that there is snow on the ground in February is proof that global warming is a myth, despite the fact that the globe is measurably warmer.

It's hard to escape the conclusion that a certain segment of the population are making themselves willfully stupid, at least as regards their understanding of the world around them.

I guess it's not that far from the Laffer Curve to throwing snowballs on the floor of the Senate.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ben Carson Is Not The Candidate You Are Looking For

Ben Carson has some attribute that conservatives find appealing.  I just can't seem to put my finger on what it might be...

He's not a politician, he's a very successful surgeon.

But his ideas are frequently bonkers.

He wants to destroy the checks and balances in the Constitution.  All while venerating the Constitution, or rather the Second Amendment.

He wants to get rid of the IRS, because that will work.

He wants to cut taxes and balance the budget, because fuck math.

Sometimes, it's helpful to listen to what politicians actually say.  And what this guy says is batshit crazy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Constitutionalmalism

This morning on NPR, there was a report on the Tea Party and CPAC, and one of the Teahadists was talking about how the Tea Party loves the Constitution.  Many Teahadists tend to call themselves Constitutionalists as opposed to mouth breathing morons conservatives.

But their grasp of the Constitution itself is pretty tenuous.

For instance, they - for some obscure reason - hate the 17th amendment (the direct election of Senators by the people rather than the state legislatures). For them, the 17th amendment (and presumably all the amendments aside from the 2nd) is unconstitutional in its alteration of the document forged in Philadelphia in 1787.  Amendments are BAD.  Unless they are conservative amendments like a balanced budget amendment, which is GOOD.

Meanwhile, they argue for a balanced budget amendment despite the fact that the GOP has one single unifying policy: disastrous tax cuts that decimate state budgets and create huge shortfalls and painful budget cuts.

They also want to establish Christianity as the national religion.  Which Christianity would that be?  Would it be tax supported?  And what of that whole pesky first amendment?

The amount of cognitive dissonance in the Tea Party should be enough to drown out the voice in their head....but apparently not.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

George W. Bush Doesn't Like Black People

Chuck Todd and others made the following observation:
Few issues fire up a good chunk of conservatives more than personal attacks against President Obama. At the same time, these attacks also turn off swing voters and minorities that the Republican Party is trying to court.

Uh....No.  The GOP is not trying to court minorities.  They are trying to court swing voters, by trying not to be so fucking racist all the time.

But the GOP is doing NOTHING to woo African American or Hispanic voters.  They just want to give an eye-gloss of looking like they care.

Thanks, Obama!

http://www.vox.com/2015/2/24/8093533/investment-advisors-fiduciary

No, seriously...thanks.

This is a reform that is long overdue.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Noun, A Verb And A Dogwhistle

Rudy Giuliani continues to double-down on his character attacks on Obama.  Now he's saying he was "influenced by communism" whatever that means.  The usual cretins are starting to rally around these statements.  Darrell Issa has praised Giuliani for raising the question of the fucking president's patriotism.  Scott Walker doesn't know if Obama is a Christian.

It's 2015 and we're still stuck on this birth certificate bullshit.

What the hell are they going to start saying when Hillary is the Oval Office?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Is The End Nigh?

I am looking out my window at snow falling.  Again.  Yesterday, I had the wrestlers breaking up ice and shoveling snow as a community service project.  It was  blisteringly cold.

But the days are starting to get noticeably longer.  Perhaps, just perhaps, this long, depressing, brutal winter is coming to a close.

Can't happen soon enough.

(Sorry for talking about the freaking weather, but I'm too disgusted with politics to discuss to talk about that today.)