Friday, June 10, 2011

Parting Thoughts On The Sordid Weiner Episode

What is it about liberals that they have such BLINDERS on when it comes to dissecting the threat, not only to the Democratic Party, which is a VERY IMPERFECT vessel, but the threat to our nation from THE RIGHT? We can't call these right wing ratbastards by their correct appellation — FASCISTS — oh no, that's a conversation-stopper says mealy-mouthed hippie Thom Hartmann. But we can wring our hands and bemoan the HYPOCRISY of Republicans as Rachel does, night after night, with her cutesy IOIYAR: "It's okay if you're a Republican." Besides preaching to the choir — we know all that — Rachel, don't you get it? Allow me to spell it out:

THEY.DO.NOT.FUCKING.CARE! David Vitter, John Ensign, Chris Lee, etc. etc. etc. — BRING IT ON. As far as their base is concerned, AND THE NARROW MARGIN OF VOTERS NEEDED TO WIN ELECTIONS, REPUBLICANS WELCOME DIVERTING OUR ATTENTION FROM BREAD-AND-BUTTER ISSUES TO PHONY MORAL ISSUES — THE 'CULTURE WARS'. THAT'S HOW REPUBLICANS WIN ELECTIONS. One of the lasting truisms of left-right, Democratic-Republican politics, is that Democrats win when bread-and-butter issues are FRONT-AND-CENTER. Republicans win when they divert the electorate's attention to phony 'culture war' issues. The Democrats seldom win on the GOP's culture wars turf.

Why? Because Republicans understand the psychology of their RELIGIOUS EVANGELICAL BASE and will pander shamelessly, with no risk of negative political repercussions. Quite the contrary. The HARDER THEY FALL, THE STRONGER THEY GET POLITICALLY, AS LONG AS THEY BARE THEIR SOULS TO THE BASE, ADMITTING THEIR SINS WITH WIFEY AT THEIR SIDES. It's all about redemption, hitting rock-bottom, and accepting Christ into one's life. Forgiveness is DIVINE, and the GOP base LOVES to forgive its sexual deviants, because it reinforces their fundamentalist religious narrative of forgiveness, redemption and salvation, giving them a sense of "grace" that's next to godliness. IOW, it's A SEXUAL TURN-ON FOR THEM.

In 2004, Republicans put gay marriage on the ballot in key battleground states, to bring out those one-issue voters. THEY WON. In 2010, the undercurrent to the PHONY BELTWAY ECONOMIC DEMAGOGUERY (the stimulus was a failure, NO JOBS, etc.— all LIES) was the RACIST VOTE energized by BIRTHERISM with scare tactics about healthcare centered on President Obama as a "socialist" and "muslim" and a scary BLACK MAN who was going to take seniors' Medicare away.

Would an INFORMED, KNOWLEDGEABLE electorate fall for this GARBAGE? NO!

But the fact is, 38 percent of Americans cannot pass a citizenship test — a natural Republican constituency — while Democratic voters stayed home, urged on by demagogues with a platform like Dylan Ratigan, who promote anti-government stay-at-home cynicism by claiming all "politicians" regardless of party are the same. That is one of the BIG LIES of our time. The old adage that a "yellow dog" with a (D) by its name is better than any (R) is truer today than it ever was. Like it or not, a two-party system is what we've got; we don't live in a parliamentary democracy.

So anyone who claims the Anthony Weiner episode will not last more than a couple of news cycles, and he can stay in Congress as only a somewhat "less effective" Congressman, with no fallout to the Democratic Party in the 2012 elections — IS A FOOL. It's not about the sex, the cyber-sex, the pictures, the women, the pregnant wife — it's not even about the SERIAL LYING. IT'S ABOUT ONE STUPID JACKASS — ANTHONY WEINER — HANDING REPUBLICANS A CAMPAIGN ISSUE, A CUDGEL, TO DIVERT OUR ATTENTION FROM MEDICARE, SOCIAL SECURITY, JOBS, AND THE ECONOMY.

Anthony Weiner will become the Republicans' poster boy for smearing the Democratic Party with being somehow immoral, unethical, seamy, having lost its way and undeserving of the public's trust because they're dragging some DEAD WOOD around named Anthony Weiner.

The Republican sinners have found salvation in Christ ... They campaign in churches to praise the Lord and their vote to KILL MEDICARE. Democrats ... not so much. Blame it on the old 'separation of church and state' thing. Democrats actually take their constitutional obligations seriously. Melissa Harris Perry said, about Anthony Weiner, "Life isn't always fair." Rachel thinks Melissa is REALLY SMART. So do I.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

How To Impress Women On The Internet With Your Penis

From a Greek "talent" show. (Shouldn't they be playing the ORGAN instead of the piano, though?)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Re: Anthony Weiner — The Bill Clinton False Analogy

Lawrence O'Donnell tonight re-enacted the Jennifer Flowers v. Bill Clinton episode —which must have really thrilled Hillary and Bill and, I thought, was a low point for Jonathan Alter, who seemed to be having trouble dignifying the "Back To The Future" theme of the segment. Apparently, the point of Lawrence's PASSION PLAY is that a consequential sex scandal was survivable for the next president of the United States. Therefore, the cyber-sex Anthony Weiner episode is equally survivable.

Perhaps. I'm even willing to concede that Anthony's constituents will re-elect him to Congress. Lawrence hates the hypocrisy of moralizing Republican politicians, who have been the worst sex offenders in Congress, and frequently seem to get away with a lighter sentence. Either that, or they're cut loose by their leaders and fall on their swords before further damage redounds to their party: Chris Lee; John Ensign, among them. Joan Walsh reminded us over at the Ed Show that we Democrats are "different." We don't pass summary judgment on our people until all the facts are in. "Hear, hear," piped in Bill Press. We don't throw our people under the bus.

Well, I beg to differ. Yes we do. Or we should.

To Joan's point that Bill Clinton LIED to us, then survived impeachment, as the indispensable president — rather than Democrats' best-ever REPUBLICAN president — who is "stronger today" that he didn't resign, I heard a SLAM-DUNK response to this line of argument on the Stephanie Miller show. It came from one of her brainiac sex slaves: Had Clinton resigned, the MORE LIBERAL Al Gore would have succeeded him. Gore would have continued most of Clinton's policies, except he would reject any "fast track" NAFTA free trade agreement which lacked strong environmental controls, and would have vetoed the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which repeal, SIGNED by Clinton, eventually led to the economic collapse of 2007.

Then, PRESIDENT GORE would have contested the 2000 election as the INCUMBENT with the HUGE SURPLUS wind at his back, blowing the IMBECILE George W. Bush out of the water. Imagine if you will: No Bush tax cuts. No Iraq war. Bin Laden cornered and killed at Tora Bora in 2002. Saddam Hussein boxed in by a strong UN-sanctions regime, as a counterbalance to Iran. President Gore would concentrate our substantial military assets on wiping Al Qaeda off the face of the earth. He would have forged strong international alliances, leading us far down the path toward energy independence. Finally, Social Security and Medicare would have been fixed well into the next century with the surplus savings. And we would have had universal healthcare by now.

Can you say, Bubba's "survivability = HUGE missed opportunity" ... anyone?

But, instead, I represent the generic "electorate" that is in DEEP SHIT as a result of what our elected officials have done, or failed to do, mostly stabbing us in the back: Beginning with the ENTIRE REPUBLICAN PARTY, a LARGE PART OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, and much of the media, including Dana Milbank, Michael Steele, and Heilemann-Halperin (borderline plagiarists and SMUT peddlers, who are in their element RIGHT NOW) as fixtures of the CNN-ization of MSNBC. (I've seen the same numbers MSNBC Corporate is looking at: 62% audience growth for CNN, 26% for MSNBC, while Fox's ratings atrophy — so CNN is the new emerging competitor.)

No one — NO ONE — is indispensable. Big Eddie got it immediately: Sometimes you just "gotta take one for the team." Oh sure, I love Anthony Weiner, the liberal attack dog. But not at the expense of what we're fighting for. We cannot afford to get sentimental about this jackass's prospects of survivability — not when he can take the entire party down with him.

To use the old baseball analogy: It's Game 7, top of the fifth. You're the Manager. Your team is ahead by two runs, and your ace pitcher is on the mound. Suddenly he loses it. His control is gone. Runners on second and third with no outs. What do you do? Do you hope he gets his control back and manages to get three outs without giving up two or three runs just so he can notch that WIN on his resumé? Or do you tell yourself: "I've got a 100 mph short reliever I was saving for the ninth, I've got a rested bullpen, AND I've got the whole DAMNED PITCHING STAFF to get the next fifteen outs, because THIS IS IT, THERE'S NO TOMORROW."

What DO YOU DO? Me, I'd yank the ACE in a NEW YORK MINUTE and never look back.

It's a team sport. No one's indispensable. Not even your ACE. And if he can't find the plate, he's OUT. With all due respect to Lawrence and Joan Walsh, Bill Clinton is a really poor analogy. In the first instance — Jennifer Flowers — it was Bill's word against hers, and the voters decided the Governor's word carried more weight than a slutty publicity seeker's who received unspecified funds for hurling her accusations. The 'caught-'im' lying came later. I rather doubt that after more than a week of arrogant LIES, Anthony Weiner has a prayer of turning his fortunes around by doing 60 Minutes with his wife. Furthermore, he's no Bill Clinton.

Starry-eyed, bleeding heart, hand-wringing, compassionate principle is what makes liberals sexy and cuddly. But it's a character flaw when it comes to winning elections. Rachel, there's nothing we can do about Republicans; not even your little "friend" Michael Steele can help you understand them. They're monsters, weasels, cowards, guttersnipes, scumsucking, bottom-feeding ratbastards, an alien subhuman hive ... and I'm only warming up.

So forget it. Democrats, and only Democrats, can control their message, their strategy, their fundraising, and the voter appeal and electability of their candidates. So when a Democratic rock star named Anthony Weiner becomes a SERIAL LIAR about his creepy, reprehensible personal behavior, sucking all the oxygen out of the Party's PRINCIPAL goal, which is to retake the House and re-elect President Obama, then, please, allow me, the generic Democratic voter (not of his district and state) to cut him loose and THROW HIM UNDER THE BUS! Oh sure, ultimately it's up to him and the voters of his district. But he should know how we feel. And then decide whether he wants, for self-serving reasons, to TRAMPLE on our message of HAMMERING THE REPUBLICANS RELENTLESSLY FOR VOTING TO KILL MEDICARE.

And I'll tell you who agrees with me: Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi. She can't say it publicly, but reports are she's furious with Weiner, and I believe, wants him to resign. Nancy's no bleeding heart. She's one tough lady and a proven winner. She knows how to win elections. That's what it's all about. Especially in 2012, which is a PIVOTAL YEAR for our country.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Bush Tax Cuts At 10: A Legacy Of Misery And Tragedy — What Could Have Been

Ten years after the Bush tax cuts, as we pause to take stock of what they actually DID versus what their absence COULD HAVE DONE, the inclination of Republicans to perpetuate the misery and economic devastation is nothing short of the familiar definition of INSANITY: Repeat, double and triple down on the tragic mistakes of the past, expecting a different, POSITIVE result. But they aren't insane in any traditional, clinical sense. They're more akin to criminals and traitors who have made a considered, self-serving decision — a pact with the Devil — to throw the United States of America under the Chinese Express in service of a narrow slice of master plutocrats and their über-rich comrades who are the sole beneficiaries of this government largesse and massive transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class Americans struggling with unemployment, underwater mortgages, no health care, and an all-out GOP assault on retirement benefits, pensions, Social Security, and Medicare.

In an ALTERNATE REALITY, one in which RATIONAL people exist, politicians serve their constituents rather than their contributors, corporations are regulated and their influence over the electoral process is held in check, and political leaders actually deliver a government that reflects the PUBLIC INTEREST and the COMMON GOOD — this is what the revenues RESCUED from the Bush tax cuts could have provided: (And we haven't even touched the two off-budget wars and the partial privatization of Medicare — Advantage, insurance companies.)

Cosmic Vibrations: Man Discovers Signs Of Life On Mars

An amateur astronomer chanced upon this intriguing structure on Mars (see below). Here are the fascinating details:
A self-described "armchair astronaut" claims to have identified a human (or alien) base on Mars. David Martines noticed a mysterious rectangular structure that appears to be on the Red Planet's surface while trolling the planetary surface using Google Mars, a new map program created from compiled satellite images of the planet.
"This is a video of something I discovered on Google Mars quite by accident," said Martines, the armchair astronaut, in a now-viral YouTube video. "I call it Bio Station Alpha, because I'm just assuming that something lives in it or has lived in it."
He zooms in the surface anomaly — a long, pixelated, white object — and lists the coordinates as 49'19.73"N 29 33'06.53"W. "It's over 700 feet long and 150 feet wide. It looks like it's a cylinder or made up of cylinders," he says.

A HUGELY enhanced picture of the mysterious structure on the surface of Mars revealed this astonishing detailed alien object:

There is no truth to speculation that the planetary coordinates for the Martian erection can be traced to this Twitter account:

But isn't it true that 'MEN ARE FROM MARS' ... ?

Lost In Weiner Cybersex, Santorum Announces Presidential Bid For GOP

Don't know much about Santorum? Well ... that's what the GOOGLE MACHINE is for, right? Learn all about Santorum with this helpful internets search:


Monday, June 06, 2011

Step Aside, Anthony

Anthony Weiner finally came clean today and admitted that all those lewd photos are his, and further, that he's been carrying on "sexting" relationships with several women (?) of legal age (?). The amazing thing about the Anthony Weiner mess is that conventional wisdom dictates the coverup is always worse than the lewd behavior. (For one, we don't know he actually committed any crime at all.) But conventional wisdom is nonetheless right once again.

In this case, the embarassment Weiner has caused his family, his constituents, and his party was compounded by a couple of weeks of public lying. Politically, it's near-fatal, depending on whether there are further revelations, even if he's from the safest of safe Democratic districts.

As tough as it was, Weiner should have come clean immediately as soon as the story broke, instead of finally holding the perfunctory dirty laundry press conference today. As bad as this is —how can Weiner know the women he had internet or texting or phone sex, or whatever it is he was doing with those lewd photos, on Facebook, Twitter, etc., are (a) of legal age (this type of juvenile behavior is typically done by juveniles) or (b) that they are even women at all — it would have been a survivable tryst/embarassment/offense had Weiner come clean and taken his medicine immediately.

As bad as this is, the cliché is still true: the coverup is worse than any possible offense short of an actual crime, which is unlikely. If Anthony hangs on he will be a constant black eye to the Democratic Party and an ineffectual Congressman. "Dumb" doesn't even begin to explain this one.

Paul Revere Responds To Sarah Palin

The HICK from the North Country mangled her history yet again, in the grand tradition of know-nuthin' Republican politicians: "He warned thu Bratesh that they warn't gonna be takin' away our arms!"

No, Sarah, you ignorant S-S-S-S-hit for brains: "The Paul Revere House’s website says that on April 18, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren instructed Revere to ride to Lexington, Mass., to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British troops were marching to arrest them." Meanwhile, the Palinites tried  to alter the Paul Revere Wikipedia page. (This is another danger that doesn't get nearly the focus it should, with wingnuts raiding history entries on Wikipedia in a continuous attempt to revise history. I'm glad the Wikipedia editors were alert to it this time. Quite often, they've been asleep at the switch.)

But as luck would have it, PAUL REVERE HIMSELF has an answer just for Sister Sarah!

I Don't Usually Approve Of People Thrusting Bibles In Politicians' Faces ...

But in this case, I'm willing to make an exception. Recently Bill-O The Clown accused the President of being for "social justice." Is that supposed to be a bad thing? It's Christianity's middle name; and it's what this young Catholic activist was trying to impress upon Paul Ryan regarding the essential immorality of his Medicare-killing budget. For all of its flaws, the Catholic Church has been the most genuine, the most authentic Christian church in following the Word of Jesus: What you do unto the least of us, you do unto Me.

The Catholic Church is not like the apocalyptics with their broken-down doomsday clock, obsessing over the rapturous destruction of millions of lives; or the evangelicals who preach "personal salvation" for a buck; or the mega-churches that tend to the spiritual needs of comfortable white suburbanites. The Catholic Church not only believes in the letter of the teachings of Jesus Christ, but tries to live by it each and every day. It's really a no-brainer. Jesus showed the way:
Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.
Matthew 25:36
Catholic teaching is clear on helping the poor and providing healthcare for all, on economic and social justice, and on the role of the state. Here are selected excerpts of Catholic social teaching (emphasis mine):
Option for the Poor
The moral test of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. The poor have the most urgent moral claim on the conscience of the nation. We are called to look at public policy decisions in terms of how they affect the poor. The "option for the poor," is not an adversarial slogan that pits one group or class against another. Rather it states that the deprivation and powerlessness of the poor wounds the whole community.
The option for the poor is an essential part of society's effort to achieve the common good. A healthy community can be achieved only if its members give special attention to those with special needs, to those who are poor and on the margins of society.  See selected quotations.
Rights and Responsibilities
Human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency — starting with food, shelter and clothing, employment, health care, and education. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities — to one another, to our families, and to the larger society. 
See selected quotations.
On the proper role of government, note that the Catholic Church emphasizes that the right wing libertarian ideology of  so-called "limited government" is antithetical to Catholic teaching. Hence, whether or not it admits to it, in this sphere of the role of government, social justice, and the "common good" the Church is decidedly liberal in its outlook and philosophy. This passage is worth highlighting:

"When the needs in question cannot adequately be met at the lower level, then it is not only necessary, but imperative that higher levels of government intervene."
Role of Government and Subsidiarity
The state has a positive moral function. It is an instrument to promote human dignity, protect human rights, and build the common good. All people have a right and a responsibility to participate in political institutions so that government can achieve its proper goals.

The principle of subsidiarity holds that the functions of government should be performed at the lowest level possible, as long as they can be performed adequately. When the needs in question cannot adequately be met at the lower level, then it is not only necessary, but imperative that higher levels of government intervene.  See selected quotations on
 the role of government and subsidiarity.
Similarly, when Bill-O The Clown tried once more to portray our President as somehow alien to "our values" he placed President Obama, without even knowing it, squarely in the mainstream of Catholic Christian teaching on the proper role of government and politicians:

All workers have a right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, and to safe working conditions. They also have a fundamental right to organize and join unions. People have a right to economic initiative and private property, but these rights have limits. No one is allowed to amass excessive wealth when others lack the basic necessities of life.

Catholic teaching ... rejects the notion that a free market automatically produces justice. Distributive justice, for example, cannot be achieved by relying entirely on free market forces. Competition and free markets are useful elements of economic systems. However, markets must be kept within limits, because there are many needs and goods that cannot be satisfied by the market system. It is the task of the state and of all society to intervene and ensure that these needs are met.
Economic Justice
The economy must serve people, not the other way around. All workers have a right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, and to safe working conditions. They also have a fundamental right to organize and join unions. People have a right to economic initiative and private property, but these rights have limits. No one is allowed to amass excessive wealth when others lack the basic necessities of life. 
Catholic teaching opposes collectivist and statist economic approaches. But it also rejects the notion that a free market automatically produces justice. Distributive justice, for example, cannot be achieved by relying entirely on free market forces. Competition and free markets are useful elements of economic systems. However, markets must be kept within limits, because there are many needs and goods that cannot be satisfied by the market system. It is the task of the state and of all society to intervene and ensure that these needs are met.
Which brings us to the sordid and pathetic footnote in the Republican Party's radical schemes to undo generations of our social and economic safety net, enacted under FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society, simply because they are laissez-faire economic royalists and extremists who worship at the altar of a false goddess named Ayn Rand. This blog has been hammering this theme from the very beginning of Paul Ryan's Terror Tour, but only now is it percolating up the fringes of the Beltway Media. In fact, they treat the vehement Catholic opposition to the Ryan budget as if it didn't exist. And they will not even acknowledge the connection between these radical policies and Ayn Rand. Why? (Maybe Andrea Mitchell can provide an answer. But she's not telling.)