Saturday, December 10, 2011

58 Second Flat Post-GOP Debate Analysis: A $10,000 Bet ...

On anyone but Mitt. Which was the effect of Romney's juvenile challenge to Rick Perry on what was, or was not, written in the first edition of Mitt's book regarding Romneycare. That kind of stratified country club millionaire's bravado is so divorced from the day-to-day money worries of ordinary middle class Americans trying to stay ahead of expenses, that it's akin to George H.W. Bush showing how out-of-touch he was with plain folks by not knowing how a price scanner worked. Mitt is effectively toast in Iowa, and if he doesn't stop the bleeding in New Hampshire, he's finished.

  • $10,000 is one-third of a median family's annual income in affluent states in this country;
  • $10,000 is a downpayment on a new home for many middle class home buyers;
  • $10,000 is 10 times larger than the average payroll tax cut for 160 million middle class American workers;
  • $10,000 can cover one year's tuition costs for thousands of young people without the means to afford a college education; and
  • $10,000 is the kind of money only high-end professional gamblers with the fattest bankrolls risk; they rarely make a prime bet exceeding 5% of bankroll, which means, to place a bet of $10,000 they need to have a gambling bankroll of $200,000.
Sounds about right for Skippy the Mittster — sitting in the country clubhouse placing $10,000 wagers on a friendly game of poker with his rich buddies. The man's a walking, talking monopoly game. Skippy's fadeaway may be going, going, gone ... by the time the Iowa Caucus voting begins. Meanwhile, no one landed any stingers on Newt, though Bachmann tried and Paul made a half-assed attempt. Newt had the best line when he said Romney didn't have a career in politics only because he lost the 1994 Massachusetts Senate race to Teddy Kennedy.

Friday, December 09, 2011

WINGNUT WATCH: Stocking Monsters To Really REALLY FRIGHTEN Wingnuts …

Aww … Our restive wingnut zombie population, avid TV viewers of the Barrett-Jackson car auctions — because muscle cars compensate for intimacy, normal relationships, and sexual inadequacy — the johns and janes of a whorehouse named FOX, and consumers of The Daily Caller, are real SKEERT, terrified, “FRIGHTENED” that these stocking monsters will ruin their holidays:

1. President O-BADASSMA-ma: While the GOP’s latest frontrunner Newt turns off larger and larger portions of the general electorate by proposing the repeal of 100 years of child labor laws and a return to 19th century indentured servitude and exploitation of women and children — go for it, Newt, we’re lovin’ it!...

Skippy the prissy Mittster hurled the GOP nuclear option at President Obama, the get-on-your-knees-and-pray Hail Mary! pass. Vaulting right over the usual charges that Democrats are “soft” on Defense, Skippy went straight for the “appeasement” canard, a sure sign of desperation. Except this time it won’t stick, and it won’t work, with our — NINJA! president:

2. Occupy Wall Street: Who’d a thunk that the OWS kids mocked by Newt and wingnut pundits like Ron Christie regurgitating old 60s establishment scorn — “go take a bath!” and “get a job!” — have the GOP establishment sweating rubber bullets and projectiles, so much so that Frank Luntz is feverishly rewriting their propaganda scripts:

3. The 1980s! Wow … The pathetic, generationally brain-addled wingnut SAPS are suddenly REALLY fearful of embracing the decade of their deity, Ronald Reagan. Little wonder, since it spawned 30 years of flatlined middle class wages, an explosion of income inequality, deficits, the theft of wealth from the bottom and middle to the very top 1%, the flight of American jobs overseas, and the gutting of our manufacturing base. So we get a ridiculous story like this from a clueless wingnut Daily Caller chick, to be read with whiny valley girl diction: “Heee’s Soooo 1980s!”?! And your point is … (?):
Which presidential candidate said this in an ad: “I refuse to make your family pay more so that millionaires can pay less?” Who promised to “fight for seniors” against opponents who wanted to “slash Medicare? If you answered President Barack Obama, you’re about 27 years too late. Those pronouncements came from an ad for Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic pols who ran against Ronald Reagan in 1984. (Mondale’s ticket lost to Reagan in a landslide, winning only one state.) This year Obama is pushing the same themes as Mondale, and other former Democratic presidential candidates.
Oh, I see. The wingnut chick’s PLEA is for President Obama to STOP echoing core Democratic Party themes dating back to the New Deal and the Great Society because, she argues, weak Democratic candidates gained no traction from them in the 80s, and… the country’s (pretty please?) moved on. Really? You wish. When Frank Luntz panics, you’re in trouble, my widdle DC wingnuts. Besides, what’s wrong with the 80s? It gave us Happy Days, the A-Team, the best one-hit musical wonders in Rock history, Star Wars, Gordon Gekko and Ronald Reagan.

The country’s wised up, wingnuts. And judging by those FRIGHTENED DC pathetic hit pieces attempting to disparage OWS for: (a) being white and affluent — (like the Founding Fathers?) ... but untrue and misleading nonetheless — then (b) “hypocrisy” for posting $400 (!) to pay monthly rental on a campsite property — the kind of income that barely covers a single studio rental in anywhere USA; wingnuts remain clueless. They whine the movement isn’t genuine like, say, the Koch Bros.-financed Tea Party … unless it’s destitute and has no contributions or sources of funding. More absurd wingnut spitballs. But reading the DC gives us valuable insight into the wingnuts' teenie tiny bigoted brains; a treasure trove for psychology and psychiatry professionals studying the twisted 'logic' of the right.

ATTENTION, WINGNUTS: EVEN your deity, Ronald Reagan, is hip to the Democratic message:

OH MY. Ronald Reagan, Jr. said, "just shows you how far (right) the Republican Party has come since then." OUCH. And OOPS …

4. NEWT GINGRICH: YES-yes-yes …. Just in time for the Holidays, the GRINCH who stole everyone’s thunder has managed to turn the staid political world of the Beltway Media/Idiot Punditocracy/GOP Establishment on its head. LITERALLY. Newt Gingrich is a one-man political wrecking crew. He has totally unsettled the POLITICO world of IP luminaries like Chris Matthews, who warned progressives, DARKLY, that we should be “careful what (we) wish for.” Meaning, of course, liberals and progressives are DOUBLY rejoicing at the prospect of a Gingrich challenge to President Obama as the Republican Party nominee! It’s totally hilarious to see Chris Matthews, Chris Christie and John Sununu on the same page, not to mention the Coultergeist — this loon is afraid Newt will be "foisting EST on the nation" (!) — as Rush Limbaugh rails against the GOP “establishment.” Meanwhile, FOX and the DC are “soooo conf-US-ed…” The wingnuts are in CHAOS! OH MY … Indeed.

5. Teddy Roosevelt: Nothing like invoking the spirit of a top-three icon of the "grand old party" when it actually lived up to its acronym. In my earlier post I laid out Teddy's broad progressive vision from his "New Nationalism" speech of 1910 in Osawatomie, Kansas. Here are a few more tidbits, relevant to today's extremist Republicans. Would Teddy pass muster in today's Republican Party? No way, Joe. The only question is, will President Obama rise to the challenge of his aspirational marker:
In the audience at Osawatomie in 1910 were many veterans of the Civil War, stroking gray beards just a few years before the unthinkable violence of the Great War broke out in Europe. They heard a far-reaching vision from Roosevelt.

On the rich: “The right to regulate the use of wealth in the public interest is universally admitted.”

On labor:  “We need comprehensive workmen’s compensation acts, both state and national laws to regulate child labor.”

On the environment: “Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of ensuring the safety and continuance of the nation.”

On corporate power:  “The Constitution guarantees protection to property and must make that promise good. But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation.”

Today, Gingrich has called child labor laws “truly stupid,” and has suggested that poor grade school students do the work of janitors at schools. The Supreme Court has elevated corporations to full citizenship, freeing them to use their power to dominate elections. Forget about conservation — virtually every major Republican presidential candidate denies the basic science of a potential global climate catastrophe. And Glenn Beck, a leading voice for the Republican crazy caucus, calls Roosevelt-style progressivism “a cancer on our Constitution.”

But it’s shame that Obama, in channeling T.R. from a long ago summer’s evening, could not reach for anything more stirring in his proposals than a call for the approval of his consumer protection bureau appointee, and the continuance of tax cuts for wage-earners.

So it is, a curse of the modern political age: no one from our times is even a distant candidate for Mount Rushmore.

A Touch Of Enlightenment: Hillary's Speech On Human Rights For Gays

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a historic speech at the UN upholding gay rights as human rights, with a bold and moving declaration condemning violence and discrimination of gay, lesbian and transgendered people across the world. The speech, arguably Hillary's greatest to date, was made on the cusp of the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this Saturday. Here's a roundup of the world's reaction to Hillary's speech. Watch Rachel's segments and the full 30-minute speech here:

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Media Watch: Of FASCIST BASTARDS And Weird Libertarian "Humor" Promos

It's nice to have independent cable media in CURRENT TV where calling out a fascist, i.e., a spade is a spade is a FASCIST BASTARD, is perfectly fine and won't get the host banished for telling the truth. Watch Keith go feral on these fascist ratbastard Republicans:

Meanwhile, the fake progressive network is hiring them as "analysts" and running fascist ads for Moron Joe with Mike Barnacles waking up on a park bench, beneath newspaper pages like a homeless person, to do the show — at a time when temperatures are dipping below freezing and hundreds of thousands of Americans have been made the nouveau homeless, thrown out of their homes by the banks and the local sheriffs — this passes for humor? (I suppose ...) at the fake "progressive" network that gives a Republican libertarian ASSHOLE like Joe Scarborough his morning show.

But that's not all: there's smoking, gambling, liquor and hookers, while Mika-the-liberal enforcer runs around in her dominatrix skivvies. Typical, juvenile Moron Joe libertarian "humor:" Celebrating our victimless social peccadilloes which the big bad state wants to regulate; be it the "pleasures" of cancer-causing/spreading smokes, the freedom to drink with sex-for-hire call girls (legalize the victimless crimes — prostitution and drugs — as Willie the Wingnut the alkie enjoys babes-for-hire), or the token Dem enjoying the "liberty" of homelessness because, well, it's his "fault." Nice.

Is this supposed to be cutting edge, or funny? Seems to be more stupid, glib, and insensitive/offensive than anything else. This Business Insider comment pretty much sums it up. Hard-edged and mean-spirited wingnut "humor" on view. Here's the weird extended Moron Joe promo, clips of which are aired on MSNBC. My guess is, it won't help his ratings one iota:

Moron Joe, it should be noted, is where reactionaries, plagiarists, nativists, and wingnuts hang out. Mark Halperin, conservative plagiarist annointed MSNBC "senior political analyst" who smirked that President Obama is "a dick" warms Pat Buchanan's seat. Pat was banished for a time at least for publication of his latest racist screed, probably deemed necessary by the suits given their large African American audience. Judging by the new ad campaign, Pat may be back once his "book tour" of racist and white supremacist media venues is done and deemed more benign by the passage of time.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

President Obama Goes Progressive Invoking The Spirit of The Father of Progressivism: Teddy Roosevelt

I’ve said this many times before, but it’s worth repeating: Teddy Roosevelt was the last of the great Lincoln Republicans. If today’s liberal Democrats were transported in time to August 31, 1910 when President Theodore Roosevelt visited Osawatomie, Kansas and laid out his vision for a “new nationalism,” we would be Roosevelt Republicans. Here Teddy Roosevelt, the Lincoln Republican, pays homage to his foundational hero, Abraham Lincoln. The emphasis in Roosevelt's excerpted speech is mine:
"Of that generation of men to whom we owe so much, the man to whom we owe most is, of course, Lincoln. Part of our debt to him is because he forecast our present struggle and saw the way out. He said:

"I hold that while man exists it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind."

And again:

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

If that remark was original with me, I should be even more strongly denounced as a Communist agitator than I shall be anyhow. It is Lincoln’s. I am only quoting it; and that is one side; that is the side the capitalist should hear. Now, let the working man hear his side.

"Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. . . . Nor should this lead to a war upon the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor; . . . property is desirable; is a positive good in the world."

And then comes a thoroughly Lincoln-like sentence:

"Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."

It seems to me that, in these words, Lincoln took substantially the attitude that we ought to take; he showed the proper sense of proportion in his relative estimates of capital and labor, of human rights and property rights. Above all, in this speech, as in many others, he taught a lesson in wise kindliness and charity; an indispensable lesson to us of today. But this wise kindliness and charity never weakened his arm or numbed his heart. We cannot afford weakly to blind ourselves to the actual conflict which faces us today. The issue is joined, and we must fight or fail."
Here Teddy Roosevelt, the Lincoln Republican, defines what today’s phony Republicans call “class warfare”:
"In every wise struggle for human betterment one of the main objects, and often the only object, has been to achieve in large measure equality of opportunity … One of the chief factors in progress is the destruction of special privilege. The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity, which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows. That is what you fought for in the Civil War, and that is what we strive for now."
Here Teddy Roosevelt, the Lincoln Republican, defines what it is to be a “progressive” and why liberals (defined broadly as those of us who believe government has an indispensable role in achieving a more perfect Union for all) embrace and honor the name as part and parcel of the liberal ideal:
"At many stages in the advance of humanity, this conflict between the men who possess more than they have earned and the men who have earned more than they possess is the central condition of progress. In our day it appears as the struggle of freemen to gain and hold the right of self-government as against the special interests, who twist the methods of free government into machinery for defeating the popular will. At every stage, and under all circumstances, the essence of the struggle is to equalize opportunity, destroy privilege, and give to the life and citizenship of every individual the highest possible value both to himself and to the commonwealth. That is nothing new. All I ask in civil life is what you fought for in the Civil War."
Here Teddy Roosevelt, the Lincoln Republican, lays down the markers for which progressives are still fighting today, against the forces of ignorance, reaction, and accumulated wealth and power to game the system in their narrow, special interests and privilege:
"Practical equality of opportunity for all citizens, when we achieve it, will have two great results. First, every man will have a fair chance to make of himself all that in him lies; to reach the highest point to which his capacities, unassisted by special privilege of his own and unhampered by the special privilege of others, can carry him, and to get for himself and his family substantially what he has earned. Second, equality of opportunity means that the commonwealth will get from every citizen the highest service of which he is capable. No man who carries the burden of the special privileges of another can give to the commonwealth that service to which it is fairly entitled."
Here, Franklin Delano’s cousin Teddy, the Lincoln Republican, defines the “square deal” which was the precursor and cousin of the New Deal:
"I stand for the square deal. But when I say that I am for the square deal, I mean not merely that I stand for fair play under the present rules of the game, but that I stand for having those rules changed so as to work for a more substantial equality of opportunity and of reward for equally good service. One word of warning, which, I think, is hardly necessary in Kansas. When I say I want a square deal for the poor man, I do not mean that I want a square deal for the man who remains poor because he has not got the energy to work for himself."
Here Teddy Roosevelt, the Lincoln Republican, says what he means: “We must drive the special interests out of politics.” He also warns the five right wing extremists on the Supreme Court of what the people know instinctively, and what the Court has codified into law as a cudgel for the rich, the privileged, the special interests, to bludgeon the people’s democracy: “The Constitution guarantees protection to property, and we must make that promise good. But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation.”
"Now, this means that our government, National and State, must be freed from the sinister influence or control of special interests. Exactly as the special interests of cotton and slavery threatened our political integrity before the Civil War, so now the great special business interests too often control and corrupt the men and methods of government for their own profit. We must drive the special interests out of politics. That is one of our tasks today. Every special interest is entitled to justice — full, fair, and complete — and, now, mind you, if there were any attempt by mob-violence to plunder and work harm to the special interest, whatever it may be, that I most dislike, and the wealthy man, whomsoever he may be, for whom I have the greatest contempt, I would fight for him, and you would if you were worth your salt. He should have justice. For every special interest is entitled to justice, but not one is entitled to a vote in Congress, to a voice on the bench, or to representation in any public office. The Constitution guarantees protection to property, and we must make that promise good. But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation."
Here Teddy Roosevelt, the Lincoln Republican, explains the importance of regulation, which the ante-Lincoln phony “Republicans” of our day want to do away with, in the pocket and service of the rich and the corporations:
"The true friend of property, the true conservative, is he who insists that property shall be the servant and not the master of the commonwealth; who insists that the creature of man’s making shall be the servant and not the master of the man who made it. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have called into being.

There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done.

We must have complete and effective publicity of corporate affairs, so that the people may know beyond peradventure whether the corporations obey the law and whether their management entitles them to the confidence of the public. It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced. Corporate expenditures for political purposes, and especially such expenditures by public-service corporations, have supplied one of the principal sources of corruption in our political affairs."
Here Teddy Roosevelt, the Lincoln Republican, explains why even well-meaning corporate titans must be properly regulated by government because they cannot possibly compete against greed and a dog-eat-dog race to the bottom unless all are made to comply with the same rules of the road — which means safe consumer products, untainted food, and oil and coal exploration which does not pollute our environment and our drinking water. And should they break the law, that they be held liable:
"It is my personal belief that the same kind and degree of control and supervision which should be exercised over public-service corporations should be extended also to combinations which control necessaries of life, such as meat, oil, or coal, or which deal in them on an important scale. I have no doubt that the ordinary man who has control of them is much like ourselves. I have no doubt he would like to do well, but I want to have enough supervision to help him realize that desire to do well.

I believe that the officers, and, especially, the directors, of corporations should be held personally responsible when any corporation breaks the law."
Here Teddy Roosevelt, the Lincoln Republican, echoes the principal theme of the Occupy Wall Street movement — “We Are the 99%” — anticipating the economic crisis of 2007-2008 in which the “absence of effective state, and, especially national restraint upon unfair money-getting” (Wall Street gambling with our retirement income on exotic unregulated financial instruments, including bad real estate loans) heightened income inequality, promoting “a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power.”
"The absence of effective State, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power. The prime need to is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which it is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise. We grudge no man a fortune which represents his own power and sagacity, when exercised with entire regard to the welfare of his fellows. …We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary."
Here Teddy Roosevelt, the Lincoln Republican, argues for a progressive income tax in which the rich pay their fair share, including an inheritance tax — today called the “death tax” by the Orwellian wordsmiths of the (G)ods (O)f (P)rivilege, for whom the Paris Hilton tax cut benefiting fewer than 7,000 of the richest of the rich households is unalterable in a nation of more than 300 million people:
"No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar’s worth of service rendered — not gambling in stocks, but service rendered. The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective — a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate."
Here Teddy Roosevelt, the Lincoln Republican, calls for strong financial institutions oversight; a system enacted by his cousin FDR in the New Deal, with creation of the SEC and FDIC, among other reforms, leading to ever-increasing prosperity for the middle class; today’s fake Republicans aim to dismantle it, including the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, proclaimed by the candidates as if it’s a badge of honor.
"The people of the United States suffer from periodical financial panics to a degree substantially unknown to the other nations, which approach us in financial strength. There is no reason why we should suffer what they escape. It is of profound importance that our financial system should be promptly investigated, and so thoroughly and effectively revised as to make it certain that hereafter our currency will no longer fail at critical times to meet our needs."
Teddy Roosevelt defined progressivism. But when he broke with the ascendant business wing of the Republican Party to launch the most successful third party bid in American history, for the Progressive “Bull Moose” Party, he precipitated the first modern realignment of the two major parties. After Teddy lost the three-way race, contributing to Democrat Woodrow Wilson’s victory over conservative business Republican, third-place finisher William Howard Taft, Roosevelt’s progressive base left the Republican Party, eventually finding a home in the Democratic Party. They were to become the progressive core, the driving force of FDR’s New Deal. Teddy’s cousin Franklin picked up the flag, enacting many of the reforms Teddy Roosevelt had envisioned in his Osawatomie speech.

The second great realignment of the parties occurred following the enactment of the Kennedy-Johnson transformative Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts in 1964-65. The southern Democrats bolted the Democratic Party en masse to pledge their allegiance to the Republican Party. These “Dixiecrats,” had long been an albatross around the necks of liberal Democrats, as exemplified by Strom Thurmond’s clash with Truman over the party’s civil rights platform leading to his 1948 independent bid for president. On the Republican side, this realingment had been percolating for some time as well. It came to a head when Barry Goldwater came out against the Kennedy-Johnson civil rights legislation. Goldwater’s thrashing by LBJ in 1964 in which he only carried his home state of Arizona and five states in the Deep South — Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina — was instructive for right wing Republican strategists. By opposing civil rights legislation, Goldwater had garnered the racist southern white vote, which has become a staple of GOP presidential politics ever since. Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” consolidated the South as a Republican stronghold, and Reagan further refined the strategy with code language and pregnant racist symbolism, such as kicking off his official post-convention campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, site of the murder of three civil rights workers.

The Republican Party has effectively been transformed into a modern, southern confederate party. So when Rachel argues here that President Obama’s Teddy Roosevelt speech in Osawatomie was a return to his 2004 “Blue States-Red-States-We’re-All-The-United-States” Cumbaya rhetoric, I must respectfully disagree:

The reality is, never the twain shall meet. Racists and southern white right wing reactionaries will always vote Republican. President Obama was sharpening the differences, invoking the last of the great Lincoln Republicans, to drive home the point to the vast unwashed electorate in the middle — so-called “independents” really, an oxymoron — to consider what is it in historical, moral, and principled terms they’re voting for when they pull that “R” lever.

This was Teddy Roosevelt’s vision as excerpted here, in part, and paid homage to by the President of the United States, Barack Obama. Echoing Teddy Roosevelt — We cannot afford weakly to blind ourselves to the actual conflict which faces us today. The issue is joined, and we must fight or fail." — President Obama declared yesterday in Osawatomie:
This is not just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement. ... And in 1910, Teddy Roosevelt came here to Osawatomie and he laid out his vision for what he called a New Nationalism. “Our country,” he said, “…means nothing unless it means the triumph of a real democracy…of an economic system under which each man shall be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best that there is in him.”
Chris Matthews hosted historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of the award-winning book Team of Rivals about Lincoln and his cabinet, to speak of her next project, Teddy Roosevelt:

Teddy Roosevelt, in his own words: "We stand for a living wage." What a radical concept!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Martin Bashir INSULTS Our Intelligence Via Michael Steele — AGAIN!

Martin, all I can say is Jonathan Alter (whose two books I own) saved your sorry ass. WTF is WRONG with you bringing a partisan hack, a trainwreck JACKASS like Michael Steele whose initials suit the debilitating illness he represents as an MSNBC Republican spinmeister, to crap all over the joint, and your viewers, following one of President Obama's most important speeches of his presidency?!

It's disrespectful of MSNBC to President Obama not to match a serious speech with serious analysis. If not for Jonathan who used his spare time to provide some historical perspective and highlight the "irresponsibility" of the GOP's "religion" to not raise taxes on the rich, this would have become another Hardball Steele skit.

Shame on you, Martin, and SHAME on MSNBC. I am so fed up with their commitment to Steele, this JERK who steps all over the Democratic message with his insulting GOP crapaganda — what fools do you take us for? Jonathan's expression said it all; he was fuming at having to sit through MS's BS, and then you close it with Steele's snarky, sarcastic smirk: "Yeah, alright."

WTF is WRONG with you people?! Man, have I had it with MSNBC. You guys suck. Big time.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Forget Gingrich, Bye Bye Cain; Here Comes Paul

As the MSM/Beltway Media/Idiot Punditocracy obsess over who's the next anti-Romney on the Republican presidential field of nightmares, reluctantly settling on the totally unelectable Newt Gingrich — he's a "great debater, knows the issues, has experience" etc., they mumble, pointing uncertainly to the polls showing a Newt "surge" — Ron Paul has been making quiet, but steady progress under the radar, suddenly looming behind the frontrunners and poised to spring a shocker in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Presidential primary politics is a game of expectations.

As such, Ron Paul doesn't need to win either of those states to precipitate a tectonic shift in the increasingly chaotic Republican primary process — of 1968 Democratic primary proportions. In 1968  Minnesota Senator Gene McCarthy, the Democratic peace (in Vietnam) candidate was given little chance by the media when he challenged a sitting president, LBJ. As with most things political, the media's analysis of voters' discontent with Johnson's handling of the Vietnam war was way off-base. Senator McCarthy actually lost New Hampshire to President Johnson, 50%-42%. But McCarthy's strong showing against Johnson who barely cracked 50% was viewed as a titanic defeat for the President. Bobby Kennedy jumped into the race and less than 20 days after his New Hampshire "victory" Johnson announced he would not seek re-election. It was the ultimate political Pyrrhic victory.

Cut to the present day: The "expectations" game in New Hampshire for Mitt Romney is similar to what it was for LBJ in 1968. McCarthy was viewed as a marginal candidate and President Johnson was expected to poll upwards of 60%-70%. The surprise came in that polling then was not what it is today. Even so, New Hampshire voters have a long tradition of independence and bucking polls. Just ask Hillary after they defied the polls and revived her presidential campaign in 2008. As the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts, if not a favorite son Mitt Romney is at least a favorite cousin whose media expectation of a "clean" victory is well above that 50% Johnson magic loser's mark. And even accounting for a multiple candidates field, Romney's support has dropped precipitously this past month from 55% to 38% while both Gingrich and Paul have surged to 21% and 17% respectively. If Gingrich's support flatlines and Paul jumps ahead to second in NH behind a faltering Romney — a distinct possibility once voters get to see Newt up close and personal — all bets are off. Ron Paul is currently polling second in Iowa at 19% to Gingrich's 28% while Romney is fading at 17%. Ron Paul may well pull off a double surprise in Iowa and New Hampshire. Look out for the big Paul mo' just doing his "thing." He may yet force a brokered convention thus saving the Republican Party from itself.

58 Second FLAT Post-GOP Debate Analysis: Skippy Meets Napoleon; History Takes A Nosedive

There was such a bounty of imbecility at the last GOP debate that it would be easier to chuck the minimalism and give it the two-minute treatment. But where to start? Then, Sweet Melissa sitting in for Rachel Maddow did an excellent job of unearthing the real, really really FRIGHTENING inside story of that debate. No one in the Beltway media/Idiot Punditocracy had grasped it, probably because few of those idiots ever even heard of the Project For The New American Century (PNAC), let alone understood its role in the Iraq/Afghanistan wars or bothered to connect the dots. It's easier to report sex, gaffes, and competing talking points than to read history and do the actual analysis.

Gingrich: "I'm going to be the nominee."
Events ... SEX, Newt's gargantuan ego, Skippy's prim scolding of a Fox anchor, daintily crossing his legs with fussy, effete country club elitism — "we should get our facts straight (and eat our vegetables) now" — and Herman Cain's serial ignorance of the issues while denying a 13-year "casual sexual relationship" with a woman named Ginger (you can't make this stuff up, folks) overtook what was a significant preview of GOP foreign policy: A George Romero horror flick, the disaster called Project for the New American Century (PNAC) rising from the undead for one more round — we've had eight tragic years so far, not counting President Obama's mop-up operation, that these insane people aim to interrupt. Repeating the tragic mistakes of the past is how madness is defined. In U.S. foreign policy it's called continuity and transition of power.

PNAC is a semi-defunct think tank for neocon deep thinking, a brand of feral (thanks for the word, Chris!) "conservatism"/neo-fascism whose philosophy envisions a Pax Americana based on projecting brutal force/military power, imposing American-style "democracy" and values on far-flung nations and cultures which have never known it, and renewing good old-fashioned Euro-style 18th and 19th century imperial colonial rule — you know, the kind of thing we fought a revolution over — in order to feed the oil industry beast and maintain the sea lanes open for our economy's lifeblood, while cowing potential rivals (China, Russia) into submission with our chest-thumping, saber-rattling, jingoistic macho, because-we-really-mean-it-and-can-stay-the-course.

Those not familiar with this creepy, if not sinister organization, may be interested to know that in 1998 many of those neocons who resurfaced in that strange audience (even for wingnut Republicans) wrote the latest GOP presidential frontrunner, Newt Gingrich, a letter which stated, in part:
"On January 26, we sent a letter to President Clinton expressing our concern that the U.S. policy of "containment" of Saddam Hussein was failing. The result, we argued, would be that the vital interests of the United States and its allies in the Middle East would soon be facing a threat as severe as any we had known since the end of the Cold War. We recommended a substantial change in the direction of U.S. policy: Instead of further, futile efforts to "contain" Saddam, we argued that the only way to protect the United States and its allies from the threat of weapons of mass destruction was to put in place policies that would lead to the removal of Saddam and his regime from power. The administration has not only rejected this advice but, as we warned, has begun to abandon its own policy of containment."
Written two years before the terrorist attacks of 9/11 which triggered the invasion of Iraq and all that has followed since as a result of our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, this appeal for our government's commitment to the disastrous Iraq war puts the lie to simplistic historical revisionism that the invasion of Iraq was a reaction to the 9/11 terror attacks and not preordained policy by, in effect, a kitchen cabinet waiting its turn to take the reins of U.S. foreign policy.

The letter was signed by such luminaries of the neocon right as: Elliot Abrams (Asst. Sec. of State under Bush "43"), John Bolton (UN embassador under Bush "43"), Bill Bennett (served as 1st Director of National Drug Control Policy under Bush "41" and various other posts in the Reagan/Bush WH), Bill Kristol (Fox fixture and former Chief of Staff to V.P. Dan Quayle), Richard Perle (Asst. Sec. of Defense under Bush "43"), Don Rumsfeld (the infamous Sec. of Defense for Bush "43" and WH Chief of Staff to President Ford following the Watergate debacle), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's chief deputy), and James Woolsey (former CIA Director under President Clinton).

It is noteworthy that the letter was addressed to then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, the same Gingrich "enterprise" who is now leading the Republican polls and is likely the preferred candidate of the neocons and the far right, including its Tea Party base who, as Herman Cain demonstrated ironically, have no earthly idea what a "neocon" is. They outlined an expansive, imperialistic foreign policy vision that would last 100 years, perhaps not to be confused with Hitler's "1,000-year Reich."
"U.S. policy should have as its explicit goal removing Saddam Hussein's regime from power and establishing a peaceful and democratic Iraq in its place. We recognize that this goal will not be achieved easily. But the alternative is to leave the initiative to Saddam, who will continue to strengthen his position at home and in the region. Only the U.S. can lead the way in demonstrating that his rule is not legitimate and that time is not on the side of his regime. To accomplish Saddam's removal, the following political and military measures should be undertaken:

— We should take whatever steps are necessary to challenge Saddam Hussein's claim to be Iraq's legitimate ruler, including indicting him as a war criminal;

— We should help establish and support (with economic, political, and military means) a provisional, representative, and free government of Iraq in areas of Iraq not under Saddam's control;

— We should use U.S. and allied military power to provide protection for liberated areas in northern and southern Iraq; and — We should establish and maintain a strong U.S. military presence in the region, and be prepared to use that force to protect our vital interests in the Gulf — and, if necessary, to help remove Saddam from power."
In light of the fateful events of 9/11 that would forever change us as a people and a nation, the most controversial and disturbing passage of a PNAC document issued in September, 2000 on "rebuilding America's defenses" was this, in Section V of the 90-page document, entitled Creating Tomorrow's Dominant Force: "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor." (Emphasis mine.) One year later the twin towers and the Pentagon were struck by a coordinated terrorist attack. The PNAC "analysts" had their Pearl Harbor. They wasted no time sending  a letter to President George W. Bush on September 20, 2001 (nine days after the September 11, 2001 attacks) urging regime change: "[E]ven if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism." (Emphasis mine.)

Only in the topsy-turvy virtual reality world of Washington D.C. would romantics refuse to believe President Kennedy was the victim of a domestic conspiracy — aka, a coup d'etat, because they only happen in "those South American countries" — perpetuating an orthodoxy built on lies and Arthurian fantasies, and Van Jones be considered unfit to serve in government for signing a petition which calls for an investigation into the possibility the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an "inside job." Or at least that sectors of the U.S. government are criminally protecting strategic allies that knew of the attacks: In Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9/11 terrorists originated, and Pakistani intelligence with its known close ties to Al Qaeda, including funding sources.

And so the once thought defunct PNAC which had such a prominent, and destructive, role in George W. Bush's administration had a reunion of sorts during the GOP presidential debate. They're back, and they want in. Something about inflated egos, hubris, and unfinished business. Rachel touched upon PNAC's resurgent behind-the-scenes influence, but Melissa did the best job of highlighting it in the context of this past GOP foreign policy debate. Her somewhat sanitized report — hey, MSNBC is corporate media and self-censorship is the norm — still managed to shine a light on a sinister cast of characters, the audience of neocon PNAC zombies revivified to ask the questions. Watch:

Sweet Melissa got it about right: It's not what was asked or said but who was there, and why. (We'll get to the equally scary and hilarious highlights in a moment, considering one of these vampire fools — Ron Paul, perhaps Huntsman, excepted — could actually have their finger on the nuclear trigger.) Consider this grotesque personal hygiene maven, the Wolf Man Paul Wolfowitz, whose barf-inducing comb sucking is almost as gross and sickening as his neocon foreign policy views:

This cast of criminals (some identified in Melissa's report) drove George W. Bush's foreign policy and its Orwellian perpetual wars, now Obama's wars, despite the Minitrue unfurling of a "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" banner on the deck of the ultimate symbol of American military force projection — an aircraft carrier — with the commander-in-chief in full crotch enhancing military regalia. That was in 2003. The wars are still raging and most of our dead and wounded troops happened after Bush thrust his crotch on the American people.

George W. Bush's "mission accomplished" crotch as it might appear when HUNG as an art exhibit.
The candidates fell all over themselves in their audience participation whitewash of the past such that it became unclear whom was most trying to impress whom. Almost all of them, as Melissa pointed out, were apparently eager to open a third war front in the region, against Iran. Their collective amnesia was given the audience's seal of approval — we'd be greeted as liberators and our "mission accomplished" would take little more than a year because, after all, the large gaudy banner said so. It was best exemplified by the Napoleonic Newt Gingrich, already measuring the Oval Office drapes, with these fantastical statements:
"We need a strategy of defeating and replacing the current Iranian regime with minimum use of force." (Regime change by any other name, anyone?).... "But if we were serious, we could break the Iranian regime, I think, within a year, starting candidly with cutting off the gasoline supply to Iran, and then, frankly, sabotaging the only refinery they have." (Piece of cake, right? After all, weren't we greeted as "liberators" in Iraq?)

While ignorance, bellicosity, and jingoism raged like wildfire on that stage, Herman Cain provided a measure of comic relief with this idiotic remark: "Remember, when you talk about attacking Iran, it is a very mountainous region. The latest reports say that there may be 40 different locations, and I would want to make sure that we had a good idea from intelligence sources where these are located." Um Herman, you idiot ... You just made the best case yet why a "businessman" who knows nothing of history, let alone military history and strategy, should not be president of the United States. Because had you studied your ancient history you would know of a brilliant young general from Carthage, Hannibal, who boldly attacked Rome (218 - 203 BC) in her soft underbelly, and conquered her by leading his army along with combat-trained war elephants over the Pyrenees and the Alps mountains. The 26-year old military mastermind achieved almost complete surprise in defeating the Romans who had considered their mountains an impregnable natural barrier. Here's a nice color picture of the event. Sorry ... No Pokemon dramatizations:

THESE are the relevant question for the American voter: Would you want the most ignorant, policy-challenged, and flawed GOP candidates in history to assume the presidency of the United States at this critical juncture, or anytime in history? Would you want this rogues gallery of reborn PNAC villains, who were auditioning in that auditorium for a return to power, running our foreign policy — again? Would you want to open yet another front in our perpetual 100 years' wars, to wage a continuous third war stretching our military to the breaking point and bankrupting us for good, this time against Iran? Think long and hard on it. Because if the answer to these questions is "yes" then Osama bin Laden will have won our "war on terror."