Extreme Liberal's Blog

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John Oliver Talks Sense To Climate Change Skeptics

“You don’t need people’s opinions on a fact…”

May 12, 2014 Posted by | General, MSM, Polls | , , , | 3 Comments

When the Democrats went populist

Guest post by Smartypants

As the civil war in the Republican Party between the establishment and the anti-establishment rages on, there seems to be a knee-jerk need in the punditry class to find a false equivalence with the Democrats. We saw this the other day from the dudebro firebaggers in their longing for the same kind of civil war on the left. Now its surfacing from some in the more traditional media. For example, from the establishment point of view, Chris Cilliza thinks that perhaps Chris Christie can emulate Bill Clinton and rescue the Republicans from their civil war. For the anti-establishment folks, Chrystia Freeland seems to thinks the NY Mayoral candidacy of Bill de Blasio is just like the tea partiers.

What’s frustrating in reading all this nonsense is that it seems that very few people pay any attention to history these days – even the more recent variety. Because if they did, they’d know that the Democrats had their own populist movement not that long ago. And the real question is whether or not we can sustain it on a national level going in to the 2016 presidential election.

To set the stage, we have to go back to what led up to the Reagan/Bush years. For the best description of how that happened, I’d suggest that folks read what Peter Beinart wrote about it a couple of years ago. To summarize, coming out of the left-wing hey-day of the 60’s, Democrats got their butts kicked for 20 years in presidential elections – with the one exception being the Carter years that were a direct result of Nixon’s Watergate. Here’s what the Republicans did:

1972 – 520 electoral votes (49 states)

1980 – 489 electoral votes (44 states)

1984 – 525 electoral votes (49 states)

1988 – 426 electoral votes (40 states)

As you might imagine, Democrats were scared shitless that their future as a national party was over (things looked even worse for them than they currently do for Republicans these days). And so, a group of mostly Southern Democrats got together and formed the Democratic Leadership Council in 1985. Their goal was to shift the Democratic Party more towards “centrist” policies. But perhaps more importantly, they felt the need to attract more big money donors to the Democratic Party in order to compete with Republicans.

The result of these efforts was the election of Clinton/Gore (both founders of the DLC) in 1992. Perhaps since the Democrats were still fairly new to this whole business of big money donors, Clinton/Gore got off to a rocky start that resulted in a whole string of scandals about campaign finance. In case you’re forgotten about all that, just think “Lincoln bedroom.”

To connect this with the current race for VA governor, it was during Clinton’s presidency that he installed Terry McAulliffe (big donor fundraiser extraordinaire) as the head of the Democratic Party. That’s why you see the Clinton’s campaigning so hard in his election – their connection to McAuliffe is deep.

One of the first Democrats to speak out against this capture of the party by the DLC was Paul Wellstone; it was the context for the line that was eventually adopted by Howard Dean: “I represent the democratic wing of the Democratic Party.”

And then came Howard Dean’s presidential campaign in 2004. Anyone who actually paid attention knows that – other than his anti Iraq war position – Dean was no flaming liberal. But his bottom-up anti-establishment campaign was a direct challenge to what the DLC and the Clinton’s had built – especially in their reliance on big money.

As a full-blown Deaniac at the time, I watched the Clinton machine go after Howard Dean – as ferociously (perhaps moreso) than the Republicans did. And that became even more evident after Dean lost the presidential primary to John Kerry and went on to out-maneuver them to become Chair of the Democratic Party following Kerry’s loss to Bush.

As you probably know, Dean instituted a 50-state strategy, which was an attempt to build up the party to be competitive in all 50 states. Rather than the party elites picking candidates, Dean wanted them to come from the grassroots. And even after his success in the 2006 elections, the Clinton machine brought out the knives against him. You can read about some of that here. But perhaps the crux of it came when James Carville said that Dean should be fired and replaced with…get this…Harold Ford (then DLC Chair).

All of that is what set the stage for a lot of the acrimony that surfaced between the Obama and Clinton campaigns in 2008. From the beginning, Barack Obama made it clear that he was not a member of the DLC and instead built his campaign on a new and improved version of Howard Dean’s bottom-up grassroots model. While Clinton continued to rely on big money donors, Obama showed that the presidency could be won by harnessing the power of millions of small donors – shattering the whole DLC model.

Via that primary and a win in November 2008, President Obama offered a way out of establishment big money politics. That is why I’ll be watching what happens in 2016. Can we find a way to preserve what Obama has done after he’s gone? Has Hillary Clinton learned anything from her defeat and her time with the President in the White House? Or will her candidacy take us back to the top-down big money model of the (now-defunct) DLC? And finally, if Clinton demonstrates that she hasn’t changed, is there someone who can pick up the mantle from Obama and continue his legacy?

If people really paid attention to our not-too-distant past, those are the questions we’d be asking.

November 4, 2013 Posted by | Democratic Party, Election, Politics, Republican Party, Tea Party, The Repugnant Party | , , | 1 Comment

Blame The Victim – Our Economy Shouldn’t Have Worn That Short Skirt And Low Cut Blouse!

Cartoon by John DeRosier

The first thing I want to say with regards to the apparent deal that was struck between the hostage takers and those representing the victims is that any “liberal” pundit or blogger who encouraged voters to stay home in 2010 – SHUT THE FUCK UP! I don’t even want to hear your fucking whining. It is your fault that the goddamn Republicans were given the power to fuck us all over so much.

The next thing I want to say is THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA for taking on the toughest job in the world in 2008. It’s a thankless job trying to clean up after the biggest fucking failure of a president we’ve ever had in George W. Bush. But of course no one could have imagined that the Republicans would throw every obstacle they could find in your path, including the kitchen sink.

For people like Paul Krugman who characterize every compromise with the hostage takers, the terrorist Republicans, the obstinate children in the Tea Party as a “cave-in” — grow the fuck up already. Wipe off your snotty nose, suck it up and help us fight those motherfuckers in 2012. If you don’t wake up and realize that Republicans are playing you like a cheap fiddle, you don’t deserve to represent liberals. We don’t need crying, whining babies, we need people who will stand up and fight. Now pull up your Underoos and get to work.

For the general public who hasn’t paid attention, let me break down what just happened for you.

  • Republicans created this crisis by demanding massive spending cuts to programs primarily for poor people — OR ELSE — they would wreck the economy for everyone.
  • Republicans began their propaganda campaign to attempt to blame the national debt on President Obama and the Democrats, when we all know that the Republicans spent like drunken sailors and gave massive tax breaks to the top 1% of the population during President George W. Bush’s term.
  • The Professional Left in their immaturity and “emoprog-ness” began weeping into their Kool-aid and wetting themselves because it became clear that they weren’t going to get their utopian, idealistic way…they ended up prostrate on the floor, kicking and screaming and acting like fucking children.
  • President Obama in an effort to stave off a complete meltdown of our economy kept his cool and pushed for a compromise — a deal with those devils to prevent the impending doom.
  • Many of these Republicans hostage takers voted for every damn penny that President Bush spent on two unnecessary – off budget wars, the unfunded Medicare Part D and the unpaid-for trillions in tax cuts to the wealthiest 1% who haven’t invested a fucking penny of that money in America, but are hiding it overseas where they don’t have to pay any goddamn taxes on it — thanks to President Bush.
  • So President Obama, being the president of all people and a responsible, sane person — continued to try to reach a deal to simply prevent us from plunging into another recession and possibly a depression. A compromise had to be reached, there was no other option. It didn’t have to be this way either. In 2010, Tea Party Republicans were sent to Washington in large part because of an effort by people like Ed Schultz, Arianna Huffington and others to suppress Democratic voters. They, of course, are the loudest voices whining about having to deal with those assholes AND IT IS THEIR OWN FUCKING FAULT that we are in this mess.
  • And now we have wasted almost the entire summer dealing with this Republican created crisis – this hostage taking. And not only did they distract everyone from the real problems we are facing like joblessness, but they also succeeded in getting the whiny “emoprogs” to lose their shit about it. All in all, the Republicans had a great summer at the expense of the rest of us.

The reaction from many on the Professional Left is to blame the victim. President Obama had to deal with an unprecedented hostage situation that has never occurred in the history of our country, yet some of these people want to blame him for HAVING to compromise with these hostage takers. They all lament the fact that President Obama dealt with the GOP, yet not one of them offered a solution that would get us out of this hostage situation; not one idea about how we realistically get out of the mess.

I know the whining and crying is just beginning on the left, so I’m preparing myself for it. I’ve already heard and seen the whiners push the idea of fucking it all up even worse by running someone in a primary against President Obama. It doesn’t surprise me, these people are just as stupid as the Tea Party – they are just sipping lattes instead of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

UPDATED: No offense to either latte or PBR drinkers, I like a good latte myself…now PBR, not so much. But hey, whatever gets you a buzz. :)

August 1, 2011 Posted by | Politics, President Barack Obama, Professional Left, Republican Party, The Repugnant Party | , | 35 Comments

President Obama’s Rock Solid Base And Why Pollsters Look Confused!

I’ve seen this story in several places and felt the need to add my two-cents — maybe three. The Christian Science Monitor is the original source for the story that is titled “Gallup’s chief puzzled by Obama’s poll numbers”.

I’ll get to why I think the President has consistent poll numbers in the face of a slowly growing economy and many other issues that plague our country in the wake of 8 years of mismanagement. But first, I want to point out some disturbing trends in the media and amongst polling firms.

The mere fact that Frank Newton of Gallup would be puzzled by any poll number raises the question, why? Does he really think that the political world, or the world in general, operates in a pattern where it really doesn’t matter who the individual players are or what they say or do, it should just follow a predetermined pattern. I guess it’s the problem with statisticians in general. They use numbers to help order their worlds and depersonalize things so it is easier for them to understand. When you actually deal with real people and personalities, it isn’t quite as easy for them to understand.

Here is a passage from the CSM piece that illustrates this…

Looking at history, particularly Clinton and Reagan, it is somewhat surprising that [Obama] has never yet fallen into the 30 percent range in our approval rating,” Newport said. “And yet both Reagan and Clinton, in their first terms when the economy was perceived as bad … both fell into the 30s.”

I guess I need to point out to Frank that President Obama is not Clinton or Reagan and it is currently 2011, not the 80′s or 90′s.

The tendency to force everything that happens today into a model from the past is a common phenomenon. I’m my younger days of self discovery, I read a “philosopher” named J. Krishnamurti who wrote extensively on this idea. One of the things he said was that all thought is based on the past, it is formed from our memories and the mind filters everything through what it has known before and therefore it isn’t new. He encouraged people to live in the moment, and learn to listen with a still mind. I highly recommend his readings and lectures, if you Google J. Krishnamurti, you will find a lot of information about him and there are many Youtube clips of him speaking.

Back to the numbers game in politics! One of the worst offenders is Chuck Todd of NBC/MSNBC. The man lives for his numbers and especially the “horse-race” numbers. It may be that he perceives them as being impartial. We often here the phrase, numbers don’t lie. When I hear that phrase, my instinct is to say, “yeah, they are fucking numbers, how the fuck can they lie”. What that phrase accomplishes when uttered is to present the numbers as being impartial, as if the interpretation or spin of them doesn’t matter, because they don’t lie. It’s very similar to the phrase “the fact of the matter is” which is then followed by person’s interpretation of the “fact”.

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July 21, 2011 Posted by | Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama | , , , | 9 Comments

Rachel Maddow Does It Again – Real Journalism

H/T to Bob Cesca – The Awesome Dude!

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Politics, Republican Party, Tea Party, Teabaggers, The Repugnant Party | 1 Comment

The Media’s False Narrative – That’s Their Story And They’re Sticking To It

The media and their overlords, the Republican Party have been attempting with great success to tell a false narrative about President Obama and the popularity of his policies and him. I would also add that they were aided and abetted by the “firebaggers”, Jane Hamsher and her gang, Glenn Greenwald and his hatred and Arianna Huffington and her empire. They seem to be peddling the idea that the President and his policies aren’t very popular and candidates are running away from him. I don’t doubt that some of the candidates have bought into the narrative, they certainly don’t want to be seen as going against anything the big ole’ media says. But the reality is that since the president has been on the stump, the tide is turning for Democrats. And contrary to what Hamsher says, he is firing up the base and progressive voters, what she calls hectoring. This story from The Raw Story shows exactly why this narrative is false, a piece from it below…

Despite negative economic forecasts and all the rue predicted for Democrats in November, President Obama’s approval rating is actually faring better than Presidents Reagan and Clinton at this point in their terms, according to an analysis of data provided by the Gallup polling organization.In a survey of approximately 1,500 adults nation-wide, Gallup said on Oct. 6 that Obama’s approval rating was 48 percent. By comparison, Bill Clinton, the previous Democrat to reside in the White House, had a 42 percent approval rating at the same time in his presidency.

Republican icon Ronald Reagan, similarly, had an approval rating hovering around 42 percent at this time in his presidency, thanks to the country’s languishing economy which was largely credited for a Republican loss of 28 House seats in 1982.

Now if you’ve read my blog before, you know I don’t put a ton of stock in polls in general, especially when they try to predict what voters will do many months out. But shouldn’t that poll be a big story, PRESIDENT OBAMA MORE POPULAR THAN CLINTON AND REAGAN. I’m sure the Huffington Post has that blazing headline across their banner, right? They don’t? You’re kidding me right? I don’t understand.

So if you turn on the cable news channels and just see what meme they are pushing on any given day, it surely doesn’t reflect the reality of what is going on in our country. They have a narrative they have started and they are doing all they can to make it stay around, the truth be damned. Another factoid from that Raw Story piece…

Though Republican victories are largely anticipated in the media, a recent National Journal poll found that public approval ratings of GOP congressional leaders are actually lower than those for Democrats.

Now, how many times are you going to hear that today on MSNBC or CNN or FOX? Zero! Oh, it might get a mention as a throw away line, but chances are that won’t even happen. Instead we will hear how “people are hurting”…”where are the jobs”….”people are angry”….which may all be true, but according to polls, people aren’t blaming it all on President Obama. Sure, you will have a certain percentage of people who will instinctively blame the opposite party of the one they belong to, it’s a natural instinct. But I talk to a lot of people every day, granted they are mostly liberal….college kids and professors….but this is supposedly the group that is so angry at the President if you listen to the likes of Hamsher and Greenwald. I’m not hearing it. These people don’t even know who the fuck Jane Hamsher is. If they do, they usually say something like…”yea, what is her problem.”

This false narrative started almost immediately when the president was elected. Republicans were very blatant about their tactics to stop anything President Obama tried. The media bought and sold the Republican line like the corporate shills they are. The firebaggers jumped on board very soon too, fueled by their anger over the primaries and the belief that they alone will prove to those 53% who voted for President Obama that they were all wrong. But what keeps me going every day is the knowledge that each one of those media folks has only one vote. Conventional wisdom doesn’t vote. If I ever need to be reminded how the media plays the game, all I have to do is look back at the media’s anointing of President Hillary Clinton back in 2007 and the first part of 2008.

October 12, 2010 Posted by | Jane Hamsher, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama | 1 Comment

Gallup Poll Swings In The Wind But The Media Doesn’t

It’s kind of funny, in a sick way, that a week ago when Gallup had the generic Republicans 10 points up, the media was all over it telling us how this tidal wave was going to sweep Democrats out. Just one week later, Gallup suddenly has it all tied up and where are all the stories telling us about the Democrats resurgence. A ten point swing is pretty big, but crickets. Liberal media, my ass. From Steve Benen….

SO MUCH FOR THE GREAT GALLUP FREAK-OUT…. Last week, Gallup’s generic-ballot tracking poll showed Republicans leading Democrats by 10, 51% to 41%. It was billed as the GOP’s biggest Gallup lead in the history of humanity, and the results generated massive media attention, including a stand-alone Washington Post piece on page A2. It was iron-clad evidence, we were told, of impending Democratic doom.

[...]

What’s more annoying, though, is the media double-standard. After the vast news coverage last week’s Gallup numbers received, it’s striking to see how little outlets care this week. I’m still looking for the headline that reads “Resurgent Dems close gap against GOP” in a major daily, but can’t seem to find it.

Indeed, take Chris Cillizza, for example. Last week, the Gallup generic ballot was the lead story in his “Morning Fix” column, and he devoted more than 500 words to the results. Today, Cillizza’s “Morning Fix” column doesn’t mention the new Gallup results at all.

When the media culture decides poll results that Republicans like are more newsworthy than results Democrats like, there’s a problem.

September 8, 2010 Posted by | Midterm Elections, Politics, Polls | Leave a comment

Republicans Want The Economy To Fail For Purely Political Reasons!

The Republican Party has made the calculation that the only way they can get back in power is to prevent the Obama administration from accomplishing ANYTHING! This tactic shows that they really don’t give a shit about our country and are willing to sacrifice the American people to further their lust for power and money. And that is really what the GOP is all about, money. The most recent example of this is the Republican’s attempts to stop the passing of an extension of unemployment benefits. Every economist will tell you that these benefits have a direct impact on economic activity, when people have money to buy food and services, it helps to keep local businesses operating. It is disposable income that gets put right back into the economy. Greg Sargent has been telling us that Republican obstruction has been working and if you believe the polls, he is right. From Greg…

As you know, I’ve been arguing here that the GOP strategy of obstruction is paying off for Republicans — big time. The public is blaming Democrats, not Republicans, for the government dysfunction that has resulted from Republican obstructionist tactics, because Dems are in charge.

Now we have the clearest illustration of this phenomenon yet, courtesy of the internals of the new Washington Post poll.

Here’s the rub: The most visible example of GOP obstruction yet has been the blockade of an extension of unemployment benefits. The poll shows the public overwhelmingly supports this extension — and it also shows the public is deeply frustrated with the workings of Federal government. Yet despite these two facts, Republicans are now leading in the generic Congressional matchup.

Now I don’t put as much stock in polls as almost everyone else this far out from an election, I’ve been around too long and observed too many ups and downs in polls to get all excited about any given poll. I could give you dozens of examples of the media pronouncing a candidate dead and that candidate going on to win. Greg makes reference to one poll that has the Republicans leading in the generic Congressional matchup but Time’s recent poll showed the opposite. And really, generic polls are fucking worthless, they don’t tell us anything. People vote for real people, not generic people and I agree with Tip O’neill’s old line, all politics is local.

Digby at Hullabaloo pointed me to Greg Sargents post and gives his dead on analysis of the current political environment. Go Digby…

Similarly, the party in power is expected to do what’s necessary to pass its agenda. If it can’t, it is held responsible for the failure, not those who stopped them from doing it. This is particularly true in the present circumstance. The president blaming the “do nothing congress” only works when the congressional majority is of the opposition party. When it’s your own party, you just look like a weak leader and people think the underdog Republicans are simply “playing the game” better and so deserve to “win.”

And there is another dimension to this which especially applies to the Obama administration. Since he ran explicitly on the promise to end the bickering, change Washington and create a post-partisan consensus, people see the failure of those things to materialize as a measure of his failure to deliver on his promise. This president is more hampered than most in making the (legitimate) argument that the Party of No is to blame for the nation’s troubles. I didn’t subscribe to the “personal magic” theory of the presidency, so I had no illusions about Obama’s ability to keep this promise. But I think a fair number of people believed it and the rest think it’s the job description to beat the opposition with hardball politics. Failing at either makes him the loser, not the other side.

I think Digby’s analysis points to why the president’s approval numbers are where they are. Some of that disapproval is from liberals who want him to fight the Republicans more, take on those motherfuckers and beat them down. After 8 years of frustration during the Bush years, they want to see some blood, damn it. And of course, President Obama only brings out the big guns once in a while. I still remember the swooning on the left when the president went to the Republican caucus during the health care fight and beat them fuckers down. Keith and Rachel were swooning over him saying, where has he been, we need more of this. I know I want to see more of it, but unfortunately our president is trying too hard to end the bickering. We are coming up on an election and mark my words, the president has a lot of ammo that was handed to him by the moronic Republicans.

Democrats have finally passed that extension of unemployment benefits over the lock step opposition of the GOP, but what have the Republican’s set their sights on next? Help for small businesses. No shit, check out this from Steve Benen, the Political Animal that he is…

So, what’s next? A measure to help small businesses — which Republicans are also trying to kill.

Perhaps the last best hope of Democrats to pass legislation aimed at creating jobs before the November elections seemed to be crumbling in the Senate on Wednesday as Republicans signaled that they would block a bill to expand government lending programs and grant an array of tax breaks to small businesses. [...]

[W]ith some Democrats viewing the small-business bill as critical to their political prospects in November, Senate Republicans were not about to let it through easily, and have insisted on a chance to offer amendments.

Yep, Republicans are fighting against a measure to help small businesses because it’s more important to undermine Democrats than it is to help the economy.

Indeed, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who isn’t exactly a liberal firebrand, noted what appears to be plainly true — that the GOP leadership wants to reject a measure to help the economy for purely political reasons. “I think Senator McConnell knows and believes this bill could actually create millions of jobs and doesn’t want to give the president and Democrats credit for doing what we do, which is standing up for the middle class,” Landrieu said.

It is infuriating that Republicans would purposely try to prevent jobs from being created for political reasons. They absolutely have no shame, no conscience. I can’t wait until President Obama and the democrats hammer those fuckers with this over the next few months. Bludgeon those bastards with it.

I’ve frequently heard economists and others wonder out loud where are all the jobs? Why aren’t businesses creating more jobs, record profits are being announced every day. I challenge you to go to Google and search the terms “record profits 2010″ and see how many hits you get. Why aren’t these companies re-investing those earnings? I personally think that much of it is do to politics. Here are some facts from the Washington Post…

Nucor isn’t alone. The balance sheets of large U.S. corporations are for the most part in good shape. Many big companies have piles of cash on hand and credit markets have thawed so that they can raise new funds. Between Jan. 1 and Nov. 2, U.S. corporations overall raised $740.8 billion by issuing bonds, up from the $522.2 billion raised during the same period last year and almost as much as the $779.8 billion raised in the go-go year of 2007.

If you read the article, you will see that there are a lot of reasons why these companies may be holding back from investing, but I have a theory that at least some of it is political. I had this notion after reading this article about the US Chamber of Commerce by RJ Eskow at Crooks and Liars, it’s a must read…..go now and read…..here are a few pieces from it.

The United States Chamber of Commerce has released an “open letter” to the President, Congress, and the American people which contains its blueprint for our political future. It lays out the current Republican playbook in stark terms, and it reads like the battle plan for those alien spaceships from Independence Day: Drain the resources, take everything from the population, strip the land to a husk… and then presumably sail away in mile-long spaceships toward the next targeted planet.

What we’re seeing is the Politics of Plunder, revealed in all its nakedness. There will be another example of this corporate-driven mindset this week, possibly even today, when all but a handful of Republican Senators vote against a moderate set of curbs on Wall Street excesses. The Democratic Party may disappoint its supporters from time to time, but it seems that Republicans never do — once you accept the fact that its real “supporters” are the mega-businesses represented by the Chamber of Commerce. Some of the delegates who chanted “drill, baby, drill” at the GOP Convention are staring out their windows at oil-soaked beaches, while others have gone broke in an economy ruined by Wall Street gambling. That won’t stop the Politics of Plunder. (Come to think of it, “drill, baby, drill” would have been a perfect motto for those spaceships.)

To be clear, the Chamber of Commerce isn’t the political lobbying arm of “business,” as it sometimes claims. It specifically serves the interests of massive businesses, which are often at odds with the needs of small and medium enterprises. Any CEO of a smaller company who’s pressured by one of the Chamber’s sales representatives to join, as I was in my business life, is being asked to subsidize policies that will benefit the Chamber’s mega-donors — often at her or his own expense. The Chamber’s letter serves those mega-interests well, and we can expect most Republicans to follow it in lockstep, no doubt with cheering crowds pumped up for the same old chants and a few new ones.

[...]

Voters care more about helping the unemployed and getting Americans back to work than they do about cutting the deficit. Budget-slashing is a Washington fixation only, fueled by the think tanks and lobbyists that the Chamber/GOP crowd funds and promotes. But Chamber-driven Republicans hope that the public won’t understand what they’re doing, counting on “fatigue” and confusion to provide a smokescreen for the Politics of Plunder.

Those shadows over the nation’s cities aren’t spaceships. They’re the very real threats that continue to loom over us: Continued unemployment. A damaged environment in risk of even greater devastation. Generations of older Americans who might be left without financial security. Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce want to use our economic crisis as a “shock doctrine” moment to pass measures that will continue a massive transfer of wealth to the upper one percent, while mortgaging the country’s future to the economic interests that have already served it so poorly.

As the vote on financial reform will once again illustrate, this is not a movie.

Now, after reading that article or the above snippets, do you think I’m being conspiratorial when I think that the Chamber of Commerce and the huge corporations they represent might actually be stifling growth on purpose to put more money in their own bloated pockets? Isn’t capitalism wonderful?

July 22, 2010 Posted by | Democratic Party, Economy, Politics, Republican Party, The Repugnant Party | 15 Comments

Bill Maher Nails It – Again!

I don’t always agree with Bill Maher, but that’s a good thing in my mind. When people start thinking in “lock-step”, then we are in a dangerous place. I haven’t listened to the entire podcast of Bill’s show, which is how I get it…..no HBO for this poor sucker. Crooks and Liars has a clip of it and below you can find some of the transcript. I’d like to hang with Bill Maher, I like how he calls bullshit what it is. One of his “New Rules” from his last show is priceless.

New Rule: Al Gore Must Call His Sequel An Inconvenient Truth 2: What the Fuck Is Wrong With You People?

Bill has a column over at Huffington Post that you can read here. One of my favorite lines from it is below, he is responding to Global Warming deniers. (emphasis mine)

That’s the problem with our obsession with always seeing two sides of every issue equally — especially when one side has a lot of money. It means we have to pretend there are always two truths, and the side that doesn’t know anything has something to say. On this side of the debate: Every scientist in the world. On the other: Mr. Potato Head.

There is no debate here — just scientists vs. non-scientists, and since the topic is science, the non-scientists don’t get a vote. We shouldn’t decide everything by polling the masses. Just because most people believe something doesn’t make it true. This is the fallacy called argumentum ad numeram: the idea that something is true because great numbers believe it. As in: Eat shit, 20 trillion flies can’t be wrong.

You loyal readers know how I’ve been bitching about polling every damn thing that moves, the lazy journalism method, but it’s more than that. It’s crossing over into the realm of upending long established principles that this country was founded on. See Arizona and the “show us your papers” law if you need an example. The media is pushing the polls that show the “majority” of Americans agree with it, the constitution be damned. The media is trying to exert control over the agenda by commissioning polls with leading questions, poorly ordered questions and nonsense topics like the freakin bad call at the Detroit Tigers game last week.

I watched some of Morning Joke this morning and was treated to a constant drumming of the meme that the president hasn’t showed he cares enough about the oil spill, and Scarborough was trying his hardest to morph it into a leadership issue. Leadership is much different than stagecraft….photo ops….empathy….and fake outrage. I love the fact that my president is a serious, get things done president instead of someone standing in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner. I want him working, not acting. I want him solving problems, not flying around the country to the latest natural or man-made disaster. I know if he were that type of president, the media would be pounding him for being all about symbolism and appearances.

Morning Joke clearly has an agenda to damage the president, why else would they devote their entire show for weeks to beating that drum? It’s not like there were a couple of terrorists captured this weekend or anything else that happened in the world. And Joe and Mika (President of Joe’s fan club and lap dog) keep exaggerating and mischaracterizing what people actually have said. This morning he painted a picture that said that every democrat that’s been on in the last couple of weeks thinks the president is doing a poor job at “managing” this crisis. Which is complete horseshit. I watch almost every morning and it isn’t true. Sure, people have said he should have been “more out front” on the issue or could have tweaked his public performance, but they have all said he is doing everything he can. This morning James Cameron said that exact thing, which Joe glossed over…he hears what he wants and talks over those who he doesn’t want to be heard. Anthony Weiner had that pulled on him this morning too.

June 7, 2010 Posted by | Democratic Party, Media, MSM, Politics, Polls | , | 13 Comments

Rachel Maddow’s Excellent Piece on Republican Violence!

March 25, 2010 Posted by | Health Care Reform, Politics, Republican Party, The Repugnant Party | 17 Comments

Republican Violence In The Name of God!

The holier than thou Republicans are showing their true colors with their latest violent actions and rhetoric. Here is a clip from Countdown with Keith Olbermann, hosted by Larry O’Donnell.

What is wrong with this picture when people who supposedly value the “sanctity of life” hurl death threats and wish death upon people because of a vote to help mostly poor people get access to health care. Are these “good Christians” saying this shit? Religion in this country has become so bastardized, especially since they’ve infiltrated politics, that they actually seem to justify their violent actions and rhetoric with their religious beliefs. Gihad anyone? These are the real terrorists within our country. Let’s lock them up and waterboard them, give them a taste of their own medicine. Arghhhhhhhhh.

March 25, 2010 Posted by | Health Care Reform, Politics, Racism, Republican Party, The Repugnant Party | 2 Comments

The Death of the Tea Party, A Day of Celebration!

Lee Papa, The Rude Pundit often says it better than anyone and he nails it on the head again with this piece about the future of the Tea Party. Here is my favorite part of his excellent post.

Here’s what’s going to happen after the vote on the reconciliation bill in the House on Sunday: Almost every Tea Partier who was out there protesting will go the fuck away. They will devote whatever energy they have left to posting comments on blogs and Facebook pages. Their leaders, desperate to still be relevant and still draw a paycheck, will try to come up with some other phantom issue to whip up enthusiasm. But once it passes, no one will give a shit except the people it helps. The Civil War won’t be re-fought. The Constitution won’t be shredded. One or two states might try to force their misinterpretation of the 10th Amendment. Soon, Beck and Hannity and Michele Bachmann and Steve King will discover another Republic-ending crisis, probably immigration reform, and we’ll start the magical cycle all over again.

Meanwhile, those poor, ignorant bitches and bastards in the photo up there will shuffle home, curse the process, and, like good corporate tools, continue to suck down fast food and sodas and buy shit they don’t need because it’s cheaply made in China and sold at Wal-Mart and proudly drive gas-devouring vehicles and keep their children stupid and tell themselves that they aren’t the problem, no, they are the solution, wondering how to fill the desperate couple of hours between the end of Limbaugh’s radio show and the start of Beck’s TV rants, despising those who are attempting to do something for them and their neighbors, wondering where their country went, when, after all, this is where it’s gone.

Is immigration the next issue to get the racist, hateful, unpatriotic tea partiers riled up? Seems like a good fit for their agenda.

March 22, 2010 Posted by | Health Care Reform, Racism, Republican Party, The Repugnant Party | 3 Comments

Jane Hamsher and her “Firebaggers”!

Those of you who read my rants know that I have major differences with Jane Hamsher and some of the folks at her Firedoglake Empire. Although I agree with them on many things, I don’t agree with their tactics when dealing with President Obama and others who differ with them on issues. One of the most recent examples of her tactics was the slanted poll she sponsored in Arkansas’ 2nd district, which ended up causing Vic Snyder, the one on the losing end of the poll, to withdrawal from the race. Most people who’ve looked at it say Hamsher’s poll was the reason for his quitting. Nate Silver rips apart the questions they asked…

So, for all that work, the poll shows a whopping 4-point decline in Snyder’s poll numbers, and a 2-point increase in Griffin’s — not even outside of the margin of error. We don’t know how much of that has to do with opposition to the mandate versus the balance of the bill since the poll doesn’t unpack them — they could have asked an additional question or two to tease this out, but they didn’t.

And that 4-point decline — which may or may not be statistically significant and which may or may not have anything to with the individual mandate — comes only after they’d asked five or six questions in a row that framed the mandate in a negative light, and also reminded people for no particular reason about just how happy they are with their coverage in the status quo — all while using robopolling technology that was never really designed to ask complex sets of policy questions like these.

Great work, guys!

In contrast to Hamsher’s approach to polling, Daily Kos is all over the proper way to conduct a poll. They lay out the methodology and policies that clearly are meant to get fair accurate results. Here is the first thing covered in their published guidelines.

1) Questionnaire or survey instrument: This is the list of questions that will be asked in the poll.

First of all, it is vital to ask the question as fairly and objectively as possible. The exact wording of the questions and their order in the questionnaire are obviously important, as this can be the most controversial part of any poll. To provide full transparency, we publish the exact questions we ask, in the order asked…

…What must be emphasized is that it is important to be objective and have the facts straight when asking any issue question. Adjectives cannot be used in asking such questions, period. A question about the death penalty, for example, needs to be asked fairly and straightforwardly, with no embellishment: “Do you favor or oppose the death penalty?”

Nate Silver’s piece is most excellent, I recommend you read the whole thing. It clearly shows how polling in the wrong hands can produce very slanted results. The media has embraced polls as the gospel these days., no matter how bad they are done. And really, did you see the results of the last Daily Kos poll, here are some results. Do you want these folks setting policy for us?

Do you believe Sarah Palin is more qualified to be President than Barack Obama?

Yes 53
No 14
Not Sure 33

So, when you combine the not sure and the yes, that’s 86% of republicans who either think Sarah Palin is more qualified than President Obama or they really don’t know. Wow! President of Harvard Law Review vs. beauty pageant contestant and news anchor. Hmmmmm, which one would be more qualified?

March 1, 2010 Posted by | Politics, Polls | , , , , | 1 Comment

“Run Sarah, Run” The Leader Of The Republican Party Speaks!

Did you see Sarah Palin’s speech to the Teabaggers convention? I’ll put it up below but I don’t necessarily recommend that you watch it. As I was watching, I realized that I had to tune out once in a while because I felt my intelligence being lowered and had to break away from the spell. :)  I’m only half joking. The stream of consciousness that came out of her mouth was typical Palinism, her interpretation of things is almost like she gets her information 3rd hand or something. You know how when you start a rumor at one end of a table and by the time it gets to the other end, it’s completely different. That’s how I perceive Sarah getting her info, someone told Todd (like Rush Limbaugh or more likely Glenn Beck) and then he retells it to Queen Sarah.

I won’t even attempt to counter the huge pile of crap that she spewed out onto the stage last night, others will have a lot of fun with it I’m sure. I’m more fascinated by the roll she is playing in conservative politics, she basically was wooing the Teabaggers to the Republican Party, saying “come join us, we’re just as crazy as you are.” Now, I guess I shouldn’t be so gleeful at the thought of the republicans hooking up with this group, maybe they can get 51% of the country to believe that crap. I have to always remind myself that America REelected George W. Bush.

Now I’ve seen these images in a couple of places, but I’m not sure if they are from the Onion or not. It made me laugh because at the university I work at, students write on their hands all the time. I think they’re just trying to use less paper.

It says Energy – of course, she’s an expert on energy – being from Alaska!

Budget Tax Cuts – that’s a tough one to sell, huh? The crossed out Budget is funny, she corrected herself as she was writing it, her speech must have been well thought out, huh?

Lift American Spirit – catch phrase of the day!

And now here is her speech to the Teabagger convention, WARNING!!!! YOUR IQ MAY DECREASE WITH EXTENDED VIEWING!!

February 7, 2010 Posted by | Politics, Republican Party, The Repugnant Party | , , | 4 Comments

Arianna Huffington Is A Republican, Folks?

I was torturing myself this morning as usual and watching Morning Starbucks with Joe and Mika. Arianna Huffington was on with them, apparently she hosted a party for Mika’s book last night with the Hollywood folks, she is kind of the west coast’s Sally Quinn. I watched as Joe and Arianna agreed on damn near everything, it inspired me to write this post about the transformation of The Huffington Post from being a Bush bashing blog to an Obama bashing blog.

I remember vividly when Arianna Huffington broke with the Bush/Cheney Republican Party, I saw a speech that she gave on C-SPAN and thought, wow, a Republican criticizing a fellow Republican. She then turned it into a business by launching The Huffington Post blog and news site. She seemed rather good at attacking Bush and drew many progressives to her site for that reason. I have to admit, I was a regular reader during the Bush/Cheney years and it continued until several months ago when the transition from attacking Bush to attacking Obama occurred. It was a gradual process that has now taken full bloom. In a recent post by Arianna, she interprets the president’s State of the Union address through her veil of cynicism and her true conservative beliefs are coming into display again. Here is a piece from her post…

But judging from the speech, he also spent a lot of time going over the results of focus groups and polls. Indeed, the speech, despite its charm, humor, and occasionally impassioned rhetoric, had the feel of being focus-grouped within an inch of its life. There was a decidedly paint-by-poll-numbers air about it.

Ah, so he doesn’t really believe anything he said, he’s just saying what a poll says he should say. She somehow then jumps into blaming Obama for the two wars that he inherited and is trying to clean up. It’s like she’s just swapped out Obama’s name with Bush’s, because they are soooooo similar, aren’t they? She then goes on to write this….

The president’s Pander-palooza continued with the middle class-friendly initiatives he announced on Monday and touched on again during the SOTFG (State of the Focus Group).

Oh no, not middle class-friendly initiatives, that must be pandering. It’s so fucking easy to be cynical about everything, it can’t possibly be that he cares about the middle class.  She then blames the whole bailout of the banks on Obama, even though I seem to remember that it was a Bush administration proposal, before President Obama even took office. Remember, the sky was falling, pensions were at risk, life savings at risk, the housing market was about to collapse, the stock market…..great depression….oh nooooooooooo. So our new president did what everyone told him had to be done and bailed out the banks. Almost all of that money has been paid back, but somehow that fact eludes the people who want to attack the president, convenient amnesia.

When are the democrats and real progressives going to call out the Arianna Huffington’s, the Jane Hamsher’s and the Cenk Uygur’s on their undermining of progressive causes? When are we going to stop playing footsie with those who want to bring down our democratic president who is fighting against the new 41 seat majority of Republicans? When are we going to take a look at these folks as the turncoats that they are? I’m going to keep hammering them.

February 4, 2010 Posted by | Media, MSM, Politics, President Barack Obama, The Repugnant Party | , , | 15 Comments

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