Extreme Liberal's Blog

Where Liberalism Is Alive and Well!

The State Of The Liberal Blogosphere Is Bad!

I’ve been a blog addict for a long time, I admit I have a problem, which is the first step towards recovery. It has led me to start this blog after years of reading and at some points, commenting on them. When the enemy was George W. Bush, it seemed like everyone was on the same page, cheering each other on as we all bashed in unison. It was very much a “pig pile”, to use a term from my childhood. Many cottage industries popped up that played on the anger towards Bush. The biggest of these was The Huffington Post, started of course by Arianna Huffington who seems to have gone from the far right spectrum (worked for Newt Gingrich) to being considered a liberal blogger for some odd reason. I think she gained her street cred as a liberal by merely attacking a massive target, George W. Bush, and cashing in on it with liberals. She spawned many offshoots which copied her model like Firedoglake, Crooks and Liars, Taylor Marsh and many others. There was money to made on that hatred for ole’ Bushie boy.

Since Bush has disappeared from the scene, thankfully, it seems like they lost focus for a while, their clicks started to diminish and I think they all decided, either collectively at some bloggers conference or independently, that they were at their best when they had an enemy. Now you would think the logical choice would be to go after the Republicans who have really made a right hand turn over the last 4 years and presented them with all sorts of targets to shoot down. Some certainly have taken them on and done a wonderful job of it, but others like Crooks and Liars, Huffington Post, Young Turks and others seem to have decided that President Obama is the real enemy. There is so much irrational hatred for this man who is working his ass off in untenable circumstances (60 vote threshold) and in a media environment that has completely dropped any pretense of fairness or accuracy, it’s a goddamn free-for-all these days on cable news and radio. This irrational hatred sure does reek of racism, although I don’t think it is the major force driving these folks.

My theory on the reason for the hatred is that after 8 years of being so pissed as they watched the GOP run roughshod over our rights, values and principles, they naturally want some payback. And in this lust for payback, they seem to have lost all sense of perspective, reasonableness, political savvy, and common sense. The health care debate was the perfect example of how their anger and revenge mentality made them completely oblivious to the reality of the 60 vote threshold, the conservadems and the compliant media. Instead of helping the administration push for progressive movement on health care, they sat on the sidelines throwing pot shots at him, whining, spilling pages and pages of digital ink on what “might” happen or what was currently being leaked by one of those 535, independent, wanna-be presidents. Do you remember all the ups and downs along the way base on those leaks, based on speculation, based on anger and cynicism?

We have a current example of how some in the left blogosphere have been fighting a phantom enemy, what might happen . It has to do with the Deficit Commission, which some haters on the left call “the cat-food commission.” Go here for a previous post I did on this. For the last year, several websites have done it with this topic, and I’m going to pick on Crooks and Liars, coming off my recent banning from that site for calling John Amato out on his hatred. You probably heard that the president has decided not to raise the retirement age for Social Security and not to touch any of the benefits. My first thought was, I TOLD YOU SO, YOU ASSHOLES, so I thought I’d wander over to Crooks and Liars to maybe remind them that I told them they were getting all worked up over something that WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! That is when I discovered that I could no longer comment over there, in fact, when logged in I can’t even read their posts anymore. They showed me, didn’t they? I did a little searching on their site and came up with a whole pile of crap attacking our president for going after Social Security, in their fantasies. Here is a sample from Crooks and Liars….

The idiotic Cat Food Commission is going to advise that entitlements gets cut. That will only lead to another disaster for the working class that families cannot withstand.

Giant leap there from the commission advising and it actually happening. Funny how reality sometimes happens despite the faux reality created in the haters minds. Another example.

William Greider has been writing about economic issues since the 1960s, and is best known for his book Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country. He’s been warning us that the Obama administration intends to cut Social Security (this video is a year old):

NOT! If you go and read his rant, it all is true and makes complete sense, no doubt. But the rub is that it ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN! I wonder how many hours he spent writing that piece that was based on pure conjecture. What pissed me off so much when I read this crap over the last year is that simply appointing a commission does not make everything that commission does and recommends the law of the land. Especially this weak commission that is merely offering suggestions. And of course, when you try to be bi-partisan, you unfortunately have to appoint people from the other party and there really is no reasonable person left in “the other party”, so we get people like Alan Simpson. Some more hyperventilating from Crooks and Liars

Polls show President Obama’s talk on Social Security is turning voters off to the Democratic Party’s handling of the program

[...]

These results are depressing. To think that American believe Republicans, who clearly have been trying to destroy everything associated with FDR’s New Deal, are more trustworthy in dealing with Social Security is absurd. I think a lot of the blame can be laid at the feet of the ridiculous creation of the Cat Food Commission. Kowtowing to the Beltway media and the GOP on the issue of our national debt not only strengthened their position with Americans, but also weakened the outlook Americans have on the entire Democratic Party.

Oh sure, Amato, it was the creation of the commission that did it, not the over 1 dozen posts you did about it scaring your readers into thinking that the Obama administration was surely going to raise the retirement age. Or the dozens of posts that Firedoglake has done which are even worse. That wouldn’t have anything to do with it, now would it? Next thing you know, they will be taking credit for making the President bend to their will. It is very similar to them taking credit for President Obama repealing DADT, even though that is what he said he was going to do since he began running for president. In their narcissistic minds, I’m sure they fully believe that they deserve the credit. So they beat the hell out of the president for two years over DADT, the same type of “what might happen” conjecture and hyperbole, contrary to everything the president said…and then when he does exactly what he promised, no credit…none, no appreciation…nata. Go look at the archives of the harshest of the presidents critics, Americablog, Firedoglake etc. and try to find the thank you to the president. Rachel Maddow, being classy and able to admit a mistake, came right out and said it on her show. These other asshats, not a peep. Thank goodness the president just keeps moving the ball down the field and for the most part ignores these assholes. For the most part, that is.

Here is an exchange in a live chat with Amato on Crooks and Liars, very revealing…

Commenter -

“The question now is why Social Security is even on the table and why the commission is being considered the be-all, end-all of fiscal policy, which is actually the role of Congress.”

So that CONgress can point the finger at the commission and say “We had nothing to do with it”. Because they’re ALL lying sacks of corporate owned shit, save about a handful.

Amato’s Response -

Has always been the prize for conservatives. When Dems move rightward this is what we get. That’s why Blue America is here and why we’re supporting Rep. Grijalva.

So the commenter is a good example of the people who have been lingering in the comment sections of these blogs. The ones that pounce on anyone who tries to argue their points. “The question now is why Social Security is even on the table…”, well maybe it is because almost every damn commission ever created seems to go into the process with “everything is on the table”. Merely having something on the table really shouldn’t get these people all worked up, to me it shows political immaturity. The commenter continues with “the commission is being considered the be-all, end-all of fiscal policy, which is actually the role of Congress.” Now I don’t know where the commenter got that impression, the commission has no actual power and was formed to offer suggestions…but somehow in the hyperbolic world of comments at these hateful blogs, it somehow becomes “be-all, end-all”. The commenter brings it home with this whopper “Because they’re ALL lying sacks of corporate owned shit.” Sure, all of those folks who went into public service, decided to try to make a difference in their communities…they are ALL lying sacks of corporate owned shit. Got it. So how does John Amato respond to this comment? He blows right by it and goes right for the PAC plug, get money from that angry commenter now before they cool off.

So the state of the liberal blogosphere is bad. But you are always welcome to come and visit this blog and I promise you I won’t ban you for calling me out. If you type racist comments or attack another commenter personally, I will certainly delete that post. But I have never banned anyone, ever, and I don’t plan to. I hope the trolls don’t take that as a challenge. Thankfully I can moderate the blog on my iPhone.

I have a feeling the president is going to “kick some tall ass” tonight in his State of the Union. Let’s see how the haters respond.

January 25, 2011 Posted by | Politics | , | 29 Comments

Let’s Demagogue The Deficit Commission Now, What A Great Plan!

Presidents have been creating commissions since the beginning of our Republic, it’s become a cliché’ over the years whenever a difficult decision has to be made or some horrible disaster needs to be investigated or a president wants to dodge an issue. So any commission starts out handicapped for sure. I usually react by shaking my head and saying “not another one” when I hear about the latest commission, whether it be a R or D president doing it. I reacted much the same way when President Obama created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Now just because I shake my head when these things are created, doesn’t mean that I don’t think they can produce results that might be of use or help to clarify things. I also never waste my time tracking a commission because it is an exercise in futility for a couple of reasons. First, because during the process, the sources of information are usually pushing their own agenda and feed the starving “media beast” what they are promoting and try to scare people about what others are promoting. Second, a commission simply produces a report that the President and Congress sometimes agree with and other times doesn’t, and it really has nothing more than a minor role in the whole process of making laws and governing. So why should I waste my time watching the bouncing balls when the report might end up being ignored anyways. A little background on commissions…

Historically, commissions have enjoyed a colorful chronology. In 1794, farmers in western Pennsylvania revolted against the federal excise tax on spirits. Faced with the Whisky Rebellion, President George Washington sent a commission to investigate the situation and attempt to mediate a settlement.

Now there is a good reason for a commission, whisky. (sarcasm) If you are curious to know more about the history of commissions, check out this article I found on the History News Network. If you are into that sort of thing, that is.

Alan Simpson’s comments have caused all sorts of propaganda to spew forth. He’s an asshole and has been one for many years, he masks his “asshole-ness” by trying to crack jokes and be a fucking stand up comedian. I think Alan Simpson should be fired from the commission for his comments. He has a long history of saying stupid shit and really shouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone. Having said that, after reading some posts by liberals about how they think that the deficit commission is really a front for cutting social security and from what I can tell, it centers around Alan Simpson for the most part. I started looking into the deficit commission because to be honest, I haven’t tracked it much. I found stuff like this…

As the news site AlterNet reports, President Obama has stacked his new 18-member committee charged with dealing with the deficit, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, with a number of figures who have staked their careers on undermining Social Security.

So “President Obama has stacked his new 18-member commission”, really. I went to the executive order that created the commission and learned that this is how the 18 members were selected.

(a) six members appointed by the President, not more than four of whom shall be from the same political party;
(b) three members selected by the Majority Leader of the Senate, all of whom shall be current Members of the Senate;
(c) three members selected by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, all of whom shall be current Members of the House of Representatives;
(d) three members selected by the Minority Leader of the Senate, all of whom shall be current Members of the Senate; and
(e) three members selected by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, all of whom shall be current Members of the House of Representatives.

Ut oh, the truth is the president didn’t “stack” anything, he appointed 6 members of the commission, 4 of them democrats. It looks like they set up the commission to include both parties and both houses of congress. Sounds pretty bi-partisan to me which probably pisses off those firebaggers who demonize anyone who doesn’t think exactly like them or doesn’t hate Obama. We are Obamabots, you know, or apologists.

Consistent with the Obama-haters other overreactions and made up controversies, they seem to have planted a virus in their heads that makes them think that the deficit commission is really the “eliminate Social Security commission.” They’ve even come up with a cute term for it ” the cat food commission”, aren’t they soooo clever. The main source of that virus appears to be Alan Simpson’s participation in the commission and they seem to have elevated him to being the only member of the commission and Social Security is the only topic. It’s so much easier to distort things to match your narrative than it is to actually deal in reality. It’s sooooo Republican of them. Besides the above “stacking” distortion, let’s look at some of the others…

Nobody really thought Alan Simpson could top his video appearance with Alex Lawson where he talked about “the lesser people” on Social Security.  But once again, President Obama’s hand-picked Co-Chair of the Catfood Commission tasked with “tweaking” Social Security has proven us all wrong.

That’s from the one and only queen of hate, Jane Hamsher and notice how Alan Simpson is “tasked with ‘tweaking’ SS”. Really, that’s his job on the commission, huh? Very subtle and typical of Hamsher’s tactics. Somehow, she’s assigned roles to certain people on the commission and if you look at the title of her post, which I won’t link to…no fucking way…you see what her goal is in her snarky, misleading bullshit post. “Obama Appointed Deficit Commission Co-Chair Alan Simpson: Social Security Is Like “A Milk Cow With 310 Million Tits”. Man, she had to work her ass off to get all that propaganda right in the title of her post. She just had to make a direct connection between Alan Simpson’s comments and President Obama. Nothing too subtle there, I guess. From what I can tell the whole basis for the virus in their brains is that people have said that Social Security is on the table. That’s it, it’s on the table.

President Obama is not stupid, unlike many of his critics. There is no way in hell that he is going to mess with Social Security, people who are saying he will are out of their fucking minds. The most he would possibly do is minor tweaks and probably to make it better. He is a progressive, whether the haters will ever believe it or not. That’s where the demagoguing comes in. These haters are preying on people’s emotions with a completely made up idea, sounds a lot like a “death panel” technique to me. You wonder why I have such disdain for those people? They are getting their panties all in a bunch about something that hasn’t happened and never will happen, but that clearly is not their goal with the latest attack.

I found this great post about some of the distortions coming out in this Alan Simpson inspired “propaganda-fest”. From William Greider at the Nation via Michael Moore’s site…(emphasis mine)

…Social Security, as Nation writers have explained many times, does not contribute a penny to federal deficits and it never will, according to the terms of the law. The opposite is the case.

On the same page the Times reported Simpson’s latest gaffe, political reporter Matt Bai contributed a far more outrageous falsehood of his own. In condescending style, he dismissed opponents to Social Security cuts (dimwits like me) as stuck-in-the -past liberals, trying to defend big government against harsh reality. Bai celebrated the courage of Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, a Democrat who evidently embraces the same view. Bai did not mention the people and public opinion overwhelmingly opposed to benefit cuts (check the polls if you doubt this). Someone should ask Congressman Blumenauer’s constituents how they feel about his brave stance.

Bai’s great falsification was to insinuate that the Social Security’s trust fund is bogus–that the massive surpluses collected from working people to pay for their future retirements are meaningless. Social Security, he acknowledged, has amassed a pile of Treasury bonds–IOU’s from the government–but he says as a practical matter that money can’t be paid back because taxes would have to be raised or more funds borrowed elsewhere. “This is sort of like saying that you’re rich because your friend has promised to give you 10 million bucks just as soon as he wins the lottery,” Bai explains.

His comparison is a clever but consequential lie, consisted with the elite propaganda. Bai makes it sound like the government is going to give this money to retirees. In fact, it’s the other way around. Social Security collected this money from workers as their involuntary savings, better known as FICA deductions. Then the federal government borrowed the money from us and spent it on other things. Congress raised the FICA deductions 25 years ago on all working people to pay for the baby boom generation’s coming retirements. The Social Security trust fund has since built up massive surpluses–$2.5 tillion now and growing to $4.2 trillion in 2023–and set it aside for the future. But, starting with Ronald Reagan, the federal government ran massive deficits on its own budgets and borrowed the savings from Social Security to pay for wars and military build-ups, regressive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, among other things.

This vast wealth belongs to the working people who paid it–not to the federal government or Congress. Naturally, many politicians would like to get out of paying it back, but that constitutes a massive bait-and-switch swindle of working people. Bai and many other reporters of the mainstream media have been assured by their sources it is impossible to pay back that money, but that is a political choice, not a fiscal requirement. It would make working people pay for Republican gravy that went to someone else.

It is to weaken him, hurt him and in the process they are hurting the entire progressive agenda. What really pisses me off is that if they succeed in damaging Obama, like it appears they are, the result is going to be Republicans in charge. And if we thought we were fucked with the Bush administration, just wait till the new Republican Party takes over. It will take the concept of “fucked” to a whole new level. And I’m going to be in those motherfuckers faces reminding them that they are responsible for it.

August 30, 2010 Posted by | Economy, Jane Hamsher, Politics | , | 14 Comments

   

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