I’ve resisted doing this since I started the blog because I’m not in this blogging thing for the money. But it would be cool to upgrade my wordpress.com account and add some cool features, so I am asking anyone who has extra money to throw a little in the pot, BUT ONLY IF YOU CAN REALLY AFFORD TO DO IT! I won’t beg very often but I will keep the donate tab on the right side of the screen until I no longer need donations…I’m still waiting for a rather large project to come through and if it does, the donate tab will disappear. You can click below or on the side bar, every little bit helps.
Matt Taibbi has a great article in Rolling Stone about the Tea Party phenomenon that is a must read. Check out this extended excerpt from it below. (emphasis is mine)
In fact if you follow Fox News and the Limbaugh/Hannity afternoon radio crew, this summer’s blowout has almost seemed like an intentional echo of the notorious Radio Rwanda broadcasts “warning” Hutus that they were about to be attacked and killed by conspiring Tutsis, broadcasts that led to massacres of Tutsis by Hutus acting in “self-defense.” A sample of some of the stuff we’ve seen and heard on the air this year:
- On July 12, Glenn Beck implied that the Obama government was going to aid the New Black Panther Party in starting a race war, with the ultimate aim of killing white babies. “They want a race war. We must be peaceful people. They are going to poke, and poke, and poke, and our government is going to stand by and let them do it.” He also said that “we must take the role of Martin Luther King, because I do not believe that Martin Luther King believed in, ‘Kill all white babies.‘”
- CNN contributor and Redstate.com writer Erick Erickson, on the Panther mess: “Republican candidates nationwide should seize on this issue. The Democrats are giving a pass to radicals who advocate killing white kids in the name of racial justice and who try to block voters from the polls.”
- On July 6, the Washington Times columnist J. Christian Adams wrote an editorial insisting that “top [Obama] appointees have allowed and even encouraged race-based enforcement as either tacit or open policy,” marking one of what would become many assertions by commentators that the Obama administration was no longer interested in protecting the rights of white people. “The Bush Civil Rights Division was willing to protect all Americans from racial discrimination,” Adams wrote. “During the Obama years, the Holder years, only some Americans will be protected.”
- July 12: Rush Limbaugh says Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder “protect and represent” the New Black Panther party.
- July 28: Rush says Supreme Court decision on 1070 strips Arizonans of their rights to defend themselves against an “invasion”: “I guess the judge is saying it’s not in the public interest for Arizona to try to defend itself from an invasion. I don’t know how you look at this with any sort of common sense and come to the ruling this woman came to.” That same day, Rush says this: “Muslim terrorists are going to have a field day in Arizona. You cannot ask them where they’re from. You cannot even act like we know where they’re from. You cannot ask them for their papers. We can ask you for yours. Not them.”
- July 29: The Washington Times asks “Should Arizona Secede?” and says the Supreme Court “is unilaterally disarming the people of Arizona in the face of a dangerous enemy” with the aim of creating a “socialist superstate.” The paper writes: “The choice is becoming starkly apparent: devolution or dissolution.”
- July 29, Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy continues the Radio Rwanda theme, saying, “If the feds won’t protect the people and Governor Brewer can’t protect her citizens, what are the people of Arizona supposed to do?”There’s nothing in the world more tired than a progressive blogger like me flipping out over the latest idiocies emanating from the Fox News crowd. But this summer’s media hate-fest is different than anything we’ve seen before. What we’re watching is a calculated campaign to demonize blacks, Mexicans, and gays and convince a plurality of economically-depressed white voters that they are under imminent legal and perhaps even physical attack by a conspiracy of leftist nonwhites. They’re telling these people that their government is illegitimate and criminal and unironically urging secession and revolution.
I’m beginning to wonder why effective boycotts against these hate-media channels, and particularly Fox, haven’t been organized yet. Why not just pick out one Fox advertiser at random and make an example out of it? How about Subaru and their unintentionally comic “Love” slogan? I actually like their cars, but what the fuck? How about Pep Boys and that annoying logo of theirs? Just to prove that it can be done, I’d like to see at least one firm get blown out of business as a consequence of financially supporting the network that is telling America that its black president wants to kill white babies. Isn’t that at least the first move here? It’s beginning to strike me that sitting by and doing nothing about this madness is not a terribly responsible way to behave.
Courtesy of Staci, great catch.
REAGANOMICS IN ACTION
How long did it take Reagan to reduce the unemployment rate to below 8%?
01/1981 – Unemployment rate 7.5% …. Reagan sworn in.
02/1981 – 7.4%
03/1981 – 7.4%
04/1981 – 7.2%
05/1981 – 7.5%
06/1981 – 7.5%
07/1981 – 7.2%
08/1981 – 7.4% * Reagan CUTS taxes for top 1% and says unemployment will DROP to 6.9%.
09/1981 – 7.6%
10/1981 – 7.9%
11/1981 – 8.3%
12/1981 – 8.5%
01/1982 – 8.6%
02/1982 – 8.9%
03/1982 – 9.0%
04/1982 – 9.3%
05/1982 – 9.4%
06/1982 – 9.6%
07/1982 – 9.8%
08/1982 – 9.8%
09/1982 – 10.1%
10/1982 – 10.4%
11/1982 – 10.8% * Unemployment HITS a post WW2 RECORD of 10.8%.
12/1982 – 10.8% * Reagan’s approval rating slips to 35%.
01/1983 – 10.4%
02/1983 – 10.4%
03/1983 – 10.3%
04/1983 – 10.3%
05/1983 – 10.1%
06/1983 – 10.1%
07/1983 – 9.4%
06/1983 – 9.5%
07/1983 – 9.4%
08/1983 – 9.5%
09/1983 – 9.2%
10/1983 – 8.8%
11/1983 – 8.5%
12/1983 – 8.3%
01/1984 – 8.0%
02/1984 – 7.8%
It took Reagan 28 MONTHS to get unemployment rate back down below 8 percent.
No comment needed, the best speech I’ve ever heard.
The issue of whether the stimulus package worked or not is really not up for debate or to be decided by a poll of Americans. It clearly worked at stopping the recession and limiting the damage that was about to happen to our economy. I know people on the right, mostly, but some haters on the left too, will try to confuse the issue with how many jobs were created. NOT ENOUGH for sure, but according to Mark Zandi, Moody’s chief economist and former adviser to John McCain, it clearly had a huge impact and he had this to say in response to Boehner “The Orange”…
Joining the backlash against House Minority leader John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) economic speech yesterday, Mark Zandi, Moody’s chief economist, said Boehner was “just wrong” to call the $787 billion stimulus spending “a failure.”
If there was no stimulus at all, Zandi said, unemployment would be at around 11.5% rather than 9.5%.
“I think if we had not had the stimulus, estimates put forward by the Congressional Budget Office are absolutely right: we’d have 2.5-3 million fewer jobs than we’d have today,” he said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast briefing this morning.
What needs to change are people’s expectations, he said. “The stimulus did exactly what it was intended to do. It was intended to end the recession, jump-start the economy, and it did that,” said Zandi, who has advised both Obama and John McCain in the past.
Here is a link to a story on what I call the Fuckington Post, Hat Tip to Staci, where they show you projects that were funded by the stimulus and asks the question below in bold…
On Tuesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the act added from 1.4 million to 3.3 million jobs during the second quarter of 2010.
In addition to $288 billion in tax cuts, the Recovery Act funded all sorts of worthy projects that created jobs, backstopped a number of safety-net programs, and made huge investments in infrastructure, energy independence, mass transit and other public goods.
Here are 11 projects that got stimulus money. Do you think they deserved your tax money?
With the economy apparently slowing down because of the winding down of the stimulus, we democrats have to join together and start helping the President create a ground swell for more stimulus. We can’t just sit back and expect him to do it without our help, we have to be vocal about it. We have to push hard and I would also add that as long as the “professional left” keeps up their doom and gloom blogging and chipping away at Obama’s popularity, they are helping the Republicans stop any more stimulus.
I would also add that if the corporate Republicans would get up off some of those record profits and invest in American jobs like the patriots they claim to be, we might not need the government to come to the rescue again. But since the Republicans have made a conscious effort to stop ANYTHING President Obama does for their own political gain, we don’t have many choices.
WPA 2010 – Saving American Jobs
Go read this piece by Steve Benen, he sums it all up better than anyone, as usual. Here is just a snippet…
And finally, by way of a reminder as to how truly nonsensical our politics can be, also note that the economy could use another boost to prevent it from slipping even further backwards. The CBO makes abundantly clear that the stimulus worked in generating growth and creating jobs. So, does that mean we’ll get another stimulus to generate more growth and create more jobs? Of course not — Republicans choose not to believe the data, want less of what worked, and won’t allow a vote on the most effective elements of the policy. Voters say they want less spending — even though more spending would improve the economy — and congressional Democrats are unlikely to even try to push for more recovery efforts, fearing a public backlash against sound policies that work.
The stimulus worked, and we need more. The country is convinced it failed, and demands less.
So far today, Joe (dead intern) Scarborough has trotted out two false equivalencies and in my book, he is the king of them. The first was his attempt to say that there is “hate speech” from both the left and the right when talking about the Mosque issue and the taxi driver being stabbed. He repeated it several times about hate speech from the left and the right. I’d like to see some examples of it from the left. I’m sure there are a few out there because there are crazies of all political persuasion, but really the Republican Party has adopted it as a tactic and is running with it. See Bob Cesca’s awesome column which is unfortunately on the Fuckington Post. Maybe Joe S. was referring to people who mention his dead intern as hate speech, oh that would be me. :)
The second false equivalency he brought up, that no one else seemed to latch on to including Ron Brownstein, is the idea that when President Obama was yelled a question on a rope line about the Iraq war he said something like “We’re getting shrimp, guys, come on”. Joe attempted to compare the George Bush comment on the golf course when he answered a serious question “I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you, now watch this drive”. These are two very different instances which I won’t spend too much time spelling out. President Obama was on a rope line, smiling and shaking hands and on his way to get lunch. He didn’t answer a serious question and then get flippant like ole W did. He dodged the question completely which is exactly what he should have done in that situation. Bush’s response is a perfect example of how clueless he was by going from a serious statement to a flippant one in a split second. No equivalency at all, but that doesn’t stop Joe S. from trying to tie the two together. The man is a pro at it.
Heather over at Crooks and Liars has a post up about Dan Senor’s appearance on Dylan Ratigan’s show. Dylan pulls an Andrew Breitbart and selectively edits a Jon Stewart segment that left the slam on Senor on the cutting room floor. Here is a piece of Heather’s post…
And shame on Dylan Ratigan for sparing Senor any embarrassment and misleading the viewers with the very selective editing of that Daily Show clip. Anyone who didn’t watch the entire segment would have no idea that Stewart called out Senor and showed him on Fox & Friends fear mongering over the Saudi prince’s Kingdom Foundation and lying by omission about his stake in Fox. Looks like Ratigan didn’t want to make Senor have to explain why he didn’t want the viewers at Fox to know the Saudi prince they were fear mongering about owns part of the network they were watching.
It should be fun watching the media try to tell us how anti-incumbent fever is sweeping across the country, look out you incumbents, people are angry. I heard on NPR this morning that they are being renominated at a 98% rate. Watch the bullshit unfold on your favorite cable news network. Here is a classic Rachel Maddow clip on the subject…
There are several news stories and events that I have random thoughts on and I decided to throw them out there.
- Am I the only one who is sickened by people who are upset that the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, didn’t die quick enough for them. I mean you can debate whether he ever should have been released and it should be investigated whether the BP connection really was there, but my god people, wishing someone to die quicker is pretty sick.
- The miners trapped in Chile…I’ve heard people talk about the mental problems it will cause and whether they will be able to survive mentally. I immediately thought about prisoners who are put in solitary confinement and how that affects them mentally. I know we aren’t ever concerned about prisoners, people really have no compassion for prisoners whether they were busted for a joint or they murdered someone…they are all the same right, criminals. Until it is your nephew or niece, then they all of a sudden they become people. I think the miners are going to be just fine, now the prisoners I’m not so sure about. When they get released into society, then we can all see how that works out.
- To all the people on the left who scream and yell about warrantless wiretapping of American citizens and internet privacy, have you ever heard of cookies (browser type cookies not chocolate chip)? How about spyware? I’ve heard and read several stories about how marketers know every little damn thing about us, target their ads to individual people and how there are massive databases on our every move we make. So if the marketers can know everything about us, what is the big deal with the government knowing the same info. At least their goals of protecting the public from terrorism is a noble goal, instead of a capitalistic one. And yes, I don’t like it when Republicans are in control but that is the price we pay for our democracy. I have a friend who was always paranoid about being watched and listened to by “the man” or big brother and I remember thinking to myself, what the hell do they want to spy on me for? They are wasting their damn time spying on me and since I’m not doing anything to be worried about, why worry about it?
- Republicans lie without conscience. They actually just make shit up, with no basis in reality and then spread it around to purposely mislead their own followers. Do they really think it is healthy to lie to their mindless followers? I’m certainly no saint and have done my fair share of embellishing or covering my own ass, but I don’t ever remember just making shit up and then spreading it around. What kind of morals do these people really have that they can look themselves in the mirror and think, it’s OK to just make shit up to hurt other people and then realize…Oh no, I’m late for church.
My Granddaughter Lennie Elizabeth
Photo by Extreme Liberal
Is Robert Reich bitter about not getting a job in the Obama administration? Why doesn’t he get a real job and get the hell off my television. Both him and Howard Dean seem to have nothing better to do than to sell their own brands on cable news. They are the fallback critics of everything the Democrats have been doing since Obama took office. They are shameless self promoters who like to shift blame from wherever it belongs….congress, Republicans, media…to the Obama administration. That’s not to say that the administration doesn’t deserve some blame occasionally, but these guys clearly have issues with the current administration. They love to say “they should do this or they should have done that”. Arm chair Monday morning quarterbacks who love the sound of their own voices and the cable networks just love bringing them on to blather their egotistical blather. For supposed Democrats, they sure spend a lot of time bashing Democrats when they should be helping their own party and attacking the real problem, the party of no.
I read a piece from Reich the other day on the Fuckington Post and of course saw him on the television saying “It’s nonsense to think of the economy heading downward again into a double-dip recession when most Americans never emerged from the first dip.” What is nonsense is that someone who is supposed to be an economist is helping to spread misinformation about the economy for his own egotistical gain…or monetary, who knows? The definition of a recession is very clear, it is defined as a decline in GDP for two or more consecutive quarters. GDP has been growing…we are in a recovery. Yes, the last couple of quarters have been pretty anemic, but growth is better than contraction. Reich and others have been mixing up jobs growth with GDP growth and trying to change the definition of what a recession is. Why would they do that? To keep themselves in the limelight, to get clicks (I’m looking at you Arianna) and to make a little money on spreading the misinformation. We have enough ignorance in this country, we don’t need supposed liberal economists spreading more misinformation to the idiot masses.
Big thanks to Karoli at Crooks and Liars for the link to this post by Howie Klein at DownWithTyranny. He said so many things that I have been thinking. Enjoy some pieces below but go read the whole thing and you should bookmark it for future reading too.
When this whole mosque/cultural center nonsense began to be trumped up out of nothing by the right wing element and their hack media outlets, I wasn’t going to write anything about it because I felt it was getting plenty of exposure, but then, I started thinking it’s not just about the mosque story but also about what this story says about the minds of those who vote Republican. Obviously, this is about more than just a mosque. It’s also more than just a wedge issue. It leads us to the horror of what Republicans are at their core. It’s about people who always need someone to hate. They are addicted to it.
The mosque insanity is 2010’s Terry Schiavo “crisis,” pushed forward by the usual gang of republikook congressloons and mediagoons. Should we ban Catholic churches being built because of the actions of some pedi-priests? Are ALL Catholics evil because of the actions of a few? Did we send all Germans back to Germany because of the Nazis? No. In fact, after the war, we brought many of them here.
And, I wonder, how far would be good enough for such people? How far? Try this: The American Family Association is already putting out the idea of no mosques in America, period. What’s next for the Repugs? No temples of any kind. No Synagogues, just Southern Baptist churches? Just Snake Handler churches?
Republicans seem to have an almost idiot savant talent for focusing obsessively on certain specific minutia to the exclusion of any other pertinent information that might provide a more complete picture or a clear view of reality. That’s easy to do when you are fighting mightily to see the world only as you want to see it. It’s the key to how they do their messaging so well. If something just doesn’t fit the world as they want it to be, they toss it and throw a fit just like a petulant child would when confronted by a parent or sibling doing something that didn’t fit the child’s plan for the day. This is more than just childish behavior, though, because it is perpetrated by adults who have learned just enough to be able to manipulate those who don’t have the time, inclination, or experience to gain or process enough information that would give them a bigger picture. If you want to see something a certain way, it’s easy as long as you can exclude chunks of reality. You start with a preconceived notion that enables your hate, and you ditch any contradictory evidence. You can even ignore all of the American Muslims that died in the towers as though they didn’t exist or, more likely to Republicans, they didn’t matter.
Well, of course, the Republican mind does want to know. Let’s face it, if they are so obsessed with who you are sleeping with, who you want to marry, what kind of music you’re into, what books you read, and which PC god you worship, they’ll certainly want to know everything else about you, too. The irony for the Repugs is that, with all their whining, they have guaranteed that the money to build the center will now be flowing in like a tide of BP’s best hitting the shores of Louisiana. Money will be coming from everywhere. Nice work, loonies! Can I hire you next time I want to raise some cash? Please, say something bad about me so I can hang my sign out, too! What a bunch of losers; a whole damn party of whining, pathetic, mental defective, dumbass losers. I mean, come on!
It’s a mixed blesing not having Internet access with the exception of my iPhone. I dusted off a long shelved project and started making progress again. What is everyone else up to this weekend?
The latest news stories being generated for mostly cable news consumption is that two different polls show that 1/4 and 1/5 of “the public” believe that President Obama is a Muslim. I’ve seen it all over the blogs and cable news and I’m sure it made it on network news too, although I didn’t catch any of them. I have this issue with public opinion polls in that they really don’t tell you much of anything about what people are really thinking. A few issues with poll results…
- Most people don’t pay attention to politics, news or inside Washington “conventional wisdom”.
- Polls of 700 people or so have a margin of error of +/- 3.5%, which is a 7% swing.
- People lie to pollsters frequently, sometimes to tell them what they think they want to hear and other times because they dislike someone, they just answer every question negatively. Think the Muslim question, don’t you think people who dislike the president are more likely to say he is a Muslim whether they really believe it or not. They just want to get a jab in on him.
- Proof that people don’t really pay much attention is the fact that polls can swing wildly depending on what the current outrage is.
- The economy has a huge impact on how people feel about many issues. It’s the economy, stupid. It doesn’t matter who is president, if the economy is in rough shape, the president will be blamed. Fairly or unfairly.
- The order of questions or the tone of a poll can have a big impact on results, pollsters know this but still like to do it.
- Polls have a “push” effect by bringing ideas to the attention of the participant as the question is being asked, they are put on the spot to give an opinion whether they’ve actually thought about it or not….and depending on the tone of the poll, they will resort to trying to answer “correctly”.
- The “bandwagon” effect is alive and well, Republicans try to use it incessantly, but it only has so much effect. Every little bit helps when you are trying to spin.
- Emotions are easily evoked by wording of questions and topical questions, example immediately after 9/11 George W. Bush received unprecedented numbers that were based on emotions and patriotism. It’s not a bad thing, necessarily, but it becomes bad when the spinners interpret it for us.
- Election polls become reliable the closer you get to the election, the vast majority of people are not political junkies like you and I and make up their minds at the last minute. It’s still the economy, stupid.
So even though these polls reveal that there are a lot of ignorant people and people who are just plain in denial about a lot of things, I really don’t think those numbers are very accurate. And I would add that ignorant people who may answer a poll question because it is easy, will not drag their lazy, stupid asses to the polls to vote. That would take some effort and they have better things to do than register to vote and then actually go to the poll and stand in line. So why do we give a shit what these ignorant people think anyway? The media has become incapable of actually seeking out a story and writing about it, they just have to wait for Pew to send them the latest poll results and they can just regurgitate the numbers and put their slant on them. Edward R. Murrow has probably rolled over so many times in his grave that he’s several miles away from where he was buried.
And another thing….
The way the media often interprets polls shows their utter stupidity, but it’s a group think thing, so you can’t necessarily blame any individual for it. They act as if “the American people” change their minds from one day to the next in wild swings. Does anyone with a brain really think that one day someone hates President Obama and the next day they love him? And simply saying “the American people” believe this or that based on a given percentage of people sampled in a poll of 700 – 1000 people who picked up their land line phones and were in the mood to answer questions from a computer or a snotty minimum wage college kid? To make blanket statements like “the American people are against this or that” based on a poll is really taking a giant leap. Like I said in the above post, the vast majority of people don’t pay attention to the media, remember the media is ranked down their with child molesters…below politicians. Maybe that is why the media just loves taking down a politician, it’s a jealousy thing.
On President Obama’s poll numbers, I’m not concerned at all about them. I don’t think the White House is either, since I truly believe that Barack Obama came to Washington to get shit done, not get reelected. That’s why the media can’t quite deal with this administration, they are obsessed with the perennial elections that flow from one to the other and when someone does something that might have a political downside, it does not compute with them. I guess that is one of the main reasons why I like President Obama, he really is in politics to make a difference, not to cash in.