Saturday, July 03, 2010

Digby speaketh . . .

I'm a parasite! You're a parasite!! Wouldn't you like to be a parasite too?

Warms my soul knowing I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

"Of course. It's completely different for taxpayers to give one man a million dollars in subsidies when he can't make a profit than it is to give poor children's parents food stamps so they can buy the food this fellow produces and give him even more money. I don't know how these Democratic parasites can live with themselves."

I have a gut feeling that if there is a loving, merciful god and there is a heaven -- it'll be chock full of us parasites -- and the rest? Well - there's that other place I suppose.


Encouraging sign . . . more of it please?

While not jumping to too big of a conclusion, it appears that even a traditionally safe haven such as talking head radio is tiring of the right wing lies and hate shtick.

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – KSL Radio announced that they will no longer air Sean Hannity’s syndicated national talk show.

The last KSL broadcast of the Sean Hannity show will air on October 1, 2010. The announcement comes after speculation that Hannity’s on-air style was not in line with Deseret Media Company’s mission statement that calls for civility and other ethical stances.

People are ever so slowly coming to the conclusion that the words civility and ethical are nothing more than throw-away words to right wing conservatives.

There's hope for America yet.


Zombified America . . .

Gene Lyons makes a valiant attempt to understand and explain the cancerous paradox of "zombie lies."

By the time President Obama was inaugurated last January, the economy was bleeding 750,000 lost jobs a month; the Congressional Budget Office had already projected the FY 2009 deficit at $1.3 trillion -- a budget written by the Bush White House. After taking over in 2001 with a healthy budget surplus and some economists warning against paying down the debt too fast, Bush doubled it to over $10 trillion in eight short years.

Yet there was Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, on CNN, allowing as how he's "waiting for this administration to take responsibility." He accused the Obama administration of "tripling" the annual deficit, as brazen a falsehood as can be imagined. Is it even necessary to say that neither Cornyn nor any Republican who twiddled his thumbs throughout Bush's two terms has condescended to explain what exact combination of revenue increases and spending cuts is needed to reduce the deficit short term?

Alas it's absolutely necessary. According to the Center on Budget and Priorities, "(T)he fact remains: Together with the economic downturn, the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next 10 years."

New spending by the Obama administration -- mainly the economic stimulus and auto industry rescue -- is dwarfed by Bush's spending on the Iraq and Afghan wars and the unfunded Medicare prescription drug benefit. If Democratic attempts to stimulate the economy have proven less than adequate, that's because they've both been hostage to GOP obstructionism and restrained by the fiscal straitjacket Republicans left behind.

But a lot of voters simply don't know it. Indeed, many people actively refuse to understand anything important about what the federal budget consists of or the role of government in modern economies. Millions remain captive to what Paul Krugman calls "zombie lies": long disproven canards like the one that says cutting tax rates invariably leads to higher revenues. Because it's so counterintuitive, parroting it makes Rush Limbaugh fans feel like intellectuals.

Are you a zombie?

Just asking.


The Rude One speaketh . . .

Let's hope his rudeness has analyzed the situation correctly. Even if he hasn't, the literary style he employs to put forth his analysis is just goddamn fucking funny.

The Rude Pundit's said it before and he'll keep saying it: Obama plays rope-a-dope with his opponents. He did it with Hillary. He did it with McCain. He wants to see what your best swing looks like before he unleashes. For all his faults, and there are many, the man knows how to make Republicans shit blood at the thought of going up against him. They have to know it's coming. They just don't know when. The question, of course, is if it's too late in the match.



A quagmire by any other name . . .

I'm still waiting for any Democratic or Republican politician to coherently explain to me why we're still there after 9 years. Remember --- coherently.

By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times
July 2, 2010 | 5:00 p.m.

In the struggle to win over Kandahar civilians and weaken the Taliban, U.S. commanders have ordered NATO troops to join with civilian development experts to create a competent government where none exists. But the effort has so far seen few concrete results.

Development projects have been modest and plagued by insurgent attacks or threats against Afghan workers. Residents complain of shakedowns by Afghan police. Many U.S. soldiers say they don't fully trust their nominal allies in the Afghan police or army, who are scheduled to take responsibility for security by next summer.

What little government exists in Kandahar is overshadowed by a cabal of Afghan hustlers who have milked connections to high government officials to earn illicit fortunes. Last month, a congressional subcommittee said Afghan warlords have siphoned off millions of dollars through protection rackets involving security escorts for North Atlantic Treaty Organization convoys.

Corruption is another corrosive problem. The national government of President Hamid Karzai is riddled with officials who have enriched themselves through bribes, government contracts and the lucrative drug trade.

At Camp Nathan Smith in downtown Kandahar, the secured offices of U.S. development officials feature a chart of the Karzai family tree. Laid out like a prosecutor's crime family operation, the chart documents the expansive business empire of Karzai's extended family. Western officials have accused Karzai's brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, of parlaying family connections into an enterprise that controls trucking, security, drug and protection operations.

If that isn't the classic definition of the word quagmire -- I don't know what is.


Gallup poll states the uber obvious . . .

July 2, 2010
Tea Party Supporters Overlap Republican Base
Eight out of 10 Tea Party supporters are Republicans
by Frank Newport

PRINCETON, NJ -- There is significant overlap between Americans who identify as supporters of the Tea Party movement and those who identify as conservative Republicans. Their similar ideological makeup and views suggest that the Tea Party movement is more a rebranding of core Republicanism than a new or distinct entity on the American political scene.

Translation: Teabaggers are primarily conservative, white, right wing Republicans, mostly from the south and the southwest (Arizona undoubtedly) with a smattering of yahoos from the midwest.

Well fucking duh!

I have been stating that from day one when this social "phenomenon" calling themselves The Tea Party suddenly materialized on the American political scene out of thin air literally within weeks of the dirty negro's inauguration.

The media has lamely attempted to portray the teabaggers as some entirely new, grassroots political movement that incorporates an even sampling of Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, moderates, etc.

As usual, the media is full of shit.

I don't deny the Teabaggers their right to form their own new political party. What I object to is the deceit in trying to portray themselves as something they are not. You can dress up right wing, Republican conservatism all you want and even call it anything you want -- in the end though it's still right wing, Republican conservatism.

Thank you Gallup for proving me right once again.


Friday, July 02, 2010

FBI says Fox News and Bill Kristol are full of shit!

On the heels of my post about Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's ridiculous claim that illegal immigrants are roaming around her state decapitating people, comes this wholly expected regurgitation of the "rampant crime" in Arizona by illegal immigrants hysteria. And of course it comes as no surprise that this pernicious form of political dog-whistling is emanating from Fox News.

Kristol misrepresents Phoenix crime levels to defend AZ law
3 hours and 13 minutes ago

On Fox News, Bill Kristol stated that crime along the Arizona border "may be down" but that "a lot of the crime has migrated up to Phoenix." In fact, crime rates in Phoenix and the surrounding metro area have dropped over the past decade and reportedly "plunged" in 2009.

FBI statistics put the lie to the claims:

FBI data shows crime rates in Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale Metropolitan Statistical Area have dropped. According to the FBI's "Crime in the United States" annual reports, the violent crime rate in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area has declined from 560 per 100,000 population in 2000 to 490 in 2007 and 455 in 2008 (a 19 percent decrease from 2000 to 2008). The property crime rate has also declined from 5,644 per 100,000 population in 2000 to 4,653 in 2007 and 4,256 in 2008 (a 25 percent decrease from 2000 to 2008). The FBI's 2009 crime statistics for the Phoenix metro area have not yet been released.

Phoenix Police Department: Total violent and property crimes declined 44 percent from 2002-2009. According to a Phoenix Police Department report, the total violent and property rates in Phoenix declined 44 percent from 2002 to 2009. During that period, the violent crime rate fell 30 percent and the property crime rate fell 46 percent.

WSJ: Violent crime in Phoenix "plunged" in 2009. The Wall Street Journal reported on May 25 that according to preliminary FBI figures, "[t]he incidence of violent crimes such as murder, rape and aggravated assault ... plunged 16.6% in Phoenix, despite a perception of rising crime that has fueled an immigration backlash." The Journal further reported that "Arizona's major cities all registered declines."

Gee -- apparently the FBI and the Phoenix PD must must be populated with lying, dirty fucking hippie liberals eh?

I honestly cannot comprehend how it is that Fox let's such blatant lying spew out over their airwaves ad nauseum, day in, day out. Well -- actually I can .. they're stringing the rubes along because one - the rubes are easy to manipulate, and two - because their zombie-like viewing of Fox generates a lot of revenue from advertising.

What price to American society Rupert Murdoch exacts with his big media lie machine. And all to consolidate his own media power and enhance his financial empire. The creep.


Tea Dumpers revising their history .... via the "lamestream media"

USA Today fluff piece on the Teabagger movement - here's an excerpt:

What unites Tea Party supporters is less their geography or demography than their policy views: a firm conviction that the federal government has gotten too big and too powerful, and a fear that the nation faces great peril. Nine in 10 are unhappy with the country's direction and see the federal debt as an ominous threat to its future. Almost as many say neither President Obama nor most members of Congress deserve re-election.

... They deny that bigotry or rejections of Obama because of his race are part of the movement’s appeal ...

I have to call major league bullshit on that.

From the years 2000 thru 2008:

The national debt skyrocketed under Bush/Cheney from $5.7 trillion to nearly $11 trillion. A $230 billion tax surplus left by Bill Clinton was subsequently squandered in tax cuts doled out to the super wealthy.

Under the guise of the patriotastic sounding USA Patriot Act, Bush/Cheney monitored American's telephone and e-mail communications en masse. Dissenters of the Iraq invasion were ominously warned by the Bush administration to "watch what you say, watch what you do." The USA Patriot Act, as predicted by many, was abused by Bush/Cheney for purposes other than terror prevention.

Protesters at Bush/Cheney "public" events were herded into "free speech zones" - typically a fenced in area surrounded by law enforcement, blocks away from the event and therefore out of eye and ear shot of Bush/Cheney and the mainstream media.

9/11 occurred on Bush/Cheney's watch - 9 months into their first term. One month prior to 9/11 Bush/Cheney were given a PDB (Presidential Daily Brief) titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US" but failed to act on it.

In reaction to 9/11, Bush/Cheney embroiled America in two wars on two separate battle fronts and then stated that it was all part of the never ending "war on terror". To date, those wars have cost America $1+ trillion dollars, thousands of U.S. soldiers lives, hundreds of thousands of civilian lives and tarnished America's image abroad.

Under Bush/Cheney, a hands off, business can do no wrong approach to regulation led to the corruption and eventual meltdown of the financial services and banking industries - culminating in the worst economic downturn in America since the Great Depression and roiling economies around the world. The Bush/Cheney solution was the $700 billion TARP bailout - in other words - more taxpayer money given hand over fist to the riverboat gamblers who caused the crisis to begin with.

Under Bush/Cheney the world watched as a major American city, New Orleans, drowned. They have yet to recover.

Under Bush/Cheney an interrogation practice called "waterboarding" - which prior to the Bush/Cheney era had always been referred to as torture and criminal - became acceptable and routine behavior by the world's, supposedly, most respected democracy.

Now -- I drove by a local Tea Party gathering a few months ago. I saw a lot of derisive and critical signs and t-shirts - many quite colorful and inventive I admit. Funny thing though -- not a single sign or t-shirt referenced George W. Bush or Dick Cheney. They were almost exclusively anti-Obama and calling him illegitimate, questioning his birth place, calling him a muslim lover, an anti-American Kenyan, a Nazi, a communist, a socialist, etc. Many of the messages were most definitely racist in nature. Oh and, not surprisingly, I do not recall seeing any minorities amongst that crowd.

To put it bluntly - the revisionary claims by the Tea Party that their movement and/or philosophy is solely against over-reaching government power, concerned about federal debt and is not about race, flies directly in the face of the video and audio evidenced gathered to date as to what they truly appear to stand for publicly.

Therefore - as far as their laughable attempts to soft-pedal their movement philosophy goes, such as in this USA Today article, --- my pithy response quite simply is: BULL FUCKING SHIT!


Thursday, July 01, 2010

Wrong again.

Not that it will deter them from future nefariousness, but once again, right wingers (this time the climate change denier wing) are caught lying and using all manner of desperate subterfuge to avoid fair and substantive debate in order to advance their ridiculously wrong agenda.

Climate Scientist Cleared of Altering Data
Published: July 1, 2010

An American scientist accused of manipulating research findings on climate science was cleared of that charge by his university on Thursday, the latest in a string of reports to find little substance in the allegations known as Climategate.

An investigative panel at Pennsylvania State University, weighing the question of whether the scientist, Michael E. Mann, had “seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting or reporting research or other scholarly activities,” declared that he had not.

It does not appear to be of any importance what the subject matter is -- the right wing has no formative or reality-based ideas or visions about anything apparently.

Therefore, their only recourse is lying, cheating, stealing and manipulating.

It's unfortunate for all of us that their idiotic and childish intransigence on everything is holding this country back from overcoming our present national problems and getting American back on track to being the industrialized world's greatest democracy and open society.


Fucking fear-mongering morons . . . .

Apparently, according to Arizona's GOP Governor Jan Brewer, there is an heretofore unknown epidemic of illegal immigrants running around her state beheading poor, defenseless citizens (legal ones no doubt). Imagine that!

No -- this is not a parody -- I shit you not:

When defending her highly criticized immigration law, Gov. Jan Brewer (R) often lists the myriad problems she says undocumented immigrants bring to her state. In an interview on Fox News last week, for example, she claimed: "We cannot afford all this illegal immigration and everything that comes with it, everything from the crime and to the drugs and the kidnappings and the extortion and the beheadings..."

Ok -- let's dispense with any cordiality here. If you are of the belief that the illegal immigration problem in Arizona has evolved to the point of beheadings, or even rampant, uncontrollable extortion, kidnapping, drug mules and crime by mexican day laborers --- all I can tell you is your fucking brain has rotted from the inside out from watching way too much Fox News. Please save your soul and your life now by turning off Rupert Murdoch's "news" channel for 3 year olds. You can thank me for that advice later once you've recovered your sanity.

And one last thing -- something you will not hear Jan Brewer talk about is a recent Wall Street Journal article that analyzed recent year's FBI violent crime statistics and guess what --- in Brewer's beloved Arizona there has a been a steady decrease in all major categories of crime the past several years.

Click here for the Wall Street Journal report: [Click Here]

So let's see this bullshit for what it truly is -- Jan Brewer, just like the rest of the Teabagger screechers, is nothing more than a disgusting manipulator of people's raw emotions and unfounded fears during a time of national economic upheaval. What an awful individual to have as a "leader" of your political party.


**UPDATE**: a local Arizona news outlet investigated Gov. Brewer's surprising claims of beheaded bodies routinely turning up throughout Arizona's desert areas. As expected - it's a big fucking lie.

It bears repeating -- what an awful individual to have as a leader of your political party.

They Drink Your Milkshake . . . . slurping till the very last drop

Fed Made Taxpayers Unwitting Junk-Bond Buyers

Jul 1, 2010

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and then-New York Fed President Timothy Geithner told senators on April 3, 2008, that the tens of billions of dollars in “assets” the government agreed to purchase in the rescue of Bear Stearns Cos. were “investment-grade.” They didn’t share everything the Fed knew about the money.

The so-called assets included collateralized debt obligations and mortgage-backed bonds with names like HG-Coll Ltd. 2007-1A that were so distressed, more than $40 million already had been reduced to less than investment-grade by the time the central bankers testified. The government also became the owner of $16 billion of credit-default swaps, and taxpayers wound up guaranteeing high-yield, high-risk junk bonds.

Basically what that last sentence is stating is that Joe and Mary Taxpayer unwittingly became the proud owners of a worthless, putrid pile of financial shit.

Lovely. Gives new meaning to the term "rape and pillage" -- except in this case it was a small group of greedy Americans raping and pillaging their fellow Americans.

And this in turn is what kills me about the Teabaggers.

All of their hateful wrath and vitriol which they blindly aim at immigrants, minorities, liberals, dirty fucking hippies, etc. .. should in reality, be directed at the people who are PRIMARILY responsible for the financial meltdown and their economic misery -- namely the Wall Street grifters who gambled away the nation's savings account and then went crawling hat in hand to the Fed (under Bush at the time) and requested even more money to play with at their financial system black jack tables. The Fed, of course, populated by Wall Street con men themselves, promptly and unquestioningly handed over the people's money to the bankster card sharks and their mini-army of white collar hoodlum flunkies. And a nation's fate was sealed.

So yeah -- call me a cynic if I am of the unrepentant view that the Tea Party movement/philosophy doesn't amount to much more than a load of willfully ignorant, misinformed, hate fueled, John Bircher bullshit -- and with more than just of tinge of old school racism embedded within.

And while I am yet convinced that Obama is not a full-fledged member of this crime cartel that plundered America by virtue of the fact he kept alot of the usual suspects in his administration from the Bush regime, I believe he is at least making an honest effort (as ineffective as it is) to keep the beast on a short leash.

Frankly though, if it were up to me, the only thing I'd like to see around anyone's necks would be some nooses -- preferably hanging from a hastily erected, wooden platform on the steps of The New York Stock Exchange.


Blitzkrieg of smear - - a primer for modern, right wing politics

Andrew Sullivan belatedly comes to the same conclusion about right wing conservatism that yours truly came to several years ago:

This is what the right now is: no solutions, just anger, paranoia, insecurity and partisan hatred.

And they're current chosen vehicle for expressing that intransigence, anger, paranoia, insecurity and partisan hatred?? Why it's your friendly, local Tea Party of course.

But what do I know? I'm just some loudmouth with an internet connection, 10 years of astute political observation and this shitty little blog.