Tuesday, February 08, 2005

This Guy Gets It Right

Found this on the AARP site.
This administration's unprovoked attack on Social Security needs to be understood in this context. It is not a well-intentioned effort to solve a vexing policy dilemma. It is, instead, an important front in their ideological war on non-market solutions to any social problem. Quite simply, they don't care how well it works. They just don't like it because it doesn't fit into their worldview of corporate feudalism. That's the crux of it: THEY OPPOSE IT ON PRINCIPLE. Well, isn't that just jim-dadny? Their callous ideology, which has reduced us to a state of social regression, has no room in it for beneficial programs which help people and provide a safety net as they were intended to do.

Read the whole thing, though. The author remembers when progressive politics were the norm and this country was sitting pretty.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Idiots AND Cowards

Really, this is too easy. Who doesn't love it when Conservatives do your work for you?

Checking the comments from my previous post, I came across this little gem:
Have you considered the possibility that your challenge hasn't been answered because no one considers you important enough to bother responding to?
Anonymous | 02.04.05 - 10:06 am |

First we notice that "Anonymous" is, well, anonymous; this person obviously lacks the courage to post a comment and an identity. Someone's skeeeeered. Anyway, we'll call this chicken-shit commenter 'A' as we use A's words to illustrate the premise of my previous post.

Next we notice 'A' hasn't really provided a rebuttal or counter-argument to my post but merely indulged in ad hominem games. "Maybe no one responds because you're not important enough," is the kind of thing my three-year old plays with her two-year old brother. When my three-year old does stuff like that, she gets a time-out. Nonetheless, I'll answer A's tiny-minded claim by pointing out that Conservatives have countered countless other claims in this blog so apparently I'm important enough to warrant a response.

However, had A any intellectual integrity or maturity, A would have risen to the challenge. Ah, but that assumes A has integrity and the means to answer my query. Lacking any substance, A posts an unsubstantiated claim and runs under the cover of anonymity.

A cannot (nor can any other Conservative, apparently) provide me with an example when tax cuts have resulted in long-term economic benefit because no precedent exists. I confess that there's a certain amount of snark-factor in my challenge because I know it's a bet that I'll certainly win but to my credit, there exists a certain amount of intellectual curiosity. I asked to be taught a lesson and no one on the right seems to be prepared to teach me.

Thus, one can conclude that the right's unnatural affection for tax cuts is symptomatic of greedy self-interest. There is no substantiated theory or higher principle that guides their aversion to taxation, it is puerile self-centeredness, "Mine! Mine! Mine!"

Thank you, A, for providing a "clue as to how simple-minded and infantile Conservative "thought" really is," Q.E.D., your service is duly noted and ridiculed.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

You Don't Have to Look Far

Yesterday I made a comment on a DKos diary regarding a challenge I have made to conservatives on this blog over and over and over again, a challenge that has not been answered. Briefly, I said that I'd asked numerous times for conservatives to "provide me with evidence, any historical precedent, where tax cuts have resulted in long-term economic benefit in the aggregate (i.e. the nation as a whole, not just a few rich people). No one has provided me with an answer. My cursory research (and I confess I'm neither an economist nor an historian) has not yielded a single instance of tax cuts creating long-term economic prosperity."

Conservatives have, along with an inability to cogitate with any amount of complexity, severe memory problems. It would be interesting to see a neuropsychological study that associates rigid, black-and-white thinking with memory deficits. In the issue mentioned above one only has to go back twenty years to see that the result of Reagan and Bush I tax cuts entailed raising taxes in order to bring the country out of the economic shit hole that the original tax cuts created.

Timing is not of the essence, here; just wait five minutes and the Atomic clock of Conservative stupidity will spew forth something else idiotic or indicative of shit-for-memory. As soon as Democrats booed Bush's nonsense during the SOTU, the Conservative punditry were bleeting with a whine worthy of a pre-school class deprived of snacks. "Rude!" they cried with high dudgeon, self-righteously sniffing that Conservatives are, above all else, not prone to boorish behavior.

The Conservative method: shoot first and let the liberals do the thinking. No sooner had the Cundits been caught in their own caterwauling when the liberals pointed out, "My, my Mr. Pot, Mr. Kettle seems to remember this":
1999: Republicans Booed Clinton's Entrance Many Republican lawmakers gave him a cool, though not impolite, reception. There were a smattering of boos when Clinton first entered the House chamber, but they were quickly drowned out by applause. Some Republicans barely applauded, or refused at all to clap. House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) and U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) were conspicuously silent. (Boston Herald, 1/20/99)

1998: Republicans Booed Clinton's Medicare Proposal Clinton's health-care initiatives, chiefly in the form of a medical bill of rights, found support on both sides, especially his attack on managed-care health-care plans. ... Clinton's proposal to expand Medicare to allow Americans as young as 55 to buy into the system drew shouts of "no" and some boos from Republicans during his speech. (Chicago Tribune, 1/28/98)

1997: Republican's Booed Clinton's Opposition to the Balanced Budget Amendment The Republican response was far warmer than perhaps any of Clinton's previous four State of the Union speeches. Time after time, Republicans jumped to their feet to join Democrats in applauding the president. Only once did they unmistakably and collectively show their disapproval--when Clinton spoke disparagingly of a GOP-sponsored constitutional amendment to balance the budget. Many Republicans hissed and some booed. (LA Times, 2/5/97)

1995: Republicans Booed Clinton and Walked Out During Speech The upheaval wrought by the Republican election landslide was visible throughout the president's State of the Union address - from the moment Speaker Newt Gingrich took the gavel to the striking silence that often greeted Clinton from the GOP. At one point, Republicans even booed. About 20 of them left as Clinton went on and on for an hour and 20 minutes. (AP, 1/24/95)

Tip o' the top to Mr. Kettle Oliver Willis for superb memory and research skills.

Given such sever cognitive deficits, Conservatives are prone to perseveration on a pathological level. Sadly, it's all too easy to reduce the substance of Conservative arguments to these simple terms:

...and that's about the extent of it. Which should be a clue as to how simple-minded and infantile Conservative "thought" really is. If I've left anything out, leave your addition in the comments and I'll post a revised list next week. I promise I'll remember.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

How the Republican Healthcare Plan Works

Note: this was supposed to have posted yesterday, before the SOTU but blogger was acting up. Don't know if anyone else had these problems but... anyway, here it is.

When Bush talks about an "Ownership Society", I wonder if he's including taking ownership for his own inveterate stupidity?

Skippy brought this to my attention, an article in today's LA Times with excellent commentary from The Talent Show:
So, let's sum up the GOP plan for medical overhaul that will be part of this "ownership society".

First, they want to encourage employers to dump you from your existing insurance plan (and if you read the rest of the article, if doesn't sound like they need much convincing).

Second, they want to force you into an expensive insurance plan that will only cover "catastrophic" medical procedures.

Third, on top of the higher cost of your insurance policy, they want you start saving up any extra cash that you probably don't have lying around.

Finally, the whole point here is to ease the financial burden on your employer, make you pay more for less coverage, and encourage you to seek medical help as rarely as possible.

Make those your talking points.

If You Haven't Called Ken Salazar Yet...


Senator Ken Salazar: 202-224-5852

I just came from Daily Kos and read:
At a private luncheon Tuesday, freshman Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), who is Hispanic, defended Gonzales to Democratic colleagues. Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), the minority leader, said a "low" forecast was that 25 or 30 Democrats would vote against Gonzales, but it appeared yesterday Gonzales was in danger of receiving even more than the 42 "no" votes John D. Ashcroft got in 2001, the most opposition ever to a nominee to head the Justice Department.

In a tacit acknowledgment of the hostility his nomination has provoked, Gonzales reopened discussions yesterday about meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus after earlier resisting such a meeting. The group has declined to endorse Gonzales, sending a letter to Senate leaders last week saying that Gonzales's office had informed the caucus it would "have to wait until after he was confirmed as attorney general before being granted a meeting." As of last night, a meeting had not been scheduled. In contrast to the Rice confirmation, in which a majority of Democrats voted in favor, the opposition party appeared almost entirely unified against Gonzales.

Dammit, I spent a lot of time last summer and fall working to get this guy into office, arranging babysitters for my kids so I could (as I believed then) fight the good fight. And now I'm feeling betrayed. Salazar needs to know that just because Gonzales is hispanic, that is not sufficient qualification to excuse his support for torture.

Don't do anything else today until you've made the call to let Salazar know he won't see a second term if he supports Gonzales.

UPDATE: If you're not convinced of the importance of this go read this DKos Diary regarding a letter by Ted Kennedy ennumerating Gonzales' inability to take ownership for supporting torture.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Idiots For Christ

Like I said in a previous post, I'm not going to indict all Christians with the "shit-for-brains" label. It's my considered opinion that a good number of Christians are intelligent, caring, loving, individuals.

It's bozos like The Center For Reclaiming America that taint the rest with a jaundiced "Good God can these people really be THIS FUCKING STUPID?!?"

First a claim that the idea of evolution has killed 135 Million people. This isn't satire (like yesterday's Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings post on Eschaton), I'm not making this shit up.
"Communistic evolution, according to the Senate committee that examined it, is responsible for 135 million deaths in peacetime," he said. "There's no religion that has a tiny fraction of that many deaths on it conscience." And it is amazing, he added, that evolution -- despite its widespread acceptance -- has no scientific basis. "There are scientists who will admit that there's not one iota of scientific evidence to support it."

Ahhhh, it's "Communistic evolution". Um, right, whatever that is. I guess if you link anything to Communism (as these shitheads tried to do to martin Luther King), you instantly demonize it. What amazes me is the statement
And it is amazing, he added, that evolution -- despite its widespread acceptance -- has no scientific basis. "There are scientists who will admit that there's not one iota of scientific evidence to support it."

Yes and text books and academic journals are bursting with scientific evidence that "Communistic evolution" is responsible for 135 Million deaths.

What are those scientists thinking? Accepting the Theory of Evolution blindly, without "one iota of scientific evidence" (because really, all those fossils and rocks aren't really evidence, God or Satan stashed them to make us all look foolish), when a perfectly sound explanation exists in the 1,000 or so different fairy tales made up by various religions. Those silly scientists!

Instead of wasting your time thinking about "Communistic evolution" (Christ, the term just smacks of hillbilly invention), the good ol' boys at The Center For Reclaiming America want you to "Contact your local, state, and national representatives and tell them you are tired of the glorification of the homosexual lifestyle." Seems a Gay-oriented pay-cable outfit wants to run a morning show "Good Morning, Gay America" and that gives these talibanitols an uneasy feeling. Can't think about a Gay morning show while that break-of-day erection throbs.

I'm almost inclined to think The Center For Reclaiming America is really just another Landover Baptist site.

Snark On the Mark

Jesse at Pandagon gives us this trenchant shorter Republican African-American strategy, The Conservative Message To Black Americans:
  1. You will die early. Rather than do anything about it, let's end a program tremendously helpful to you in general (partially because we also don't care about higher poverty rates, higher infant mortality rates, or higher concentrations of minority in high-risk jobs and high-crime areas) so that you don't have to suffer the indignity of not getting as much Social Security as healthier, richer white people.

  2. You are slaves on a liberal plantation. The entire body of civil rights laws in America was improperly enacted and is an affront to "states' rights". Vote Republican!

  3. Rather than deal with the issues that actually impact your lives, we're going to try to unify you around resentment of gay people. Progress!

  4. One of our major supporters, and a guy who runs one of the preeminent conservative newspapers in America, is trying to get your churches to remove their crosses and put up his cult symbols. Your Christian faith demands you be Republicans - and if that doesn't work, you're about to be a member of a cult that is part and parcel of our party anyway, so join the party!

  5. Uh, we know black people. You're black. If you don't support them, you're a white liberal racist elitist.

Snark factor aside, what's just as insidious is the media's collusion in all of this. Points #1 and #3 have been parroted uncritically on the Sunday Talk Shows as if transmitting administration talking points is a patriotic duty that supercedes journalistic integrity.

If you're African-American you should be shirt-ripping pissed, not so much at the GOP (that resentment should come as easy as breathing) but at how the SCLM has refused to do their job.

For All of Us Colorado Voters

I posted this up on the Colorado Springs DFA blog but it bears re-posting here.

Call Senators Allard, Salazar to Vote "No" On Gonzales

Senator Wayne Allard: 202-224-5941
Senator Ken Salazar: 202-224-5852

Let them know we, as US citizens, do not support torture and cannot in good conscience, support an AG nominee who condones torture.

I reached a receptionist at Allard's office and let her know that, as a constituent, I would not support Sen. Allard on a "yes" vote for Gonzales. Sen. Salazar's office phone rang into a message system and so I just left a message that I'd not only voted for Ken Salazar but I worked the phones and canvassed for the Salazar campaign but I would not be so inclined to support Sen. Salazar if he, by implication of his vote, condoned torture.

Don't do anything else until you've made your calls.