Sunday Roast: On people who vote against their own interests…

via Al Stefanelli

One of my facebook friends posted a link to this internet posting, and I think it speaks quite poignantly about why some people may be voting against their own interests, especially those of an older generation.

…I listen to my own father, who has been the victim of layoffs from corporate merger after merger, who’s had his retirement fucked, who’s lost money on wall street – he’s done everything he was ‘supposed’ to do. He joined the military, went to college, had 2 kids, bought the house, invested & saved his money, worked his fucking ass off all his life & he still has squat to show for it. Now as a man well into his 60s he’s feeling the wrath of age discrimination, he’s finding his skills becoming outdated & his pay & benefits today (for the last 10 years) are lower than what they’ve been in the last 30 for him. Living the american life he finds his health failing as he’s a lifetime smoker with a growing waistline.

He’s the prototypical uncultured, red-blooded american male. He slathers his [steak] in ketchup, votes conservatives down the line, and wants the good old days before the women, blacks and fags took over. He’s a flag waver, supports his troops, and fends for himself. He’s always bitching about how much money corporations have to spend [because] of regulation & about how the upper class need a tax cut. Nothing in the world makes him angrier than “socialism” & the so-called welfare state. Working people getting needed services bothers him tremendously because a few extreme token examples get painted as degenerate leeches by the likes of AM Radio & Fox News. ANd then he’ll turn right around & support corporate subsidy for just about anything from corn to oil – b/c it “stimulates jobs” and it “trickles down”.

He refuses to recognize that we as a nation spend more money at the beckoning of corporate America than we even begin to touch what we spend on our own citizenry through what he claims is “welfare” or infrastructure. He’s a working class guy who’s been fucked by the system all his life. He still puts his suit on with a kind of sad pride, every day, & goes to work downtown to phone-monkey job nowadays. He’s doing a job any body could do but he likes to pretend all his education & experience has gotten him somewhere. He’s deluded about what America’s exceptional way of life has brought him personally as he is deluded about what the world is like at large. So he denies global warming, blames the unions, blames teachers & other government workers, blames regulation, blames the EPA & the FDA, blames those struggling to make it in this world, blames the blacks, blames the immigrants, blames everyone & anyone but those at the top.

Sound familiar?  Maybe it’s your Dad or another relative, or the neighbor two doors down, but I think we all know a version of this man.  Maybe, like the subject of this posting, there is some element of racism and bigotry, maybe not.  This is a man who feels fucked over by the system, even though he thought he did all the things he was supposed to do — and he probably did!  He’s a true believer “in an American dream & a way of life that simply doesn’t exist,” but instead of fighting back against the system that’s fucking him, he turns off his mind and turns the hate against those in the same boat as him.

Why?  Is it easier?  Less painful?  What about some sort of corporate Tea Party Stockholm Syndrome?  Those people really know their stuff — especially since their corporate masters told them so.  No further thinking required…

We’ve seen this in history before. I’m not trying to evoke Godwins Law or anything but i see a lot of correlations between the right-wing disenfranchised populist uprising here in America & a lot of what people experience in Wiemar Germany. There was a lot of angry people, scared about the loss of their jobs & an economy in bad shape. Those angry, uneducated people were looking for someone to blame. They didn’t care if they sided with a political party that would be responsible for fucking them over & destroying their democracy, not to mention the massive harm they would do to other groups. No, all that mattered was they found leaders who pretended to have answers. People like quick & simple answers & fixes, certainty & shared anger.

Easy peasy!  It’s not me or the people I aspire to be who caused any problems, it’s those other people.  You know, the ones who don’t look like me or believe like me.  Yeah, fuck them!

So far, the Tea Party hasn’t come up with a great leader for their movement, and we should consider ourselves lucky that they haven’t found him or her.

If somebody comes along who is charismatic & honest the US is in trouble bc of the frustration, disillusionment, justified anger & the absence of any coherent response from liberals. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer, we have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants from Mexico, the Muslims, teachers, unions, Planned Parenthood, NPR, & blacks (you can toss in atheists, homosexuals & liberals too). We will be told that WASPy private sector males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves & the honor of the nation. instead of fixing problems that truly affect the all of the working class, the nation will be convinced to support legislation that will further protect & consolidate power for the corporate elite.

Hmmmmm, that sounds mighty familiar already, doesn’t it?

What are we going to do, good people?  Is there really any changing this kind of self-destructive thinking?  Or should we just roll on over them, and concentrate on those who aren’t so invested in blaming “the other?”

This is our daily open thread — What do you think?

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132 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: On people who vote against their own interests…

  1. They must be having the Ice Capades in Hell today, because Rachel Maddow is on the panel of Meet the Press, along with Alan Greenspan, Austan Goolsbee, and to interrupt anyone making a cogent point, Alex Castellanos. I’m curious as to what Greenspan will have to say about the debt downgrade by S&P.

    Also on Meet the Press, Grampy McCain and John Kerry, losers of the last two Presidential campaigns, but it’s unclear whether they will appear consecutively or concurrently on the show.

  2. Great post, Zooey. I hope that your own dad isn’t quite as far gone as the one described above.

    Yesterday parx24 sent me a link – http://www.juancole.com/2011/08/downgraded-us-credit-rating-what-comes-of-coddling-the-super-rich.html – to a piece by Juan Cole regarding the downgraded US credit rating. I read the article, and started reading the comments. One of the got me so pissed that I had to respond. Here’s the comment, along with my (still awaiting moderation) response:

    Jason
    08/06/2011 at 9:27 am
    “It is a matter of some astonishment that most Americans are just bending over and taking this treatment without so much as a protest.”

    “I find this astonishing as well, but I imagine it’s attributable to this sense of guilt cultivated in the US for having a lack of success. This rugged American individualism that we are imbued with constantly creates a sense that if one is without a job or is not comparatively wealthy, it is due that individual’s poor decision making in life, that they have brought poverty upon themselves and are solely to blame for his/her own predicament. I sense this belief is particularly prevalent amongst the middle class and is significant driver in their complacency regarding systemic issues that are undermining them. What makes it pernicious even more so is that this thinking is self reinforcing, as taking ownership or accepting(mistakenly) one’s fate is viewed as somewhat commendable and distinguishes them from those whom raise their voices against the system. Obviously it will require a more severe shock to the US public before it becomes truly restive.”

    Reply
    Jane E. Schneider
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    08/06/2011 at 7:56 pm

    Jason, I think that you are completely wrong. The “compassionate conservative” mindset projects that if a person is poor or not successful, it is due to that person’s poor decision- making in life, and that the person is solely to blame for it. This is, of course a total crock, as it does not take into consideration any outside circumstances whatsoever.

    Whereas you believe that the middle class and poor are feeling “guilty”, we are actually feeling angry that our lifetime of hard work and playing by the rules has achieved little reward for it, and that the old-fashioned ‘American Dream’ is no longer attainable by the same means which brought their parents into the middle class.

      • Thanks, Cats – I just hope that my comment comes out of moderation soon!

        How anyone can believe that claptrap is beyond me. Why should we feel “guilty” about the family to which we were born, as if we started our ‘poor decision-making’ prior to conception? If that were the case, one might as well blame the Teavangelists’ ‘god’ and have done with!

  3. See this or was mentioned here yesterday?:

    From the S&P release …

    Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.

    • • My italics.

    • ThinkProgress had this yesterday. Amazing how, despite the clear language as you quoted above, Teapublicans still blame Obama and the Democrats.

      I’ll bet that part was never quoted on FuxNoise!

    • Yes, I did — but that part has been given little coverage in the media.
      It is too damning of the republican party.

      • Our main problem is that we defend Liberalism poorly, and that we allow the Right to paint us as all that is wrong with America, despite the fact that the America we all know, that many of us grew up in, and that the richest people in the world made their wealth in, is the result of Liberalism more than of Conservatism.

        The media is afraid of being tagged as “liberally biased”, and so they appease the RWNJs by letting them have their say and presenting their views as if they had equal merit with ours!. They don’t, of course, and anybody with an IQ in the three-digit range can plainly see that it was Conservative (Republican) policies that created the horrible financial mess we’re in right now, and the last goddamn thing we need is more of the same!

        Every chance you get, whether by posting comments online, tweeting, or writing Letters-to-the Editor (LTEs), remind the media of their failure to inform the public of the truth, of their failure to provide their customers (video, audio, and online) with the facts of the economic downturn, and how their reluctance to call the right wing the lying liars they are has done more damage to our nation than ever before.

        Sorry. Had to get that off my chest. I’ll shut up now.

  4. Kerry: ‘This is the Tea Party Downgrade.’

    Kerry had to go first, next is Grampy.

  5. Hello All!

    I engaged in a email exchange with my younger brother after I received an email blast from him yesterday that “the administration” was responsible for the credit rating downgrade. Here was his final response before I chose to end the battle of words:

    “Agreed the idiotic Repubs share in the blame here. Both parties have created this mess. And I agree that taxes need to go up. But ONLY if spending decreases. That will never happen. If I ran my business the way the government runs, I’d be locked up for fraud.

    Still, never before have any of us seen a group of more incompetent, egotistical liars than this “administration”.

    And, blaming anyone else still change the fact that this idiot Geithner still said the rating would not drop. You can’t continue to live beyond your means. Economics 101. I live it everyday when I continue to pay way more than my fair share into the system and continually watch others suck the system dry.

    Obama = failure. Simple fact. Largest number of people on food stamps, largest number of people out of work (number, not percentage of population and including those who have never worked like life-long welfare recipients) largest growth of federal debt in the shortest amount of time.

    Paint it anyway you want, fact is he is the worst. To repeat something you said oh so many years ago, “I finally have something nice to say about Jimmy Carter. After Barack Obama, Carter wasn’t our worst president”. Only you were referring to Reagan and Bush Jr.”

    Now the key phrase from my BaggerBrother is “I continue to pay way more than my fair share into the system and continually watch others suck the system dry.” You see, he has no children yet he pays property taxes that fund schools. He has no dependents but watches “his” tax dollars go to foodstamps and welfare for “them”. He fails to remember that he purchased his home with an FHA mortgage, he went to college using government-subsidized loans, before purchasing his seasonal business, he spent many winters living on unemployment, and, because our father retired when he was just 8-years-old, he received Social Security dependent income that my parents banked for his schooling.

    Yes, a bitter middle-aged white male. I would have thought the uterus I left for him was more liberal after my stay…

    • Spencersmom, it must be so tough for people like you and Zooey and so many others to have relatives who believe this crap.

      In my case, my siblings and I have never been great at keeping up with each other directly on any regular (or even irregular) basis, but we got together regularly for family occasions while my parents were still alive and functional. After the Year From Hell, once our parents were gone, we drifted even further apart. But at least all three of us are of the same political persuasion, so on the few occasions when we actually do communicate, we certainly don’t have any arguments over politics. So I guess that’s a good thing.

      • I guess I’m the “odd man out” in my family. Three brothers, all Republicans (two are true ‘baggers, one is still sane) but I was the only girl and the only one who isn’t right-handed. I’m the family LEFTY and damn proud of it!

        Have a great day, Jane! We’re in for a humid one but at least it’s not too hot. Yet…

      • We don’t discuss politics in my family. My brother, a die-hard Catholic, tries to bring it up on occasion and I just change the topic. He will also bring up religion. By the end of our visits, we still hug each other and we still love each other. He knows that he won’t change my mind and I know that I won’t change his mind.

        • Funny, my parents (as you all know) were devout Roman Catholics, yet they were liberals. I guess it’s because they actually tried to follow Christ’s teachings.

  6. Castellanos claims we got downgraded for Democrats’ insisting we keep spending. Rachel smacks him immediately by reading from the report, that it was the unexpected level of ‘brinksmanship’, that caused S & P to downgrade. He didn’t have a response. Castellanos doesn’t even have an ally in Greenspan. The old man says the problem is not the US, but Europe, specifically Italy, which is ‘too big to bail out’.

    • House, if you keep giving us the play-by-play, maybe I won’t have to watch it for myself. :D

      Greenspan is blaming Europe/Italy? Definitely senile – why do they bother having him on? Then again, why do they bother with people like Kerry and Gramps, who have no relevancy either.

      • You should watch the panel. I can’t cover it all. Rachel has Castellanos right where she wants him, alone and unsupported.

        • Rachel herself is the reason none of these GOPeaBrains come on her show – she’s way too smart, knowledgeable and armed with facts for them to use their standard “baffle with bullshit” schtick.

          • Exactly. Last night Rachel had tweeted that she was going to be on MTP this morning, so it was a ‘school night’ for her. She’s always prepared.

            MTP is starting here in NY now, so I’m going to watch it now. Thanks for the pointers, House.

  7. I remember a “joke” a fellow told me in the summer of 2008, one which I suspect is probably making the rounds again in some circles. I didn’t laugh then, just scowled, turned and walked away. It went something like this (and he could barely get it out without giggling through the last line):

    At a press conference a reporter asked, “Mr. Obama, if you’re elected president in November, do you think you’ll be able to fix this economy?” Obama thought for a minute, then said, “I don’t know if I can fix it, but I sure can nigger-rig it.”

    Our approximately 25-30% electoral ‘hole’ will always and inevitably assign the cause of every problem, no matter what it is, to Obama, and they’ll be assured 100% of the time by Fox News and Congressional Republicans that they’re spot-on correct.

    Oh, and, as an aside, the same idiot that told that joke was a fellow employee, the wrangler at the high mountain lodge in AZ, the place where we ran the kitchen and dining room. Back then (and before the fires this year which destroyed 850 square miles of forest that once surrounded that lodge — also Obama’s fault, someone pointed out in a comment in the Phoenix newspaper), back in 2008 the ubiquitous forest Raven populations were renamed by our wrangler ‘friend’, “Obama chickens.”

    That wrangler is now out of work this summer. No more easy cash, no more $35 per customer per hour take-home. He’s no doubt down and out again, all thanks to “that fucking Obama’s black ass.”

    This country has earned its pending collapse and all the consequences thereof. As to precisely how it all happened I’m not exactly sure, but here we are.

      • I’ve often wondered if putting a black man in the white house was a masterful plot by our corporate overlords. Especially if they know he is one of them.

        It would be successful on so many counts to do this. They get one of their own in office. They get millions and millions of supporters because of the historical relevance of it.

        The corporate media pushes the “only in America” could this happen and the “we’ve come so far”….when in reality we haven’t. Racism is alive and well in this country.

        On another count, by putting a black man in the white house, they know damn well it would divide the nation even more then we were under “W”.
        A house divided will fall. Fall to what…..? Fascism?

        I’m not claiming that President Obama is part of this but one has to ponder this as he appoints capitalists/corporatists like Rahm Emanual, Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, Bill Daley (Former JP Morgan Chase executive), Jeff Immelt (Former GM CEO), Thomas Donilan (Fannie Mae), Michael Taylor (Former Monsanto executive) to his cabinet.

  8. Greenspan: ‘According to the IMF, increases in taxes do significantly curtail economic activity. So do expenditure cuts, but significantly less’.

    Well, we know the IMF has only the best of intentions…

    • But of course. I mean they publicly claim they were forgiving the debt accumulated by third world countries and then, behind the scenes and out of the public eye, they take control of the natural resources of these countries and hand them over to multinational corporations, so that things like water become commodities.

    • Phuck Greenspan, he is just a tool, whose policies or lack of them helped get us into the mess we are in today. And don’t tell me he didn’t know what would happen. Him and his cronies profited greatly from the near economic collapse. The man should be held accountable along with the crooks on Wall Street!

      • I don’t think Castellanos wants Perry as his party’s nominee. He thinks Perry is unelectable, because Obama won by running against Bush.

    • Speaking of Rick Perry, I wonder how his Prayer-a-thon turned out? Did he even attend himself – I thought that KO had mentioned a couple of days ago that Perry’s spokespeople said he was still undecided. What a fucking idiot!

      • HuffPo had a summary of PrayeraPalooza which stated that the stadium was less than half full despite it being FREE and heavily advertised in advance.

        • The Washington Post article I linked to yesterday listed attendance at 15,000. This in a stadium that seats 86,000 (IIRC). The organizers are claiming 30,000 and the media appears to be running with that. Based on one comment I read, there were long lines at the food booths – for a day of fasting.

  9. Excellent article!

    Big business, including DuPont Chemical, J.P. Morgan Bank, US Steel, Goodyear Tire, Standard Oil and Mutual Life Insurance plotted to overthrow FDR and the US government in the 1930’s and replace it with fascism. Thanks to retired Major General Smedley Butler, the plot was exposed. Astonishingly, none of those involved in the plot were thrown into prison for treason.

    Did fascism disappear or fade away from our history after the plot? No. Since the 1930’s these very same people and businesses/multinational corporations have slowly but surely undermined our government with lobbyists, money and influence.

    In America today, fascism is alive and well, and thriving. Today’s fascists, like those in the past are disguised as suit wearing businessmen, politicians, media moguls, financial executives, media talking heads.

    Today’s fascists have hijacked American Christianity and the republican party. They have a cable entertainment channel dedicated to spewing their anti-government rhetoric. They own the rest of the media and the press. They control AM hate radio.

    They have thousands of political front groups that are disguised with patriotic names and names that give the public the impression that they are fighting for the average American, when in reality they are fighting for the total control of our government.

    Their missions may be different but their agenda is the same. To destroy our government. They do this on many different ways. First and for most, having one political party and their propaganda agents dedicated to make government appear dysfunctional and broken.

    Today’s fascists are the Koch brothers, the US Chamber Of Commerce, the GOP, the Tea Party and many other corporations, banks and financial executives. Today they have the money, the power and the influence to be successful because there isn’t a strong enough opposition party (Democratic Party) to stop them.

    It’s my impression that because of the Citizens United decision, the opposition party will become just a few token politicians whose voices will never be heard in the corporate media. The game has changed. Citizens United did this. The Democratic party knows that if they are going to compete for the unlimited corporate money, they too will have to become corporate puppets and anyone with the eyes to see, know this has already taken place.

    The Democratic party isn’t innocent in this either. From President Clinton, to Chris Dodd, to Chuck Schumer, to Steny Hoyer and yes to President Obama and VP Biden. We have many politicians in the Democratic party who are democrats in name only, when in reality they are corporatists.

    Sure some of these politicians give good speeches and appear to put up a good fight, but perhaps this is just scripted to make us believe we still have somebody fighting for the middle class and the poor, while fascism continues to spread.

      • Indeed. In fact, the front end of the Bush family monetary wealth came about via Prescott’s efforts to help rearm post-Weimar Germany, and the massive profits that flowed from the process. It wasn’t until 1942 that the effort was halted via the Trading With The Enemy Act, but of course no charges were ever filed, and the Bush family moved forward to carry out the legacy, to do everything in their power to destroy the country — and profit in the process.

        And today, Dubya, an indictable war criminal, is allowed to roam free when he should be locked up in a black hole prison somewhere.

        Money and power must have a loud voice.

    • No argument from me on any of that as we sit here and helplessly watch history repeat itself yet one more time. A hundred years ago, in the first years of the twentieth century when Robber Barons reigned supreme in the business world, when there was little or no regulation of corporate or financial excess in the days which ultimately led to the collapse of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed, fascism as a definitive philosophy was a freshly delineated Italian concept. As Mussolini himself defined it in the 1920s,

      “The Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with the State. It is opposed to classical liberalism [which denies] the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts the rights of the State as expressing the real essence of the individual.

      “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power.”

      But yep, even during the depression years that same philosophy never let go of the idea that corporate control of the government, of the full power of the state, was the road paved with gold, the road that led to ultimate wealth and power.

      They fought Roosevelt every step of the way, and in 1937 Roosevelt himself relented and began cutting Federal spending rather than maintaining it or increasing it to fight the Depression, and it didn’t take long before the quagmire returned. Ultimately, it was the Second World War that saved the US from itself — the MASSIVE government expenditures it took to rearm and to fight a global war. By the time victory was in hand, the US debt was the highest it’s ever been, up and through today, when measured as a percentage of the nation’s GDP. Taxes were at their highest with a maximum rate of 90% on the top one or two percent, but yet the economy was strong, and when war production was switched to domestic production it got stronger and stronger. The job market boomed, infrastructure was modernized, and soon the GDP grew to the point where the massive debt was no longer massive at all.

      And now, today, with most of American industry offshored in order to enhance corporate profits, with debt again accumulating thanks to the lowest tax rates in 80 years along with massive spending on silly things including unfunded (and unnecessary) political/aggressive wars, we’re suddenly back in the (Depression) saddle again. The same old philosophy — now duly defined as fascism — once again attempts a government takeover, and once again is within striking distance of success.

      If we as a nation collapse in a heap, it’s our own fucking fault for NOT finally vanquishing, once and for all, the extreme right wing Fascist movement. It’s our own fucking fault, and while there will be tears and more tears, no one in power will care, nor will they pay attention. Because they’ll have what they’ve long craved: a government which “reasserts the rights of the State as expressing the real essence of the individual” … the precise anathema of the Constitutional authorities once carved into stone by America’s founders and today misunderstood by perhaps 50% of the American electorate.

      It’s hard to feel anything beyond disgust anymore.

  10. Excellent thread by Al Stefanelli.
    He nailed the facts within so many families in middle America.

  11. There is something sublimely elegant to the evil of the Right Wing propaganda machine. They have portrayed the government as an incompetent and insidious socialist plot with a secret agenda of murdering fetuses, taking guns away, destroying marriage and the military, embracing Islam and flooding our country with illegal aliens in order they can keep handing out money to foreigners and bums.

    And the truly amazing thing about this idea is that they just noticed it happening on 1-20-2009.

  12. Yuk. Blech. Gag. Barf.

    Perry to evangelicals: I’m one of you

    HOUSTON — Texas Gov. Rick Perry sent a strong message to the nation’s evangelicals Saturday: he is a member of the important constituency for Republicans that he soon may call upon to help him secure the GOP presidential nomination.

    The state’s longest serving governor hosted what he called a national day of prayer, an event at Reliant Stadium that drew roughly 30,000 people and that was broadcast on cable Christian channels and the Internet nationwide, including in at least 1,000 churches.

    “Father, our heart breaks for America,” Perry said in 12 minutes of remarks that included prayer and Bible passages — but no direct mention of politics or his presidential plans. “We see discord at home. We see fear in the marketplace. We see anger in the halls of government and, as a nation, we have forgotten who made us, who protects us, who blesses us.”

    He asked Christians to turn to God for answers to the nation’s troubles, and asked the audience to pray for President Barack Obama — though he did not use the Democratic incumbent’s name — as well as for the American troops killed in the weekend attack on a U.S. helicopter in Afghanistan.

    The moment gave Perry a national spotlight before a pivotal voting group in the GOP nomination fight — in the early voting states of Iowa and South Carolina in particular — as he nears a decision on whether to run for president. His entrance into the field could shake up the contest because Perry could attract both social and economic conservatives at a time when the GOP electorate is unsettled with the current slate of candidates. Many have been campaigning for months and are trying to break out of the pack.

    As Perry held court in Houston, for instance, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann were holding multiple campaign events each day in Iowa ahead of next weekend’s test vote, a straw poll that is a barometer for a campaign’s organizational strength five months before the state’s leadoff caucuses. Both have a lot riding on the outcome.

    Perry has been talking with potential donors, GOP operatives and party leaders about a possible run. But he has been tightlipped about just when he would announce a decision, though he plans to visit at least one early-voting state — South Carolina — over the next week.

    He plans to keep what aides say is a long-held commitment to headline a conservative conference in Charleston, S.C., on Aug. 13, as well as meet with activists in the state scheduled to host the South’s first primary. The trip will put Perry in touch with voters and activists who would be influential to a Republican primary campaign, much like the Houston event Saturday did.

    Ministers long have been a valuable constituency in the early nominating campaign, especially in Iowa, where they formed an influential network for 2008 candidate Mike Huckabee’s caucus victory, and this year’s candidates are trying to make inroads. Bachmann, for one, announced the endorsement of her by 100 Iowa clergy Friday; the tea party favorite meets regularly with pastors when she campaigns in Iowa.

    Perry’s audience Saturday was filled with people who sang with arms outstretched in prayer — and wept — as Christian groups played music on stage. And Perry, himself, huddled on the stage in a prayer circle with several ministers who helped lead the event. It was Perry’s idea and was financed by the American Family Association, a Tupelo, Miss.-based group that opposes abortion and gay rights and believes that the First Amendment freedom of religion applies only to Christians.

    “We feel that God moved on him to do this. It will be read by the enemy, the political enemy, as a tool to win votes,” said Gwen Courkamp of Houston, who plans to vote for Perry if he runs for president.

    The governor also earned high marks from attendee Justine Schaefer, who said: “He’d get my vote … Today really impressed me. He showed that he’s sensitive to the Lord’s leading to have this.”

    Critics argued the event — called The Response — inappropriately blended politics and religion.

    Perry insisted that the event had no political motivation, though he did say during his remarks: “We pray for our nation’s leaders, Lord, for parents, for pastors, for the generals, for governors, that you would inspire them in these difficult times.”

    The other speakers focused primarily on prayer and redemption, though politics seeped in at times, tied to social issue policy. Dozens of people throughout the daylong event decried legalized abortion, while some also condemned gay marriage, although far fewer.

    Protesters gathered outside the arena to condemn the event.

    “The brand of Christianity being offered today is one of fear, and we want to let people know that God loves everyone, not to be afraid,” said Dan DeLeon, a pastor from the United Church of Christ in College Station, who wore his robe in near-100-degree heat.

    Rodney Hinds, who drove to Houston from Amarillo, waved a sign at traffic demanding “Pastor Perry Must Resign” and said: “He abused the power of his office by calling this event from his office as governor.”

    Whether that’s true or not, this much is clear: Perry may have laid down a marker on Saturday with social conservatives that would allow him to enter the race as a candidate focused on jobs, but with credibility with values voters.

    “He has the best record in the field on jobs, and doesn’t have to get off message beefing up bona fides on social issues, since they are firmly established,” said Mary Matalin, a former adviser during both Bush presidencies.

    Given Texas’ recent uptick in jobs, that combination could make Perry a potentially strong challenger to Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who leads in national polls, has business credentials but leaves cultural conservatives questioning his sincerity on their issues.

    • That was one of the first things I read this morning.

      an event at Reliant Stadium that drew roughly 30,000 people and that was broadcast on cable Christian channels and the Internet nationwide, including in at least 1,000 churches.

      Way to make the event seem significant.
      Half empty stadium. Now many subscribe to those churches?
      An is it any surprise that the most bible-thumping state turns out for a bible thumping homeboy who is their Governor? No.

      blockquote>“He has the best record in the field on jobs, and doesn’t have to get off message beefing up bona fides on social issues, since they are firmly established,” said Mary Matalin, a former adviser during both Bush presidencies.
      Given Texas’ recent uptick in jobs,

      Matalin is of course either ignorant or a liar:

      The Massachusetts labor market deteriorated less than in Texas from 2008 to 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
      Massachusetts was the fourth most-friendly state for employment in the period, the data show. Texas, where Republican Governor Rick Perry has touted his state’s title as Chief Executive magazine’s best for business, was sixth.

      Massachusetts unemployment rate is 7.6%, Texas is 8,2% (New York is 8%, NJ is 9.5%. California is 11.8%).

    • Can you imagine the right’s (over)reaction if Keith Ellison where to hold the EXACT same event, where all that’s different is changing the word “Christian” to “Muslim?”

  13. From something I’ve yet to complete (about the US/UK “special relationship”, the politics/economics that surrounded US isolationism and then participation in WWII, the myth of US exceptionalism and the championing of democracy, and my father’s and uncle’s war experiences):

    The AFC also had allies in the business and political establishment; as a member of the AFC Henry Ford found his anti-Semitic opinions welcomed, as did Roosevelt’s Ambassador to Britain, Joseph Kennedy. They were also autocratic ‘corporatists’, anti-union, anti-socialist and staunchly anti-communist, having enough in common with the Nazis to work with them rather than against them (Kennedy’s FBI file reports Kennedy as saying in London, in 1939; “It will be my friends that are in the White House in 1940…Roosevelt is run by the Jews and all the anti-fascist sentiment in the United States is largely created by the Jews who run the press.”). When the British and American governments approached Henry Ford with a 130 million-dollar contract (worth almost $2 billion in 2008-dollars) to license-build the Merlin V-12 (where two thirds of the production would be for British planes) Henry Ford said he’d only build the engines for the American planes; the contract went to Packard instead.

    In other words, Henry Ford was willing to give-up about $1.6 billion in business because he wanted Germany to beat Britain, but he didn’t mind making a buck off a government contract even though it was being offered under the aegis of the supposedly Jewish -financed and controlled FDR. .

    • .

      Money, money, money…money! Always does the talking.
      (oh and bigotry..hating is so profitable for many a business adventure)

      [excellent, as per usual - anxious to read more on the subject, from you]

  14. What the IMF really said:

    The idea that fiscal austerity triggers faster growth
    in the short term finds little support in the data.
    Fiscal retrenchment typically has contractionary
    short-term effects on economic activity, with lower
    output and higher unemployment. A budget cut
    equal to 1 percent of GDP typically reduces domestic
    demand by about 1 percent and raises the unemployment
    rate by 0.3 percentage point. At the same
    time, an expansion in net exports usually occurs,
    and this limits the impact on GDP to a decline of
    0.5 percent.
    ***
    The findings also suggest that spending-based
    deficit cuts, particularly those that rely on cuts to
    transfers, have smaller contractionary effects than
    tax-based adjustments. A key reason for this difference
    is that central banks typically provide less
    monetary stimulus during tax-based adjustments,
    particularly when they involve hikes in indirect
    taxes that put upward pressure on inflation. This
    finding again highlights that the fiscal adjustment
    process is likely to be more painful without the supportive
    role of interest rate cuts.

    So, the budget deal recently signed into law means lower productivity and higher unemployment. According to the IMF. In October of last year.

    It is important to note that the IMF said it would be worse with tax hikes to reduce the deficit, because banks typically provide less stimulus if the deficit reduction is achieved through tax hikes. In other words, its in the control of the banks, the same folks that caused this most recent collapse in the first place.

    The IMF also noted the contractionary effects of deficit reduction would be reduced or eliminated with a discretionary stimulus. It’s a given that no more stimulus package will come out of Congress between now and the next election.

    Conclusion: the powers that be passed a plan that must cause a contraction of our economy and increase unemployment.

  15. Briseadh na Faire on August 7, 2011 at 9:44 am said:

    Conclusion: the powers that be passed a plan that must cause a contraction of our economy and increase unemployment.
    ————————————————————————————————-
    Now why would those in power want this? Do they want mass riots in the streets as the unemployed and hungry kill one another over a loaf of stale bread found in a dumpster behind a burning Bakery?

    Seriously, with world wide austerity measures taking place along with no jobs, lower wages, higher gas prices and food prices, it almost seems like our overlords and their political puppets want to create chaos so that they will have a reason to implement more draconian laws to control and rule us with an Iron Fascist fist.

    • They want the black guy out of the White House and are not the least bit against American cities bursting into flames if that’s what it takes. Some of the Dems realize that. Pelosi, Schumer, Franken, and Betty McCollum (my Representative) have all said as much in the last couple weeks but, oddly, it hasn’t been reported. Meanwhile the “librul media” has criticized President Obama for his “partisanship” because he said that it’s hard to reach settlements when “the other side doesn’t really seem interested in compromise”.

    • Nail. Head. Direct hit.

      The Ruling Class sees itself insulated from the ensuing fray. They believe they have successfully pitted the lower classes against each other. They believe they own enough media whores and propagandists to instigate conflicts amidst the lower classes, essentially dividing them along social issues to conquer them economically.

      Thus far, the Ruling Class is correct. I honestly doubt any charismatic leader emerging from the lower class who correctly illuminates the class struggle will be allowed to survive for long. Cindy Sheehan is the last one to come to mind. She lived, but was marginallized, and was a one-issue person.

  16. Hi, gang.

    I engaged in a brief debate with a GOoPer at the local paper’s site. He was claiming that the “intelligent conservatives” would just use the teabaggers as shock troops and then reclaim the GOP. Then he went on to claim that the “intelligent conservatives” are the only hope to save us from “godless commies”. So, I pointed out that virtually everyone I know, including me, could be called intelligent conservatives and that none of us are religious, none of us are the least bit afraid of mythical “commies”, and none of us have voted for a GOoPer since, at least, 2001. Then he went all “birther” and I lost interest.

    • .

      Then he went all “birther”

      That limp noodle…often wonder if these same people believe a bunny lays eggs in the Spring.

      • oooh! Bright, multi-colored eggs, already hard-boiled! And he lays eggs that have candy or money inside, too!

        The Easter Bunny is one of my mostest favorite Dieties!

    • I really can’t think of a good reason why Geller, Robert Spencer, and others aren’t charged with inciting terrorism in Norway. In fact, I think the single most distressing part of modern society is that these freaks are welcomed by the “librul media” instead of arrested.

    • OMG, that is just despicable! Geller needs to “disappear” to Gitmo. She won’t be missed.

  17. Heh! Tales from Wisconsin. Paul Ryan is smugly self-assured that the downgrade of the bond rating is vindication for his plan to cast pensioners to the dogs.

    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/ryan-claims-downgrade-vindication-gop

    Meanwhile. The teabaggers are blaming “libruls” for a billion deaths and calling the Wisconsin recalls “attacks”. I guess that I never really thought of voting as a terrorist act.

    http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/tea-party-nations-judson-phillips-claim

    Show us how it’s done, Wisconsin.

  18. Okay, I’d like to share my morning with you all. I took a nice drive to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, camera-in-hand, to make the most of a gray morning.

    Enjoy.

    (Go ahead, click. I won’t hurt. If you like what you see, even post a comment. It’s easy. :lol: )

  19. You mean, Lee Harvey Oswald wasn’t the lone plotter and assassin after all? Unreal! /s

    Explosive Jackie O tapes ‘reveal how she believed Johnson killed JFK and had affair with movie star’

    Jackie Onassis believed that Lyndon B Johnson and a cabal of Texas tycoons were involved in the assassination of her husband John F Kennedy, ‘explosive’ recordings are set to reveal.

    The secret tapes will show that the former first lady felt that her husband’s successor was at the heart of the plot to murder him.

    She became convinced that the then vice president, along with businessmen in the South, had orchestrated the Dallas shooting, with gunman Lee Harvey Oswald – long claimed to have been a lone assassin – merely part of a much larger conspiracy.

    Texas-born Mr Johnson, who served as the state’s governor and senator, completed Mr Kennedy’s term and went on to be elected president in his own right.

    The tapes were recorded with leading historian Arthur Schlesinger Jnr within months of the assassination on November 22, 1963, and had been sealed in a vault at the Kennedy Library in Boston.

    The then Mrs Kennedy, who went on to marry Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, had ordered that they should not be released until 50 years after her death, with some reports suggesting she feared that her revelations might make her family targets for revenge.

    She died 17 years ago from cancer aged 64 and now her daughter, Caroline Kennedy, has agreed to release the recordings early.

    A programme featuring the tapes will be aired by U.S. network ABC, and it is understood British broadcasters are in talks to show it here too.

    ABC executives claimed the tapes’ revelations were ‘explosive’.
    [...]

    • Johnson could have been part of it, but I truly believe rogue agents of the CIA had a hand in it, for the Bay of Pigs and for JFK wanting to remove all personnel out of Vietnam. I’m sure the war industry also played a part.

      • I couldn’t agree more. CIA, Texas oil interests, the mob, other corp. interests who lost tons of money when Castro assumed power in Cuba — the operation was clearly planned to the last detail well in advance (including the Warren Commission coverup), and the only thing Oswald had to do with it was as the convenient patsy. The operation was, indeed, a true coup d’etat by any other name.

        • And CIA guy GHW Bush who benefited enormously from his Texas connections was in Dallas the day of the assassination. Coincidence, I think not.

  20. Has the MSM been reporting on this?

    Israel rocked by the biggest protest in its history:

    Haaretz said the protesters chanted, “the people demand social justice” and “an entire generation demands a future.” It remarked that, with regard to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the government, signs hung on streets, which read “Resign, Egypt is here”.

    Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/310025#ixzz1UNs74Peq

    So I wonder to myself….When are the average American citizens going to take to the streets?

    • .
      I’ve not heard it on any news programs.
      Have only read about it on-line:

      .

      Israeli protests..

      Nevertheless, some analysts have cautioned that the protest would fuel a debate over the large resources that Israel has shifted over the years to its settlement enterprise in the occupied West Bank and to its ultra-Orthodox community, at the expense of investing in areas such as education, transportation and health within its recognised borders. Such a debate, they warned, was bound to divide the demonstrators into those on the right and the left, who differ in their hawkish or dovish views on the Arab-Israeli conflict.

      • I remember watching some program about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict genocide and recall an Israeli musician being interviewed. He was in a band with Jews and Arabs and when asked what he thought was the cause for the conflict between the two sides and he said………..the media.

        I’ve often wonder if Israel has their own brand of FOX news? Apparently they do.

      • Alan Greenspan mentioned it on MTP this morning and said that’s why the Israeli trading might be down.

    • Alan Greenspan alluded that it may have been a bigger factor in the Tel Aviv markets moving down, rather than the US debt downgrade, today on Meet the Press.

  21. Should I as undisclosed-recipients@null, null@null forward this message to GOP headquarters as a campaign contribution?

    Start:

    To: undisclosed-recipients@null, null@null
    Subject: GREETINGS.
    Date: Aug 2, 2011 6:40 AM


    Please be informed that You have $250,000.00 Lodged in our Western Union to transfer to you as Compensation.

    End

    I am sure that they will give their account numbers and access codes to the original sender and the gift could never be traced to me.

  22. Remember, the gun had nothing to do with this.

    Ohio Man Kills 7 Before Being Shot Dead by Cops

    An Ohio man, upset with his girlfriend, went on a shooting spree Sunday, killing seven people, including an 11-year-old boy, before he was gunned down by responding police. One victim was rushed to a nearby hospital.

    The shooting occured in Copley Township, Ohio, a wooded, residential neighborhood of older homes outside Akron. The gunman shot five people in one location and two more nearby.

    • Is there a trend here?

      Police: 4 found fatally shot in Md. home

      The mother of a man found shot dead along with a woman and two teenagers called police after receiving a disturbing text message from him, and as officers arrived at the home to check on the family Sunday, they heard a single gunshot, authorities said.

      Neighbors said a couple and their two teenage children lived in the home where officers found the four bodies. Anne Arundel County Police did not immediately identify the people, though Lt. J.D. Batten did confirm a man, woman and two children were found. Neighbors didn’t know or wouldn’t give the names of the family members.

        • Maybe we shouldn’t say “Guns kill people,” but instead say “Guns facilitate killing people.” Of course, we might have to explain to the people the message is aimed at what the word “facilitate” means.

  23. I left this comment on a Redstate thread that BnF linked to in yesterday’s Watering Hole. Let’s see if it gets posted and/or if I get banned for life.

    It is a myth that the rich are the ones who are “job creators.” It is, in fact, consumers who create jobs. Wealthy people may create businesses that hire people, but they don’t create those businesses for the sole purpose of creating jobs, they create them to meet a consumer demand for some good or service. When consumer demand for that good or service grows, businesses often hire more people to meet the increased demand. When consumer demand falls, businesses fire people they can no longer afford to keep on the payroll. And it isn’t just rich people who create businesses. Less wealthy people do it all the time. In fact, many people who ended up rich (and not through inheriting their wealth the way the Koch Brothers did), will proudly, and rightfully, tell you how they started with nothing (or a loan from a friend or family) and worked hard to make their millions. Most people, however, do not become millionaires and while they are able to keep their businesses going, the consumer demand for what their business offers is not enough to hire more people. Fewer than ten percent of “small businesses” would make the kind of profits subject to the taxation rates being discussed by the Left.

    The primary reason jobs are not being created is because consumers do not have enough spare cash to buy things that will spur businesses to hire more people. Rich people do not take their money and spend it all, they keep it for themselves or their children and grandchildren. And they certainly don’t hire people just for the sake of hiring people, they only hire people when there is a job that needs to be done. A very large percentage of the wealth in this country is in the hands of a very small amount of people, and they simply aren’t spending enough of it to spur economic growth. When the private sector won’t spend the money that needs to be spent to spur economic growth, the government is the only entity that can, and it must.

    One of the best ways to spur economic growth is for our government to invest in infrastructure projects. The government doesn’t have its own construction companies, it hires private sector firms to do the work. More work for the private sector means more people getting hired, not simply to build the things that need to be built (we have a lot of highways and bridges that need repair), but to do the support work that goes with it (filing paperwork, answering phone calls, etc.) rather than reducing government spending, we should be increasing it, and not just on building military weapons, but on building something useful to the average American (like a bridge that won’t collapse in the next five years, as many of ours will.) But to do that, we shouldn’t borrow all of the money, we should raise taxes on the richest Americans who haven’t been spending their money. After all, they benefit from the infrastructure projects, too. If their employees (if you insist on claiming the rich are the job creators) need to have well-paves roads on which to drive to work. Potholes cause car damage that average workers have to pay for, and this takes away disposable income for them to spend in other ways.

    “Starving the beast” may sound like a politically-pleasing strategy, but at the end of the day, it’s your friends, neighbors and co-workers who get hurt by it. And the rich just keep their hoards of money and remain largely unaffected by the economic downturn. Whose interests would you rather see protected? Your friends’ and neighbors’, or the rich people who couldn’t care less about you?

    I didn’t know it was a WordPress blog and that I could use my WordPress login to comment. I may have changed my password for nothing. Then again, I have two different passwords for this blog and for TP, so maybe it won’t affect that.

    I will proudly let you know if I got banned. I’m saving my comment in case I need to refer to how I earned my Redstate ban.

    P.S. My comment is titled “The Myth of the Rich as Job Creators”. That should get their attention. :)

  24. The rich maintain,
    they do not create.
    They support their strain,
    and us poor folks’ fate.

  25. phuckin gnats…
    Yeah, only 20 miles to work in the morning.
    Had a good excursion and a couple of beers.

  26. I’ve been visiting TP for the first time in a while, and the place still has its share of dumfuk trolls. :roll:

  27. .
    Seems House and Raven never had to take

    touch-typing

    intr. & tr.v. touch-typed, touch-typ·ing, touch-types
    To engage in typing or type (a document, for example) without having to look at the keyboard, the fingers having been trained to locate the keys by position.

  28. Here is an interesting article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

    Did I Vote For The Wrong For The Wrong President?

    http://www.startribune.com/opinion/otherviews/126863383.html

    Bonnie Blodgett hits the nail on the head about the financial collapse and the republican policies that caused it but she also makes an interesting point, that had John McCain won, there would be no need for the Tea Party…..Kind of interesting and NO I’m not saying we should have voted for McCain….I don’t think she meant it in reality either, but she is rightfully disappointed in President Obama, like many of us here are.

  29. Geithner to stay on as Treasury chief

    Mon Aug 8, 2011 12:22am EDT
    (Reuters) – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who had considered stepping down after the government borrowing limit was raised, confirmed on Sunday that he will remain at his post at President Barack Obama’s request.

    • What a shocker! After watching a few documentaries on the economic collapse and learning that Geithner had been a failure throught out his career as the head of the NY FED, I don’t understand why Obama would appoint his as his Treasury Secretary…..But of course Geithner has connections with Bob Rubin, Larry Summers and I believe Goldman Sachs.

      Maybe this isn’t a big deal, God knows who Obama may have replaced him with.

  30. .

    Whom – if you are lurking –

    Jerry Day 2011

    The music never stopped for thousands of fans of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia as they celebrate his 69th birthday in San Francisco’s Excelsior district Sunday afternoon.

    “Jerry Day, one of the premier civic and cultural events of San Francisco, celebrates one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time and famous San Francisco native son – Jerry Garcia,” (Mayor Ed)Lee said.

    Relatives attended today’s Jerry Day and said it was fantastic –
    the only thing missing…
    Jerry!

Comments are closed.