Sunday Roast: American Spring Betrayal

Where was y’all!?  Where was ya!!??  They stole all my granddaddy’s guns!!

Betrayed by tens of millions of teabaggers who failed to show up for the great American Spring, it must be devastating.  You bastards!

This is our daily open thread — See you bastards at Bundyfest!

The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 5, 2014: Tea Party Nonsense – Again

Two and a quarter centuries later and some people still do not understand the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment means that we have a Separation of Church and State in this country. And it’s important enough to capitalize it that way: Separation of Church and State. I don’t know how many people realize this but unlike many other countries (including some of our closest allies), the United States by design does not have an official religion. And that’s precisely why no one, not even the government, can force you to worship his God. That doesn’t make us Godless Communists; it means we have a diversity of religious thought in this country. (Which begs the question, “How could any of them be right?” But that’s a topic for another post, as my grandmother used to say. She was very forward-thinking for someone who died twenty years before Al Gore invented the internet.) So I get a little nervous when people start claiming that God is on their side. Because some of the worst atrocities in human history were committed by people who thought that God was on their side.

Howard Kooligan of the Tea Party Express is someone who makes me nervous. Not only does he claim that God is on his side (well, on the side of the Tea Party People), he also opposes the efforts of some of us on the Left to reduce income inequality. The thing is, not only is his rationale completely Biblical, it’s completely wrong.

I think it’s very important that churches get involved and that Christians follow the dictates of biblical principles in casting their vote. I think it’s clear that God has a position on many of the things we deem political today, from life to theft to the doctrine of covetousness, which by the way seems to be the promotion of the left. You know, they talk about ‘income inequality,’ well what is that but covetousness? So how could somebody support that cause if they’re biblical believing Christians?

He’s totally wrong. We don’t covet the wealth of the 1%-ers, some of whom pay a lower effective tax rate on their millions in unearned income than I pay on the money I busted my ass to make. We recognize that too much wealth accumulated in the hands of a few people is not only bad for the economy, it’s bad for Society. We feel that they should be taxed much higher on any new income they make, especially unearned income such as money from investments and stock trading. But we don’t want the money for ourselves, as Kooligan wrongly presumes. We want it used to help people less fortunate than ourselves. We want it used to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. We want it used to bolster our public education system, because why should knowledge only be for the privileged? Sure, we could all use the extra money (since we’re not the billionaires who don’t need the money), but we on the Left know that there are plenty of people out there who need it more than we do. But unlike many on the Right, we’re not greedy. Liberals believe in Cooperation over Competition. And many of us Liberals, including those who believe in God, believe that we must solve Humanity’s problems ourselves, and not wish for divine intervention. Did God ever stop a war started in His name?

That’s why Rick Scarborough of Tea Party Unity scares me. He has no interest in Humanity working out its problems. He wants help straight from the top.

If we do our part then I’m confident that the God of Heaven will intervene. This country has been on the brink of complete disaster and collapse in several occasions in our national history. During the Roaring Twenties, socially this country was on the brink and deserved judgment; go back during the pre-Civil War era when we were buying and selling human beings, we deserved God’s judgment. But there was always a thread of Christians active in politics who didn’t lose sight of the prize and did what they could and God intervened, and that’s what I pray for and work for in this latter period of our national history. No matter what we do, if God doesn’t intervene the country is lost. But I know this, all the prayers in the world won’t change this country and God’s not going to act if those of us who I call the remnant don’t get involved, pay the price, like you’re doing, so I encourage you to continue doing that.

First of all, isn’t “the God of Heaven” a redundant thing for a good Christian to say? After all, the First Commandment pretty much settles the issue of which God they worship. Do Christians believe in any other gods, that are located in places other than Heaven? They’re not supposed to, so why say it like that? Second of all, the Great Depression which followed the Roaring Twenties was not the judgment of God but the result of Conservative fiscal policies. And, third, how could anyone who supposedly read his Bible believe that God opposed the buying and selling of human beings? There’s all kinds of advice about slaves in the Bible including how to get them, how much you can beat them (if they survive a day or two, you’re okay), and how much sex you can have with your female slaves. Do we really want the Supreme Being who came up with that to be the one who “saves” us? No thanks. I’ll take my chances with the secular human crowd. They’re free on weekends.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss the idiots of the tea party, or any other topic you wish.

Sunday Roast: Giving the unemployed the finger

In the face of empirical evidence that unemployment benefits help boost the economy, Congress went ahead and let the benefit expire for 1.3 million people — with another round of cuts coming right up.

Yes, I said “people.”  Not slackers, takers, losers, or lazy fucks, as Republicans and Tea Party morons like call the long term unemployed.

Officially, there are three people applying for every job in this country, but with so many people off the official unemployment roles (like me) — because their benefits ran out long ago, they’re so discouraged and depressed they don’t even look for work anymore, or they’re elderly or disabled — the actual number of people applying for each job is probably eight to ten.  Far too many of those jobs have absolutely no benefits, and don’t pay enough to keep a roof over your head AND keep the lights and heat on AND eat halfway decently.  Pick one!

But listen to the GOP/Tea Party, and you’ll hear patronizing statements that unemployment benefits make people lazy, shiftless slobs, who will feed off the government teat forever — this from career politicians who feed off the government teat.  Apparently, the best way to get people off unemployment is to just let the funds run dry, and accuse hard-working Americans of being lazy, blood-sucking shits, rather than actually passing a jobs bill (hey, the President has one!) or a sufficient stimulus bill.  Oh yes, they’ll extend unemployment benefits, but children, veterans, the elderly, and the hungry are damn well going to pay for it — unlike in the Bush years, where nothing was paid for EVER, and the GOP were happy as clams.

And gee whiz, where did all this unemployment come from anyway?  Let’s all ignore the FACT that George W. Bush crashed the economy in 2008, and had been hemorrhaging jobs out of this country long before the crash.  No no no, all this unemployment is because of President Obama’s socialist, fascist, Marxist, commie, pinko, nazi policies — again, flying in the face of actual evidence to the contrary — not because of constant Republican obstruction and blatant refusal to do the work they were sent to Washington DC to do.

Do you know how long they’ll keep doing this to the people of this country?  Yes, the people — do you actually think YOU are immune to GOP policies?  They’ll keep doing it as long as the people stay silent; as long as the people stay out of the voting booth; and as long as they can keep the people fighting among ourselves over things like the “War on Christmas,” so-called religious persecution, taxes (except the taxes of the top 1% aka the “job creators”), and other social issues that are only the business of those actually involved.

Pay no attention to the 97 days the millionaires in the House of Representatives will work this year — naming post offices, repealing Obamacare again, and railing against dirty, dirty women who want unfettered access to birth control, because they just don’t want to push out an unwanted baby every year — or their rapist’s baby EVER.  No, of course, lazy blood-sucking GOP/Tea Partiers aren’t the problem — it’s the unemployed.

Right.

This is our daily open thread — Discuss whatever.

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, October 23, 2013: NOW WHAT???

Walker Mole, The Zoo's deep underground reporter.

Walker Mole, The Zoo’s deep underground reporter.

The Zoo’s underground reporter recently dug up the dirt on the Tea Party’s next objective: Shut Down Thanksgiving.

Frustrated that the deal to shut down the shutdown of the federal government kicked the shutdown can down the road until after Christmas, the rebels in the Tea Party seized on the closest national holiday as their new cause du jour.

“Thanksgiving has long been thought of as an American Holiday” said one anonymous spokesperson, “but it’s not. It’s nothing more than a liberal plot to get real Americans celebrating alongside with them savage Indians.”

The spokesperson continued, “We won the war against the Indians. We drove them off the land by giving them smallpox, and bullets. And if that didn’t work, we conned them into one treaty after another. We took this continent away from them, fair and square.”

“So to celebrate, we should be calling this Holiday “Thanks-Taking”, cuz that’s the American way!”

Tea Party activists have circulated petitions, seeking to have major retailers change their advertising to “Thanks-Taking Day” sales. Macy’s, sponsor of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, adamently refused to change its stance. So far, only the NRA is on board. A spokesperson put it succinctly, “What better way to say “Thanks-Taking” than with a Smith and Wesson”?

OK, YOUR TURN.

In a Nutshell: THE END OF DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA

This is the best explanation of where we are, and why there’s no realistic hope of things getting better:

How do House Republicans end up convincing themselves of unrealistic plans, particularly when they’ve seen them fail before, and when respected voices in the Republican and even conservative establishment are warning against them?

RC: When you get the members off the talking points you come to a simple conclusion: They don’t face consequences for taking these hardline positions. When you hear members talk candidly about their biggest victory, it wasn’t winning the House in 2010. It was winning the state legislatures in 2010 because they were able to redraw their districts so they had many more conservative voters. The members get heat from the press but they don’t get heat from back home.

It will take years before new districts are drawn. By then, it will be too late.

A lady asked Dr. Franklin “Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy.”
“A republic” replied the Doctor “if you can keep it.”

Class warfare came to a head a hundred years ago when the labor movement spawned the advent of Unions. Workers joined in solidarity to help each other against the capitalists, the ruling class of their day.

Their gains have been slowly but surely chipped away. The ruling class has been working n the halls of power for decades. They took Lincoln to heart – they didn’t try to fool all the people all the time, just enough of the people at election time. They succeeded.

When a republic is no longer represented by the majority, but by the wealthy few, it ceases to be a republic and is instead an oligarchy. This is where we are now. And the oligarchs will not give up their power willingly.

The Best Government Money Can Buy

I recall a time in the not-to-distant past when anyone who dared vote against the President was a traitor.

The more interesting question is, can a group of persons, elected on the promise to destroy the federal government, who then act on their campaign promise, be traitors? I don’t think so. I think that’s part of representative democracy & the right to change our government – even write a totally new Constitution, if we so choose.

Remember, these tea-party representatives would get nowhere if not for the support of some 200 other Republicans in the House.

These Republicans are quite willing and able to destroy the country to get their way – They’ve been using the budget and debt ceiling limits to their “advantage” for years now, passing authorizations only enough to keep the government and the economy limping along for a few weeks at a time.

Matters have now come to a head. If any Republican breaks ranks. s/he will be branded a loser & will be “primaried” by a tea party candidate. The divide will get worse before it gets better.

Now, some 8 million mothers and babies have lost minimal nutrition support. Millions of fathers are directly feeling the results of the government “slimdown” as Fox puts it. Odds are good that some of these millions are avid gun owners.

Nearly 1 million government and private workers are on an unpaid vacation. Odds are good that most live paycheck to paycheck. They are directly impacted by this “slimdown” (and yes, I use that term precicely because its use is like fingernails on a chalkboard). Their creditors will be impacted soon, as they won’t be paying their credit cards, rent, home and/or car payments.

Point being, an extended “slimdown” will lead to gun violence and people getting killed. This is on top of the looming global market crash. Michelle Bachmann cheered the shutdown, and she was joined by the rank and file tea party members.

But it’s all Obama’s fault. He won’t negotiate with them. But what’s there to negotiate? They haven’t come up with a better health care solution. Negotiations with the Tea Party means give them everything they want, when they want it, or they will shut the government down.

It used to be majority rule, so long as it does not trample the rights of the minority. But now the minority is an intransient sect, hell-bent on imposing their will, and religious beliefs, on the majority.

We have the best government money can buy. And now, it appears, no government is the best government for the aristocracy.

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, October 2, 2013: BLAME IT ON FRANCE!

Guess what day it is!  Come on! You can say it!  SAY IT!!!

Guess what day it is! Come on! You can say it! Say it!!!

Government Shutdown, Day Two.

Republicans now blaming shutdown on France.

If not for France, we wouldn’t have the Statue of Liberty.

If not for the Statue of Liberty, we would not have the poem:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

If not for the poem, we would not have the wretched refuse, the tired, poor, huddled, homeless masses.

If not for the wretched refuse, the tired, poor, huddled, homeless masses, we would not have ObamaCare.

If not for ObamaCare, we would not have to shut down the government.

It’s all France’s fault.

OPEN THREAD.
POST NOW, BEFORE THE INTERNET CLOSES.

CLOSED FOR BUSINESS

Christmas came early for hundreds of thousands of federal workers as the Tea Party Caucus successfully shut down the Federal Government. This, to be sure, is a White Christmas. Except for Father Christmas, John Boehner. He’s orange.

The Speaker of the House used the power of his position to prevent a clean funding bill from coming up for a vote. He is dedicated to spending any amount, incurring any hardship, just to see that millions of Americans don’t have health insurance. Except that he’s spending taxpayers’ money, and he’s not having to get by without a paycheck. The same goes for the Tea Party Caucus. They know, thanks to gerrymandering, they’ll get re-elected.

The Republican Party has long run on the mantra of a smaller federal government and now, they’ve succeeded in their goal. Only functions deemed “essential” are operating. Everything else is shut down, or shutting down. Everything else, we can get by without, on a permanent basis. National Parks? nope. Government regulators? Who needs them. Research grants? Let the free market take care of it.

If the Tea Party wants to, they can make sure that a total economic collapse, worse than the Great Depression, starts on Obama’s watch. All they have to do is…nothing. And they’ll still get their full paychecks.

Merry Christmas.

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, July 10, 2013: The Handwriting on the Wall

47% of this country will not vote for Republicans. Or so Mitt Romney said behind closed doors when speaking to his wealthy benefactors. Yet Republicans are hell-bent on alienating even more of the country, attacking women’s rights, attacking immigrants, attacking minorities, attacking everyone who is not white and rich.

Why? Don’t they see the handwriting on the wall?

Yes. The do see it. And they ignore it. And rightfully so.

They are taking full advantage of the power they have to gerrymander districts and to restrict the ability of anyone who might vote against them to cast a vote. And they’ll succeed, thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling striking out portions of the Voting Rights Act. Republicans wasted no time pushing for the very restrictions they were prevented from implementing these past 40 years. They will ram them through, just as they have rammed through new ways to legislate women’s uteruses.

Tea Party Republicans in the House signaled they are willing to hold the country in economic hostage – again – if they don’t get their way and privatize Medicare, Social Security, gut food stamps, etc.

They do all this because they firmly believe they will get re-elected. And they most likely will, no matter how many people disagree with them. Because they get to choose who votes.

The Republican efforts to “eliminate voter fraud” is itself the greatest fraud on voters – their restrictions, if successful, will allow a shrinking minority to continue to wreck havoc on the rest of this once-great country.

The only way to combat their tactics is to educate the masses to do whatever it takes to jump through the Republican-made hoops to get registered to vote, and to vote.

If we don’t, if we cannot affect change at the ballot box, what is happening in Egypt and Syria will happen here. And that is the handwriting on the wall.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Hump Day, Wednesday July 3, 2013: Let the Debate Begin!

Walker, The Zoo's underground investigative journalist.

Walker, The Zoo’s underground investigative journalist.

THE ZOO recently learned that a group of master debaters within the evangelical christian wing of the Republican Party convened their own Congress, with the express intent of drafting a new Declaration of Independence.  At great risk of life and limb, Walker managed to dig up a working draft and return it, intact, to Zoo Headquarters. Here it is, without comment.

DECORATION OF INTDEPENDANCE

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one CHRISTIAN people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another HEATHENS, PAGANS, MUSLINS, JEWS, CATHOLICS, LUTHERANS, THE UNCHURCHED, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station RIGHTEOUS KINGDOM to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all WHITE CHRISTIAN men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator JESUS CHRIST with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed JESUS CHRIST, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People CHRISTIANS to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness THE INFALLIBLE WORD OF GOD AS STATED IN THE BIBLE.

Continue reading

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, June 19, 2013: Syria Announces Plans to Arm the Tea Party

In response to President Obama’s announcement that he will begin providing weapons to Syrian Rebels because the Syrian Army used chemical weapons, Syrian President Al-Assad announced his country will begin arming Tea Party Patriots to support their revolution against the American Government.

Syrian Armored Personnel Carrier reportedly en route to Tea Party Patriots

Syrian Armored Personnel Carrier reportedly en route to Tea Party Patriots in Texas

“It is widely known” Al-Assad proclaimed, “that the American government sponsors the widespread uses of chemical and biogical weapons. Through its puppet, Monsanto, a corporation totally immunized from civil and criminal prosecution for its actions, the U.S. Goverment is poisoning its people with biologially altered food, sprayed with chemicals so toxic their agents have to wear hazmat suits.” The Syrian President went on to note that the United States tried to invade other countries with these biological and chemical weapons, only to be soundly defeated abroad.

Syrian Troop Transport reportedly leaving Tijuana on its way to North Carolina Tea Party Patriots

Syrian Troop Transport reportedly leaving Tijuana on its way to North Carolina Tea Party Patriots

“The Tea Party stands out,” Al-Assad said, “in its open resistence, carrying small arms and assault rifles to its protests. And the Tea Party not only opposes the deployment of these chemical and biological weapons, it opposes everything the corrupt American Goverment does. That makes it an ideal ally in our fight against American Imperialism.”

A spokesperson for the Syrian Government refused to comment on the rumor that the government has already recruited bedouins to disguise themselves as Mexicans to bring heavy machine guns and other military equipment across the southwest border between the U.S. and Mexico. However, flight manifests indicate a large number of camels and other items of a suspicious nature have already been shipped to Tijuana.

As of this writing, every Tea Party spokesperson contacted by The Zoo has flatly denied any deal with the Syrian Government. However, it goes without saying that if Tea Party militias were receiving arms from a foreign government, they would flatly deny doing so. Thus their denials merely feed the growing suspicion that the Tea Party is planning a major offensive against the Obama Administriation, with the full backing of the Syrian Government.

OPEN THREAD

TWO ARMS – TO ARMS – TOO, ARMS!

The Watering Hole, Monday, June 3rd, 2013: Lows and Highs

As is my wont, I found today’s offerings while trying to research a totally different topic. Let’s start with the lows (after all, it is Monday):

First up: The Atlantic Cities website has an interactive map of the world, where you can pick any area, zoom in, and watch a time-lapse video of changes over thirty years’ time. The human infestation of our poor planet continues apace. (sigh)

In other ‘low’ news, Darrell Issa is still wasting oxygen (as well as taxpayers’ money and valuable legislative time) on Obama conspiracy theories, in this particular case the IRS/Tea Party story. (On a slight ‘high’, at least Candy Crowley made an attempt to introduce Issa to reality.) And, almost lower than Darrell Issa himself, right-wing trolls, i.e.:

spammeister1 [yes, "spammeister1" is really the troll's screen name]
“And the nobama admin IS the most corrupt in the history of our once great republic. Issa, being experienced, saw that from the beginning even tho , as u say, he as of yet had no actual proof. but look at the corruption in the admin now. CROOKS!!!! LIARS!!!!! FOOLS!!!!!”

(The Spammeister had more to say later, but I won’t inflict more of his brand of ‘stupid’ on you.)

Then there’s this literary masterpiece:

jojomon1
“really Kevin you really believe that liberal bs more then 50 where denied and no liberal org where even look at and that s really the kind of government you want well you make my point for me liberals or the new communist party”

And, this plum:

Sheila Firmin · Top Commenter
“Candy can not be trusted to be fait or balanced….she is an Obama shill…..asskissing arm of the administration.”

[eyes rolling]

On a somewhat lighter note, but still in the ‘low’ category, we have…Cicadas: I’ve heard that this year there’s supposed to be a plague of cicadas. For anyone who’s curious about whether human development can prevent cicadas from emerging from their 17-year cycle, this article on The Atlantic Cities website has the answer. Short version, probably not – but at least I learned a bit more about cicadas than the fact that they come in cycles.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now for your ‘highs’ today: Here’s 13 different bird’s eye views from around the world, courtesy of cable cars. Enjoy! (unless you’re afraid of heights, of course.)

This is our Open Thread. Go ahead, talk amongst yourselves!

The Watering Hole: November 9 — Get a grip, Republicans

White People Mourning Romney

I mean really, people.  Drama Queen much?  That looks like a jewelry counter in there, I think y’all will be okay — unless potential customers just don’t like how friggin’ silly you’re being.

Hey, does anyone remember how you felt when George W. Bush won re-election in 2004?  I know I was stunned — and it was my BIRTHDAY!  Man, that stung!  I walked around in kind of an astonished daze for about a day, but I never thought this country had “died,” or was doomed for destruction (although GWB gave it one helluva try).

I shook it off, pulled up my big girl panties, and started informing myself.  I realized that, although I had always voted, I had never really been interested in politics and how or why they worked.  I got an internet connection and started looking for information — not knowing the first place to look.  I just had to read and read and read, knowing that because it’s on the internet, it doesn’t mean it’s true.

Sometime in 2005, I found Eric Alterman’s blog, “Altercation.”  He seemed to have a good head on his shoulders, so I checked all his links.  By doing so, I found David Corn’s blog.  I liked him because he was smart and snarky.  I made my first comments online on Corn’s blog.  Then Alterman linked to a brand new blog called “ThinkProgress,” and shit got real!  In a pretty short time, TP went from one or two posts a day, and maybe ten comments, to eight or ten post a day, and hundreds of comments!  I met loads of wonderful people there, and learned SO MUCH from their comments and outlook on life.  I read so much information on so many topics that I’d never heard of before, and it was awesome.  Then, in 2007, when the troll shit got so deep it was over-topping our hip-waders, we left TP and created TheZoo.  I’m still learning today!

My point is this, Republicans and assorted tea-types:  Sure, you’re disappointed.  You had high hopes and dreams that Barack Obama would be a one term President, and it just didn’t work out.  I can’t say I’m sorry about that turn of events, but I understand the feeling.  Sorta.

Here’s a video that might help you start you own journey toward educating yourself about politics in this country, and an actual exploration of facts.  It’s not Fox, it’s Rachel Maddow, but stay with me here.  It might scare you, but it’s 16 minutes of your life.  You can still be furious and hurt, but please stop thinking this country is over.  I don’t know why you think we’re such a fragile country.  I mean really, come on.

Rachel just gave you a huge number of FACTS.  You probably don’t agree with that assessment, but your assignment is to make a list of all those facts and then confirm or debunk them.  You have to be discerning in your sources of information!  No Drudge or Fox, and to be fair, no MSNBC or ThinkProgress.

Remember:  Actions speak louder than words.  John Boehner and Mitch McConnell can stand in front of microphones and say they’re all about “jobs, jobs, jobs,” but check their voting record.  It’s up to you to educate yourself, because it sticks better that way.  Do it for YOU, okay?  This bitterness and anger is going to eat you alive, and no one wants that.

Let’s work together on getting this country back in shape and working again.  Whadda ya say?

This is our daily open thread — And it’s FRIDAY!!!!

To Rule versus Govern

To rule or to govern.

Govern

1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (also intr) to direct and control the actions, affairs, policies, functions, etc., of (a political unit, organization, nation, etc.); rule

Rule

1. Governing power or its possession or use; authority.

George Washington’s Farewell Address, speaking on political parties (from wiki.answers.com)

“They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests.”

Since the political shift of 1994, with Newt Gingrich and his Contract for America, bitpartisanship has become a dirty word in the conservative vernacular.

This disdain for anything that smacks of compromise intensified exponentially with the advent of the Tea Party and their candidate’s successes in the 2010 elections.

What we have now is an attempt by the Tea Party Republican ‘faction’ to rule as a minority. They have little interest in governing, if the difference between ruling and governing implies a requirement for political compromise.

This is exactly what our first President warned us of. He foresaw those ‘small and artful’ politicians with their ‘ill-concerted and incongruous projects’ trying to force their vision of our country instead of attempting any ‘common counsel’ or ‘mutual interest’.

So what to do in counterbalance to this force dedicated to foisting its policies and dictates on the American people?

My answer would be to do whatever it takes to remove them from their temporary seat of power. I would remove them as a statement that our founding fathers fully intended, by virtue of the checks and balances they carefully crafted into our governmental system, to forge a system based on compromise.

Every major crises with the exception of the Civil War has been resolved by the two major parties, regardless of the rancor of the debate, crafting a give and take answer that at least temporarily put the issues to rest.

We can’t afford to lose sight of the precedent and traditions that have served us so well since our founding some 220 plus years ago. We must send the Tea Party packing.

The Watering Hole, Monday, August 20th, 2012: New York, The New Battleground State?

It’s always been pretty much a given that New York State’s electoral votes in a Presidential election go to the Democratic candidate. While most of the state is Republican-leaning, the heavily-populated centers of New York City and Albany tip the electoral scales in favor of Democrats. And despite the recent redistricting, which lost the state two of its electoral votes, its 29 votes should still be reliably blue. Okay, while not an actual guarantee, New York should still be able to be counted on for President Obama in the upcoming Presidential election. Regardless, I don’t expect to see either Presidential candidate, or their surrogates, doing any campaigning in New York.

On the other hand, some of the Congressional races within the state are now, frighteningly, likely to remain in the grasp of the Republicans. Our own district, now redistricted as The Fightin’ Eighteenth (as Stephen Colbert would say), went from Democrat John Hall to Tea Party Republican Nan Hayworth in the 2010 Tea Party tempest. According to Salon.com:

“In 2010, no state was stung by the Republican sweep of the House more than New York. Before the election, New York had three Republican representatives. After the dust settled, Republicans increased their numbers in the New York delegation nearly three-fold — eight of New York’s 29 seats were Republican.”

Those eight Congressional seats are now in play again, and, as Salon puts it:

“For Republicans, simply retaining the gains of two years ago would be a major win, both in the state and nationally. And they’re confident that they’ll even pick up new seats. “They’re more likely to pick up two than lose two at this time,” said New York Republican consultant Susan Del Percio.”

However, the website ballotpedia.org, paints an even more dire picture in New York. The site references the New York Times race ratings, which indicate that 10 New York congressional districts could go Republican: “the 1st, 11th, 18th, 19th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th and 27th districts.”

If Republicans retain their current eight Congressional seats, that would be bad enough news for us and for President Obama. If they gain any more seats on top of those eight, it bodes even worse for all of us. And if you combine such a scenario with the fact that so many Republican-governed states are doing their utmost to suppress Democratic votes, well…do I need to draw a map?

This is our daily open thread — got any good news?

Teh WateringHole: Wednesday, May 9, 2012: There’s A Hole in the Budget

“Tweeter”, our investigative journalist, calling in his latest report.

According to our latest sources, members of the T-Party are unhappy with Mr. Etch a Sketch, the Presumptive Presidential Pick of the rePublican Party. So much so, that they’ve come up with their own marching song:

There’s a hole in the budget, Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney;
There’s a hole in the budget, Mitt Romney, there’s a hole.

Fix the hole in the budget, poor people, poor people;
Fix the hole in the budget, poor people, fix it.

With what shall we fix it, Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney;
With what shall we fix it, Mitt Romney, with what?

I’ll cut Welfare, poor people, poor people,
I’ll cut Welfare, poor people, I’ll cut.

There’s still a hole in the budget, Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney;
There’s still a hole in the budget, Mitt Romney, still a hole.

I’ll cut food stamps, poor people, poor people,
I’ll cut food stamps, poor people, I’ll cut.

There’s still a hole in the budget, Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney;
There’s still a hole in the budget, Mitt Romney’s still A-Hole.

(sung to the tune “There’s a hole in the bucket”)

YUP
OPEN THREAD
OPEN UP
ADD VERSES, IF YOU LIKE
OR
WHATEVER

(yeah, just try to get this song out of yer head!)

:lol:

An Open Letter to Obama Haters

I found this open letter on Facebook, with a link to Democratic Underground, but with no attribution.  I’ve posted it in full, with no changes.

I think it has an excellent message for those who cannot reconcile themselves to the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.

To your distress, for most of the rest of your life, you will bear this:

That Barack Obama, whether re-elected or not, will always be President.

He will always be the man from a mixed race background that became the President of the US, he and his wife will be welcomed throughout the world by nations and their leaders, the most influential members of the arts and sciences will be their acquaintances and companions.

He will be regarded and honored as the President who entered office during a deep recession and two wars and turned the country around.

You will always justify your lack of achievement on the unfairness of every system, your lack of success on the government or regulation, and your failure to accomplish anything in a country where impoverished immigrants with limited language skills are succeeding around you on the liberals or the communists or the elites.

The small satisfaction you garner while spouting derisive comments here only exists in your self-delusion and is a pale comfort compared to the reality that exists around you.

You can try to salve your bitter existence with theories of international Kenyan plots or document fraud, whatever.

But that is your future.

Your world will always be limited by your small-mindedness, your associates only those that are as poorly adapted to the world around them, your accomplishments non-existent and your life a bitter existence.

It’s time to move on.

In your journey into denial, you’ve already sacrificed your conscience and whatever claim to character you had.

Your pretense at a deity derived morality is mocked by your myopic hatred of the ‘other’.

Your concept of patriotism is waving a child’s flag on the sidelines as others defend your liberty.

Bush 41 and spouse are living into their nineties, the Obama’s will too. You’ll see them at the inaugurals, your TV will tell you of their lives and that of their daughters, of their successes and their trips and the books they write and their accolades.

Make it easy on yourself.

Take a deep cleansing breath and just let go, make the best of your situation.

Whether re-elected or not, he will always be the 44th President of the US, and your children and their children will read of him in their history books, the first black man elected president of the US.

If not re-elected, he will be healthier and wealthier than he is as President, but he is willing to make that sacrifice for you.

You still live in a free country made more safe and prosperous by your President, and he, the First Lady and their children will always have you in their prayers. “

Taking America forward instead of taking America back.

The Watering Hole: August 30th – Failing to prepare…

… is preparing to fail.

Noone knows yet for sure who is going to run against President Obama in the next elections, but the field of contenders seems to be solidifying. Maybe Sarah Palin will try and have a go for it after all, I highly doubt it but with her you never know, but I seriously cannot see any viable contender coming in besides the ones that are already campaigning. Any Republican politician (especially a young one) worth his salt will be discouraged by the general drift to the right fringe the Republican Party is experiencing now, due to tea party activism. Anybody electable by moderates or even right leaning democrats would face defeat in the primaries and just add this defeat to his or her credentials. Why not wait it out for another four years? At least that’s what I would consider doing. Nevermind anyway, because the Tea Party has produced a couple of fringe pushover candidates that should be easily beat by Obama, even if he is right now at a dismally low approval rate.

But is it highly dangerous to underestimate the probability that one of the Republican fringe candidates could be winning the presidency. Frank Rich from the New York Times could tell you this. In February 2000 he wrote:

Why would Mr. Bush’s campaign move so far to the right? It’s the same thinking — that you can pander to a right-wing base and hope centrist voters suffer amnesia on Election Day — that led the G.O.P. to defeats not only in ’96 but in ’98. (…)But Democrats who are worrying about the prospect of a race against Mr. McCain shouldn’t lose sleep yet. The same G.O.P. minds that blew it in ’96 and ’98 are doing everything possible to shore up Mr. Bush.

In the end Democrats didn’t need to worry about John McCain as a candidate, but got Boy George instead. A pushover, if there ever was one, for someone of Al Gore’s political clout.

Now, after 9/11 and two devastating wars, after the incredible destruction of New Orleans by Katrina, after the economic crisis of 2008, the meltdown of American society, still, we are not taking what is going on seriously. The Washington Post reports, still talking about the primaries, of course:

A Perry victory would cement the Republican Party’s shift away from Bush’s approach to a more libertarian, anti-government GOP. This is cause for worry among some in the party, particularly those with ties to Bush.

While not addressing Perry specifically, Mark McKinnon, who was a top aide in both of Bush’s presidential campaigns, cautioned that his party would have trouble winning if it moved too far right.

Really?

The Free Republic says it out loud. Obama is the “Accidental President”

The famous Occam’s razor principle states that the simplest explanation is the most plausible one. Applying it to dispel the fog of propaganda, it becomes glaringly obvious that Obama is an accidental president, a lazy and indecisive incompetent devoid of any ability or desire to perform the job to which he was elected by a gullible majority, who loves the perks but hates the duties of his office; who loves to play but hates to work. Have a good look at the man occupying the White House: what you see is what you get. The Emperor has no clothes.

And, about people like you and me..

The smart set living in an echo-chamber that reinforces their conventional wisdom have eagerly embraced this article of faith because in their world to question Obama’s ability is to commit the deadly sin of racism.

..see, racism argument nicely defused. Hey, here’s an argument even that Americans are definitely NOT racist:

Ironically, proving America is completely the opposite of the evil racist country they relentlessly accuse her of being, progressives used America’s goodness, guilt and sense of fair play against her. In their quest to destroy America as we know it, progressives borrowed a brilliant scheme from Greek mythology. They offered America a modern day Trojan Horse, a beautifully crafted golden shiny new black man as a presidential candidate. Democrat Joe Biden lorded Obama as the first clean and articulate African American candidate. Democrat Harry Reid said Obama only uses a black dialect when he wants.

I spare you more of this blatant passive aggressive racism.

The point I am trying to make is: There are a great many Americans out there, who were convinced a black man in the White House would never happen. They relied on a silent majority and wouldn’t go out to vote last time. On the other hand progressive and moderate voters were fired up and very enthusiastic of getting rid of the dismal Bush years and were in fact voting in higher numbers than usual, count in the Latino and the African American vote, as well. Now the pendulum is about to swing back. The historical mistake of electing Obama needs to be corrected and, count on it, the right wing voters will be out in droves. Meanwhile on our side the disenchantment works its destructive ways. People will stay at home, there is no enthusiasm. And it is, of course, all Obama’s fault. Had he only!..Why hasn’t he?..Didn’t he promise?..

Good thing we can rely on the silent majority and need not go out to vote, because Michelle Bachmann or Rick Perry in the White House won’t ever happen.

Well, if progressive and moderate voters are planning on relying on others and indulge in self-pity, pouting and sulking, your next President may well be Rick Perry or, Republicans can make history, too, Michelle Bachman.

This is our open thread, don’t hesitate to correct me or tell me “What do you know?” or just chat about anything else, that’s on your mind. 

Sunday Roast: The GOP owns the US debt downgrade.

TalkingPointsMemo

The GOP and their teabagger buddies are entirely responsible for the S&P downgrade of the US credit rating, from AAA to AA+.  They took this country hostage over a routine matter of paying bills they ran up, and threatened to crash not only our own economy, but economies worldwide.

Why?  It’s very simple.  It’s because they are chickenshit opportunistic liars.

When the GOP is in power, all is right with the world.  Deficits don’t matter — just ask Dick “Dick” Cheney — and it’s their time to run up the bills on the great big US credit card.  Borrow and spend, that’s the GOP.  But when the GOP is out of power, the deficit becomes the biggest and most important emergency we’ve ever had, and people are too stupid to understand that the Democrats are just cleaning up the aftermath of yet another drunken GOP spending spree.

Hell, give me “tax and spend” Democrats any day.  At least the shit they’re spending money on is paid for.  The borrow and spend GOP happily spends money our grandchildren haven’t even been born to earn, and then gleefully proclaims that the Black Democrat Socialist Commie Nazi Stalinist Muslim President has run up more debt than any president in history.

Bitch, please.

Here’s what the S&P says about who’s responsible for the downgrade:

“[P]eople in the political arena were even talking about a potential default,” said Joydeep Mukherji, senior directior at S&P. “That a country even has such voices, albeit a minority, is something notable,” he added. “This kind of rhetoric is not common amongst AAA sovereigns.”

We all know that the S&P are a bunch of nefarious fuckwits, who enabled Wall Street’s merry joy ride with our national and personal economies, but since we were asking them a specific question about one event, let’s pretend like we should give them the benefit of the doubt.

Now, who are these “people in the political arena” who were “talking about a potential default?”  You know, the people who all of a sudden were just fine with not paying the bills they ran up, and letting the full faith and credit of the United States fall into a fucking sink hole?

Here’s a list:

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), May 18, 2011
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), May 19, 2011
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), June 24, 2011
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), May 18, 2011
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), July 13, 2011
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), June 26, 2011 — Hey, she wants to be president!
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), June 27, 2011 — He wants to be president, too!  Again!
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), July 13, 2011
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), May 16, 2011
Tim Pawlenty, July 15, 2011 — Another one who wants to be president!
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), July 18, 2011
Nebraska Senate candidate Jon Bruning, July 29, 2011

There are more, but you get the picture.

Oh look, they’re all Republicans/Teabaggers, but now they’d like you to think that those who were literally holding this country hostage — and will happily do so again — were President Obama and the Democrats. If it weren’t so sick and troubling, and if assholes like Mitch McConnell didn’t have their very own television network spewing bullshit to the idiotic non-thinkers in this country (no, I’m not linking to that trash), I’d be laughing my silly ass off.

Contrary to Republican/Teabagger “thinking,” things don’t stop being true just because it no longer suits their narrative or purposes.  We have to stop letting them get away with this shit.

No more being polite, no more taking the high ground, no more “both parties are at fault” fairy tales, and no more assuming that idiot America will look things up for themselves.  None of that.

Our media is worse than useless, they have become a destructive force in this country.  We are on our own, folks.

Repeat after me:  Republicans entirely own the S&P downgrade of the credit rating of the United States.  See above for a list of a few of the culprits.  Repeat often and loudly.  Don’t let anyone get away with saying anyone else had a hand in it — not even the President.

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.   Continue reading

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, August 3, 2011: The end of the world averted!

Well, we all get to blame Obama for caving in and agreeing to 98% of Boehner’s demands. Boehner had the guts to destroy the entire world economy if he didn’t get what he wanted, and he succeeded. Obama didn’t want to see the entire globe fall into chaos, so he failed. Huh?

Life goes on, Social Security Checks will go out, the U.S. will keep its coveted AAA rating in the financial markets, for now at least. Seems like Obama achieved his goals, too. Maybe more so than Boehner. Let’s face it, Obama dealt with an enemy that advocated and rejoiced in the notion that it would hurt people. If Obama’s first and most important task is to protect the American People from harm, he succeeded.

But this episode proved, once and for all, that extortion by the rich WORKS! The rich didn’t give up one single tax break. They got 98% of what they wanted. And as long as there is a privleged class, they will continue to extort concessions from the rest of us. That is, until we realize we outnumber them, and that collectively, we have more power than they do.

***

A return to the “good old days.” That’s what the Teabaggers want. But it’s not the good old days of the 1950’s. Its the good old days of the 1850’s…the days of the Wild West.

In the Wild West, everyone was self-reliant. There was little to no government, and the 2nd Amendment Solution settled most disputes. Slavery was still legal, women couldn’t vote and knew their place, either keeping house or working at the brothels. The downtrodden victims of the industrial revolution, working for a pittance in dangerous conditions with no job protections had been left behind in the Eastern cities.

The gold rush, with gold for the picking, lay in the forefront. Vigilante justice ruled the land. (remember how popular the song “Beer for My Horses” was right after 9/11?)

Yes, the Teaparty wants to return us to the days of the idyllic past, the days of the Wild West, of rugged he-men with their 6-shooters, the days before the arrival of the Sheriffs and Marshals, the days where all the women are pretty, doctors made house calls, and wives and kids did everything the man of the house told them to do. The days when you could shoot someone you didn’t take a liking to… or just to prove you were a faster draw then he.

And, what the heck, doesn’t the new movie, “Cowboys and Aliens” prove that a bunch of rugged he-men with Colt 45’s can take on the most sophisticated technologically advanced enemy and kick their ass? Yeah. The Good Old Days. Too bad the Teabaggers don’t realize the Good Old Days were a creation of “liberal” Hollywood!

This is our open thread. What the heck, it’s Hump Day! After the vote on the Debt Ceiling, this day seems quite appropriately named, don’t you think?

The Watering Hole: Tuesday August 2nd – Where were you?

Listen again. It seems you have forgotten.

He said it wasn’t going to be easy. He said he needed you to help him bring about the change you voted him into office for. Americans where were you these last three years? Nagging about him not handing you the change you have envisioned on a silver platter? Weren’t you Monday morning quarterbacking decisions he had to make, because there was no support at all from you for any other way?  Didn’t you stand at the sideline when the so called Tea Party took over the public discourse and turned your Congress into a blackmailing outfit? You need to take your country back, for you are the majority, but you can’t stay out of the political struggle any minute longer. The Tea Party cannot and will not be contained, because they don’t accept that they are chosen by the people, they think they are answering the call of some higher power. They do not function the way politicians do. They, frankly, don’t care about your country. They don’t care about the human beings who make up you the People. All they care about is power and they know how to wield it. But in Democracy you the People are  the supreme power. No Deity, no President, no Congressman, no Senator. You are the supreme power. So live up to your responsibility already and fight back. The streets are just outside your front door. I refuse to believe it is too late.

Elsewhere: The people of Hama face tanks and machine guns to try and take back their country!

This is our open thread. Come on!

Some links to what Europe writes:

Der Spiegel
The Economist
The Guardian
The Independent

Breaking News: Tea Party Caucus Blows Off Tornado Victims

Standing firm behind their mantra of personal responsibility, members of the Tea Party Caucus vowed to block all Federal Relief for the victims of the tornados that ravaged the country this past week, killing nearly 300 Americans.

“They chose to live in the path of a tornado” Michelle Bachman said, “and now they have to live with the consequences of that choice.” Bachman said she and other members of the Tea Party Caucus will place holds and filibuster any attempt to provide federal funds for disaster relief in the stricken areas.

“Disaster Relief is just another form of Socialism” said Sarah Palin, who quit as Governor of Alaska following her failed bid to become Vice President so she could exploit the free market with lavish book deals and speaking engagements. “We don’t need to turn to our Goverment for a hand out. We should look to God, who is loving and wonderful and maybe take this as a learning experience, a lesson from God, that we should move to that great and wonderful State of Alaska, which is God’s country, as we all know, because Alaska doesn’t get any tornados, so that’s why I support Michelle and her wonderful Tea Partiers because we don’t need Alaska’s tax dollars going to some free handout to someone who made poor choices all their lives and now God chose to punish them. So really, disaster relief is like going against the will of God. And in this great God-fearing Country of ours, God Bless America, we must never go against God’s Will.”

At that point, a severe weather event caused a power outage at the press conference, and all attendees were herded into storm shelters.

Updates to follow when available.

Sunday Roast: The Real Boston Tea Party

The Tea Party got its start in 2009, when the Koch brothers-funded, right-wing, big corporation loving, group “Freedom Works” picked up on the silly and selfish rant by Rick Santelli, wherein he called for a “Chicago Tea Party,” due to his opposition to President Obama’s idea to help out homeowners who were in trouble with their mortgages.

Low information voters all over the United States began turning out in droves that summer of 2009 to protest that they were “Taxed Enough Already” and reeling from the dreadful hazard of providing health care to all Americans, delivered hundreds of thousands of teabags to a park near the White House, and were seen sporting hats with teabags stapled to the brims.  They proclaimed themselves “teabaggers,” until the snickers and guffaws caused them to research the term with the Google, and then they retreated to calling themselves “tea partiers.”

They remembered to bring their signs with clever (and usually mis-spelled) tax-related sayings; they gleefully marched with their signs featuring the President as Hitler, an African witch doctor, and the Joker — although what those signs had to do with taxes or health care is still a mystery to me; and they held their Gadsden flags high in the breeze.

What they didn’t remember to do was actually read the history behind the Boston Tea Party.  To put it factually and bluntly, if this were 1770s America, the tea partiers would be loyalists to the British Crown.  What!?

Thom Hartmann explains it clearly in the video above — in case you didn’t remember your grade school history classes (I’m looking at you, teabaggers) — or if you just never knew in the first place.

The real Boston Tea Party was a protest against huge corporate tax cuts for the British East India Company, the largest trans-national corporation then in existence. This corporate tax cut threatened to decimate small Colonial businesses by helping the BEIC pull a Wal-Mart against small entrepreneurial tea shops, and individuals began a revolt that kicked-off a series of events that ended in the creation of The United States of America.

They covered their faces, massed in the streets, and destroyed the property of a giant global corporation. Declaring an end to global trade run by the East India Company that was destroying local economies, this small, masked minority started a revolution with an act of rebellion later called the Boston Tea Party.

Yep, that’s it.  A protest against the King giving a huge tax break to the biggest corporation in existence at the time, which would have the effect of crippling colonial merchants.

No, it was not a protest against excessive personal taxes or taxation of corporations — this is what Freedom Works and the Koch brothers would like us all to believe, and luckily for them, the tea partiers bought it, hook, line, and sinker; and they have happily and diligently worked against their own interests ever since.

This is our daily open thread — Do you think we can find common ground with the tea party, and find a way to work together against our common enemy?