The Watering Hole, Monday, June 1, 2015: Another Conservative Myth Busted

Will Conservatives never learn? I suppose that’s like asking, “Does the Pope shit in the woods?”, which, given the Holy See Hippie we have now, I wouldn’t put it past him to go on a few “Nature walks” now and then. But when it comes to tax policy, the answer is Yes, they never learn. Case in point: Kansas, a/k/a “KS”, a/k/a “Koch State” (H/T Jane), a/k/a “Land of Tornadoes, Cute Little Flying Monkeys, and Blood Thirsty Munchkins.” Yes, that Kansas. Way back in 2012, the brilliant minds of the Conservative Republican-controlled State Legislature decided to heed the demands of David Koch and cut taxes drastically. (Don’t waste my time and yours by asking me to prove they did this at the behest of the Koch Brothers. If you honestly think the Kochs had no influence on the tax policy of the state in which Koch Industries is headquartered, you’re too naive to be reading political blogs and should go back to bed, curled up in a fetal position, rocking back and forth while sucking your thumb. Or just read 1980 Libertarian Party Vice Presidential nominee David Koch’s official platform.) But now, three years later, the job growth never happened, and KS finds itself with a $400 million budget shortfall. They realize they’ve cut as many public services as they can get away with cutting (I’m sure they’ve gone too far, but that’s an argument for another day), and now they have to consider doing something anathema to them: raising taxes. They justified their tax cuts to the public by claiming that tax cuts would spur economic growth, and businesses would come rushing to the state to take advantage of the low taxes and bring jobs to KS. They always say that. And it’s never true. Not once.

“We hoped they would just be a magic lantern and everybody would react to it,” [Senator Les Donovan] said. “But, eh, it’s hard to get a company to uproot their business when they’re established and move to another place just because of this difference in tax policy.”

That’s the problem with Conservative philosophy. It tends to be rooted in what people want to believe is true, and not on what actually is true. They believe greed is good, that it’s okay not just to want more for yourself than what your neighbor has, but to want more than you could ever possibly need in your lifetime. But Greed is not good, Conservative People. Selfishness in not a Virtue. We are all Human Beings on this planet, and none of us is any more special than any other. That includes you. We survive because we know that we need each other to do so. Nobody in this country “made it” alone. You may have created a business from scratch, and it may have grown into a nice income producer for you and your family. But your success is not entirely of your own doing.

Your business likely sells one of two things, goods or services. Either way, you want to get something in exchange for those goods or services, and if you don’t want to work on the barter system, then you need something to exchange on which you both agree on the value. Money. And to make sure that the money you’re using is legitimate, you agree to only accept money made by the Government (the ones who decide what its value is, under the Constitution.) Now, right there you’ve proven that taxes are necessary. Someone has to pay for the things the Government does on your behalf. One of the things the government does is build and maintain the roads you use to bring your goods to your customers or yourselves to perform services. Someone has to protect those roads from highway bandits, so we hire police, who also make sure our other laws are enforced. I could go on with more examples, but the point is that everybody benefits from the things we all pay taxes to have done. And that includes that little business you created. Your business benefits from the things our government does, so why shouldn’t your business pay taxes? Your business is not a person like you, it’s an artificial entity created on paper to act as if it were a person in legal proceedings, which includes the sale of goods and services to your customers. They aren’t paying you for your goods and services, they’re paying your business. There is no such thing in Nature as a business or corporation, so they can’t possibly have “natural rights.” They can only have what rights the government that sanctioned their creation gave them. And if any Conservative tries to argue that our Founders wanted Corporations to be able to act free of the interference of Government, they are flat out lying to you. They barely tolerated their existence, being all too familiar with what was done to them in the name of Corporations. such as the East India Company. So, no, they would never go along with the idea that corporations shouldn’t be taxed and shouldn’t be regulated.

So the Conservative Republicans (you might think that redundant if only because there are no more Liberal Republicans, but I think it’s important to differentiate between the party and its ideology; there are Conservatives in the Democratic Party, and they’re every bit as dangerous as Conservative Republicans) have had it their way and tried to grow their economy through austerity and found, much to no one’s surprise who knew what they were talking about, that it didn’t work. That’s because Conservatives have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to taxes, in this case, or anything, in all the other cases. And that’s because their entire philosophy is rooted in the false notion that we’re all alike, and we would all behave the same way (their way) in any situation, and that looking out for yourself is more important than looking out for your fellow human being because nobody needs anybody else to survive. So why on Earth would you want to put any of them in charge of the government that’s supposed to be looking out for you? Someone, please explain that to me.

This is our daily open thread. Have at it.

The Watering Hole, Monday, April 27, 2015: See Our Best (Again)

With the help of my wife, Jane, I wrote this song parody almost four years ago, and I find that it still applies today. This time the Republicans are trotting out a different cast of characters, some of whom haven’t made their presidential aspirations official for legal and technical reasons (such as they don’t really intend to run for president, like Donald Trump), to beg and plead the Koch Brothers to give them money so they can attack Hillary Clinton, who recently announced that she will accept the nomination of the Democratic Party to complete either Bill Clinton’s or Barack Obama’s third term. Or maybe she’s going to finally finish the work of the president she did once work for, Richard Nixon. This time around, Sheldon Adelson (Billionaire – Israel) will play a major role in the elections, but don’t think for a moment that just because he’s not one of the Koch Brothers that he must be good. He isn’t. He has pretty much made it clear he wants a President of the United States who will put the interests of a foreign nation (in this case, Israel) ahead of the interests of the United States and its citizens, especially those who do not agree with Israel’s policies and human rights abuses. Why he thinks Marco Rubio is that person is beyond me.

For those who don’t seem to “get it,” let me try to explain why this is bad. The disastrous, and totally insane Citizens United decision made it perfectly legal to Continue reading

The Watering Hole, Saturday, June 21, 2014: This Week In Irony

It’s funny when Conservatives go on and on about things without realizing what they say often sounds pretty ironic coming from them. Take Gary Bauer. No, really, take him. Preferably far away where we won’t have to hear him whine and complain about how Christians have it so bad in this country. I mean, did you know that out of 43 different men elected President of the United States, only 43 of them have been Christians? Talk about not having a voice in our government! I don’t object to people like Gary Bauer having a voice in our government; I object to people like Gary Bauer being listened to as if their voice had some validity to it. Conservative Christians believe a number of out-and-out false things (such as that Jesus was a Conservative like them), or that the United States, as represented by today’s Constitution, is officially a Christian nation and, therefore, our laws should be based on the Bible. This is true of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, and one of their biggest concerns is that gay people will be treated as equal citizens. Of all the sins in the Bible, right-wing Christians believe homosexuality is the worst possible thing to allow in a society. I mean, I don’t hear conservatives saying there’s a problems with guns in our society when twenty elementary school kids are shot and killed by a weapon no civilian has any business owning. But let two people who have been in love with each other for more than twenty years finally get married and have the same marital rights as everyone else, and Conservative Christians start talking about the Demise of Civilization As We Know It (the “we” in this case being Conservative Christians such as themselves.) If it weren’t for the issue of gay rights, would there be anything else for them to talk about today? That’s why it was a bit surprising, to say the least, to hear Gary Bauer say that President Obama is “obsessed” with the issue of gay rights, and that the nation will be destroyed as a result. No mention is made (I’m sure) that the only reason the president has taken the actions he has is because of the actions taken by Conservative Christians to treat their fellow citizens as something less than human. If he were real, I’m sure the Jesus of the Bible would not approve.

Speaking of people that Jesus of the Bible would not approve, Whack-a-Bird Senator Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, also speaking at that same F&FC conference, told the audience, with a straight (and stern) face, to “Stop electing the village idiot!” Strangely, he seemed to have mistaken the President for his own son, but to hear a line that out of the father of one of the craziest, and most dangerous, abusers of power in our government is richly ironic. Because of Ted Cruz, a strong contender for title of Village Idiot of the US Senate, our nation was taken to the brink of fiscal disaster and punished by a downgraded credit rating. He blames the Democrats and the President because they refused to negotiate with terrorists Republicans over repealing Obamacare in exchange for continuing to fund the government. This knee-jerk reaction Conservatives have where they just say the exact opposite of the truth (often recorded for all to repeat) has not done this country any good at all.

I find Conservative Christians to be the worst hypocrites of all the Conservatives (who are generally hypocritical themselves, as they often excuse behavior from their own kind that they publicly and loudly abhor in others), because they profess to follow the teachings of someone who clearly would not approve the things they say in his name. I find it hard to believe Jesus would really preach

Seven Mountains Dominionism, which as we have noted in the past seeks to give right-wing Christians authority “over the seven forces that shape and control our culture: (1) Business; (2) Government; (3) Media; (4) Arts and Entertainment; (5) Education; (6) Family; and (7) Religion.”

If that isn’t the ultimate in Selfishness, I don’t know what is. They want authority over your family. They want to be able to say what is and what is not permissible in the way you live as a family, the way you raise your children, the things you allow them to learn, and the religious practices you will follow. And the Republican Party embraces them, and seeks out their approval and endorsements. Because, ironically, the Republicans are all about Freedom.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss hypocritical insane Conservatives, Christian Dominionism, other contenders for Village Idiots of the US Senate, or anything else you wish to discuss.

THE WATERING HOLE: Wednesday, March 27, 2013: REPUBLICAN REBRANDING

Twitter, The Zoo's Top Investigative Journalist

Twitter, The Zoo’s Top Investigative Journalist

Twitter listened in on the closed-door conversations at the recent CPAC Conference regarding re-branding the Republican Party.

Mittens was the first one to speak up: “47% of the country won’t like us no matter what we call ourselves.”

Ryan: “You and you’re 47% speech cost me the election!”

Mittens: “Oh, and like your lame-brained budget proposal had nothing to do with it.”

Queen P: “Boys, boys, pipe down. If anybody knows anything about losing elections, I do.”

McCain’t: “You can say that again.”

Queen P: “If anybody knows anything about losing elections, I do.”

Herman C.: “He didn’t mean that literally. Look, why don’t we try something that’s never been done before?”

Ron P.: “What did you have in mind?”

Herman C: “Truth!”

Michelle B gagged on a corn dog. Gov. Christie tried to give her the Hemilich but couldn’t reach any further than her bosom, at which point her eyes popped even wider than they normally look. Just then, Larry Craig walked in and sized up the situation.

Larry: “Stand back, wide guy. I know how to handle this.” Larry strode over, tilted Michelle’s head back and extracted the long meat sausage from her throat.

Queen P: “Wow, that was just like a pro!”

Larry: “Thanks. Just doin’ what I do best. Now, can anybody direct me to the restroom?”

Michelle: “Go out, go to your left, it’s just past the closet.”

Larry left, but being a staunch Republican found it impossible to go to his left.

Mittens: “Truth? Truth? I spoke the truth about 47% of the population and look where that got me.”

Herman C: “No. Not that kind of truth. Truth about us. About what we stand for.”

Ryan: “You mean the Rich and Powerful? Call ourselves the Rich And Powerful Party?”

Queen P: “And Evangelicals. We can’t fergit our Christian Base.”

Rove, who had been sitting in a corner in a fetal position stood up: “Rich And Powerful Evangelical Party. I like the sound of that. It rings true. It sums up everything we stand for in a few words. It’s bound to catch on.”

And with that, the R.A.P.E. Party was born.

HAPPY HUMP DAY, EVERYONE.

OPEN THREAD TIME.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, November 10, 2012: Republicans Still Don’t Get Governing

In his remarks following Tuesday’s elections, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-House of Orange) said that in working with the President, the Republicans would not compromise their principles. But that is the essence of governing – compromising. You’re never going to get everything you want, especially if your party doesn’t control all of government, so you agree to give up some of what you want if the other guy will do the same. But Republicans believe that “compromising” means the other guy completely abandons his positions and comes over to yours before you start negotiating.

I really don’t understand where the Republican Party got this idea that the country has taken a hard turn to the Right. It never did! Our greatest achievements as a nation, our greatest advances forward, were based on Liberal ideas, not Conservative ones. In fact, the Conservatives opposed much of that advancement, and continue to fight against it. When Liberals said that too many old people were dying just because they were too poor to live and that we, as a nation, should help the elderly with a national pension system so they can grow old in dignity, the Conservatives said, “Now wait a minute…” When Liberals said we should give our soldiers returning home from War a chance to get a decent education, so they may prosper in life and make a better life for their children, the Conservatives said, “Now wait a minute…” When Liberals said that there ought to be a law that makes it harder to deny black people their constitutional right to vote just because they’re black, the Conservatives said, “Now wait a minute…” And when Liberals said it ought to be against the law to beat somebody up just because they’re gay, the Conservatives said, “Now wait a minute…”

Every single social achievement our nation has made has been from embracing Liberal ideas and rejecting Conservative opposition. So when Republicans insist that our side should compromise with theirs, I ask, “Why?” They haven’t been on the right side of history yet. Elections have consequences and the Republicans lost seats in Congress this election. The American people have said that they don’t like what the Republicans and Conservatives have to offer, and don’t want more of it. I will make the bold prediction right here and now that when the elections of 2014 are over, the Democrats will have solid majorities in both Houses. And then we’ll really begin to undo the severe damage that Republican and Conservative principles have brought upon this nation.

This is our open thread. Feel free to discuss the lameness of the Republican party or any other topic you wish to discuss.

Watering Hole: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 – The Paulies

The other evening, I saw a pick-up truck that had a Ron Paul for President sign that took up half of the back panel.  It was huge and it made me think, “What will this person do on election day?  Will they write-in ‘Ron Paul’ or will they simply not vote for any of the presidential candidates?”

The Republican Party has been trying to ignore Ron Paul and his supporters and they even attempted to keep Ron Paul’s delegates from attending the Republican Convention.  There is no assurance that the “Paulies” will vote for Mitt Romney.

What the Romney campaign fears is that the Ron Paul supporters will never vote for Mitt.  The campaign had Paul Ryan address this problem at a recent Ohio rally in which Ryan called on the “Paulies” to vote for Romney.

Though Paul is no longer in the race, many of his supporters have vowed to “write him in” in ballots across the country. For them, the Romney/Ryan ticket doesn’t represent their ideals, and many believe there aren’t substantial differences between Mitt Romney, who, as governor of Massachusetts, signed into law a health care bill largely considered to be the blueprint for the unpopular Obamacare, and the current occupant of the Oval Office.

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But now, Paul supporters seem to have the upper hand as Election Day nears and the Republican ticket seems to be scrambling to keep what has been — at least, until now — a close race to unseat President Barack Obama. And it remains to be seen if some of Paul’s most fervent supporters would give the Romney/Ryan ticket a chance, especially after numerous incidents during which they felt alienated by the establishment wing of the Republican Party as the GOP primaries unfolded.

The first debate is scheduled for tomorrow, October 3rd and only two candidates will be part of the debate.  There are other candidates that will appear on ballots across the nation, such as, Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party and Jill Stein, Green Party.  They were not invited to the debates.  Let’s face it.  On the national level, America is governed by a two party system.

This is our Open Thread.  Feel free to Speak Up!

The Watering Hole – Saturday, June 30, 2012 – GOP Is Acting Out, Again

Pity the poor Republicans. They ranted and raved since the day President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law and swore it was an unconstitutional power grab by the already-bloated federal government, and that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry each other. Oh, and that abortion you wanted? Sorry, but they have about eleven hundred reasons why you shouldn’t plan on going through with it. At least, not today. But Obamacare is unconstitutional! Well, funny thing, our nation’s ultimate authority on what is and isn’t constitutional determined that, yes, indeed, Obamacare is constitutional. (Here’s a way to see the decision itself, as well as a neat word cloud of the decision.) It appears the only thing the law got wrong was on threatening states with losing their Medicaid if they didn’t comply, or something like that. Oh, and the administration’s legal rationale for why the PPACA was constitutional was wrong, too. But Chief Justice of the United States (that’s his actual title, BTW. Did you – well, all but one of you – know that? ;)) John Roberts found a way around that and said something could be collected as a tax and not under the authority of the Commerce Clause. I don’t know, I’m not trained in understanding all this legalese. All I know is that the Roberts Court just handed the Republicans a major ass-whoopin’, and they’re going all nuts saying they won’t implement the law (even though they have to), and we still think it’s unconstitutional, so we’ll just nullify it (Hello, Civil War II). And now they’re going to take a break from bashing voting citizens who are gay and/or have vaginas and repeal the entire law! Of course that’s just theater because we know perfectly well a repeal won’t pass the Democratic Senate, so why do it? I’ll tell you why. Because the Republican Party is hell-bent and determined to prove to you that government just doesn’t work, and they’ll achieve that by doing the worst possible job they can.

So, what else is on your mind? You can tell us. We’re complete strangers that you’ll probably never meet in your life. What could possibly go wrong? ;)

This is our daily open thread — comment on anything you want!