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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Home Revisions

Beck’s war on public schools continues.

All the coming from the man who has done nothing but try his level best to revise the well recorded history of this nation and those that fought to get us where we are today.

My closest friend since the 5th grade was homeschooled. I can recall times when we were younger where he was simply baffled at what he was being forced to learn. We would sit and compare homework assignments on Friday afternoons and I would be shocked at the way his text books presented such topics as American and World history and the glorious absence of Science from the curriculum that his mother chose.

Most people, when they hear about homeschooling think that it’s just the parents creating lessons out of thin air. That’s what I thought at first when my friend was visibly absent the first day of 7th grade. There is a whole industry that creates and publishes textbooks for just such purposes – and they always have a fringe, right-wing ( and often religious ) narrative throughout them.

It took my friend years to catch up with the real world after 8 years of homeschool. It was truly a sad sight to watch unfold.

Playing The Angles

While Think Progress has great coverage of this disastrous interview, I think it needs some more reflection.

This is not something new, as conservatives have been prattling on for over a year and essentially telling the unemployed they should “suck it up” and get a job at McDonalds working the drive-thru window. And while there are jobs like that open, they certainly aren’t going to meet even the most basic needs of many that find themselves unemployed.

It’s not that people are spoiled, it’s that they need to survive. You’re not going to be able to make a house payment AND have food on the table making minimum wage. Conservatives just don’t understand that. And to this preposterous notion that there are enough jobs out there to satisfy the unemployed, I have to wonder exactly how connected this woman is to reality. Certainly, she’s playing to the most base instincts of the conservative movement, and it will likely garner her some votes, but it’s this type of empty rhetoric that caused the Republican party’s downfall in 2006.

The unflinching idiocy of this woman and those that believe as she does is no longer shocking, as conservatives operate on two basic levels. Firstly, they are masters at creating and maintaining a narrative of fear. It’s brought them a wide audience – and not just of people that watch out of agreement, these people are akin to a train-wreck complete with toxic chemical spill – that they equate with accuracy in their delivery. Secondly, they are the movement that espouses overtly simplistic solutions to complex problems. From the economy, to healthcare, even the Gulf oil spill have been lifted up as examples of how the two most used words in the conservative lexicon are the catch-all problem solvers for the country – Free Market. It’s this type of reactionary posturing that has, at times, ground the progress of this nation to a standstill.

The ripple effect of people lowering their expectations and resorting to delivering pizza 4 days a week would actually create a much worse senerio than Ms. Angle is willing to admit.

The Face Of Indoctrination

This sort of thing really troubles me.

What does an 11 year old really know of the world outside of what his parents teach them?

This isn't to diminish the mental prowess of some kids. After all, there have been children as young as 13 to graduate from Harvard, but they aren't the ones being hauled into the Fox"News" studios to talk about political bias in the media or schools. Kind of makes one wonder if kids like Sam are simply trotted out in front of the cameras to further the narrative that the world is unfair to conservatives.

More to the point, if Sam is so passionate about the alleged unjustness of what has happened to him, he isn't nearly as fired up as this kid. Honestly, he seems a bit unsure of himself. Perhaps that his conscious whispering to him that what he's doing isn't entirely honest.

But this is a win/win for Fox"News" and the kid ( or should I say, his parents ) considering the fact that if the teacher, the school principal, or the school board superintendent were to come on to refute Sam's specious claims, they would be roundly criticized for attacking a child. That's what makes this whole spectacle disgusting - Fox"News" uses a child to further their agenda and claims that there has been no response from those accused of wrong-doing knowing full well that if there is a response they can readjust their narrative to show abuse of a child.

And I thought that conservatives were against indoctrination.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Greatest Gimmick Ever

Rick Barber's at it again, this time with that Ag Commissioner guy and his gun and even the dude that knows the "hidden verse" of the national anthem.

One has to wonder if the "patriotism" these people feel is going to be around the next time a Republican is in the White House.

So this guy really thinks we are losing freedoms, that we are being enslaved? I'd like to ask him face to face how many freedoms he has lost since January 2009. I bet he can't name one.

Word Salad Shooter

Wow. Just, Wow.

Where does one even begin with this. Palin doesn't need to hire a speech writer, she needs an English teacher.

Exit observation: she really should start using a teleprompter, as she can't organize her papers, much less a cohesive sentence.

Panic On WallStreet

Remember this clown?

So he's concerned about the deficit but not how much comes from the economy naturally? Who hired this buffoon?

In the final moments of this clip, Steve mentions 1937. That's not the first time I've heard that mentioned and it will likely not be the last. So what happened then?

By the spring of 1937, production, profits, and wages had regained their 1929 levels. Unemployment remained high, but it was considerably lower than the 25% rate seen in 1933. In June 1937, some of Roosevelt's advisors urged spending cuts to balance the budget. WPA rolls were drastically cut and PWA projects were slowed to a standstill.[3] The American economy took a sharp downturn in mid-1937, lasting for 13 months through most of 1938. Industrial production declined almost 30 per cent and production of durable goods fell even faster.

Unemployment jumped from 14.3% in 1937 to 19.0% in 1938, rising from 5 million to more than 12 million in early 1938.[4] Manufacturing output fell by 37% from the 1937 peak and was back to 1934 levels.[5] Producers reduced their expenditures on durable goods, and inventories declined, but personal income was only 15% lower than it had been at the peak in 1937. In most sectors, hourly earnings continued to rise throughout the recession, which partly compensated for the reduction in the number of hours worked. As unemployment rose, consumers' expenditures declined, leading to further cutbacks in production.

I've often said that the economy of today is nothing like it was during Roosevelt's tenure as President. However, the very idea of stopping all spending at once in order to balance the budget is a very risky endeavour that I'm sure Santelli knows will likely backfire, he's just too caught up in his faux populist fervor to admit it right now.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Will-fully Ignorant

It's just a continuation of a conservative meme that has been out for a while, it's just been repackaged to sound credible.

Spoken like a person that has never been on unemployment.

Dependant on your needs, or that of your family, the reality of unemployment benefits is that they are not equivalent to the wages you would earn on the job - they are based on your current salary and hours worked each week. Often times, and far too often from my perspective, employers can deny unemployment benefits for a variety of reasons and cannot be challenged by the employee. This, however, can vary from state to state.

The larger point of this is that unemployment benefits more often than not do not cover all expenses that a required. Try paying your mortgage, getting groceries, putting gas in your car, and keeping up with the bills on an unemployment check. If anything, the unemployment check that you get each week would be a great incentive for finding a full-time job that pays a living wage.

Unsupported Linkage Request

Because you just know that Fox"News" is going to try and frame the G20 Summit their way.

This is something that conservatives are doing and have been doing for some time. I can recall the 2006 riots in Paris and how people like Hannity and OReilly devoted countless segments trying to link them and the liberal/progressive movement in America.

Here's my question for Varney - can you cite specifics on how Obama is allegedly demonizing business? I'm guessing by "business" he really means holding Wall Street accountable, but that's just a guess.

Some Thoughts For Your Morning

- Upon hearing the news that Sen. Robert Byrd had died early this morning, I began to wonder exactly how long it would take conservatives to politicize his passing. Considering the upcoming vote on Financial Reform in the Senate, as well President Obama's desire to have a vote by the end of the week, I'm looking for conservatives and their media masters at Fox"News" to be going full throttle on this one.

- Elena Kagan is to start her Supreme Court confirmation hearings today, after opening remarks from Senators, and it's likely to be a much bumpier ride than Justice Sonya Sotomayor got. With all the falsehoods being perpetuated by conservatives - and even some normally reliable media like NPR - this confirmation process is likely to take some of the spotlight away from the Gulf oil disaster. Perhaps someone like Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity will find a way to bundle the two together.

- I heard Geraldo's initial offering of this comments regarding Rolling Stone writer Micheal Hastings when he was debating the firing of Gen. Stanley McCrystal with The Howard Stern Show's Robin Quivers - herself a military vet. You can usually tell when a person - be they conservative or not - has reached the bottom of the barrel when the comparisons to terrorists come out as the keystone to your argument.

- It usually the loudest within the conservative movement, be they hardcore Tea Bagging screamers or not, that decry the government are going to be some of the first with their hands out when they see the opportunity to gain from it. In a regarding manufacturing, 74% of self-described Tea Baggers support a nationalized manufacturing strategy. This is in stark contrast to the "message" that they are attempting to bring with them. Not only that, but such a pro-worker stance does tend to smack of hypocrisy, considering their utter disdain for an organized workforce.

- Arizona Governor Jan Brewer continues to milk her 15 minutes of political fame with a misleading ad that continues the false narrative that the Obama administration has surrendered American soil to Mexico. And while this has been completely discredited, the shear gimmick factor for conservatives is just too juicy to give up.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ethically Shielded

Here's a bit of old news regarding Palin that landed last week and I think it needs addressing within the context of accuracy in reporting.

Here's what the Huffington Post reported:

Thousands of donors who contributed to a $390,000 legal defense fund for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will get their money back after an investigator said Thursday the fund was illegal because it was misleadingly described on a website.

State Personnel Board investigator Timothy Petumenos said the Alaska Fund Trust inappropriately used the word "official" on its website, wrongly implying that it was endorsed by Palin in her role as governor.

But Petumenos also found that Palin – the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee – acted in good faith and relied on a team of attorneys to make sure the fund was lawful and complied with the Alaska Executive Branch Act.

So, according to Alaska Ethics Laws, the fund was illegal because of how it was presented and Palin gets off on a technicality because she said that it was the lawyers that were at fault. Is this woman ever accountable for anything?

Here's where we get a true sense of how far conservatives are willing to go to bat for Palin.

Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air thinks he's the one to determine when ethics laws should be changed and who they should apply to. After all, no one in the conservative realm should be accountable for their actions - and that goes double for Palin.

...the probe has now concluded, and the only change Palin will have to make is to return the money the fund received before July 26, 2009, when she resigned as Governor, and find other trustees. As far as an ethics slam goes, this isn’t even weak tea. It’s more an indication that Alaska really needs to address its Byzantine ethics regime, which forces public officials to privately fund their own defense and then makes the legal code surrounding that effort so confusing that three top-notch law firms couldn’t figure it out.

The truth of the matter is that Palin didn't have to create a private defense fund while she was Governor. For that matter, she didn't have to quit - which leads many of us to believe that there was much more verifiable weight to the complaints being leveled against her. Not only that, but considering the position that Palin was putting herself in not only in regards to potentially being the VP of the United States, but as someone that continues to boast that she cleaned-up corruption in her state, she really botched this one. If she's going to make such claims, one would think that she would have the "executive experience" to know what is and what isn't going to fall into a category of illegal.

But we all know that Caribou Barbie is never accountable for anything. From her packing her kids around on official trips while governor, to accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in wardrobe from the RNCC, to even being accountable for not being able to finish her term as Governor. It's truly amazing how conservatives are more than willing to shield their own from the light of truth.

The Smoking Gun?

Not really

This approach is classic conservative misinformation, as they are relying heavily on the suggestive nature of the title to blur the line between fact and fiction.

Allahpundit over at Hot Air claims to have "proof" to back up Kyl's assertions that Obama told him, in a private meeting, that he was not securing the border because amnesty wasn't on the table.

...courtesy of Naked Emperor News.... Obama circa 2004 talking explicitly about border security and amnesty as a political “trade off,” which is precisely what they are. In no sense are the two joined at the hip as a matter of policy; in fact, as I’ve argued before, the feds would be more likely to bring conservatives around on some sort of amnesty if they showed good faith by taking care of the border first. But since Latinos won’t stand for that, neither will a Democratic or Republican president. Hence the obvious “trade off,” and hence The One’s candor in chattering about this with Republicans. We all know the score. Why pretend otherwise?

Take a listen for yourself.

It's common for most people, when hearing statements from others, to remember the first and last pieces of those statements. This has been proven in psychological testing for decades. However, one would think that with the advent of new information technologies that people would be able to utilize those tools and go back to take a second look at something they think may be questionable. This most certainly applies here.

Go back and listen to this clip from Obama.

Did you catch it? Not once was the word amnesty uttered, and the conclusion of the clip ( which was devoid of the question that was obviously asked of him ) was anchored to Obama's call for a path to citizenship for those illegals that have shown to be "good citizens". This completely destroys the talking point that he is in favor of granting blanket amnesty to all illegal immigrants - which was the point that Allahpundit and Naked Emperor News were attempting to make.

With all this talk about how the border is less secure now than it was 2 years ago, I have to wonder why no one is reporting that deportations have increased as well as border crossings had decreased. Could it be that this wouldn't help the conservative cause? Most certainly, yes.

Of course, this is in no way meant to diminish the fact that there are illegals here that are engaging in criminal acts, but where we are losing site of what can and should be a reasonable and justifiable solution to the problem is that our perceptions of who these illegals are, why they are coming here, and what they are doing have been distorted by the ever escalating reporting and how that reporting is done by not just conservatives, but virtually the entire media establishment.

It's a lot like Obama playing golf. He's taken less vacation time and played far less golf than Bush, but you wouldn't know it because that's all that conservatives talk about for days on end. It's a matter of proportions.

As I've stated before, amnesty was granted by Ronald Reagan in 1986 and this didn't hurt Republican's chances for holding office in America. At no point during the 59 second clip ( ripped from a much longer interview that I would really like to hear ) did Obama mention or even allude to amnesty. However, the use of the word has saturated conservative conversations to the point where they think that providing a path to citizenship ( through all legal channels which Obama has proposed ) is the same as amnesty.

They hysteria continues.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Right From The Jump

You know conservatives around the country were just itching to say this if Obama fired McCrystal.

And had he let McCrystal stay, there would likely had been talk of Obama not being able to control his commanders, thereby being unable to lead in a time of war. These people are really that predictable, I assure you.

I'm just waiting for the new conservative talking-point about how this is also seen as Obama's fault as it was him at appointed McCrystal to his position - meaning he's not very good at picking the right person for the job. Perhaps that a bit of a stretch, but conservatives are becoming more and more creative with ways to blame Obama for virtually everything.

I for one think that this showed true leadership on Obama's part. He removed a person that apparently wasn't taking his job all that seriously and took corrective action and put in place a man that could get the job done. However, Petraeus doesn't come without some problems for some within the liberal community - conservatives are already crowing about his new role in Afghanistan and are revamping the "victory in Iraq" nonsense.

As Commander In Chief, Obama did his job and did it well. We need military leaders who aren't going to let partisanship invade their job duties when they are representing this country.

Ring The Alarm

And Beck comes again with the war imagery.

I'll skip addressing the amnesty bit, as I'm working on a post specific to that for later today.

Let's say that another Civil War broke out. Are we going to see Beck, Limbaugh, Bachman, and Hannity on the front lines, guns in hand, firing on fellow Americans? Limbaugh avoided Vietnam and I would fully expect Hannity, Bachman, and Beck to surrender if it came down to it.

Pointless Blame

Here’s a brief comment on what I’ve been seeing on multiple conservative websites and from several conservatives on Twitter.

The argument from many within the conservative movement is that it’s actually Obama’s fault that General McCrystal acted in an insubordinate fashion. This is such a childish stand-point to take up. It’s precisely the excuse someone would make when they refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions – which is a hallmark of the conservative movement the past 18 months.

Not only is this a clear example of conservatives inability to hold General McCrystal accountable for his own words, it’s a resurgence of the “dithering” talking point originally put forth by Dick Cheney. And as we all found out, it was actually the Bush administration that had been sitting on their hand for months on end when it came to implementation of more troops and a more specific plan in Afghanistan.

But let’s follow this “it’s Obama’s fault” logic on through. At what point does a member of the Armed Forces gain the right to opening and forcefully question their superiors without fear or recourse? I’d like to see a Private openly criticize his chain of command and not have to face the full wrath of his superiors. Would they be relegated to Limbaugh’s “phony soldiers” list?

The reality behind conservatives willingness to gloss over McCrystal’s unblushing insubordination is that they can’t been seen holding our military servicemen accountable if it means that the Obama administration is seen as correct in their actions. If the modern conservative movement put even a fraction of the energy that they invested in the hatred and the desire to see Obama and his administration fail into actively helping their country, we would all be much better off.

Back to this notion that Obama made McCrystal say all these things certainly doesn’t paint a very good portrait of the General at all. A man in his position has likely faced multiple challenges and has the resolve to not only hold their tongue when it is required, but to serve in his position with honor and dignity. No one is expecting everyone in the military to agree 100% with the mission they are tasked with, but if your approach is to win the “hearts and minds” of those you are attempting gain an alliance with, it doesn’t lend a great deal of confidence in your cause if you are openly besmirching your President.

The Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, has terminated service members for offenses much less severe than what Stanley McCrystal is guilty of. This notion that Obama and Gates can’t remove McCrystal from duty because they “need” him is beyond preposterous. To me, and many others, it sounds like McCrystal cares much about his status in the American armed forces, since he sees his Commander in Chief as someone to be mocked. What do you think that tells the Afghans?

Favoring What They Opposed

In which Steve King joins the ranks of Republicans such as Rick Perry in not only accepting Stimulus funds but touting their acceptance of such.

Today we celebrate a major milestone in the effort to complete a four-lane U.S. Highway 20 from Sioux City all the way to Dubuque and on to Chicago,” said King. “For decades, western Iowans have been pushing for this vital transportation link to be four-laned. With today’s groundbreaking in Sac County, we’re significantly closer to that goal."

“I supported this project before I was elected to the Iowa Senate and made it my number one transportation priority as a Member of Congress. In working with our state’s senators and House delegation, the Four-Lane Highway 20 Association, and local communities, I have networked the effort to secure millions in federal funds to help bring this project to western Iowa. I will continue to do all I can to keep it moving until the day we cut the ribbon on the final mile of four-lane Highway 20.”

“There is still much work to be done, but today is a day to celebrate the incredible amounts of hard work and tireless effort that have brought the beginnings of a new, four-lane, Highway 20 to the Fifth Congressional District.

As Think Progress reports:

While King happily touts his role in the procurement of funds for U.S. 20’s expansion, he neglects to mention that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (commonly referred to as the stimulus package) — a bill that he heavily criticized and voted against — actually provides a majority of the funds for the project. Although King also secured federal funds for this project through the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, the congressman again overlooks his unequivocal opposition to the bill, which he previously described as a part of the “ongoing fiscal train wreck in Washington.”

The unblushing hypocrisy of Tea Bagging Republicans like King just makes me wonder how any of them or any of their aides actually allow them to make such statements. I mean, do they not realize they they are taking credit for that which they have been so staunchly against? One might argue that they have somehow "forced" the Obama administration to utilize funds for projects that were necessary prior to his elevation to the Presidency, but that would mean that the Bush administration largely ignored the desires of the country they represented.

So what if the Stimulus were as large as it should have been? What if there is a second Stimulus like is being floated at this point of the year? Would we have seen more Republican acceptance of funds? Are we going to see more acceptance of funds by Republicans that they loudly opposed? I'm going to give a loud a prominent "yes" to this right from the jump. After all, Republicans are more than willing to take credit for the work that they didn't do.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Alternate Realities

The terrorists are getting our money, but don't even think about alternative energy.

That's essentially what Beck is saying here.

Remember when Bush began talking about alternative fuels? Remember all those ads out from oil companies talking about how they were on the forefront of alternative fuel research? Not long after that, most oil companies - including BP - shifted from advocates of alternative ( suicidal )energy and cut those programs back seriously in 2009.

So what is Beck saying? Is he in favor of dangerous practices, dangerous drilling in deep waters untested? Does he suddenly not care about our imports of oil from the Middle East? I'm not entirely certain that even he knows, as his paycheck often obscures what this country really needs. After all, the desire for conservatives to see Obama ( and by extension the country ) fail greatly outweighs their love for America.

Which one is it then: dangerous oil drilling, importing from the middle east, or alternative sources? The message over the last 3 years has become so muddled that not many people can tell now.

Are Faith And Logic Equal

Once again, we see Elizabeth Hasselbeck get her panties in a bunch on that TV box.

Click link to see clip

I have to ask myself this question, considering the fact that religion is based solely on belief rather than fact - can you be a bigot for saying that you aren't "thinking" when you are praying?

Granted, it's not the best way to approach a woman like Hasselbeck, but it still holds true - that devout Christians don't think before they pray as it's a reflexive response to a variety of issues they face.

To answer the question more directly, "faith" and "logic" are not one in the same, as "faith" largely relies on surrendering yourself to the unknown while "logic" requires that you approach any given subject from the stance of recordable evidence. To that end, Joy was correct in her statement to Hasselbeck - even though she was favoring the brash approach rather than the one that would really take Elizabeth to the woodshed.

Religion faith and scientific reasoning will always be mutually exclusive, no matter how much conservative whining there is on television.

So what of Hasselbeck calling Behar a bigot? Oh, Liz, your memory is so short.

Interests Conflicted

Should he have recused himself for this? I think so.

The federal judge who overturned Barack Obama's offshore drilling moratorium reported owning stock in numerous companies involved in the offshore oil industry — including Transocean, which leased the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig to BP prior to its April 20 explosion in the Gulf of Mexico — according to 2008 financial disclosure reports.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman issued a preliminary injunction today barring the enforcement of the president's proposed six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling, arguing that the ban is too broad.

According to Feldman's 2008 financial disclosure form, posted online by Judicial Watch [pdf], the judge owned stock in Transocean, as well as five other companies that are either directly or indirectly involved in the offshore drilling business.

Considering that conservatives are drooling all over themselves claiming that Obama himself is benefiting from the negligence of British Petroleum, that he is using this natural disaster for his own personal gains, I find it quite curious that they are not going after a member of the judiciary that has direct and verifiable ties to BP who has been successful at usurping those that are out to protect the better interests and safety of Americans.

Insubordinate And Disrepecting Chain Of Command

I've been in a rather lengthy exchange with a person on Twitter that goes by the name @melsite1 regarding General Stanley McCrystal's blatant insubordination. To wit, Mr. Melsite1 thinks that I'm misusing the definition of the word "insubordinate". To that end, I clearly stated that he is completely and utterly full of it.

After all, just ask CPAC blogger hero Ed Morrissey who boldly used the tagline of a blog post today to highlight McCrystal's actions as insubordinate.

From The Washington Post on down to The Freepers, the reality of what McCrystal did is being reported.

However, there are those that claim that McCrystal's insubordination is excusable, since it was all Obama's fault

The real trouble is that Obama never resolved the dispute within his administration over Afghanistan strategy. With the backing of Gates and the Pentagon’s top generals, McChrystal sought to apply to Afghanistan the counterinsurgency approach that succeeded over the last three years in Iraq, an option requiring the deployment of tens of thousands more troops. Biden opposed sending most of the reinforcements and argued for a “counterterrorism plus” strategy centered on preventing al-Qaeda from establishing another refuge.

In the end, Obama adopted what is beginning to look like a bad compromise. He approved most of the additional troops that McChrystal sought, but attached the July, 2011 deadline for beginning withdrawals. Since then both sides have been arguing their cases, in private and in public, to the press and to members of Congress.

McChrystal may be at fault for expressing his frustrations to Rolling Stone. He is not at fault for the lack of coherence in the Afghan campaign or the continued feuding over strategy. That is Obama’s responsibility.

Ah, the "dithering" talking point resurfaces. I'll get more into that later.

In the end, the reality of the word "insubordinate" depends largely on the situation at hand and who is involved. Clearly, McCrystal is guilty and should either resign or be fired immediately. I'm of the opinion, though he had to tow the Bush line that "the surge worked" in Iraq, that Petraeus could easily step into Gen. McCrystal's shoes and at least get things marginally squared away in Afghanistan before the scheduled draw-down next summer.

Make no mistake about it, we started losing in Afghanistan the moment that W. got us into a family vendetta in Iraq, and it hasn't improved since. Not only that, but Sec. Of Defense Robert Gates has sacked members of the military for lesser offenses than what McCrystal finds himself embroiled in. So if there isn't some serious restructuring going on in the next few weeks, I'm really going to be disappointed in this administration. Not from the standpoint of the conflict in Afghanistan, but of their desire to bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats. That just needs to end so we can get the real heavy lifting taken care of.

McCrystal should be out - no question. After all, if he's got such a low opinion of the Obama administration, I'm sure that Fox"News" would gladly hire him on as a military strategist. Isn't Ollie around retirement age? After all, they do love military men that hate Barack Obama.

Just sayin.

Distrust Of The American Armed Forces

I think Beck and former Judge Napolitano have seen Iron Man one too many times and they are thinking that a private companies could actually fight wars just like Tony Stark.

Conservatives masturbatory fantasies about privatizing everything from Social Security to schools often ignores that cost of such decisions, but it comes as no surprise that the idea of a privatized army would become a favored position of one of the loudest and most simple-minded conservatives - Glenn Beck.

However, their blatant disregard of the facts surrounding groups like Blackwater/KBR - who have a well recorded history of waste, fraud, and abuse - should give people pause. Not just in the fact that there have been billions wasted on contractors in Iraq, but that Glenn Beck, alleged champion of financial responsibility, is turning a blind eye to these actions.

But what should we expect from corporate apologists like Beck and Napolitano? Certainly no fiscal reasoning and the ability to research a topic before claiming to fully understand it.

The Exit?

According to an anonymous tip given to the Associated Press, Peter Orzag may be stepping down.

White House Budget Director Peter Orszag plans to resign, a Democratic official said Monday night, positioning him to be the first high-profile member of President Barack Obama's team to depart the administration.

Orszag is expected to leave in the coming months. The exact timing is not known.

As director of the Office of Management and Budget, Orszag holds Cabinet-level rank and a pivotal role in shaping and defending how the administration spends the public's money. He quickly emerged from a bureaucratic post to become a camera-friendly face of Obama's government, often in front on plans to confront the deficit and to spur the economy.

The official confirmed the news to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced.

Orszag's spokesman, Kenneth Baer, said only: "Peter's focused on his work, not on Washington speculation."

And while most of these anonymous reports turn out to be true, even after spokespersons make statements that "nothing has been decided", I have to wonder why a news outlet as storied as the Associated Press is all to eager to use unsourced information. Granted, many people in todays world are rightfully skeptical in using their identities in relation to a given report, but this does tend to make the AP look like a bit of a "fly by night" operation.

That aside, this pending resignation from the Obama White House is going to be fodder for conservatives for quite some time. We'll be hearing the phrase "under the bus" for no less than a month, if not more.

But could this be Orzag sacrificing himself in order to help burnish the image of the Obama administration? I hardly see how it would even begin to work, considering how no matter what changes are made within the administration, conservatives will not be happy untill Obama leaves office - either by refusing to run for re-election, resigns, is impeached, or worse.

There are even whispers of Orzag taking Tim Geithner's place as Treasury Secretary, though I hasten to give that even a modest amount of reflection, considering that would send the conservative movement into even more of a tailspin. Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity would likely be reduced twitching madmen - well, more than they are right now anyway.

Regardless of the reasons why Orzag is possibly leaving, it's a win/win for conservatives. They will crow that this is somehow a "victory" for the conservative movement - possibly more so than when Van Jones left his advisory duties. I'm almost certain that the producers of Glenn Beck's program are already gearing up for a multi-part special report on how Peter Orzag was in league with George Soros in financially destroying America via Socialist/Communist/Marxist economic policies.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Targeting The Abusers In An Interesting Way

Perhaps it's just me, but this makes sense and it's fairly interesting opening move against employers that target employees to abuse.

Conservatives are framing this announcement in order to show that the Obama administration has no interest in "securing the border" and that they have contempt for the rule of law.

Here's where I think they are wrong:

- First: By stating that the government is going to ensure that businesses won't abuse illegal aliens, this will be a huge incentive for all businesses that lured illegal immigrants in with the hope of jobs, only to essentially use them a slave labor, to distance themselves from these practices, thereby forcing immigrants re-evaluate the reasons why they would come to this country.

- Second: If illegals know that they won't be reduced to servitude by these companies, they they would have a competitive wage, this is a great incentive for them to follow government paths to becoming naturalized citizens. Also, this new approach to treating those that come to this country in an equal fashion would likely further decrease immigrant crime.

Granted, those are only two points where this assertion from the Obama administration are seen as a step ( albeit a unique one ) forward to immigration reform, it shouldn't lessen the fact that amnesty was offered to upwards of 4 million illegals during the Reagan administration.

From my perspective, this is appears to be a calculated move by government to see how illegal immigrants and business will respond. One can only guess what fallback provisions the administration has in mind. But, considering this rather ambitious approach, I'm going to guess that conservatives are going to have to come up with some new and rather flip-floppy talking points to make up for their lack of vision on this one.

The Next Logical Step

In which Rand Paul speaks as a person who grew up with a life of privilege.

Considering that the average unemployment rate in Kentucky is still floating near 11%, I'm really thinking that Rand Paul is taking up the wrong position here. Then again, people in my community were actively praising Jim Bunning as a hero when he was blocking unemployment benefits earlier in the year.

This is a classic manifestation of the culture of privilege not caring about those within their community that are less fortunate. However, Rand Paul is a Kentucky implant, has not grown up here his entire life. That aside, there are plenty of conservatives that are lifelong Kentucky residents that are more than willing to take a metaphorical piss on their fellow residents due to conservative inaction that caused the economic meltdown. Dont' expect them to admit this though, as it would require them to blame the Bush administration that they unflinchingly backed.

Rand's new found hatred of the unemployed is another mark against him with many in Kentucky. Unfortunately, those voices will be consistently drowned out by the corporatist that fall into lockstep with the likes of BP.

Once again, November is going to be very interesting this year.

A Call To Arms

Beck is doing his best "gather your armies" schtick here.

A good example of advocating militia violence against liberals/progressives? I would have to say so.

While conservatives have continually insisted that it is those with Democratic leanings that have carried out instances of violence, with specious evidence to support their claims, one has but to look at groups like The Oath Keepers, or the "Christian" militia group known as the Hutaree, on down through a laundry list of examples that should give everyone pause - regardless of political stripe.

Beck continues to skirt the edge of sanity and acceptable rhetoric each and every day on his radio and television programs. Certainly, he has freedom of speech, but that freedom can very easily come with a hefty price-tag I'm not certain he will be able to afford.

Indoctrination Exposure

I'm guessing that Janine Turner kind of lost her mind after Norther Exposure.

She's leading this bizarre conservative charge to indoctrinate the children of America. She's even got her daughter in on it.

Their "Mission Statement" reads like a Tea Bagger educational manifesto.

Constituting America’s
mission is to reach, educate and inform America's youth and her citizens about the importance of the U.S. Constitution and the foundation it sets forth regarding our freedoms and rights.

They even have a contest going where they have kids reading from cue cards.

The continued fetishization of The Constitution, the Founding Fathers, coupled with the notion that America has been turned upside down since Jan. 20th 2009 has brought about some really interesting actions by conservatives. Much of this has been motivated by fear and abject ignorance in heaping amounts, and most conservatives in this country are glad to be spoon fed all day long.

The website Constituting America is a rather dizzying place to visit, and I'll have more on it as the weeks progress and we get closer to the Midterm Elections. I'm certain that the creepiness of this whole project will increase in exponential formation should Republicans not make substantial gains in November.

The bottom line of this for me is that someone as loopy as Janine Turner is openly advocating for conservative indoctrination of America's children. This project isn't a true educational tool, unless you're wanting your kids to look like those faceless creatures from The Wall right before they got ground up in the sausage grinder.

The Power Of Prayer

Conservatives in action. Typical.

A resolution encouraging people to pray for an end to the BP oil spill crisis has been approved by the Louisiana Senate.

Sen. Robert Adley, a Republican from Benton, won unanimous approval of the resolution last week. The resolution made this past Sunday a state-designated day of prayer in Louisiana, during which people of all faiths in the state and around the nation will be encouraged to seek divine intervention to end the crisis.

Because .begging the invisible man in the sky to suck the oil up with his straw of divine wisdom is just the ticket we need. No need for conservatives to actually do any of the heavy lifting to get this issue reconciled, it's all about Teh Jeebus.

Is there not a more clear signifier that conservatives are simply unwilling to take the lead against national emergencies like this? They made a few speeches and yelled at Obama for not acting fast enough, then promptly did a 180 and said he was acting too harshly.

But wasn't one of the conservative talking-points last week that this oil disaster was God's doing to start with? So who are they to question God's judgement now?

Education Be Damned

Conservatives and Fox"News" continue their war on teachers and students

This notion that the Federal government shouldn't step in to help teachers keep their jobs, for schools to remain open, or for even students to have the education tools necessary is simply preposterous. But it's odd that conservatives continually shout that government should be part of a "voucher" program for students to enter into private institutions of learning. It's a fairly hypocritical stance that they take.

And why are they framing this as a "bail-out"? Primarily it's because most teachers unions favor Democrats in election. If the shoe were on the other foot, I'm almost certain that the prattle-boxes on Bulls And Bears would be singing the virtues of unused stimulus dollars being used to bolster public education.

What conservatives aren't realizing is that they are essentially attacking the children of this country in order to push an ideological narrative that is designed to make public schools fail from the start. From places like Colorado Springs to the entire state of New Jersey, thanks to conservative ideals, the educational system in those - and other - locations are going to falter and in many ways be destroyed.

Newshounds has

Attacking His Side

Mark Levin is feeling a little left out, so he goes after Bill O'Reilly.

click to listen to the Nasally One

But he can't seem to bring himself to use O'Reilly's name. Interesting.

And while Levin has been known to attack people like Glenn Beck when he's angling for some internet and talk-radio "face-time", Levin dives headlong into the shallow end of the pool and acts as yet another conservative apologist and shill for BP and completely misrepresents donations to the Obama campaign.

Once again, accountability be damned when it comes to corporations.

Think Progress has more.

One Sided

And we are to believe Kyl because......

Some conservatives are using this clip as a "smoking gun" of sorts in order to distort Obama's immigration reform plans.

The main reason that we should be skeptical of Kyl's claims is that he's set this up in a way where it can't be independently verified. If in fact there was even a one-on-one meeting with the President in the Oval Office, the only person that can refute Kyl's claim is Obama. And do you really expect any Republican to believe him if he says that Kyl isn't being truthful?

Every time a conservative complains about the possibility of amnesty for any illegal immigrants, stating that it is somehow dangerous to the country, I'm reminded of the fact that Conservative Jesus Ronald Reagan offered amnesty to upwards of 4 millions people with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. You don't hear them speak of that at all.

Another aspect of Obama's approach to boarder security as it relates to this specious claim that I think douses more cold water on Kyl is the fact that at least 1200 troops are going to be deployed to the boarder. Why would the President use that resource if he's not interested in protecting the boarder?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Brothers In Arms

Fox"News" continues to provide covering-fire for BP and allow executives airtime to either make excuses for their inaction that lead to this disaster or simply claim that they are being victimized.

The unblushing way in which Fox"News" and conservatives are more than willing to turn a blind eye to corporations that rape the ecology and economy of America is simply mind boggling. We hear them continually preach accountability, to "trust but verify", and when the time comes to back up their words we get nothing - not one ounce of honesty or credibility.

When it comes to the gulf oil spill, there is such rank hypocrisy within the conservative movement that your head begins to spin before you can even get through your morning coffee.

First, the government isn't doing enough, then they are doing too much. The safety of workers cleaning up the spill is never mentioned by conservatives and when steps are taken to ensure safety, then it's all "a bunch of bureaucratic read tape slowing the operation down". There is nothing that will satisfy these wretched creatures known as Republicans. Yet people continue to try and appease them, even in the face of their own ridicule.

Make no mistake about it, Fox"News" and the conservatives enslaved to that network are in this to see that not just Obama fails on some level but that the people of the Gulf Coast fail on some level. No matter what the cost, conservatives must win, even if their own country which they claim to love suffers.

War Against The Poor

In which we find Rush Limbaugh, again, railing against the poor and less fortunate in this country.

Rush simply doesn't get it. Well, perhaps he does and is just playing the angles on this report in order to get people like me to respond. Either way, it's pathetic and shows that he really doesn't care about anyone outside of his air conditioned studio.

The reality of children going hungry in America is not something new, not something that begins or ends on the edges of Democratic control of government. And for Limbaugh to conflate Michelle Obama's work to fight childhood obesity with the horror of a child not having enough food to eat is proof positive that he can't see the way the world works - that the playing field isn't level for everyone.

Limbaugh is the quintessential conservative - thinking that everything has a simply solution and that people are just too fucking lazy to fix things. Sure, tell that kid who's parents have lost virtually everything to just go to the refrigerator and make a sandwich, that's the cure right there. Granted, the twitching mass of cholesterol and fatty-acids that is Rush Limbaugh probably never once had to live with the reality of not having enough food to eat, so this is par for the course.

I grew up in a family that struggled for some time to keep enough food on the table, but we made it through. It was that experience that taught us that there are people worse off than us and that as members of our community and our country, we should help them if we could. Limbaugh doesn't live in this world, a world where Americans help one another. He resides in that bizarro world where there is no "real" hunger issue with children, as it's a fabrication of the media, of socialist/marxist/racists that manipulate the masses.

Is there no depth that this poor excuse for a human will since to when it comes to discussing children? No, there really isn't.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Attacking A Child

Those of us that remember the early days of the Clinton administration also remember Limbaugh calling Chelsea a dog on numerous occasions. I'm actually surprised it took him this long to go after Obama's children.

Conservatives really do have a problem with children. Not just children of Democratic parents - though the most vile levels of hatred are reserved specifically for them - but even of children from Republican homes. They don't see children as free thinking individuals that are able to gather information and learn from it. They see children as faceless simulacrums that should conform to the canted view of the world that all conservatives see.

When I hear people like Limbaugh ( who thankfully doesn't have any children ) or Michelle Malkin and Glenn Back ( both of whom have multiple children ) I often fear for the intellectual safety of these kids. What is their home life like? What is discussed at the dinner table? Are they so sheltered and withheld from the world that they struggle through their lives as they get older?

I can recall being a Senior in high school and still being quite naive to many aspects of life. This was due to the fact that I lived in an excruciatingly sheltered conservative household. I think that gives me a pretty good idea of what these kids are going through, and it's painful to think about.

Exit question: Considering that Limbaugh has now embarked upon his 4th marriage, how long will it be before the new "Mrs. Rush" decides to end the charade and make off with 50% of the conservative leader's goods? And if it comes to that, how is Rush going to react on his program? The betting pool starts now.

Misguided Apologist

Conservatives have continually insisted that Barack Obama has apologized to other nations and kowtowed to foreign leaders. The reality is that Obama has admitted to the realities of what America has done in the past, but never once apologized for it. It's a very simply concept that conservatives simply either can't grasp or are just refusing to.

Congressman Joe Barton of Texas gave a really great example of what an apology is, and it was seriously the wrong time to do so.

He might as well have just taken a massive dump all over every person that is now unemployed, every business that is struggling, and the families of the 11 men killed when the Deep Water Horizon exploded due to of BP's actions - or inactions. This is classic conservative posturing in full bloom - espousing love for corporations over the average American.

The sad part of this is that there are actually more people than him that think this was an appropriate statement to make. Not only that, but he'll likely be re-elected. Just. Plain. Pathetic.


This is like saying that since your mom told you not to play in the parking lot and you went into the street instead that she would be to blame when you got ran over.

Just another in a laundry list of examples where conservatives are not holding BP accountable in favor of making it look like the company was forced to take risks and completely ignore the potential for a disaster such as this.

Founders Fetish

The Tea Baggers claim to have the market cornered on "patriotism", when in reality they have the market cornered on using the imagery of this nation's birth in ways that would likely make Thomas Jefferson's blood boil.

Now it seems that those same conservatives are getting their collective knickers in a twist over a car commercial that features imagery that they find objectionable.

The money quote for me came from this HotAir commenter:

The patriotism is strong with that ad. To the extent that it reaches morons whose only interaction with patriotism will be said ad, I am willing to ignore the hypocrisy.

csdeven on June 16, 2010 at 9:06 PM

The projection doesn't get any more crystallized than that.

Where Does Accountability End?

Within the conservative community, there is the continued call for accountability - being responsible for you actions, admitting what you have done, and taking corrective steps. This, however, doesn't apply to everyone and most certainly not to anyone within the conservative realm. When it comes to BP and the ongoing disaster that they caused, it seems that accountability has an expiration point.

Michelle Bachman keeps up the "Chicago Gangster" meme with her latest "Constitutional" argument against the Obama administration.

Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) said Tuesday that President Barack Obama is exceeding his legitimate constitutional authority in telling BP it must set up an independent fund, not controlled by the company, for compensating victims of the Gulf oil spill. She described the administration's policy as an action "that's all about extortion."

"Private companies need to be held accountable but not necessarily to the executive branch," said Bachmann. "It seems to me there’s a misreading of the Constitution and a misunderstanding of jurisdictional limits from this White House on what the extent of executive power is. They don’t seem to understand that and it—now it seems that it’s all about extortion--and that what they want to do is create a pot of money for themselves that they can control and that’s not what the Executive is supposed to do. There is a real misreading of jurisdictional limits, and they continue to stretch those limits beyond all bounds."

Bachman's insistence that the Obama administration is violating their Constitutional authority simply reeks of her inability to see two feet past her own nose. Any time she or any other conservative bring up the Constitution in relation to Obama, it's often a stretch of the actual language contained within the document.

What do people like Bachman expect the administration to do? First they scream and cry because government isn't doing enough and now they are screaming because they are going too far. Not only that, but is Bachman claiming that BP should be liable for their own negligence - that they are free from any recourse when it comes to the need to compensate for the ecological disaster they have caused?

Rand's Hands In Gov't Programs

Whenever you hear a prominent conservative figure in America talking about the damage that government programs like Social Security or Medicare and Medicaid are doing, it's a safe bet that these same people are utilizing these programs. Rand Paul is certainly no exception.

Kentucky GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul says he opposes federal handouts, but the eye doctor takes government payments for treating Medicare and Medicaid patients.

The dichotomy has drawn taunts of hypocrisy from his Democratic opponent, Jack Conway who on Tuesday called on Paul to quit "stonewalling" and release his Medicare billing records.

"When it comes to government spending that benefits Paul, suddenly deficits don't matter," Conway's campaign said in a release this week.

Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton defended Paul's acceptance of Medicare and Medicaid payments, saying that to shun the two health care programs would "penalize his older patients or his poor patients."

Paul's hawkish nature regarding deficits most certainly stops when it comes to taking money from the government for his medical practice. His campaign spokespeople are certainly distancing themselves from Paul's previous comments regarding Medicare as "socialized medicine", a common narrative amongst the Tea Baggers.

The hypocrisy of Rand Paul continues to mount as the days and weeks go by. Like most Tea Baggers, Paul wants the government services but doesn't want the cost. I'm wondering how much of his clientele are of the same ideological bent - conservatives that rail against government programs but utilized them on a continual basis.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Should Have Done Some Research

Conservatives have a serious problem with fact-checking before they start speaking.

Those "booms" that Palin and Hannity are speaking about weren't used because they failed quality control tests.

“There were concerns with material and end connectors,” LaBrec said. “BP has inspectors who visit facilities and regularly test boom. In addition to testing boom from new suppliers, boom from existing manufacturers is also tested/inspected. The Coast Guard also inspects boom that we purchase from suppliers. It is important because poorly designed boom may not work as intended.”

Listening to NPR yesterday afternoon, I heard a report that many of the booms already in place are being overrun by waves and actually washing up on beaches and not performing as they should. Why are Hannity and Palin so certain that these booms from Maine will behave any differently?

And to address O'Reilly's boast that Palin has effectively dealt with oil companies prior to quitting her post as Governor of Alaska, reports are coming in that the BP oil field in Alaska are facing serious problems.

According to internal BP documents obtained by Truthout, and after interviewing more than a dozen employees over the past month, the Prudhoe Bay oil field, in a remote corner of North America on Alaska's north shore, is in danger.

After two serious oil spills and other mishaps, the BP employees fingered a long list of safety issues that have not been adequately addressed, making the Prudhoe Bay oilfield vulnerable to a devastating accident that potentially could rival the havoc in the Gulf.

But I thought Palin had that all under control when she left office. Will she address this or even be asked by her adoring fanbase? Don't hold your breath.

Palin's Latest Prop

Conservatives are always railing against what they perceive as "gimmicks" or "shields" used by Democrats. However, they have a much greater problem within their own ranks when it comes to using these sames tactics, and Sarah Palin is becoming quite adept at utilizing these tools for her own personal gain - with not one peep from her mouth-agape followers. So, when it was reported that she was angling for an audience with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher the first thing that came to mind was this was in such poor taste, even for Palin.

Controversial US politician Sarah Palin could soon be on her way to Britain to boost her hopes of challenging Barack Obama in the 2012 US presidential election.

Her representatives approached Margaret Thatcher to ask for a meeting as part of a bid to enhance her claim to be the ‘heir to Ronald Reagan’ and prepare to challenge Mr Obama.

And Lady Thatcher has agreed to see Mrs Palin, who stood as the Republican vice-presidential candidate in 2008. A spokesman said: ‘We had an informal approach asking if Lady Thatcher would meet Mrs Palin if she comes to Britain and we said yes.’

Considering that Lady Thatcher suffers from dementia, it's no wonder that Palin would choose to meet with her rather than the new Prime Minister David Cameron.

Embarrassingly, Mrs Palin’s team have not contacted No 10 so far.

One individual involved in the talks about the visit said: ‘Palin’s people haven’t said anything about meeting Cameron. Their main interest is getting a picture of her with Lady Thatcher. I’m not sure they know who David Cameron is.’

I'm not going to go so far as to agree that Palin and her handlers don't know who Cameron is, but I will say that he's the type of conservative that Palin and the bulk of American conservatives pretend to be and actually should be. In that regard, Palin is more than likely protecting her ass from being rejected by Cameron and all those at No. 10, as they would most likely decline to meet with her.

With all the noise coming from conservatives about "photo-ops" allegedly taken advantage of by Democrats, this blatant use of a woman no longer of her own mind is another in a long line of pathetic tactics used by Sarah Palin and it should be rightly pointed out as such.

Where's The Lead-In

Some conservatives are using this video showing a male police officer punching a woman in the face as "proof" that blacks in America are completely unhinged.

My first question, as always when presented with specious video evidence such as this, is where's the lead-in to what's shown in the clip? Why were these women stopped by this officer? If this really was a jay-walking incident, then how did it escalate to such a heated and physical exchange? There's much more to this story than what we are being told.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Truth In Advertising?

Is it just me, or are Tea Baggers from Alabama the craziest ever?

The extreme fetishization of "The Founders", The Constitution, and armed revolt have lead to some pretty interesting political ads since Obama took office. One has to wonder just how much further these kooks are going to go.

Not to delve too deeply into the muddy waters of the "what if" realm that conservatives continually swim in, but take a second to think about what would happen had liberal/progressives made an ad similar to this before the Presidential elections. You could have knocked Sean Hannity over with a feather.


Isn't it always good fun to watch conservatives squirm when they are put under the same microscope that they place liberals/progressives under.

Rand Paul, who touts his career as a Kentucky eye doctor as part of his outsider credentials in his campaign for U.S. Senate, isn't certified by his profession's leading group.

He tried Monday to bat away questions about it by calling it an attack on his livelihood, saying the scrutiny stems from his challenge of a powerful medical group over a certification policy he thought was unfair.

The libertarian-leaning Republican helped create a rival certification group more than a decade ago. He said the group has since recertified several hundred ophthalmologists, despite not being recognized the American Board of Medical Specialties – the governing group for two dozen medical specialty boards.

So he's in favor of a private institution discriminating against those they don't like based on a variety of facets, but when it comes to him it's simply not fair. Does the hypocrisy get any more clearer than that?

I don't see why Paul is taking such issue with this, considering he touted his board certification. He calls it a "hypocritical power-play", but where is the hypocrisy in fact checking something that he boasts about?

I'm really hoping that Republicans in Kentucky are going to pull their collective heads out of Sarah Palin's crotch long enough to see that Rand Paul is not the man they want representing them. November is going to be very interesting around here.

Baiting Their Hooks And Catching Their Own

Yeah, no racial animus in the conservative movement at all.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa): When you look at this administration, I'm offended by Eric Holder and the President also, their posture. It looks like Eric Holder said that white people in America are cowards when it comes to race. And I don't know what the basis of that is but I'm not a coward when it comes to that and I'm happy to talk about these things and I think we should. But the President has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race - on the side that favors the black person.

King's claim is a clear echo of what the modern conservative movement upholds as one of it's many pillars, though shrouded in a cloud of deflection and misdirection - racial divisiveness. And the fine, patriotic folks at Fox"Nation" are all too glad to pile on with even more inflammatory rhetoric.

There are days when the word "Fox" could easily be replaced with "Aryan", but that would mean that those conservatives that eagerly espouse their hatred of any person that isn't white would have to admit that their shouts of "we aren't the racists" were blatant lies.

Some Thoughts For Your Morning

- Conservatives are ever eager to find a Democrat that does something stupid. I don't really blame them, as they have to find a way to deflect from their own party's failings on a daily basis. But this sort of action by a Democratic representative needs to be address on several levels and not just a partisan one. Certainly, it was pure stupidity for Bob Etheridge to assault the "student journalist" like that, but considering the nature of "journalism" amongst the Right these days, one can't but almost understand why a person ( be they an elected official or not ) react in similar fashion. Still, it was a bone-headed move and I'm of the mind that Etheridge should be punished for it.

- I've been saying for years that there is no possible way that conservatives have the time, talent, or cognitive skills to write multiple books within a calendar year. Glenn Beck has another book coming out and there's a fairly good case put forth that he didn't write it. Considering the fact that Sarah Palin hired someone to write the book she put her name on and not one conservative seemed to take issue with that, and taking a look at how Glenn Beck is revered as a messiah among the Fox"News" establishment, I'm guessing that his latest ream of nonsense isn't going to be challenged either.

- Michelle Bachman continues with the fringe ( mainstream? ) conservative line that Obama is in league with terrorists by claiming that funds used to aid Gaza and the West Bank will be appropriated by Hamas. This really doesn't surprise me, as most conservatives are in favor of completely cutting off all foreign aid entirely.

The Return

Made it home from the Bonnaroo music and arts festival yesterday afternoon. It was a great time but there's lots of catching up to do today both at work and at home. Posting today will be light. Here's some musical goodness that I discovered over the weekend from the John Butler Trio.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Not Living Up To Their Hype

We, that is those of us that are willing to see the entire spectrum of what is transpiring in America, have realized several things since January 20th 2009. Firstly, it’s that conservatives want instant gratification. They expect - not hope - the administration to restore the economy, bring unemployment to near 0%, capture all the terrorists, deport all illegal ( and some legal ) immigrants, build an electrified fence with accompanying mine-field along the Mexican boarder, pay off our debt, and have no less than 10 oil wells in each state within the span of 12 months. They act this way because of the narrative that they ( not liberals/progressives ) created around Barack Obama.

And while conservatives will be the very first segment of this country to completely deny that they lionized Obama, one has but to glance through a handful of writings, videos, and talk-radio programs from 2008 and you’ll get a very clear picture of whom THEY wanted Obama to be. They wanted him to be this solar-messiah that could magically solve every problem in the country they had a huge stake in creating and turn it around with little to no effort. From the banking problems, auto industry turmoil, to the overall state of the economy, they set up this elaborate portrait of Obama in order to lay the groundwork for their storyline in the hopes that it would carry over until 2012. Unfortunately, it’s worked on several levels for them.

From the moment that he was inaugurated, even during his inauguration when he caught Justice Roberts screwing up the Oath – which the Right tried to pass off as Obama’s mistake - conservatives were literally crawling over one another in an attempt to see who could be the loudest voice and have the most incendiary rhetoric. The cacophonous rage has been at a rolling boil ever since that moment and it shows no signs of letting up.

Conservatives, self-proclaimed champions of their country, soon began to actively pray for her destruction. They did this because they wanted Obama to fail. What they weren’t looking at was what could potentially happen if he did fail. The iconography that conservatives had created wasn’t real, and they knew it, but it wasn’t about to stop them from becoming that which they once despised – anti-government, conspiratorial, rage monkeys.

Suddenly, anyone not a Republican was called a Marxist, Communist, Socialist, Nazi, and every label that conservatives had said THEY shouldn’t be labeled prior to 2009. History was being re-written by the likes of Glenn Beck and large groups of people gathered on publicly funded land with misspelled signs shouting about how they “wanted their country back”, wanted government out of Social Security, or any host of canned phrases that Frank Luntz had typed out in his latest memo to FreedomWorks and Fox”News”. It was as if the country had turned upside down and conservatives were hanging on to that tiny little root in the ground praying that didn’t fall off into the void. And this is just within the first 3 months of Obama’s Presidency.

How did this happen so fast? By the time of the first Tea Bagger shoutfest, conservatives within various sections of the media were going off on so many tangentical rants that it became difficult to keep up on most days. Where was this anger and passion when the Bush administration was asleep at the switch prior to Sept. 11th? Where were the protests against massive expansions of government control and overreach when we were spied on while making phone calls? How about when Bush and company lied us into an occupation of Iraq that ultimately claimed more lives than were lost on Sept. 11th? Where were the conservative voices then? They were too busy advocating all these things and degrading those that opposed them.

I don’t see this as strict role reversal, seeing as how liberal/progressive voices are the same today as they were when Bush sat in the Oval Office, but more like conservatives are having an identity crisis. Couple that with the fact that conservatives are attempting to show they have this love of the Constitution that was strangely absent between 2001 and January 2009. They had morphed from people that sat by in idle ignorance during deregulation, massive spending, and corruption and were now experts in economics, foreign policy, culture, telecommunication; masters of all aspects of American life. They had all the answers and they were all the same – destroy Obama at all costs.

No matter what Obama did or is going to do, conservatives can’t allow anyone to see that he has been even modestly successful. Their message is continually evolving with every move forward that the Obama administration makes. They clamor for progress but when given it they say it’s not enough, that it was attained by ill-gotten means, that it’s an illusion, or that it simply doesn’t matter. Nothing will be good enough for them. So why is the Obama administration not casting conservatives aside and actually moving forward?

From my perspective, I think it’s because they know that the sweeping changes that are required to put this country back on top, or even just back in the position it was after Clinton was elected, would ultimately end in someone within the conservative movement killing a Democrat. Obama and his administration know this and it has likely affected how they craft policy and practice. He knows that the tension conservatives have created within America are near their breaking point in many areas. That’s another unfortunate aspect of America conservatives believe Obama should be able to miraculously change – bringing the country together.

I have always hastened to say that all conservatives are racists, as that is generally a tactic reserved for people on the Right to utilize when they find themselves bested by their opposition. But make no mistake, it is there and it is even more palpable today than it was two years ago before Obama was President. Race and how it is discussed is a primary theme within conservative thought today. They use it to insist that there is no racism, that Obama is the real racist, or that the only racists in the country are Demcorats. To them, racism exists outside their own lives, even though they utilize racism to preach their own version of what America is, isn’t, and should be.

The rate at which Obama, the man, is able to turn this country around should be stepped up, I agree. I have been quite critical of many of his policy standpoints from Afghanistan, to Iraq, healthcare, and on down to the basics of foreign policy. There have been great strides made but they could have been better, larger, and paced more quickly. None of that would satisfy conservatives nor lessen their cries that “The One” can’t accomplish anything. Conservatives are so caught up in their own storytelling, so intent on tearing down the idol which they created, that they have lost sight about what this country needs.

Certainly, they will claim to know what America needs, but they lack the ability to carry out the work that needs to be done. The harsh reality that they will face in 2012, should Obama not be re-elected and a Republican take back the White House – which is not entirely likely considering who they have to offer - is that they will have to live up to what they insist Obama and his administration should be doing. And there’s not one superhero within the conservative movement that could come close to meeting a fraction of those requirements.


Might only post a few things today and then I'm off to the Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival in Tennessee until Monday. I'll be on Twitter until then posting pics and video from the event. Follow me there @aironlater

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Safe Zone

And Rand Paul gets the Fox"News" softball treatment.

Let's look at this from a few angles.

There's a "concerted effort" to make Rand Paul ( and by extension the Tea Baggers ) look bad? Truth-be-told, they do a pretty good job on their own without any assistance. There's this bizarre concept that conservatives ought to look into, considering they preach it on a daily basis - it's called accountability. If Rand Paul is seeking to blame his opposition for his own, well documented, statements, then he'll likely only have a few people on his side come election day in November. The problem is that we are talking about Kentucky Republicans, some of whom really don't care for blacks in America at all.

And you notice how he said he "presents himself" as this kind, gentle, understand person that wants to have thoughtful discussion? It's fairly clear that he really isn't this type of person underneath that facade. This is a common tactic of the conservative movement - create this caricature of a considerate and understanding individual while projecting your own faults and shortcomings on your opponents while offering no verifiable information to back up your statements. It works because most conservatives are willing to buy into the lies, the hype, and the hysteria as they lack the intellectual honesty to move to the "verify" portion of Ronald Reagan's "trust, but verify".

And while Rand is actually being true when he pointed out - though not directly - that he never claimed he would vote against the Civil Rights Act, what he's not admitting any longer and doing he level best to distance himself from is the very real aspects of what he said - that he favors private businesses being able to discriminate on the basis of race, or for any reason for that matter. And yes, Mitch McConnell was quite vocal about his displeasure with Paul's statements and you'll notice that Rand did a little word salad shuffle when pressed on whether or not he was asked to "stay low". Any guess on what McConnell really said to him?

So why is he now in favor of what he had earlier deemed "government intrusion" into private business? Well, to protect his ass for one reason. But the damage is already done, so no amount of back-peddling or revision of the previous weeks statements is going to help him out with people that are legitimately concerned about what he could potentially do if he makes it to Washington. The talking-point about public transportation in Boston is not only redundantly silly, but really doesn't help his cause. He's essentially calling people in the South lazy, racists. He's not far off in that regard, as I've met my fair share her in Western Kentucky throughout my life. And if there's one things racists don't like to be called is a racist.

There was, despite the semantics that Paul is trying to utilize, a shake-up in his campaign after the Rachel Maddow interview. He did hire a former campaign consultant and it was a pretty poor choice, considering his ties to Rand's father's Presidential bid and his sympathy to white supremacists and neo-Nazis. So to state that there wasn't a dramatic shift within the campaign is a blatant lie.

As Paul, again, tries to distance himself from his "that's so un-American" comments regarding BP, I'm reminded again of how conservatives love to tout accountability but rarely, if ever, require that people be held accountable - that is, unless they aren't Republicans. It's a wonderfully transparent little dance that Rand Paul is doing, shift in his seat, swallowing hard, and visibly aching to get his new script out there to all the Fox"News" viewers so they can spit it out at the water-cooler or at Denny's on Sunday morning before church. There should be and there will be villains in every aspect of American life. Right now, Rand Paul is a villain of not only the truth but of progress in America.

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