Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Narcissism: Why It's So Rampant in Politics


When we retrieved yesterday's post, "Conservatism And Creationism As Mental Illnesses," we bumped into another story by Leon F. Seltzer, PhD., from Psychology Today, "Narcissism: Why It's So Rampant in Politics," and we reprint it today as another lesson out of our political science playbook:

"Narcissist politicians don't serve the people; they serve themselves.

"Consider that two of the things narcissists most desire are money (i.e., lots of money) and power (the more the better). And these two assets can be tightly interwoven. Consider also that many of the individuals entering the political arena havealready made their fortune, or inherited it. So what typically drives them is a lust for power, prestige, status, and authority. These (let's call them) 'objects of admiration' not only gratify their need for self-aggrandizement by feeding their oversized ego. They also provide them with compelling evidence to confirm their sense of superiority to others—probably their most coveted need of all.

"There's little question that politicians—especially those on the federal level— wield vastly more power and control than the average citizen. Moreover, privy to non-public, industry-related knowledge affords them all sorts of opportunities (blatantly unethical but not yet illegal) to substantially augment their income through 'insider' trading and investments. For many of them (and here, as elsewhere, I'll resist the temptation to name names) their appetite for material riches can be insatiable. Which helps explain why it's not uncommon for them to leave office with far more wealth than when they entered it. At times the liberty that some of them can't resist taking with the public trust is so flagrant that (moralistically kicking and screaming) they actually end their careers behind bars.


"One of the primary characteristics of narcissists is their exaggerated sense of entitlement. It's hardly surprising then that so many politicians (or narcissist-politicians) somehow think they 'deserve' to game the system. After all, from their self-interested perspective, isn't that what the system is for? In their heavily self-biased opinion, if they want something, by rights it should be their's. So, nothing if not opportunistic, they take from public and private coffers alike whatever they think they can get away with. And given their grandiose sense of self, they're inclined to believe they can get away with most anything. Sad to say, in today's world of capitalistic politics their judgment isn't that skewed. Which is to say they're much more often right than wrong.

"Exploiting their privileged position in such a manner hardly leaves them plagued with guilt. In general, guilt isn't an emotion they're prone to. How could they be if they feel entitled to the objects of their desire? In their minds their very ability to attain something must certainly mean it was merited. So it's only when they're caught with their hands deep in the till and their various efforts at denial have failed them, that they're ready to admit responsibility, and posture remorse. But even then, whatever alligator tears they might shed are calculated to lessen the penalties for their misbehavior—or the time that otherwise they might be required to spend in lockup.

"Ironically, despite the steadfast ethical values they profess, these politicians can be viewed as 'moral relativists' in that what they adamantly deem immoral for others is yet somehow acceptable for themselves. Whether we characterize the personal 'allowances' they make as constituting a double standard or outright hypocrisy, these privileged concessions to self clearly broadcast their overblown sense of entitlement. Which is precisely what enables them to regard themselves as sufficiently exceptional to exclude themselves from the rules and standards they impose on others (as, for example, a gay—but still-in-the-closet—politician striving to pass laws designed to restrict gay rights).

"Even before winning office, these individuals may have been inclined toward such 'entitled thinking.' But there's little question that once elected their newly elevated status promotes further exaggeration of this tendency—which, ultimately, must be seen as anti-social. As senator or congressman the whole nation has become one huge 'narcissistic supply' for them. That is, the ego gratifications available simply from residing in congress are truly extraordinary: such an unusually prestigious role can't but pump up their self-esteem to levels that further confirm their bloated sense of self. Whereas before they put themselves on a pedestal, now the whole country obligingly seems to follow suit. Moreover, once ensconced in office they may well feel accountable to no one but themselves—free to play their competitive power games with impunity (and frankly, the public be damned).

"Now perched high above the populace, they're especially vulnerable to the vaguely camouflaged bribes that routinely come their way. If they didn't arrive in office 'pre-corrupted' (as it were), such temptations enormously increase the odds that whatever venality they brought with them will succumb to the various lures they're subject to. And so, with all the perks of office and fawning by lobbyists representing private interests (frequently ex-office holders themselves, taking advantage of crony connections to further amplify their income), they can begin to exploit people and institutions with faint awareness that they're doing so unscrupulously. And with their grandiose sense of self fully ignited, they can easily convince themselves that they deserve everything they receive—while experiencing little to no obligation to respond in kind (unless, that is, they've forged a "privileged" deal to legislate in behalf of their campaign benefactors).


"Beyond such pragmatics, implicitly believing that it's better to receive than give, narcissist-politicians' immense appetite for flattery, praise, and adulation is also abundantly gratified. Quite independent of professional achievement, they expect to be treated as superior. Their fragile psyche demands being admired and looked up to—and unquestionably holding high office almost guarantees that this ego requirement will be amply met. Such an enormous 'fringe benefit,' helps explain why so many of them become 'career politicians,' holding onto such psychological blessings as long as possible. In such instances, the chief reason for remaining an incumbent isn't to fulfill any idealistic aspirations. It's to 'secure' their inflated self-regard.

"In fact, much of their pompous demeanor and arrogant behavior is inextricably tied to this inflated sense of self stemming from their political 'tenure.' Curiously, even when they piously tout their religious convictions, it's done with such extravagant show that rather than reflect any sense of humility or submission, it betrays a smug grandiosity (as in, 'I've received a message from God that this country needs my services and that I should therefore run for President!').

"But while they may delude themselves that their country sorely requires their unique talents and skills, they experience little motivation to serve the citizenry as such. They've won their position primarily to serve themselves—and they can do so almost obsessively. The saying 'Promises are made to be broken' rings particularly true for them. It's become almost a joke that the devout pledges they make on the campaign trail bear only trifling resemblance to what they do once in office. The ability to convince voters that they'll best represent their interests is what defines their success. Actually implementing what they avowed they'd tirelessly work for isn't really an essential part of their agenda—which is typically well-hidden from constituents (and many times from their conscious selves as well). In short, their campaigns measure how well they can dupe the public, not how well they'll fulfill their responsibilities once declared victorious.

"Ultimately, as regards honoring their compact with the public, whether they're Democrats or Republicans is much less important than their character structure. And it's unfortunately the latter that determines how well they'll serve the people who elected them. This distinction between party and personality is crucial. For collectively, our politicians—by and large our narcissist politicians—really do run the country, regularly making decisions that affect the quality of our lives: our privacy and civil liberties, the education we receive, the social safety net so many of us depend on, the preservation and purity of our environment, the wars we engage in, the people and groups we discriminate for and against . . . even the food we put on the table. And our welfare is almost always at variance with those of the corporations and the (one percent) wealthy elites, whose lavish funds are so instrumental in putting such politicians in office in the first place.

"Notorious for being empathy-challenged (though they may be extremely adept at masking this deficit), narcissist-politicians are frequently tone deaf as regards how some of their private, 'entitled' actions can affect public opinion. Compartmentalizing their lives, they suffer from a peculiar moral myopia and lack of imagination, unable to anticipate how their sexual infidelities, or barefaced bribe-taking, might be held against them. In this sense, their exaggerated sense of privilege frequently undermines their better judgment. As cold-hearted and calculating as they can be—for they see others as essentially objects to manipulate for personal gain—they're strangely naive (or even unconscious) about how their unprincipled acts could be negatively interpreted by others, who don't necessarily assume such behaviors as 'entitled' at all.

"Closely linked to their amoral or illegal actions is the dominance their office bestows on them. It's this power—or the 'corruptibleness' inherent in this power—that can create in them a reckless sense of invisibility. How else explain the foolhardy risks some of them take?—heedless, hazardous behaviors of such magnitude that the layperson can be left nonplussed, mystified, or downright appalled. 'Is this the person I voted for?' they must ask themselves. No wonder that news headlines about their dalliances, debaucheries, and assorted depravities have become commonplace.


"And then, of course, there's all the cover-ups and prevarications intimately connected to their various acts of entitlement. Lying on Capitol Hill abounds, and it can be executed with relative impunity since politician claims, however improbable, go largely unmonitored. (Truth-checking on the part of corporate-owned media seems increasingly rare these days.) Besides, no one equivocates or dis-informs with greater conviction than the narcissist-politician, whose blatant disregard for facts can at times be mind-boggling.

"It's no coincidence that pathological lying has traditionally been perceived as a narcissistic trait. Which is almost intuitive in terms of understanding the related narcissistic tendencies to be arrogant, grandiose, contemptuous of others, interpersonally exploitive, ruthlessly competitive, hypersensitive to criticism, preoccupied with appearances, and manipulative of others' impressions of them. On the contrary, honesty or straightforwardness doesn't characterize them. For to reveal what they're really thinking and feeling—or the true motives driving their behavior—would be to render themselves more vulnerable to others' judgment than their fragile (though artificially inflated) egos could bear.

"Eventually coming to believe their own falsehoods, they're fiercely defensive, and even attacking, when their illogical, inconsistent, or even contradictory, positions are questioned. Expert at lying to themselves, as well as to others, their inability to experience much guilt when they're found out is easy enough to comprehend. And tied to this distorted sense of entitlement (or 'personal exceptionalism'), they can't really feel genuine sorrow for what they've done to betray the public trust.

"Frankly incapable of emotionally identifying with others' distress, the wrong they may have done them remains forever out of their focus. Whatis in focus for them is the deeply felt assault to their self-image that comes from being charged with wrongdoing. And, so threatened, their push-back reactions are self-righteously contrived to reclaim both their personal and ideological superiority over their attacker. Flagrantly falsifying facts and details beyond reason, they vehemently proclaim the moral high ground. Which is to say that many politicians deserve to be rewarded honorary doctorates in Rhetoric and Verbal Acrobatics (dual major, indeed!).

"But finally, is it possible that narcissism might just be an unintended prerequisite for being a successful politician? For to be elected to public service would seem to require a level of ambitiousness that may intimately relate to core narcissistic drives. As Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist at the University of Washington, reflects: 'How many of us would have the desire, much less the ability, to promote ourselves ceaselessly? You have to do that as a politician. It's an amazing level of self-love . . . and need for affirmation.'

"And speaking of 'ceaselessly,' the narcissist-politician's ambitiousness might well be viewed as insatiable. That is, they're always seeking to bemore, have more, get more. Regrettably, they illustrate perfectly the Roman philosopher Epicurus' dictum: 'Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.' In other words, their desires have no end point. Their inexhaustible appetite for wealth, recognition, adulation, influence and power winds up being a travesty. To go outside America, such insatiability is most pathologically—and farcically—exemplified by Saddam Hussein's literally cheating his country out of billions of dollars to 'adorn' himself with some 75 shamelessly opulent palaces.


"Which is reminiscent of another saying: that 'you can never get enough of what you don't really want.' And it's been noted countless times that what, typically, narcissists crave most (though it's so deeply repressed that they're hopelessly unaware of it) is the unconditional love, acceptance, and belonging they felt deprived of in growing up. So the outward trappings—or symbols—of fullness or fulfillment they so diligently pursue can never really satisfy them. Their single-minded, misguided quest for self-enhancement can never fill the enormity of the void that exists at their core.

"Because they don't realize that their ancient narcissistic injuries can never be healed through the objects of this world, there's a tremendous futility in their seeking. And because to deny their vulnerability they defensively objectify everything—themselves included— their lives may teem with gratifications that provide only solace for their heart's actual desire. Given their detached, cynical approach to life, their gravest doubts about their lovability are unresolvable. And their prodigious compensatory efforts remain forever off target.

"But most tragically, as they 'successfully' rise to prominence and power, the whole diseased condition of their lives infects us as well. For in devoting their lives almost exclusively to selfish, ill-conceived goals, the needs of the larger community surrounding them either get ignored or abandoned. Inevitably, we all suffer from the fraud that so thoroughly envelops them.

"NOTE 1: I'm quite aware that many of the points in this piece may seem overgeneralized, or extreme. Fiction writer John Barth, when criticized about the liberties he took with his characters, replied paradoxically in his defense: 'I exaggerate for the sake of truth.' Hopefully, any hyperbole in this piece will be taken by the reader in the same spirit.

"NOTE 2: Though from different vantage points, several of my earlier posts for PT also deal with this intriguing/exasperating subject of narcissism. Here are some titles (and links): 'The Narcissist's Dilemma: They Can Dish It Out, But . . . '; 'LeBron James: The Making of a Narcissist, Part 1 & 2)'; "Michael Jackson: The Performer Vs. the Person'; and 'Our Egos: Do They Need Strengthening—or Shrinking?'

"NOTE 3: If this post in some way 'speaks' to you, please consider passing it on.

"© 2011 Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved."

(Follow Dr. Seltzer on Twitter and join and on Facebook.)

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Few Progressive readers of this piece will miss making the link between the Narcissistic  Politician and the empathy-challenged Sarah Palin, whether or not they have read the must-read runaway best seller on the 2008 Election by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, Game Change

The oversized ego, her "... inexhaustible appetite for wealth, recognition, adulation, influence and power," the guilt-free skimming of GOP campaign funds for shopping sprees, the moral relativism in explaining her daughter's out-of-wedlock baby, quitting her job to seek more riches, and her non-stop, inflated self regard are symptoms of her romantic love affair - with Sarah.

Of course narcissism only goes part of the way in explaining the antics of the vicious ex-governor Palin and we suspect that we'll hear more of her, as narcissism of this type is often the warning sign of crimes to come as criminals come in two versions: those who don't care if they're caught and those who don't think they'll be caught.

In Palin's case, the appearance in politics of narcissists like herself and a score of other GOP narcissists are a warning sign for the GOP that their days are numbered if these are the best candidates that they could come up with in the last few elections.

At the very least, the Low Information Voter may finally understand the criminality of Conservatism.





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“Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They
think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s
a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders
or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.”

Barry Goldwater.


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Monday, December 30, 2013

Conservatism And Creationism As Mental Illnesses


Somehow we missed a short article by Professor Barry X. Kuhle, Ph.D. in Psychology Today last year, "Conservatism as a Mental Illness," written as "a response to Creationism as a mental illness, an article by Robert Rowland Smith," in the same magazine.

Kuhle's piece first:

"Republican pols have recently exhibited 10 telltale signs of mental illness.

"In Creationism as a Mental Illness, Robert Rowland Smith argues that creationists exhibit several signs of mental illness including denial, psychosis, and inability to grasp irony.

"The specter of mental illness does indeed loom large over creationists, but they are not alone. Signs of psychopathology can also be seen among their political bedfellows, conservative politicians, especially when you consider a wide range of illness indicators. In his award-winning 2005 book, Dr. James Whitney Hicks discusses 50 signs of mental illness including denial, delusion, hallucination, disordered thinking, anger, anti-social behavior, sexual preoccupation, grandiosity, general oddness, and paranoia. Now I'm no clinician, but in my (admittedly biasedbrown) eyes it seems that prominent Republicans have evidenced each of these ten telltale signs of mental illness over the past year:

"1) Denial: humans did not evolve; Obama is not a native-born American Christian

"2) Delusion: climate is not changing

"3) Hallucination: God ordained me to be President

"4) Disordered Thinking: being for small government that's huge in the bedroom; being anti-contraception and anti-abortion

"5) Anger: Newt Gingrich’s perpetual scowl

"6) Anti-social Behavior: toward women, gays, minorities, anyone without an umbilical cord or trust fund

"7) Sexual Preoccupation: a fervent compulsion to control when we can mate, with whom we can mate, and precisely how we are allowed to mate (which I lampoon in Why Do Politicians Want to Police Dick and Jane's Private Parts?)

"8) Grandiosity: even Rick Santorum recognizes Gingrich’s 'over the moon' grandiosity

"9) General Oddness: Ron Paul

"10) Paranoia: pretty much all of them, all of the time

"Even (the not necessarily dumb) Pope Francis appears to recognize that 'it is a serious illness, this of ideological [conservative] Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?'

"Regrettably, the Republican who least exhibits anti-science stances is the only one who (tongue-in-cheek) acknowledges his mental illness:


"Until Jon Huntsman becomes the sane voice of his insane party, maybe 'Republican Syndrome' should be added to the DSM-V so that crazy conservative pols can receive the mental health treatment they need. I bet 'Obamacare' would even cover it."

"Conservatism as a Mental Illness, Part II: Does the GOP Suffer from MSBP?

"In a previous post I mused—largely tongue-in-cheek—that prominent Republican pols were mentally ill. I identified myriad examples of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and other pillars of the GOP exhibiting telltale signs of mental illness including denial, delusion, hallucination, disordered thinking, anger, anti-social behavior, sexual preoccupation, grandiosity, general oddness, and paranoia.

"Now, I'm still no clinician, but it seems to my (admittedly biased, brown) eyes that the GOP’s recent (in)actions indicate that they’re collectively afflicted with yet another mental illness…One I had not before considered.

"With John Boehner and company shuttering the Federal Government and threatening to not raise the debt limit ceiling, the GOP are purposelyhurting We The People, as well as America's standing in the global marketplace. And for what? To draw attention to themselves andsympathy for their issues.

"That’s classic M√ľnchausen syndrome by proxy!


"To appropriate Wikipedia’s MSBP definition, the Republican leadership (is) attempting to 'fulfill their need for positive attention by hurting their own child [government and citizenry], thereby assuming the sick role by proxy.'

"Moreover, with their calls for President Obama to 'negotiate' they are trying to "assume the hero role and garner still more positive attention by appearing to care for and save their child [government and citizenry].”

"So, to recap: The Grand Old Party is having a grand old time abusing their positions of power by hurting their constituents just to garner attention on how sick the GOP is over President Obama's sickness safety net. Nothing pathological about that. Nothing at all.

"I’ve long been fascinated by M√ľnchausen syndrome by proxy and I've long thought that the only notable person to have it was Eminem’s mother (per his Cleanin' Out My Closet lyrics). But maybe I was wrong. Maybe the GOP collectively suffers from MSBP...and we from them.

"And maybe Eminem’s next single should be Cleanin' Out My Government."

(Copyright © 2013 Barry X. Kuhle. All rights reserved.  Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of Psychology Today and the University of Scranton, or me, or my friends, family, probation officer, gut bacteria, darkest thoughts, and personal mohel.)


And on to the second piece, as the tongue in cheek "Psychologists At War" continues:
"Robert Rowland Smith asks if creationists are sane.

"Creationism as a mental illness

"In Cockney rhyming slang, the word ‘believe' is represented by ‘Adam and Eve'. When faced with something baffling, shocking or plain peculiar, you might use the rhetorical expression, ‘Would you Adam and Eve it?' It's ironic, then, that one of the great debates of the day is about the literal truth of the bible story; or in other words, the extent to which we should Adam and Eve in Adam and Eve.

"It's a question not just of belief but of denial. The phrase ‘in denial' has become so commonplace it's hard to still hear its power. In common with the ostrich which, as danger approaches, buries its head in the sand, those who are ‘in denial' prefer a false but subjective sense of security to a true but objectively scary reality. Denial brings short term, if illusory, comfort.

"Hence creationism, the theory/superstition that, contrary to massive scientific evidence, the world began exactly as described in the Book of Genesis. Instead of deriving from millions of years of patient evolution, Adam and Eve popped out, fully formed, like characters from a Swiss cuckoo clock. Would you Adam and Eve it? Of course not. It's a myth, but like many myths it serves a psychological purpose which is to provide a storybook sense of simple origins, which allays people's fears. Those who believe this myth to be the truth are in a state of denial.


"Along with denial, two other factors connect creationism with mental illness. The first is psychosis, which is an extension of denial. If psychosis is marked by the discrepancy between one's personal view of the world and the consensual view, creationism holds onto the personal view at all costs, refusing to accept what is abundantly clear. True, if creationism became the majority view, its psychotic character might be mitigated. Except that this majority view would have no more valence than the belief so widely held about the relationship between the sun and the earth before Copernicus proved how the latter orbits the former, and not vice versa.

"Finally, creationism shares with autism an alleged lack of ability for irony. Creationists take the bible story as literally true, unable to recognise that it might be working on those other, mythic levels.

"If tests for madness include talking to yourself and looking for hairs on the palm of your hand, then here's another: do you Adam and Eve in Adam and Eve?"

"Robert Rowland Smith is the author of 'Breakfast with Socrates: an Extraordinary (Philosophical) Journey Through your Ordinary Day' (Free Press)."

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There's not much more to say other than to wonder that while Conservative leaders and their propagandists are criminally motivated, the Conservative Sheeplets are equal mixes of craziness and stupidity.

For even more on the subject, try peaking at our many, many articles with the theme "Conservatives Are Stupid," here --> (http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/search/label/conservatives_are_stupid).



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“Mr. Nixon has, in the last seven days, called me an economic ignoramus, a Pied
Piper, and all the rest. I’ve just confined myself to calling him a Republican. But he
says that is getting low.”

John F. Kennedy.


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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Eighteen Jaw-Droppers By The Right Wing


As 2013 winds down, we present another twofer: first, Janet Allon's piece at Alternet.org, "8 Worst Things the Far Right Wing Said This Holiday Week," followed by posts by various authors at the same site, "AlterNet's Top 10 Right Wing Jaw-Droppers of the Year."

Ms. Allon's article:

"Ignorance reigns with Geraldo Rivera, Sarah Palin, and the Wall Street Journal's longing for return to white rule.


"1. Joseph Epstein inWall Street Journal: The problem with America is the collapse of white rule.

"There just are not enough rich, white men in power in America anymore. It is a terrible problem. Instead, what we have is some sort of self-styled meritocracy, where instead of the good old-fashioned ruling elite, people who have overcome adversity and achieved success by dint of hard work and effort, rather than their lineage, are in charge. Ugghh! This must be why society is going to hell in a handbasket.

"So goes the argument of writer Joseph Epstein, who penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journallast weekend bemoaning the collapse of white rule. Not just white rule. WASP rule.

"The column, which resembles satire, but apparently is not, argues that modern-day 'corruption, scandal and incompetence' are hallmarks exclusive to this new era of non-white rule. Because that shit never happened when whites were in charge. If only, he laments, colleges still admitted more legacies and didn’t encourage applications of non-white students. Then maybe, instead of a Senate that is 95% white, we could go back to the 100%.

"And don’t even get him started about the president.

"2. Paul Ryan lectures his hero, the Pope, on capitalism.

"It seems that another conservative, Christian politician thinks he knows better than the Pope. Rep. Paul Ryan, the sham 'compassionate conservative,' who happily held the line against extending unemployment benefits for 1.3 million struggling Americans, has lately insisted that he really cares about the poor. So much so, that he now considers Pope Francis more of a role model than his previous role model, Ayn Rand—quite a shift. The deeply caring Congressman recently told the Milwaukee Sentinel how glad he is that Pope Francis is talking about the poor, and how we should all be helping each other out more, 'soul to soul.'

"But, still, despite his avowed love for the Pope, Ryan points out that the Pontiff is kind of dumb about capitalism. Not his fault, though. He’s from a non-capitalist country. 'The guy,' Ryan said. (Wait, the guy? Isn't that kind of disrespectful?), 'is from Argentina, they haven’t had real capitalism in Argentina. They have crony capitalism in Argentina. They don’t have a true free enterprise system.'

"Ryan has said that he, like the 'guy from Argentina,' wants to figure out how to solve poverty. If the past is any indication, the solution will involve plenty of discipline, deprivation of needed government help, and possibly, neckties—or as Ryan prefers to call it 'tough love.'

"Holy holy holy.

"3. Geraldo Rivera: Alec Baldwin’s comments not homophobic because everyone used to be homophobic.

"Geraldo Rivera often says things that are surprising, even startling, but he is reliably wrongheaded. He recently made the leap of comparing the dust-up over 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson’s evident homophobia and racism, stated clearly in a GQ interview, to Alec Baldwin’s troubles. The common thread, as Rivera sees it, is that this shadowy group of “gay fundamentalists”—no we don’t know exactly who that is or why those two words have been put together—is behind the loss of both men’s TV shows. You’ll remember that Baldwin, a liberal darling with either an impulse control problem or deeply held homophobic feelings (or both), was said to have called a photographer a 'cocksucking faggot' while Robertson merely speculated in his widely circulated interview that homosexuality and bestiality were on the same continuum (and blacks were happy under Jim Crow laws.)

"Rivera defended Baldwin’s right to make homophobic slurs on the grounds that they were common place when he was growing up.

"Interesting defense. Many people, unfortunately some even today, are growing up in that kind of ethos, so are they covered as well? And how far does such a defense go? Does it defend, say, racism? Any manner of hatred? Murder? Ethnic cleansing?

"Previous Rivera idiocies include saying women on George Zimmerman's trial jury would have started shooting at Trayvon Martin before George Zimmerman did, and, of course, that hoodies, such as the one Trayvon was wearing the night he was killed, are thug-wear.

"But again, can someone please tell us what the hell 'gay fundamentalism' is?

"4. Alabama Lawmaker calls ‘Duck Dynasty’ star a hero.

"So, sure enough, the 'Duck Dynasty' controversy raged on as conservatives and so-called Christians rushed to defend Phil Robertson’s right to say things that may lead to violence against gays, and blacks, or at least reinforce those lingering feelings that black people preferred their second-class status under Jim Crow. Just to recap, Robertson, the bearded, ignorant, born-again Christian star of a reality show we would never watch has been compared to everyone from Rosa Parks to Martin Luther King, Jr. (no, we cannot provide the logic of those nonsensical statements.)

"A highly enlightened Alabama state Senator by the name of Jerry Fielding added his voice to the chorus of hosannas for Phil this week when he called Robertson a 'hero.' Not content to just call him a hero, he introduced a resolution lauding him as a hero, according to the Daily Home.

"Here, in all its glory, is that proposed legislation:
"'Whereas, renown[ed] entrepreneur, Louisiana outdoorsman, and reality television star Phil Robertson has positively impacted countless lives through the powerful testimony of his steadfast faith in Jesus Christ and how it has transformed his life; and Whereas Phil Robertson, along with his family ... have served as ambassadors of the love and grace of the Heavenly Father ... Whereas recently, Phil has received backlash for expressing his personal views on homosexuality that were based on scripture in the Bible in an interview with GQ Magazine; ultimately, the Arts and Entertainment Network (A&E) punished him for his beliefs and suspended him indefinitely from the reality television show, Duck Dynasty ... Whereas a portion of the politically correct populous [sic], which strongly encourages tolerance and open-mindedness, is now contradicting themselves with extreme intolerance and close-mindedness towards Phil and his personal beliefs, which stem from his rock-solid Christian faith ... Phil should not be penalized in any way for practicing freedom of speech, but should be celebrated as a hero for courageously revealing his self-truth and Christian ideals in a world that can be unkind towards those with a conservative mind-set ... now therefore, Be it resolved by the Legislature of Alabama, both houses thereof concurring, that this chamber of persons stand united in support of Phil Robertson and his family, and in opposition to the A&E Network's deplorable action of suspending Phil indefinitely from Duck Dynasty for relaying his Christian beliefs.'
"Don’t you just love democracy!

"5. Brilliant and incisive, Bristol Palin ranks haters. LGBT community is the worst!

"On Friday, Bristol Palin, expressed her solidarity with the 'Duck Dynasty' star by taking to her Patheos blog to attack the LGBT community and condemn A&E, the network that initially kicked Phil Robertson off his reality show, then caved under pressure and reinstated him.

"'Everyone needs to leave Phil Robertson alone for expressing his beliefs,' Bristol wrote, obviously with great passion. 'I hate how the LGBT community says it's all about "love" and "equality." However, if you don't agree with their lifestyle, they spread the most hate. It is so hypocritical it makes my stomach turn.'

"Someone, please get poor Bristol an ant-acid.

"6. Sarah Palin defends Duck Dynasty star without actually reading what he said.

"You know the old saying about the apple, and the distance from which it falls from the tree. Bristol's mom Sarah, too, was outraged at how mean people were being to Phil Robertson. No, she never actually read what he said that made people upset. That’s hard. Lots of words. Small type. She’s just a staunch defender of people’s right to say racist and homophobic things and that’s what she heard he was doing.

"She has some rock solid reasoning behind not bothering to inform herself about the actual content of his statements. She knew—or heard through the grapevine, whatever—that he was invoking the Bible. That about covers it. Anyone who questions that is questioning Scripture, and those are bad, bad people. 'He was quoting the Gospel,' she told gal pal Greta Van Susteren. So people criticizing him need to take it up with the Gospel.

"Which she hasn’t actually read, probably, either. But she’s heard about it.

"7. John Hagee spreads Christmas cheer by suggesting that people who don’t like hearing ‘Merry Christmas’ get on a plane and leave the country.

"Suggesting atheists and their horrible humanist friends leave the country is one of right-wing pastor John Hagee’s favorite pieces of advice, and he got into the Christmas spirit by suggesting atheists scram again during a sermon to his congregation. It's almost like he talks to atheists more than he talks to his actual congregation.

"He told those atheists that 'if you pass a manger scene and someone is singing "Joy to the World," you can take your Walkman (yeah, Walkman in 2013) and stuff it into your ears, or you can call your lawyer, or you can just exercise your right to leave the country; planes are leaving every hour on the hour, get on one.'

"Planeloads of atheists leaving the country as we speak.

"8. Mat Staver: If gay marriage is legal then everyone will do it and society will cease to exist?

"Obviously the only thing preventing everyone from being gay and getting gayly married is the law against it. With gay marriage legal in New Mexico and Utah now and just generally havng had a watershed year, right-wing homophobes are in full panic mode.

"Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver sounded the warning this week that with full marriage equality, everyone is just going to decide to marry someone of the same sex, and that of course means that society will “cease to exist” altogether. The whole country will become a childless, disease-ridden dystopia, he told Vic Eliason of VCY America. With more and more states embracing marriage equality, we guess you can expect more of the same such pathetic fear-mongering.

"Sigh.

"h/t: rightwingwatch"

The second piece from Alternet.org:

"The right-wing's hit parade of madness and the politics of resentment.


"America's right-wing is a national embarrassment. On any given day, you can find its leaders spouting racism, pretending poverty doesn't exist, mocking the idea that climate change is a serious problem, or attempting to restrict the fundamental rights of women. Here are some of AlterNet's most popular and outrageous stories about the right from this year.

"1. Why Americans Are So Ignorant -- It's Not Only Fox News, There Are Some Understandable Reasons for It

"by Lawrence Davidson, Consortium News

"Sure propaganda, government secrecy and Fox News have a lot to do with it. But there are broader societal pressures as well. 'The majority of any population will pay little or no attention to news stories or government actions that do not appear to impact their lives or the lives of close associates,' Davidson writes. 'If something non-local happens that is brought to their attention by the media, they will passively accept government explanations and simplistic solutions.'

"2. The Most Depressing Discovery About the Brain, Ever

"by Marty Kaplan, AlterNet

"Say goodnight to the dream that education, journalism, scientific evidence, or reason can provide the tools that people need in order to make good decisions. Kaplan argues, 'It turns out that in the public realm, a lack of information isn’t the real problem. The hurdle is how our minds work, no matter how smart we think we are. We want to believe we’re rational, but reason turns out to be the ex post facto way we rationalize what our emotions already want to believe.'

"3. 10 Most Absurd Sex Tips from the Christian Right

"by Amanda Marcotte, AlterNet

"Modern conservatives can't stop talking about sex. And what they say opens a window into the strange, sexist worldview of patriarchal religion. "Throughout fundamentalist Christianity, one piece of advice rings out above all others, which is that marriage only works if wives submit to their husbands," explains Marcotte.

"4. Right-Wing Group Seeks Help Rewriting the Bible Because It's Not Conservative Enough

"by Richard Schiffman, AlterNet

"The King James Bible and more recent translations are veritable primers of progressive agitprop, according to the founder of Conservapedia. Writes Schiffman, "When Jesus greets his disciples with the blessing, 'Peace be with you' (John 20, 26), the editors cleverly change the wording to, 'Peace of mind be with you,' so that nobody gets the wrong idea and thinks Jesus was some kind of lilly-livered pacifist.

"5. Shocking New Evidence Reveals Depths of 'Treason' and 'Treachery' of Watergate and Iran-Contra

"by Robert Parry, Consortium News

"New evidence continues to accumulate showing how Official Washington got key elements of two major presidential scandals of the Nixon and Reagan administrations wrong. 'Newly disclosed documents have put old evidence into a sharply different light and suggest that history has substantially miswritten the two scandals by failing to understand that they actually were sequels to earlier scandals that were far worse. Watergate and Iran-Contra were, in part at least, extensions of the original crimes, which involved dirty dealings to secure the immense power of the presidency,' Parry reports. FBI's J. Edgar Hoover's fingerprints are all over this one. 

"6. You Think You Knew Crazy? Think Again. 10 Shockers from the Increasingly Unhinged Right Wing

"by Janet Allon, AlterNet

"Nothing shuts down America's far-right lunatic fringe. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia said of Lucifer this year, 'He’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that.'

"7. Right-Wing Is Filled with Biblical Illiterates: They'd Be Shocked by Jesus' Teachings if They Ever Picked Up a Bible

"by CJ Werleman, AlterNet

"Jesus wouldn't have supported food stamps?

"8. 5 Christian Right Delusions and Lies About History

"by Amanda Marcotte, AlterNet

"They're not just delusional about science! Here's Marcotte relating craziness the Christian Right peddles about the founding fathers: 'For people who downright deify our Founding Fathers, the religious right is really hostile to accepting them as they actually were, which is not particularly religious, especially by the standards of their time. But David Barton, a revisionist "historian" whose name comes up again and again in these kinds of discussions, has spread the belief far and wide in the Christian right that the Founders were, in fact, fundamentalist Christians who are quite like the ones we have today. Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas confirms this, saying that Barton "provides the philosophical underpinning for a lot of the Republican effort in the country today."'

"9. 10 Outrages and Crazy Statements by Right-Wingers This Week: Pope Provokes Free-Market Freakout

"by Janet Allon, AlterNet

"The right freaked out about a compassionate pope and transgendered people, and spewed some really bizarre conspiracy theories. Allon shares how Fox Business Channel host Stuart Varney was just stewing about the pontiff’s remarks. 'Capitalism, in my opinion, is a liberator,' he lectured Pope Francis from his television pulpit. 'The free choice of millions of people is the essence of freedom. In my opinion, society benefits most when people are free to pursue their own self-interest. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but it is not.'

"10. Texas Republican Judge Switches Party, Denouncing GOP as Party of Bigots and Hate-Mongers

"by Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet

"GOP was called out by the judge for having a culture of 'pettiness and bigotry.'"

********************


Hate and fear, promulgated by lies, are the hallmarks of Conservatism.  Coupled with a little racism and homophobia to attract the worst among us to their side, the criminals called "Conservatives" never shut up.

If we've learned one thing about thiscriminal cartel, it is that they are relentless in their pursuit of the New American Age of Feudalism, and they don't care how many lies it takes to rope in the more gullible and least intelligent among us.

The demographics say that the GOP's days are numbered, but until Conservatism is outlawed, we'll never hear the end of their fear mongering and hate-filled lies.

 Banning the GOP isn't enough, we must criminalize Conservatism.



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“The Republicans believe in the minimum wage — the more the minimum,
the better.”

Harry Truman.


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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Meet The Man Who Told The GOP How To Destroy America’s Middle Class

How did the GOP get away with destroying our middle class and slashing our social safety net? The ‘Powell Memo’ gave them the blueprint. Photo from Wikipedia.
Egberto Willie's very brief article at Addictinginfo.org, "Meet The Man Who Told The GOP How To Destroy America’s Middle Class," was posted on our Facebook site, and is important enough that it bears reposting:

"This may sound like a hyper-partisan article. It is not. It is based on actions by Republicans of all stripes that are verifiable and quantifiable. All Americans are being played irrespective of party affiliation. Republican leadership and political sidekicks are the masters of the game, the citizenry the pawns, and all the brainchild of one Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

"Republicans have never been known as a party fighting for the poor or the middle class. They have never been known as a party that believed in a social safety net. The problem for Republicans is that 90+% of Americans fall into that category.

"The level of intolerance by the GOP is incomprehensible until the strategy is understood. It is easy to dismiss comments by a few. However when it becomes a chorus line that is perfectly synchronized, it becomes a strategy.

"Republicans balk when one speaks about the Republican war on women, war on the poor, war on the environment, war on gays, war on minorities, and many other select micro wars. They don’t want these wars called out. And the reality is these should not be called wars at all. It is much too simplistic.

"It is a war on democracy. How do you win a war on democracy when there are many more subjects than you? You fight many battles. So the battle against the poor, the battle against women, the battle against gays, the battle against minorities, the battle against education, and any other micro battle to keep the subjects occupied is the modus operandi. It does not matter if in the process a few of the battles are lost. After all their eyes are on the ball, the destruction of a functional democracy.

"It was all in the Powell Memo.


"This week I interviewed Jeff Clements, co-founder of Free Speech for People, and author ofCorporations Are Not People about corporate personhood and the Citizens United ruling. In that interview he brought up the Powell Memo. (Read the memo in its entirety. It gives the necessary perspective.)

"Written by Lewis F. Powell, Jr in 1971, , the Powell Memo illustrates the fear that the corporate lawyer and member of the boards of varies corporations had for the masses. Powell was subsequently confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.

:Powell lays out the game plan. The Powell Memo is a plan that was forward looking. It is a plan that so far has been well implemented. How did they do it?

"The Powell Memo was the blueprint for the GOP’s successful strategy.


"The Powell Memo came up with the plan, the blueprint. Based on the ideas presented in the Powell Memo, the Republican party created think tanks responsible for dispersing misleading information with a false cloak of authenticity. The Heritage Foundation is a classic example of this. They took control of the airwaves to disperse misleading information (e.g., talk radio, Fox News, CNBC, etc.). A relenting Chamber of Commerce uses corporate monies to bully policy and politicians that squeeze the masses (e.g., support for free trade agreements, outsourcing etc.).

"They infiltrated college campuses with directed research for planned outcomes as detailed in the Powell Memo. The GOP infiltrated the elementary and secondary schools’ textbook evaluation process to attempt Right Wing indoctrination. The Powell Memo suggested the use of graduate business schools to indoctrinate students on an irresponsible form of capitalism. They flooded the country with books and paid advertising promoting their message. The Powell Memo came down against the unions.

"The implementation has been successful thus far. The problem is that in Powell’s days there was no Internet. There was no way to form disjointed communities in mass that could rise up when knowledge was not controlled in a top down manner. A new tactic had to be added. This new tactic is not new. It is the war to divide and conquer.

"The current strategy is simply a modification of the Powell Memo to achieve the same result.


"If one keeps a community, a city, a country in a constant state of disarray or chaos, it is easy for the subjects to take their eyes off real problems. That is the same tactics use in countries where a functioning Plutocracy reigns like Panama and many ‘third world’ countries around the world. Underlying human behavior is the same throughout the world. The world then becomes the testing ground for successful suppressive tactics. The successful ones are effectively being used against Americans now. All of this is based on what is found in the Powell Memo.

"All the little battles described above occurring at the same time are nothing more than death by a thousand cuts. Americans are so busy trying to survive, fighting these culture battles and sub-class battles that they are unable to fight what really ails. What ails is the Plutocracy Powell’s memo aimed to preserve. The Republican assault on the fabric of America is but the implementation of the Powell Memo."

(Author: Egberto WilliesEgberto Willies is an author, blogger, political activist, Vice President of Coffee Party USA, Executive Committee member of Move to Amend, CNN iReporter, Radio Show Host, HuffPost Live Contributor, self-employed software developer, & web designer. Egberto wrote the book ‘As I See It:Class Warfare The Only Resort To Right Wing Doom’ based on his belief that the mainstream media is derelict in its duty to relate what really ails the middle class and the complicity of the Right Wing in its demise. Bio: http://egbertowillies.com/bio/ Linked In: http://linkd.in/TOiHUS. Google)



For those who would like to read the Memo, we reprint an introduction that precedes the memo in this Reclaim Democracy piece (ReclaimDemocracy.org focuses on long-term movement-building and systemic change, striving to shift energy and funding from reactive work against individual harms caused by corporations to proactive efforts that seek to revoke corporate power systemically. Our ultimate goals involve Constitution-level change.):


"The Powell Memo (also known as the Powell Manifesto)

"The Powell Memo was first published August 23, 1971


"Introduction

"In 1971, Lewis Powell, then a corporate lawyer and member of the boards of 11 corporations, wrote a memo to his friend Eugene Sydnor, Jr., the Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The memorandum was dated August 23, 1971, two months prior to Powell’s nomination by President Nixon to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"The Powell Memo did not become available to the public until long after his confirmation to the Court. It was leaked to Jack Anderson, a liberal syndicated columnist, who stirred interest in the document when he cited it as reason to doubt Powell’s legal objectivity. Anderson cautioned that Powell 'might use his position on the Supreme Court to put his ideas into practice…in behalf of business interests.'

"Though Powell’s memo was not the sole influence, the Chamber and corporate activists took his advice to heart and began building a powerful array of institutions designed to shift public attitudes and beliefs over the course of years and decades. The memo influenced or inspired the creation of the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Accuracy in Academe, and other powerful organizations. Their long-term focus began paying off handsomely in the 1980s, in coordination with the Reagan Administration’s 'hands-off business' philosophy.

"Most notable about these institutions was their focus on education, shifting values, and movement-building — a focus we share, though often with sharply contrasting goals.


"So did Powell’s political views influence his judicial decisions? The evidence is mixed. Powell did embrace expansion of corporate privilege and wrote the majority opinion in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, a 1978 decision that effectively invented a First Amendment 'right' for corporations to influence ballot questions. On social issues, he was a moderate, whose votes often surprised his backers."

"Addenda:

"Washington and Lee University has created this archive (pdf) of significant follow-up communications to the Powell Memo.
"On the occasion of the memo’s 40th anniversary, Bill Moyers’ website posted useful background and commentary."

********************

Conservatives have always hated democracy, and the idiotic bleating of their Sheeplets, who call our system "a republic, not a democracy," with little understanding of what they're parroting, has grated on our ears for decades.

For those who have doubted our belief that Conservatism is a vast, criminal plot, the Powell Memo helps prove otherwise.




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“When a nation’s young men are conservative, its funeral bell is already rung.”

Henry Ward Beecher.


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Friday, December 27, 2013

The 'Ticking Time Bomb' That Could Cause Such Rapid Global Warming We'd Be Unable to Prevent Extinction


Thom Hartmann's brief, yet alarming article at Alternet.org needs to be read by one and all and is the ninth installment of our articles on Climate Change (http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/search/label/climate_change.)

Called "The 'Ticking Time Bomb' That Could Cause Such Rapid Global Warming We'd Be Unable to Prevent Extinction, you might like to pass this around to your more literate friends and family.

Global warming and the ensuing methane gas released from its icy strongbox of the polar ice caps are the result of decades of industrial pollution, and this article by Mr. Hartmann should scare you to death -- if you have any more sense than the average Conservative Sheeplet...but on to the story:

"Our planet has experienced five major extinctions over the past billion or so years -- do we really want to launch an irreversible 6th?


"If, 250 million years ago, you were standing thousands of miles away from what is now Siberia in the first years of the Permian Mass Extension, probably the most you would notice is an odd change in the weather and a reddish hue in the northern sky. What you wouldn’t know, and probably your children wouldn’t even realize –although their grandchildren probably would – is that a tipping point had already been passed, and an extinction – an unstoppable one – was already underway.

"Extinction?

"What could get America’s leading experts on climate change to agree on something that the average American has probably never even heard of?

"Methane.


"Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and there are trillions of tons of it embedded in a sort of ice slurry called methane hydrate or methane clathrate crystals in the Arctic and in the seas around continental shelves from North America to Antarctica.

"If enough of this methane is released quickly enough, it won’t just produce 'Global warming.' It could produce an extinction of species on a wide scale – an extinction that could even include the human race.

"If there is a 'ticking time bomb' in our biosphere that could lead to a global warming so rapid and sudden that we would have no way of dealing with it, it’s methane.


"Our planet has experienced five major extinctions over the past billion or so years, times when more than half of all life has died in a geologically brief period of time, and the common denominator of each one has been a sudden pulse of global warming. Increasingly, it appears that a rapid release of methane played a primary role in each one.

"Back in 2002, the BBC documented how, just in the previous decade, geologists had by-and-large come to the conclusion that a sudden release of methane led to the death of over 95% of everything on Earth during the Permian Mass Extinction. That methane is back, probably in even larger quantities, as life has been so active since the last mass extinction.

"We laid out the scenario and its possible doomsday implications in a short video titled 'Last Hours' a few months ago. Since the world has been recently sensitized about methane, we’re now discovering more and more of it leaking from oil wells, fracking operations, melting permafrost, and even stirred up by Arctic storms.


"Just this week, the EPA reported they may have been underestimating by half the amount of methane being produced by human activity. Meanwhile, the National Science Foundation released a report in 2010 that methane releases from the Arctic have also been underestimated. The caption accompanying their graphic says it all too clearly: 'Methane is leaking from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf into the atmosphere at an alarming rate.'

"While methane does eventually degrade into carbon dioxide, when large amounts are released over a short time period, their effect on global warming can be dramatic, since methane is such a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

"Carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has passed 400 ppm, a number never before seen in human history, but we’ve also never seen methane releases on this order in human history. And, to a large extent, the naturally occurring methane releases are the result of that 400 ppm of carbon dioxide.


"While many of the methane releases are the result of fossil fuel extraction processes, the most dangerous ones – the ones that could lead to trillions of tons of methane escaping into the atmosphere and driving an extinction event – are from the melting of frozen methane clathrate crystals along the seabeds. And the process that drives that is global warming, principally driven by carbon dioxide.

"If we want to avoid an extinction that could approach or even rival some of the five past extinctions that have wiped out so much of life on earth, we must get control, quickly, of our man-made carbon dioxide and methane releases."

********************

(Thom Hartmann is an author and nationally syndicated daily talk show host. His newest book is The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America--and What We Can Do to Stop It. Criminalize Conservatism readers would profit by finding Mr. Hartmann's radio show and to read some of his books, like What Would Jefferson Do.)


It might strike some that the recent efforts by the Conservative class to destroy the economy, then pointing fingers at Progressives to then usher in the New Age of American Feudalism pale compared to the sudden extinction of most all living beings on the planet.

At the very least, "A release of methane in the Arctic could speed the melting of sea ice and climate change with a cost to the global economy of up to $60 trillion over coming decades, according to a paper published in the journal Nature," according to an article by Nina Chestney at Huffingtonpost.com.

We've warned Conservative leaders and their propagandists that when the tipping point of global warming becomes obvious to the populace that climate change deniers would be chased down the streets and hung from the nearest lamp post, but with the sudden effects of methane releases, people might not have the time.

Have we reached the tipping point?  Will new fallout shelters backed with centuries worth of oxygen-enriched storage tanks become popular with those that can afford them?  If not, we had better criminalize Conservatism and use the world's resources to stop the melting of the ice caps NOW.



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“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814.


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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bill Moyers: The End of Democracy


Yesterday's post by Bill Moyers, "We Are This Close to Losing Our Democracy to the Mercenary Class," is complemented by his essay today at the Dailykos.com, "Bill Moyers: The End of Democracy."

The LA Times recently published a piece, "A 'do-nothing Congress' for the record books?
The 113th Congress is on track to become the least productive in history, having sent fewer than 70 bills to President Obama for his signature
," and Moyers' story reminds us of that pitiful fact, that Conservatives can't rule and their reputation suffers even more when the tell the truth about their aims.


But on to the Master, Mr. Bill Moyers:

"So what got left out of the budget this year?
1. Unemployment Extension
2. Real infrastructure development/work relief actions
3. economy-stimulating alternative energy tax credits and subsidies
4. removal of fossil fuel subsidies
5. removal of tax loopholes for the ultra wealthy
6. removal of protections for offshore tax havens
7. Carbon tax and carbon reduction targets
8. increases in school lunch programs, child-care programs, elderly care programs
9. the increase of the social security ceiling to $500,000 annual income.
10. Comprehensive work toward a Constitutional amendment prohibiting private campaign financing
11. Comprehensive work toward a Constitutional amendment denying corporate personhood.
"Anything else?


"BILL MOYERS: We are so close to losing our democracy to the mercenary class, it’s as if we are leaning way over the rim of the Grand Canyon and all that’s needed is a swift kick in the pants. Look out below.

"The predators in Washington are only this far from monopoly control of our government. They have bought the political system, lock, stock and pork barrel, making change from within impossible. That’s the real joke.

"Sometimes I long for the wit of a Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. They treat this town as burlesque, and with satire and parody show it the disrespect it deserves. We laugh, and punch each other on the arm, and tweet that the rascals got their just dessert. Still, the last laugh always seems to go to the boldface names that populate this town. To them belong the spoils of a looted city. They get the tax breaks, the loopholes, the contracts, the payoffs.


"They fix the system so multimillionaire hedge fund managers and private equity tycoons pay less of a tax rate on their income than school teachers, police and fire fighters, secretaries and janitors. They give subsidies to rich corporate farms and cut food stamps for working people facing hunger. They remove oversight of the wall street casinos, bail out the bankers who torpedo the economy, fight the modest reforms of Dodd-Frank, prolong tax havens for multinationals, and stick it to consumers while rewarding corporations.

"We pay. We pay at the grocery store. We pay at the gas pump. We pay the taxes they write off. Our low-wage workers pay with sweat and deprivation because this town – aloof, self-obsessed, bought off and doing very well, thank you – feels no pain.

"The journalists who could tell us these things rarely do – and some, never. They aren’t blind, simply bedazzled. Watch the evening news – any evening news – or the Sunday talk shows. Listen to the chit-chat of the early risers on morning TV -- and ask yourself if you are learning anything about how this town actually works.

"William Greider, one of our craft’s finest reporters, fierce and unbought, despite a long life in Washington once said that no one can hope to understand what is driving political behavior without asking the kind of gut-level questions politicians ask themselves in private: 'Who are the winners in this matter and who are the losers? Who gets the money and who has to pay? Who must be heard on this question and who can be safely ignored?'


"Perhaps they don’t ask these questions because they fear banishment from the parties and perks, from the access that passes as seduction in this town.

"Or perhaps they do not tell us these things because they fear that if the system were exposed for what it is, outraged citizens would descend on this town, and tear it apart with their bare hands."

********************



Gerrymandering and voting fraud by the GOP operatives aside, 2014 may be the moment Progressives have been waiting for to actually accomplish something meaningful in Congress - but don't bet on it with money you can't afford to lose.

This site was started just over a year ago, and since then the depredations and arrogance of the GOP have become a joke to those who watch the political doings of the criminal class known as Conservatism.  From Bohner to Gohmert to Akins, the Conservatives in their cloud of hubris have finally shown their cards.

Who can forget the 2012 Presidential campaign, where the Conservative Dream Candidate actually told the truth about Conservative aims, a candidate dripping with arrogance who was the epitome of the successful Conservative, openly hiding his assets overseas and refusing to disclose his tax returns?

We noted at the time that no Conservative since John Adams got beaten so badly by Thomas Jefferson had any Conservative dared to speak the truth about the underlying Conservative belief, that the Elites should rule over the 98 percent.

And no Conservative will dare do it again for at least the next several hundred years - unless we finally eliminate the scourge of Conservatism by finally making it illegal.

2014 is truly right around the corner and the mudslinging and the lies from the Conservatives will accelerate until Election Day, the only way the GOP will be able to retain the House aside from gerrymandering and fixing the vote.  If the Democrats are able to take the House and re-elect the Democrats in 2016 along with a Progressive President, the next step is to finally rid the Supreme Court of the pestilential Fascistic Five, and then we may be able to cease publishing - but like we said, don't bet on it with money you can't afford to lose.



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“Conservatism discards Prescription, shrinks from Principle, disavows Progress;
having rejected all respect for antiquity, it offers no redress for the present, and
makes no preparation for the future.”

Benjamin Disraeli.


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