Saturday, November 30, 2013

Reagan: The Sick, Mean Old Man of The Right

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Callista Gingrich speak during a tribute to former president Ronald Reagan at the final day of the Republican National ConventionPhoto by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

We left you yesterday with the exhortation, "There oughta be a law!," and we open with the same plea as we present today's article by Robert Sobel at the Examiner.com, "The GOP's 'Trickle Down' Economy Has Destroyed The American Middle Class," followed by his companion article, "Exposed!: Digging Deep Into The GOP Lies About Ronald Reagan And Social Security."

The first article, posted a little over six months ago:

"The American economy is improving, but not moving along fast enough for the American people. While the stock market has reached record highs and a budget surplus projected to fall to a five year low, low and middle income Americans are still not feeling the progress.

"With an unemployment rate at its lowest levels in four years, more Americans are finding their way back to work, but the quality of work they are finding is not promising. According to economists at the Royal Bank of Scotland, a new study found that half of the jobs created in the United States since 2010 were 'low paying' jobs. The study defines low paying jobs as paying 80 percent or less what the average private sector worker makes, $20.04/hr. For sake of the survey, half the jobs created in the last three years paid their employees $16/hr or less.

"Republicans and Democrats in Washington and around the water cooler often point blame at each other, but to find the real seed of economic destruction, you need to look back in history over thirty years ago.

"When Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980, the United States was hoping for real change. Carrying 44 out of 50 states, Ronald Reagan defeated incumbent president, Democrat Jimmy Carter, in a landslide. In addition to Reagan moving into the White House, the Republicans gained control of the United States Senate for the first time in 28 years, signaling the start of the 'Reagan Revolution.' During his first inaugural address in 1981, Reagan said those famous words that would lay the foundation for future conservative arguments: 'government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.'


"When Reagan came into office in 1980, the top tax rate was 70%. After his first term, the top tax rate had been cut to 50% and by the time he left office in January of 1989, the top tax rate was down to only 28%. Revenue into the federal government was cut so significantly, basic programs could no longer be funded. Even with less money for the country to spend, Reagan decided to increase military spending. In projected 2005 dollars, defense spending hit $456.5 billion by 1987, compared to only $325.1 billion in 1980, the year Reagan was elected.

"While Reagan cut taxes drastically on the top income earners, the wealth didn't 'trickle down' like Republicans had promised. In 1981, Ronald Reagan signed into law the Economic Recovery Actwhich was said to reduce revenues by $749 billion over the next five years. After Reagan signed the massive tax cut, unemployment began to increase. In 1982, Reagan needed to gain additional revenue and signed the largest tax increase in American history, the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982. As 1982 came to the close, November and December shared an unemployment rate of 10.8%, the highest unemployment since 1948.


"Ronald Reagan raised taxes 11 times, primarily on the middle class, and under the advice of the Chairman of the Federal reserve, Alan Greenspan, Reagan increased the Social Security tax rate and added a gas tax. By the time Reagan left office he had tripled the national debt and left his Vice President, George H.W Bush, to handle the economic mess himself when he took over the presidency in 1989. George H.W Bush ran on the campaign message of , 'read my lips, no new taxes,' but with the large debt at his feet, he was forced to renege on his promise and raised taxes.

"Republicans were furious with Bush and in the 1992 election, he lost to Democratic challenger, Bill Clinton. After eight years in office, President Clinton was able to get the United States fiscal problems under control and handed George W. Bush a surplus when he became president after a controversial defeat of Al Gore in 2000. With a surplus in hand, President Bush decided to cut taxes not once, but twice in 2001 and 2003. As with Reagan, the tax cuts primarily helped the wealthy and did very little for working Americans and small businesses.

"In addition to big spending projects like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and passing an unpaid for prescription drug plan, President Bush was also close with the man appointed by Ronald Reagan as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan. Greenspan had been a driving force in helping to deregulate the banks in the United States and mortgages were being offered to Americans who weren't in the position to take them on. Greenspan championed the 'sub prime' mortgage, which let low and middle income Americans seem like they could afford a home because of the low rates, but as the years went on the rates would rise, leaving the homeowner without the ability to pay.


"While the Republican party has changed over the years, conservatives from Reagan to Bush do have things in common. The attack on unions started under Ronald Reagan when the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) went on strike demanding better working conditions, better pay and a 32 hour workweek. Union members also didn't want to be included in the civil service clause which banned government unions from going on strike. After calling their bluff, Reagan fired 11,345 workers who refused to return to work and sparked an attack on unions that continue to this day. As union membership has declined, income for working Americans, union and non union, has declined. Conservatives have molded the word 'union' into a four letter word, turning low and middle class workers against each other as the wealth has continued to concentrate to the top.

"With union membership in decline, American workers have seen their jobs being outsourced to other countries. Companies decided that to maximize profit they would buy cheap labor in third world countries instead of paying hard working Americans a fair wage. On his last day in office, President Hover passed the 'Buy American Act' in 1933 which required the United States government to buy American made products, but left it too vague and gave the ability to hand out wavers to businesses. Starting in the 1980s, waivers were being handed out at a faster pace, continuing the attack on the American worker by utilizing cheap labor outside of the country.

"The Republican party has created a 'battle royal' economy with 'battle royal' economics, where every man and woman is fighting for themselves. As the top 1% has seen their income increase sharply over the last thirty years, the average American has seen their wages remain stagnant. The American people need to stop fighting among themselves and fight for the rights guaranteed to them under the United States Constitution by our Founding Fathers."

And now on to Sobel's second piece, posted just last month:


"'Ponzi scheme!', 'bankrupt', 'liberal conspiracy'. These are terms you often hear from the Republication party and radical conservatives when describing the Social Security program. The issue with those terms is that they're all false. Whether it's your conservative uncle around the dinner table, conservative mouth pieces like Rush Limbaugh or the Tea Party members of congress, these flat-out lies are being told across the country.

"Social Security is important in people's lives, especially retirees who rely on these benefits. Social Security is not part of the budget and doesn't contribute one nickel to the national debt. Social Security is part of a payroll tax, which is 100% solvent until the year 2038, and can pay out over 80% of the benefits until 2085. Social Security, from its creation under one of our countries greatest presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, has been one of the most successful programs the government has ever provided its people.

"While Social Security is solvent for the short-term, there are long-term issues with the program that stem from situations that occurred over thirty years ago. In the 1980s, Republican President Ronald Reagan cut tax rates drastically. In 1980 the top tax rate was 70%, which was cut to 50% by 1984 and finally down to 28% by the time Reagan left office in 1988. Supply side economics, or 'Reaganomics,' was the economic system that Reagan used and was the idea that giving wealthy Americans more money would create jobs which would then 'trickle down' to other Americans.

"The supply side theory didn't exactly work as planned and Reagan needed a way to make up for the loss in revenue. Reagan ended up tripling the debt while congress raised the debt limit 18 times during his presidency without hesitation. With the lack of revenue coming into the government, Reagan needed a way to keep his fiscal house in order. In addition to raising the debt limit, Reagan also raised taxes multiple times and he did it on the middle class by attacking Social Security.

"In 1987, Ronald Reagan appointed veteran business man Alan Greenspan to become Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Before he stepped into his new job, Greenspan already had a big impact on American economics . Under the advice of Greenspan, Reagan took money from the Social Security trust fund to help pay down the debt. The payroll tax was raised in 1983, and the government spent the surplus of Social Security each year to help pay down the giant debt that Reagan created by giving the wealthiest Americans more money each year with the promise of 'job creation' for the middle class.


"When Republications scream about 'big government spending' today, they fail to mention that their party was a major reason behind our debt getting out of control. When it comes to Social Security, we need toeliminate the "cap" that is on the program, which is currently set at $110,100. Anyone who makes more than $110,100 doesn't get taxed for Social Security on their additional income. A person making a million dollars is only paying into the Social Security system about 10% of their income, compared to someone making $50,000 a year who is taxed for Social Security on 100% of their income. Shared sacrifice? Not so much.

"The 'golden child' of the Republican party, Ronald Reagan, was the man who started the problems for Social Security and conservatives have been scaring the American people, especially the elderly, ever since. With current Republicans wanting to privatize Social Security, seniors would have to gamble and put their retirement years in the hands of Wall Street. Social Security is solvent, but we wouldn't even be having the discussion about its future if it wasn't for Ronald Reagan and those who follow in his footsteps."

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


We've written extensively about Reagan, the Teflon President who escaped indictment over the Iran-Contra scandal by using his B-Movie talents to exhibit signs of his advancing Alzheimer's Disease.  Check these out:




If you're interested in more articles about the vicious, mean old man called "Ronnie," just enter "Reagan" in the search box on the top left of the site...if you qualify as a "Reagan Democrat," you'll be in for a surprise.


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“I wonder how many times you have to be hit on the head before you find out who’s
hitting you? It’s about time that the people of America realized what the Republicans
have been doing to them.”

Harry Truman.


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Friday, November 29, 2013

Conservative Pundit Admits Republicans Lie About Everything And Crazy Conservative Contradictions


We celebrate Black Friday with a twofer, "Conservative Pundit Admits Republicans Lie About Everything," and "Crazy Conservative Contradictions."

The first article is by Randle Aubrey at Addictinginfo.org, and the second is by Justin "Filthy Liberal Scum" Rosario at the same site.  Both articles illustrate our main thesis that Conservatism, through their front group, the Republican Party, MUST lie to voters.

We've learned over the past year how Conservatives must continually lie and dream up false issues that the leadership places little credence in, just for the consumption of their Sheeplets.

Why?  Because the underlying basis of Conservatism is the protection and advancement of the wealthiest among us, those that seek to rule us in their dreamworld of a New American Feudal Age, and in a participatory democracy, no one would vote for any GOP candidate, since denying the rights of the voter in place of the rule of the elites is not a good selling point, even with the uninformed voter...but on with the first piece posted about a month ago:

Did right-wing pundit Ben Domenech just tell MSNBC’s Chris Hayes the GOP is built on a foundation of lies? Here’s a moment the liberal media missed. Photo from Ben Domenech’s facebook page.

"Paper Tiger Politics: Conservative Pundit Admits Republicans Lie About Everything."

"This one’s a bit late in the telling, but still worth mentioning: Last week, Ben Domenech of The Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank, appeared on MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes to talk post-shutdown politics. In a moment of startling journalistic integrity, Chris Hayes, clearly annoyed after fending off the usual set of conservative talking points from Domenech, had this to say:
"'These hucksters tell you things that are false. They lie to you. Ted Cruz lies to you. Heritage Action lies to you. Everybody lies to you. There is a whole cottage industry before the election to tell you, you are winning the election, they are losing. They tell you, your ideas are popular when they are not. They tell you your party is winning when it is not. They tell you the president is losing this and he looks terrible because people are storming the WWII memorial — At what point do grass roots conservatives stop allowing their leadership to lie to them?'
"But the clock ran out before Chris Hayes could address an even more striking remark from Ben Domenech.

"I’ve got to hand it to Hayes for taking Ben Domenech to task; the journalists who do are canaries in a coal mine, their career deaths a warning to the others to either turn back or tread lightly. Sadly, his question was asked in the relatively safe, final moments before commercial, failing to leave time for Domenech’s even more striking admission to be properly addressed.
"'Well, I think that you have to keep in mind, the leadership lies to themselves, as well. They lie to themselves about their ability to control the situation. They lie to themselves about the ability to offer an alternative approach from the senate side that they could take it up by the house at the get-go. I think that essentially you are seeing a lot of people who are lying to each other about the nature of the policies and nature of the political strategy that they are employing.'
"Did Ben Domenech just say the Republican party is built on a foundation of lies?

"While Ben Domenech’s words are somewhat convoluted from a certain degree of backpedaling, their meaning their meaning should be quite clear. The Republican party is built on a foundation of lies, and they lie about everything, even when they don’t have to. As a party that defines themselves not by what they are for but what they are against, without their lies, the Republicans have nothing. Nearly every policy position they have put forward in recent decades has done massive damage to our economy and our prosperity. In addition, GOP-led policies have caused incalculable human suffering both here and abroad. Ben Domenech and other right wingers cannot ever admit to this, for to do so would seal their doom. This is why conservatives have shifted the debate away from ideas and over to facts in the public square; doing so allows them to maintain an appearance of being selfless and productive, while making sure their paper tiger politics still have teeth.

"Ben Domenech’s remarks seem to have gone largely unnoticed in the liberal community. One can never predict what will go viral in the Digital Age, but I believe it’s safe to say that, regardless of the level of exposure this nugget of truth receives, this misstep will condemn him to a life of political obscurity from now on. After all, glitches in the Matrix cannot be tolerated, even minor ones. Rest assured, there’s a wide, shallow pool of conserva-clones waiting to take his place, and each one of them in turn will eventually become a glitch in the narrative. But as long as we keep track of these aberrations as they occur, and add them to the growing list of right-wingers caught in their own web of lies, we can, in time, pin the paper tiger to the wall."

Conservative Sheeplets may offer some rubuttal, but the truth has come from a Conservative operative.  And how do Conservative leaders and propagandists handle the lies?  Not too well, according to the second article, written earlier this year, "Crazy Conservative Contradictions.":



"There’s a reason liberals look at conservatives like they might be insane. Often, a conservative will say one thing and then, almost immediately, contradict it. Pointing out the contradiction often angers the conservative who then accuses you of either being 'stupid' or 'twisting their words.'

"But, because it’s funny to look at crazy people, let’s take a look at Crazy Conservative Contradictions:

"1. There is no need to regulate corporations! The free market dictates that all corporations will act in the best interest of the consumer or be put out of business by the 'Invisible Hand.'


"The Conservative Contradiction: Corporations only exist to make money. You cannot expect them to do anything that will interfere with the bottom line. They cannot concern themselves with environmental issues or customer safety if it is more profitable to ignore them. You, as the consumer, need to be more careful!



"2. Corporations should have all the rights of a person. They should be free to exercise their First Amendment rights and buy influence elections just like any other citizen of the United States.



"The Conservative Contradiction: Corporations are not people so they cannot be treated like any other citizen of the United States. You can’t arrest them for manslaughter or negligent homicide even if they DID add known carcinogens to that baby food on purpose.

"Ultimate Contradiction: Unions (basically, a group of people pooling their resources) should not be allowed to influence elections. It corrupts the democratic process.



"3. You should never try to organize labor. That’s selfish. Unions extort money from corporations, inflate the salaries of workers and give them unearned benefits like maternity leave and pensions. Union workers are greedy and do not care about the companies they work for. The fact that they are paid so well is a sure sign that they are wrong.

"The Conservative Contradiction: How dare you try to limit CEO pay and severance packages?! Those people work hard and earn every penny they get, even if they drove the company right into bankruptcy! So what if they took billions of tax payers’ money to stay afloat, they still deserve those bonuses!



"4. All liberal celebrities should shut the hell up. They don’t know what they’re talking about and should leave politics to politicians. Liberal celebrities aren’t real Americans anyway because they’re from Hollywood!

"The Conservative Contradiction: Here to explain to you how liberal policies are unpatriotic and probably illegal are Victoria Jackson, Kelsey Grammer and Jon Voight.



"5. The Government cannot create any jobs at all and can never reduce unemployment, only the private sector can do that.

"The Conservative Contradiction: The Government has too many people on its payroll; we have to reduce the number of public sector jobs.

"Ultimate Contradiction: See how many public sector jobs we’ve lost under Obama? He made unemployment worse!



"6. We really invaded Iraq to get rid of a terrible dictator and it had nothing to do with 9/11.

"The Conservative Contradiction: Why is Obama invading Libya?! To take down a terrible dictator?! How is that our problem?!



"7. Osama bin Laden was responsible for 9/11 because he gave the order to carry out the attack.

"The Conservative Contradiction: President Obama can’t take ANY credit for the death of Osama bin Laden because all he did was give the order to carry out the attack.



"8. Any journalist, politician or private citizen that questions President Bush during a time of war is a traitor.

"The Conservative Contradiction: During this time of war it is our patriotic duty to question President Obama about every little detail of his agenda.



"9. Providing billions in tax-payer money to people in dire financial straits is Socialism and will lead to the destruction of the country.

"The Conservative Contradiction: Providing trillions in tax-payer money to banks in dire financial straits is Capitalism and will lead to the salvation of the country.



"10. We must protect innocent fetuses by any means necessary. Terrorism and assassination is justifiable because we are protecting children!

"The Conservative Contradiction: Providing pregnant women with medical care and proper nutrition is a burden on the tax-payers and we can’t afford it. We need that money to fight terrorism!



"11. Islam is a religion of terrorists! They murder innocents in the name of Allah and that’s just wrong! That’s why we’re better than they are!

"The Conservative Contradiction: All homosexuals should be put to death! They are the work of Satan! If we cannot pray away their gay then we must do as the Jayzus commands and stone them to death!



"12. My freedom of religion is absolute! It says so right there in the Constitution! You can’t restrict my right to worship where and how I want!

"The Conservative Contradiction: Those damn Muslims keep putting up mosques wherever the hell they want! Who do they think they are?! That should be illegal!



"13. The Constitution is inviolate! Why are liberals always trying to shred the Constitution?!

"The Conservative Contradiction: We should just ignore the 14th Amendment! It allows anchor and terror babies! We have to protect ourselves from the furrners!



"14. Damn liberals always trying to select activist judges that will just 'interpret' the Constitution however they want to fit their Socialist agenda! The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing and we should also follow their intent, not just make it up as we go along!

"The Conservative Contradiction: Citizens United? I think the Supreme Court did a fine job of interpreting the Constitution to fit our much more complex times, don’t you?


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


Yup, the GOP is "built on a foundation of lies,  and they lie about everything, even when they don’t have to," according to their own spokesperson.

And like all lies they come back to chomp on the liar's posterior.

We can take that statement and extrapolate two things from it to understand what Conservatives say each and every day: 1.) Everything a Conservative says is a lie, because 2.) Conservatism is the mouthpiece of the richest and greediest among us.

One of the more interesting contradictions in number 10 illustrates yet again why there is no compromise on the abortion issue:  Progressives wonder how Conservatives can rail against abortion, yet kill infants through taking away funds for their care, and Conservatives maintain that they wonder why Progressives want more funds for infant care while killing the unborn.

And the answer lies in the definition of a viable life, already settled law by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, yet like any law they hate, it is a law that they relentlessly seek to dismantle.  This leads us to number 14, where we see that Conservatives always try to break the laws they and their corporate masters don't agree on.

There oughta be a law.



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“Latins for Republicans – it’s like roaches for Raid.”

John Leguizamo.


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Thursday, November 28, 2013

15 Things Everyone Would Know If There Were A Liberal Media, Redux


As promised yesterday, we present "15 Things Everyone Would Know If There Were A Liberal Media" by "Guest Writer" at Addictinginfo.org:, a repost of an article we printed a few months ago, sprinkled with a few more graphics, with a link to an Ed Schultz rant, and a link to a great article by The Nation.

It's a topic that never gets old.:

"Prince Riebus (and apparently many others) still thinks there’s a liberal media.


"While I share Prince’s frustration with the media, as a liberal, I’d like to go on record and state that the media isn’t focusing on issues I care about. They seem to be far more focused on entertainment and making money.

"Don’t believe me?

"1. Where the jobs went.


"Outsourcing (or offshoring) is a bigger contributor to unemployment in the U.S. than laziness.

"Since 2000, U.S. multinationals have cut 2.9 million jobs here while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg, as multinational corporations account for only about 20 percent of the labor force.

"When was the last time you saw a front-page headline about outsourcing?

"2. Upward wealth redistribution and/or inequality.


"In 2010, 20 percent of the people held approximately 88 percent of the net worth in the U.S. The top 1 percent alone held 35 percent of all net worth.

"The bottom 80 percent of people held only 12 percent of net worth in 2010. In 1983, the bottom 80 percent held 18 percent of net worth.

"These statistics are not Democratic or Republican. They are widely available to reporters. Why aren’t they discussed in the 'liberal' media?

"3. ALEC.

"If there was a corporate organization that drafted laws and then passed them on to legislators to implement, wouldn’t you think the 'liberal' media would report on them?

"The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is such an organization. Need legislation drafted? No need to go through a lobbyist to reach state legislatures anymore. Just contact ALEC. Among other things, ALEC is responsible for:
  • Stand Your Ground laws
  • Voter ID laws
  • Right to Work laws
  • Privatizing schools
  • Health savings account bills which benefit health care companies
  • Tobacco industry legislation
"Many legislators don’t even change the proposals handed to them by this group of corporations. They simply take the corporate bills and bring them to the legislative floor.

"This is the primary reason for so much similar bad legislation in different states.

"They’re meeting in Chicago this weekend. Maybe the 'liberal media' will send some reporters. (Note: the article was published on August 10th.)

"4. The number of people in prison.


"Which country in the world has the most people in prison?

"You might think it would be China, with over a billion people and a restrictive government, or former Soviets still imprisoned in Russia.

"Wrong. The United States has the most people in prison, by far, of any country in the world. With five percent of the world’s population, we have 25% of the world’s prisoners – 2.3 million criminals. China, with a population four times our size, is second with 1.6 million people in prison.

"In 1972, 350,000 Americans were in imprisoned. In 2010, this number had grown to 2.3 million. Yet from 1988 – 2008, crime rates have declined by 25 percent.

"Isn’t anyone in the liberal media interested in why so many people are in prison when crime has dropped?

"5. The number of black people in prison.


"In 2009, non-Hispanic blacks, while only 13.6 percent of the population, accounted for 39.4 percent of the total prison and jail population.

"In 2011, according to FBI statistics, whites accounted for 69.2 percent of arrests.

"Numbers like these suggest a racial bias in our justice system.

"To me, this is a much bigger story than any single incident like Travyon Martin. Or, at the very least, why didn’t the 'liberal media' ever mention this while covering the Martin story?

"6. U.S. health care costs are the highest in the world.

"The expenditure per person in the U.S. is $8,233. Norway is second with $5,388.
Total amount of GDP spent on health care is also the highest of any country in the world at 17.6 percent. The next closest country is the Netherlands, at 12 percent.

"As a liberal, I’d like to ask why the market isn’t bringing down costs. I’d think a “liberal” media might too.

"7. Glass-Steagall.

"Glass-Steagall separated risky financial investments from government backed deposits for 66 years.

"The idea is simple. Banks were prohibited from using your federally insured savings to make risky investments.

"Why is this a good idea?

"Risky investments should be risky. If banks can use federally insured funds, there is no risk to them. If they win, they win. If they lose, we cover the cost.

"Elizabeth Warren does a great job explaining this to the “liberal news” desk at CNBC:

"8. Gerrymandering.


"When was the last time you saw a front page headline about gerrymandering?

"Before the 2010 election, conservatives launched a plan to win control of state legislatures before the census. The idea was to be in power when national congressional districts were redrawn in order to fix them so Republicans would win a majority of districts.

"The Redistricting Majority Project was hugely successful. In 2012, Barack Obama was elected President by nearly 3.5 million votes. In Congressional races, Democrats drew nearly 1.4 million more votes than Republicans yet Republicans won control of the House 234 seats to 201 seats.

"How is this possible?

"By pumping $30 million into state races to win the legislatures, Republicans redrew state maps in states such as Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Florida and Ohio to place all of the Democrats into just a few districts.
In this manner, Democrats win heavily in a couple districts and lose the rest.

"In North Carolina, the statewide vote was 51 percent Democrat and 49 percent Republican yet 9 Republicans won and only 4 Democrats.

"Where is your coverage of this vote stealing, “liberal media?” You’re willing to cover voter ID laws; why can’t you cover real vote stealing?

"9. The number of bills blocked by Republicans in Congress.


"The filibuster has been used a record number of time since Obama was elected President. From 2008-2012, 375 bills weren’t even allowed to come to a vote in the Senate because Republicans threatened the filibuster.

"In 2013, during the first six months, Congress has only passed 15 bills that were signed into law. This is eight fewer than in the first six months of 2012 and 19 fewer than 2011.

"Also, until the Senate recently threatened to reform the filibuster, the GOP had succeeded in holding up 79 of President Obama’s picks to the U.S. Circuit Court and Courts of Appeal. They’re blocking these appointments regardless of qualification.

"Where’s the coverage? Where are the reporters asking why nothing is getting done?

"* crickets *

"10. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

"In a 2011 Hart poll, only 22 percent of those polled had actually heard of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision before taking the survey.

"If 77 percent believe that corporations have more control over our political process than people, why isn’t the liberal media talking more about the Citizens United decision?

"11. Nixon’s Southern Strategy.


"The Southern Strategy is a strategy for gaining political power by exploiting the greatest number of ethnic prejudices. Kevin Philips, Republican and Nixon campaign strategist, speaking about this strategy in a 1970 interview with the New York Times:
"From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.
"This strategy has been used since President Johnson and Democrats in Congress passed the Civil Rights Act to build the Republican party. Examples of this strategy were evident as recently as 2008 and 2012 as Republicans took up their assault on Medicaid, Social Security, labor unions, and Obamacare – programs which, though they benefit more white seniors, retirees, women, and children, have been sold to many Americans as handouts to lazy, undeserving blacks and minorities.

"Yet you never hear the 'liberal media' (at least since the 1970 NY Times) talking about the use of this strategy. At least not like this:
"'P (President) emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.' - H.R. Haldeman’s diary, President Richard Nixon’s White House Chief of Staff
"12. Tax cuts primarily benefit the wealthy.


A progressive tax program is designed to tax people very little as they are starting out and progressively increase their rates as they do better.

"Republican plans seem designed to do exactly the opposite: shift the tax burden off of the wealthy and onto working people.

"Take the repeal of the estate tax. In Ohio this was recently repealed by Republicans. The benefit is only realized by people with estates larger than $338,000 (as the first $338k was exempt) and realized most by people with even wealthier estates.

"This also explains why Republicans want to shift the system from income taxes to consumption taxes. Consumption taxes are paid most by those at the bottom as basic consumption remains the same regardless of income.

"It also explains why capital gain taxes are so low. Income through capital gains is only taxed at 20 percent (increased from 15 percent in 2012) instead of at the rate of other income (closer to 35 percent).

"It also explains why Republicans were so willing to let the payroll tax cut expire. The payroll tax cut benefited people who were getting paid, not those issuing the paychecks. How much fight did you see to save this tax cut?

"While tax cuts are sold to us as benefiting everyone, they really benefit a select few at the very top.

"If everyone knew who tax cuts really benefit, would so many people vote for them?

"13. What’s happening to the bees?


"This seems like an odd one to include, why is this important?

"The Agriculture Department says a quarter of the American diet depends on pollination by honeybees.

"Dating from 2006, colony collapse disorder is a relatively new problem. More “liberal media” coverage might push the urgency of the issue.

"Instead here’s a typical media story about bees: Thousands of Bees Attack Texas Couple, Kill Horses.

"14. The impact of temporary workers on our economy.

"The number of temporary workers has grown by more than 50 percent since the recession ended to nearly 2.7 million.

"If freelancers, contract workers, and consultants are included, the number is nearly 17 million workers not directly employed by the companies who hire them. This equals 12 percent of the workforce.

"What’s the impact of a 'just in time' workforce on workers and our economy? How about that for a story 'liberal media?'

"15. Media consolidation.


"Six corporations – Time Warner, Disney, News Corporation, Viacom, Comcast, and CBS -control roughly 90 percent of the media in the U.S.

"These companies are in business to make a profit.

"This is why you’ll find plenty of advertisements in the media. Entertainment? Check. Sports? Definitely. Weather? Yep.

"You’ll also find plenty of 'if it bleeds, it leads' stories designed to hook you in. Vendors, witnesses recall Venice hit-and-run horror. Fort Hood trial turns bizarre as shooter grills witnesses.

"There’s also plenty of political bickering: Democrats said this, Republicans said that. We let you decide (but we never weigh in with any facts or fact-checking).

"What won’t you hear? You won’t hear the 'liberal media' discuss the corporate media.


"What to make of this

"If the media were 'liberal,' it would serve the public interest and shine a light on issues like the ones above.

"More people would also have a better understanding of global warming, peak oil, population growth, political lobbying, government’s role in a functioning economy, how much we spend on the military, and countless other issues.

"What you’re more likely to see in the media, however, are stories designed to get you to buy their paper, or watch their show, or listen to their radio station. If it bleeds, it leads. This is why the media is concerned with scandal, celebrities, gossip, and fear.

"If anything, our news consists of paid advertisements and outlets too scared of offending anyone to publish much of substance. Investigative journalism is also expensive; entertainment is cheap.

"The way this corporate media behaves may not be surprising. I apologize if you feel any of this is beating you over the head.

"This Buzzfeed-style list wasn’t intended to introduce this idea as new (others have done a much better job), but rather to highlight the sheer absurdity of a 'liberal media' for an audience who may not see it.

One way to approach the topic is to simply ask: If we have a “liberal media,” where are the liberal stories?"
(Origninally posted by Adadjian to Daily Kos on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 05:02 am.)

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

A video by Ed Schultz blasts the media, saying "Get off your asses and do your job," here --> (http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/10/30/ed-schultz-liberal-media-obamacare/)

15 Things We Should Know is, of course, a drop in the bucket.  Climate change, the drop in the middle class predicated by the War On Unions, GOP Vote suppression and manipulation, the role of the gun merchants in the NRA, GOP racism, the effect of the revocation of the FCC Fairness Doctrine, the origin of the GOP house organ Fox News and the Tea "Party," the SCOTUS Five's criminality, "... peak oil, population growth, political lobbying, government’s role in a functioning economy, how much we spend on the military, and countless other issues," - and of course, the criminality of Conservatism - the list goes on and they are all the issues the uninformed voter has no concept of...and unfortunately, no interest in.

The intransigence of the media is no surprise.  Although journalists are mostly liberal, the publishers are not.  Who is old enough to remember a Labor Column in their local newspapers?

The article referenced  "others (who) have done a much better job," but the lengthy article by The Nation, "What Liberal Media?," "...adapted from Eric Alterman's "What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News (Basic)," published in February is a must-read for anyone who doubts the truth of the headline."


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“I like that about the Republicans; the evidence does not faze them, they are not
bothered at all by the facts.”

Bill Clinton.


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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

5 Christian Right Delusions and Lies About History


Amanda Marcotte's story at Alternet.org, "5 Christian Right Delusions and Lies About History," caught our eye last week but we were busy with our Psychology of Conservatives series to post it, and it's a must-read article for those curious about the strange religion of the Tea Baggers:

"5 Christian Right Delusions and Lies About HistoryThey're not just delusional about science!"

"The Christian right is most known for their denial of inconvenient science, but in many respects, they’re just as bad when it comes to the facts of history. After all, no matter what the topic, they know they can just make stuff up and their people will believe it. So why not do the same when it comes to political history?

"Here are five examples.


"1. Joe McCarthy was a good guy. A new and extremely toxic myth is beginning to percolate in on the Christian right: Insisting that Sen. Joseph McCarthy, a paranoid alcoholic who saw communist subversives in every corner, was actually an upstanding guy fighting for God and country. In 2003, Ann Coulter published a book she claims vindicates McCarthy, but its impact wasn’t felt until 2010 when the Christian right members who stack the Texas State School Board tried to get the pro-McCarthy theories into Texas school books.

"Christian right fanatics attempted to claim that McCarthy had been vindicated by something (wrongly) called the 'Verona papers' (they're actually named the 'Venona papers'). There is a Venona project that has reputed historians who show that the Soviets did have spies in the country, but saying that means McCarthy was right is like saying I’m right to call your mother a serial killer because there are serial killers in America. Harvey Klehr, one of the experts working on the Venona project, denounced Christian right efforts to exploit his work to vindicate McCarthy, noting that McCarthy mostly just fingered innocent people in his paranoid haze.

"The new information from Russian and American archives does not vindicate McCarthy. He remains a demagogue, whose wild charges actually made the fight against communism more difficult. Like Gresham’s Law, McCarthy’s allegations marginalized the accurate claims. Because his facts were so often wrong, real spies were able to hide behind the cover of being one of his victims and even persuade well-meaning but na├»ve people that the whole anti-communist cause was based on inaccuracies and hysteria.

That the Soviets spied on the U.S. is neither surprising—not even to liberals—nor indicative that the communist witch hunts were an appropriate response. The Christian right’s interest in rehabilitating McCarthy probably has less to do with readjudicating the anti-communist cause and more to do with their modern-day obsession with promoting paranoid liars in the McCarthy mold to leadership positions. If they can instill the idea that McCarthy was vindicated by history, it will be easier to argue that the current crop of politically powerful right-wing nuts such as Michele Bachmann and Ted Cruz will actually 'be proven right by history.' But McCarthy wasn’t and neither will they be.


"2. What the Founding Fathers believed. 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.'

"Barton has convinced the right to believe in their fervent wish that the Founders were religious and even theocratic with quote-mining and outright lying. He likes to whip out this John Adams quote: 'There is no authority, civil or religious — there can be no legitimate government — but what is administered by this Holy Ghost.' Problem? Adams was summarizing the opinion of his opponents; that wasn't Adams’ view at all.

"Barton’s reputation took a hit recently. His most recent book, which tried to portray Thomas Jefferson as a 'conventional Christian' who wanted a religious government, was so bad that even his Christian publisher decided to reject it. But according to Politico, that’s just a small setback and Barton is quickly being restored to his position as an authority on history for gullible right-wingers. So that means his lies continue to grow and spread in right-wing circles—such as the completely made-up claim that the Constitution (which only mentions religion to insist the government stay out of it) is based on the Bible.


"3. God’s protection. If you believe the lie that the Founders intended this to be a religious nation and that secularism is only a recent development, it’s not much of a leap to decide next that God, in his anger, has turned his back on the United States. And therefore that bad things are happening to us because he doesn’t protect us anymore.

"You see this belief throughout the Christian right all the time. Every bad thing that happens is blamed on God removing his 'hedge of protection' from the U.S. to punish us for turning our back on God in recent decades.School shootings. Global warming. Hurricanes. 9/11.

"The problem with this theory should be obvious: If God is turning away from America because we’re supposedly becoming more secular, then things were better back in the day. But when was this supposed Eden of American life supposed to have happened? During the Civil War? The Gilded Age of abusive labor practices? The Great Depression? WWI? WWII? Bad things are always happening, so the notion that they can only be blamed on God’s irritation with us sinners now makes no sense at all.


"4. Roman civilization. The Christian right doesn’t just like to lie about our own history; they lie about other nations, too. A popular theory on the right is that the Roman Empire 'collapsed' because growing decadence and liberalism caused people to, I don’t know, be too busy screwing to govern. It’s always a little hazy, but the formula is standard: Romans started having a bunch of sex, stuff fell apart, warning for America. Not a day goes by that you don’t hear this theory floated.

"The problem with that theory is it makes no kind of sense. It’s not really right to suggest there was some kind decline in 'moral values,' by which the Christian right means sexual prudishness, at all. Romans were pretty uptight.The rumors that they turned all perverted and debauched were made up by Christians trying to smear pagan culture. Rome didn’t really 'fall' in the sense the Christian pundits mean, anyway. It was more a gradual decline of centralized power.

"Anyway, the decline coincided with the rise of Christianity, which under the 'God’s protection' theory means that God was punishing Rome for dropping paganism and adopting monotheism.


"5. French revolution. One problem with characterizing the American revolution as Christian instead of secular is that there was another one shortly thereafter, built on the same basic ideals, that was undeniably secular due to the aggressive attacks on Catholic power. If the French were so secular, how could the Americans not be? The answer to the conundrum is to lie and claim there was some kind of gulf between the ideals of the French Revolution and the American Revolution.


"Rick Santorum floated this theory at the 2013 Values Voters Summit, where he claimed the French revolutionaries were bad because they believed that rights and democracy stem from the social contract, instead of being handed down from God. Fair enough, though really the 'reason' is probably closer to how they would have described it at the time, but where he goes off the rails is to insinuate that they were rejecting the values laid out by their fellow revolutionaries in America when they did this. In reality, the arguments of French and American revolutionaries are nearly identical, echoing philosophers like John Locke who were trying to construct an ideal of rights and freedoms that is frankly secularist in nature."

(Amanda Marcotte co-writes the blog Pandagon. She is the author of It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments.)

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


As with all their pet beliefs, the Conservative beliefs in Christianity are horribly wrong, and created to attract the crazier and more suggestive types in our midst - the Ecumenicals and the Sheeplets.

Among those on the Left who have actually read the Bible, the Conservative Christians' ability to make up "facts" to fit their arguments is a staggering rewriting of history.  We've alluded to this ability in our Page, "Conservative Rhetoric," or "How To Master Conservative Political Arguments, In Six Easy Steps, Easily Defeating The Most Brilliant Liberal Opponents Without Raising A Sweat," but it still amazes us that the mainstream media completely ignores the blatant lies.

Without these lies, Conservatism would be a dismal failure since Conservatism is just a criminal cartel disguised as a political party, and ignoring idiocies like the Conservative interpretation of the Bible as well as real history books seems to be the Media's forte these days.

Next: What Else Would We Know If The Mainstream Media Was Honest?



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“Republicans are men of narrow vision, who are afraid of the future.”

Jimmy Carter.


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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Study: Right Twists Facts


We conclude our series on the psychology of Conservatism with another article by Chris Mooney from last year, this time from Salon.com, "Study: Right Twists Facts."

Subtitled, "A new scientific paper suggests political conservatives more likely than liberals to bend reality to their beliefs," the short article appeared shortly after ex-Congressman Todd Akin's infamous gaffe that led to the failure of his reelection.

The article is still timely and will always be timely, as yet another proof of the immorality of the Conservatives' faulty mindset - genetic or not:

"Last week, the country convulsed with outrage over Missouri Republican Rep. Todd Akin’s false suggestion that women who are raped have a special bodily defense mechanism against getting pregnant. Akin’s claim stood out due to its highly offensive nature, but it’s reminiscent of any number of other parallel cases in which conservative Christians have cited dubious 'facts' to help rationalize their moral convictions. Take the twin assertions that having an abortion causes breast cancer or mental disorders, for instance. Or the denial of human evolution. Or false claims that same-sex parenting hurts kids. Or that you can choose whether to be gay, and undergo therapy to reverse that choice. The ludicrous assertion that women who are raped have a physiological defense mechanism against pregnancy is just part of a long litany of other falsehoods in the Christian right’s moral and emotional war against science.


"In fact, even as Akin reaped a whirlwind of disdain and disgust, a new scientific paper has appeared with uncanny timing in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, underscoring what is actually happening when people contort facts to justify their deep-seated beliefs or moral systems. Perhaps most strikingly, one punch line of the new research is that political conservatives, like Akin, appear to do this significantly more than political liberals.


"In recent years, the field of moral psychology has been strongly influenced by a theory known as 'moral intuitionism,' which has been championed by the University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt. Dealing a blow to the notion of humans as primarily rational actors, Haidt instead postulates that our views of what is right and wrong are rooted in gut emotions, which fire rapidly when we encounter certain moral situations or dilemmas — responding far more quickly than our rational thoughts. Thus, we evaluate facts, arguments and new information in a way that is subconsciously guided, or motivated, by our prior moral emotions. What this means – -in Haidt’s famed formulation — is that when it comes to evaluating facts that are relevant to our deep-seated morals or beliefs, we don’t act like scientists. Rather, we act like lawyers, contorting the evidence to support our moral argument.

"But are we all equally lawyerly? The new paper, by psychologists Brittany Liu and Peter Ditto of the University of California-Irvine, suggests that may not actually be the case.


"In their study, Liu and Ditto asked over 1,500 people about their moral and factual views on four highly divisive political issues. Two of them — the death penalty and the forceful interrogation of terrorists using techniques like waterboarding — are ones where liberals tend to think the act in question is morally unacceptable even if it actually yields benefits (for instance, deterring crime, or providing intelligence that can help prevent further terrorist strikes). The other two — providing information about condoms in the context of sex education, and embryonic stem cell research — are ones where conservatives tend to think the act in question is unacceptable even if it yields benefits (helping to prevent unwanted pregnancies, leading to cures for devastating diseases).

"In the experiment, the subjects were first asked about their absolute moral beliefs: For instance, is the death penalty wrong even if it deters others from committing crimes? But they were also asked about various factual aspects of each topic: Does the death penalty deter crime? Docondoms work to prevent pregnancy? Does embryonic stem cell research hold medical promise? And so on.


"If you believe some act is absolutely wrong, period, you shouldn’t actually care about its costs and benefits. Those should be irrelevant to your moral judgment. Yet in analyzing the data, Liu and Ditto found a strong correlation, across all of the issues, between believing something is morally wrong in all case — such as the death penalty — and also believing that it has low benefits (e.g., doesn’t deter crime) or high costs (lots of innocent people getting executed). In other words, liberals and conservatives alike shaded their assessment of the facts so as to align them with their moral convictions — establishing what Liu and Ditto call a 'moral coherence' between their ethical and factual views. Neither side was innocent when it came to confusing 'is' and 'ought' (as moral philosophers might put it).

"However, not everyone was equally susceptible to this behavior. Rather, the researchers found three risk factors, so to speak, that seem to worsen the standard human penchant for contorting the facts to one’s moral views. Two of those were pretty unsurprising: Having a strong moral view about a topic makes one’s inclination toward 'moral coherence' worse, as does knowing a lot about the subject (across studies, knowledge simply seems to make us better at maintaining and defending what we already believe). But the third risk factor is likely to prove quite controversial: political conservatism.

"In the study, Liu and Ditto report, conservatives tilted their views of the facts to favor their moral convictions more than liberals did, on every single issue. And that was true whether it was a topic that liberals oppose (the death penalty) or that conservatives oppose (embryonic stem cell research). 'Conservatives are doing this to a larger degree across four different issues,' Liu explained in an interview. 'Including two that are leaning to the liberal side, not the conservative side.'


"There is a long-standing (if controversial) body of research on liberal-conservative psychological differences that may provide an answer for why this occurs. Conservatives, Liu notes, score higher on a trait called the need for cognitive closure, which describes a feeling of discomfort with uncertainty and the need to hold a firm belief, a firm conviction, unwaveringly. Insofar as a need for closure pushes one to want to hold coherent, consistent beliefs — and makes one intolerant of ambiguity — it makes sense that wanting to achieve 'moral coherence' between one’s factual and moral views would also go along with it. Conservatives, in this interpretation, would naturally have more conviction that the facts of the world, and their moral systems, are perfectly aligned. Liberals, in contrast, might be more conflicted — supportive of embryonic stem cell research, for instance, but nourishing doubts about whether the scientific promise we heard so much about a decade ago is being realized.

"In documenting an apparent left-right difference in emotional reasoning about what is factually true, the new paper wades into a growing debate over what the Yale researcher Dan Kahan has labeled 'ideological asymmetry.' This is the idea that one side of the political spectrum, more than the other, shows a form of biased or motivated assessment of facts — a view that Kahan rejects. Indeed, he recently ran a different study and found that liberals and conservatives were more symmetrical in their biases, albeit not on a live political issue.

"The question of why some researchers find results seeming to support the left-right asymmetry hypothesis, even as others do not, remains unresolved. But the new paper by Liu and Ditto will surely sharpen it. Indeed, Kahan has already weighed in on the paper, acknowledging that it provides evidence in support of asymmetry, but observing that in his view, the evidence against asymmetry from other research remains more weighty.

"The upshot, for now, is that it’s hard to deny that all people engage in goal-directed reasoning, bending facts in favor of their moralities or belief systems. But — to butcher George Orwell — it may also be true that while all humans are biased by their prior beliefs and emotions, some humans are more biased than others."


(Chris Mooney is the author of four books, including "The Republican War on Science" and "The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science—and Reality,"  MORE CHRIS MOONEY.)

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

To many of us, the fact that "conservatives tilted their views of the facts to favor their moral convictions more than liberals did, on every single issue" comes as no surprise, having dealt with their obstinancy in the face of facts and logic on political sites, message boards, and forums for over a decade.


As we end our series (for now), it should be noted that because of their resistance to facts and knowledge very few Conservative Sheeplets (one) are permitted on our Facebook site.

Their obstinancy in the light of reason and inductive logic becomes tiresome - and boring.



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“Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals.”

Mark Twain.


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Monday, November 25, 2013

10 Acts of Madness By Right Wingers This Week


We interrupt our series on the psychology of Conservatism to bring you this week's column by Janet Allon at Alternet.org, "10 Acts of Madness By Right Wingers This Week -- Limbaugh's Rape Fantasies Edition."

Subtitled, "From Hasselbeck's idiocy to a healthy dollop irrational Christian haters, the right definitely delivered their dose of crazy," Ms. Allon's column hits the mark yet again:

"There were lots of right-wing lunacies tossed around throughout the Conservoverse this week, but first on that filibuster thing:

"1. Rush Limbaugh managed to compare the change in the filibuster rule to rape


"We have a sneaking suspicion that Rush Limbaugh is looking for an excuse to talk about rape. Just a hunch. Sure enough, a rape analogy popped into this profoundly misogynistic man’s mind to explain his objection to the change in the filibuster rule. Here he is, playing the role of what he, and his gullible listeners think, is an eminently reasonable man:
"'Let’s forget the Senate for a minute. Let’s say, let’s take 10 people in a room and they’re a group. And the room is made up of six men and four women. OK? The group has a rule that the men cannot rape the women. The group also has a rule that says any rule that will be changed must require six votes, of the 10, to change the rule. Every now and then, some lunatic in the group proposes to change the rule to allow women to be raped. But they never were able to get six votes for it. There were always the four women voting against it and they always found two guys. Well, the guy that kept proposing that women be raped finally got tired of it, and he was in the majority and he was one that [said], "You know what? We’re going to change the rule. Now all we need is five." And well, "you can’t do that." "Yes we are. We’re the majority. We’re changing the rule." And then they vote. Can the women be raped? Well, all it would take then is half of the room. You can change the rule to say three. You can change the rule to say three people want it, it’s going to happen. There’s no rule. When the majority can change the rules there aren’t anything.'
"It’s a million kinds of wrong, starting with the presumption, when push comes to shove, men just want to rape women. Can you say 'projection?'
"h/t Media Matters

"2. Sorry, Elisabeth Hasselbeck is just a complete idiot


"The background: In a recent interview with the BBC, Oprah, the 'Queen of all Media,' said something mildly controversial, and mildly hurtful to old white racists. And, boy did Fox News have a conniption.

"Talking about President Obama, Oprah had the audacity to suggest that, 'There is a level of disrespect for the office that occurs, and that occurs in some cases and maybe even in many cases because he’s African American. There’s no question about that, and it’s the kind of thing that nobody ever says but everybody is thinking it.'

"Wha-a-a-a-a-t?

"That was bad enough, but it was this next part that really shook the Faux Newsians. She said that the issue of racism is largely generational. Specifically, she said that cultural prejudice in the U.S. will largely recede after the last generation of individuals have died off.

"'I said this, you know, for apartheid South Africa, I said this for my own, you know, community in the South — there are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die,' Winfrey said.

"Ooh, that hurts. Because Fox News has some young white people, and they’re still racist. So what’s their excuse? Supposedly, they were not marinated in racism. They chose this way of seeing things.

"Well, there was all sorts of frothing and foaming, and no one was frothier than Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who warned Oprah Winfrey that she 'undermines racism' by pointing out that some of President Barack Obama’s critics disliked him because of the color of his skin.

"Wait, undermining racism, that would be a good thing, right, at least in the parallel universe to Fox where there is a modicum of rationality. Surely, she misspoke. Let’s give her another chance to clear up that misconception. Her cohosts, Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade did keep the conversation going. 'There’s so much rude stuff toward 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in my lifetime,' Kilmeade said. 'Reagan was dumb, remember. George Bush was incompetent and illegitimate.' (Yeah, we’re with you so far, Mr. Kilmeade.) 'Bill Clinton, we know where he ended up with the Monica Lewinski stuff. Where was the racism there?' 

"Elisabeth’s turn to talk again: 'But this is someone as powerful as Oprah instilling fear in those that may come to critique policy under a cloak of racism when it may not be there. So again, it undermines racism when it does occur.'

"Oops, she did it again.

"3. Climate denying group compares U.N. talks about climate change to the Holocaust—immediately after saying there’s no comparison


"We know what you’re thinking. Oh no they di-int. Well, oh yeah, they did. But first, the head of the rabidly anti-science Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), wrote in a fundraising email unearthed by DeSmogBlog that nothing can be compared to what happened during the Holocaust at Aushwitz and Birkenau, which he had just visited. Certainly not the climate negotiations currently taking place in Poland.

"'There simply is no parallel,' he wrote.

"OK then, that’s that. Can’t be compared. Not going to do it.

"'Surely, the political and policy battles we are fighting cannot even begin to compare to the horrors represented by those camps,' he affirmed.

"Yes, yes. Why would anyone even go there?

"And yet, having said he mustn’t, go there he does:

"'Yet such examples from history are instructive to show just how far otherwise-civilized people can descend when they are gripped by false ideologies and twisted utopian ambitions.'

"'They reveal the loss of freedom, taken to its ugliest level.'

"'Right now, the UN is attempting to carry out what its climate chief last year termed "a complete economic transformation of the world."'

"And this is why, believers in freedom, haters of Holocausts, you should give our organization money. So that we can keep fighting science, progress, international cooperation.

"That’s it. That’s the argument. That’s all he’s got.

"h/t: salon

"5. Fox’s Charles Payne: Obama’s Arab Spring thwarted by eunuchs


"Fox News’ Charles Payne served two helpings of crazy when he spoke to a conservative audience recently: 1. President Obama has been trying to create an 'Arab Spring sort of thing' in America, because, of course, he’s a Muslim, and that’s just what they do, or is it wage jihad, we always forget.

"And 2. It didn’t work because even after Obama 'succeeded in creating the kind of climate that is an economic and rhetorical tinderbox,' Americans didn’t have the balls for it? And the reason for this ball-less state is Social Security disability benefits, which have turned young American men into 'modern-day eunuchs,' who Obama has 'castrated at the soul.'

"No, we don’t really understand it either.

"'This tinderbox has a limp wicket,' Payne continued, in an origastic climax of mixed metaphors. 'The White House is laying it on too thick. Consequently, that army of would-be rioters, well, they’re kinda chilling out, waiting for their next Xbox. They figured out how to game the system or they’re just going to sit in their parents’ basement, brooding.'

"Wait, so he wants an Arab Spring? Color us confused.

"If you enjoyed this little snippet, here is Wayne’s speech, via the Raw Story:

"6. OK Governor finds a clever way to defy marriage equality—deny everyone spousal benefits

"Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced this week that her state is going to have a little hissy fit. It will no longer allow any married couples to apply for spousal benefits at any state-owned National Guard facility, regardless of whether they're same-sex or opposite-sex. If gays want equal rights, then you know what? Nobody gets rights. So there!

"'Oklahoma law is clear,' Fallin said. 'The state of Oklahoma does not recognize same-sex marriages, nor does it confer marriage benefits to same-sex couples. The decision reached today allows the National Guard to obey Oklahoma law without violating federal rules or policies. It protects the integrity of our state constitution and sends a message to the federal government that they cannot simply ignore our laws or the will of the people.'

"Twenty-nine states have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, but nearly all of them have decided to comply with the federal rules on recognizing couples in the National Guard in terms of benefits.

"Fallin, no doubt was darn pleased with herself when she thought this one up. Heck, it might even stir up more hostility towards gay people. Wouldn’t that be a bonus?

"7. Alabama Rep. introduces bill to eliminate overtime pay


"This is nice. And just in time for the holiday season. Meet U.S. Representative Martha Roby, a.k.a. Cruella DeVille. While the Tea Partying 37-year-old is not fighting tooth and nail against people getting affordable healthcare, she’s coming up with ways to deprive employees and workers of their hard-won rights and protections.

"This week she introduced a resolution euphemistically called 'Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013,' which would endthe requirement of the Fair Labor Standards Act for employers to pay Time-and-a-Half to employees for every hour worked over 40 in one week. It’s called H.R. 1406, and here’s what the Congressional Budget Office has to say about it:
"H.R. 1406 would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide compensatory time for employees in the private sector. In lieu of overtime pay, employees could receive compensatory time off at a rate not less than one and one-half hours for each hour of employment for which overtime pay would otherwise have been required. Such compensatory time could be provided only in accordance with a collective bargaining agreement or with the consent of affected employees. The changes would be effective for five years after enactment of the bill.'
"Long story short: It’s another way for employers to exploit workers with long hours and less pay. Note the use of the word, 'flexibility,' which, when used by conservatives always affords more 'flexibility' to employers, not workers, flexibility to work people round the clock, say, without paying overtime. Kind of like 'right to work,' which is, of course, code for 'right to be exploited, worked to death and fired for no particular reason.'

"You know what would be good to take on next? Those silly laws against Child Labor.

"8. Baptist church official: Wives who are not subservient violate biblical law


"Equality in marriage is an abomination. We’re not talking LGBT rights here—although, of course, that’s an abomination too. We’re talking good old-fashioned heterosexual marriage. Husband and wife, cleaved to one another, as the bible somewhat creepily puts it. Not equal, this cleaving. Get it straight ladies.

"To avoid the dreaded equality between spouses, Russell Moore, president of the Baptist Church’s ethics and liberty commission, cautions married men from getting 'too close' to their wives.

"'Sometimes you have people who are preaching a false gospel to themselves in their homes,' he said, 'By men who aren’t loving their wives as themselves and wives who aren’t submitting to their husbands.'

"He did get around, as he always does, to denouncing same-sex unions as well. And same-sex unions where nobody is subservient—we can only assume that the concept would make his head explode.

"9. NC Christian school to require families to cast out gay relatives, and sign an anti-LGBT pledge


"It’s not really enough not to be gay, lesbian, bi-, or transgendered, you must vow to hate people who are, and vow not to be related to them. That’s the approach Myrtle Grove, a Christian private school in Wilmington, NC, plans to implement with its 'Biblical Morality Policy.' The policy would both allow the school to refuse admission to LGBT children, or children with any LGBT relatives at all, and to expel them if any relatives reveal those tendencies.

"And then those solely heterosexual families with no gay relatives or friends must sign on the dotted line swearing—so help them god—not to participate, support or in any way affirm 'sexual immorality, homosexual activity, or bisexual activity; promoting such practices; or being unable to support the moral principles of the school.'

"Icing on the cake? Salon reported that in spite of the blatantly discriminatory policy, Myrtle Grove will still be eligible for taxpayer-funded government subsidies in 2014.

"10. John Derbyshire: 12 Years a Slave is 'abolitionist porn,' and no, I haven’t seen it

Disturbed?  Nope, just the look of your usual bigot...

Being fired for being too racist for the National Review is its own kind of distinction, and maintaining that status requires constant stoking. Fortunately, for former National Review columnist John Derbyshire, it’s second nature. This week he sounded off about 12 Years a Slave, which he would never see, mind you, mostly because he does not like black people either in screen or in real-life. But he has no need, because he already knows how unfair this movie is to those nice white southern slave-owners, and also that it just won’t show the cheerier side of slavery. As Right Wing Watch reported, in his latest racist column, Derbyshire calls 12 Years a Slave'Abolitionist Porn.'

"Here’s an excerpt:
"'Plainly there was more to American race slavery than white masters brutalizing resentful Negroes. Slavery is more irksome to some than to others; and freedom can be irksome, too.'
"We’d like to add that murder, hatred and torture can be irksome as well. And some people rather enjoy being enslaved. Dare we suggest that Mr. Derbyshire might be enjoying some fetishistic, S&M porn of his own."

(Read more here.)

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Or just the usual criminal impulses...(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal)


In a similar column a month ago by Ms. Allon, "You Think You Knew Crazy? 10 Shockers from the Increasingly Unhinged Right Wing," we asked the same question, and today we have the same answer:  the "shocker" is that these clowns represent the criminal impulses of the leadership, filtered down to the Conservative Sheeplets, and pre-digested for consumption by a compliant Press.

And when Conservatism is finally defined as criminal, we won't have to listen to or watch the drivel that they spew on our airwaves anymore.




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"The intellectual debility of contemporary conservatism is indicated by its silence on
all important matters."

Christopher Lasch. (American historian, moralist, and social critic. 1932 – 1994.)


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