Sunday, July 25, 2010

If He Were In Al Qaeda...

Last Sunday, Bryon Williams loaded up his car with guns and body armor and headed to the San Francisco offices of ACLU and the Tides Foundation. He was sick and tired of them and was going to send a message. Thankfully, the police stopped him in a shootout. More fortunately, the only injuries policed suffered were from broken glass. Police have said that Williams may not have been acting alone.

While it's possible that others may have been involved in aiding him or he may have been a part of a small group of malcontents on a lower level, the overall issue of him "acting alone" is not in question. Like Scott Roeder, Williams is yet another member of the Cult that just couldn't take it anymore.

The 45-year-old Groveland man has a history of anti-government and anti-corporation behavior, and a deep-rooted hate for liberal causes, authorities said. He reportedly ranted at one point about "the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items," according to published reports.

Railroading through left wing agenda items? That's The Cult 101, baby.

Talking Points Memo has a story about how Glenn Beck has spent a lot of time discussing the Tides Foundation. No doubt, it's possible that this group will become another ACORN...falling victim to libel and entrapment in what clearly is the Cult goal of destroying any social causes. Beck has described at length how the real agenda behind Tides is more sinister.

The Tides Foundation, they started laying the groundwork on this back during the Reagan administration. They have been assembling an army that we have laughed at and have dismissed as a bunch of community organizers. "These people are bullies," Beck said. "These people are thugs."

Of course, Beck can't be held responsible for Williams' actions, right? I mean, it is OK to yell fire in a crowded theater, isn't it?

Of course it is in the land of the Cult. Sharon Angle, the Cult nominee in Nevada running against Harry Reid, had this to say.

You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.

I hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.

Taking people out is what Sarah Palin talked about when she put up this map (left) of the United States which literally targets Congressional candidates. Silly me, though, I'm sure I'm just imagining all of this. And, naturally, I'm "just as bad."

Dan Gainor, the Vice President of the Media Research Center (a Cult group), offered $100 to anyone who punches Democratic Florida Representative Alan Grayson in the face. Following this comment, came a death threat to the Congressman's office which claimed that "10 people are going to kill Grayson in the next 24 hours."

But again, correlation does not mean causation. I mean, my lyin' ears and eyes must be fibbing up a storm because Williams is a "lone nut" who is just like all the liberal loonies out there...loonies who are encouraged by Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosito to hurt or kill people. Silly me (again). I must remember that there is balance and that there are two sides (hurling sound of Mark throwing up in his mouth) to every story.

Indeed, comparisons should always be drawn. Because if Williams were a member of Al Qaeda...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Still Running The Show

As blk and I drove home from the fantastic film "Inception," our conversation turned to politics as it usually does. BLK has been trying to get me off of the Cult meme and shift into defining the current form of the GOP as being more tribal. His points are very well taken. They do behave in quite a tribe like fashion and I may shift some of my views on this slightly. Perhaps a tribal cult?

One of the points we poured over in amusement was how The Tribe (let's just try it out for this post and see how it works:)) really has only one goal: to win the argument. They do this by desperately trying to prove anyone left of them wrong. We see this in comments all the time in regards to yours truly. There's not really much critical thinking on my posts--just the driving force of proving me wrong. That's all that really matters. Reality certainly doesn't matter.

The same thing holds true for the issue of racism. The Tribe will never admit their obvious racism and take any chance they get to accuse the left of racism. Sonja Sotomayor is racist, for example, and Rush Limbaugh is most certainly not. They take great delight in sifting and searching for any racist remark made by non white people. If they find even a kernel of one, whoops of delight are seen exploding all over the blogsphere, the radio and Fox News. "See? They're racist!! So that means we're not!!!"

Take a look at what happened with Shirley Sherrod. Right wing blogger Andrew Brietbart wanted desperately to prove that the NAACP is racist--he wanted to win the argument--so he put up an edited video of Sherrod reflecting on her own struggles with bias. It turns out that the much longer version of the video paints a much different picture. In no way did she harm any white farmers in Georgia.

This whole incident proves a few things. To being with, it proves blk's point about how the Tribe is really only interested in winning. They aren't interested in confronting these issues in a serious way. They simply want to point and accuse others of what is, in reality, their problem. It also shows how people like Brietbart and Fox News get to be complete dicks and get away with it. BLK and I discussed this as well. People like Rush and Glenn Beck can say whatever they want and be assholes. Even elected GOP leaders can be dicks. In their assholeishness, they have created a seemingly fool proof position in which all outcomes are desirable. If they are ass hats with no response from the left, then the left is weak. If there is a response, then it's "Look at the rabid and insane Lib!" See, people expect the GOP to be rabid and insane so it's OK when they do it.

Best of all, though, is we have yet another answer to Last in Line's question. How can you still bitch about conservatives when they aren't in power?

Because nutless monkeys like Ben Jealous listen to them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Eye of the Beholder

"Mark, you are a fuckwit. Obama has betrayed us."
I didn't say anything as he was ranting. Sometimes it helps to let people get it all out.
"He is going to drive this country into the toilet. He is a traitor."
Finally I had to say something. I'd heard this so many times.
"What exactly is he doing to betray us or our country?"
"Everything. All of his policies," he spat back at me.
"So what are you saying, then?"
"Mark, Barack Obama is not a socialist. He's not a Democrat. He's a fucking country club Republican. In fact, all of the Democrats have betrayed me and I've had it. I'm joining the Socialist Party of America. There are not liberals in the Democratic Party."

The preceding conversation took place in my family room two Sundays ago with a friend whom we will call Greg. Truly, it was one of the most bizarre ones I have ever had. Greg spent most of the night getting drunk and screaming to me about a variety of issues. Needless to say, he is not a very happy person. He blames everyone else for his problems and feels that he is entitled to..well...anything he wants. No doubt, he would be a poster child for Fox News and Rush Limbaugh as a fine example the stereotype of the left. Glenn Beck would make a shit load of Greg and were he ever to find himself in the spotlight, it would be a fantastic coup for the Cult.

Of course, the most amusing thing about the whole exchange was how similar it was to the ones I have with my conservative pals. Take out the word "not" and everything else contains the same amount of anger and hate. On the one hand we have a group of people that think Obama is a socialist spewing vitriol and then we have others like Greg who spew equally that he is not.

So is he?

Well according to this poll, 55 percent of Americans say that he is a socialist. But we all know that polls are not always accurate.

A recent article in my favorite news publication, The Christian Science Monitor, looked at this issue in depth. For I think the first time in any news story related to the "Obama is a socialist meme," someone actually asked (gasp!) some socialists what they thought.

"I have been making a living telling people Obama is not a socialist," says Frank Llewellyn, national director of the Democratic Socialists of America. "It's frustrating to see people using our brand to criticize programs that have nothing to do with our brand and are not even working."Adds Billy Wharton,co-chair of the Socialist Party USA: "I am not even sure he's a liberal. I call him a hedge fund Democrat."

This jibes with what I have been saying all along. Politically speaking, he bears quite a bit more in common with Dwight Eisenhower than the socialists. The real problem is this:

What Mr. Johns [Heritage Foundation], Mr. Gingrich, and others brandishing the "socialist" s-word are really complaining of is a return to the policies of John Maynard Keynes, the English economist who advocated vigorous government involvement in the economy, from regulation to pump priming, says labor historian Peter Rachleff of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn."Socialism suggests getting rid of capitalism altogether," says Dr. Rachleff. "Mr. Obama is not within a million miles of an ideology like that."

That's pretty much where I am at although I think in the current environment, Kenyes is woefully outdated. The current financial overhaul is certainly a step in the right direction. Let's see if it actually goes back to controlling private industry more effectively as was the case with Glass-Steagall. This control means no more making money by changing the rules and/or engaging in criminal activity...which is why Johns, Gingrich and other Cult leaders are so pissed off.

Invariably, when this topic also comes up, we hear stories of the federal government and GM. This is where the Cult spins its yarns.

The government has already used its ownership stake to impose sweeping mandates and regulations on the companies, such as closing hundreds of dealerships, he says."They forced changes in management that should more properly have been left to the company's private shareholders," says Johns.

Not true, according to GM. The US did not exert pressure to close the 1,100 shuttered dealerships, says spokeswoman Noreen Pratscher. "The government has taken a very hands-off approach."

A "hands off" approach? Well, that simply won't do. How dare GM say that the government has been hands off. That's not in the script!!!! Noreen must be a Feminazi. Or a Marxist. Or Hitler. Just pick one.

And what about AIG? That's got to be a great example of Obama's socialism. The federal government owns 80 percent of it, right? That is socialism.

There are two flaws in this theory, however. First, the takeover was actually begun under George W. Bush. Unless he is also secretly a socialist, the whining about Obama running AIG seems silly in light of this fact. Second,

The takeover of an ailing company whose collapse might ruin the US economy is not socialism, says Van Gosse, a Socialist and historian at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. "Let's just say AIG was profitable, and you thought it was better if it was in public hands. That would be socialistic."

Yep. So, what exactly is Obama if not a socialist?

"FDR tried all kinds of things and was accused of all kinds of things," says Tom Cronin, a presidential scholar at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. "But in retrospect, he is someone who helped capitalism survive."

If President Obama is successful, that is exactly what he will be as well: The Savior of Capitalism...much to the chagrin of my pal Greg. I guess I better hide my liquor the next time he comes over.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Papers please, Juden

So, let me see if I have this straight. Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the rest of the Democrats are all Nazis who are going to enslave us all and put our population into re-education camps. But Jason "JT" Ready is not a Nazi, is a true patriot, and will keep us all safe.

Apparently, Mr. Ready spends his days, along with some other members of the National Socialist Movement, patrolling our border for any illegals. "We're not going to sit around and wait for the government anymore," Ready said. "This is what our founding fathers did."

Hmm....haven't I heard that somewhere before? Verbatim?

Ready, a 37-year-old ex-Marine, is different. He and his friends are outfitted with military fatigues, body armor and gas masks, and carry assault rifles. Ready takes offense at the term "neo-Nazi," but admits he identifies with the National Socialist Movement.

I don't know about the rest of you but just the mere action of cutting and pasting this paragraph gave me an erection.

And he hates the term "neo-Nazi" but does identify himself with the National Socialist Movement? Makes perfect sense to me:)

Ready said he's planning patrols throughout the summer."If they don't want my people out there, then there's an easy way to send us home: Secure the border," he said. "We'll put our guns back on the shelf, and that'll be the end of that."

Isn't that the same thing that Sarah Palin said in the video I put up here a few days ago?

I wonder if Ready is enough of a meta-thinker that he might--just might--grasp Manzi's thoughts on immigration.

We should reconceptualize immigration as recruiting. Assimilating immigrants is a demonstrated core capability of America's political economy — and it is one we should take advantage of. A robust-yet-reasonable amount of immigration is healthy for America. It is a continuing source of vitality — and, in combination with birth rates around the replacement level, creates a sustainable rate of overall ­population growth and age-demographic balance.

We should think of immigration as an opportunity to improve our stock of human capital.

Anyone think Ready and others like him will understand this?

I won't hold my breath.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Corporate Force A Go Go

BLK sent me this piece recently. The basic gist of it is that corporations are now using their tool (literal and figurative) known as the government to jail people for not paying debts. Many of these debts aren't really debts at all. Some were paid off long ago and then re-surfaced as still being owed because...well...private corporations are douche bags and want to fuck people over...draining every last cent out of them that they can.

"The law enforcement system has unwittingly become a tool of the debt collectors," said Michael Kinkley, an attorney in Spokane, Wash., who has represented arrested debtors. "The debt collectors are abusing the system and intimidating people, and law enforcement is going along with it."

Yeah, but it still must be all about government power, right Cult members? Even though, debtors prisons were abolished a long time ago, our plutonomy has resurrected them again in keeping with their aristocratic fantasies.

Here is the follow up which essentially illustrates the shriveled penis also known as our government attempting to do something about it.

No Doubt...

From his analyses of interaction in different groups, Georg Simmel concluded that groups often find it convenient to think of nonmembers or outsiders as somehow inferior to members of the group. But why does this familiar in-group/out-group bias develop? Simmel explained it as arising out of the intensity of interactions within the group, which leads its members to feel that other groups are less important. Once they have identified another group as inferior, it is not a great leap to think of its members as enemies, especially because doing so increases their sense of solidarity.

A perfect summation of how I am viewed/treated at TSM. Even more ironic considering that Simmel was a neo-Marxist and a contributor to the Frankfurt School.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What A Shame

For those of you cult members who have been spewing New Black Panther bullshit to me, or NBP (aka the new three letter acronym for Fox News), for the last week, take a look at this. Boy are you people fucking stupid.

Apparently, the decision not to file a criminal case on this matter occurred before Obama was even in office. The case was downgraded to a civil case ELEVEN DAYS BEFORE PRESIDENT OBAMA TOOK THE OATH OF OFFICE, TWENTY SIX DAYS BEFORE HOLDER WAS BECAME AG, AND NINE MONTHS BEFORE THOMAS PEREZ WAS PUT IN CHARGE OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION. I put this all in caps for those of you who have trouble understanding time and facts. So, the reality is that it was the Bush Administration that thought there was nothing much to this case at all. I guess that means they support the anti-white racism of the NBP, according to Cult logic.

The other thing that is just fucking hilarious about this whole story is that the precinct in which the "voter intimidation" occurred is a heavily Democratic district? Why would they intimidate their own voters? Unless they were simply a thuggish group of assholes, much like the Phelps buttholes, that have no relationship whatsoever with the Obama administration...except the fact that they are black.

Hmmm....I wonder if Cult members understand that black people don't all think the same...

As to why the Obama administration dropped the civil case, here is a pretty thorough explanation.

The decision not to further pursue the civil case reflected long-standing practice regarding Section 11(b), which prior to the Bush administration had last been used to stop a statewide voter-caging effort. The allegation that would have supported pursuing a broader case was the idea that there was a nationwide effort to place New Black Panthers at polling stations for the purpose of suppressing white votes -- the original complaint read that the NBPP "made statements and posted notice that over 300 members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense would be deployed at polling locations during voting on November 4, 2008, throughout the United States." The career attorneys recommended dismissing the case on the basis that there wasn't enough evidence to support that claim.

Seems pretty obvious and straight forward to me. But I know that Barack Obama was born in the United States.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I was just about to revise my numbers upward for GOP gains in the fall when three things happened.

First, some Rand Paul classics have surfaced with him discussing the evils of Social Security and Medicare. One of the gimme seats for the GOP has now become a neck and neck race with Dem Jack Conway polling even with Paul. Rand-O might want to consider that old people are usually the ones who vote in higher numbers and while many may hate the government, they love their Social Security and Medicare.

By the way, I'm still waiting for one of my conservative readers to explain to me what would've happened to all that Social Security money had it been privatized prior to 2008. Ed? Anyone?

Second, we have David Vitter, still the GOP nominee despite the fact that he admitted to having sex with prostitutes. Not a big deal for me because I think it should be legalized anyway but I have to laugh at the people that support him but yell about Tim Geithner not paying his taxes or Rangel's lawbreaking. It's not __________ when we do it!!

Anyway, ol' Dave had this to say about the birther lawsuits.

I support conservative legal organizations and others who would bring that to court. I think that is the valid and most possibly effective grounds to do it.

Wow. I wonder if this will affect his lead in the polls. And didn't President Obama already produce his birth certificate? I know...I know....I just don't get it.

But Michelle Bachmann certainly gets it. Appearing at a right wing conference in Colorado, Bachmann had this to say about our current leadership.

We will talk a little bit about what has transpired in the last 18 months and would we count what has transpired into turning our country into a nation of slaves.

I'm sorry but I have to laugh. I was raked over the coals for using the word "slaves" as a metaphor in a discussion about corporate power over at TSM and I have yet to hear a peep about Bachmann's use of the word. It's not ______ when we do it!!

Honestly, I really can't wait until the party really gets started after Labor Day. It's going to be a real treat to see these three, Palin, and Engle saying things on camera.

And my numbers stay the same...20 lost in the house and 5 in the Senate.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Return of The Son of Corporate Force

In comments, I recently asked the question

What happens when that individual liberty is threatened or taken away by private corporations?

to which I got the following responses.

"I'll go first, but I'm sure your last comment will be brutalized. "

"Oh lawdie, lawdie, you aren't going for another Corporate Abuse are you? Seriously, that horse is DEAD."

"1. The Federal government's job is to limit the use of fraud or force. If a private corporation tries to persuade you or pressure you economically to give up your freedom, it is not the government's job to forcibly curtail your freedom to be a dumbass."

"2. I have yet to see you demonstrate where a private corporation has curtailed freedom through fraud or force except through the agency of government. So "step in" and do what, exactly? Defend the corporation that has already bought them out, as evidenced by the fact that they are already able to use government as an agency of force against you?"

"You got anything but a handful of bullshit?"

"Show me an example where a private corporation has curtailed freedom and we'll talk."

Sure. Let's talk.

A while back I came across this piece regarding the situation in Mossville, Louisiana. I didn't write anything about it because I wanted to see how some things played out first but here is the gist of what is going on. Apparently, several companies including Citgo, Firestone and PPG industries have turned this area of our country into a toxic wasteland. To be quite frank, they have killed people. And our government has done nothing about it for DECADES.

Now, to be fair, they haven't exactly curtailed freedom in the strictest sense of the word...that is, of course, if you consider being dead being "free." From my standpoint, living a life free of cancer would be a nice freedom to have. Sadly, that is not the case for the residents of Mossville.

"I got cancer. My dad had cancer. In fact, he died of cancer. It's a lot of people in this area who died of cancer," says Herman Singleton Jr., 51, who also lost two uncles and an aunt to cancer.

Singleton and many others in this predominantly African-American community in southwest Louisiana suspect the 14 chemical plants nearby have played a role in the cancer and other diseases they say have ravaged the area.

For decades, Mossville residents have complained about their health problems to industry, and to state and federal agencies. Now with a new Environmental Protection Agency administrator outspoken about her commitment to environmental justice, expectations are growing.

As of this writing, the only "justice" they have received has come in two forms. The first was winning a hearing before the International Commission on Human Rights which means basically zilch to corporate America.

African-American residents of Mossville, a community just west of Lake Charles, have won a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on charges that the U.S. government has violated their rights to privacy and racial equality in not forcing local chemical plants to stop polluting.

Racial equality? Oh boy...that's going to drive the Cult into an apoplectic rage:)

Mossville is adjacent to 14 chemical plants and refineries that release millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into the air, land and water each year, according to federal and state records. Several of the companies and their predecessors have been involved in releases of chemicals that have eaten the paint off cars, killed bushes and trees in people's front yards, and polluted adjacent waterways.

Wow. It sounds like their lives are filled with freedom....

The second form of "justice" was the EPA getting off their asses and agreeing to do testing to see if Mossville qualifies for Superfund assistance from the government. But all that would do is pay off the residents and help them relocate. The 14 companies that are operating there would continue merrily along. Take a look at this report which contains details and data of what they have been up to around Mossville. This report was from 13 years ago! And now something is finally being done?

One of my favorite commenters, Ed Heckman, wrote this in another thread.

How many times do we have to tell you that one of the legitimate purposes of government is to prevent the use of force and fraud before you understand that we mean that force and fraud are wrong, and that therefore, we are NOT promoting a completely unregulated market?

I guess what I'm wondering in regards to the Eds of our country is if the government's job is to prevent force, which in this case is essentially forcing people into ill health and death, AND if our government has become overrun by Socialism/Marxism/Fascism, where exactly is the government when it comes to Mossville? What would you have them do?

The reality is that Mossville is yet another example of how the massive deregulation of the last 30 years has removed government protection and allowed corporations to act as they desire. If people like Ed are not promoting a completely unregulated market, why is it that they support interests that allow the Mossvilles of our country to happen? And don't think for a moment that this is the only area of the country where corporations get to do whatever they want.

Take a look at this map and see how your state ranks.

But the real disconnect from reality that I don't understand will surely come in comments for this post. I was asked to show an example of how a corporation has curtailed the freedom of individual citizens. I have now done that and have called for the legitimate action by government (that has done NOTHING) to stop this horrendous situation that has been going on for decades. What does this mean?

Basically, I'm a Marxist.

Friday, July 09, 2010


One would think that the Cult has plenty of things to rip President Obama on these days. Jobs are still in Shitsville...AfPak is a mess...there are still a gazillion gallons of oil spilling into the Gulf...

But no. Oh no. What are they upset about?

Muslims are taking over space. Outer space, that is.

I was left this in comments recently.

And help me understand (through a liberal prism) why the head guy at NASA said this on Al Jazerra TV- "When I became the NASA administrator -- or before I became the NASA administrator -- he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering," Bolden said in the interview.

First of all, the "head guy" is Charles Bolden. Let's try to use names and not sound like a secondary character from the film Idiocracy. Second, so what? Islam has made historic contributions to science. Pick up a fucking history book and read all about it. A simple Google search will show you how their advances in math, physics and a whole host of other disciplines changed our world. So, he's right. We do have a lot to thank them for in regards to their contributions. Although, most of that thanks should be given to those Islamic scientists from 8th to the 13th centuries. I'm certain a scant few would respond positively as a great deal of their culture is now run by their own versions of Dick Cheney.

But that doesn't mean that they are "taking over space" as was intimated in this comment which, naturally, came from a variety of Cult information sources. "Muslims Threat To Space" and "Killer Niggers Go Free" are the two latest stories that are causing their undercarriages to turn decidedly unfresh. I don't get it. They have so much to go after Obama on and have the potential to take back many seats in both houses Congress this fall. Why are they on about this drivel?

Oh, that's right. Silly me. Their ideas have no practical application in reality which leads to the obvious conclusion that they have no real solutions.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Hurry Up!! Hurry Up!!!

Most of you know that I'm a big fan of Paul Krugman, Nobel prize winning economist and professor at Princeton. For the most part, his take on economic health of our country is the same as mine.

But I have to disagree with him in one of his latest columns entitled The Third Depression. To be honest, his "sky is falling" theme which dominates this piece reminds me quite a bit of the Cult's insistence that they are going to be sent to re-education camps.

We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.

How does he know what is going to happen? I know he is an expert but nearly all of the experts were way off the mark on all economic doings in the last two years.

And this third depression will be primarily a failure of policy. Around the world — most recently at last weekend’s deeply discouraging G-20 meeting — governments are obsessing about inflation when the real threat is deflation, preaching the need for belt-tightening when the real problem is inadequate spending.

With only a small amount of the TARP money spent, why do we need to spend more money? Shouldn't we see what happens when all of it gets spent? The other issue that I'm wondering if Krugman is taking into account is where exactly the money is being spent. It seems to me Krugman is being pretty naive if he thinks that all of it is being spent to bolster our economy.

I guess I'm a little hesitant to accept more spending as the answer especially when it is backed up by such a "hurry up or we're all dead" meme. He is right about one thing, though. Completely going the other direction and embracing our inner Hoovers is also not the answer.

As far as rhetoric is concerned, the revival of the old-time religion is most evident in Europe, where officials seem to be getting their talking points from the collected speeches of Herbert Hoover...Why the wrong turn in policy? The hard-liners often invoke the troubles facing Greece and other nations around the edges of Europe to justify their actions. And it’s true that bond investors have turned on governments with intractable deficits. But there is no evidence that short-run fiscal austerity in the face of a depressed economy reassures investors. On the contrary: Greece has agreed to harsh austerity, only to find its risk spreads growing ever wider...

So I don’t think this is really about Greece, or indeed about any realistic appreciation of the tradeoffs between deficits and jobs. It is, instead, the victory of an orthodoxy that has little to do with rational analysis, whose main tenet is that imposing suffering on other people is how you show leadership in tough times.

I agree with this point. Comparing us to Greece is ridiculous as I have said before and cutting taxes is certainly not the answer although letting the cap gains tax cuts expire won't amount to much in the way of increased revenue...just less loss...though it will be nice to reverse this complete failure of an idea.

To me, Krugman seems over the top with his call for more spending. I agree that listening to the Cult on what to do about the economy is a very bad idea. That's what got us into this mess in the first place. But going spend happy isn't the solution either. In the final analysis, if people want less government involvement in the corporate world then it's really up to the private sector to unfuck themselves from their casino mentality and start practicing sound business again.

Given human nature, I'm not sure this can happen.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


I have always wondered why Rasmussen polls seem to be so off from other polls. Now I have my answer, courtesy of Andy over at

...the largest "nonpartisan" pollster is Rasmussen, who now works for Fox News. While Fox is theoretically a news organization, it has a definite slant on the world, that say, ABC News does not have. There is no evidence that Rasmussen makes up numbers, but there are other issues here. In particular, most pollsters, including Rasmussen, have a model of the electorate and normalize their polls to it. Very briefly, suppose Rasmussen believes that the set of likely voters (which is very different from the set of registered voters and very, very different from the set of people over 18) is 40% Republican, 30% Democratic, and 30% independent. If an actual poll turns up 200 Republicans, 200 Democrats, and 200 independents, he will weight each Republican respondent by 40/33, each Democratic respondent by 30/33 and each independent by 30/33 to compensate for the bad mix in his small sample.

So, when you see the daily Gallup poll, for example, running Obama's approval at about even (46-45 percent with 9 not sure. BTW, how can you be not sure? This country really sucks.....can't people just have a fucking opinion?) and Fox News has it at 47-45 yet Rasmussen has it at 45-55, we now know why. Rasmussen weights their demographics differently than other polls do with more people Republican in their eyes. Add in the fact that they ask question differently than other polls do to elicit a more conservative response. Here is an example.

Suppose that Democrats agreed on a health care reform bill that is opposed by all Republicans in Congress. Should the Democrats pass that bill or should they change the bill to win support from a reasonable number of Republicans?

Wow, that's cool.

I think it's a safe bet to say that Obama's approval rating is below 50 percent and will stay there until people start to feel better about their lives. There is nothing he can do about this. Our economy is seeing only minimal gains and probably will for some time. Again, there is nothing he can do about this because, as I have mentioned many times of late, the government is neutered.
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Monday, July 05, 2010

A Sad End To Tradition

It is my sad duty to report that the Onion is no longer publishing fictional farce.

Area Man Passionate Defender Of What He Imagines Constitution To Be

"Our very way of life is under siege," said Mortensen, whose understanding of the Constitution derives not from a close reading of the document but from talk-show pundits, books by television personalities, and the limitless expanse of his own colorful imagination. "It's time for true Americans to stand up and protect the values that make us who we are."

Wow. Did they nail it or what? It gets better.

"Men like Madison and Jefferson were moved by the ideals of Christianity, and wanted the United States to reflect those values as a Christian nation," continued Mortensen, referring to the "Father of the Constitution," James Madison, considered by many historians to be an atheist, and Thomas Jefferson, an Enlightenment-era thinker who rejected the divinity of Christ and was in France at the time the document was written. "The words on the page speak for themselves."According to sources who have read the nation's charter, the U.S. Constitution and its 27 amendments do not contain the word "God" or "Christ."

Hee hee....I'm giddy....

He believes that each detail he has pulled from thin air—from prohibitions on sodomy and flag-burning, to mandatory crackdowns on immigrants, to the right of citizens not to have their hard-earned income confiscated in the form of taxes—has contributed to making it the best framework for governance "since the Ten Commandments."

Paging TSM commenters....

Mortensen's passion for safeguarding the elaborate fantasy world in which his conception of the Constitution resides is greatly respected by his likeminded friends and relatives, many of whom have been known to repeat his unfounded assertions verbatim when angered.

Verbatim? Uh oh...

"The freedoms our Founding Fathers spilled their blood for are vanishing before our eyes," Mortensen said. "In under a year, a fascist, socialist regime has turned a proud democracy into a totalitarian state that will soon control every facet of American life."

The Onion completely nails The Cult. Well done, ma'ams and sirs....well done!!!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Independence From....?

Happy4th of July, Americans. 26 percent of you don't know what country from which we declared our independence according to this new poll.

This 26% includes one-fifth who are unsure and 6% who thought the U.S. separated from another nation. That begs the question, “From where do the latter think the U.S. achieved its independence?” Among the countries mentioned are France, China, Japan, Mexico, and Spain.

I can only do so much, checked out parents. Start giving a shit about the basics. Meanwhile, can we have high stakes testing for civics and history now? Pretty please?