Monday, October 31, 2011

Hunter Is Quickly Becoming My Favorite @ The Daily Kos

Always on target, always acerbic, with a keen eye for the absurdity of the all situation, Hunter is quickly becoming my favorite blogger at the Daily Kos (with the excellent Joan McCarter).

Today, Hunter took it upon himself to dismantle a) the intellectual (?) confusion at Fox News over Halloween, and b) for the twofer, the apocalyptic stupidity and shamelessness of Republicans in Congress, in a story you have to read to believe: House to vote on reaffirming 'In God We Trust' motto: All other problems apparently solved

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Personhood Insanity

The "personhood" amendements referenda that, for a few years now, have been popping up in different states are a despicable example of the way in which insane religious beliefs are morphed into a political tactic to help a party (the Republican Party, of course) and are a step toward a theocratic state, the disclaimers of such referenda's proponents notwithstanding.

Theocracy is not simply the imposition of religious rule over secular rule. That, of course, would be bad enough in a modern, civilized society. The real danger of theocracy is that it seeks to establish the rule of indefensible myths and unfounded belief over reason and science. And because modern theocrats have become more despicable and astute in their tactics, they have understood that it is important to camouflage their evil intents as science. Hence the unscientific drivel that is intelligent design is presented as a viable alternative to the scientific theory of evolution. Hence those who oppose the curbing of human activities that are taken as a very likely factor in the increase of global warming (a likelihood expressed in scientific terms to a 90% degree of certainty) do so with the pretext of conducting better science.

The theocrats' tactics are typified in these "personhood" amendments, which when you think about it have little meaning when the Party that supports them also support the ridiculous concept of "corporate personhood". Take for example the despicable referendum on the ballot in Mississippi. While the text of the amendment itself does not specifically mention science, the website set up by the amendment's supporters poses as scientifically sound. Falsehoods and misleading facts are presented in such a way that would have the ignorant believe that science backs the fantastic notion that a fertilized egg should be accorded the same rights that humans gain after birth. Keep in mind that the fertility specialists community view this as a laughable notion, since most fertilized eggs do not implant into the uterus or develop further.

Note that abortion would not be the only casualty of the passage of Amendment 26 in Mississippi; Many forms of contraception would be banned as well (for example the "day after" pill, under the unscientific pretense that every fertilized egg represents the first step toward human life. That would be true, if only it weren't scientifically false.

I invite to go over at the Daily Kos and read Kaili Joy Gray's excellent post, The Personhood Amendment: Rights for eggs but not for women for an expanded discussion of why this theocratic fantasy only shows that a majority can be of the Right and often be wrong, particularly if they are ignorant and/or dupes, the way most religiously-motivated voters are about scientific matters.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A New Category

I have decided to create a new category to underscore Republican mischief in knowingly using either made up stats, or factually inaccurate data, to goad their stupid electorate into following them to the brink of disaster and beyond. The new category/label is going to be named "M.O.E.", which does not stand for "margin of error", as the statistically savvy among you might have logically guessed, but for "margin of evil", which is the threshold of inaccuracy that no disreputable Republican fears to trespass in his/her pursuit of unfettered personal or corporate power.

So welcome, "M.O.E. (margin of evil)", our newest labeling category.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Aren't Against All Capitalism

There is an excellent piece on the Huffington Post that everybody who is mindlessly pooh-poohing the Occupy Wall Street movement and repeating the hateful, mindless drivel that the right's bullshit-emitting volcanoes, Rush Bimbo and Faux News, are making up of whole new cloth, day in, day out. (Yes, I do have in mind more than a couple of friends/acquaintances who fall in the category of mindless pooh-poohers. Not to say that none of them has a mind. Unfortunately some do, which makes them pretty evil in my book).

Anyway, you should read the whole post, Not Here To Destroy Capitalism, But To Remind Us Who Saved It. And here's an excerpt, to get your appetite for intelligence up:
Kristof's right to suggest that the Occupiers aren't "half-naked Communists aiming to bring down the American economic system." This isn't the "Project Mayhem" of Chuck Palahniuk novels -- we're talking about a movement that's spurring people to move their money from "too big to fail" banks into credit unions. That's not exactly "smash the system." That's more like a group of people seeking out a means to maximize their power within the system, or using consumer choice to preserve, enhance and improve the best parts of the system. As Matt Taibbi notes in a fitting companion piece to Kristof's, "These people aren't protesting money. They're not protesting banking. They're protesting corruption on Wall Street." [Emphasis added]

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

If You Read Nothing Else For The Rest Of The Year, Read This

Go to The Daily Kos, and read A Voice From the 1%. It speaks about the perspective of the Occupy Wall Street movement as seen from a person who "made it" in life.

I was particularly moved by this passage, which is obvious to those with an ounce of perception and intellectual ability, but not to the typically brainwashed right-wing American:
I was not amazed but disgusted when John Boehner and his crew tried to justify the extremity of their position by rebranding the wealthy as "job creators." While true in a very basic sense, it obscures the fact that jobs are a cost that is voluntarily incurred only as a result of demand. Hiring has no correlation at all to profits or to income - none. Let me keep more of my money without increasing customer demand and I will do just that - keep it. Perhaps I will spend a little more of it, though probably not, but even if I do it won't help the economy very much. Here is another secret of the well-to-do: we don't really buy much more stuff than everyone else. It may be more expensive stuff, sure, but I don't buy cars, or appliances, or furniture, or anything else more frequently than the average consumer. The things I do spend more money on are services such as travel, entertainment, restaurants and landscaping, none of which generate well-paying middle class jobs. There, in a nutshell, is the sad explanation of what has happened to the American economy over the last 25 years of "trickle down" economics.

With this cherry on top, which answers the most irritating criticism that conservatives like to triumphantly level at the OWS movement, i.e. that no one really knows what the protesters stand for (as if it should stump anyone with a brain):
As George Orwell wrote in "Homage to Catalonia" about fighting fascists, I don't always need to know what I am fighting for when it is clear what I am fighting against.

This Is Why I Find The New Republican Breed Unbearable

Paul Ryan is slowly but surely becoming the face of the Republican party of future years, the supposedly "serious-thinker" in-chief. And still he says stupid, misleading, and irritating things like this:
"[It] appears that the politics of division are making a big comeback." Of course, he is saying it without a hint of irony. But to Congressman Ryan's credit, it is always hard to see a problem clearly when you're part of it yourself.

For decades, the Republican Party has fostered division in this country with its policies and with its rhetoric. It finds no shortage of socially useful programs to slash or defund, while it opposes any tax increases for those who have more than they could possibly ever need, or spend.

For 2 years Republicans talked about the dangers of death panels coming to American health care if we let "Obamacare" become the law of the land, when in fact death panels are a staple of the American health care system. (Tell Rep. Ryan to read Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans, Wendell Potter's account of how the America health insurance sector plays Americans for fools is not. Wendell Potter was a VP at Cigna, he should know. Or suggest that he watches Michael Moore's "Sicko", a portrayal so accurate of the American health care system that even Fox News didn't find anything bad to say about it.)

For years Republicans have said that they would not support any tax hikes. But now their true message is finally surfacing: They don't want to raise taxes on the "job creators" (their wealthy ├╝bermasters), but it's okay to raise them on those who cannot afford a tax increase (the poorest in particular). That would be the effect of any flat tax plan, a Republican wet dream, that did not include significant exemptions for those in the lowest income tiers.

Actually, Think Progress has it right, in a post titled Talking About Income Inequality Isn’t Dividing America, Actual Income Inequality Is.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What The Fuck?!?

"Uh, yeah. Huzzah. It's great that 300 congressmen had the guts to stand up for mom, apple pie and baseball."

This is from a post by Barbara Morrill of the Daily Kos, announcing great bipartisan agreement on celebrating the baseball Hall of Fame. Finally, bipartisanship at work on something that really matters to Americans, particularly unemployed, underemployed, and sick Americans. And by the way, minority party: a good way to handle such a meaningless, offensive vote would have been not to to vote for it. Stay away from the floor of the House, until the discussion moves on to things that are relevant to the country's well being.

It reminded me of Matt Taibbi's The Great Derangement, in which the Rolling Stone magazine's reporter says that the only business which is transacted on the floor of Congress these days is the naming of post offices and schools. We have to get rid of the bums, all of them. Start from scratch, ban political advertising, bring on free, public debates and public campaign financing. We won't get anywhere fast until we do.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Support A Flat Tax

I do. For corporations. So no corporation can get out of paying taxes. You pay 20%, no loopholes.

And, to foster employment in the United States, there should be a penalty v bonus scale system, to reward companies that keep employment in the United States, and to punish companies that outsource plants and work.

Realize that even though corporate taxes in the United States are among the highest on the planet, as Republicans like to say on Fox News and to any organization that offers them a mic to spew spin at, that is true just in terms of statutory rates, not for effective rates. Many companies pay no tax. So you support a flat tax? Start by supporting a flat tax system for those who systematically use the law to pay no tax at all, and who use profits to destroy small businesses and export jobs abroad: large American corporations.

Yes, please.

Do get rid of the Electoral College system. It is an abomination that grants some states unbalanced power in the election of the President.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Greatest Scam Perpetrated by The Financial Sector on Unwitting Americans

Now that the title of the post got your interest, you do want to know what the greatest scam ever perpetrated on the unwitting American public is, right? 401Ks. There, I said it. And I have been saying that for a long time, to my friends and to my wife. And now, after a long time, they are starting to understand what I meant and still mean. And last night Rachel Maddow put things in perspective for you, with the help of Simon Johnson.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Republican Debate, Bonus Round

Here's a quick summary of the Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, since there is a good chance you were among the 99%-ers (not that you were occupying anything, you were just not occupying your couch to watch it.) It's in the form of the answer each candidate might have given to the hypothetical question "What did you do last summer?".

Santorum: I spent last summer with my religious, entirely heterosexual family, trying to get google to change the search results hierarchy for Santorum.

Cain: Last summer I played Sim City a lot, and ate a lot of pizza, and then I fell asleep. And then the Archangel Koch came to me and told me "go and spread the 9-9-9 gospel." And I did not know what that crazy motherfucker was talking about, was it the price of pizza or some secret code for Sim City? What the fuck, motherfucker?!? Well anyway, I still don't know how, but I came up with my 9-9-9 tax plan.

Gingrich: When I was in Congress, in the summer of 1994, I ... oh, last summer? When I was in Congress in 1995...

Ron Paul: I didn't do anything last summer because the Federal Reserve is fucking us and our money and we need to get rid of the government, all of it! (Eyebrow falls off, head explodes.)

Rick Perry: When I left the house in the summer, I was packing heat. And a nukular weapon, in my pants. And I was wearing cowboy boots. And I hate Mormons.

Michele Bachmann: Last summer I was a business woman and a tax auditor for the I.R.S., I cooked for my 27 foster children and 5 natural children, did everything my husband told me to, and I have a message for all the white moms who are getting evicted from their nest: Hang in there! It's a shame you live in fear of losing your home while Barack Obama, that horrible black man, lives in a house. But help is on the way, and I am president Barack Obama will not have a house any more... either.

Mitt Romney: Look around, fellas. Who cares what I did last summer? Have you seen the other candidates? I am white, handsome, and love business. Who cares if I am a Mormon?

The End.

Cain's Jobs Plan

"Some people will pay more, but most people would pay less is my argument... Who will pay more? The people who spend more money on new goods. The sales tax only applies to people who buy new goods, not used goods. That's a big difference that doesn't come out." (Republican presidential aspirant Herman Cain, on last Sunday's Meet the Press.)
Yes, because what better way to create employment and jump start the economy out of a recession than to encourage people to stop buying new shit and trade in used shit instead? You know what else doesn't come out? A lot of people will pay zero tax, because they will rob the grocery store instead of paying for the stuff they used to buy. And as an added bonus, if you are caught stealing and go to jail, not only will you pay no income tax; the government has to feed you, too.
It amazes me that these Republican buffoons are even taken seriously.

They Might As Well Call It "The 999% Plan"

The Tax Policy Center's review of the 9-9-9 plan is in.
Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan would raise taxes on 84 percent of U.S. households, according to an independent analysis released Tuesday, contradicting claims by the Republican presidential candidate that most Americans would see a tax cut.

The Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank, says low- and middle-income families would be hit hardest, with households making between $10,000 and $20,000 seeing their taxes increase by nearly 950 percent.

Since the difference between 950 and 999% is actually petty, in the general scope of things, I hope someone renames Cain's evil/idiotic idea the 999% plan, to signify the increase in income tax that the poorest would be subjected to. But this is America, so there are plenty of people who should be protesting this evil tax reform plan who are actually rooting for it.
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