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Maher: “GOP Government Like Rooming with a Meth Addict”

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He’s not right about everything like I am but Maher provokes a lot of intelligent laughter. Exhibit A:

Others are saying this but Maher summarizes well. If the Dems regain the House it will be largely because the GOP is just plain NUTZ!!!.

Written by slothropia

March 19th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

More Madison Musings from Krugman, Lakoff and Rich

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Here’s what Krugman had to say today about the Wisconsin uprising:

Last week, in the face of protest demonstrations against Wisconsin’s new union-busting governor, Scott Walker — demonstrations that continued through the weekend, with huge crowds on Saturday — Representative Paul Ryan made an unintentionally apt comparison: “It’s like Cairo has moved to Madison.”

It wasn’t the smartest thing for Mr. Ryan to say, since he probably didn’t mean to compare Mr. Walker, a fellow Republican, to Hosni Mubarak. Or maybe he did — after all, quite a few prominent conservatives, including Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santorum, denounced the uprising in Egypt and insist that President Obama should have helped the Mubarak regime suppress it.

In any case, however, Mr. Ryan was more right than he knew. For what’s happening in Wisconsin isn’t about the state budget, despite Mr. Walker’s pretense that he’s just trying to be fiscally responsible. It is, instead, about power. What Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin — and eventually, America — less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy. And that’s why anyone who believes that we need some counterweight to the political power of big money should be on the demonstrators’ side.

I laughed when I saw Paul Ryan compare Madison to Cairo, clearly trying to pant both with an unflattering brush. Progressives should always be grateful when the Right helps make their case for them. Why, it’s almost as if Congressman Ryan and his party are hostile to democracy. Which in fact they are. As I and many others have said many times before, the raison d’etre of the modern Republican Party is to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a small number of plutocrats.

George Lakoff has written recently about conservative rhetoric in an article titled “What Conservatives Really Want”:

Conservatives really want to change the basis of American life, to make America run according to the conservative moral worldview in all areas of life.

Conservatives believe in individual responsibility alone, not social responsibility. They don’t think government should help its citizens. That is, they don’t think citizens should help each other. The part of government they want to cut is not the military (we have 174 bases around the world), not government subsidies to corporations, not the aspect of government that fits their worldview. They want to cut the part that helps people. Why? Because that violates individual responsibility.

But where does that view of individual responsibility alone come from?

The way to understand the conservative moral system is to consider a strict father family. The father is The Decider, the ultimate moral authority in the family. His authority must not be challenged. His job is to protect the family, to support the family (by winning competitions in the marketplace), and to teach his kids right from wrong by disciplining them physically when they do wrong. The use of force is necessary and required. Only then will children develop the internal discipline to become moral beings. And only with such discipline will they be able to prosper. And what of people who are not prosperous? They don’t have discipline, and without discipline they cannot be moral, so they deserve their poverty. The good people are hence the prosperous people. Helping others takes away their discipline, and hence makes them both unable to prosper on their own and function morally.

With all due respect to Professor Lakoff, what he is describing is the rhetorical means by which the ruling elites intend to enhance their power, the world view of rank and file conservatives who do the dirty work of getting elected and abusing political power.

Frank Rich thinks he sees cracks in the GOP armor resulting from rhetorical and political overreach:

THE G.O.P. has already reached its praying-for-a-miracle phase — hoping some neo-Reagan will emerge to usurp the tired field. Trump! Thune! T-Paw! Christie! Jeb Bush! Soon it’ll be time for another Fred Thompson or Rudy groundswell. But hardly had CPAC folded its tent than a new Public Policy Polling survey revealed where the Republican base’s heart truly remains — despite the new civility and the temporary moratorium on the term “job-killing.” The poll found that 51 percent of G.O.P. primary voters don’t believe that the president was born in America and that only 28 percent do. (For another 21 percent, the jury is still out, as it presumably is on evolution as well.)

The party leadership is no less cowed by that majority today than it was pre-Tucson. That’s why John Boehner, appearing on “Meet the Press” last weekend, stonewalled David Gregory’s repeated queries asking him to close the door on the “birther” nonsense. (“It’s not my job to tell the American people what to think,” Boehner said.) The power of the G.O.P.’s hard-core base may also yet deliver a Palin comeback no matter what the rest of the country thinks of her. In the CNN poll nearly two weeks after Tucson, Republicans still gave her a 70 percent favorable approval rating, just behind Huckabee (72 percent) and ahead of Romney (64 percent).

An opposition this adrift from reality — whether about Obama’s birth certificate, history unfolding in the Middle East or the consequences of a federal or state government shutdown — is a paper tiger. It’s a golden chance for the president to seize the moment. What we don’t know is if he sees it that way. As we’ve learned from his track record both in the 2008 campaign and in the White House, he sometimes coasts at these junctures or lapses into a pro forma bipartisanship that amounts, for all practical purposes, to inertia.

Obama’s outspokenness about the labor battle in Wisconsin offers a glimmer of hope that he might lead the fight for what many Americans, not just Democrats, care about — from job creation to an energy plan to an attack on the deficit that brackets the high-end Bush-era tax cuts with serious Medicare/Medicaid reform and further strengthening of the health care law. Will he do so? The answer to that question is at least as mysterious as the identity of whatever candidate the desperate G.O.P. finds to run against him.

I think we are at least all agrees that the crisis represented and signified in Wisconsin is growing more acute. The stakes for the 98% of U.S. resident not in the ruling elite are growing higher with each right wing outrage. Been a long time coming and the end is not in sight.

Bonus factoid: This was posted in one of the comments to Krugmans’s column, cited and quoted above:

Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Their ranking on ACT/SAT scores:

South Carolina – 50th
North Carolina – 49th
Georgia – 48th
Texas – 47th
Virginia – 44th

Wisconsin is currently ranked 2nd. Welcome to the race to the bottom.

Written by slothropia

February 21st, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Bernie Sanders for President

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If Obama keeps up this constant appeasement of the GOP, if he does not start listening to his base, he will most certainly face either a primary challenge or a third party candidate in 2012. I wish this fella Rachel is talking to in the clip below would run. I would work like hell on his behalf.

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

Written by slothropia

December 1st, 2010 at 12:28 am

Inauguration Blues

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Got a txt from a close relative a few nights ago, very excited and enthusiastic about the the inauguration and prelims. This is a hopeful time, and every American to the left of Dick Cheney has a right to feel pride, mixed with hope, optimism and of course relief that the witch is positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably, most sincerely dead. Obama wears the ruby slippers now and soon we will know if he is a good witch or a bad witch.

I wish I could feel the unalloyed joy that so many are experiencing right now. But I am anxious.

It isn’t just because I am one of the bazillions who lost a good paying job last year (though that reality does put a crimp in my party mood). That just makes me one of many who have a reason to worry about survival, dreams of prosperity to follow.

In fact, it is not any one of the many troubles in a sea of them that face the United States and its citizens and other passengers that strains my peace of mind and robs me of sleep.

The Zen master yogi Berra has famously said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” And that is where we are and what we are going to do. That’s the scary part.

The first priority of the new administration is clearly to revive the economy, and hooray says I. I personally really need that to happen, and there is a plan being prepared for Obama’s signature. Questions nag. is the stimulus proposal big enough? Will it work? Are there too many tax cuts and not enough stimuli?

From the Right come calls for more tax cuts for the rich and less spending to create jobs or modernize the nation. From everyone else come expressions of concern that the package is not big enough or that the spending is not well targeted. I am willing to give the new administration the benefit of the doubt, but my heart meanwhile resides in my mouth.

I may have concerns about what we know of the stimulus package, but I regard the legislation working its way through Congress as a first cut. There will be more to come, I expect.

Progressives will try to improve the package of course, but the Republicans are showing signs that they will obstruct much that is good in the President’s proposals. The corporate media is behaving for now, but their American Idiot shtick is prepared and they are ready to pander, frighten and distort when the time is right.

Why here’s the Idiot now.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Green Day.

Written by slothropia

January 21st, 2009 at 8:26 pm