Tag Archives: Republicans

The downgrade

So Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. long-term debt from AAA to AA+ (with a negative outlook). Ouch. Yeah, it’s a bit of a joke. After all, these are the jokers who declared Lehman Brothers AAA a month before they went bankrupt. They rated junk mortgage securities AAA, leading directly to the financial mess we’re in now. And we can argue till the cows come home about whether S&P oughta be in the business of downgrading our credit rating because our political system is so dysfunctional.

Doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they did. They looked at the recently completed debt ceiling debate and determined that although we haven’t defaulted, and probably won’t in the near future, our idiocy is so complete that creditors should think twice or more about extending further credit.

Now, that would probably suit the TeaPublicans just fine. They seem to relish the idea of the United States becoming a backwater country where the majority of its citizens have little to no access to decent health care or education. And why wouldn’t they? Stupid, sick citizens are much easier to bully into submission. And the handful of others who know better? Just throw ‘em in jail, shoot ‘em if you have to. That’s what they do in places like Zimbabwe, Syria, Yemen and Iran. Never let a little inconvenient truth bother you.

And all of this could have been avoided. We’ve had so many chances. After Reagan put us on this wretched road to ruin, Americans wised up after a term of George Bush Sr. and elected Bill Clinton, at the time branded The Most Liberal Man On The Planet although he was a Blue Dog at best. Never mind, though, he was certainly far better than another four years of GHWB, or, god forbid, one of the other whackos who could have been on the Republican ticket. You know, people like Pat Buchanan and David Duke.

The GOP Noise Machine went into high gear of course, lying and stretching the truth at every possible moment to paint Clinton as Evil Incarnate. It worked to some extent, but it didn’t wholly work because Bill possesses one of those thing the Republicans like in their candidates: He’s Affable. You wanna have a beer with him. So what if he had sex with that woman? I mean — and here’s where the Right Wing Crap Machine worked wonders — look at that bitch he’s married to.

But after two terms and a deficit surplus, the Noise Machine had also done a job on the man who should have been Clinton’s successor, the truly more liberal Al Gore. And Gore was hampered by a tendency to appear rather wooden, plus, it appears that an awful lot of Democrats/liberals/progressives at that time had not caught on to the Republican Bullshit Machine strategy: Lie at every opportunity, and make the other guy out to be in league with the worst things you can think of. And if all else fails, ridicule from the lowest common denominator.

Thus, George W. Bush. Of course, the conservatives needed a little boost from the Supreme Court, but honest to god, it never should have been close enough to go there. The Noise Machine works very, very well, indeed. See Kerry, John – Swiftboating.

After eight years of up is down, black is white and Alice doesn’t live here anymore, it’s a wonder any of us could even walk. But walk we could and unbelievably enough of us had seen through the LSD haze to actually not give the presidency to another Republican. But the Noise Machine had a hand in who did select too. See Clinton, Hillary – Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

Again, we selected a very moderate, albeit black, Democrat who was again portrayed as The Most Liberal Man On The Planet despite no evidence to support that contention. But we, suckers that we are, thought we had a chance. My god, a black Democrat in the White House, majorities in the House and Senate — we’re saved!

Except we weren’t. The right started its anti-anything but them campaign with its most ugly component yet: Racism. Well, they actually tried that with Bill Clinton. Who do you think came up with “the nation’s first black president?” Problem of course, was that Clinton clearly isn’t black.

Barack Obama is, and racism is a ready-made weapon so easy to deny. “Tar baby!” “Oh, I’m sorry if anyone was offended. I didn’t mean that as a racist statement.” And, with our well trained stenography pool ready to bring every utterance to the national media, nobody but us crazies ever challenged the clear bullshit. So while the our so-called journalists bring on birthers to talk about whether or not Obama was born in the United States (doesn’t matter, idiots, his MOTHER was), nobody challenges the racism fueling charges that Obama is from Africa, that he’s Muslim, that he’s anything but a good ol’ boy. Seriously, do you honestly think that conversation would be going on if Obama’s father were named Olsen and he was born in Norway?

But the Machine had done well making sure a natural compromiser was elected president. That’s what community organizers do, yknow. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but when one side deviously plots to suppress the other side and uses good intentions to doom the process from the start, well, that’s another matter.

And then there was the Tea Party, rabidly taken up by my colleagues in the stenography as some kind of populist movement despite the clear evidence that it was and is funded by billionaires and political insiders. Follow the money, my friends. Follow the money.

And the politicians, never ones to take any kind of principled stand (with rare exceptions. See Sanders, Bernie – Socialist, Vermont), bent and twisted any which way the wind blew to make sure they stayed in office.  Then came 2010, and the intentionally ill-informed won big in those places where once more moderate conservatives might have flourished. And now, the stage was set.

A barely Democratic president, a Senate with a narrow Democratic majority, a House full of full-on crazies with little to no understanding of anything beyond Well, sheeit, I’m a US Congressman now! and a House constituency of the ignorant masses who don’t realize Medicare is a “socialist” program nor that their champions have every intention of destroying it.

Oh, and the completely out in the open No. 1 goal of the Republican party: Get rid of the black guy in the Oval Office in 2012 if not sooner.

So despite Standard & Poor’s culpability in the our economic morass, somebody there had the sense to realize that the United States was indeed on a slippery slope and it isn’t one to socialism. It’s sliding into what’s much closer to the corporate-run colonies of the British, Portugeuese, Dutch, Spanish and French empires. Seriously — they were all about profits and coopting some local group to give their corporate rulers some legitimacy. And the corporate rulers, of course, answered to the crown back home.

In America, though, we’re dispensing with the crown. The corporate rulers answer to no one.

And that’s very, very dangerous, something even Standard & Poor’s can’t ignore. The debt ceiling fight, then, was our last chance before someone outside started taking action. Obama must have known. That’s where the Grand Bargain came from. It was the only adult proposal made, one that in all likelihood would have satisfied S&P that we were seriously about fixing the economy. Of course, just lifting the fucking debt ceiling and focussing on a jobs plan probably would have worked too, but the TeaPublicans would have none of that and instead pushed for this showdown, a playground battle royale.

So Obama offered the Grand Bargain and the TeaPublicans, so enamored of their rich overlords that they cannot conceive of taxing them one penny more than they already are, poor over-taxed bastards, said no fucking way. And the pitiful “debate” that followed showed S&P, and every other sane person on the planet, that the lunatics indeed have taken over the U.S. government, and no one is safe.

The reasoning, which people who aren’t TeaPublicans actually note contains criticisms of both Republicans and Democrats, is far more damning to the GOP. Here’s the full report, go read it. You can be sure the TeaPublicans won’t. They were satisfied with the press release. But here’s the key passage. S&P says the recently completely debt ceiling deal is a step in the right direction, but is not sufficient to correct the slide. Previously assessments have given the United States the benefit of the doubt, S&P says, assuming that reason will overcome the pitchfork-bearing masses. No more:

Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.

And there you have it. If those tax cuts don’t expire, S&P says, the credit rating will likely slip to AA. Killing those tax cuts off might — might — “stabilize” the rating at AA+.

So what’s it all mean? Basically, we’re screwed. And the Republicans and Democrats are to blame. The Republicans for all their lying and bullshit and the Democrats for showing their bellies every time the GOP or Fox News yells “Boo!” And that dysfunction, which is what S&P is talking about, isn’t likely to change, because our politicians are too addicted to being in Washington to see what’s really going on in the world around them.

Instead, they’ll take what S&P says and make further cuts into “entitlement” programs, along with things like education, public safety, environmental regulation, banking regulation — basically anything that a civilized society needs to thrive — keeping only enough to maintain the military dictatorship the Teahadists so desperately yearn for.  Austerity times 1000. This is how Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, and we really do have weapons of mass destruction.

I don’t pretend to know why the rich want it this way (even less why the lied-to masses work so hard to make it happen), but I do know this is how they want it. Follow the money. At the end you’ll find people like the Koch Brothers whose only goal, for some unfathomable reason, is to get richer.

I also know it will get better. But not, apparently, before it gets a whole lot worse.

Still fighting the Civil War

Here’s something completely unexpected: A new poll says that a majority of Tea Parties and Republicans (aka TeaPublicans) admire the leaders of the Confederacy more that the leaders of the Union, and a majority of the same group does not believe that slavery prompted those same leader to secede in 1861.

Never mind that the secession documents of those state say plainly that their obsession with holding fellow human beings in perpetual slavery, controlling every part of their lives they could possibly control — and their fear that the federal government would outlaw the reason for their wealth — was the reason.

That, my friend, is what “states’ rights” is all about — the seeds of the dog whistle, code for the one of most despicable economic strategies in the history of mankind.

And doesn’t it just look like the TeaPublicans of today want to get right back as close as they can to that day? It’s behind their attacks on unions — “Wages are too high!” they say, voting against any attempt to raise the minimum wage.

And what of that minimum wage? It may be good for the high school student trying to make some extra bucks, but do TeaPublicans really think anyone can live on that wage? Say you get a job, and you’re paid $8.25 an hour — that a buck higher than the minimum. Know what that comes to per week? $330. Before taxes. Not including any health insurance, any savings, retirement.

No, my friends, the TeaPublicans would love to get back to paying slave wages — they’ll give you a ramshackle shed for you and all your extended family, whatever scraps of food they don’t eat themselves and beat the living shit out of you if you complain. Or take your wife and children and ship them off to some other overlord. Or both.

What better plan to enrich themselves. There’s hardly any labor cost at all.

But here’s the really bad news about that poll, released this morning by CNN. Barely a majority of all Americans believe that slavery was at the heart of the secession. I imagine that’s caused by a deteriorating education system (again, thanks to those TeaPublicans) and the loud mouths of the lying Right.

Another scary prospect: Independents are evenly split on that question. But here’s something funny: While a majority of TeaPublicans don’t understand that “states’ rights” = slavery, a plurality of Southerners do.

The good news: A majority of every group except Southerners (a plurality leads there) are Union-sympathizers. At least we have that going for us.

The Civil War is very real for me, both the one that started 150 years ago today and the one we’re fighting now. I grew up in a Southern state that was a divided as the rest of the union — in fact, my state initially voted not to secede, but after a little blackmail from slaveholders who blocked the way to the major trade route, its legislators reversed the vote. Legislators in the part of the state I’m from didn’t change their votes.

In the fields behind my childhood home is a line of bunkers built by soldiers trying to hold the line. Archaeologists have dug up bullets and buttons in those fields. An electrician wiring a 1785 house in the 1960s found full uniforms hidden in the walls. After the town librarian died and family friends bought his antebellum home, they found an unexploded  Civil War mortal shell in the attic. There’s an old, old rumor that two deserters were shot and buried in the fields my father owns. Another rumor says there was a tunnel escape route from the 1785 house into those fields.

Interestingly, today is the anniversary of another Civil War event — a group of Union African American soldiers surrendered at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, and the Confederates killed them all.

Today I fight the good fight with the rest of you, trying to undo the damage done by centuries of slavery and prevent a slide back toward those dark days. I find it ironic that the party positions were once reversed, the Republican Party the party of Lincoln and the Democrats the party of a Reconstruction that made things worse than they should have been.

Republican leaders like to claim Lincoln, but he’d be disgusted by their antics. Democrats made a shift too, to being champions of labor and the people, but now even they seem to have forgotten what made them strong.

Our infrastructure is crumbling, our education system makes a laughingstock of us, our health care system is a disgrace, the economy is in shambles, jobs are nonexistent, and the Right’s media saturation constantly bombards the country with lies. Meanwhile, in Congress, no one will do the right thing, or even consider what that might be, in the struggle to keep the lobbyists’ money flowing.

I’d love to be proud of my country, but I’m not. I’m embarrassed by it. And I don’t think I’m alone.

The end is near

The Democrats won’t lay down and roll over, letting Republicans rule and have everything they want, so come Friday, we’re likely to see the federal government shut down. Just like Newtie did it in the 90s. But he was a petulant little prick, and America knew it. Now? America can’t take its eyes off Charlie Sheen long enough to see what the TeaPublicans are doing.

Wanna know what the blackmail really is? Because saying “the government will shutdown” frankly doesn’t mean much. Here’s what it means:

  • Cuts in unemployment compsensation
  • End of grants for law enforcement and higher education
  • Shutdown of national parks
  • No state tax collections
  • Cuts in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance program
  • Courts will shut down
  • No income tax refunds

And that’s just a start. Some of those things will happen immediately, and the others might not happen at all if Democrats cave and give the TeaPublicans what they want quickly. And what do they want? They want their budget bill passed with no amendments and no changes. And what would that entail?

  • Cutting funding to implement the Affordable Care Act
  • Eliminating funding for family planning services, breast and cervical cancer screeningsand other preventive health care.
  • Cutting funding for WIC
  • Cutting funding for Head Start
  • Cutting funding for Pell grants
  • Cutting funding for job training programs

What the TeaPublicans do not want is to eliminate or even decrease the massive tax cuts for the rich or the massive funding for the Defense Department or to regulate the massively rich banks and insurance companies, because that’s where they make their money.

What they do not want is for anybody to get the idea that America is the land of plenty. Well, it is, but only if you have plenty to begin with. HR 1, the budget bill the TeaPublicans want so badly, is just the start. Paul Ryan, their budget king, plans to eliminate Medicaid, forcing the elderly to navigate the nearly impossible bullshit the insurance companies throw out to pretend their on our side.

Make no mistake about it — none of these folks, not the TeaPublicans, not the banksters, not the insurance companies, not the Defense Department and not the conservative media that spreads their lies — are even remotely on our side. They are not here with the idea of helping one another out. They are here for one thing and one thing only: To make money. Nothing else, and I do mean nothing, matters at all.

Democrats, deluded as they are, are completely lost. They get their money from the same places. I can image that somewhere inside their denial-wracked brains is a monumental fight for supremacy between their Money-Money-Money minds and their progressive, we’re all in this together minds. Guess which one will win?

And do you know why? It’s because my colleagues are just as fucked up as they are, and they’re refusing to tell the truth, likely because they don’t even know it anymore. Even when they do tell the truth, they pretend it’s just another opinion, along with the lies they repeat from the conservatives.

We’re heading down a very ugly road to ruin. What the TeaPublicans want is a return to the hideous inequality of the Gilded Age, the age of the Robber Barons, because that’s what they are — Robber Barons, and their victims are you and me and anyone else who isn’t like them.

They hit upon the perfect ploy. Create a faux populist movement — the Tea Party, funded by them — and convince America that the Tea Party was Real America. Worked like a charm, thanks to my idiotic colleagues, who couldn’t even be bothered to remember that the real Tea Party, the one in Boston in the 18th century, was a protest against corporate profits. How fucking ironic.

I’m in the most pessimistic mood I’ve seen in quite some time. I see no way out of this. The Great Black Hope, Barack Obama, turned out to be a sniveling coward. Well, at least he’s not a real Republican. Maybe we would have been better off if McCain had won, had his fatal heart attack and left Sarah Palin to kill us off. At least it would have been over with already.

What we need is a real leader — not one of these immature, schoolyard bullies who fancies him or herself a leader — but one who sees where we need to go and takes us there kicking and screaming. I don’t see one of those on the horizon, and I doubt I will until we have hit bottom. Because hitting bottom is what it takes sometimes for us to really understand just how bad it is and how far off course we’ve gone.

And once we do reach the depths of our despair, I have no doubt that the leader we need will come along, because, well, progress happens. It can’t be stopped. It can be slowed, set back and delayed. But change happens. Real change, too, not the promises of politicians, but the change that is absolutely necessary for the species.

 

When the law doesn’t apply

I don’t even know what to say about this — it goes so far beyond IOKIYAR* that nothing even remotely polite comes to mind. But here’s the tale:

You all know about how TeaPublican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin lied through his shiny white teeth about how his budget bill, which included draconian cuts to labor rights, had to be passed in order to save the state from a budget deficit that he and his TeaPublican cohorts in the state legislature created by cutting taxes to big businesses and the rich.

We know this was a flat out lie, because when push came to shove, Walker refused to negotiate — even after the unions agreed to all his proposals save the elimination of collective bargaining for all but wages, which, of course, has nothing to do with the budget. And finally, the governor and the other SOBs in the state legislature then stripped the bill of everything to do with the finances — except the parts that had to do with public workers — so it could pass without a quorum since the Democrats in the legislature refused to go along with the plan to ramrod the bill through.

The result, of course, was a budget bill that didn’t address the budget, drastically reduced the effectiveness of collective bargaining and set up the system so that Walker could sell the state’s nukes to the Koch brothers.

Liars.

But then a county judge put a restraining order on the secretary of state, barring him from publishing the bill — a requirement under Wisconsin law in order for a bill to become law.

So what did state Republicans do? They published it anyway, using the Legislative Reference Bureau to publish it to the legislature’s website on Friday. Stephen Miller, director of the Legislative Reference Bureau, said he didn’t think that would make the bill become law.

“I think this is a ministerial act that forwards it to the secretary of state,” he said. “I don’t think this act makes it become effective. My understanding is that the secretary of state has to publish it in the (official state) newspaper for it to become effective.”

But the state Senate’s majority leader disagreed.

“It’s published,” Scott Fitzgerald said. “It’s law. That’s what I contend.”

And Walker’s administration secretary, Mike Huebsch, gave out the governor’s response.

“Today the administration was notified that the LRB published the budget-repair bill as required by law,” he said. “The administration will carry out the law as required.

That’s right. Because the law does not apply to Republicans, especially when voters have given them a “mandate,” by electing them even with the slimmest of margins, to do whatever the hell they want to do.

Miller, head of a non-partisan office, agreed to publish the bill under his understanding that it would not violate the intentions of the court order, which very clearly said the judge was “restrain(ing) and enjoin(ing) the further implementation of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10″ and blocking the secretary of state’s publication of the bill because that was “the next step in implementation of that law.”

Clearly, Miller did not realize the intentions of state Republicans.

The complaint that sparked the judge’s order alleges that Republicans violated the state’s open meetings act to pass the stripped-down bill. Republicans, who of course can do no wrong and even if they do it doesn’t matter, say they didn’t. I’m sure they will find some tiny legal loophole that they will use to justify their actions, just like they did on the publication issue.

Wisconsin’s rule book give publication rights to both the secretary of state and to the Legislative Reference Bureau — but the part about when a bill goes into effect refers only to the secretary of state’s publication in the official newspaper.

Ah, but means nothing to Republicans. Although I haven’t heard the phrase used, I’m sure they’re claiming “activist judge” status for the jurist who dared to try to stop them, and that, of course, means they don’t have to abide by the ruling. And just in case, they’ll split hairs — the restraining order doesn’t apply to the Legislative Research Bureau.

And besides, the Republican attorney general says that action by the secretary of state isn’t required for a bill to become law. So there. And waterboarding isn’t torture either.

Republicans aren’t just gaming the show about the law either. In Wisconsin, they also want to make sure that nobody ever knows that their party in that state was at one time almost, well, progressive. That ended in the 1950s when Sen. Joe McCarthy nearly destroyed it.

A history professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, William Cronon, wrote a fascinating piece in the New York Times about Wisconsin’s political history. Here’s what PZ Myers of Pharyngula had to say about it:

It’s a great essay, even-handed and informed, and reminded me that yes, once upon a time, Republicans weren’t the party of insane corporate tools who got their instructions direct from god, and that there are common principles of good government that liberals and conservatives could agree on.

Unfortunately, the Republicans don’t agree with Myers’ assessment. They’ve launched a witchhunt against Cronon, trying  in Myers’ words, “to find any damning connection that will allow them to claim that Cronon is an apparatchik and propagandist, rather than an independent historian with a serious scholarly focus.”

Interestingly, using Joe McCarthy’s tactics. I’d think that would raise more than a few red flags, not to mention hairs on the backs of many heads, but Republicans of late have been embracing their inner McCarthyism, quite openly at times.

But as Myers points out, Cronon’s “greatest crime may have been exposing to the light of day a quiet organization, ALEC, that has been drafting the most conservative legislation for our government in collaboration with the wealthiest corporations in the country.”

Oh dear. Republicans tied to wealthy corporations? Say it ain’t so. But what am I thinking. Corporations are people, too, in this cowardly new world where secrecy and bullying are the order of the day.

Wisconsin, oh Wisconsin, that you should be the first to endure this travesty is repugnant beyond repugnant. But while we’re watching Wisconsin, the same thing is happening in every state in the union, on one level or another. It is a full out assault, carried out by operatives who pretend to be interested good governance.

But they left behind that noble sentiment long ago. Money, the collection and hoarding of, is the only real item on the agenda. And to make sure they enact that agenda, the modern Republican party has no qualms about granting itself immunity to the law.

*It’s OK If You Are Republican

Congressional subterfuge

The Republicans let the 9/11 responders bill pass the Senate, meaning Obama only went down on two major items during this not so lame duck session of Congress.

One of those — the DREAM Act — was never gonna pass, and is never gonna pass until more people let go of their prehistoric fear of the other and learn a little something about compassion. That act was about immigrants, particularly the brown ones from across the Southern border, and brown immigrants are the new Gay.

But the other one is much more ominous — and could bring about the final unraveling of what’s left of our fragile democracy.

The Democrats tried to fund the government for another year only to be rebuffed by the Party of No, which sabotaged the bill with earmarks and then refused to vote for it because of — you guessed it — earmarks.

Now, it’s true that the Democrats put a few in there too — like some emergency funding to states to make up for funds the Republicans stripped from other bills. But the Republicans crammed much, much more into the bill — billions, in fact. And then, motherfuckers that they are, they scuttled the bill.

Think about that for a little while. The fuckers loaded the bill with bullshit and then they refused to pass it because of the bullshit. Why do you think that is?

Because they’re going after the biggest prize of all — a complete government takeover.

They’ve convinced the American People that they’ve seen the light and that we must cut government spending. They used the Democrats’ own spending bill to prove that the Dems are all about spending — spending they loaded into the bill. And now they’re promising to strip governmnt bare.

That means defunding health care reform, accepting an austerity plan put out by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson — the cat food commission chairmen — and pumping even more billions into “defense” for weapons systems (and wars) nobody wants.

A little word about Simpson and Bowles and their plan, which calls for Social Security cuts and even more tax cuts for the rich and the like. See, here’s the thing. Simpson and Bowles pre-empted the actual commission’s report when they issued their own. They did so because the commission’s report wasn’t going to recommend Social Security cuts and tax cuts for the rich. And they couldn’t have that. So they put out their own report, which Republicans are now calling the commission’s report.

Lying fuckers.

So the big push is going to be to accept this austerity plan — which benefits only the rich and screws everybody else entirely. And the Republicans plan to hold us hostage to get it.

Come March, they plan to threaten a government shutdown if they don’t get their way, kinda how Newt Gingrich did the same thing back in 1995. It put Bill Clinton over the top and guarantees his re-election. It doesn’t necessarily mean the same will happen for Obama.

The GOP learned a valuable lesson back then — Don’t do something stupid until you’ve got the public completely snookered. Looks like they’re doing a great job so far.

Obama may have won a few Republicans over on some social issues. But on the big financial matters, the GOP and its lies, as usual, resonate with the uninformed and the fearful as well as they do with the just plain stupid. That means that in March, the nervous nellies in the Democratic Party will be under heavy pressure to go along with the Repubs, and that pretty much means all the Dems who aren’t already bought and paid for by Wall Street.

But they’ll be walking a mighty fine line. Know who really suffers if the government shuts down? Two guesses and one hint — it won’t be us.

But the only real way to stop that is to get the blinders off the eyes of the believers — the ones who listen to Faux News and the radio gasbags for all their news and wouldn’t know the truth from their own asshole. Good luck with that, especially since the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress seem to have no teeth in that fight.

And, there’s two fights that pretty much cover the same issue — this one, and the one to raise the debt ceiling so we can borrow enough money to keep the government running.

On the other hand, I gotta say that DADT repeal was masterful. Maybe the two most disappointing Democrats in Washington, Barack Obama and Harry Reid, can pull another rabbit or two outta the hat.

Of course, it won’t really matter much since the Republicans now own the House.

I’m guessing we may be going nowhere until 2012.

This way and that

Man, Cosmo Sen. Scott Brown is really dissing his Tea Party backers, the ones who helped him beat Martha Coakley’s really shitty campaign for the “Kennedy Seat” from Massachusetts.

Not only did he vote for the repeal of the military’s odiferous policy banning gay and lesbian service members from serving openly, but now he’s gone and voted for cloture on the ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

That means that later on today, the U.S. Senate is going to ratify the agreement despite vociferous opposition from the most conservative of Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who announced a couple of months ago that the primary purpose of the GOP for the next two years is to make sure that Barack Obama is not re-elected.

Not to help the American people, or to get the country back on the right track, but to get back in power. Fucktards.

Anyway, joining Scott Brown in voting for cloture were fellow Republican Sens. George Voinovich, Lisa Murkowski, Thad Cochran, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Richard Lugar, Lamar Alexander, Robert Bennett, Johnny Isakson and Bob Corker.

Yes, Bob Corker. The very Bob Corker who warned just before the DADT repeal vote that START would be in trouble if DADT is repealed.

That’s gonna be a pretty big loss for McConnell and Jim DeMented, and a pretty big win for Barack Obama. It’s interesting, though. Eleven Republicans broke with the leadership — McConnell, Jon Kyl, John Cornyn and the like. That’s more than the eight who voted to repeal DADT and more than the six who voted for cloture on DADT. Eleven Republicans not only broke with the leadership, but they flipped the TeaPublicans the bird while they were at it.

This lame duck session of Congress has been awfully production — and it’s been productive because of the willingness of some Republicans to break ranks.  Could this be the end of the Party of No?

I won’t be holding my breath on that one. But y’gotta admit, it’s does a heart good to see Republicans voting “yes” on Democratic pieces of legislation.

It all started, of course, with that “tax deal.” The extremists opposed it, but the leadership really didn’t, so it passed pretty handily. The DREAM Act failed, but it was not without GOP support. DADT, history. And now, START.

So guess which Republican senator has voted in favor of all of those? No, not the ladies from Maine.

Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska senator who waged a winning run-off campaign to retain her seat after the Tea Party and Sarah Palin-backed liar Joe Miller beat her in the Republican primary.

Now, Murkowski’s warned not to read too much into these votes, that she’s not gonna be a sure vote for Obama. But I don’t think that’s the signal she wants to send anyway. Her message is for the Republicans. The National Republican Senatorial Committee gave her only tepid support during the primary, and went all out for Miller in the general. Then it asked folks to donate to help Miller challenge Murkowski in court. Nah, Murkowski’s message is this: Fuck you, GOP. I’ll vote the way I damn well please.

Maybe she and Joe Lieberman can form their own party — Senators In The Wrong Party Party.

Murkowski voted against cloture on the 9/11 responders bill, but now she says she’s “leaning toward” voting for it. That is, if Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn doesn’t go through with his threat to block it. Coburn wants to pay for the bill by slashing funding for somebody else. And by the way, he’s a doctor.

It’s a beautiful world we live in.

Hold your horses there, cowboy. We’ve got some thinkin’ to do.

The Republican catch phrase as the 111th Congress winds down appears to be “rushing this thing through,” or something similar. It’s an accusation that the Democrats are “ramming this thing down our throats,” or some such, and the implication is that the poor Republicans just don’t have enough time to do their jobs. I mean, read all these bills.

It’s true, they’ve used the same phrase in the past, but it’s about every other phrase coming out of their mouths these days, the other being “ignoring the mandate of the American people.”

Never mind that (a) several of them are on record saying they want to stall so that the bills they fear will pass will have to wait for the 112th Congress, which will be populated by more of them, (b) several of these bill have been languishing around for months now, and (c) these are the same whiners who’ve filibustered every goddamn bill the Democrats have tried to put through.

Didn’t work with Don’t ask don’t tell, now did it? And that’s a curious thing. Eight Republicans — including two who voted against cloture — voted to repeal that disgusting policy. The extremists on the right (most of them, these days) are howling in despair and predicting disaster for the U.S. military. Tell that to Alexander the Great. But really, what they’re howling about is something entirely different. That one little vote — the disaster it portends is for the extreme right and homophobes everywhere because it proves that progress does indeed happen, regardless of how much you try to stop it.

For some reason, though, the radical rightists didn’t try the “we don’t have enough time to read the bill” thing with DADT. Maybe “repeal the damn thing” was actually simple enough for them to understand.

But they killed off the bill providing aid to the first responders on 9/11 — these uber-patriots who use “9/11″ to stir up fear and question the patriotism for everyone else. They didn’t have time to read the bill. Never mind that it was introduced in February. February 2009.

And they don’t have time to read the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which was completed in April.

They just killed the DREAM Act outright, though. It was about immigrants, and they never had any intention of reading that one.

I suppose Harry Reid could file for cloture on the 9/11 bill again, and probably cause more howling of outrage from Republicans who don’t like the idea of working the week before Christmas like the rest of us. Jeez, these guys get more vacation time than I do, and I get a mountain of it.

Chuck Shumer says there will be another vote and that they’ve rejiggered it to make more Republicans happy. But when has that ever gotten Republicans to vote “yes” on something?

And the real reason they’re stalling on the START is because they don’t want the United States to limit its nuclear arms in any way whatsoever, which made Bob Corker and Lindsey Graham look like total idiots when they threatened to fuck with it because Reid was gonna make ‘em vote on DADT. They were gonna fuck with it anyway, let’s be real. They think that if the United States cuts back on its nuclear weapons, it won’t have enough to blow Iran off the map. And maybe North Korea, although you’d think they already woulda done that. What keeps ‘em so quiet about North Korea, I wonder? They’re hatred of Kim Jong-il doesn’t even make the shadow of their hatred for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The leader of this madness is Arizona’s junior senator, Jon Kyl. Combined with mean old man John McCain and Arizona’s nutty governor, Jan Brewer, that state’s starting to look like the Mississippi of the West.

Kyl is the Senate Minority Whip, meaning he’s responsible for whipping up the insanity to a fever pitch, and he was just named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. Of course, Time also named the guy who started Facebook as its Man of the Year, so take that for what it’s worth.

Kyl’s another one of those who is calling Harry Reid sacreligious for making the senators work this week. Say, did you happen to notice that Joe Lieberman, who is Jewish, said not one work about working on the Sabbath to repeal DADT? And Kyl, named by distributorcap as the 2010 Douchebag of the Year — sure spends a lot of time on the Sunday morning talk shows and not in church.

But he also said something about Christmas being one of the two most sacred days to Christians, the other being Easter, and the two taken together being the only two times in the year many Christians grace the inside of a church.

The other 363 (364 in Leap Year), you’d be hardpressed to tell they were Christians at all, unless, of course, you happen to believe that Christians are all about making money and screwing everybody else.

Regardless of all that, the end of the 111th Congress is nigh. It accomplished a lot actually, but also caved a lot to the threats and machinations of the Bully Party. The 112th Congress isn’t likely to accomplish jack shit, what with the Republicans’ Number One priority being to keep Obama from being elected.

So, the big question will be who’s to blame for the gridlocked Congress.

You and I know the answer to that. But what about the rest of America? Will they finally get it? Or will they go along with the Republicans and blame the black guy in the White House?

Only time will tell. But I know which one it’ll be if a certain somebody doesn’t get off his ass and show some gumption. Getting DADT repealed was quite a coup. But we need to see more.

Much more.

The morning after the morning after

So you think the election’s all over and you won’t have to hear the bullshit for another two months before the wailing begins for 2012. Nah, you don’t think that. You know that 2012 starts right now. In fact, it already started, back when Mitch McConnell said the Republicans’ primary goal for the next two years was making sure Barack Obama doesn’t get re-elected.

That’s a real “country first” attitude, ain’t it? Of course, it was never about country first. It was about making the other guy — the black guy, and us by extension, look like the enemy.

And hell, let’s get real. 2012 started on November 5, 2008, and the goal then, as it is now, was to do something about the black guy in the White House.

That and make sure their rich benefactors stayed that way. But an election for the real America? Depends on who you think that is.

House Speaker to be John Boehner cried, he was so happy to become the powerful speaker of the House (that is, if his new and nutty Tea Party colleagues don’t figure out he’s part of the DC establishment and run somebody against him. Mmm. I hear Eric “They shot at a building where I have an office where one of my consultants works” Cantor is thinking about tossing his hat in the ring.

But Boehner. He says the message to Obama is clear – “Change course.” True, but the course he needs to change to isn’t the one Boehner wants. Still, Obama will probably take Boehner’s advice. Democrats always do. Boehner, though, he said Tuesday night that “It’s clear tonight who the winners really are … the American people.” I guess that’s right if the American people are all millionaires or their toadies. Otherwise, that’s not us.

And it’s not even the folks who put the crazies into the House. Exit polls showed that Americans believe the top problem the country’s facing is the economy – 62 percent – with 19 percent saying health care. And the top economic problem – unemployment, by far.

America’s voters blame Wall Street for the economic crisis, overwhelmingly. So what do America’s voters do? They return the party that refuses to regulate Wall Street back in the House. Voters had exactly the same unfavorable rating for Dems (53 percent) as Republicans, and favored the Ds 43-41. But they sent the Rs back anyway.

The “American people” — not us, not the tea party, but people like Jamie Dimon and Meg Whitman.

And how did this happen? Senior citizens, who have bought the Republican bullshit about keeping government’s dirty hands off their Medicare, voted in droves. Young folks, feckless cynics that they are, stayed home and got stoned. Hey, that’s not a criticism. I mighta done the same thing if I were 20-something and hadn’t stopped drinking and drugging 30 years ago.

Meanwhile, my beloved colleagues won’t say a thing about any of that. They had their scenario all lined up well before even the early voters started casting their ballots.

Obama and the liberals overreached. The country wants them to return to the center right, where all is good with the world.

Except, as we know, that’s complete bullshit. Obama and the Democratic Congress, with the Republicans blocking their every move, have been pretty damned center right, if not outright right-right. That’s not good enough for the GOP, though, because that group has moved so far right that they’d probably drum Nixon out of the party, if he didn’t leave voluntarily. When they say “center right,” they mean to the right of, say, Charlie Crist, who clearly is too far left for the Florida Republicans. Hugging Barack Obama obviously triggers an automatic suspension of your “I’m a Card Carrying Conservative Bastard” card.

So flip on any cable news show this week and hear this: The voters are angry about Obama’s liberal overreach instead of taking care of the things that are really important, like jobs and health care …

And here’s the part you won’t hear: … like jobs and health care, which the Republican minority and the blue dogs watered down so far that it was barely recognizable just to protect the capitalist interests of the banks and the insurance companies (yeah, I know, and STILL they called it socialism).

And right after that, you won’t hear the discussion progressives have been having for months, if not years – how the fuck is it that the GOP can so completely hornswoggle voters like they do? Are this many Americans really that stupid? Or that glued to the latest episode of Dancing With The Stars?

No, my dear colleagues are already working on the script for 2012. Here’s a hint – they really want Sarah Palin to win. They want America’s first woman president to be somebody they can feel smug over, someone they know isn’t as smart as they are. That’s why they won’t stop paying attention to her even though she has dismal approval numbers across the country and her “endorsements” appear to be as much of a hindrance as a help.

But I’ll make my own prediction on that. It’ll be Mike Huckabee. He’s a cool dude, man. Plays bass guitar. You could have a beer with him, that is if he weren’t a Southern Baptist teetotaler. But he’s the perfect extremist white Christian fundamentalist conservative.

Our own leftist extremists will try to primary Obama, but they will be labeled racist for doing so. Many of them actually will be, but that’s not the real reason behind the move to get a more progressive candidate at the top of the ticket. Getting a more progressive candidate at the top of the ticket is the real reason. It won’t work though, and Obama will be renominated. He’ll keep Joe Biden. He’ll lose, because, golly gee whillickers, Mike Huckabee is just so swell.

And hey, maybe he’ll pick Palin as vice president too, and 10 years from now we’ll have completely forgotten what a creep she actually is, and she’ll win too.

All of that will happen because my colleagues won’t come anywhere near the truth about what happened on Tuesday. They’ll just sit around their tables and laugh at each others jokes and say stupid shit about how “cannibalism” kept not only Christine O’Donnell but also Christian Reconstructionist Sharron Angle from winning their Senate races. They won’t say it was because they are batshit insane, and, thanks to the spotlight that progressives – and in some cases even my dear colleagues – kept on them, the erstwhile voters in their states figured that out before it was too late.

The only place that didn’t really happen was in Kentucky, where apparently the voters are as crazy as the candidates and thought Rand Paul, the George W. Bush of the Paul family, should go to the Senate. Good luck with that, Kentucky. Hide your Social Security checks. He’ll be coming for them.

The Christianists are all whining that the Dems abandoned them this election, saying that led the fickle fundamentalists to go back to the Republicans who are the only ones who really care about them anyway. I say it had more to do with the abandonment of Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy, the kind of strategy the Republicans have been using for decades. The kind of strategy that got Obama elected and turned both chambers of Congress over to Democrats.

At any rate, America, caveat emptor. No returns, no refunds. The Republican-led House will keep its promises – to shut down the federal government, impeach the president, hold dozens of hearings on the first two years of the Obama administration, repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, privatize Social Security, increase defense spending, cut all social programs (eliminating many), extend tax cuts for the rich permanently, pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, decimate the First Amendments guarantees of freedom of speech and religion, expand the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and attack Iran. And that’s just for starters. They have a mandate to do all that, John Boehner says, just like George W. had a mandate when the Supreme Court gave him the presidency in 2000.

Oh and, when all that comes to bite Boehner and buds in the ass, they’ll blame the black guy.

And it’ll work too. As long as the Democrats keep up with their spineless response to all the lies and distortions.

But hey, at least half the blue dogs are gone now, replaced by bright red Republicans. That should make it easier for the White House to tell friends from enemies … oh right. Obama stepped in it when he inferred that some of the more wascally Wepublicans were “enemies.” Only Republicans are allowed to call their political opponents “enemies.”

Or “traitors.” That’s what we are to them. Certainly not real Americans. Never real Americans.

Rough times ahead; hang on for your lives

I jumped the gun Tuesday night in Fugitive Info, telling you that the Palinista candidate in New Hampshire’s Republican Senate primary lost. In fact, Kelly Ayotte squeaked out a narrow victory over an equally out-of-touch Republican who lacked a tap from Queen Sarah’s glittering scepter.

In the Granite State, of course, it really didn’t matter except for bragging rights and the chance for my colleagues to tout the Women Power revolution in the GOP. That in itself is a bit of a travesty, although, I’m sad to say, there are some women I once thought of as liberal who cast their ballots on the basis of gender, claiming that women taking some power in the Republican Party is a good thing.

To them I say this: No, it’s not. Not if the women we’re talking about harbor the same dangerous delusions and problematic policy positions as the men. And they do, although, I must admit, some of them are worse.

No, I’m afraid, changing the gender of the lunatic who have taken over the asylum is not an improvement.

Those of you who think otherwise, well, go ahead and cast a vote for womanhood. And let me know how it works out when it comes down to voting for legislation you care about.

Another sad truth about Tuesday’s primaries is that the crazies won big. From an evolution-denying, anti-masturbation gadfly in Delaware, to a racist lunatic who wants to house the poor in prisons and supports a ban on abortions with no exceptions to an intelligent former state attorney general who somewhere along the line forgot how to use her brain.

Similar nuts have already won Republican primaries in Colorado, Alaska and Nevada, and I’m only talking about Senate and gubernatorial races here. The House? Well, I fully expect it to be taken over by the crazies.

The Senate, though, maybe not. Some of those races are unbelievably close — Sharron “The football team can’t wear black jerseys because that’s the devil’s color” Angle may well defeat Harry Reid. I have no love for Reid, but damn. Sharron Angle is not sane. Joe Miller in Alaska probably will win Lisa Murkowski’s Senate seat, because Scott McAdams just doesn’t have the name recognition. And besides, it’s Alaska.

>And Christine O’Donnell in Delaware — wow, now there’s a fruitcake. O’Donnell is a lightweight who has failed to win office seven or eight times before and thinks that masturbation is evil. O’Donnell is vying for Joe Biden’s former seat. O’Donnell used to be a regular on Bill Maher’s old “Politically Incorrect” show (ABC cancelled the show in 2002 after Maher agreed with guest Dinesh D’Souza that the 9/11 hijackers were not cowards — against the American party line, y’know). The perky Christine, at the time, represented a pro-abstinence group called Saviours Alliance for Lifting the Truth (SALT). And abstinence, she argues, includes refraining from masturbation, which she sees as adultery.

But Christine couldn’t win an election for dogcatcher until she hooked up with the angry Tea Partiers, which works perfectly for her since she, too, has no ideas. But then, she is a professional politician who doesn’t pay back her campaign debts.

And then there’s Carl Paladino, who’ll be facing Andrew Cuomo for governor of New York. Paladino likely won his election on the strength of his anti-Islam campaign. “There’s no constitutional argument (against the ground zero mosque) because it’s not freedom of religion,” he says. Well, moron, what is it? “Ideology,” he says. He’ll use eminent domain to stop the Islamic community center from being built because he “heard reports” that the imam in charge is anti-American, and George W. Bush made a mistake by sending him out to talk about improving U.S.-Muslim relations.

Paladino also suffers from e-mail forwarding disease. He’ll forward anything. Before President Obama’s inauguration, he sent around an video that purported to be the rehearsal for the swearing in. It featured African tribesmen dancing. He’s also sent out porn — including bestiality — a picture of the president and the first lady as a pimp and a ‘ho and this beautiful fake inspirational image.

And what was his spokesman’s response?

Carl Paladino has forwarded close friends hundreds of email messages he received. Many of these emails he received were off color, some were politically incorrect, few represented his own opinion, and almost none of them were worth remembering.

And Palladino himself, who wouldn’t say which ones “represented his own opinion” and which ones didn’t, blamed “the Democrats” for the controversy.

And it’s not just e-mails. When Palladino opens his mouth, watch out. He seems to have a serious problem with blacks in the Buffalo education system, complaining that Superintendent James Williams got his job because of his race and that the teachers’ union president is too close to black female school board members, whom he called “the parasitc Black Sisterhood.” He stand by his comments.

Then there’s his bastard child and my personal favorite — his plan to house the poor in prisons where they’ll learn how to get jobs and “hygiene.” Oh, and prison guards will be retrained to be counselors.

That’s where we are, friends. The Republican Party is now officially the party of the crazy. But it’s hardly surprising — the whackos have been working that angle for years, decades even. And now here we are.

But here’s the thing — whenever a society nears a monumental change, there’s a sharp and sure split. Extreme partisanship becomes the norm as conservatives, recognizing that change is coming, fight harder to prevent it, to pull it back, and progressives, who know that progress cannot be stopped, push harder to make it happen faster.

This intense push and pull makes for unsettling times, and, lord, we sure have ‘em now. If the crazies pull out a lot of victories in November, we’re not going to care much for what follows. On the other hand, those among us who just can’t accept that there really is a difference between Democrats and Republicans, miniscule as it may be, will find out first hand just what that difference is. If that’s the case, then 2012 may finally bring the change we’ve been looking for as the American pendulum swings as hard to the left as it has to the right this year.

And then, later on, it’ll settle to a new center, one that’s a little more sane than the one my colleagues think of as moderate.

Or Americans will close their eyes to the insanity the right has wrought. If that’s the case, we’re really doomed.

We do have a choice here, as a people. We’re still a democracy, for now. Vote. And keep putting the truth out there about what these TeaPublicans really are all about.

What conservatives don’t know can hurt you

Some of what conservatives believe defies logic. OK, a lot of it does. But far too much of it defies the truth. And I can’t figure out if they’re willfully lying or if they just simply don’t understand.

I suspect it’s both — their “leaders,” if, by leaders you mean craven hypocrites who would sell their mother and infant children if it kept them in power, know the truth but count on the average American to not know it — and believe them without question when they lie.

Hate to say it, but such is ignorance.

Take Sarah Palin, for instance — please. She’s on the record (tweeting and facebooking, of course) in support of poor Laura Schlessinger who has been forced to quit her radio show because the evil liberals won’t leave her alone about her rabid rant in which she used the dreaded n-word 11 times, totally freaking out her caller, who, inexplicably, had expected Schlessinger to help her with her problem, whatever it was.

Dr.Laura:don’t retreat…reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence”isn’t American,not fair”)

For the Twitter impaired, here’s the translation:

Dr. Laura: Don’t retreat — reload! (I’m stepping aside because Dr. Laura’s First Amendment rights ceased to exist. Thanks, activists (Sarcasm). Trying to silence “isn’t American and it’s not fair)

Palin seems to have forgotten 2008, when Schlessinger was “stunned” and “extremely disappointed” that McCain had chosen her as his running mate.

Couldn’t the Republican Party find one competent female with adult children to run for Vice President with McCain? I realize his advisors probably didn’t want a “mature” woman, as the Democrats keep harping on his age. But really, what kind of role model is a woman whose fifth child was recently born with a serious issue, Down Syndrome, and then goes back to the job of Governor within days of the birth?

That’s part of Schlessinger’s schtick, y’know — the family thing. That and not whining, which is exactly what she’s done since announcing she was quitting the radio show on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”

Plus, this isn’t the first time Schlessinger has mis-whined about the First Amendment. About 12-13 years ago, she went on a different tirade, this one about the dreaded homosexuals. She said gay men and lesbians were aberrations or some such nonsense, and denial of her First Amendment rights ensued, apparently by gay men, lesbians and their supporters exercising their First Amendment rights not to shop with her sponsors. As it was all at about the same time she was getting a TV show, the show was the target. It opened to pitiful ratings, because apparently masochistic losers who like to be berated by shrill non-doctors who once posed nude don’t watch much TV, and not surprisingly, didn’t last long.

But it pains me to have to remind conservatives, once again, about the Bill of Rights, in general, and the First Amendment, in particular. Here’s what it says:

Congress shall make no law …

Hold it right there. That’s as far as we need to go. “Congress shall make no law” in this case, “abridging the freedom of speech.” Did Congress pass a law kicking Schlessinger off the radio, or forcing her to curtail her bullshit while I wasn’t looking?

I didn’t think so.

These same conservatives, and it is the very same ones, seem to lack understanding of other parts of that same amendment, too, like the part that says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

That’s why they can’t shut up about the not-at-ground-zero not-a mosque in New York. And to argue against it, they use all kinds of really fucked up analogies. Like, “What if the United States put a memorial to the Enola Gay in Hiroshima?”

Let me break this down for them, because I know complex ideas are difficult. First, Park51 is not a memorial to the airliners that hijackers flew into the World Trade Centers. Actually, that’s all we need to say. Same goes for the analogy wherein Japan would put a memorial to kamikaze pilots at Pearl Harbor, or Nazis put a memorial up at the Holocaust Museum in Washington. Again, Park51 is not a memorial anything. It is an Islamic center that seeks to promote peace and understanding. And those are apparently concepts that conservatives have no understanding of whatsoever.

These ignorances are dangerous, and if they are indeed blind followings of lies and obfuscations of the so-called conservarati, they are even more dangerous, because what other lies can they tell that will be bought lock, stock and barrel by the ignorant masses?

A few days ago, I read an interview with a Teabagger in which he was asked if he’d actually read the Constitution, a copy of which he carried in his pocket. Not really, he said, “but I know my country’s history.” Really?

That made me cringe. I don’t expect everyone to be the history and news junkie that I am, but a little basic understanding sure would be nice. Sadly, that went the way of condiments being mere condiments in school lunches, a product of the right’s determination to keep us stupid by destroying any chance at a decent educational system in this country. So far, so good.

Conservatives sometimes, for reasons known only to them, like to deny that the United States is a democracy. “It’s a republic,” they say, which I think somehow implies that the people have all the power and the officials they elect, well, fuck them and the people who voted for them. Let’s try out some definitions:

A republic:
A state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.

A democracy:
A government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

I don’t see a heckuva lotta difference, except that “republic” specifically refers to the country and “democracy” more specifically refers to the government. Whatever. They’re wrong. We are a democracy. And a republic. But to deny the former in favor of the latter is a separatist, militia thing to do — it sets up the basis for an armed insurrection.

Then there’s all the nonsense about how keeping taxes low for rich people helps the economy, creates jobs, etc etc etc. Except it doesn’t For the period of time since George W. Bush got his tax cuts for the rich passed by the same methods the Republicans now condemn when Democrats do it, there as been zero job growth. Zero. Zip, zilch, nada. Big fat nothing. Didn’t work, idiots. And yet, in the face of the obvious evidence of complete failure, the Republican leadership keeps saying it works and the ignorant masses keep believing them.

Speaking of taxes, we pay one of the lowest tax rates in the world, and the conservatives say we pay too much. That’s because they don’t want to pay any taxes. And corporations — good lord, they pay hardly any taxes on the billions they make, mostly because they hide their money in offshore tax shelters. But the conservarati don’t talk much about that.

And let’s not even get started on global warming. Sure, there’s a natural element to it. But we’ve helped it along quite nicely, thank you. And just because it has a natural element doesn’t make the idea of a world several degrees hotter than it is now and an ocean several feet higher than is now something that’s no big deal. Just ask the mastodons.

About 1,000 words or so back, I noted that some of the things conservatives believe defy logic (Obama is a socialist, secret Muslim who wasn’t born in the United States comes to mind), but I haven’t really addressed any of those. Five or six years ago, however, a list circulated that pretty much covered it (you can add whatever more modern ones you want). The gist of the list is this: IOKIYAAR.* Here it is:

  • Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you’re a conservative radio host. Then it’s an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.
  • The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.
  • Government should relax regulation of Big Business and Big Money but crack down on individuals who use marijuana to relieve the pain of illness.
  • “Standing Tall for America” means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.
  • A woman can’t be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.
  • Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.
  • The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans’ benefits and combat pay.
  • Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins unless you run for governor of California as a Republican.
  • If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won’t have sex.
  • A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.
  • HMOs and insurance companies have the interest of the public at heart.
  • Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.
  • Global warming, and tobacco’s link to cancer, are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.
  • Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush’s daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a “we can’t find Bin Laden” diversion.
  • A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.
  • Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.
  • The public has a right to know about Hillary’s cattle trades, but George Bush’s driving record is none of our business.
  • You support states’ rights, which means (former) Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have a right to adopt.
  • What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the ’80s is irrelevant.
  • Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

* IOKIYAAR: It’s OK if you are a Republican.