Monday, April 13, 2015

The Ongoing Disaster of Obamacare




Look! Look! The rate of uninsured Americans has plunged from a high of 18% to 11.9%! Obamacare MUST be a disaster if that's the case because it should have been negative three percent a month ago!

No one is ever going to give the government credit for fixing the health insurance debacle that is America's heartland. That 11.9% would be about half that if all of the states had gotten on board. Instead, we see the effects of ideology and petty politics. Americans are suffering, Obamacare is working, and I'm waiting to hear more about Benghazi out of these clowns.

The Ongoing Disaster of Obamacare


Look! Look! The rate of uninsured Americans has plunged from a high of 18% to 11.9%! Obamacare MUST be a disaster if that's the case because it should have been negative three percent a month ago!

No one is ever going to give the government credit for fixing the health insurance debacle that is America's heartland. That 11.9% would be about half that if all of the states had gotten on board. Instead, we see the effects of ideology and petty politics. Americans are suffering, Obamacare is working, and I'm waiting to hear more about Benghazi out of these clowns.

Friday, April 10, 2015

It's the Anti-Semitism, Stupid




Peter Beinart asks a great question, but fails to mention the possibility that anti-Semitism, and being accused of being an anti-Semite, are the reasons why Democrats are holding back on vocally opposing a war with Iran.

The people opposed to making a deal with Iran have a lot of money they can throw at politicians. They can fund primaries against candidates or throw a lot of money at an opponent. They can buy a lot of ads and use a great deal of lobbying to get what they want. In the next election cycle, look for a lot of this money to be thrown at any Democrat who supports the President on the Iran deal.

And, as always, look for charges of being anti-Semitic to rain from the skies. That's how it works.

It's the Anti-Semitism, Stupid


Peter Beinart asks a great question, but fails to mention the possibility that anti-Semitism, and being accused of being an anti-Semite, are the reasons why Democrats are holding back on vocally opposing a war with Iran.

The people opposed to making a deal with Iran have a lot of money they can throw at politicians. They can fund primaries against candidates or throw a lot of money at an opponent. They can buy a lot of ads and use a great deal of lobbying to get what they want. In the next election cycle, look for a lot of this money to be thrown at any Democrat who supports the President on the Iran deal.

And, as always, look for charges of being anti-Semitic to rain from the skies. That's how it works.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tom Cotton is a Very Serious Person








Sen. Tom Cotton says bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities would take several days and be nothing like Iraq War.


The Arkansas Republican, who earlier this year upset Democrats and the White House by sending a letter warning the Iranian government to think twice about entering into a deal on its nuclear program with President Obama, said President Obama offered a “false choice” by saying it was his deal with Iran or war.


“This president has a bad habit of accusing other people of making false choices, but he presented the ultimate false choice last week when he said it’s either this deal or war,” the Arkansas Republican said on Family Research Council’sWashington Watch radio program Tuesday.

In Senator Cotton's world, the Air Force flies high, bombs our enemies, and everyone gets to go home. The poor savages we have bombed get to suck it--Tom Friedman style--and dance angrily around their burning buildings.

If it was that easy, Israel would have bombed Iran ten years ago. The mere fact that they haven't bombed Iran should tell you that if it is beyond their ability to take out Iran's facilities, it certainly won't be easy for us to do the same thing. In fact, it would take months and months of precision bombing, losses would be unacceptable, and the costs would be enormous, both in terms of equipment and pilots. Iran is not a "lightly defended" country; it has sophisticated air defense systems. It has an air force inferior to ours but nothing like Iraq's in 2003.

And, bear in mind, we didn't exactly set the world aflame with our bombing of Serbia or our "shock and awe" attempt in Iraq.

Subsequent investigation on the ground by a munitions effectiveness assessment team dispatched from NATO concluded that Serb losses had been perhaps a tenth of those claimed. Nato commander General Wesley Clark was reportedly outraged at this report, and sent the team back to Kosovo for further research. Once again, the team found no evidence that the air strikes had in any way discommoded the Serb occupation military.


Ultimately, a US Air Force general, John Chorley, obligingly produced a report, without conducting further research in the field, with numbers—ninety-three tanks, 153 armored personnel carriers—that were close enough to the initial claims to be acceptable and have so been recorded as the final tally.


NATO staff was in no doubt as to what had happened. US Army Colonel Douglas MacGregor, who was director of joint operations at Nato military headquarters throughout the war, recently confirmed to me in an e-mail: “Pressure to fabricate came from the top…the [Air Force] senior leadership was determined that whatever the truth, the campaign had to confirm the efficacy of air power and its dominance.” MacGregor, now retired, recalls senior British and German officers on the Nato staff joined him in protesting to Clark over the adulteration of the figures, to no avail. 


The story would deserve no more than a footnote if the political effects of the instant falsification of history had not had such far-reaching effects. Air power had been failing to live up to its advocates’ promises since at least World War II, with Vietnam being a signal case in point. The Kosovo campaign’s apparent confirmation that bombs and missiles could achieve a victory at no cost in friendly casualties, and in a good cause too, undoubtedly prepared the political landscape for the automated drone warfare so eagerly embraced by our current leadership. A wider awareness that the official history of that campaign is a fabrication might help people to understand why current remote-control air campaigns in Waziristan, Yemen, Somalia, and beyond yield such disappointing results.

Then there's the simple fact of retaliation. Ever heard of the Strait of Hormuz?

The Strait of Hormuz is the world's most important chokepoint with an oil flow of 17 million barrels per day in 2013, about 30% of all seaborne-traded oil.

Located between Oman and Iran, the Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. The Strait of Hormuz is the world's most important oil chokepoint because of its daily oil flow of 17 million barrels per day in 2013. Flows through the Strait of Hormuz in 2013 were about 30% of all seaborne-traded oil.


EIA estimates that more than 85% of the crude oil that moved through this chokepoint went to Asian markets, based on data from Lloyd's List Intelligence tanker tracking service.6Japan, India, South Korea, and China are the largest destinations for oil moving through the Strait of Hormuz.


Qatar exported about 3.7 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) per year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the Strait of Hormuz in 2013, according to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy 2014.7 This volume accounts for more than 30% of global LNG trade. Kuwait imports LNG volumes that travel northward through the Strait of Hormuz.


At its narrowest point, the Strait of Hormuz is 21 miles wide, but the width of the shipping lane in either direction is only two miles wide, separated by a two-mile buffer zone. The Strait of Hormuz is deep and wide enough to handle the world's largest crude oil tankers, with about two-thirds of oil shipments carried by tankers in excess of 150,000 deadweight tons.

Another Republican in favor of all out war--exactly what America needs. What happened to this country?

Tom Cotton is a Very Serious Person


Sen. Tom Cotton says bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities would take several days and be nothing like Iraq War.
The Arkansas Republican, who earlier this year upset Democrats and the White House by sending a letter warning the Iranian government to think twice about entering into a deal on its nuclear program with President Obama, said President Obama offered a “false choice” by saying it was his deal with Iran or war.
“This president has a bad habit of accusing other people of making false choices, but he presented the ultimate false choice last week when he said it’s either this deal or war,” the Arkansas Republican said on Family Research Council’sWashington Watch radio program Tuesday.
In Senator Cotton's world, the Air Force flies high, bombs our enemies, and everyone gets to go home. The poor savages we have bombed get to suck it--Tom Friedman style--and dance angrily around their burning buildings.

If it was that easy, Israel would have bombed Iran ten years ago. The mere fact that they haven't bombed Iran should tell you that if it is beyond their ability to take out Iran's facilities, it certainly won't be easy for us to do the same thing. In fact, it would take months and months of precision bombing, losses would be unacceptable, and the costs would be enormous, both in terms of equipment and pilots. Iran is not a "lightly defended" country; it has sophisticated air defense systems. It has an air force inferior to ours but nothing like Iraq's in 2003.

And, bear in mind, we didn't exactly set the world aflame with our bombing of Serbia or our "shock and awe" attempt in Iraq.
Subsequent investigation on the ground by a munitions effectiveness assessment team dispatched from NATO concluded that Serb losses had been perhaps a tenth of those claimed. Nato commander General Wesley Clark was reportedly outraged at this report, and sent the team back to Kosovo for further research. Once again, the team found no evidence that the air strikes had in any way discommoded the Serb occupation military.
Ultimately, a US Air Force general, John Chorley, obligingly produced a report, without conducting further research in the field, with numbers—ninety-three tanks, 153 armored personnel carriers—that were close enough to the initial claims to be acceptable and have so been recorded as the final tally.
NATO staff was in no doubt as to what had happened. US Army Colonel Douglas MacGregor, who was director of joint operations at Nato military headquarters throughout the war, recently confirmed to me in an e-mail: “Pressure to fabricate came from the top…the [Air Force] senior leadership was determined that whatever the truth, the campaign had to confirm the efficacy of air power and its dominance.” MacGregor, now retired, recalls senior British and German officers on the Nato staff joined him in protesting to Clark over the adulteration of the figures, to no avail. 
The story would deserve no more than a footnote if the political effects of the instant falsification of history had not had such far-reaching effects. Air power had been failing to live up to its advocates’ promises since at least World War II, with Vietnam being a signal case in point. The Kosovo campaign’s apparent confirmation that bombs and missiles could achieve a victory at no cost in friendly casualties, and in a good cause too, undoubtedly prepared the political landscape for the automated drone warfare so eagerly embraced by our current leadership. A wider awareness that the official history of that campaign is a fabrication might help people to understand why current remote-control air campaigns in Waziristan, Yemen, Somalia, and beyond yield such disappointing results.
Then there's the simple fact of retaliation. Ever heard of the Strait of Hormuz?
The Strait of Hormuz is the world's most important chokepoint with an oil flow of 17 million barrels per day in 2013, about 30% of all seaborne-traded oil.

Located between Oman and Iran, the Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. The Strait of Hormuz is the world's most important oil chokepoint because of its daily oil flow of 17 million barrels per day in 2013. Flows through the Strait of Hormuz in 2013 were about 30% of all seaborne-traded oil.
EIA estimates that more than 85% of the crude oil that moved through this chokepoint went to Asian markets, based on data from Lloyd's List Intelligence tanker tracking service.6Japan, India, South Korea, and China are the largest destinations for oil moving through the Strait of Hormuz.
Qatar exported about 3.7 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) per year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the Strait of Hormuz in 2013, according to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy 2014.7 This volume accounts for more than 30% of global LNG trade. Kuwait imports LNG volumes that travel northward through the Strait of Hormuz.
At its narrowest point, the Strait of Hormuz is 21 miles wide, but the width of the shipping lane in either direction is only two miles wide, separated by a two-mile buffer zone. The Strait of Hormuz is deep and wide enough to handle the world's largest crude oil tankers, with about two-thirds of oil shipments carried by tankers in excess of 150,000 deadweight tons.
Another Republican in favor of all out war--exactly what America needs. What happened to this country?

Who is the Worst President Ever?




Dick Cheney has decided to ignore recent American history and make strange pronouncements. Let's wish him will in his endeavors.

It must be hard for a man of his singular brilliance to be confronted by the past and to have the people who were hired to run foreign policy on his watch revealed as clowns and fools:





It has to suck being on the wrong side of everything ever in modern American history. It has to feel like winning the lottery the day after the lottery went bust.

Who is the Worst President Ever?


Dick Cheney has decided to ignore recent American history and make strange pronouncements. Let's wish him will in his endeavors.

It must be hard for a man of his singular brilliance to be confronted by the past and to have the people who were hired to run foreign policy on his watch revealed as clowns and fools:



It has to suck being on the wrong side of everything ever in modern American history. It has to feel like winning the lottery the day after the lottery went bust.

Monday, April 6, 2015

You Cannot Denigrate the Lost Cause




Oh, this will never fly:

This week provides an occasion for the U.S. government to get real about history, as April 9 is the 150th anniversary of the Union’s victory in the Civil War. The generous terms of Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House foreshadowed a multitude of real and symbolic compromises that the winners of the war would make with secessionists, slavery supporters, and each other to piece the country back together. It’s as appropriate an occasion as the Selma anniversary to reflect on the country’s struggle to improve itself. And to mark the occasion, the federal government should make two modest changes: It should make April 9 a federal holiday; and it should commit to disavowing or renaming monuments to the Confederacy, and its leaders, that receive direct federal support.

There's a wonderful historical case to be made for celebrating the collapse of the Army of Northern Virginia. There were still several intact Confederate Armies operating throughout the South; they were desperately fleeing the wrath of General Sherman and trying to survive until someone, or anyone, could call him off.

Celebrating the destruction of the Confederacy is like celebrating the day we drove the last Native American onto the Reservation--you can't commemorate the beating of a helpless enemy, no matter whether they were innocent or guilty. It is not good form. Americans celebrate beating real enemies, not their bumbling country cousins down south. The Confederacy did not lose because they ran out of men; far from it. One out of every three Confederate soldiers deserted during the war.

How do you make a holiday out of that? I have no idea.

You Cannot Denigrate the Lost Cause


Oh, this will never fly:
This week provides an occasion for the U.S. government to get real about history, as April 9 is the 150th anniversary of the Union’s victory in the Civil War. The generous terms of Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House foreshadowed a multitude of real and symbolic compromises that the winners of the war would make with secessionists, slavery supporters, and each other to piece the country back together. It’s as appropriate an occasion as the Selma anniversary to reflect on the country’s struggle to improve itself. And to mark the occasion, the federal government should make two modest changes: It should make April 9 a federal holiday; and it should commit to disavowing or renaming monuments to the Confederacy, and its leaders, that receive direct federal support.
There's a wonderful historical case to be made for celebrating the collapse of the Army of Northern Virginia. There were still several intact Confederate Armies operating throughout the South; they were desperately fleeing the wrath of General Sherman and trying to survive until someone, or anyone, could call him off.

Celebrating the destruction of the Confederacy is like celebrating the day we drove the last Native American onto the Reservation--you can't commemorate the beating of a helpless enemy, no matter whether they were innocent or guilty. It is not good form. Americans celebrate beating real enemies, not their bumbling country cousins down south. The Confederacy did not lose because they ran out of men; far from it. One out of every three Confederate soldiers deserted during the war.

How do you make a holiday out of that? I have no idea.

Ron Christie Has No Case to Make








Fast-forward to the present day. In a private bill-signing ceremony, several supporters of Governor Pence’s who strongly define marriage as between a man and a woman surrounded him as he put his signature on the new law. All of a sudden—instant crisis and scandal: Republicans are bigots and against the LGBT community. Based on no facts, no evidence, nothing other than Democrat opponents asserting this as the truth. And Republicans largely cowered in response.




First of all, it wasn't the Democratic Party or the media that compelled Indiana to change anything. It was the harsh condemnation of NASCAR and Wal-Mart, among others, that signaled firm displeasure. These are the natural constituencies of the Republican Party; they're the ones who can raise money for campaigns and fund primaries to run people out of office.






Three of the lobbyists who pushed hardest for last year's gay marriage ban — Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana, Curt Smith of the Indiana Family Institute and Eric Miller of Advance America — were among the 70 to 80 guests invited to the private bill signing.

Third, an even casual look at what these three "lobbyists" have said and done would lead any rational person to conclude that they are bigoted, anti-gay hate mongers:

Micah Clark:

-- Used biblical passage about it being "better to have a millstone tied around your neck and thrown in the sea" in reference to the Boy Scouts accepting gay youth: "What did Christ say about harming the least of these?  He said it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be thrown in the sea on the day of judgement than to cause a child to stumble into sin.  And if we're going to support organizations telling kids that homosexuality is okay—which is treatable, changeable, you don't have to be homosexual, but if you are, you are at significiantly higher risks of mental harm, pshycial harm, emotional harmm and spiritual harm—we cant be a part of that.  (Source; starts around 2:00 mark)


-- An advocate of so-called "ex-gay" therapy, claims "[t]here are scores of organizations across America that help people overcome same-sex attraction disorder and gender identity confusion; his organization promotes three different groups geared toward "changing" gay people


-- Compared a license plate benefitting an LGBT youth center to a plate promoting smoking; claimed the youth center "recruits" gays: "You have to question what the BMV was thinking when they approved a license plate for a group which recruits teens into the homosexual lifestyle. Since health risks do not seem to matter, what is to prevent a cigar club from now getting a license plate from the BMV?"


-- Claims that "homosexuality has no societal benefit...and its individually destructive and dangerous." (*specific quote found at comment labeled "February 07, 2009 at 09:32 AM;" general idea is repeated throughout thread)


-- Publicly raged against a lesbian student who felt more comfortable wearing a tuxedo to her high school prom, claiming her choice was both a "sexual statement" and "destructive"


-- Claimed a political party's support for marriage equality was really "calling for the unraveling of marriage " and was an attempt to "official undermine the family"


-- Chastised media for reporting on openly gay NBA player Jason Collins, putting Collins in the same category as "musicians who run afoul of the law or father multiple children out of wedlock": "It is a strange world we live in when we elevate athletes who deviate from natural norms, we heap fame on musicians who run afoul of the law or father multiple children out of wedlock and turn our backs on those of honorable behavior like Tim Teabow [sic].  We mock or even attack anyone who stands for traditional values. All the while, we continue to wonder why we have so many social problems."

Curt Smith:

-- Promotes conferences that seek to "change" gay people


-- Admits: "...I believe homosexuality is harmful to all, including society, and is against the teachings of the God of the Bible..."


-- Equates homosexuality with bestiality and adultery: "The Judeo-Christian worldview at the heart of Western culture and so our legal and governmental systems (Ten Commandments, an "eye for an eye," the very concepts of mercy, justice and rehabilitation) promotes marriage and family while decrying other modes of sexuality -- homosexuality, bestiality, adultery, etc"


-- Uses skewed "research" from activists who share his view to claim "that gay men can change from homosexual to heterosexual orientation" and that "homosexual orientation is not an immutable fact of nature or Creation." 


-- Refers to details surrounding Matthew Shepard's tragic murder as gay activist "propaganda;" claimsthe real takeaway from the gay man's brutal murder is that marriage should be "strengthened" (i.e. gays should be blocked from to) so that drug abuse will be discouraged


-- In Thanksgiving post, taunted his blog readers, "So prove me wrong today.  Show me the gay community has a life beyond absorption with narcissistic sex. Show us you are truly "gay" as in thankful and happy."

Eric Miller:

-- Admits he believes "homosexuality is wrong"


-- While attempting to defeat federal hate crimes laws protecting LGBT people, falsely claimed pedophilia is a sexual orientation on par with homosexuality (*in fact, the APA classifies pedophilia as a behavior-based paraphilia)


-- Claims “[b]anning same-sex marriages and civil unions will prove to be the greatest moral battle of this generation.”


-- Distributed fear flier falsely claiming that pastors could be jailed for preaching against homosexuality once same-sex marriage passes

Now, I'm not an expert on who is, and who is not a bigot, but these three men sure look like bigots to me. Their beliefs are extreme and well out of the mainstream, and they are documented by groups like GLAAD who feel persecuted by their very public pronouncements. These are the three men, identified by name and affiliation, who were present at the private ceremony where Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a bigoted law. Their "beliefs" are well to the right of an organization like NASCAR, enough so that the mere threat of pulling corporate events from the state drove the Pence Administration batty enough to beg for a do-over on this law.

And Ron Christie has the gall to argue that Republicans aren't bigots? This after a prominent Republican all but bathed himself in the approval of at least three easily identifiable bigots? Please.

Ron Christie Has No Case to Make



Fast-forward to the present day. In a private bill-signing ceremony, several supporters of Governor Pence’s who strongly define marriage as between a man and a woman surrounded him as he put his signature on the new law. All of a sudden—instant crisis and scandal: Republicans are bigots and against the LGBT community. Based on no facts, no evidence, nothing other than Democrat opponents asserting this as the truth. And Republicans largely cowered in response.

First of all, it wasn't the Democratic Party or the media that compelled Indiana to change anything. It was the harsh condemnation of NASCAR and Wal-Mart, among others, that signaled firm displeasure. These are the natural constituencies of the Republican Party; they're the ones who can raise money for campaigns and fund primaries to run people out of office.

Three of the lobbyists who pushed hardest for last year's gay marriage ban — Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana, Curt Smith of the Indiana Family Institute and Eric Miller of Advance America — were among the 70 to 80 guests invited to the private bill signing.
Third, an even casual look at what these three "lobbyists" have said and done would lead any rational person to conclude that they are bigoted, anti-gay hate mongers:

Micah Clark:
-- Used biblical passage about it being "better to have a millstone tied around your neck and thrown in the sea" in reference to the Boy Scouts accepting gay youth: "What did Christ say about harming the least of these?  He said it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be thrown in the sea on the day of judgement than to cause a child to stumble into sin.  And if we're going to support organizations telling kids that homosexuality is okay—which is treatable, changeable, you don't have to be homosexual, but if you are, you are at significiantly higher risks of mental harm, pshycial harm, emotional harmm and spiritual harm—we cant be a part of that.  (Source; starts around 2:00 mark)
-- An advocate of so-called "ex-gay" therapy, claims "[t]here are scores of organizations across America that help people overcome same-sex attraction disorder and gender identity confusion; his organization promotes three different groups geared toward "changing" gay people
-- Compared a license plate benefitting an LGBT youth center to a plate promoting smoking; claimed the youth center "recruits" gays: "You have to question what the BMV was thinking when they approved a license plate for a group which recruits teens into the homosexual lifestyle. Since health risks do not seem to matter, what is to prevent a cigar club from now getting a license plate from the BMV?"
-- Claims that "homosexuality has no societal benefit...and its individually destructive and dangerous." (*specific quote found at comment labeled "February 07, 2009 at 09:32 AM;" general idea is repeated throughout thread)
-- Publicly raged against a lesbian student who felt more comfortable wearing a tuxedo to her high school prom, claiming her choice was both a "sexual statement" and "destructive"
-- Claimed a political party's support for marriage equality was really "calling for the unraveling of marriage " and was an attempt to "official undermine the family"
-- Chastised media for reporting on openly gay NBA player Jason Collins, putting Collins in the same category as "musicians who run afoul of the law or father multiple children out of wedlock": "It is a strange world we live in when we elevate athletes who deviate from natural norms, we heap fame on musicians who run afoul of the law or father multiple children out of wedlock and turn our backs on those of honorable behavior like Tim Teabow [sic].  We mock or even attack anyone who stands for traditional values. All the while, we continue to wonder why we have so many social problems."
Curt Smith:
-- Promotes conferences that seek to "change" gay people
-- Admits: "...I believe homosexuality is harmful to all, including society, and is against the teachings of the God of the Bible..."
-- Equates homosexuality with bestiality and adultery: "The Judeo-Christian worldview at the heart of Western culture and so our legal and governmental systems (Ten Commandments, an "eye for an eye," the very concepts of mercy, justice and rehabilitation) promotes marriage and family while decrying other modes of sexuality -- homosexuality, bestiality, adultery, etc"
-- Uses skewed "research" from activists who share his view to claim "that gay men can change from homosexual to heterosexual orientation" and that "homosexual orientation is not an immutable fact of nature or Creation." 
-- Refers to details surrounding Matthew Shepard's tragic murder as gay activist "propaganda;" claimsthe real takeaway from the gay man's brutal murder is that marriage should be "strengthened" (i.e. gays should be blocked from to) so that drug abuse will be discouraged
-- In Thanksgiving post, taunted his blog readers, "So prove me wrong today.  Show me the gay community has a life beyond absorption with narcissistic sex. Show us you are truly "gay" as in thankful and happy."
Eric Miller:
-- Admits he believes "homosexuality is wrong"
-- While attempting to defeat federal hate crimes laws protecting LGBT people, falsely claimed pedophilia is a sexual orientation on par with homosexuality (*in fact, the APA classifies pedophilia as a behavior-based paraphilia)
-- Claims “[b]anning same-sex marriages and civil unions will prove to be the greatest moral battle of this generation.”
-- Distributed fear flier falsely claiming that pastors could be jailed for preaching against homosexuality once same-sex marriage passes
Now, I'm not an expert on who is, and who is not a bigot, but these three men sure look like bigots to me. Their beliefs are extreme and well out of the mainstream, and they are documented by groups like GLAAD who feel persecuted by their very public pronouncements. These are the three men, identified by name and affiliation, who were present at the private ceremony where Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a bigoted law. Their "beliefs" are well to the right of an organization like NASCAR, enough so that the mere threat of pulling corporate events from the state drove the Pence Administration batty enough to beg for a do-over on this law.

And Ron Christie has the gall to argue that Republicans aren't bigots? This after a prominent Republican all but bathed himself in the approval of at least three easily identifiable bigots? Please.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Nice Try, Asshole


Note the title of Kevin Williamson's attempt to defend the bigotry laws of Indiana. And, also note that he gets everything wrong right away:

There are three problems with rewarding those who use accusations of bigotry as a political cudgel. First, those who seek to protect religious liberties are not bigots, and going along with false accusations that they are makes one a party to a lie. Second, it is an excellent way to lose political contests, since there is almost nothing — up to and including requiring algebra classes — that the Left will not denounce as bigotry. Third, and related, it encourages those who cynically deploy accusations of bigotry for their own political ends.

So, the left uses bigotry, correct? Well, why do Republicans use national security in exactly the same manner to bludgeon their opponents into submission?

No one declared war on the private mind or the private beliefs of the people of Indiana. War was declared on the very public and commercial use of denying basic services to people based on their sexual orientation. This became an issue because Indiana law attempted to deny basic services to people based on sexual orientation in exactly the same manner as was done to people of color forty years ago (which the National Review defended as a matter of course in the 1960s).

No one is telling people what to think. They are being politely reminded that discrimination is anti-American and against the American way of life.

Can someone tell me what the fuck is he on about with regards to algebra? I am afraid the poor man is shivering in his own cloak of ignorance, afraid of his own shadow, and desperately hoping old William F. Buckley will show up and denounce that queer Gore Vidal.

You see, it's against the law to discriminate against people. Case closed, motherfuckers. Case closed.

Nice Try, Asshole


Note the title of Kevin Williamson's attempt to defend the bigotry laws of Indiana. And, also note that he gets everything wrong right away:

There are three problems with rewarding those who use accusations of bigotry as a political cudgel. First, those who seek to protect religious liberties are not bigots, and going along with false accusations that they are makes one a party to a lie. Second, it is an excellent way to lose political contests, since there is almost nothing — up to and including requiring algebra classes — that the Left will not denounce as bigotry. Third, and related, it encourages those who cynically deploy accusations of bigotry for their own political ends.

So, the left uses bigotry, correct? Well, why do Republicans use national security in exactly the same manner to bludgeon their opponents into submission?

No one declared war on the private mind or the private beliefs of the people of Indiana. War was declared on the very public and commercial use of denying basic services to people based on their sexual orientation. This became an issue because Indiana law attempted to deny basic services to people based on sexual orientation in exactly the same manner as was done to people of color forty years ago (which the National Review defended as a matter of course in the 1960s).

No one is telling people what to think. They are being politely reminded that discrimination is anti-American and against the American way of life.

Can someone tell me what the fuck is he on about with regards to algebra? I am afraid the poor man is shivering in his own cloak of ignorance, afraid of his own shadow, and desperately hoping old William F. Buckley will show up and denounce that queer Gore Vidal.

You see, it's against the law to discriminate against people. Case closed, motherfuckers. Case closed.

Flipped






Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is helping employees who are uncomfortable with Indiana's controversial religious freedom law to transfer out of the state.


Benioff told CNN's Poppy Harlow on Wednesday that several employees have asked for transfers -- and he has agreed, even supplying relocation packages.


"I just got an email on the way to studio from another employee who said, 'look I don't feel comfortable living in this state anymore, you have to move me out,' and I gave him a $50,000 relocation package and said, 'great, you're clear to go.' "


In some ways, yes--this is obviously a stunt of some kind. Salesforce is making a very public stand against bigotry and they deserve praise for that. No company can relocate all of its workers (and the article says as much) out of a state like Indiana. What this means is that Indiana can't count on new business anymore. It can't outrun the negative publicity of the anti-gay law that was passed. And no amount of right wing counter-outrage can top the impact of a major corporation making such a decision as seen above.





Big business--the natural constituency of conservatives--has flipped on the issue of gay rights. Now they need to fund primaries against politicians like Tom Cotton and Mike Pence.

Flipped


Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is helping employees who are uncomfortable with Indiana's controversial religious freedom law to transfer out of the state.
Benioff told CNN's Poppy Harlow on Wednesday that several employees have asked for transfers -- and he has agreed, even supplying relocation packages.
"I just got an email on the way to studio from another employee who said, 'look I don't feel comfortable living in this state anymore, you have to move me out,' and I gave him a $50,000 relocation package and said, 'great, you're clear to go.' "
In some ways, yes--this is obviously a stunt of some kind. Salesforce is making a very public stand against bigotry and they deserve praise for that. No company can relocate all of its workers (and the article says as much) out of a state like Indiana. What this means is that Indiana can't count on new business anymore. It can't outrun the negative publicity of the anti-gay law that was passed. And no amount of right wing counter-outrage can top the impact of a major corporation making such a decision as seen above.

Big business--the natural constituency of conservatives--has flipped on the issue of gay rights. Now they need to fund primaries against politicians like Tom Cotton and Mike Pence.

This is What is Wrong With Kansas




Ten years ago, Thomas Frank explained exactly what's wrong with Kansas.

Kansas, once home to farmers who marched against "money power," is now solidly Republican. In Frank's scathing and high-spirited polemic, this fact is not just "the mystery of Kansas" but "the mystery of America." Dismissing much of the received punditry about the red-blue divide, Frank argues that the problem is the "systematic erasure of the economic" from discussions of class and its replacement with a notion of "authenticity," whereby "there is no bad economic turn a conservative cannot do unto his buddy in the working class, as long as cultural solidarity has been cemented over a beer." The leaders of this backlash, by focussing on cultural issues in which victory is probably impossible (abortion, "filth" on TV), feed their base's sense of grievance, abetted, Frank believes, by a "criminally stupid" Democratic strategy of triangulation. Liberals do not need to know more about nascar; they need to talk more about money and class.

He could release his book today and nothing would have to change in his premise. That's because the people of Kansas re-elected Sam Brownback despite the fact that he has ruined the state with conservative ideology:

State figures released Tuesday showed that tax revenue came in $11.2 million below expectations in March, the latest in a string of lower-than-expected tax receipts.


Lawmakers must fill a $344 million revenue shortfall by June, and Brownback has moved to plug Kansas’ fiscal hole by slashing education funding, gutting the state’s pension fund, and cutting infrastructure. Additionally, the governor has proposed new sales taxes, which disproportionately impact the poor, in order to proceed full steam ahead with his income tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.


While personal income tax revenue was above expectations last month, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports that revenues from oil and gas, sales, and corporate income taxes were well short of what analysts had projected, largely owing to a state economy whose performance is less robust than the Brownback administration had predicted. Given that Brownback aims to eventually eliminate income taxes, the state will depend on those other sources of revenue in the years to come.


That's all well and good, but everyone is happy because there are no RVs where women can get free abortions all day long.

This is What is Wrong With Kansas


Ten years ago, Thomas Frank explained exactly what's wrong with Kansas.
Kansas, once home to farmers who marched against "money power," is now solidly Republican. In Frank's scathing and high-spirited polemic, this fact is not just "the mystery of Kansas" but "the mystery of America." Dismissing much of the received punditry about the red-blue divide, Frank argues that the problem is the "systematic erasure of the economic" from discussions of class and its replacement with a notion of "authenticity," whereby "there is no bad economic turn a conservative cannot do unto his buddy in the working class, as long as cultural solidarity has been cemented over a beer." The leaders of this backlash, by focussing on cultural issues in which victory is probably impossible (abortion, "filth" on TV), feed their base's sense of grievance, abetted, Frank believes, by a "criminally stupid" Democratic strategy of triangulation. Liberals do not need to know more about nascar; they need to talk more about money and class.
He could release his book today and nothing would have to change in his premise. That's because the people of Kansas re-elected Sam Brownback despite the fact that he has ruined the state with conservative ideology:
State figures released Tuesday showed that tax revenue came in $11.2 million below expectations in March, the latest in a string of lower-than-expected tax receipts.
Lawmakers must fill a $344 million revenue shortfall by June, and Brownback has moved to plug Kansas’ fiscal hole by slashing education funding, gutting the state’s pension fund, and cutting infrastructure. Additionally, the governor has proposed new sales taxes, which disproportionately impact the poor, in order to proceed full steam ahead with his income tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.
While personal income tax revenue was above expectations last month, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports that revenues from oil and gas, sales, and corporate income taxes were well short of what analysts had projected, largely owing to a state economy whose performance is less robust than the Brownback administration had predicted. Given that Brownback aims to eventually eliminate income taxes, the state will depend on those other sources of revenue in the years to come.
That's all well and good, but everyone is happy because there are no RVs where women can get free abortions all day long.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Biggest of All Stories




California is experiencing a shock of epic proportions:

As California continues to endure a historic drought, Gov. Jerry Brown
has implemented the state’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions. By
doing so, he hopes to reduce usage by 25 percent. Brown’s plans include
requiring large landscaped areas like golf courses and cemeteries to
reduce water consumption, increase drought-tolerant landscaping, offer
rebate programs to replace out-of-date appliances with water-efficient
ones, and require all new homes to be water-efficient.

There will be complaints about brown grass and empty swimming pools, of course, but what is really at work here is an understanding of climate change, conspicuous consumption, resources as a reason to go to war with other people, and the need for modern technology to catch up to our demand for water. All of those cuts in research and education will add up to one thing--the solution to California's problem with water was probably eaten up with all the seed corn when someone got the bright idea to cut taxes and increase spending and leave us with the bill.

If we had invested in infrastructure in California, instead of going to war overseas on a permanent basis, would we have a solution in hand? Maybe not. But we will never comprehend the impact of not spending money on things we didn't know we were going to need.

The media can't wrap its head around this kind of story. Where's the sexy part? They can't find it when it isn't handed to them with a bow on it.

The Biggest of All Stories


California is experiencing a shock of epic proportions:
As California continues to endure a historic drought, Gov. Jerry Brown has implemented the state’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions. By doing so, he hopes to reduce usage by 25 percent. Brown’s plans include requiring large landscaped areas like golf courses and cemeteries to reduce water consumption, increase drought-tolerant landscaping, offer rebate programs to replace out-of-date appliances with water-efficient ones, and require all new homes to be water-efficient.
There will be complaints about brown grass and empty swimming pools, of course, but what is really at work here is an understanding of climate change, conspicuous consumption, resources as a reason to go to war with other people, and the need for modern technology to catch up to our demand for water. All of those cuts in research and education will add up to one thing--the solution to California's problem with water was probably eaten up with all the seed corn when someone got the bright idea to cut taxes and increase spending and leave us with the bill.

If we had invested in infrastructure in California, instead of going to war overseas on a permanent basis, would we have a solution in hand? Maybe not. But we will never comprehend the impact of not spending money on things we didn't know we were going to need.

The media can't wrap its head around this kind of story. Where's the sexy part? They can't find it when it isn't handed to them with a bow on it.