Showing posts with label Hackery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hackery. Show all posts

Friday, August 7, 2020

Hot Gun Mama



Years ago, a delusional nut job named Dana Loesch was trying to get herself a new line of work.
Loesch has fast gained notoriety as the NRA spokeswoman representing the organization amid intense backlash after the Parkland school shooting last week. Her newfound fame must have triggered a memory for “NCIS: New Orleans” and “The Librarians” producer Paul Guyot, who tweeted about a sitcom idea he says Loesch pitched him several years ago.
“Dana Loesch came to me 10yrs ago pitching a sitcom starring herself: ‘A hot young mom who does far right radio show,'” Guyot wrote Wednesday, the night of Loesch’s much-talked about appearance at a CNN Town Hall on gun control. “Said her age & looks would make 1 side hate her & 1 love her so everyone would watch. Was obsessed w the potential fame & money. I turned her down.”
I just don't think it's going to happen now that the State of New York has decided to turn the NRA into a pile of dust. If Trump gets re-elected, maybe the networks will come calling.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Millionaires Are Not Fleeing California




Oh my goodness--the State of California lost 138 millionaires because of higher taxes. It's a calamity!

According to new research released by Charles Varner, associate director of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, California lost an estimated 138 high-income individuals following passage of the Proposition 30 income tax increase championed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and approved by Golden State voters in 2012. 

This new research by Varner updates a previous paper released six years ago that looked at domestic migration to and from California following a 2004 income tax hike. 

“One reason we wanted to update our previous paper is that this tax change in 2012 is the largest state tax change that we have seen in the U.S. for the last three decades,” Varner said.

Prop. 30 raised the state’s top income tax rate by more than 29%, increasing it three percentage points from 10.3% to 13.3%, which is now the highest state income tax rate in the nation. Prop. 30 also hiked the tax rate on income between $300,000 and $500,000 by two percentage points (a 21.5% rate increase), and raised the rate on income between $500,000 and $1,000,000 by three percentage points (a more than 32% rate hike). 

This is some first-rate hackery from Grover Norquist's very own shit sandwich of a phony organization called the Americans For Tax Reform. The fact that this even ended up being published is laughable enough, but here's the part they left out.

California has well over a half of a million households that are considered millionaire households.






And if high taxes have driven out a paltry 138 of those households over the last six years, that means that fewer than .02% of the state's millionaires decided to leave. More people probably decided to leave because they were tired of the local news than that.

Here's the other part of this equation--where would you rather live? According to the article, California and Maryland are desperate, screaming hellholes because of high taxes. Umm, except they're not--they're both ranked in the top ten of all the state economies, despite the fact that they allegedly tax the living shit out of people:






California's economic health is getting better and better, thanks to the fact that the state is being competently governed and led by Jerry frickin' Brown, which I don't think gets anywhere near enough attention. Brown has solved a lot of what was ailing California. Maryland, on the other hand, has a Republican governor who acts like a Democrat and wants nothing to do with Trump.

Hackery abounds, and it has to be stomped on wherever you see it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Chris Cillizza is a Hack and CNN Should Fire Him




This infuriating headline leads to an article full of bluster and bullshit. It is classic Cillizza! The Dems lost! Dems are getting their butts kicked!

Yeah, whatever, man.

Do you know what does NOT appear in this article? You can read it for yourself.

The fact that Democrats funded the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for the next six years does not factor into his "analysis." The fact that this will keep kids alive means nothing to CNN's vaunted political insider and analyst. This is no minor thing. For someone with his platform to not know the significance of funding CHIP until well past the 2020 election is huge.

Why do they employ this hack? Oh, that's right. Stupid bloggers like me click on his articles. Got it.

Cillizza makes no mention of this significant policy achievement. Taking CHIP away from the GOP as a hostage means that everything they negotiate from here on in will focus on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This is actually great strategy, because, between now and the 2018 Mid-Term elections, the Republicans can be painted as bigots and racists for deporting the Dreamers. 

In any negotiation, you're not going to get everything you want. In Washington D.C., you're never going to completely run the table and get all of your policy goals in one fell swoop. Mature people understand that what you get is the best deal available, and you can build on that and keep negotiating and keep pushing. That's what happened today.

Cillizza has no idea what CHIP is and why it is significant. His pathetic screed doesn't even cover it. He thinks the entire thing was about DACA. What a boob. 

 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

James Poulos Does Not Understand the Danger of Inequality


The glib libertarianism of James Poulos is on display today:
So far, so good. But then Hacker and Pierson go off the rails: “another Frenchman with a panoramic vista—and far more precise evidence—wants us to think anew about the progress of equality and democracy. Though an heir to Tocqueville’s tradition of analytic history, Thomas Piketty has a message that could not be more different: Unless we act, inequality will grow much worse, eventually making a mockery of our democratic institutions.” 
The apparent ignorance behind this thesis is so extreme that it causes Hacker and Pierson to see Piketty as the real genius—while even an undergraduate level of engagement withDemocracy in America would reveal, in virtually every chapter, that Piketty is not only wrong but glibly and perilously so.
Poulos is out of his depth, but you already knew that. Praise for Piketty's work is being heard far and wide.

Of course, there's no proof that Piketty is wrong, just snide bullshit operating as rhetoric. It reads better when you can ignore every single indicator that we are entering a new Gilded Age and come up with a jarring bit of Slate-inspired contrarianism. Or something like that. It's as if Poulos hasn't been told that corporations are people and that a billionaire can buy anyone or anything he wants, especially the United States Senate or the governor of Wisconsin.

Poulos, you see, is operating under the impression that it is 1994 and not 2014. We are in the midst of a new Gilded Age, and it's worse than the last one because, well, there is no organized labor movement anymore and political corruption is seen as a character building exercise in getting away with it rather than the shameful, money-grubbing excess it used to be.




You can follow the link and see the other four reasons yourself. I think the fifth one is good enough. What you are paid is indicative of what you own; the ever-increasing gap between now and the time of Alexis de Tocqueville is readily apparent--the equality of early America, where men owned their land because the government gave it to them for improvement has been replaced by a world of renters and urban dwellers. It's one thing to have a nation of yeomen farmers who are building the agricultural infrastructure of early America; it's another to have apartment blocks full of people paying Too Damn High of rent.

This is why I think the comparison to what Piketty is saying to de Tocqueville is not relevant. The transition of America from an agricultural power to a manufacturing power and now to a debt-repackaging power took place while the upper and bottom rungs of society struggled for control over who controlled the government and how it was wielded. Ronald Reagan was the verdict on this struggle, and the American labor movement was destroyed and the power of the CEO was established as a national birthright for the lucky few. A hundred years ago, you could mock the rich and powerful openly and with great gusto (see Finley Peter Dunne, et al). Now, you have inflamed butthurt feelings whenever someone makes a rich man sad by writing down what he actually said in public on purpose.

Poulos is dead wrong if he thinks that American democracy somehow has a remedy for all of this--it does not. It has not prevented this development and now, thanks to the ability of the wealthy to use money as speech, it is now much less likely that politicians will bite the hand that feeds them and cut off the main source of their power, which is not the votes of the populace but the money that allows them to manipulate voters into believing they are living in an actual democracy.

Income inequality is the disaster on the horizon. When the wealthy have everything, society falls into revolution and "distributes" the wealth. Tocqueville, knowing the causes of the French Revolution, would more clearly see this issue and the dangers of concentrating wealth in the hands of a small elite empowered with the permission of the law to buy their power without fear of legal consequences.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Full Court Press of the Wingnut Chorus


America's wingnut chorus is worked up in a particularly frothy form of lather. They are barking mad, clawing at their eyes, howling into the woods kind of mad right now. They are braying for blood and eating the tender bits of their own eyebrows, trying to find some sort of relief from the thing that ails them.

America has a black president, you see. This eats the horrid parts of their souls. This feasts on their psyche. This aggression will not stand. The socialist Kenyan Marxist pretender to the presidency of white, Christian America must be gotten rid of. Their dementia has swung into view.

And what a view we have of the inner workings of wingnut, inc.

They are using some interesting issues right now. First, they have elevated someone named Brett Kimberlin to a status well above his pay grade in order to make martyrs of people who really, really need you to hit that tip jar. America's conservative bootstrappers have no cash of their own, you see. If you want to experience their public rantings, donate accordingly so that they can "succeed" in a marketplace that has, for lack of a better word, rejected the product they are selling to the public.

Second, they are highlighting the fact that the President once got high on pot. In many ways, this just serves to make him more popular, and his popularity amongst thinking people drives them the fuck crazy faster than bombs rain from the sky when a Republican has daddy issues.

Third, there is this phony idea floating around out there that Mitt Romney has a viable candidacy for the presidency happening right now. I don't care what the polls say. It's May. Nobody cares.

That's right, nobody cares. And that summarizes the desperation of the Republican/conservative/Tea Party movement right now. People just do not care and they are not paying attention.

No matter how hard these people yell, the American people tuned out months ago. Participation in the primary process was almost non-existent if you subtract the zealots in the Ron Paul movement and none of those people are ever going to vote for anyone but Ron Paul.

I mean, there is no enthusiasm for Romney or politics or a second Obama term or anything right now because no one cares. It's summer. People are broke. There are no jobs. This is something that can certainly lead to an Obama defeat in November, but it would take a mighty shift in public opinion and in the public's attention span for that to happen. The American people would have to suspend disbelief and accept the idea that a man who ran a predatory capitalist outfit that seized companies, carved them up, raided pension funds and put tens of thousands of people out of work has a better answer.

Hey, I watched that primary process--and Mitt Romney didn't excite anyone and he damned sure didn't demonstrate a command of the issues that would give anyone a warm and fuzzy.

If you support President Obama and have a clue, here's a message for you. These people got nothin'. In the words of R.E.M., their pockets are out and they're running about. They don't have an alternative view of the future of America that excites people. They have pot, Kimberlin, Biden saying something stupid, and Mitt Romney. A cry for mercy for their sad fate, and a prayer for the fools, if it pleases thee. On election day, how many dyed-in-the-wool born-again Christians are going to pull the lever for a Mormon? This is how deep their hate flows. They hate like it's going out of style. And as much as they hate President Obama, they aren't going to violate their "christian" beliefs and replace one Godless ursurper with another one.

There isn't anything they can put out there that isn't tinged with the kind of racism and hate that will backfire on them in September when people start paying a little bit of attention. The demographic shift of this country is profoundly in the direction of the Democratic Party, 2010 notwithstanding. The lighting in a bottle of the Tea Party movement is gone and people are going to have to choose between a future that looks vaguely American or a future run by priests, prudes, and pricks who want to take us back to the Spanish Inquisition.

Did I mention that it is May? Who is seriously even thinking about Presidential politics right now except for the crazies who flood their sites with hate in lieu of ideas? I'm seriously wondering why I don't have more summer stuff up and running right now.

Politics? Ugh.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

No, It Is Not the Same Thing


This is a perfect example of hackery and hack journalism and hack opinionating. It's so pitch-perfectly feckless and useless that the mere act of linking to the Politico makes me want to pound the desk and yell.

You see, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. used Twitter to call out Senator James Inhofe for being a "prostitute" for big oil. This is rude, of course, but it has the added advantage of being true. In exchange for what is actual money, Senator Inhofe votes, on a consistent basis, to protect the interests of the oil companies who give him that money. This is the American political process. They are all whores, and they are all bought and paid for. Yes, and so are the Kennedys. I'm certainly not going to argue that point.

But, I will say this--Inhofe is a big boy. He's been called worse. He loves getting called names. He's a tough SOB. And he's more than capable of taking a Tweet from a Kennedy scion.

This is the perspective missing from the Politico hackery; the game is well understood. But leave it to them to not get how the game is played. Leave it to them to make a false equivalence that even a two year old could see through. You see, Politico is latin for hack. And it is NOT the same thing to call a sitting United States Senator, and a male, to boot, a prostitute. It is absolutely, positively, NOT the same thing. It is so not the same thing to compare Senator James Inhofe to Sandra Fluke. Do you hear me, Politico hack? It is NOT the same thing.

I mean, honestly. I have to stop repeating myself. I'm going to have an episode here if I go on.
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