You know, some of Dick Cheney's buddies? Apparently, KBR has done so many shoddy electrical wiring jobs in Iraq and Afghanistan that 8,500 of the buildings they worked on were judged to be so dangerous that if the problems couldn't be rectified in 4 hours, the buildings would have to be evacuated!
Eighteen GIs and Marines have been killed by such rotten work, and many more are in danger.
Just another example of the looting done by the Bush-Cheney Crime Syndicate.
Then read Glenn Greenwald today. The truth is appallingly clear: the financial sector runs this country, and the ordinary person is expected to do the sacrificing to keep the financial titans well fed.
It just boggles the freaking mind; the Republicans want to transfer even more wealth to the richest Americans. And not just a little--a lot. Excerpt:
No, seriously, that's the plan. It's right there on page 10: "Republicans propose a simple and fair tax code with a marginal tax rate for income up to $100,000 of 10 percent and 25 percent for any income thereafter."
So, Bush/Cheney lowered the top rate from 39.6% to 35%, which cost hundreds of billions of dollars and helped create the largest budget deficits in American history. Now, the very same GOP lawmakers want to send the top rate from 35% to 25%, at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, all in the name of deficit reduction.
Incredible. Just incredible. More "trickle down" idiocy from the Right.
It's right here. It's called On High School Teaching: A Guide for the New and Relatively Clueless, and it's the product of my 30+ years as a teacher and some rather extensive research. If you know someone you think would benefit from this work, I urge you to give it a look. If we're going to help improve secondary education in America, one of the places we need to start is teacher training. I'm proud of this effort, and I think it's worth the time of anyone who'd like to be a teacher or anyone just starting out in the profession. Give it a look and tell me what you think!
It's about the shifting definition of conservatism, a definition that tries to defend the essential timelessness and decency of this repulsive, selfishness-oriented political philosophy. It deserves your attention, definitely. My favorite excerpt:
I am so sick and tired of these “esoteric” discussions about the flawless, formless, and timeless beauty of conservatism. It is utter nonsense. We got unchecked “conservatism” the past eight years, and instead of water, it felt more like urine, as they pissed all over us. Conservatism brought us an expanded surveillance state, intervention into a man’s marriage, unchecked budgets, war of aggression, torture, a rejection and mockery of both science and the rule of law, the unchecked executive branch, and on and on and on. The conservative standard bearers are now Sarah Palin and Eric Cantor and Rush Limbaugh and Joe the Plumber.
And is running it into the ground, at Matt Taibbi points out in this searingly depressing article here. Wall Street campaign money and Wall Street lobbying bought the massive and shockingly unwise financial deregulation of the period 1999-2000 that has put us so desperately in the hole. And, I am heartbroken to say, the Obama Administration seems to be more interested in listening to Wall Street insiders than the more level-headed economists who are trying to point out that the approach of pouring endless money into failed banks just won't work.
And who was at Ground Zero of this catastrophe? Phil Gramm, radical right-wing Republican of Texas. Excerpt:
[The AIG chief's] outrageous gamble wouldn't have been possible had he not had the good fortune to take over AIGFP just as Sen. Phil Gramm — a grinning, laissez-faire ideologue from Texas — had finished engineering the most dramatic deregulation of the financial industry since Emperor Hien Tsung invented paper money in 806 A.D. For years, Washington had kept a watchful eye on the nation's banks. Ever since the Great Depression, commercial banks — those that kept money on deposit for individuals and businesses — had not been allowed to double as investment banks, which raise money by issuing and selling securities. The Glass-Steagall Act, passed during the Depression, also prevented banks of any kind from getting into the insurance business.
But in the late Nineties, a few years before Cassano took over AIGFP, all that changed. The Democrats, tired of getting slaughtered in the fundraising arena by Republicans, decided to throw off their old reliance on unions and interest groups and become more "business-friendly." Wall Street responded by flooding Washington with money, buying allies in both parties. In the 10-year period beginning in 1998, financial companies spent $1.7 billion on federal campaign contributions and another $3.4 billion on lobbyists. They quickly got what they paid for. In 1999, Gramm co-sponsored a bill that repealed key aspects of the Glass-Steagall Act, smoothing the way for the creation of financial megafirms like Citigroup. The move did away with the built-in protections afforded by smaller banks. In the old days, a local banker knew the people whose loans were on his balance sheet: He wasn't going to give a million-dollar mortgage to a homeless meth addict, since he would have to keep that loan on his books. But a giant merged bank might write that loan and then sell it off to some fool in China, and who cared?
The very next year, Gramm compounded the problem by writing a sweeping new law called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act that made it impossible to regulate credit swaps as either gambling or securities. Commercial banks — which, thanks to Gramm, were now competing directly with investment banks for customers — were driven to buy credit swaps to loosen capital in search of higher yields. "By ruling that credit-default swaps were not gaming and not a security, the way was cleared for the growth of the market," said Eric Dinallo, head of the New York State Insurance Department.
And the Democrats went along with this lunacy, I am sorry to say.
There are those of us in the Democratic Party--the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party--who have tried to fight the corporate influence that has been steadily co-opting what should be the party of ordinary working people. The Republican Party is already a wholly owned subsidiary, owned lock, stock, and barrel by Big Corporate America. The Democrats, hungry for campaign money, have succumbed far too often to corporate bribes. As a progressive, I am deeply depressed about this.
President Obama MUST CHANGE HIS APPROACH. Break the big banks up, sell off the profitable parts, and wipe out the other parts. Nationalize the worst culprits, clean their corrupt management out, and then quickly reorganize and sell them back to private companies. But this tactic of pouring unlimited money into the hands of the very people who brought us this disaster is tragically wrong. Please, Mr. President, stop listening to the so-called "Wall Street experts" who have caused this crisis--and start listening to the American people.
Want to step into a true insane asylum? Check this out--it's your one-stop 2012 DOOMSDAY site!!! Take a look at it. Look at the links on the left side. It's a compendium of sheer lunacy, mumbo-jumbo, fraud, and delusion: I Ching, Nostradamus, Planet X, Mayan Prophecy, Edgar Cayce, End Times Prophecies, the works. (They threw an Einstein link in to look respectable , I guess, even though I suspect Einstein would be shocked at the idiocy of these people.) To be perfectly honest, the people who run this site may be doing it as a put-on, watching the rubes log on while the site administrators laugh. But it might just be real.
Irrationality pervades our society. Creationism, numerology, astrology, belief in psychic healing, Scientology, belief in pet psychics (!), and all manner of end-of-the-world craziness are fervently embraced. I want to believe in my fellow citizens. But a lot of them live in dream worlds rather than the real one, and that sobers me in my hopes for the future.
(BTW, the antidote to this 2012 lunacy can be found here. And I could not help but note the irony of the ads at the top of the site's page.)
President Obama recently quite properly put the blame for the current economic meltdown squarely where it belongs: the economic policies of the Bush Administration. The Washington Post immediately had a case of the vapors, chastising the President for actually explaining what is going on!
Remember folks: According to the right-wingers, NOTHING IS EVER THEIR FAULT. Even when their ideas are proven to be wrong, even when their corruption is exposed for all to see, even when their policies can be shown to have caused disaster, they blame everyone else. And then they yammer about how conservatives believe in "taking responsibility".
What a crock. What a miserable out and out crock.
Again: WE ARE GOING THROUGH THE BUSH-CHENEY RECESSION. IT WAS CAUSED BY INTELLECTUALLY AND MORALLY BANKRUPT RIGHT WING ECONOMIC IDEAS AND POLICIES. PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS INHERITED THIS MESS; HE DID NOT CREATE IT.
Yes folks, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and all the other ranting, raving trash like them ARE the leaders of the Republican Party. They stir up the hatreds and fears of the lowest members of the Republican "base" and no party official has the guts to cross them. I've argued for a long time that the Democrats should be tying these thugs and goons around the GOP's neck. The smarter and more insightful Republicans know the damage that a sewer rat like Coulter can do to the party's image, but it's too late--when the GOP was on top, these smart Republicans remained silent about the filth pouring out of the far right's propagandists. Now that the GOP is in trouble, they're trying to wriggle free of them.
As I said--too late. You lived with them. Now die with them.
Hey, I know this is two days in a row I'm running a clip from The Daily Show. SO WHAT?!? This is too freaking brilliant NOT to share! I urge you to spread this far and wide. It's time the SCAM ARTISTS on CNBC were exposed as the frauds and clowns that they really are.
Just a little something to help you see the result of REPUBLICAN CLASS WAR AGAINST THE MIDDLE AND LOWER CLASSES. (You'll need to click to enlarge.)
Oh, and something else, too. The stock market started sliding WAY BEFORE Barack Obama was nominated, much less elected. The Right-wing attempt to blame the stock market's losses on Obama is a PATHETIC LIE, being pushed by CNBC and Republican Party Dictator Rush Limbaugh. It's as if the Right-wingers expect us to ignore the banking crisis that lies at the heart of the economic meltdown--a banking crisis caused overwhelmingly by CONSERVATIVE economic policies.
But the American people aren't stupid, and they know exactly what's going on. From the Wall Street Journal NBC Poll:
The poll had bad news for the Republican opposition. By a margin of more than 2-1, Americans trust the Democratic Party over the Republicans to get the country out of the recession. Views of the GOP are near an all-time low. And more than half of all adults say that Republicans in Congress have opposed Mr. Obama's proposals more to gain political advantage, compared with 30% who say Republicans have done so because they are standing up for their principles.
By a huge margin, people say there is no more bipartisanship in Washington now than in the past. For that, they are most likely to blame President George W. Bush's administration and congressional Republicans. They put almost none of the blame on congressional Democrats or Mr. Obama. (Emphasis added)
People are willing to give Obama time to reverse the vicious conservative class war that has been waged relentlessly by the Republicans for decades. And they know exactly what to call the mess we're in now:
The cancer that is Karl Rove was invited to be on ABC's This Week to talk about the current economic disaster, one which Karl Rove played a major role in bringing about. Rove was even allowed to use his utterly undeserved platform to attack Barack Obama's efforts to undo the damage that BUSH, CHENEY, and ROVE inflicted over the last eight years. Arianna Huffington has it 100% right here: Rove is trying to create a false history of the last eight years, one which is a complete and utter lie. As I said, why in the hell is he even there on television presenting this atrocious rewriting of the truth?
And again: WHY IS THIS SON OF A BITCH NOT IN JAIL FOR CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS? He's ignoring a subpoena. A subpoena is not a request, it's an order. Rove is simply spitting on the law, as he has done so very often in the past.
But I guess when you're a wealthy conservative, you get to ignore the law with impunity in this country.
You get horrible examples like Texas, where 96% of students learn NOTHING about preventing unwanted pregnancies or STDs. They are, instead, filled with "Abstinence Only" idiocy that is saturated with utter lies and misinformation (such as the astonishing falsehood that condoms have a 30% failure rate).
Texas continues to have one of the nation’s highest teen pregnancy rates despite receiving more federal abstinence funding than any other state.
"I thought I was no longer capable of being surprised by the ignorance among our students," [Professor David] Wiley wrote in the report. "Then last year a sincere male student asked aloud, 'What is my risk for cervical cancer?’ Clearly, ignorance surrounding sexuality and health is a problem among young people today."
Remember: any time conservative fundamentalists are allowed to dictate ANY part of a school system's curriculum, ignorance and bigotry will prevail. These right wing clowns pervert history by spreading lies about the greatness of the Confederacy. They destroy science education by injecting creationist lies and mythology. They attack literature by censoring books. And the consequences of their control of health education are nothing less than the tragedy of damaged or ruined young lives.
REMEMBER: State school systems run by conservatives are overwhelmingly the worst in America. Keep the right wingers away from your children!!