Monday, April 26, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Historical Illiteracy of the Teabaggers

Ron Rosenbaum lays it out in devastating style right here. He points out the absurdity of the ugly, unhinged Teabagger rhetoric, especially the use of the epithets "Communist" and "Nazi" to describe President Obama. He finds the accusation of "tyranny" to be especially ludicrous. Excerpts:

The muddled Tea Party version of history is more than wrong and fraudulent. It's offensive. Calling Obama a tyrant, a communist, or a fascist is deeply offensive to all the real victims of tyranny, the real victims of communism and fascism. The tens of millions murdered. It trivializes such suffering inexcusably for the T.P.ers to claim that they are suffering from similar oppression because they might have their taxes raised or be subject to demonic "federal regulation."


These swastika nuts look ridiculous. But words matter, sometimes in a life-and-death way. Take for instance the Tea Party demonization of "federal regulation" as the instrument of the tyranny that's been imposed on them. I would like every Tea Partier who has denounced federal regulation to write a letter to the widows and children of the coalminers in West Virginia who died because of the failure of "federal regulation" of mine safety.

Tell the weeping survivors that such regulation is tyranny, that their husbands and fathers had to die, but for a good cause: lowering federal spending so the T.P.ers could save a few pennies on taxes. That's worth 29 lives snuffed out in a mine blast, isn't it? They either don't see the connection or don't care.
[Emphasis added]

Indeed the demonization of "federal regulation" could prevent cowardly legislators from strengthening protections for miners and other workers imperiled by unsafe conditions. But the happy T.P.ers will still go out with their swastika and Hitler-mustache signs, whining about tyranny. Wouldn't it be great if there were a liberal politician who, in the wake of the mining catastrophe, had the courage to stand up and say that federal regulations are often a very good thing? Don't hold your breath.

This is just one example of the toxic effect of Tea Party ignorance on the lives of their fellow citizens. But the damage done by the injection of fraudulent history into the body politic by Tea Party ignoramuses and their enablers will be more profound and lasting than one tragedy.

Read the whole thing. And then remember something really important:

Words matter.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fifteen Years Ago Today...

Fifteen years ago, domestic terrorism in the form of an Ultra-Right fanatic reared its terrible head in Oklahoma City. Some 168 people, many of them helpless children, were murdered by the filthy coward Timothy McVeigh. The picture you see above reduced many people around America to tears, and it emotionally tore my heart out.

These are the consequences of mindless hatred and violent rhetoric. And now we see that militia groups are on the rise again.

The demented Glenn Beck screams "Communist!" and "Racist" at Barack Obama on Fox "News", claims that FEMA is building concentration camps for conservatives, and openly discusses the "hypothetical" possibility of a civil war ONE MONTH into the Obama presidency.

Limbaugh openly compares the President to Hitler on Limbaugh's hate radio show. Borderline psychotic Michele Bachmann says Obama is preparing "re-education camps" for young people.

The Governor of Texas openly speaks of "secession" while 1 million Texas "patriots" sign a secession petition.

Newt Gingrich brazenly lies that the new health care law calls for 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce it, when nothing like that has been proposed.

Lying propagandist con man Sean Hannity, fresh from ripping off his own "veterans' charity", edits videotape to portray the President as sympathetic to the 9/11 attackers, changing the President's meaning by 180 degrees.

Despite the fact that President Obama has just been given an "F" from the nation's most prominent gun control group, screeching NRA-extremists still rant that the Obama administration wants to confiscate their guns.

And Fox "News" and right wing lunatic hate radio pour out vile, lying attacks on President Obama 24/7, allowing every raving Right-wing fanatic in America air time to vent their utterly ridiculous, incredibly dishonest, and unfounded accusations against a decent, intelligent, good-hearted man who is trying desperately to pull America back from the brink of the abyss to which conservative economic and social policies have moved it.

Minds are being poisoned by these lies. People are being put in terror by these lies. Mentally unstable people are being provoked by these lies. I am convinced that the vast majority of conservatives intend to commit no acts of violence. But it cannot be denied that there is a very active Right-wing fringe that hates President Obama with such passion that they are willing to "defend America" by killing their fellow Americans.

Yes, 15 years ago today, Ultra Right terrorism reared its head.

And those same forces are gathering today.

Keep your eyes open. And if another terrible Oklahoma City incident erupts, you'll know where to look for its inspiration.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A New Blog You Should Check Out

A young friend of mine, Jake Hartnell, has started a really interesting blog, one that deals with a whole host of issues, always from an interesting perspective. It's right here and I think you would like it. Jake is an intense man with strong opinions, and he has one of the biggest hearts I've ever encountered. He's also interested in everything under the Sun, a very cool individual who's a musician, film maker, and writer, among other things. If you're interested in seeing what he looks like, he's on Facebook, too. Check his blog and leave him a reply.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

An Essay You Owe It to Yourself to Read

It's right here, from Dennis G. at Balloon Juice. Excerpt:

By 1948 the Confederate Party began to feel like their host Party [the Democratic Party] was moving away from them and that their access to cheap stolen labor was in jeopardy. Over the next twenty years they fought for control of the Democratic Party and lost. In 1968 the Confederates were in the wilderness. George Wallace was their candidate and he made a respectable showing in a run for President. Richard Nixon saw an opportunity and he invited the Confederate Party to join the Republican Party.

It has been over forty years and now the Confederate Party owns the Republican Party so completely that any Republican from any state must support the Confederate agenda—and that agenda is all about helping the elites steal the labor of others to fatten their bottom line. The old plays learned during Reconstruction are still being run over and over again. One needs to be anti-union. One needs to be anti immigrant. One needs to be anti-black. One needs to be anti-poor. One needs to be pro-elite at all time and one needs to cloak it a patina of carefully tested ‘populism’ and dog-whistles to motivate working class folks with racism, pride and fear. Properly done, this Luntz tested hype will get many a rube to work against their best interests.

So as the Republican Confederate Party celebrates Confederate History Month and insists that it is not about slavery, I am inclined to concede that they have a point. Slavery was not the main goal of the Confederacy—stealing labor was. Slavery just made the theft of labor easy and so it was an important tactic. Losing the war led to the loss of that tactic, but ever since the Confederate Party have been creating new ways to steal labor. Sure, these labor stealing tactics can and have changed with the times, but the ongoing goal to steal the labor of others is why the Republican Confederate Party exists. It is what they do. And this is something to remember as these weasels celebrate Confederate History Month.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jon Meacham on Right Wing Neo-Confederate Sympathies

An important op-ed on the Radical Right's revival of Confederate imagery and mythology. Excerpt:

Advertently or not, [Virginia Governor] McDonnell is working in a long and dispiriting tradition. Efforts to rehabilitate the Southern rebellion frequently come at moments of racial and social stress, and it is revealing that Virginia’s neo-Confederates are refighting the Civil War in 2010. Whitewashing the war is one way for the right — alienated, anxious and angry about the president, health care reform and all manner of threats, mostly imaginary — to express its unease with the Age of Obama, disguising hate as heritage.

The ENTIRE Confederate cause was about the preservation and extension of slavery. The Civil War was fought on that issue, and none other. Without slavery, there would have been no rebellion and no war. The leaders of the Confederacy were traitors, all of whom deserved to be executed for treason. That the Republican Party is trying to revive enthusiasm for the greatest act of treason in American history tells you everything you need to know about their so-called "patriotism".

This is Why Getting Our Budget Under Control is So Hard

John Sides (link here) put these charts together based on data gathered by YouGov (click to enlarge):

Note the discrepancy between the costliest items in our budget and the willingness of Americans to cut them. It is also worth noting that the average American thinks foreign aid comprises a vastly greater share of spending than it actually does.

And you wonder why I get so exasperated.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Ha! I Have to LOVE Charles Pierce

From today's Alterman post:

There seems to be something of a scooby-dooby-doo building because the president of the United States essentially called the former half-term governor a blockhead on the subject of nuclear weapons policy, which is one of several thousand subjects on which the former half-term governor of Alaska is a demonstrable blockhead. This is roughly the equivalent of the president's pointing out that his dog is unqualified to fly the space shuttle. However, the various blockheads claiming this woman to be their queen are furious--and, yes, we're hearing again about how close Alaska is to Russia, even though this is now the "A guy walks into a bar with a duck on his head" of political humor--and various nervous Democrats are worried that, by pointing out that the woman's an obvious blockhead, the president may be elevating her to his equal as a national leader.

Well, every poll I've ever seen shows that, almost universally, nobody wants this woman to be president. She has a very slim national constituency which does not become more significant simply because it's loud. She is a perfect rodeo clown with which to saddle the opposition. Make Newt (I Are Inteleckshual) Gingrich carry her around, or Pawlenty, or Romney, or any of the more serious jackasses. Make her what the Republican party made out of poor George McGovern all those years. And, for god's sake, don't worry about "elevating her status." Do what you can to make her the most important Republican in the universe. Then pop some corn and have some fun.

Hey Liz! To Quote Your Father, Go F**k Yourself.

Liz Cheney, the daughter of war criminal, thief, and spectacular failure Dick Cheney--the man who was quite possibly the most utterly immoral and incompetent member of the executive branch in American history--continues to pour out her lying vomit against President Obama, who has been trying to clean up the unholy mess her father left him. Let me make my opinion of Little Lizzie clear:

  • She is a pathological liar, just like her old man.
  • The attention given to her by the mainstream media is wildly out of proportion to any actual accomplishment she has ever had in her wretched, nepotism-aided life.
  • She is peddling a fairy tale, bizarro-world view of the eight years 2001-2009, one which has no relationship whatsoever to reality.
  • She is nothing more than a right-wing fanatic propaganda hack employing all the typical slanders and smears that the Limbaugh-Hannity-Bachmann-Coulter-Palin wing of the Republican Party spews out every day.
  • She is the perfect embodiment of everything that was wrong with the Bush-Cheney administration, which did such horrible and colossal damage both to our nation and to the world.
In short, Lyin' Lunatic Liz is the Poster Girl for the Psychotic Right, and we all need to remember this:

If the Republicans regain power in 2010 and 2012, so do people like her.

Now what was that you Democrats said about not voting this year?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Monday, April 05, 2010

You Tell Me What These People Are

No, I would NOT say that all the people depicted in this video are racists. But they are all radical, Right-wing extremists of the worst kind. Are the people depicted in this video the exceptions Or are they typical? Are they the fringe--or the Republican base THAT WILL RETURN TO POWER IN NOVEMBER IF WE DON'T STOP THEM? You tell me.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Bizarro World of Right-Wing "History"

In the old Soviet Union, the Communists routinely rewrote the history of Russia to suit their political ends, covering up crimes, excising individuals who had fallen out of favor, lying about well-known events, burying inconvenient bodies, and exaggerating the "heroism" of the leadership. The American Right is now engaged in a similar process. The gruesome details are here, courtesy of the McClatchy newspapers. Among the head-spinning assertions being made by the right-wing radicals:

  • The Jamestown settlers? SOCIALISTS!
  • Alexander Hamilton? Small government advocate.
  • Theodore Roosevelt? SOCIALIST!
  • Franklin Roosevelt? Caused the Great Depression (!!!!!!!).
  • Joe McCarthy? Towering hero.

It is with these preposterous fairy tales that the Right wishes to poison us and our children. All of them are simply outright lies or gross historical illiteracy. (Michele Bachmann has been pushing the "FDR caused the Depression" lie. Enough said.) They are trying to present a version of American history THAT NEVER HAPPENED in order to further their own radical, extremist agenda today. They are no different from the conservatives of a different era who spread the amazing lie that the South was "horribly persecuted" during the Reconstruction Era, when in fact the white South was perpetrating savage violence against the newly freed former slaves. The Confederate Myth--that the greatest act of mass treason and anti-American violence in our history was a "Noble Cause"-- has distorted the education of countless millions of people, people who have been taught that disgusting traitors like Jefferson Davis were heroes. The new fictions being pushed by the con artists and grifters of the Right need to be fought, hard. Those of us who cherish historical accuracy have a powerful weapon on our side: The Truth. Let's use it to knock these lies down now--before they have a chance to infect those we love.

Thursday, April 01, 2010