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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ass Backward Into The Unknown

 

But how the world turns. One day, cock of the walk. Next, a feather duster.
- Aunty Entity, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, 1985

 

There’s this scene in the last Mad Max movie.

You know the flick, right? Two men enter, one man leaves.

Mel Gibson made the movie during the height of his popularity, back when he was handsome cheerful roguish Mel Gibson and not the miserable Jew-hating drunken misogynist Mel Gibson we all know him as today – and, boy, if you read me on a regular basis you’ve just got to figure that’s some serious foreshadowing right there, don’t you?

Beyond Thunderdome is arguably the last and least installment of the post apocalyptic trilogy, but there are still some great moments in the movie.

The defining scene comes near the end.  Max has bested the monstrous Blaster in the movie’s eponymous dome and, along with his trusty band of orphans, misfits, and criminals, blows up Bartertown’s power plant in a spectacular blast of fart gas and flaming pig shit along with any hope for the recovering civilization. He kidnaps the diminutive brains of the operation for his own selfish reasons and crashes out of the city in a steampunk locomotive while fighting off leather-clad crossbow wielding gladiators.  They’re rolling full speed down the tracks into the desolate radioactive wasteland pursued by an enraged army on jet-powered Baja buggies and led by Tina Turner in a chainmail miniskirt. 

Max takes a long look back at the pursuing horde.

Then he carefully climbs along the outside of the train to the cab where a guy with the charming moniker of “Pigkiller” is in the driver’s seat.

Max, yelling over the roar of the slipstream and the growling engine, asks, “So, what’s the plan?”

Pigkiller grins from ear to ear and bursts out in a loud guffaw.

Plan?” Pigkiller barks incredulously. “There ain’t no plan!

 

I imagine right about now that exact scene is playing out over and over in GOP circles.

 

The election train is barreling down the tracks headed for November. There’s Mad Paul Ryan, he was a cop once, come to save the day, the road warrior, but now he’s grown mean and sallow faced, tormented by his demons, consumed by revenge. There’s the cranky midget, McBlaster, angrily shaking his pudgy little fist and grumpily shouting, “Who run Bartertown? Who run Bartertown?!” (Except in John McCain’s case, it’s not a rhetorical question, he really has no idea what the hell is going on).  Chris Christie is the massive child-like ham-fisted mutant in leather cod piece, he’s not much on brains but he loves nothing better than squeezing the life out of his foes. Lurking in the background is Karl Rove as The Collector, he’s never going to be mayor of Bartertown, he just likes to fondle everybody’s junk.  Marco Rubio as Dr. Dealgood, Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, dying time’s here he he he! And the man without a plan, Rand Pigkiller Paul.

All looking over their collective shoulders in terror at Aunty Hillary in a chainmail pantsuit, coming up fast.

Republicans are headed into 2016 the same way they went into Iraq and Afghanistan: ass backward into the unknown and no idea what the hell they’re going to do if they win.

Their election strategy, hell their plan for the country should they win the Senate and maybe even the White House in 2016, is based almost entirely on “We hates Obama, Precious, we hates him!” while gleefully rubbing their hands together and cackling maniacally – other than that they’ve got nothing.

Going into this election, the GOP has no new ideas at all, none. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

In point of fact, their primary message has been about rolling back the clock instead of going forward into the future.

For the last five years, the GOP has done nothing but pound the Obamacare drum. In the House they’ve voted more than 50 times to repeal the law, knowing they had no chance.  Some conservatives have gone so far as to demand impeachment of the President over the Affordable Care Act, again knowing they have no chance of actually removing the president from office (and really, who knew republicans loved Joe Biden so much?).  For years, we’ve heard how the ACA was going to destroy America, how it’s the worst thing that ever happened to freedom in the history of mankind. 

Once upon a time, access to healthcare was an American issue. But once Hillary Clinton started talking about it back when she was First Lady, well, sir, that’s when conservatives suddenly remembered how Hitler probably gave everybody healthcare just before he exploded Europe and Republicans have been whipping the Nazi pony in a hysterical froth ever since – and whatever happened to those death panels anyway? Where’s Obama keeping those? And has he offed Palin’s lopsided kid yet?

Right.

In 2012, apparently oblivious to the staggering irony of it all, Republicans actually ran against Obama with the very guy who came up with the genesis of the Affordable Care Act in the first place, Mitt Romney.  I suppose that you’ve got to admire that kind of chutzpah.

For the last five years John Boehner’s Twitter feed has burped out a dozen anti-Obamacare tweets every single day …

… right up until about two weeks ago, when less than three months out from the election, all of a sudden republicans have mysteriously gone dark on Obamacare (well, except for Ted Cruz, but then that figures, doesn’t it?).

And why is that, do you suppose?

Oh, c’mon, take a guess. It’s no great mystery.

Okay, fine, I’ll give it to you. It’s because Obamacare is working, that’s why.  Even Bloomberg says so,

Republicans seeking to unseat the U.S. Senate incumbent in North Carolina have cut in half the portion of their top issue ads citing Obamacare, a sign that the party’s favorite attack against Democrats is losing its punch.

The shift — also taking place in competitive states such as Arkansas and Louisiana — shows Republicans are easing off their strategy of criticizing Democrats over the Affordable Care Act now that many Americans are benefiting from the law and the measure is unlikely to be repealed.

Now look, don’t get me wrong here: Obamacare is a piece of shit.

It’s too complicated. It costs too much. It doesn’t cover everybody. It doesn’t fix some significant problems. It makes certain aspects of healthcare worse.  Even the most liberal of liberals are unlikely to argue with you about that.  Hell, I doubt Obama would argue with you about that.  But it could have been much better. It could have been much much better, we could have done it right, if republicans had actually gotten involved and helped with its original draft. 

And it could have been drastically improved in the years since its implementation if conservatives had actually worked with the president instead of calling him a Nazi and acting like spoiled rotten children.  If they had actually had a goddamned plan other than to oppose the president at every turn simply because they can’t think of anything better to do.

The United States is a wealthy nation. We boast that we’re the world’s only superpower.  We call ourselves exceptional.  And yet a significant fraction of our population doesn’t have access to basic healthcare. 

We Americans actually argue over whether or not access to healthcare is a basic human right.  Guns, in America owning a gun is a right, but not the ability to see a doctor. 

That’s some seriously fucked up logic right there, folks.

Honestly, if the same number of Americans didn’t have access to indoor plumbing or electricity, we’d damned well do something about it (and we did).  Hell even Joseph Stalin tried to extend electricity and indoor toilets to every Soviet proletarian. But healthcare? Soviets got healthcare too, massively shitty healthcare to be sure, but even shitty Soviet healthcare is better than the republican plan at this point.  And, really, you’re telling me that America, America, can’t do better than the Soviet Union? Are you kidding me?

Honestly, if Obama came out in favor of electricity and running water republicans would squat in the dark, shit on their own shoes, and call it liberty.

Folks, obstruction for the sake of obstruction isn’t a plan.

Intractability out of spite isn’t a goddamned plan.

And you’ll note that even after five years republicans still haven’t presented a healthcare law of their own – well, other than Romneycare, I mean.

The only option republicans offer is a return to the past:  40 million uninsured Americans.

And suddenly, that doesn’t look so good, even to them. Even John Boehner’s pet intern stopped tweeting about it – obviously so. And that’s pretty damned significant given that the snotty sophomoric sock puppet who runs Boehner’s account has been unable to tweet about anything else for the last year.

So where does that leave them?

I mean, that was the whole deal. Republicans staked everything on the idea that Obamacare would implode, but now that it’s working, at least in general terms, they don’t know what to do.

And that, that right there, is the modern Republican Party’s trademark, flaming pig shit and no goddamned plan. Ass backward into the unknown. Obamacare is Iraq all over again.  Republicans sent us in and they never, obviously never, expected us to actually win.  Certainly not so soon.  Because they had no plan, absolutely no plan whatsoever, for winning. 

We made it to Baghdad in less than a month, Saddam Hussein’s regime collapsed like wet paper, and we were all cheering and throwing our hats up in the air … until it went sideways when it became apparent that nobody, no goddamned body, in the Bush Administration had even the slightest idea of what to do next.

This morning, in a mind boggling display of utterly clueless irony, John Boehner tweeted:

image

Leaving aside the fact that Boehner apparently tweets from an iPhone, the preferred communications device of liberals everywhere, he’s kidding right? 

Republicans had eleven years to come up with a coherent workable plan for Iraq. Where is it?

Plan? There ain’t no plan!

And now Boehner’s bitching because Obama hasn’t crapped out a counter-ISIS strategy in what? A month?

They excel at picking a fight, these modern republicans. They love to fling the pig shit and light their farts on fire. Benghazi. The IRS. Birth Certificates. Death panels. But it’s all, all of it, every damned bit of it, nothing but yellow cake uranium. 

Hell, the smoking gun, Benghazi, even after a dozen republican led witch hunts backed by every asset Congress could bring to bear, even the most intractable of House conservatives have to admit that there’s just nothing there.  And you notice they’ve stopped talking about that too.

Immigration? Again, they’re great at blaming Obama, but where is the republican plan?

They don’t have an immigration plan. And now they’re threatening to shut down the government again if Obama takes any action via executive authority (while perversely demanding that Obama do something). Shutdown the government. Again. Blow up the power plant, cover us all in flaming pig shit. I mean, really that’s all you’ve got? Shut down the government? You can’t come up with any other plan? You know, like maybe IMMIGRATION REFORM?

No. Just shut down the government.

These idiots learned nothing the last time around. Nothing.

Folks, Boehner couldn’t even get House republicans to agree to something they all basically agree on.

And that should tell you everything you need to know.  These people can’t even agree with each other even when they all agree with each other. 

They’ve had five years to come up with a plan for America’s future and it’s not that they haven’t, it’s that they can’t

The last republican with any vision was Reagan 30 years ago. And his spiritual descendants have turned his shining city on a hill into a grim fortress surrounded by a moat filled with scummy stinking stagnant water.

The only vision republicans have nowadays is hindsight. The only plan is to go backward.

Rick Perry’s been indicted and, really, what’s the campaign slogan going to be? Better the crook you know, than one you don’t! Nixon Perry, 2016!

Jeb Bush? Because America hasn’t had enough of the Bush family, right?

Mitch McConnell was recently recorded at a Koch Brothers Donor summit, openly admitting the republican party works for the rich and for corporations – and not the people they’re supposed to be representing.  If these people get their way, America would return to the days of the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers and you and I would get to pay them for the privilege of eating out of their garbage cans.  These are the corporate people who, like the recently announced Burger King/Horton’s merger, demand all the benefits of the United States as their rightful hereditary due, they want America’s freedom, her economic opportunities, her protection, her law, her military might, her prestige, her investment climate, and most of all her subsidies, but they don’t want to pay for it.  These people are the ultimate freeloaders, they don’t create jobs for Americans, they create jobs for everybody in the Third World. They don’t create wealth for Americans, these greedy fuckers create unlimited wealth for themselves and sit on their piles of gold like Smaug the Dragon – gloating while millions go sick and hungry and homeless.  But, boy, they sure pride themselves on their Christianity, don’t they?

John McCain demands that we return to war.  That’s his solution for everything. Bomb ‘em! Bomb ‘em all!  Forty years later and he’s still pursuing the same losing strategy of Vietnam. Two men enter, one man leaves! Bomb ‘em! There just aren’t enough bodies for John McCain and he wasted no time last Sunday, the wine bottles were still falling in Napa Valley, when Johnny Walnuts used the early morning quake to blame Obama for the fact that republicans had no plan for Iraq after the invasion.

"The president has to understand that America must lead and, when American hasn't, a lot of bad things happen! This is not like the earthquake in San Francisco. All of this could have been avoided, like leaving a residual force behind in Iraq, and obviously the challenge is now much greater than it would have been."

So, it’s America’s fault that bad things happen? Or just Obama’s?

It all could have been avoided, this new outbreak of violence in Iraq, if only Obama had kept us in Iraq forever, right? Yeah, except for that part where we could have avoided it all together if we hadn’t invaded in the first damned place. Or that part where Congress and George W. Bush set the timeline for our withdrawal from Iraq.  Or except for that part where nobody, especially supposed fiscally conservative republicans, wanted to pay for leaving such a force behind and rebuilding Iraq. Yeah, except for that, McBlaster was right on the money, as usual.

John McCain knows it, he was there when they voted for war and when they settled on the schedule and the budget. We couldn’t leave a residual force in Iraq, not without subjecting American soldiers to Iraqi law – the very Sharia law conservatives like McWalnuts fear so much.  The same “law” that just cost another American his head.  Our options were to pull out the troops according to the agreed upon schedule or subject them to Islamic law and Iraqi justice or … topple the Iraqi government again and start over. And that’s McCain’s plan. Do over. Go back to 1961 and invade Vietnam 2003 and invade Iraq again.  He doesn’t have any new ideas, just a rerun of the last 40 years and another 5000 American lives.

I’ll tell you, for a guy who doesn’t think much of liberals, John McCain sure seems determined to keep repeating Lyndon Johnson’s Southeast Asia strategy over and over like some blood soaked version of Groundhog Day.

At this point, you’ve got to wonder how long it’ll be before he starts quoting McNamara.

Meanwhile, Rand Paul wants to throw out the Civil Rights Act.

That’s Rand’s plan. That’s how he wants to fix America. Let businesses discriminate if they want to. Let the free market fix it, because capitalism was so, so very successful at ending apartheid without laws and regulations. Sure, get rid of the Civil Rights Act, let’s do that. Good idea. That’ll bring minorities to the Republican Party. Righto, Rand, good plan.

Paul hasn’t exactly been shy about saying so and neither has his father. 

As further evidence that Republicans have no plan and whose election year unity resembles a barnyard of panicked poultry, Sunday morning while John McCain was raging and rattling the bars of his bamboo cage, Paul was on Meet the Press warning people that Hillary Clinton is some kind of “war hawk” who’ll get us into another war.

What?

No, I am not in point of fact shitting you.

If you want to see a transformational election in our country, let the Democrats put forward a war hawk like Hillary Clinton and you’ll see a transformation like you’ve never seen. People are going to find that, and I think that's what scares the Democrats the most, is that in a general election, were I to run, there's gonna be a lot of independents and even some Democrats who say, 'You know what? We are tired of war. We're worried that Hillary Clinton will get us involved in another Middle Eastern war, because she's so gung-ho.’

John McCain: Conservatives demand mowr waaaaar in the Middle East!

Rand Paul: Oh noes! Liberal Hillary Clinton will get us into another war in the Middle East!

Hillary Clinton is too gung-ho. Americans are tired of liberals getting us into Middle Eastern wars.

Rand, meet Senator Walnuts. John, Rand. You guys belong to the same bromance, right? It’s like you’re so in sync you finish each other’s sentences.

 

I’ll just pause for a moment here so you can admire the united front that is the Republican Party two months out from the midterm elections.

 

At this point the only thing republicans have in common is their hatred of Obama.

That’s their whole damned plan, we hate Obama. That’s it. That’s the whole thing.

They’ve got nothing else.

Case in point, there’s movement afoot in conservatives circles to encourage Mitt Romney to run for president against (assumed) Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Mitt Romney.

 

I’ll just pause for a moment so you can amuse yourself with that idea.

 

Mitt Romney, folks. Again.

The one goddamned republican who you know for sure can’t get himself elected to the White House (Okay, two, John McCain, you got me, but since republicans no longer believe in math just go with me on this one). Romney, that’s the guy they’re thinking about running against Hillary Clinton

Mitt Romney.

Against Hillary Clinton. 

Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) told MSNBC,

I think he’s [Romney] proven right on a lot of stuff. I happen to be in the camp that thinks he’s actually going to run and I think he will be the next President of the United States.

There’s a Facebook group Mitt Romney for President 2016, they’ve only got 4,600 “likes” so far but that’s more than I would have guessed – unless those are Democrats. Hmmm. 

The Week says Mitt Romney is the clear republican frontrunner for 2016.

Ann Coulter, Matt Drudge, and Paul Ryan are all onboard the Draft Mitt campaign.

Ryan thinks it would be a good idea for Romney to run again because, and I quote, “Third time’s the charm.”

Romney.

Mitt Romney.

Against Hillary Clinton.

Shit, she won’t even have to put on the chainmail to beat that raggedy man.

 

I’ll just pause for a minute so you can contemplate Hillary Clinton in a chainmail miniskirt. You’re welcome.

 

The GOP is old and tired and bitter.  They’re plumb fresh out of any new ideas and they’ve got no plan whatsoever. It’s just the same old obsessions, abortion, gays, guns, and Jesus. Bomb ‘em, bomb ‘em all!

They can’t even agree among themselves on the things they all agree on.

Now, you tell me, how are they going to run the country?

Look, I’m not saying the Democrats are great, but at least they’re going forward. Inch at a time and uphill all the way, kicking and clawing and howling at the moon – and that sure beats retreat any day of the week.

Here’s the thing, so pay attention: If the republicans take the Senate in two months and/or the White House in two years, it won’t be because of their innovative comprehensive plan for rebuilding America or their infectious enthusiasm.

No, it won’t. Obviously. Because they have neither.

It’ll be because democrats are too goddamned lazy to get off their asses and do something about it.

If you can’t win against these dour disorganized pessimists, then you don’t deserve to be in charge.

Give that some thought, won’t you?

 

Remember: no matter where you go, there you are!
- Pigkiller

 




Addendum: A note about my use of the word “lopsided,” in reference to Palin’s child.

Look at the sentence in context.

The entire point of Palin's Death Panel bullshit, the entirety of it, was because she openly accused President Obama (and by extension all liberals) of engaging in Nazi-style eugenics. Her allegation was that Obama would bring the mentally challenged, the old, the infirm, and specifically her Down Syndrome son, before a government panel to be judged and (presumably) condemned to die. 

Death Panels. She accused us of being fucking Nazis, she was quite specific about it.

Yes, I used the word lopsided.  I didn't use "inferior," "deficient," "defective," "retarded," "Mongoloid," "special," "handicapped," or any other demeaning or outdated euphemism.  I would also point out that I didn't call him a goddamned Nazi. I used a non-threatening word with no attached social baggage. I did it on purpose to identify the child Palin herself made a political token by holding him up as different and less than her other children – and that’s exactly what she did, she didn’t say liberals were going to off Willow or Bristol or Tyvek or Snowshoe or whatever the rest of her kids are called.

I didn't bring Palin's kid into this, Palin did. Loudly. Repeatedly. She used that child as a political token, and she did it  specifically because of his developmental condition. She assumed special authority because of her child. She made a specific point of it. So where is it? Where are those death panels? Where are they? She said we'd kill her kid, she said the Government would kill her kid, she said liberals would kill her kid specifically because he is mentally challenged and we are baby murdering Nazis.

So why is he still alive? Well?

Guess what, I didn’t kill her kid. Liberals didn’t kill her kid. Obama didn’t kill her kid. Obamacare didn’t kill her kid.  So far as I know, he’s doing just fine. Last time I saw him in public, he was cute as a button. I don’t think he’s lopsided, she does.

But here’s the thing, kids are dying.  Because they don’t have access to fucking healthcare, because spiteful insane selfish assholes like Sarah Palin don’t think they deserve it.

If Sarah Palin doesn't want me using her goddamned kid to make a political point, she shouldn't have brought him to the fight and hauled him up as different in front of the nation.

And she shouldn't have called me a fucking Nazi.

Lopsided is a hell of a lot more polite than calling the rest of us baby murdering fascists.

And unlike her, I own what I say.

178 comments:

  1. Top-notch, Mr. Wright. Isn't the voter-ID issue another problem, or did I miss it?
    Minor quibbles: there is a "the the", and a "whom" that should be a "who".

    GerryTheNerd.

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    1. "Isn't the voter-ID issue another problem..."

      In the sense that it's a colossal waste of our time, I'd say yes.

      As far as I can tell, voter ID laws are a solution in search of a problem. The percentage of ballots that would be eliminated by proper voter identification is minuscule; it's about as cost-effective as drug-testing people on welfare.

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    2. Oh no. The "problem" is quite specific. People who vote "the wrong way" have access to a voting booth. That can't be allowed.

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    3. Lucas got it. I should have been more explicit -- the issue is voter turmout and Voter-ID laws will also affect it.
      GerryTheNerd.

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  2. Thanks, Jim, I enjoyed this. You continue to out-do yourself.

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  3. You are so right! Democrats WIN when we turn out. Keep pounding that drum, good sir.

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  4. The shinning? http://i1.minus.com/ibaMh7ZmGQAs3r.png

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  5. One quibble: If Republicans sent us into Iraq with no plan for winning, what was that "Mission Accomplished" shit all about?

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    1. The "Mission" was to oust Saddam Hussein. They had NO plan on what to do after that.

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    2. Lucas, I know. I was there. I saw it all unfold in realtime.

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    3. Photo op. Campaign photo op.

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    4. Jim, my response was directed toward Janet, not you.

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    5. Job 1 in Iraq was the removal of Saddam Hussein, and Job 2 was to get American hands on Iraq's oil. Job 3 is rarely remembered: Bremer and others wanted Iraq to be the shining example of how Neocon philosophy and principles could change a third world sewer into a shining example of social and economic stability for all the world to see. We all know how that turned out.

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    6. If some measure of justice, however imperfect, was visited upon Haldeman, Erlichman, MItchell, Dean, and Nixon, why can't some action be taken against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and their lesser co-conspirators?

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  6. "It’ll be because democrats are too goddamned lazy to get off their asses and do something about it.

    If you can’t win against these dour disorganized pessimists, then you don’t deserve to be in charge. "

    Yup - but how to get them out to vote?

    I tried explaining it to someone during the primary, recently - they think their vote doesn't count - I asked if they voted so that it could be counted - blank stare.

    I wonder if I can offer extra points to my students for voting? Bring me your sticker for 5 points, or something. I don't care who, just that they do. hmm

    Thanks, Jim - excellent, as usual.

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    1. I am white, middle class and thanks to Texas Jim Crow laws, I cannot vote. I got caught in a crack between Texas' voter fraud prevention, Michigan's (where I was born), and Wisconsin's (where I happened to live for eight months). Not one of those states is willing to give an inch on their stupid "laws" to allow me to get legal ID in the state in which I now reside.

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    2. Well shit, that sucks--you've got two months, what can you do? Seriously, this is totally fucked up--where do you now reside? SMDH. They can't win on any ideas, they just want to cheat by denying voters. Makes me sick.

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  7. This is exactly right. I encourage all my friends to read this.

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  8. I've had this same Affordable Care Act argument for what seems like for freaking ever now with my kid, whose time in the Marines has made him unusually susceptible to right-wing talking points. He has denounced the ACA as a horrible thing that us icky liberals wanted in its entirety and all its specifics, and I point out that what we wanted was a single-payer system but the ACA is what we were *able to get*. And since it is what we were able to get we are going to try to work with it and hope for opportunities to improve it, and that that's better than just doing nothing.

    He's gone quiet about it lately, so maybe I've gotten through a little...

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    1. You and me both, Rick. There is a lot at fault with the ACA, but it is an improvement over having no healthcare reform at all.

      When Social Security and Medicare were legislated, they found many flaws in the laws that were then corrected with Congressional rewrites and tweaks. With ACA, they White House didn't dare bring up any tweaks because the Republicans wanted to gut the thing from the beginning. So we are stuck with a system with a low of flaws.

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    2. Sorry Rick you may think you go through but you didn't really. The republican radio pundits just stopped supplying him with the anti Obamacare talking point of the week. Wait it'll flair up again from time to time. He just needs new marching orders.

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  9. cackling manically? I guess that works, but I would have used maniacally.

    You forgot about education as one of the things they are trying to move backwards. No more critical thinking. No scientific method. I thank my lucky stars that my son is almost done with high school.

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  10. Double "n" typo alert in the otherwise brilliant notion of them having turned "a shining city on a hill into a grim fortress surrounded by a moat filled with scummy stinking stagnant water." Great stuff as always Jim.

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  11. If we could vote for a candidate by recording ourselves dumping either a red or blue bucket of water over our heads and uploading the video to the internet, I believe we could save our democracy.

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  12. An elegant, succinct reduction of the clusterfuck into which we have pitched headlong ever since the seed of the Southern Strategy squirted past the epididymis of History's Yard Waste (thank you, C. P. Pierce), lo, these 47 years past. Given a shot of Cialis when Ronnie-I-Forgot opened his '80 campaign within a lynch-rope's toss of the site where the bodies were buried in Mississippi Burning. At first, I thought, here it comes, A Prolix Epistle I'll never be able to memorize, but you got it in compressed .mp3 format here, all the high notes. I will say, though, that only a military veteran of your tenure and CV--and Navy, at that--can get away with the bamboo cage allusion @ McCain. I'm such a nasty bastard, that made me smile extra wide.

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  13. Jim, YOU are Master. Except taller, and with hair.

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  14. They want to go backward to a perceived ideal past.
    Jim, you might want to read an essay that I just shared on my wall. It was written by a fellow veteran who decided he wanted to take a real look at the Tea Party and where it comes from. Rather an interesting read. It's titled "Not a Tea Party, a Confederate Party".

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    1. i read that -- terrific but depressing....

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    2. "perceived ideal past"- very good.
      Sadly, their perception and true reality aren't the same thing despite what they may want to believe.

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  15. Excellent post. Spot on all post. I will never forgive you for the image of Hillary in a chainmail pants suit, that was just plain cruel.

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    1. Congratulations! You're the first to survive the audition!

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    2. pantsuit is better than mini-skirt, though -- i doubt if Hillary has Tina's legs.

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  16. I've had "We Don't Need Another Hero" stuck in my head for the last 90 minutes. Thanks a bunch.

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    1. From someone who stopped enjoying Mell Gibson movies when he made the execrable "What Women Want" and everything thereafter (and likewise Clint Eastwood when he began using his favorite jazz as the soundtrack of his movies)...

      ...;-D

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  17. I agree totally with what you wrote, Jim. But using the word "lopsided" for Palin's son? Mentioning him in connection with his mother's mythical death panels: OK. Adding the adjective was needlessly cruel. The kid didn't choose his condition or choose to be used for political purposes by his mother.

    However, you may fire any epithets you have at his mother at any time and I'll help you reload. She chooses to be ignorant and cruel.

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    1. Valerie -- I think you and I were typing at the same time.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. I added an addendum to the essay. It should explain my use of the word.

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    4. You used the word lopsided rather than other words. I still think it was cruel since removing that one word from the sentence does not weaken your argument at all.I agree that SP used her kids as props during the 2008 campaign, but is a 7 or 8 year old kid therefore fair game? Doesn't that mean that we are using him as a political prop, too?

      I completely agree with you that the whole idea of death panels was ludicrous. It stemmed from a provision allowing doctors to be paid for discussing advance directives on end-of-life care with their patients, a valuable but time consuming talk. SP or her handlers struck propaganda gold by calling it death panels and the rest is hysteria.

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    5. Fine. It's cruel. I'm a cruel son of a bitch. Case closed. Now, let's just move on. Okay?

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    6. Done. (Blows a kiss in the general direction of Alaska.)

      Delete
  18. Sorry, I cannot comment until I finish gouging out mt eyes in order to get rid of the image of Ms Clinton in an iron miniskirt.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Jim -- great post, but I'm calling you out on this one:
    "whatever happened to those death panels anyway? Where’s Obama keeping those? And has he offed Palin’s lopsided kid yet?"
    Sarah P is fair game -- but "lopsided kid"? Really? No, no, no . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See my reply to Valerie above

      Delete
    2. I understand that SP started it . . . but why stoop to her level?

      Delete
    3. I'm not going to argue about it. Move on.

      Delete
  20. I'd really rather the democrats run Elizabeth Warren instead of Hillary. Otherwise, I got nothing to add

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Hillary may step aside for Elizabeth. But with Hillary still their boogie monster Elizabeth will pick up less flak for now and they'll have to come up with new talking points on the fly rather than having years to plan.

      Delete
    2. Elizabeth Warren is not running. Though it's not necessary, because any potential candidates are not allowed to be associated with PAC's, she sent a letter to FEC disavowing herself from a group called 'Ready for Elizabeth' stating she is not running for President in 2016.

      Delete
    3. So far, the scuttlebutt I've heard has Elizabeth Warren staying in congress. And while I think she could also do well with higher office, I don't want to lose her in congress, since we need people fighting the good fight THERE! Just think what sort of things could happen if there were enough people elected to both houses who were willing to discuss, learn, and COMPROMISE! (I'm so very tired of filibusters and government shutdowns. Stupids in power. So very sad. I voted, those are NOT the people I voted for! And the ones from my district do NOT listen when people like me call, or write, or email.)

      Gretchen in KS

      Delete
  21. i laughed so hard i peed myself. sad really. but i digress.
    all the more reason we need a change from the 2 party system. we need to solicit the commission on presidential debates to allow other party leaders equal visibility. and we need to get $$ out of politics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you meant to say you laughed so hard, tears ran down your leg. You're welcome.

      Delete
  22. The "lopsided kid" thing caught my eye too as the usual rule is "the kids are off limits" but then I got thinking - Sarah Palin cravenly dragged each member of her family one by one into the public eye to make whatever political points she could off of them. With her youngest child she made a particularly big deal of how Obama's death panels would have swooped in to end poor little Trig's life because he was born with Down Syndrome and her idiot admirers ate it up like candy. And her daughter, Bistol would be giving birth out of wedlock because, unlike those heathen "libruls", the Palins don't murder children. Usually I stand against bringing the kids into the mud slinging match but Sarah seems to have already thrown them into the ring herself.

    JZinFL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are correct. And that is the ONLY reason I used the reference.

      The reference wasn't about the kid, it was about Palin.

      Delete
  23. Hillary Clinton in a chain mail mini-skirt...or that image alone, I should challenge you to a duel. ;)

    Let's say, specimen jars at 10 paces. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I accept. Noon in the meadow okay?

      Loser buys the beer

      Delete
    2. Works for me on all counts...I'll have buy a ticket to fly up. :)

      Delete
    3. I feel obligated to warn you, Major, it's a tad windy today and I am a Warrant. Nobody can piss into the wind like a Warrant. I'm just saying, bring your beer money.

      Delete
    4. What's with all the bashing Hillary for her looks? Imagine Mitch McConnell naked if you want to go there.

      Delete
    5. This will be the last comment I'll allow to post on this subject.

      NOBODY is bashing Hillary on her looks. Nobody. Get the fuck over it. I poked a little fun at her penchant for pantsuits, and no more than she does herself - read her description of herself on her twitter feed, she makes fun of her pantsuits. If she can laugh at herself, you can manage not be offended on her behalf.

      And I notice you didn't have a problem with my description of Chris Christie in a leather codpiece. Sexist bias much?

      Delete
    6. Oh, God! There is not enough brain bleach in the universe to remove that image of Chris Christie from my head.

      Delete
  24. Will never be able to mentally unsee Hillary in a chain mail miniskirt. Thanks heaps!

    On the other hand, I now have a hankering to revisit Buckaroo Banzai.

    Thanks for so eloquently defining the current republican climate. It is simply staggering how many low-income, low-information people vote so profoundly against their own interests in the name of guns, god, gays, abortion and mindlessly sending our young men and women to war. Staggering.

    As for the ACA I totally agree it needs some fine tuning, but as a woman who has spent 90% of my career as an independent contractor having to deal with the independent insurance market that was, the vastness of the improvement of the terms and conditions and standardization of coverage absolutely cannot be overstated. This (unfortunately) wasn't "health care reform", it was insurance industry reform which was at least a nice place to START.

    --TJinLA

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh so glad I had put down my coffee before reading "Auntie Hillary in a chainmail pantsuit".

    I'm enough of a conspiracy theorist to be convinced the repubs DO have a plan, and a highly refined one at that. It can not be understood in the context of what is best for America, but rather what will advance the interests of the oligarchy. Confusing the remaining fragments of the electorate is part of that plan. Setting us at each other's throats is part of the plan. The Benghazi meme is firmly planted by now, and it connotes "Obama bad" rather than "thoroughly discredited red herring". The Obamacare meme is firmly planted as "Obama bad", but the excruciating irony a generation hence will be the TPérs of that time yelling "Government keep your hands off my Obamacare!"

    ReplyDelete
  26. What you wanna fight?!?!? I am as liberal as any liberal anywhere anytime and I do not now, nor have I ever, use an iPhone. Hell, I will not voluntarily use any iCrap anything.

    And as bad as that image of the chainmail pantssuit was, you had to go to the miniskirt? You're an evil fuck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. -insert maniacal laughter and hand rubbing here-

      Delete
    2. Well, Jim IS the Tool of Satan after all.

      Delete
    3. Hail Jim. Hail Satan. Seriously, another terrific piece. And I am fine with lopsided.
      Frankly, I'd rather have Bernie Sanders than the whole lot of them, but that will happen when pigs (lipsticked or not) fly.

      Delete
  27. I'm glad you're not a damn bit bitter about any of this, Jim. But then, neither am I. Life's too short, gotta squeeze the delight out of every blessed day...and spend it constructively, as in contemplating a vision of John Bohner in a chainmail codpiece visiting Palin in Wasilla on a below zero day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Had to shut the office door, I’m laughing so hard. You have an evil mind, Gunner.

      Delete
  28. Aptly put: "Honestly, if Obama came out in favor of electricity and running water , republicans would squat in the dark, shit on their own shoes, and call it liberty" -- Jim Wright (stonekettle.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Superbly packaged up for use as a sig line. I wonder if Jim would object to it being used that way?

      Delete
  29. Patricia SchaffhouserAugust 27, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Hillary in a chainmail pantsuit or mini skirt is an interesting mental image, but I can handle that over the grumpy white men who disbelieve Darwin, climate change, and think that ninja female cells can kill rape sperm. I will vote. Every time. If the candidate I choose wins, that works. If not, I have a legitimate right to bitch. Period.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Remember "Death Panels"? Wasn't that charming? In 2010, a Politico article stated, "Recently released documents from the custody battle show clearly Tripp Palin Johnston has socialized health care through Indian Health Services and the Alaska Native Medical Center." But that isn't socialism. It's not redistribution of wealth because the natives traded land for health care. Turns out, the natives could have kept their land, drilled for oil and gotten filthy rich. That's what the smarty pants purchasers did. Ironic, but not Socialist. Much.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I posted on Facebook the feeding of one of my pet peeves - lack of voter turnout. Yesterday was our primary, and the radio estimated less that 20% would vote. I looked at one slot, where there was competition on the (R) side but only one (D) on the other. The winner of the (R) side had over 11k votes. The (D) came in with about 6k votes. Who has the numbers in voter turnout has the race, and (D)'s don't seem to be getting off their butts to vote. If the turnout ratio remains the same, the (D) candidate should just concede today. Nationally, (D)'s are up the creek if they can't get folk to vote for their ideas, and instead let the party of no idea win...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to suggest mandatory voting, Australia-style, to rightwing acquaintances every once in a while, just to watch 'em turn red and splutter...

      Delete
    2. Where are those death panels? Where are they?



      Not being a member of the Twitterverse, other than as a reader, I can't get in on this myself, but should Grizzly Mama find herself Twitterbombed on the subject of Trig's impending, if somewhat imaginary, Death Panel, I'd be mighty proud of all y'all that are...

      Oh, and did everybody see the Sarah Palin Ice Bucket Challenge™©? Jayzus, what was that noise?!

      Delete
    3. I might just mention that we don't actually have mandatory voting in Australia. What we have is mandatory "turn-up-to-the-polling-place-get-your-name-marked-off-and-accept-a-ballot-paper". What you then do with said ballot paper before you put it in the ballot box is your own business. No-one is forcing you to vote at all. Unsurprisingly, however, a remarkable number of Australians do take the time to research the candidates and make the effort to vote sensibly.

      That said, the current Government won office by a measly 33,000 votes in marginal seats. They polled very well in their safe seats as their party faithful stuck by them but are still reliant on the cross-benchers to pass any legislation as they don't have a majority in either House (thank goodness!)

      From being regarded with envy as the only G20 nation not to suffer a recession from the GFC - almost entirely due to the fiscal policies of the previous PM & Treasurer - we are on the road to becoming a laughing-stock. And we are not happy about it. Not at all.

      Delete
    4. Of course the real "death panels" are doing exactly what they were designed to do, which is to bring the optimum level and kind of palliative care available to terminal patients. So they remain alive longer, more comfortably, and in the places where they want to be.

      Almost nothing the Republicans have ever done, in the domestic policy arena in any case, was as evil as the lies they told, and continue to tell, about those "death panels". I for one will never forgive them for it. From now until, if I am lucky enough, I get my own 'Death Panel", and not even then. Fucking lying shit-stirring fear-mongering bastards, who would put aside the interests of the most vulnerable people in the country, ie terminal patients, to try to frighten low information voters and to score a few unearned points.

      BB

      Delete
    5. I never understood how "end of life consultation/counseling" got turned into "Death Panels!" My mother was foresighted enough to make her wishes for end-of-life care very clear before she had her stroke. I had to have the talk with one of my best friends when she got her diagnosis for pancreatic cancer. Both chose not to have extreme actions taken, and I believe that both lived longer and more comfortably than they would have otherwise.

      Delete
    6. "I never understood how "end of life consultation/counseling" got turned into "Death Panels!"

      How? Republicans. Turd eating, shitbag, selfish as fuck Republicans. Of the Rovian, Truth ain't in 'em, ignorant as a Palin variety.

      Delete
    7. Hmmm. My "Where are those death panels?" post was not supposed to be a reply to Marc. I blame Haloscan...

      Delete
  32. And, thanks to the ACA, Palin's child cannot be refused medical insurance coverage for his pre-existing condiont, and he (or whoever is taking care of him) will never have to worry about reaching a lifetime limit of payouts for his medical care. Thanks, Obama!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. None of Palin's kids including the suspiciously acquired Trig ever need private or public or employer health insurance for themselves because they get free gummint health care because they are (or someone claims for them) 1/16th Native Alaskan by virtue of their blue-eyed, pale-skinned Papa Palin. You know, the one who's as Native Alaskan as Elizabeth Warren is Cherokee. ;-P

      Delete
  33. Jim, I clock 20 "republican(s)". That's an awful lot, and I'm mindful of how you've stated in the past that you choose your words carefully, so....typos, or keyboard problems (I have trouble with the Shift key, no matter what keyboard I'm using, and I don't know why) or is your subconscious trying to tell you--or us--something?
    Way too many to wade through and correct because, basically, they don't deserve it. If there was ever a "small r" republican party, the one we're stuck with now is it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I typed it that way on purpose. These people are not Republicans.

      Delete
    2. You are exactly correct Jim. I was a capital R Republican until recently and after a fellow Republican spend many Emails pointing out how I wasn't " conservative " enough and I researched every single one of his points I finally woke up to how clueless my party had become. These are are a bunch of small r republicans . Frankly they are more like a bunch of Luddites. It took me too long, but I did see the light.

      Delete
  34. Re: comments on Hillary's pantsuits - I really, really, wish we could get past a female candidate's looks. There are plenty of things to knock any politician for but must we always comment on the womens' appearance? You never hear anyone talking about a male candidate's dress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh for fuck's sake.

      You do to hear me comment on male politicians' appearance. In fact, I did it in this very essay, see "sallow." I do it all of the time, I'm equal opportunity. Do a google search on how many times I've mocked Romney's robot like appearance.

      The pantsuit is Hillary Clinton's trademark. The chainmail miniskirt was an integral part of Thunderdome. It's a simple connective idea and puts Hillary Clinton into the armor of the real hero of the story.

      Dread Cthulhu, if you going to bitch about something I wrote, bitch about the fact that I called Palin's kid a retard like everybody else. Fuck.

      Delete
    2. Rereading my previous comment I realize it's more than a bit harsh.

      I apologize for the tone.

      It's just that, goddamnit, I've already had to explain the lopsided comment. Now you want me to explain the pantsuit comment. I expect the conservatives to be offended, they're offended by everything - it's their personal state of being. But liberals? The next liberal along will be offended by something else, and the one after that, and the one after that until the only thing left for me to write is bland, grey pap so as not to upset anybody.

      And I just won't do it.

      I'm sincerely sorry if what I wrote offends you, twas not my intention. That said, I'm just going to go right on writing it and let the chips fall where they may.

      Delete
    3. The piece was first rate, spot on and funny as hell, but ...... well, not buts about it - it just was. That being said, no matter how hard I try I can't get the image of H.C. in a chain mail pant suit out of my head. It makes me laugh out loud and I can't tell anybody what's so funny. The vision is kind of like a creepy clown lurking in one's head. Guess we're lucky the Affordable Care Act offers mental health care as the vision seems to have disturbed a great many of your readers - in an extremely odd way I might add. JZinFL

      Delete
    4. please do! you will never please everyone.

      Delete
    5. Jim, she owns those pantsuits like a boss.
      Here's her 'about' section on twitter:
      Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD...

      Delete
    6. No bland gray pap. We don't come here to read the equivalent of day-old oatmeal. Jim's images are funny and mind-expanding. If we keep editing ourselves like some suggest, we might as well banish adjectives from the American lexicon. More chainmail, more lopsided....please.

      Delete
    7. This may be what Darcie B was on about.

      Several links from der google, that's just the first. If Hillary ends up as the Democratic candidate in '16, I fully expect the Republicans to be all over her appearance, 24/7, whether there's any basis or not. Anything for the win, right? Can you imagine the Republican psyche if she wins? 12 years minimum of a Democrat in the White House, and now a woman at that, following 8 years of a black man. I could almost feel sorry for 'em. Almost...

      Delete
    8. Meanie-meanie, yes. Jim, I'm not offended, just peeved. Plus, I was responding more to the comments than the post.

      The way the media covered Obama's tan suit today, maybe they're coming around to being more gender neutral. Now they can offer useless commentary on both sexes! :)

      Delete
    9. I'm disappointed you didn't say more about Rick "Do these glasses make me look more intelligent?" Perry.

      Delete
  35. Down here in Texas, Democrats seem to have this death wish demand for a "perfect candidate," while the GOP will turn out for whatever gets slapped on their side of the ballot. Talk about a sad situation. Can you imagine how hard it is to recruit decent candidates who are willing to kill themselves trying to raise and spend a ginormous amount of money to wage a bitter, nasty campaign they're pretty much guaranteed to lose? The result? Rick Perry. Ted Cruz. I keep hoping more of my fellow progressives will recognize the utter necessity to go to the polls and vote mainstream Democratic this election. Then, if they want better candidates in 2016, they should get involved with recruiting and supporting them.
    Ellen L. Horr, Houston, TX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That - the willingness of Independents and Democrats to hold our noses and vote in an open primary for a Tea Party idealogue - is what finally, finally got Eric Cantor off our backs here in Virginia.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, these days the lesser of the two evils is so much more lesser than it was when we were students. (:-) Republicans didn't used to be deranged anarchists.

      Delete
    3. You aren't wrong, Chuck, except a little bit. There were always the John Bircher swivel-eyed loony Republicans, funded by deeply gauche Texas oilmen, but they were looked down upon, derided and generally disregarded by the sane and centrist cloth coat Eisenhower/Buckleyite Republicans. Who are the ones you remember. Me too.

      But the sane and centrist ones seem to have left the building. And the ones who are left would tar and feather Eisenhower, and Buckley, for being Socialists.

      BB

      Delete
  36. (Fuzzy-minded, sleepy, but possibly relevant thoughts.)

    In 2016, the major parties will probably field a radical and a conservative, and I may be voting for the conservative, since I don't like Ted Cruz.

    Ba-da-bum!

    Ten years ago, I wrote, "it seems to me important to dust off some of the old hopes for the future: world governance, world peace, freedom for all, equality for all, the elimination of poverty, a healthy relationship with the natural world." Sounds pretty radical, hey? And it would be a losing platform in almost every country. But even more modest liberalism has a pretty tough row to hoe.

    So if a liberal platform can't win, and conservative Democrats like Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama can only barely win, what's left?

    The problem isn't the Democrats; the problem is "We the people." And, to be fair, we have some genuinely difficult structural problems in our democratic system. But it's only a tiny minority that actually wants to solve them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wall Street agrees with me! Oh, noes!

      "The darkest secret in the big money world of the Republican coastal elite is that the most palatable alternative to a nominee such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas or Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky would be Clinton, a familiar face on Wall Street following her tenure as a New York senator with relatively moderate views on taxation and financial regulation."—http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/wall-street-republicans-hillary-clinton-2016-106070.html

      For my next trick, um…

      Delete
  37. Think I saw something about Chris Christie in a codpiece ... that's not a pretty picture, either.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Jim, you hit it out of the ballpark, as usual. Just one disagreement, shipmate, on your reference to Reagan having a vision for America. Reagan had no vision, in fact nothing at all different from today's republicans. What Reagan had was a well-polished script from nostalgia for days of yore that never were. He sounded good, acted the role of President, acted Presidential, but he didn't have a vision (not if you mean a goal for America). The people really running the government were canny connected politicians like Bush Sr. and Cheney. Their republican "vision" was the same then as now, tax cuts for the rich, screwing the poor, corporations writing the laws and scrapping regulations, wars, more wars, talking tough about wars, and image over substance. We had quite a few criminal convictions under ol' Ronnie, including North, so please, don't get nostalgic yourself for Teflon Ron. Don't confuse "vision" for a good marketing campaign, both during the election and all of the years afterwards shoveling his many mistakes under the rug.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jerry, you missed my meaning. Politics is the art of the possible, it's about smoke and mirrors and perception. It is about marketing.

      Reagan, whatever his flaws, he was an actor. He might not have had any real vision, but he sure could play the role. He galvanized the nation, people genuinely liked him, even people who hated his politics. I saw it happen.

      And, man, after the life-sucking malaise of the 70's he was a relief. The country felt like it had purpose. I was in the military then, we went from the demoralized paper-navy of post Vietnam to proud cold warriors with a mission. Reagan, real or not, made us believe that he believed in America.

      Sure, maybe it was all a fraud, but you're missing the point. Compared to the angry bitter pessimism today's GOP? Reagan was a visionary.

      Delete
    2. Jim, I must respectfully disagree with you. Reagan was nothing more than an empty suit overstuffed with Sominex. Every so often his handlers would let the coma relax enough so that he could trot out a few old homilies, wave to the dumbass multitudes and head to the Oval Office for Naptime.

      The policies enacted during his tenure are far more sinister and sophisticated than he was. His enablers started the downward spiral that America has become and they did it on purpose. May they be haunted nightly by visions of either Barbara Bush in a chainmail mini or Ann Coulter naked. Or Dick Cheney in any form imaginable.

      Delete
    3. OMG Reagan was such an asshole. Got you Jim, "ACTOR"--I work with these folks every day. Got it. Have no problem with (and kind of envy) their total disconnect from real life when they aren't running the goddamned country. But shit, that was a nightmare--the Roves and Cheneys learned their trade by running a puppet.

      Seminal point for me: So few people saw it--I know because I kept (and keep) asking and no one said they saw it and then it disappeared from the (early) internet even. Reagan was running for second term. Seemed okay (we saw so little of him at that point that his Alzheimers wasn't totally obvious). Anyone else remember this? (P.S. totally cop to maybe not getting it perfectly word perfect.)

      EXT: RANCH, STANDING BY FENCE POST

      Ron and Nancy hanging out by split rail looking normal and whatever, waving for the "photo opportunity" the press can only hope for. No questions sanctioned. Ron and Nancy wave at them, some Press guy yells out anyway (and never got another question in the WH press corps ever):

      Reporter: What are you doing about getting the Russians to the table?

      Ron (still waving) cocks his head sideways and looks totally bewildered. Nancy looks down to the dirt and says under her breath (unbeknownst to her it was on microphone) "We're doing everything we can".

      Ron (monotone, still with that empty bewildered look on his face.): "We're doing everything we can"

      Black suits swarm in and the photo op is all over.

      I have NEVER gotten over it. And he still got re-elected. Terrifying. Stupid. I just don't have enough adjectives. Or adverbs.

      I remember that tape so vividly. I remember my spine freezing solid. I remember it more or less disappearing from the conversation about re-electing Reagan.

      Then Rove and company got W elected Governor in Texas (ousting beloved Anne Richards with some of the most despicable campaign tactics on record). Then they got him presidency. Then even a second term! Nothing is impossible with enough money and no fucking moral compass at all.

      And here we are.

      Fuck. Keep talking Jim. You have a great voice and some significant service history to MAYBE make people who put ribbons on their cars but don't pay attention to policy -- maybe they might actually LISTEN.

      Thanks.

      TJinL.A.

      Delete
    4. The Reagan administration began the policies and process of disintegration you have been criticizing for years in this space. Reagan sat in the White House, led the charge. Was the lift you got from his performance worth it?

      I think Reagan conservatism is like an addictive drug. Moments of good feeling and hours, weeks, years of of misery from the addiction. And it very addictive. A large faction of the country believes in it. The conservative Democratic leadership believes in it. Obama, even, believes in it. He has said so, said he admires Reagan, and his policy record on economic matters agrees.

      The leadership of the Democratic Party has no more will to put the country back together than the leadership of the Republicans. when the chips are down, they no more stand for the mass of us than do the Republicans. And this is why the Democrats have trouble winning elections: stripped of the theater, their conservative-dominated leadership has only the fact they're not as completely crazy as the Tea Party Republicans. Which is not nothing. But "Vote for us, we're not bugfuck crazy" is not a stirring campaign slogan.

      Delete
    5. To anonymous above:

      http://www.nbcuniversalarchives.com/nbcuni/clip/5112412601_s01.do

      Delete
    6. To Anonymous 8/28/11:22: Can't see it (site security). Am almost glad that I can't. Don't want to. *shiver* But thanks for the thought. Or did you want to give me nightmares again? ;-)

      TJinL.A.

      Delete
  39. Mr. Wright,
    Your essay covered a lot of ground, and as usual I found delight and agreement with it. I do however, have concerns with Ms. Clinton's role in the State Department re the unrest in Central America - which is driving immigrants to our border, and her role with the neocons in Ukraine - which is bringing to power nascent neo-Nazi forces in Eastern Europe. Having said that, the alternative of a Republican at the helm concerns me much more. Why can't we have sane international policy? I already know the answer. The Military Industial Complex won't stand for a non-combatant international posture. There's no profit in that. Keep up the good work sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a great many concerns about Hillary Clinton. I don't know that I'd want her in the Oval Office. I think she's got one hell of a resume, but I also think she's got one hell of a lot of baggage - including Bill. I don't know that she could survive what will come to light should she decide to run, and I think she knows it and I think that's why she's being cagey about declaring.

      She may or may not be the Democrats' best shot. But then again nobody had ever even heard of Barack Obama prior to 2007 either. So maybe somebody better will come along.

      That said, if it's her and Ted Cruz or Paul Ryan or Rand Paul or another goddamned Bush, I'll hold my nose and vote for her. But frankly I'd like to see good candidates from both parties, ones I could live with no matter what their party is.

      And that just ain't gonna happen. No way, no how. We're just too far gone at this point.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, Ryan isn't wrong when he says she's a hawk. But, as usual with Ryan, he makes sense for five minutes, and then the train leaves the track. (H/T to Charles Pierce, who is fond of pointing that out.)

      Delete
  40. Thank you for your eloquent, honest reprisal of the pitiful state of the political gamebook in our country.....

    ReplyDelete
  41. "I'm just going to go right on writing it and let the chips fall where they may." ___ JW
    If you stop doing that, the world will get just a tad darker and the colors will be just a bit washed out. You go right ahead and steady up on that heading. I appreciate you trying to explain your comments to those who are easily offended, but you have plenty of warning signs, flashing lights, klaxons, disclaimers and so on, and you certainly aren't obligated to do so. I, for one, will read, learn and enjoy. If I don't get it the first time, I'll go back and read it harder. Thing is, most of us get it, because you un-crank all the kinks and bore a hole in the bullshit that lets the daylight in. Carry on, Mr. Wright.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Bland, grey pap ---- BLECH. Just keep writing what you write and I'll keep reading and sharing it. So will a lot of other people.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Actually Jim...I believe there is a plan...an over all plan to destroy what is left of our government...they just don't dare to articulate it...

    ReplyDelete
  44. Rand ain't wrong that a good number of liberals and/or Democrats think Hillary is going to drag us into another land war on Asia. They will never forgive her for the AUMF vote and assume she signed on to the Bush&Co neo-con agenda as a 100% backer because of her vote.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hillary Clinton has stated publicly a number of times that she regrets her vote to authorize military force. She said she made a mistake and she apologized. That's a whole helluva lot more than anyone else has done. Could the desire to reassure voters that, if she ever became the first female president she still had the cajones to send soldiers into battle have clouded her judgment? Perhaps - who knows why any of them voted for it.

      Delete
  45. The Democrats…

    In 2009, the Democrats had the opportunity to reverse the disastrous deregulation of the financial system and the destruction of the national job market, both begun under Reagan. In 2008 and 2009, the Democrats could have kept millions in their homes, sent millions back to work, and won the next election. Instead, they saved the bankers, impoverished the rest of us, and lost the 2010 election. Even though Obama was the lesser evil in 2012, I did not have the heart to vote for him. In early 2013, the Democrats, led by Obama, made 80% of the Bush II tax cuts permanent, establishing a long-term structural deficit that can only be resolved by yet more cuts in the Federal budget.

    It is hard to apply the rule of the lesser evil when the lesser evil is so very evil.

    Where are our leaders? Where are the voices who speak for us?

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  46. Everyone else is shuddering at the mental picture of a chain mail pantsuit. I am shuddering at the amount of chafing it would engender. Ooof.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Actually, just for the record I believe she was to be wearing a chain mail mini skirt which would cause much less chafing than a pantsuit

      Delete
  47. I completely agree with your assessment of Hillary. Obama beat Romney handily but I'm not sure that Hillary could. She's too damaged, and she's way too much of a hawk for the left, such as it is. Wouldn't surprise me if there are enough lukewarm mod-con D's who are pissed enough at Obama thanks to the constant drumbeat that they might just vote for Romney (motto: "I'm not Ted Cruz!") I personally know a lot of people down here in Texas whose really inferior, cheap, catastrophic coverage health insurance did get blown away by the ACA and who are loudly complaining about how much more they have to pay. Of course what they're paying for is probably better, but they'll never admit it.

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  48. XLNT as usual, thanks. FYI, this essay was cross-posted at Crooks & Liars today. Thot y'all would want to know cuz... well, you know.

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    Replies
    1. It's okay, it's a syndicated repost from AATTP. I get paid for it.

      Delete
    2. YEAH, BABY! Just making sure the thieving bastards pay up, MAAAAN.

      Delete
  49. View from the other side of the Pond.

    As far as I can tell Republicans don't have to DO anything, except shout "There's a Nigger in the Whitehouse, and anyone who opposes us is a Commie who hates America" and the masses will follow.

    I must also pick you up on a horrible phrase, and one too easily used in the anonymity of the internet. The word is MAIL. There is no such thing as 'chainmail' - that would like saying 'shootymusket'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will now use the term "shootymusket" in conversation at least once today.

      Delete
    2. Um, there are different types of mail? Chainmail, plate mail, leather, etc. But if you spell it maille, then we will agree.

      Delete
  50. Well said, sir! Bravo!

    {Clap Clap Clap}

    Contrary to the norm, where people tend to get more conservative as they grow older, when I was younger I was more conservative than I am now. Back then I gave real thought to whether I would call myself a liberal Republican or a conservative Democrat. That was around the middle of the Bush I administration, when Reagan was still fresh on my mind. That's when I turned 18.

    Reagan's policies were God-awful, and they sent us down the path that led us to the rubble around us now but, damn, he was a likeable dude! After the turmoil of the '60s and the dreadful hangover of the '70s, he did make the country feel proud to be Americans again. He made us feel good about ourselves for the first time in a long time, I'll give him that.

    That's when the Republican Party was still mostly sane. At least, I thought so at the time (now, looking back, I see it was already getting to the point that someone should have taken the car keys away). So, being the political dork that I was/am, I gave my voting future some serious thought. Having come from a family of strong Democrats, I ultimately concluded that that is what I would be. However, I told myself I wouldn't rule out voting for a Republican if I thought s/he was a better candidate and would do a better job.

    Since then, we've watched the Republican Party slowly go senile and batshit, transforming from the proud Party of Lincoln, to the drooling, babbling, paranoid Party of Fox "News." The elimination of the Fairness Doctrine is among the most consequential policy changes unleashed on the country during the Reagan Administration. Half the country is now plugged in to an endless echo of bullshit and insanity, feeding on itself and growing crazier and crazier.

    It would be funny if it weren't so dangerous. Really, what would the government do if Fox or Rush or any of them started to openly call for armed rebellion? Hell, they border on it now. The government couldn't shut them down and arrest them, it would play right into their narrative. What do we do when one of the two parties we have is actively trying to sabotage the government, and they won't stop?

    Though I was once open to it, I've never voted for a Republican. Now, the party is so far gone I can't imagine it ever happening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With all of the political parties out there, I meant to say "two MAJOR parties..."

      Party on.

      Delete
    2. ha, Jim got the clap from a Wolf(f).

      Delete
  51. Mr. Wright,

    Wonderful essay -- thank you for righting it. Perversely I find I want to talk about MM3: Beyond Thunderdome rather than staying on topic. I hadn't considered the view that Auntie Entity was the actual hero of the story and Max was just the protagonist. I don't suppose I could cajole you into riffing on the themes of that film a bit more, in all its cheesy glory?

    --Medicine Man

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    1. What are you talking about? Aunty Entity is the obvious hero. Max sure as shit isn't. Max is a bitter, ruined man. He's a selfish, self centered mercenary who's in it for one person and one person only, Max. Same as the last movie. The only part of the trilogy where he's a hero, is the first part of the first movie, after that he's a vigilante bent on revenge.

      Aunty on the other hand rebuilt a functioning civilization. She established law and order. She built a safe place (note everybody entering having to give up their weapons, that's one example). She's working to keep a petty tyrant from stealing it all away. Sure she's tough and ruthless, and the Thunderdome solution is brutal, but that's the world they live in. She's building civilization from the ruins, what's Max doing? Picking off the carcass of the what's left. Hell, the only reason he was going to stay with the Waiting Ones was because they had a safe refuge and they thought he was Captain Walker at first. Even the kids wanted more than that.

      Delete
    2. Hell, it's in the theme song, we don't need another hero.

      Delete
    3. I haven't watched Thunderdome since I was a teenager and I have never thought about it in detail. I guess telling the story from Max's point of view generates some sympathy for him but looking at it objectively I think you're 100% right. Max's assessment of Bartertown as a hellhole which will swallow the kids up is maybe the words of an unreliable narrator.

      --Medicine Man

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    4. MM3 depicts a beautiful, sunny Down Under post-apocalyptic holiday compared to the real WWIII armageddon movie "Threads"! There are no heros wearing Jean Paul Gaultier chainmail or shoulder pads. Just fucked up, irradiated life at the most minimal level. Check it out. (But lock up your guns and razor blades first, until you eventually cheer up again.) Enjoy - Tommy D

      Delete
  52. Jim, you're on fire with this one. Hell, you're a damned supernova.

    And thank you for pointing out just how much of a charlatan Rand Paul is. It sickens me to my stomach to see some liberals sing praises to him because of his "filibuster" while ignoring the fact that Senator Paul wants to scrap the Civil Rights Act and deny women their right to choose.

    He's a false face--so why are some on the Left falling for his nonsense?

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    Replies
    1. Paul doesn't want to scrap the Civil Rights Act. Can we try to have a shred of discernment? The Federal Government had every Constitutional right to abolish racist practices within itself. Perfectly legitimate. The Federal Government had no jurisdiction to tell private businesses who their clients should be. Ignorance is not a crime. Should business owners get away with being racist? If you care more about the color of someone's skin than the color of their money, someone else will avail themselves to the opportunity to take on that business and put the racist out of business. Plenty of white business owners defied the racist government laws in the South to serve black patrons. Aparthied, slavery in the US, Jim Crow; these were all LAWS, government imposed, not market imposed. None of the them could have existed in a free market. In a free market, you own your own labor, and/or your own business. You can work for who you please or start your own business and build it as big as you can.

      Delete
    2. Free Market Libertarians, you people are so darn cute. I can almost see the magic fairies circling your head like lightening bugs in a Disney film.

      Delete
    3. Your command of the language of ridicule is unmatched, but you haven't disputed my logic. If your store has a sign that says "Whites Only", I'm going to open one up across the street with a sign that says "Everyone Welcome" and you will be bankrupt in a week. If you disagree, brush away the fairies and tell us why.

      Delete
    4. Quod erat demonstrandum.

      That's a hell of a little Disney fantasy land you live in, Anonymous.

      As I said in reply to your comment below, I grow tired of your tedious deluded bullshit. Fuck off now. And if you don't like that fact that I won't let you comment here, feel free to open your own blog across the street.

      Delete
    5. Crazy Uncle Liberty (!) and his git sometimes make it to the Pierce Limit of 4 minutes 59 seconds before the alternate reality shit starts. His fanboyz (and galz) *start* at the 5:00 mark...

      Aparthied, slavery in the US, Jim Crow; these were all LAWS, government imposed, not market imposed. None of the them could have existed in a free market.

      I know that arguing with you are basically useless, but WTF. These sentences are, as Pauli would say, "not even wrong". Southern Apartheid and Jim Crow were all Southern State laws. You know, the good kind of law, if you're a Libertarian. And they *were* market imposed, in that Southern whites controlled both the law and the markets in the South. For all intents and purposes, they were the market. Slavery was allowed by the Constitution, true. If not for that, we might have had a Confederate States of America almost a hundred years early. No slavery, no USA, simple as that.

      None of the them could have existed in a free market.

      They did. Unless you want to admit that the "market", as it applied to Southern blacks, wasn't "free". You'd be right, it wasn't, but it doesn't do your argument much good.

      someone else will avail themselves to the opportunity to take on that business and put the racist out of business.

      So, obviously it happened, right? I mean, there were a hundred years between the Civil War and the Civil Rights Act, so, of course it did. Unless that's another bullshit Glibertarianism...

      Jimmy Buffett:
      ...so he just chose to live in a fantasy world, and then I looked at him and I went, well,what the hell's wrong with that?

      For the subject of his "A Pirate Looks At 40", nothing. Said pirate was just a guy, living his life. Not a political activist/politician/party trying to turn back the clock to the "good old days". Been there, done than, got the postcards

      Delete
    6. Meanie, you cannot reason with an unreasonable person. You can't reason with a glassy eyed fanatic. And that's exactly what Anonymous is, a glassy eyed Free Market Fairy, he lives in a fantasyland and believes in magic, in other words he's your standard issue Ayn Rand Libertarian.

      He's just regurgitating the same shit over and over, he made almost the same statement vis a vis the free market ending Apartheid if only the law would let it on another of my essays. He's a dogmatic fanatic who fancies himself an intellectual.

      You can't reason with him and he's not going to do anything but repeat himself like a dog who just can't help pissing in the same spot on your carpet. As such, he's done commenting on this thread.

      Delete
    7. I know, Jim, and I spend most of my time online *not* arguing with these people. Every once in a while, though, I take a whack at it. If there's ever a response, it's usually pre-digested talking points from whatever Central Command the jerk's fillings are tuned to, and I don't wait around for it anyway, because life's too short. On commenting platforms like Disqus that support a killfile, they go "into the cornfield", and I move on. There are a *lot* of commenters on the Left side of the great divide that have a great time trying to show these people the error of their ways, and I've given up on changing their minds too. Hell, everybody needs a hobby, right?

      Delete
  53. Boy, you covered a lot of ground. Hit the bullseye on all of it. I live in Kansas, pray for us!

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  54. "Forward into the past!" - The Firesign Theatre, "The Further Adventures of Nick Danger, Private Eye"

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  55. Nice work, you cruel son of a bitch. However, I think that moniker should be nailed on Romney.....the guy who thinks the 99% are irrelevant, the guy who guts companies (to hell with the workers and lost pensions), the guy who makes millions off the backs of China's slave labor. People who are thinking about not voting should give that some serious thought. The GOP may not have a plan, but they'll work damned hard to hoodwink enough of the population to take control if we let them. Thanks for putting a wake-up call out to the masses.

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  56. Sadly, the current Republican Party does seem to have a plan, and it's a plan to finally win the Civil War for the South. Their agenda is to effectively turn the United States of American into the Confederate States of America, with no federal government to speak of and the unlimited right of individual states to nullify any part of the Constitution they find inconvenient. It would be the end of the nation and a triumph for our enemies—all engineered by traitors who have the cast iron gall to call themselves "patriots."

    The former "Party of Lincoln" is now the Party of Booth.

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  57. My only question for the Republicans in this whole mess is "What are you going to do when Obama is gone?" The mess will still be there but all the stupid investigations will have amounted to nothing. Darrell Issa will have amounted to zero. McConnell has already failed at making Obama a one term President. Epic fail. Though the aging quasi-lesbian that is Mitch McConnell continues to obstruct. Lindsey Graham still occasionally lets a wet fart and contributes to nothing. But he still has that surprised look on his face. McCain just about the same. Boehner's leadership in the house could be compared to an out of control kids party. It seems that all of these people have been so caught up in the mania to kick Obama around they have forgotten they actually have a duty to perform. That would be governing. Now I will say the ACA is messed up yes it is and it needs help. But McConnell, Boehner etc. down the road have done not only nothing to help but have done every thing they can to hinder. This is an idea and a program to help the American people. It may have started out badly but can we not improve it? The answer to this is yes. But that would require cooperation from all parties and as long as we bow down to a loud mouthed ignorant segment of the population that does not have a majority this will be an issue. The fact is it will be an issue after Obama leaves office. But who are the Republicans going to blame then?

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    1. The real reason the Republicans can't press the Benghazi story is what was really going on there. The second compound a mile away that was attacked later the same night was a CIA operation to funnel arms from the Libyan revolution to the Syrian insurgency. How do you delve into the attack on the consulate without addressing what the terrorists were after and what the safe house was used for?

      Delete
  58. Republicans opposed Obamacare because it was going to be a job killer. In February, the CBO predicted it would cost 2.5 million jobs over 10 years. Is it radical to try to protect 2.5MM jobs?

    The Republicans had a very clear plan for Iraq. It just didn't work. Going there was a dumb idea in the first place, but one approved by almost all Democrats in congress including, yes, warhawk Hillary Clinton. But she was against it before she was for it. Or was it the other way around?

    She was also Secretary of State during the Iraq surge and the bombing of Libya, and tried to goad Obama into bombing Syria. She settle for training insurgents who have mostly defected to ISIS. Hillary and McCain are on the same page for waging endless war in Libya. Paul is right to expose her weakness here.

    The Republicans don't have to have new ideas. All the Democrats ideas of the past six years have been abject failures. The Republicans can and will win just by promising to roll them back. Unfortunately they will roll them back to Bush's policies which were just as bad. We're screwed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The Republicans had a very clear plan for Iraq."

      Ah, no, they didn't. I was there. They had no fucking plan at all.

      Delete
    2. Ah yes, the millions of jobs the CBO predicted would be lost. Great Republican talking point. But you, and everyone who parrots this one, aren't telling the whole story. The CBO predicted these jobs would be lost because people would voluntarily leave the workforce. Since the ACA would allow them to get healthcare on their own more cheaply, they would no longer be reliant on a shitty job just to get healthcare.

      This is one of the things that most pisses me off about "conservatives." They're either saying shit that is easily demonstrably not true, or they tell half the story when the whole story actually means something totally different then the half they tell.

      It used to be we could have debates about policy. Maybe the Republicans would be opposed to the ACA because they would claim it would cost too much. They would present figures that support their position, and the Democrats would counter. Then both sides would slowly move closer to each other's position until a compromise could be struck. That's how shit gets done.

      But we can't even have honest debates anymore because Republicans just pull things out of their ass. How can we debate a policy when one side is yelling that Obama wants to kill grandma? Do they seriously fucking think that Democrats want to kill people?

      God damn it, come back to reality!

      Delete
    3. Here's a piece of "reality" released today: "In particular, certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act will tend to reduce labor force participation, with the largest effect stemming from the subsidies that reduce the cost of purchasing health insurance through the exchanges. Because the subsidies decline with rising income (and increase with falling income) and make some people financially better off, they reduce the incentive for some people to work as much as they would without the subsidies."

      That is verbatim from the Congressional Budget Office's "An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024". So your opinion is that you shouldn't have to work a shitty job because someone else working a shitty job will pay for your healthcare and all your other needs? The problem with that line of thinking should be obvious, and this CBO report bears it out.

      Jim, I'm sure you did a fine job executing the Bush plans of winning hearts and minds and being welcomed as a liberator to buy time for an inclusive puppet government to form and placate the sectarian divisions while balancing out Iranian influence in the region. The plan was for you to basically sit in your walled compound, get fat on KFC, and venture out occasionally to show force while the political stuff worked itself out. How that would look different to a soldier from no plan at all is beyond me, so your assessment is understandable.

      Delete
    4. My involvement in Iraq was a tad more than sitting on my ass in a walled compound getting fat on fast food.

      But then, every anonymous troll on the internet is an expert in the art of long range post-conflict strategic planning, right? So what would I know? Being actually in the middle of conflict at the command level, obviously I wouldn't have the enlightened perspective gained from sitting on your ass, fat and safe, back home, eh?

      Fuck off now, Anonymous, I'm sick and tired of your bullshit. You're done commenting here.

      Delete
    5. Waay upthread another Anonymous said:

      Job 1 in Iraq was the removal of Saddam Hussein, and Job 2 was to get American hands on Iraq's oil. Job 3 is rarely remembered: Bremer and others wanted Iraq to be the shining example of how Neocon philosophy and principles could change a third world sewer into a shining example of social and economic stability for all the world to see. We all know how that turned out.

      But that wasn't a plan, per se, it was a set of imaginary goals. Plan? There ain't no plan? And might I add, Mission Accomplished, my ass!

      Delete
  59. Wow! Thank you. Makin Mary proud, you are. Makin Mary proud!

    ReplyDelete
  60. It is simple to fix things as they are not that complex, but there is no will to change the status quo. Lower pay for more jobs was not an answer, Rich don't trickle down a damn thing. No one wants to borrow to go into business in this economy and the banks are busy with mergers and acquisitions. They are not loaning to small business. Single Payer was all that was needed. Instead we got the ACA which is just crumbs that fall from the elite's tables. Gay marriage is not a threat to anyone and I don't care a bit about your damn bible. I have one too. The bible of humanity. Abortion is only an issue for women who get pregnant, not old farts and especially men of any age. Student loans were gutted by Reagan as were the unions and made to be a noose around the neck of all college graduates. Reagan made the deal with the devil in the Iran Contra debacle and got away with it. His last four years he had alzheimers. I wish people would stop painting him as a saint. I cannot remember a single Potus and congress that did less and only made things worse. to hell with all of them. As for the Bush family there is a special place in hell waiting for them and I don't even believe in heaven and hell. Maybe he will be reincarnated as a cockroach.

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  61. At the US Embassy in Monrovia in 1991, while Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia killed and raped its way to the capital, we spoke with a UN aid worker charged with delivering food to the only working port in the country. She said that when a rice shipment would arrive at Buchanan there were no workers to unload and distribute the cargo to aid centers. Most men were too lazy or too fucked up on drugs to earn dollars helping to feed the people.

    She would spend a day grudgingly rounding up and hiring enough truck drivers and laborers to shift the bags of rice from the ship to the pier, load the trucks with a portion of the load and drive to the aid centers to feed the starving Liberian people. Then the men would knock off and disappear with the job half done. At night, the same truckers would come back, steal the rest of the rice and deliver it to the local tribal leader or to Taylor's people to hoard and deprive food from opponents and control the rest of the population.

    Jim's essay and the last 5.5 years of GOP opposition to anything Obama remind me of the antics of Chuck Taylor and his hopped up, raping, limb chopping rebel army of fun loving rogues, intent on bringing a shining new leadership to their country. Jim believes the the GOP have no plan, but I think they have a very specific one. If these chuckleheads take the Senate this year and even the Big House in 2016, they will strive to turn the US into the same dysfunctional nightmare that was Liberia in the 90's. The public finance (even more so) raided for the oligarchs, all largess flowing upward and the population given minimal aid and sustenance to attempt to ensure compliance with the God Blessed Leadership. And doesn't "National Patriotic Front" sound homey and familiar.

    At least that appears to be the "plan" as much as one exists to the GOP and their billionaire owners. Don't get too cheered by the rule of law and final accounting for future GOP crimes against the state. It took over 20 years to finally send Taylor to prison for his crimes. And we did not send a single Bush fucker or banker to jail for Iraq or self-nuking our economy.

    If you do not choose to vote. Then enjoy the outcome. Tommy D

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  62. Actually we do know what the Republicans would do with absolute power. Mitch McConnell has admitted that the Koch Brothers run the Republican party. The Koch Brothers wishlist is laid out in the Libertarian party platform of 1980 when David Koch ran for national office on that platform. Here is a link to the Libertarian party platform of 1980 http://www.sanders.senate.gov/koch-brothers

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  63. Republicans aren't libertarians. They want to run the government, not dismantle it. Sure, they will take Koch money and provide some tax cuts in return, but they aren't going to give up power by disbanding any government agencies of consequence.

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    1. You're just arguing semantics. Republicans may not be Libertarians, but nearly all Libertarians are de facto Republicans. They may scream and yell in protest that they hate both parties, but they always vote for the Republican - or some uber rightwing nutcase.

      You don't see any Liberal Libertarians, do you? Q.E.D.

      But I agree with the basic gist of your comment, Republicans are fine with big government, just so long as they're the ones filling its ranks and spending its money.

      Delete
    2. As a far left libertarian, I have to disagree with the idea that we don't exist.
      We're different critters than the right-libertarian types like Mr Paul - tending to fall into at least 3 schools of thought- libertarian socialism, Georgism, and Steiner-Vallentyne .


      "... libertarianism is often thought of as “right-wing” doctrine. This, however, is mistaken for at least two reasons. First, on social—rather than economic—issues, libertarianism tends to be “left-wing”. It opposes laws that restrict consensual and private sexual relationships between adults (e.g., gay sex, extra-marital sex, and deviant sex), laws that restrict drug use, laws that impose religious views or practices on individuals, and compulsory military service. Second, in addition to the better-known version of libertarianism—right-libertarianism—there is also a version known as “left-libertarianism”. Both endorse full self-ownership, but they differ with respect to the powers agents have to appropriate unowned natural resources (land, air, water, minerals, etc.)"
      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/libertarianism/
      (There is a substantial bibliography there to explore left libertarian thought should the desire exist.)
      Also-
      The Political Compass' notions of left/right as expressed across both a horizontal and vertical axis is interesting as well in that allows one to visualize/contextualize differences within our usual ideas about left/right, including libertarian tendencies.

      All this being said however, I won't quibble one bit that right-libertarians "may scream and yell in protest that they hate both parties, but they always vote for the Republican - or some uber rightwing nutcase."
      Left- libertarians? In recent years? Well. sometimes they do the same damn dumb thing and vote for an uber rightwing nutcase cuz, hey, at least there's the stopped clock right twice a day dealie.

      Alaska Pi

      Delete
    3. Well . . . if Liberal Libertarians wind up voting Republican anyway, and Progressive Libertarians are an oxymoron, how does being either benefit one? What we really need are some Progressive Democrats, another rate commodity these days, it would appear.

      Delete
    4. Pi's explanation indicates why Rand Paul can be left of Hillary on a number of issues such as the war on terrorism and the war on drugs.

      Delete
  64. Yes, they are. But while Libertarians are nearly all Republicans, "establishment" Republicans hate them worse than Democrats. Rand Paul can lump Hillary and McCain together because he opposes both the warfare AND the welfare state, which they both support though with a stronger emphasis on one or the other. Libertarians can't get any exposure in a locked down two party system like ours.

    There are no Progressive Libertarians because those concepts are incompatible. One thinks progress requires governance, the other thinks it is spontaneous and intrinsic to humanity.

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  65. Regarding "Death Panels" ... We already have death panels - had 'em for years. They're made up of physician-led review boards using best-practice standards, third party payors (private insurers and government programs), and medical ethicists. My best friend died at age 66 for lack of a lung transplant. Sorry, if you're over 60 you don't qualify - not enough organs, too many young patients in need who (hopefully) have most of their lives in front of them and not behind them, etc. Now that sounded like a death sentence to me but I understood - someone at some point has to make those kinds of decisions. How long should a brain-dead patient be kept on life support? What if they're just "kinda" brain dead? Want your insurance to pay for a face life? Good luck, How about that expensive once a year IV osteoporosis treatment when a much cheaper monthly pill works just as well for you. How about that really expensive cancer treatment your insurance is balking at paying for? Want to pay out-of-pocket? No problem in most cases but what about that lung transplant? What if it was Dick Cheney or some rich old Saudi sheik needing that lung? Hmmmm ....... and on it goes. Death Panels indeed.

    The problem with the ACA is that it's a single bill that tries to regulate one of our nation's largest and most complicated industries - health care and more specifically, health insurance providers. Unlike in Paul Ryan's little Utopia, medical care is not provided by volunteers and charities but rather by highly trained professionals who seek payment for their services and, last time I checked none were accepting bartered poultry as one congresswoman dreamily (mis)remembered from the "good old days". Health care, like defense and energy, makes up a huge part of our economy except it much more complicated and fraught with emotion - and it needs to be stringently regulated by the federal government because people's lives are at stake. The issues are nearly impossible to grasp by even the most savvy legislators. Add to that mix all their dim-witted, intentionally misinformed constituents who think if more people get access to quality, affordable health care that means they'll wind up with worse, more expensive health care because, you know - OBAMA. That fear of rationing was then conflated with the plan to reimburse doctors for the time spent discussing advanced directives with their patients. That FOX's recipe: 1 part trumped up fear, 1 part misinformation, mix in millions of low information, gullible viewers, season well with paranoia and you get: Death Panels or Benghazi! or Kenyan Muslim! or Coming for our guns! or .... well, you get the idea.

    And the Republican's Health Care policy? (insert cricket noises here .....)

    One more observation - different subject: Palm Beach County, Florida is a Democratic stronghold heavily populated by elderly Jewish folks. Pat Buchanan, whose "punch spot" was the second choice on the infamous butterfly ballot even though Al Gore's name was listed second on said ballot), Pat Buchanan, soundly loathed by all Democrats and even more so by those of the Jewish persuasion - Pat Buchanan for God's sake - got over 3,400 votes in Palm Beach County - a much, MUCH higher per capita count than anywhere else in the country. Al Gore "lost" the election in Florida by 635 votes. Now THAT, my friends, is voter fraud.

    JZinFL

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  66. I'm reposting to everyone "the supreme 63" friends since i blocked everyone almost. so, with fair warning, i'm posting. and expecting to get a letter from an attorney in Louisiana with my Notice of Disinheriteance, Newly Revised with Ink Still Wet, Last Will & Testament of DisInheritance, a long letter from dear old dad telling me i'm STILL hanging with the wrong folks, STILL, DAMN GIRL! YOU ALMOST 50 NOW, AND STILL? can't you keep a lid on anything? NOPE. never could, never did, never will. not this daughter. assuming, that i'm still considered daughter. (see, e.g. Pearl Jam, don't call me daughter, Glorified G, Lightning Bolt, MIND YOUR MANNERS and WORLDWIDE SUICIDE! yep. a little eddie... he's the fixer, but musically. one powerful speaker though. as is Steve Earle. and CASH. and WILLIE. <3

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  67. Thanks,you always make me laugh. like to ask a question,if USA millitary is around 2 million strong. why are we freaking out about 20 thousand ISIS Guys. worry OK, freak out maybe not

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  68. "And now Boehner’s bitching because Obama hasn’t crapped out a counter-ISIS strategy in what? A month?"

    I assume that President Obama actually has a plan but doesn't want to broadcast it to the public, and especially to ISIS. We didn't know he had a plan to get Osama until after it had been put into action.

    Would love to see Romney run against Secretary Hilary and lose BADLY. It's pathetic that Republicans would even think about nominating him again.

    And yes, you are so right that if Republicans take the Senate, we will only have ourselves to blame. It will be two years of horror for the entire country. What's the sense of voting in droves for the President and then not voting to support him in mid-term elections?

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    1. And DiFi is all "Obama's too cautious" in re: ISIS. Jebus. Democrats. Ya gotta love 'em...

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    2. "I assume that President Obama actually has a plan but doesn't want to broadcast it to the public, and especially to ISIS. We didn't know he had a plan to get Osama until after it had been put into action."

      Of course that is right. And even anyone who reads the papers with modest care knows that's right. So there is no excuse whatever for anyone in the Congress, who has to know a lot more than what we get in the papers, or at least ought to know, to pretend otherwise.

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  69. I think Mitt should run. With Sarah Palin as potential VP.

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  70. Once more, Jim, every word you wrote is spot on. Dear God, that's depressing. If Hillary Clinton doesn't win in 2016, or if the Republicans take the Senate, we'll get exactly the government we deserve. And that's worse.

    That Other Jean

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  71. Thanks Jim for eloquently writing what a lot of us are feeling.

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  72. "But it could have been much better. It could have been much much better, we could have done it right, if republicans had actually gotten involved and helped with its original draft."

    Are you kidding me? The Republicans are the ones whose changes to the bill fucked up Obamacare to begin with! Before Obama started to change it to try to win over the Republicans, it was a GOOD bill. The Republicans are the REASON Obamacare sucks so bad!

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    1. "Are you kidding me?"

      You might need to reread what I wrote in the context that I wrote it. I don't disagree with the basic gist of your final statement, but you've misunderstood me. If republicans had gotten willingly involved, had actually sat down in good faith and done their jobs as lawmakers instead of attempting to obstruct the process completely, we'd have a decent system we could live with and adjust as necessary.

      The problem is that conservatives weren't just opposed to the ACA, they have been dogmatically opposed to every presidential initiative for the last six years.

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