Monday, January 26, 2015

Senate Republicans Go About Their Business

Sometimes you just can't believe how brazen people can be. The Senate Republicans, now that they are in the majority, have changed the name of the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution, civil and human rights.  It's now called the subcommittee on the Constitution, and the chairman has announced that its main activity in the coming Congress will be to "investigate" President Obama's alleged abuses of the Constitution.  I guess that's the most important thing on their agenda, now that the country's civil and human rights situation has improved so much that they don't need to worry about that any more.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bibi

Now that the execrable Benjamin Netanyahu has determined to spread some of his malice by interfering in American foreign policy, I want to say a little about him that I think Americans fail to realize.

I first started encountering Netanyahu in the nineties, and he immediately had a familiar feel to me. He reminded me of nothing so much as the demagogic, lying, self-serving politicians that populate the Republican party in the United States.

This was something that Israelis could not be expected to understand, of course, but for a more fundamental reason than the fact that they didn't live here.  Netanyahu was the first Israeli leader who had not participated in either the struggle for independence or the early years of the State of Israel. Israeli politicians before him, however awful some of them may have been, always had a commitment to the welfare of the State that came from their role in its founding, and which provided a sort of brake to their self-serving instincts. Somewhere, buried in all of them, was a real commitment to the good of Israel; Netanyahu was the first politician in Israel to have none of that, and to consequently feel no restraint about using the combination of lies, fear mongering and the synthetic generation of hatred that we have come to know so well here in the United States.

But, as gullible as Americans are toward that sort of thing, they at least have some painfully learned suspicion of the motives of politicians.  The Israelis had no such immunity, although I am sure they will develop it now, confronted with the great damage that Netanyahu's overreaction/tantrum in Gaza has done to them.

In fact, the worst of these Israeli victims of Netanyahu's behavior have been the Jews who were forced out of Arab countries after the foundation of Israel.  Their entire previous experience of government left them open prey to the machinations of the Israeli right, and they form by far the largest bloc of Netanyahu voters.

So, it is only to be expected that this very American style politician would collaborate with American Conservatives to damage this country's efforts to conduct diplomacy.  He thinks like them, he belongs with them, and he will act like them.  Which is to say that he cares for nothing but his own status and power, and will make any kind of devil's deal that he thinks will enhance them.

Joe Franklin

I read in the New York Times this morning of the death of Joe Franklin, a New York TV personality who was perhaps the main creator of the TV talk show as we know it today.  He remained a local broadcaster, so most people never had a chance to listen to his show, but I wanted to remember him today, because he uttered one of the great quotations in American life:

"Sincerity is everything.  Once you learn to fake that, you'v got it made."

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Brief Comment About Anti-Vaxxers

The Disneyland measles outbreak has given a bit of negative publicity to the idiots in the anti-vaccine movement, so naturally it's an opportunity for Green Eagle to cast his cynical light on this movement.

I have to first state one of my longest held beliefs: there is no one on earth easier to lie to than yourself.  That is because people believe lies, by and large, not because they are plausible, but because it suits their purpose to do so, and there is no one on earth that has a greater interest in believing your lies than you do.  So the line between deliberate lying and self-delusion is often a very fine one.  Still, I do not believe that the anti-vaccine movement is about health issues any more than I believe that, when Conservatives rail against higher taxes they are really trying to uphold some invisible passages in the Constitution.

The popular conception of the anti-vaxxers is that they are predominantly liberal, and I have no reason to doubt that.  Nevertheless, they have joined Conservatives in one of their most characteristic behaviors- cloaking their self interest in a host of insignificant side issues.

For in the end, here is what is going on with them:  they are trying to take for themselves and their families the benefits of "herd immunity," without having to pay the minimal price of getting vaccines for themselves and their children.  They are simply after a free ride, while letting others take the risk. And in this they are exactly like Conservatives who shriek with fury whenever their own interests are threatened, but who are just as angry when any of their tax dollars go to some other group.

In the end it's just selfishness that is behind the behavior of anti-vaccine groups- the same selfishness that is behind anti-immigrant groups, anti-black groups and all of the host of right wing fanatics.  And like right wingers, they will go on year after year proclaiming the same long-proven falsehoods to justify their position, rather than be honest with others or themselves, and admit that they just want it all without paying the price.

An Outrage

File this in single statements that make it utterly unacceptable that a person should even have a shot at running for President of the United States:

"Former Fox News host Mike Huckabee said on Thursday that if he was elected president then he would have "God's blessing" to fight a so-called "secular theocracy" that had been imposed by atheists."

And these are the guys who claim they are the only ones that care about the Constitution.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dead

Who cares?  The next one will be just as big a pig as this one was.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wingnut Wrapup

Today's Wingnut Wrapup dedicated to Dinesh D'Souza, for the most piggish analogy I've heard lately:

"AN INTERESTING PARALLEL: MLK was targeted by J. Edgar Hoover, an unsavory character; I was targeted by the equally unsavory B. Hussein Obama."

Martin Luther King, of course, being targeted for his advocacy of equal treatment under the law; D'Souza found guilty of campaign finance fraud.  Exactly the same thing.  Just don't count on having a national holiday to remember your great sacrifice, Dinesh, at least not until Rand Paul or Rick Santorum is elected President.

And how about this:

Willard "Mitt" Romney:  "Under President Obama the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty in American than ever before."

Run, Mitt, Run.  Say, ready to release those tax returns yet?

Katy Kieffer, Town Hall:  "Why Orthodox Jewish Women are Happy"

Why do you think?  It's because they shut up and do what they are told.  That's the key to happiness, apparently.

Matt Barber, Town Hall:  "Incest: The Next Frontier In ‘Reproductive Freedom’

Yup, in case you haven't heard, liberals are about to expend all their political capital campaigning for legalized incest.  I bet you knew that already, right?

Shawn Mitchell, Town Hall:  "Give Obama Credit for Lower Gas Prices?  Ronald Reagan was a rhetorical genius. He was smarter than you and I. He could..."

Well, enough of that.  What does Ronald Reagan have to do with answering Shawn's question about lower gas prices?  Who the hell knows?  But I guess mentioning Ronald Reagan means the Conservative has automatically won the argument.  Because- Ronald Reagan!!!

Gayle Trotter, Town Hall:  "Iraqi Ambassador to the US: We Must Cleanse Iraq of ISIS"

To quote Tonto, "Who you mean WE, Kemosabe?"  How about doing it yourself, Mr. Ambassador?

Leon Wolf, Red State:  “Hate Speech” is not “Any Speech You Hate”

No, but if you are a right winger, it is any speech you like.

Jake, Red State:  "The Obamacare Penalty could be Bigger than Many People are Expecting"

Yeah, it could require quartering lizard people in your house too.  No evidence that it will do either, but you never know.

Leon Wolf, Red State:  "Fiorina 2016: A Campaign Without a Raison D’être...In a year in which the GOP promises to field its strongest field of qualified and experienced candidates in a generation, and in which there promises to be a veritable buffet of viable options for establishment and movement conservatives alike, for some reason the existence of Carly Fiorina’s bizarrely pointless 2016 campaign continues to be a story worth reporting on for the political media."

In a field absolutely stuffed to the gills with campaigns without any raison d'etre, apparently the only one to raise the ire of Leon is the one by a woman.  Funny, that.  Back in the kitchen, Carly.

Karina Fabian, PJ Media:  "Why Frozen Is Actually About Gun Control"

Because...Oh, why bother.

Alan Caruba, Renew America:  "NASA keeps telling "warmest" lies...Remember that 2014 started off with something called a "polar vortex" to describe the incredibly cold weather being experienced and remember, too, that we were being told that it was evidence of global warming! That's how stupid the "Warmists" who keep saying such things think we are...The U.S. and the rest of the world are setting records, but they are records for how cold it has become everywhere."


Well, let's take a look:

It's all a lie, see?  Look at all that cold.

Jerome Corsi, World Net Daily:  "BENGHAZI INQUEST COMPROMISED...'I think Gowdy has been warned away or threatened'...The independent Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, or CCB, has been doing its own investigation and working behind the scenes for the past year and a half to make sure Congress does the job the executive branch has failed to do: namely, to get to the truth of what happened and to hold people accountable."

Benghazi.  Because what would Wingnut crazy be without a little Benghazi?  By the way, The "Independent Citizens' Commission on Benghazi" seems to be a creation of World Net Daily, one of the all time leaders in appearances at Wingnut Wrapup.


And let's hit the stupidity of the left for once:

John Nichols, The Nation:  "What to Do About Record Low Voter Turnout? Call a Holiday!"

How about this?  Maybe an allegedly left-leaning party should run on policies that the overwhelming majority of Americans want, such as fair taxation of the rich, a decent environment, a government that actually concerns itself about living conditions in the country, a committment to not act like bullies all over the world, etc.  Maybe that would work better than a holiday.

Senator John McCain:  "No one understands the world today in the way that Lindsey Graham does, in my view.

Yeah, like nobody understands how to do brain surgery like Donald Duck.

Leah Barkoukis, Town Hall:  "European Law Enforcement Agencies: On Second Thought, Maybe Firearms Would Be Helpful"

Because they didn't have any.


I guess Leah didn't watch much TV during the French terrorist attacks a couple of weeks ago.

And, the psychotic delusion of the day:

Michael Schaus, Town Hall:  "The Democrat Party Killed the Conservative Dream of MLK Jr."

There is not sarcasm nor outrage enough in the world to respond to that remark.  But believe me, it represents the dominant Conservative response to MLK day this year.

Moe Lane, Red State:  "Remember when ‘ritual human sacrifice’ was an archaic term?"

No, but I do remember when "torture" was an archaic term.  Too bad it didn't stay that way.

Labor Union Report, Red State:  "Boeing Unionization Poses An Existential Threat To South Carolina’s Economy"

Tough shit, buddy.  Maybe you guys shouldn't have built your economy around who could get their employees to work for the least.  In case you didn't notice, Boeing had an eighty year history of building great passenger planes, and then they closed down their union plant and moved to South Carolina, where they could pay non-union people half of what the old employees got.  The first plane produced there? The Dreamliner, which they can hardly keep in the air.  Coincidence?  Maybe. Maybe not.


And someone needs a history lesson:

Kathy Shaidle, PJ Media:  "Isn't it weird how central Charles Manson was to the Sixties' "peace and love" scene? "

Anyway, Kathy also claims that David Crosby was worse than Charlie Manson, and tells about a thousand other lies.  About a bunch of sixties musicians.  Which proves, I guess, that liberals are evil. As I always like to point out, when you have to attack someone from fifty years ago, it just proves that you've got nothing on the people you hate today.

Stephen Green, PJ Media:  "Study: Gay Mormon Men Divorce Straight Mormon Women"

How surprising.

Joel Gehrke, National Review Online:  "Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) urged colleagues not to oppose the House-passed legislation blocking President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, warning that Congress will be “a museum piece” if they do."

"Museum piece:"  something that is on display to the public but no longer serves its intended function.  I think the Republicans made Congress a museum piece about six years ago.

Guy Benson, Town Hall:  "Obama Administration Releases Convicted Al Qaeda Operative From Civilian Prison"

He served his term.  But who cares?  Lock him up forever.  That's justice American style.  And notice, it's the "Obama administration" that let him out, not the nation's justice system.  I guess the notion that you get out of jail when you've served your time is just another one of those outdated liberal ideas, now that we are in a Perpetual War on Terror.

John Stossel, Town Hall:  "President Obama sure is consistent. His State of the Union address sounded like his other speeches: What I've done is great! America is in a much better position. We've created a manufacturing sector that's adding jobs. More oil is produced at home. I cut deficits in half!"

All of which are, apparently, bad things.  And by the way, John, Obama cut the deficits by two thirds, not half.  Remind me again: what did your guys Reagan and Bush do to the deficit?

Now, this particularly incisive analysis of the State of the Union Address:

Michael Schaus, Town Hall:  "Comrade Obama Reads Teleprompter for 6th Time to Both Houses of Congress"

Comrade...teleprompter...  Boy, they'll never give up a good smear once they have found one.  And while we are on the subject of Communism:

Ransom Notes Radio:  "Two Free Years of Communist College for Everyone!"

Communist college.  Because if it is good for anyone but billionaires, it's Communism.

Bill Tatro, Town Hall:  "From Multiplier to Domino...The reality of falling gas prices has finally hit home. It is no longer 1973 when the bulk of every dollar put into the tank went to a Sheik who could care less about the well-being of the American public."

Oh no, things are a lot different now.  Today, a lot more of that money goes into the pockets of a sociopathic billionaire who could care less about the well-being of the American public.  That's a lot better.  Because unlike the Saudi Sheiks, those billionaires are spending much more of their money right here at home- buying elections.

Streiff, Red State:  "Obama uses SOTU to announce surrender to Iran"

Man, I must have dozed off during that part.

Alan Joelny, Red State:  "Obama Omits “God Bless the United States of America” at End of SOTU Speech"

IMPEACH!  What he said instead is, "God bless this country we love."  He is clearly a Communist Muslim if he doesn't say it exactly the way Alan Joelny want him to!  By contrast, Alan points out that Reagan ended ninety percent of his speeches asking for divine guidance.  Of course, in Obama's defense, Reagan needed divine guidance a lot more than Obama does.

Paula Boyard, PJ Media:  "Ted Cruz Wins SOTU Postgame with ‘More Cowbell! More Cowbell!’

Which apparently was decided on the basis of which responder could make the biggest dick out of themselves.  Who didn't know that Ted was going to win that one?

Barry Farber, World Net Daily:  "BEING FAIR TO ROMNEY"

Ha ha.  Why?


And finally, a special shoutout to Joni Ernst, the first person in years to have delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address without destroying her own career in ten minutes.

Ted Cruz Acts Like a Jackass Once Again

The ever arrogant Ted Cruz decides to deliver an unscripted response to the State of the Union Address, because whatever Ted Cruz rattles off at any time is surely better than a speech weeks in the crafting from the President.  Ted then tried to remove it from the internet, showing that there is one more thing he knows nothing about.

Well, here it is- the usual mixture of lies, delivered with the patented Ted Cruz smirking contempt for everyone but himself:



Boy, aren't you glad that whoever ends up being President two years from today, it won't be this jerk?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Liveblogging the State of the Union Address

Oh, who cares?

Obama Approval- Gee, I Wonder What Changed

Here's a chart I cribbed from Daily Kos showing the current state of Obama's approval ratings:
Before getting on to my main point, can I just point out how far from the norm delusional Republican voters are?  There is only a two point difference in disapproval between Democrats and independents.  The gap between independents and Republicans is 37 points.

Well, here's a little of how the reporters at Daily Kos account for this change:

"Imagine that! Obama decides he'll fight for people, approvals soar...So what could it be? I have a theory 

* Obama issued executive order shifting immigration enforcement efforts away from deporting the undocumented parents of United States citizen children... 
* Obama has called for free community college tuition... 
* Obama has stood strong against Keystone XL... 
* Obama announced actions to reform police departments nationwide... 
* Obama normalized relations with Cuba...* Obama announces plan to expand paid sick leave..."

Sorry, guy, you are dead wrong.  Green Eagle has a theory too, only Green Eagle's theory is the right one.

Here's one thing that Republicans know instinctively, that Democrats never seem to figure out:  Polls don't make one bit of difference on any day except election day.  Before that, Republicans spend billions of rich people's money to lie and smear Democrats until the gullible American population buys into it and does what they want.  After election day, Republicans don't give a damn about what the American people think, so they cut off the propaganda money and, bit by bit, Americans discover that life under Democrats isn't so bad after all.  Unfortunately, what they think now means nothing.  The only thing that matters is what they think in early November, 2016, after another multibillion dollar dose of Republican viciousness, at which point a lot of them will remember that they actually hate a party that isn't owned by rich people.

Monday, January 19, 2015

How Stupid Do You Think We Are, Barack?

So, Obama announces a massive initiative to transfer the burden of paying for the country's needs marginally back to the rich, where it belongs.

Yippee!!!

Of course, he waited six years to do this, and then did it a few days after Republicans took over both houses of Congress, making it more likely that an asteroid will hit Disneyland than that this tax change will take place.

Well, I'm sure that never occurred to him.  I'm sure that it is just an accident that he waited to make a proposal like this, until the very moment that he knew it would have zero chance of being passed by either house of Congress.

I mean, we'd never ever suspect Obama of promising good things to the American people only when he will never have to explain to the rich why someone took him seriously and actually made them happen.

Anyway, my prediction:  The Cubs will win the World Series before this becomes law.  Ten times.

The Truth About "Police Violence"

Which most people will never see, because apparently this story is not important enough to make it into the mainstream press:

"White ‘survivalist’ gunman shoots black Oklahoma police chief 4 times — and walks free 

A Sentinel, Oklahoma man who shot the town’s police chief four times on Thursday morning was allowed to walk free after questioning. 

According to NewsOK.com, Police Chief Louis Ross was shot in the chest three times and once in the arm while responding to a bomb threat at a private residence. He survived with only minor injuries thanks to a borrowed bulletproof vest that he had put on only moments before. 

A caller reported that a bomb had been planted in Sentinel Community Action Center, home of the local Head Start program. 

Chief Ross and deputies from the Washita County sheriff’s office traced the call to Horton’s residence on State Route 4. Officers entered the residence by breaking down the door. 

Encountering no one in the first room they searched, Ross proceeded into a second bedroom, where Horton shot him four times. 

Officers took Horton into custody, but said that they had “insufficient evidence” for an arrest."

A "survivalist," i.e. a right wing maniac, makes a bomb threat, and then shoots the police chief trying to arrest him four times at point blank range, and there is "insufficient evidence" for an arrest, either for the bomb threat itself, or for the attempted murder committed in front of several other police officers.  Is this the new kinder, gentler policing we have all been clamoring for?  Well, let's take a closer look.  Here's the shooter:

And here is the police chief that was shot four times:
Get it now?

Of all of the terrible incidents of violence involving police lately, this may well be the worst, because even though no one was killed, it makes it absolutely clear what this is all about.  It is not an issue of police killing civilians- it is about white people shooting black people, which is apparently perfectly legal in this country, even when the white guy is a would-be terrorist and the black guy is the police chief.

And yet, as far as I can tell, the mainstream press has decided that this story means absolutely nothing, and is not even bothering to mention it.  So I guess it never happened, in this wonderful country of ours, so free of race hatred that everyone is treated the same, regardless of the color of their skin.  Because of course, jaywalking while black is a far worse crime than trying to shoot a black person when you are white.