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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Time to put anger back in its rightful place

You know what's the only thing more than ridiculous than Medicare recipients attending town halls to speak out against health care reform? Working class, poor, and unemployed people who lack health care insurance and do the same. Yet Kathleen Parker finds it important to tell us "Even if protests are staged, the town-hall anger is real":
The town-hall protests may be orchestrated, but nobody had to manufacture the anger on display. With unemployment at 9.4 percent, the dog days are beginning to feel like the dogs of war. Congress and Obama might want to take note.
So according to this professional writer and pundit, it's genuine for the unemployed and those fearful of unemployment to protest the possibility of getting or keeping health care. Hello--When you're unemployed you will no longer have employer-based healthcare and won't be able to afford to maintain your healthcare payments for long on your own. Turn on the left side of your brain before you write next time, will you Ms. Parker? And I'm just getting started on the dumbf---ery of those she defends in her article.

If the United States were a sophisticated nation, we would have had national health care already by now. It seemed to me that with a Democratic President, a Democratic majority in the House, and 59 votes in the Senate (not 60, Lieberman is a anti-Democrat in sheep's clothing), health care would be a slam dunk. But as H.L. Mencken said, and Rush Limbaugh ($400 million contract), Sean Hannity (approx $40 million a year combined), and Glenn Beck (if it's more than minimum wage it's way too much) put into practice, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public." The health insurance propagandists also know "there's a sucker born every minute," and the anti-healthcare fanatics who take their marching orders from millionaires telling them what billionaires want them to think make Linda Lovelace look like she suffered from dysphagia. Anti-healthcare fanatics need to turn off the AM radio and Fox noise and give their brains some fresh air. Who knows, maybe a Limbaughtomy is reversible.

Those of us who should be especially angry are the temporary workers. We do full-time work at reduced pay and get no benefits. We neither receive, nor can afford to buy, health insurance. The anti-healthcare fanatics disrupting healthcare at townhall meetings are trying to kill us. If they don't have health care they are also bent on killing themselves. The difference between them and psycho-killers such as Seung-Hui Cho and George Sodini is that the anti-healthcare fanatics are not using guns. At least not yet.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

President Obama has a choice with two options: prosecute or pardon the Bush administration

The Bush administration tortured.

Torture is a crime.

President Obama took an oath to "faithfully execute the office of President of the United States," and to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Criminals must be prosecuted or pardoned in order to uphold the rule of law.

President Obama must prosecute the Bush administration or pardon them. Failure to address the violations of U.S. law would be a violation of his Presidential oath of office.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Crossfire: the mother of harlots and abominations of the media

MOYERS: Which is funnier? CROSSFIRE or HARDBALL?

STEWART: CROSSFIRE or HARDBALL? Which is funnier? Which is more soul-crushing, do you mean? Both are equally dispiriting in their… you know, the whole idea that political discourse has degenerated into shows that have to be entitled CROSSFIRE and HARDBALL. And you know, "I'm Gonna Beat Your Ass" or whatever they're calling them these days is mind-boggling.

CROSSFIRE, especially, is completely an apropos name. It's what innocent bystanders are caught in when gangs are fighting. And it just boggles my mind that that's given a half hour, an hour a day to… I don't understand how issues can be dissected from the left and from the right as though… even cartoon characters have more than left and right. They have up and down.

I mean, how... it's so two-dimensional to think that any analysis can come from, "It's the left and it's the right and well, we've had that discussion and that's done."

PBS NOW w/Bill Moyers
Transcript: Bill Moyers Interviews Jon Stewart
July 11, 2003

Everything about the format of Crossfire and the political chat shows established thereafter was tailored to right-wing demagoguery. The demagogues were elevated, given a platform equal to that of their opponents, who were often nonpartisan journalists sullied by the association. Every issue, observation, point, and fact suddenly had "another side": the right-wing side. That side was held up not by solid reportage, scholarship, and analysis but by bald ideological assertion, pseudoresearch, and raw partisanship. Under the Crossfire formula, if 99 percent of scientists agreed the earth was round, while 1 percent said it was flat, the two views were given equal time and, thus, equal validity in the minds of viewers.

David Brock
The Republican Noise Machine
Crown Publishing Group 2004

Now in their voting [the Spartans] usually decide by shout and not by ballot....

English translation by Charles Forster Smith
G.P. Putnam's Sons 1921

When it comes to the bastardization of TV news, Crossfire and The McLaughlin Group were THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE media. Both shows were founded by Republicans. TV host John McLaughlin was a speechwriter and adviser to President Nixon. Ted Turner was a member of the Young Republicans in 1963 and spoke to Reagan-era National Conservative Foundation in 1984. Both shows featured the bellicose Republican partisan Pat Buchanan. Both shows were precursors to the scream-fests on Fox "News."

After Ted Turner failed to take over CBS, supposedly desiring to change it to a "pro-family, pro-America type" network, he bought himself a 24-hour news network. With so many programming time slots to fill, Turner hired a lot of movement conservatives for CNN. Thus many shows began to feature "From the right, Buchanan or Novak" and "From the left, the facts." The facts were brought to the viewer by a typically milquetoast journalist and labeled "liberal." Hence, facts came to be thought of as having a liberal bias, and all political discussion were skewed right.

Thus, CNN moved the center of poltical discussion to the right while lending credence to the Republicans' bullsh*t "liberal media" mantra at the same time. After Fox outfoxed them at this game, they have refocused their efforts on being a legitimate news network. But they still gave rise to likes of Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Frost is to Nixon as _____ is to Bush?

It took interviewer David Frost to get President Richard Nixon to admit as much wrongdoing as he did. America needs George W. Bush to admit to the following Nixonesque mea culpa:
  1. There was probably more than mistakes--there was wrongdoing.
  2. I did abuse the power I had as president.
  3. I put the American people through eight years of needless agony and I apologize for that.
Who do you think would be the best person to get George W. Bush do this?

Amy Goodman

She is the fierce, independent journalist who anchors Democracy Now. With writings such as Exceptions to the Rulers, she could go uncompromisingly toe-to-toe with anyone.

Bill Maher

He was fired by ABC during the Bush administration, but went on to comedically peak while lambasting him on HBO. No question would be off-limits to Maher, and he wouldn't hesitate to call "bullshit" if Bush tried to hide behind religion.

Bill Moyers

Accomplished journalist loathed by the right for his speaking truth to power. His kind nature and demeanor might appeal to the last vestiges of Bush's soul and perhaps get him to fess up.

David Letterman

Extremely talented interviewer. He had the best McCain interview during '08 campaign. Could sneak up on Bush to get to the truth.

Keith Olbermann

His "Bushed" and "Still Bushed" segments have tireless kept track of the myriads of Bush scandals. His special comments regarding Bush were spot-on (Regrettably, he later extended this vitriol to Hillary Clinton and John McCain who are not in the same corrupt-league as Bush.) Olbermann would bring information and determination to the table, but he does not have a proven track record as an interviewer.

Rachel Maddow

Brainy with a pleasant demeanor, she would slice-and-dice Bush's record while killing him with kindness.

Steven Colbert

Faux-conservative Colbert exposed Bush's criminality to his face at The White House correspondents' dinner in 2006. Could he do the same thing in an interview?

Terry Gross

Simply the best at giving interviews. Her only weakness is that she is strictly a radio news person. Towering Bill O'Reilly ran away from the diminutive Gross in October 2003.

Two others I thought of but did not include are Jon Stewart and Howard Stern. Both are outstanding interviewers. Jon Stewart absolutely exposed the neo-con "Bush kept us safe" lies of Bill Kristol in a 2006 interview, but has said that he would probably respect the office of the president too much to properly interview Bush. Howard Stern is great at getting people to admit things, but there are deeper issues than whether or not George and Laura do anal. Besides, Howard Stern has too much of a fascist streak in him to do Bush justice.

Please fill out the poll on the side of my blog. I get pissed off. You decide.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Murdoch Street Journal Caters to Limbaughtomized Dittoheads

Today the Murdoch Street Journal is running an opinion column by Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh is a college dropout who has admitted to not taking an economics class. He wouldn't be able to give the formula for calculating gross domestic product if you spotted him the "C" and the "I". Shame on Murdoch for featuring this simpleton, and shame on business people who read such claptrap. With complete and utter bullshit like Limbaugh passing for information, it's no wonder investors have led the U.S. and the world into economic ruin.

A Limbaughtomy is a figurative straw that transmits over the public airwaves. Those who tune into Limbaugh's "Excrement in Broadcasting" allow this straw to pierce there skulls, remove large portions of the brain's grey and white matter, and replace it with sawdust. This procedure has been observed to lead people to say "ditto Rush," think that a multi-millionaire spouting a message chiefly benefiting billionaires is a populist, and--in it's most extreme cases--vote for Bush twice. Spotting Limbaugh's lies in print is as easy as spotting a crazed kook at a Republican rally, all you need to do is open your eyes.

Limbaugh begins by downplaying the Great Bush Recession, "The average recession will last five to 11 months." The NBER has indicated that the current recession began in December 2007. Thus, Limbaugh misleads his readers from the start by not acknowledging the Great Bush Recession is way above average, and implying that inaction is an option.

Then it gets galling. Limbaugh lumps President John F. Kennedy together with Reagan and Bush and dares to make the now thoroughly discredited claim, "We know that when tax rates are cut in a recession, it brings an economy back." Kennedy was instrumental in cutting the top marginal rate from 91 to 70 per cent. But that is a far different from Reagan and Bush cutting it down to its current 35%. Not to mention the fact that Kennedy was a not a supply sider, and he raised government revenue by cutting loopholes the super-wealthy were using to avoid paying the top rate. If we learned nothing else from the failed Bush policies we learned this: tax cuts do not stimulate the economy. Bush cut taxes on the wealthy three times and the economy is busted. How dare Limbaugh, or any other Republican for that matter, continue to pedal this tried-and-failed non-remedy?

Next Limbaugh quotes a flawed Rasmussen poll stating that 59% Fear Too Much Government Spending Is Coming and "Only 17% have the opposite concern and are more worried that Congress and the president will cut taxes too much." No, the opposite of too much government spending would be too little government spending. Consumer spending and Investment are declining. The U.S. net-exports are in the negative. The only way left to grow the economy under these circumstances is to increase government spending (GNP = C + I + G + NX, economics 101). So the solution must be spending. The real economic question should be is the government spending enough or too little?

Limbaugh finishes by being ridiculous. Though he previously admitted that he wants Obama to fail, he feigns bipartisanship and asks to put away the acrimony. The acrimony is clearly Limbaugh's fault, not President Barack Obama's.

Limbaugh is wrong. Now is not the time to try supply-side and Keynesian economics side-by-side. Eight-years of unmitigated supply-side was tried and demonstrated to fail during the George W. Bush administration. Now is the time to do what works. Keynesian economics brought the U.S. out of the first Republican Great Depression, it's the best tool in the toolbox to bring us out of the second Republican Recession/Depression too.