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Trumped: Trump’s Right! The Media IS The Enemy!

by Bill Prendergast on April 18, 2017 · 0 comments

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Script/Layouts: Bill Prendergast Art: Will Dinski

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Meanwhile, Back On The Farm

by Bill Prendergast on March 24, 2017 · 0 comments

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Script/Layout: Bill Prendergast Art: Caitlin Skaalrud

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Juicy Mouthful of Deep-Fried Suckers

by Bill Prendergast on January 25, 2017 · 0 comments

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I’m not even remotely a fan of the Clintons, but with regard to how things are shaping up of late, one thing seems to be certain, 2015 has already been a bad year for America’s conservatives and the Benghazi Hearings could just become the latest setback in what is shaping up to be a year of setbacks. With two prominent Republican lawmakers and one staffer coming out and publicly declaring that the Benghazi investigation is nothing more than a anti-Hillary Clinton witch-hunt, to Ms. Clinton’s performance last week in her testimony, Republicans find themselves in the midst of another self inflicted predicament. Some of Fox News’s most vociferous critics: Charles Krauthammer, A.B. Stoddard and Tucker Carlson among them, appearing on Brett Baier’s Special Report Friday admitted that Clinton was the clear winner in last week’s Benghazi hearings. The moderately conservative David Books, commenting on Friday’s PBS News Hour, alluded to a “certain psychosis” that has held the G.O.P. in it’s grip since 1991 as it relates to repeated attempts to tie the Clintons to one scandal or another. His counterpart, the liberal Mark Shields added that, on every occasion, conservatives have overshot their mark only helping the Clinton’s grow stronger. Is this psychosis ridden G.O.P. capable of charting a viable path to America’s future, not likely.
 

This was to be the year that a new Republican Congressional majority was supposed to prove to the American people, in the run up to the 2016 presidential elections, that it could actually govern. Yet as we enter the 10th month of their new year, precious little has been accomplished. Instead of a track record of legislative accomplishments we have seen an inordinate amount of time spent chasing Hillary Clinton, voting to repeal the A.C.A., threatening to shut down government, avoiding coming to grips with the seismic shifts underway in modern day America, be it same sex marriage, climate challenges, guns, Obamacare or the festering problems of race and income inequality.

 

…READ MORE

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16591_620528981302304_2069409510_nObesity, prison, energy hogs…right-wing nut-ism has been a key factor in all of this, as the vast majority of Americans are relentlessly denied opportunity and screwed over for the sake of the odious plutocrats.
 

People uninterested in change and progress tend to cling to the jingoistic fantasy that America is an exceptional country. Often this implies that the U.S. is somehow superior to other nations. Some, like the neocons, have taken the idea of exceptionalism to mean that America should be above the law and that other countries should be remade in our image. Others, like conservative evangelicals, believe that America’s supposed exceptionalism is God’s will.
 

In recent decades, America has indeed pulled ahead of the global pack in a number of areas. But they aren’t necessarily things to go waving the flag over or thanking Jehovah.
(Salon)

And what do Republicans want to do about it?
 

Republicans know they must change to improve their electoral viability, but most GOP voters think the party should embrace conservatism and not moderation, according to new findings from Pew Research Center released on Wednesday.
 
The findings from Pew suggested that rank-and-file Republicans agree with the national party leaders who have led an autopsy following their humbling showing in last year’s election. A huge majority of Republican voters — 67 percent — said that the party needs to “address major problems” in order to fare better in future presidential elections. Fifty-nine percent said the party “needs to reconsider some positions” if it wants to do better in presidential races.
 
But when it comes to a prescription for the party’s electoral ills, a majority of GOP voters said their leaders should move further to the right, not the center. Fifty-four percent of Republicans told Pew that party leaders should move in a “more conservative direction,” while 40 percent said they should take a “moderate direction.”
(TPM)

Photo: icanhascheezburger.com
 

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Trying to deal with the ridiculous

by Dan Burns on March 21, 2013 · 0 comments

trickleYou don’t have to go far, on the progressive blogosphere, to find uncomplimentary discussion of the latest incarnation of the “Ryan budget.” But the thing is so awful, so egregious, that there’s every reason for us all to pile on.

 

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the third iteration of the GOP budget on (March 12). The document achieves balance in 10 years by maintaining the high revenue levels and health care savings that Republicans have vociferously opposed and slashing the health and safety net programs that middle and lower income Americans rely on. Top-income earners and corporations, meanwhile, would benefit from huge tax breaks.

 

(Think Progress)

 

Somebody wrote something recently, and I wish I remember where so that I could credit it properly, to the effect that one thing that the right-wing crazies have going for them is that they’re so extreme that they’re ridiculous. And how do you effectively deal with the ridiculous?

 

Not how President Obama has been dealing with it, that’s for sure. On the whole, I support him. But, and it indeed pains me to type this, on the sequester, he got played for a fool and a sucker…by a bunch of conservatives. Fortunately, there are indications that the now more unified and more progressive Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate, having seen more than enough of the President’s negotiating “skills” in action, isn’t going to rubber-stamp more of this nonsense, like a “Grand Bargain.” Here’s a good interactive website about the realities of the sequester.

 

I’m also adding the following, as it presents a larger-scale view. Idiots don’t ever learn.

 

That leaves the US as the only major economy considering austerity. More to the point, we aren’t considering anything given that austerity was supposed to be such a terrible idea we’d do anything to avoid it. Apparently “anything” didn’t logically involve our politicians working together to do anything. Even places like Italy, where that is less possible, aren’t doing anything as stupid as we are.

 

Nevermind. The point is that the rest of the world has learned from us, over time, that economic stimulus is the only possible way out of this situation. While they flounder to figure out just how they will make that happen in their own systems, our system has broken down completely. It makes no sense at all to anyone anywhere in the world, but there it is.

 

(Barataria)

 

And what do I mean by “idiots?” This!

 

You can read what you like into today’s musical selection. I just like the song.

 

 

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Bachmann: Woman of the Year

by Dan Burns on December 31, 2012 · 2 comments

And what a year it was.

For her extraordinary dedication to America’s founding principles and steadfast defense of the Constitution, WND has named Rep. Michele Bachmann 2012 “Woman of the Year”…

WND’s “Woman of the Year” award is presented to the woman who “did the most to represent goodness, womanliness, perseverance and character” and “had an impact on wider American, and global opinion.”

I don’t presume, even for an attosecond, to be qualified to determine what properly constitutes “womanliness.”  Apparently, the knowledgeable folks at WND (“WorldNetDaily”) are not so limited in their understanding.

The depths of delusion and fanaticism displayed on that website are really quite remarkable.  I don’t know what kind of traffic it gets, but I suspect that an estimate of daily “hits” well into the six-figure range, at least, is not unreasonable.  (After all, who wouldn’t want to know what “Walker, Texas Ranger,” who presumably got kicked in the head a lot, back in his karate days, thinks about things?) And it would be a lot higher, if more elderly people used the internet.  Those of us that value knowledge and reason have a lot of work to do, yet, in this country.

(h/t City Pages.)

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Possible vile shenanigans in blue states

by Dan Burns on December 18, 2012 · 0 comments

Get a load of this crap.

Reid Wilson at the National Journal has an extended look at a coordinated GOP scheme to rig the electoral college; even though a prominent attempt died on the vine in Pennsylvania last year, Republicans in Washington are organizing efforts in several blue-leaning states to forge ahead once again. As we’ve written before, these plans typically revolve around splitting a state’s electoral votes by congressional district, which of course is wonderful if you’re the GOP and you’ve drawn the state’s congressional map to your liking. For instance, even though Barack Obama won Michigan handily, Republican control over the mapmaking Mitt Romney prevailed in nine of the state’s 14 districts.

Along with Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan make the most tempting targets because they’re all blue states which (temporarily, we can pray) are completely controlled by Republicans, thanks to the 2010 wipeout.

One of the fundamental lessons of all of human history is that when a certain faction attains the heights of wealth and power, as plutocrats have in contemporary America, they’ll do anything to stay there.  Vote suppression, unlimited election spending…there’s no reason not to expect even worse.  It will only end when conservatism itself is rendered politically, economically, and socially impotent as viable ideology.  That needs to be the goal.

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What’s the deal with anti-Agenda 21 ranting?

by Dan Burns on December 10, 2012 · 2 comments

Minnesota State Senator Dave Brown (R-Becker) – for whose opponent, Sally Knox, I had the privilege of voting in November – is apparently still sunk in weird fanaticism regarding some pretty innocuous suggestions from the UN.

Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development. It is a product of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. It is an action agenda for the UN, other multilateral organizations, and individual governments around the world that can be executed at local, national, and global levels. The “21” in Agenda 21 refers to the 21st century. It has been affirmed and modified at subsequent UN conferences.

Note:  “…non-binding, voluntarily implemented…”  But in reality, undoubtedly just cover for a new hippie world order, with brutal penalties for meat eaters and forced urination into reclaimable water toilets like on the space station.

What has me kind of nonplussed, is what on earth conservatives think that they’re accomplishing by targeting Agenda 21 like this.  I’d wager a considerable sum that if I asked the Republicans that I know, few, if any, would have a clue as to what the big deal is.  To get the righties going, you need to give them something really in-your-face – like an African-American, elected and reelected by ACORN, in the White House.  I just don’t see UN-bashing getting the job done, these days.

In other words, if a faction of conservatives, in Minnesota and elsewhere, wants to keep obsessing about this, that’s fine and dandy with me.  Have at it.  

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Those of you betting that “Michele Bachmann’s national influence is over, post-election:” you guys scored big today.

Senator Jim DeMint, a high profile “Teavangelical” hero and ally of Bachmann–announced today that he is retiring. Weird, because: US Senators serve six year terms, and DeMint was just re-elected to a second term two years ago.

With four years remaining in that term and a safely conservative seat to run for again in 2016, DeMint has no obvious personal political motivation to leave the Senate now, immediately. People are giving “official” explanations (discussed below)–but they’re not credible explanations.

So it’s a stunner for a powerful Senate ultraconservative to decide that “this huge budget, tax hike, big government battle”–is the perfect moment to abandon ship and his career-long fight against the liberals.

Conclusion one: DeMint thinks Republicans are about to lose this battle and approve tax hikes. And he’s right; yesterday Speaker Boehner announced that he would approve some tax hikes and they would hit “guess who, the rich.” DeMint doesn’t want to be around when that happens and the Senate approves it–so he’s fleeing the scene.

Conclusion two: Better to flee to a conservative “city of refuge,” than to stick around in office looking impotent and useless, as conservative control of US policy caves in all around you. Thus, DeMint is leaving to take a top spot at the conservative policy gestation laboratory–the Heritage Foundation.

DeMint is “doing a Sarah Palin”–running out on his duties as an elected official before he gets tangled up in any more ‘votes of record.’ If it’s all about their money and career, Palin and DeMint were right to flee. Here’s why:
(CONTINUED)
If you depart office before the tough votes are taken and the policy outcomes are decided–you can sit on the conservative sidelines and criticize the game of Republicans who do have to govern via compromise. Choosing to sit on the sidelines is cowardly, spineless. But a big name conservative can make good money doing that–and keep his or her reputation “as an uncompromising, loud-mouthed conservative” intact.

There’s good precedent for this strategy. Ronald Reagan didn’t get traction as a conservative candidate for president until after he left the governor’s office in California. So long as he was out of office during the seventies, there were no “official” Reagan decisions for opponents to attack. Once Reagan re-entered private life, he was free to pretend to be whatever kind of conservative suited his political ambitions at the moment. He could claim to be hardline conservative when speaking to conservatives, and could deny he was a hardline conservative when he debated Carter–because there were no recent government policy decisions to hold against him.

Ditto Romney in the last election (he could claim to be anything, because he’d been out of government so long.)

Romney and Palin’s fate and reputations show that the strategy doesn’t always work. It’s not fail-safe. It’s just a path of possible political survival for ambitious conservatives faced with liberal times. Stick around in office while liberals are winning to fight a principled fight for small government: you acquire the track record and reputation of a “loser.” But if you leave office and run out on the fight in government when the liberals are winning–you may have a comeback, a shot at being “another Reagan.”

We’re facing liberal times in American government. The economy is positioned for growth, and the Dem White House will get credit for that. Fox News announced that it’s sending Karl Rove and Dick Morris into remission for now. Rubio (proposed as the next savior of the national GOP) just admitted that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old. Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona just punched a reporter who asked her a question about climate change (Really, that just happened. Google it.)

And Obama’s approval rating just reached a three year high. And Boehner is exiling tea party congressmembers to non-factor committee assignments. And the GOP Congress’ surrender to Obama will cripple current GOP officeholders, making them vulnerable in the next primaries.

But I put Michele Bachmann’s name in the headline of this post. Bachmann and DeMint were political Siamese Twins when it came to the tea party and conservative evangelical positions. It must trouble her to see DeMint deserting a sinking ship. Other Bachmann allies remain in the House, but they’re being marginalized.

She’s in danger of sticking around in office to cast two more years of impotent tea party votes–thus acquiring that “loser” reputation among conservatives that DeMint and Palin manage to duck by leaving office.

So score another one this week, for the political junkies who are convinced that “Bachmann’s over.”

LINK: The Kos on the DeMint resignation…
http://www.dailykos.com/story/…  

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