Kangaroo Rat with Cowboy Hat Leading in Republican Polls

While not officially in the running, the Kangaroo Rat with Cowboy Hat has taken the lead in polls among Republican voters. An AOTL poll puts Rat at 32% beating his nearest competitor Mitt Romney by seven points. Earlier this week the Kangaroo Rat who officially exited the race last spring announced the possibility of re-entering if no candidate came out of the January 3 Iowa caucus with no more than 25%. 

Kangaroo Rat with Cowboy Hat Does Not Rule Out Re-Entering Republican Race

After dropping out of the race for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in May of 2011, the Kangaroo Rat with Cowboy Hat has indicated a chance he may re-enter the race if no clear frontrunner emerges from the Iowa caucus on January 3, 2012. KRCH cited wanting to spend more time with family when he exited the political fray early. At the time his wife was expecting a litter of seven babies. The three that survived are all full grown. 

KRCH inspired churning in the rumor mill when he was spotted in Iowa in Mid-December. At the time he claimed he was only there to eat some corn and pee in the hands of the Iowans who had remained loyal to him, but his staff of pollsters told another story. Then on Wednesday a source close to KRCH told AOTL that there may still be room in the race if no candidate gets over 25%. When questioned directly, KRCH won't deny the possibility of running again.

Of course, the same questions and controversies that plagued KRCH in May will resurface including his life expectancy, his remarks about Sarah Palin (seen by most as over the line), and his grasp of the issues. 

"That's not what's important" said the source close to KRCH. "Kangaroo Rat knows what the American people know which is that we need to defeat Barack Obama in 2012."

AOTL Political Ad #34c2

Gritt Mingnewt
Who is this Republican candidate for president and what does he stand for? Watch the ad below.

A Cut Above the 38th Parallel

Barbers and hair stylists of the world - Be ready for the unabating and ceaseless honor of the many requests you will receive for the "Kim Jong Un" in your hair parlors!

Random Stats on Active Duty Personnel



IRAQ- 91,700


ASHORE - 1,332,656

TOTAL ARMY - 571,108
TOTAL NAVY - 328,648

Germany - 54,198
Italy - 10,771
United Kingdom - 9,346

Japan - 40,178
Philippines - 182
Korea (no statistics)
Afloat - 12,858

Bahrain - 1,894
Afloat - 5,065

Djibouti - 334

Cuba (Guantanamo) - 881
Honduras - 358

UNITED STATES AND TERRITORIES - 1,226,638 (incl. 83,316 afloat)

WOMEN SERVING - 207,308  
Generals - 1
Lt. Generals - 5
Vice Admiral - 1
Major Generals - 19
Rear Admirals - 9          


If It Falls Like a Patty and Smells Like a Patty...

"I believe the government is to blame for the recession
 and I'd like your vote"

Propaganda is bullshit someone wants you to believe in order to advance their agenda. The point of propaganda is to obfuscate the truth. If people believe the truth, then the snakes hawking the propaganda don’t stand a chance so propaganda is always hopefully something that people prefer to believe over the truth.

When it comes to propaganda about the Great Recession of ’08 no one does it better than the good old Grand Old Party. The “Party of the Establishment” would not be doing its job if they let greedy tycoons take the blame for turning our economy into a cesspool  so they have been doing what comes natural to them; they blame the people with less money.

It is not even worth the effort of embedding this video so I will just place the link here of deadbeat dad/Tea Party conservative Joe Walsh (R) Illinois meeting with constituents and tirading over the fact (propaganda) that the recession was caused by the government which FORCED banks to make loans to people who could not afford them.

I term Walsh’s bullshit as propaganda because it is just cover for the well-heeled people that were actually responsible for the subprime mess that was the root of the economic collapse. Walsh himself may not even be able to lay out the complete Republican line if asked, but I can and here it is. The Republican strategy is to scapegoat the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) for causing the recession. The point of the CRA which was passed in 1977 was to encourage inner city banks to make loans in inner city areas where they take deposits. Foreclosures, on the other hand are a crisis of the suburbs and not the inner city. Furthermore, the CRA had no authority to FORCE banks to do anything.

Much of this information can be retrieved here by the CRA. It may be biased, but it is the most concise layout of information on the topic I have seen. I have yet to hear of a single banker claiming on the record to have been FORCED into making bad loans. The House of Representatives with its Republican majority has not held a single hearing on how banks were FORCED to make shitty loans to people who were not worthy. I am inviting them to do so right now, but it’s not going to happen. Whatever crappy loans that were made were not at the will of the CRA, or the government, but at the will of the banks themselves. If I am wrong, please correct me with actual facts. Anyone.

Not Takin' Debate

"Bullshit! Get your bullshit! Hot steamy smelly bullshit!"

Less than 24 hours after an Election Day whose results hinted at an out of touch Republican party, the 2012 GOP hopefuls took the stage in Michigan to stay a course that continues to alienate them from the rest of America. Ten minutes of the debate was all I needed to see before I rubbed my hands together with glee and turned it off. Those ten minutes were filled with the types of misconception and attempts at mischaracterization that will help Republicans lose in a year from now.

Focusing on economic issues, the troupe maligned the Occupy Wall Street action as “anti-capitalist.” They tried, within the time allotted to praise the market against all the anti-market forces out there as many times as they could. The Gingrinch went so far as to say Occupy should be grateful because if it wasn’t for corporations, they wouldn’t have a park to protest in. Profound.

Where Gingy, and the rest miss the point is that the Occupy movement is not an attempt to bring down the free exchange of goods and services for money. It is a protest against the fraud and abuse committed by financial companies that crippled the economy. They did it with impunity and with bonuses while average people lost their retirements. The crash happened because of a standard that allows the most powerful to get away with far more than what the average American can. That dynamic is partly responsible for an ever-increasing disparity in income that is retarding the expansion and financial power of the middle class. That is what is happening and that is what most Americans are mad about.

Instead of acknowledging the occurrence of fraud and abuse, Team Dubya trumpeted the need  to let business do what business wants. According to them, that’s what makes us all successful. As far as the recession, well that was caused when the government forced banks to make loans to irresponsible borrowers as they tell it. The recession was the government’s fault. End of story. The reason why our growth is sluggish is because Obama invented uncertainty. Before Obama, there was no such thing as uncertainty and all businesses did was plan on making money. Now, because of this new thing we call uncertainty that has never been a part of every business cycle, businesses are paralyzed, powerless, and afraid to do anything.

By hauling the water they have on their backs, these Republicans are essentially cheering the actual fraud and abuse that tanked the economy.  They also took as many shots as they could at the idea of regulation. So when a firm wants to reduce any uncertainty on their part in their transactions by selling crap to their clients and then betting against that crap, that should be okay according to our GOP hopefuls.  

There was a period where the American public was far more accepting of Republican distortion and general BS. They ate up the idea that Republicans were stronger on national security. They ate up the idea that the deficit was not important when Republicans ran it up. They ate up the idea that the deficit was the most important thing ever when Democrats ran it up. They ate up the idea that what was good for big business was good for everyone else. It got to the point where Republicans began thinking they could get away with whatever political arguments they wanted, no matter how ridiculous (abortions are 90% of what Planned Parenthood does, death panels, voter fraud committed by voters is rampant). Perhaps their arguments had to evolve into such inanity before people began to wake up.

Here’s a question they should have asked in the debate tonight: “What happens to a bunch of peddlers in a marketplace when everyone stops buying their shit?”

The Daley News

This post is about White House personnel, but I will try to make it as funny as possible.

In October 2010, White House Chief of Staff/Junkyard Dog Rahm Emanuel split to run for mayor of Chicago. Emanuel probably made more enemies on the left for calling liberal activists fucking retarded to their faces in a White House meeting. Emanuel's departure was concurrent with the 2010 election season when Republicans were expected to and did make gains in Congress. Obama's choice to replace Emanuel was staffer Pete Rouse who was quite capable and well-known in Congress, but Rouse reportedly turned the job down after agreeing to serve as interim Chief of Staff while a replacement could be found. Then Obama did something weird. He hired this guy. 

William Daley was the brother of the man Rahm Emanuel left to replace. Sounds like backwoods sex, though Daley was not a previous Obamanista in spite of his Chicago pedigree. One reason cited for choosing Daley was that Obama wanted to patch things up with the business community. Never mind the fact that his economic team was made up of a good number of pro-bidnis people. Let's not forget Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner who was practically CitiBank's man in Washington. When Obama told Geithner to restructure CitiBank, the discussion might have gone something like this:
"Restructure CitiBank."
"We puncture sins of plank?"
"Restructure CitiBank!"
"Green luster is a crank?"
"Restructure CitiBank!"
"Read Oscar's Swiss franc?"
"Forget it."
"Whatever you say boss."

Point being, Obama didn't need any more business insiders. What he needed was someone who fitted the job description who could be a competent congressional liaison. That is not to say that Daley could not grow into the job, but it was not his specialty and going into a "shellacking" at the polls was not the time to shift course to an unknown quantity. Presidents in jeopardy are often told that new blood is good to shake things up. Could be, but maybe not ANY old new blood.

Daley can't be blamed for everything bad that has happened, but his legions of nonfans go as high as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who has described Daley as ham-fisted. It took a year after the 2010 elections for the White House to talk about jobs. And Obama is still on the outs with the business community (though he has raised more Wall Street money in this election cycle than all the Republican presidential candidates combined, shhhhhhh). This could all be related to why it was just announced that "some" of Daley's duties would be relinquished back to Pete Rouse. Hallelujah.  The White House is spinning it as an efficiency move on the part of Daley. Yeah right. In other words, Daley agreed that things would work more efficiently if he was no longer doing them. 

Daley had originally planned to stay through the rest of this term and he probably will do so. Only now he'll be spending more time on Facebook, or LinkedIn, or some secret social network for the ultra-exclusive like OnePercentertainment. Exactly what Pete Rouse can do at this point is probably limited with a Tea Bag beholden House and stalemated Senate. Bringing back a little team spirit and coordination to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would be a welcome change. 

Political Roundup for Early November 2011

German Chancellor Angela Merkel enduring awkward PDA
from her second consecutive U.S. president.
One Year to Go until the next presidential election and people who resent the Obama presidency are convinced that he will lose. They cite his poll numbers believing that approval ratings in the 40s is the kiss of death a year before the election. I've told several of them that they are stuck in a snapshot. They are prognosticating under the assumption that everything will be frozen for the next year - that basically, there will be no campaign. Of course what they want is to forego the entire part of the election where each side stacks up their arguments against the other because that's what Obama is good at. They also make the mistake in thinking that the people who are simply "disappointed" with Obama hate Obama just as much as they do. Misery loves company. So Americans are disappointed. There's a shocker. The Squishy Center, those politically independent vacillators who are now disappointed with the president are game for flitting back into his column once the race starts. The disappointment quotient in politics is never a fixed factor. Obama lives to appeal to the Center and he does it well. He knows how and when to turn it on. Finally, Approval ratings in the 40s (49% in a recent poll) does not reflect a mandate for removal. 49% in the midst of a crap economy should scare any Republican that is not delusional. 

"Mitt Romney's Core" is the attack buzzword/phrase the Obama people are looking to put on the lips of as many voters as possible. The idea is that Mitt Romney, being a fast-talking opportunist whose mind changes more than a runway model has no core. It should not take much for "Mitt Romney's Core" to catch on seeing how Romney's biggest obstacle is that people see him as "inauthentic" which would make a poor buzzword as it has too many syllables.

Sarah Palin's Silence of late has been a breath of fresh air. Has the unofficial darling of the unofficial Tea Party realized her capacity? For someone who clawed on to what relevance she could as long as she could, she may be using what clout she has left for a 2 a.m. slot on Tuesday morning at the Republican Convention. She doesn't seem to have the gas left to be the kingmaker she aspired to be at one point. While tea sympathy seems to be spread among a few Republican candidates who are actually in the race, Herman Cain seems to have seduced the lion's share of the Koch-suckers. He is clearly luckier in politics than he is in love. In the unlikely event Cain gets the Republican nomination, he definitely won't need Sarah Palin. She doesn't have anything he lacks. If Cain does not get the nomination, it raises a series of questions. First, will Cain have the know-how to deal and deliver his base of support to the eventual nominee. Second, how will Cain's sexual harassing ways effect his standing. Third, who is Sarah Palin again?

Why I Hate People #374 with guest writer SHELLEY TREGOR

I know it isn't only older folks who do this, but it sure does seem to be common among those of my relation and acquaintance: Why do senior citizens seem to think it is okay to comment on the racial make-up of the crowd at a meeting or restaurant or other gathering, particularly when the predominant race or ethnic group represented in the group is different from that of the commenter? And why won't they take silence as a proper response?

Here's what I typically do:
If the commenter is a friend or relative of mine, I will let that person know that I am not interested in hearing such "observations" and I will tell them nicely - but specifically - why I find such remarks troublesome or offensive. If, however, the commenter is either a random person nearby (and you'd be surprised how often this seems to happen) or someone of only tangential acquaintance, I will look at the commenter for a long moment, partly to make sure I have correctly understood the intent of the remark and partly to make it clear to the person that I heard what was said, and then I will turn my eyes and attention elsewhere. I will simply be silent; I avoid even an "mm hmm" or "uh-huh" for fear that either could be perceived as tacit agreement or complicity in the views of the commenter. I do not actively change the subject. I'd rather there be silence in an effort to indicate that I am pointedly not responding versus simply glossing over a potentially awkward moment by moving the conversation (and, thus, the person's attention) elsewhere.

First off, does this sort of thing happen to you, too?
Do you notice certain categories of people (by age, urban/suburban, socio-economic background, religious background, college-educated vs. not, geographic history, etc.) doing this more often than others?
If it does happen to you, what do you do?

Intentional Misunderstanding

There was a point where the one thing that could unite us was that the avaricious fraud in the investment and banking community had an adverse effect on our economy. Then Occupy Wall Street happened. Now the most entrenched people on the right are acting like fraud was not the issue. Instead, they are taking the opportunity to take pot shots at the people who have taken the anger to the streets. They have taken the position expressed in the photo above that anyone who is angry at Wall Street wrongdoing should blame themselves. The reason why is because they have assumed (perhaps rightfully so) that most OWS participants are left-leaning. Instead of settling for common ground with people who think differently than they do, they would rather switch to defend Wall Street against the great unwashed masses.

I recently pointed out in another post that the motivating factor for most Republicans to deny human contributions to climate change is to try to keep liberals from controlling the dialog on an issue. For them, it's not about solutions, it's about control. Now that's real mature.

The Great Lazy Unwashed complaining about the mess they got themselves into.

The Cain Scrutiny

My father sent me this video below of Boyce Watkins explaining just what makes Herman Cain a racist. Here Watkins is supposed to be debating against Ron Christie, but Christie seems to be having a different discussion with someone else. If you notice, the first time Christie responds to Watkins, he protests the accusation that blacks who act a certain way are "acting white." Ummm. Ron, no one said anything about you or Herman Cain acting white.

Boyce simply states clearly that the more trash Herman Cain talks about black people, the higher his numbers go in the poll. He then compares Cain to someone like Colin Powell whose dignity puts him above throwing blacks under the bus like Cain does.  Ron Christie is a smart guy and he's probably used to being the smartest black guy in the room, but not on this day.

And now Herman Cain thinks that racism in America doesn't hold black people back. No Hermie, it doesn't... unless you're one of the many black or hispanic people disproportionately thrown in jail for pot possession. Here is a link to a story about this phenomena as it happens on the West Coast and here is a link to a story as it happens on East Coast.

If you were wondering if racist pot busts are the last vestiges of our national shame, oh no. Oh no no no. Just read this short article from Dave Sirota on how race effects umpire calls in Major League Baseball. Fascinating stuff. One could dispute the data in the study Sirota profiles, but I'll just say this - I've never heard of an academic study that proves race bias (or racism which Herman Cain admits exists) has no effect on its subject.

Pogrom's Progress

Conservative pathology will not effect how Barack Obama will do in 2012 election. The staunchest 20% or so of the electorate who always hated Obama because he was simultaneously black, liberal, and viable will never stop believing the goofy shit they believe about him to further justify their hatred.  It does bring to mind a good question though; how will conservative pathology effect the chances of a Mormon like Mitt Romney in 2012? There has not yet even been a Catholic Republican nominee for president. We all know that in the hierarchy of religions and cults, Catholics are higher up than Mormons, a little.

Mitt Romney is the Republican frontrunner and that is without the support of conservative Evangelicals. That is not just because Perry and Bachmann are the Evangelical favorites. It is because Romney is a Mormon and enough conservative Evangelicals don’t like/hate/feel superior to/sit in judgment of Mormons. Just as many Conservatives think it is acceptable to openly denigrate Muslims, gays, etc, many conservative Evangelicals don’t have a problem trashing Mormonism, and by extension, Mormons. We saw this on Friday when a high-profile Perry supporter and Evangelical called Mormonism a cult with an assured viciousness that let you know he would no sooner support Mitt Romney than he would let his daughter sauna with Herman Cain.

If Romney becomes the Republican nominee as I presume, he can count on a good share of Independents swinging his way. But for him to win he would need enough independent votes to make up for the Evangelicals and other random Conservatives who hate Mormons because hating just comes so damn easy. How tolerant they become of Mormons by the time Election Day rolls around will depend in small part on the defeated evangelical candidates and Sarah Palin. The more Perry, Bachmann, and Palin support Romney, the better his chances would be, theoretically. Romney has the option of making Perry his running mate, but he may worry about Perry being his Palin factor, dragging the ticket down as people realize more and more how empty-headed Perry is. I still think that Romney will go a-courtin’ Haley Barbour who bailed out of the race before he became (more) damaged goods.

Conservative Evangelicals will see this one coming down to the Muslim versus the  Mormon. I try to imagine what they think the wages of electing a Mormon are and it must be akin to their expectations of Obama’s favoritism towards Al Qaeda. If Mitt Romney’s going to be president we better get Congress to declare that marriage is between a man and a woman - not a man and a woman and a woman and a woman and a woman and a woman and a woman.  

Herbert Hoover was Right About One Thing

"The trouble with capitalism is the capitalists; they're too damn greedy!"

- Herbert Hoover

If only my ears could vomit.

Last week I listened to an interview on NPR with Bill Frezza, a venture capitalist and fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute “which advocates for limited government and free markets.” In the interview he clarifies that businesses are not looking to hire people out of charity. Businesses are job creators incidentally and not so by purpose. They hire only as far as it suits their need to make money. Business hiring is something that occurs independently of everything except the financial needs of the company. That’s fine. I agree that this is how most businesses operate. But then Frezza went on in business shill mode complaining about the negative effect of taxes and regulation on so-called job creators, capping it with the question, “why would those people run out and try to risk their businesses by hiring more.”

“Busted, you fink” I thought to myself while listening to the interview. After previously admitting that businesses hire only as far as it suits their needs, Frezza fell back into the explanation that businesses won’t hire in an atmosphere of higher taxes and regulation. But by his original point, businesses that aren’t going to hire aren’t going to hire anyway, regardless of the business climate he says is being set in Washington. He then freely admitted that businesses are “hunkering down” by not hiring for the duration of the Obama presidency. So to recap Frezza's points, employment is not a tool for charity, but for evil. 

In explaining the need for business to be amoral Frezza tried to come off as a lobbyists for the entire business community, but his specialty is just the large greedy niche that try to make their problems everyone else's problems. I’m talking about the business sociopaths who believe in owing nothing and being owed everything - the ones who feign fragility when faced with taxes and regulation and who never mention jobs unless they are laying off workers or using employment as a chip whenever they don’t get their own way. Contrary to Frezza’s testimony, we don’t have to allow for capitalism by any means necessary.  

I don’t make it a habit of watching Fox News, Fox Business Channel, or CNBC, but I’ve seen enough of them to witness apologists for the business sociopaths whine about the undue burden of government. Their cries would be believable if they ever produced a docket of people whose successful honest businesses were forced to close down either because of taxes or regulations. These chumps are like our friend Frezza who talks tough on the one hand about how "business gotta do what business gotta do" and then squeals about not having the perfect conditions for their businesses to flourish because Washington has turned off their bathwater, blown out their candles and turned off their Yanni CD. My guess is that business is just as resilient as the millions of households who have to pay taxes and follow rules then get up to live another day.

This notion of an epidemic of business being put in ruins by federal taxes and regulation is just another floater in the toilet of conservative paranoia along with “them coming to take your guns,” and ACORN stealing the 08 election. It has become de rigueur for the greedy to stick the "job-killing" modifier on the word regulation in hopes of gaining the sympathy of scared members of the middle-class, but don't take my word for it. This is what Bruce Bartlett, former senior adviser to Reagan and Bush I has said about the contrived linkage between regulation and employment:
"regulatory uncertainty is a canard invented by the Republicans that allows them to use current economic problems to pursue an agenda supported by the business community year in and year out. In other words, it is a simple case of political opportunism, not a serious effort to deal with high unemployment."
 When you see what regulations they are describing as job-killing, it should make you most suspicious.

-CEO compensation disclosure
-Rewarding whistleblowers
-Requiring mining companies to disclose information about mine safety
-Requiring employers to post notices informing workers of their rights

Are any of these believable impediments to employment?

Meanwhile, Darrell Issa, the Republican Chairman on the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been conducting hearings on how excessive regulations have been hurting business. When Issa became chairman in 2011 he made the claim that Barack Obama was one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times. Then he backpedaled, claiming he meant the administration and not the president was the most corrupt in modern times. He further softened his tone by saying that he would not be using his position to prosecute this corrupt administration.

Instead, Issa finally settled on a deceptive crusade against regulations using cheap Republican tricks to embolden him. Some of his witnesses are simply opposed to certain regulations that others in their industry lobbied for in the first place. In other words, their gripes are not as much against Obama as they are against their industry peers. Issa has also gone so far as to call in a herpetologist for testimony that the Fish and Wildlife Service’s placement of nine species of snakes on the injurious wildlife listing is hurting the economy. Issa has turned the hearings into a charade drowning out those small business owners who may actually have legitimate complaints with regulations made for bigger outfits that negatively effect them. Not that it matters to Issa whose goal is really to create a political stunt to portray the Obama administration as an over-regulating behemoth who is further damaging the economy. Issa is not doing this as a service to the general public, but to the corporate community. It begs the question of how much taxpayer money Issa is spending for his excesses as the committee chairman.

Meanwhile, when the Tea Party tried to stand in the way raising the debt ceiling back in August, there was no outcry from the greed apologists about how irresponsible the Tea Party was and how their actions would adversely effect job creators. Instead the so-called job creators made silent chummy pleas with Tea Party affiliated lawmakers to come to their senses while they publicly bashed Obama. The reason for the hypocrisy is that tBig Business can still rely on the Tea Party to carry their water when it comes to the call for less government.

To hear greedy corporate shills cry poverty while corps roll in record profits is pathetic. What’s even more pathetic that they are trying to get the little guy to back them up for nothing in return. Business is not the enemy. Greed is the enemy. The biggest complaints against the current business environment are coming from capitalist cowboys who don’t want any responsibility aside from making as much money as they possibly can any way they can. They try to convince us that they should be given all the advantages at everyone else’s expense because someday they might hire people when they absolutely need to. No deal.

If there is no active beneficial social component to you and your company’s scheme to get as rich as possible by any means necessary, stop expecting breaks along the way. I do not elect my officials to make life easy for the people who already have it the easiest, but want it even easier. I don’t elect my officials to further indulge the greedy in more greed. I elect officials who will look out for the people whose lives really are closer to the margins, who are making five figures and dutifully paying their taxes, who can’t afford lawyers to help them skirt the law, who are trying to find ways to send their children to college, who are one illness away from financial ruin, who have done everything right just to have their pensions devalued by people who got bonuses to do it. THOSE STORIES ARE REAL! 

A Time Waster for Your Monday

AOTL doesn't want you to rush back into your work week any faster than you do so to help you stall until the donuts and coffee and kick in, Here's a Monday morning puzzle. (Due to compatibility issues some puzzle pieces may lie outside the puzzle boundary rendering them unretrievable. Hopefully, this will be the worst thing that happens to you today)

If we can't have our American Dream then deal with this...

Razzing Herman

"My niggahs"
Oh Herman Cain. According to you, liberals come to my house with briefcases containing doping serums and spinning wheels with black and white patterns on them that create hypnotic whirls when rotated. They overpower me, tie me up, and apply their paraphernalia while chanting "yoooooooou wiiiiiiiiill vooooooooote liiiiiiiiiberaaaaaaaaaal" until I am effectively in their power. It sounds ridiculous, but Herman feels he has to pile on the kook-ology to stand out among this year's crop of Redubyacans. Either that or he's been called an Uncle Tom by one too many black people on the campaign trail (not that I agree with that seeing how Uncle Tom died protecting other black people). 

Back in 2004, the Redubyacan party brilliantly birthed a pernicious rumble that the Democratic party takes the black vote for granted. If Redubyacans know anything about black people it is how easily many of us jump on the bandwagon of victimhood. That line gained traction with some black groups who simply repeated it like they were repeating JayZ lyrics. That was until Al Sharpton gave his address at the Democratic National Convention explaining the logical history between the Democratic party and the black voter. I remember thinking that Sharpton had put the issue to bed. Everyone in the hall was on their feet when he capped off his speech with the words "and I'm gonna ride that donkey as far as I can." No one would ever try to play this trick again, right?

In a strange twist of events, this identical strategy is being dusted off and repurposed by a black Republican. Though Herman Cain will never be president, his inflamat-oratory can not go unanswered. 

Fact is, the reason that blacks had to fight for equal rights in the first place was due to what I call the most successful and insidious PR campaign in human history. In order to get everyone in America on board with slavery, all Whites had to be convinced that Blacks were intellectually inferior and could not function as free individuals. People had to be convinced that slavery was all Blacks could handle. The partisan's reward in this philosophy was that being white automatically gave them stature above others.

During each debate America has had over allowing Blacks another increment in the quality of their lives was one side that clung to the promise of that PR campaign. Their excuses have gone down in the history that people laugh at: It's not the right time, they just don't have what it takes, this is socialism, etc. Tones of those same arguments can still be heard today. That is why I love the topic of Affirmative Action which conservatives always assume means giving a position to an unqualified minority. Just ask Pat Buchanan who complains every time a minority or a woman is nominated to the Supreme Court. In each case he refers to them as "an Affirmative Action hire" with derision. Buchanan admits that minorities have been victims of unfair treatment, and because of this unfair treatment, they are inferior to white people. In his mind, any Black or woman on their way to  the Supreme Court is taking away a job that should go to a white man.

The fact is that throughout our nation's history there have always been motivated black people who have been optimistic dorks (taken from an episode of "The Middle" I just watched) who realized tremendous achievement by any measure in spite of being told they couldn't or shouldn't. Regardless of how capable they were, there were limits to how far they were able to go. Even with his Nobel Peace Prize for Middle East peace negotiations, Ralph Bunche could not have run for U.S. president. Bunche and the many thousands like him contradict Buchanan's monolithic portrayal of black fraudulence whether or not he knows their story.

As for incompetents, they come in all colors yet when a white hire turns out to be a dud the Buchanans view it as merely unfortunate. When a a black person turns out to be a dud, it is elevated to the level of an Affirmative Action crime that the job did not go to a white dud or better. 

I won't mince words. It is not the liberals that assume their black workmates are stealing a white person's job. That is the realm of the conservative (not all), still, in this day and age. Google "Affirmative Action sucks" on your independent study and you will find a healthy horde who attempt to portray how 13% of the population is taking away jobs that rightfully belong to white people who are, by their estimation 100% qualified (?). Let me be clear; these are not people who would ever say anything that wasn't repulsive about Nancy Pelosi.

I'll build my monolith even taller by saying these same people have complaints that go beyond the workplace. Many of them freely associate Blacks with guilt and so champion garbage policy like racial profiling. I won't fake naiveté and insist that black crime is a myth, but I watch "Cops" from time to time. Enough said. 

A big reason that black people "vote liberal" is because Democratic liberal politics in recent history have had a legacy of eliminating supremacy, and/or establishing equality. A big reason black people "vote liberal," Herman Cain, you dumb fuckhole, is that black people ARE liberal. Unlike your portrayal, we are not doing anyone else's bidding. The suggestion that Blacks are incapable of having a liberal bent on their own is racist. When you break down Herman-ese, it sounds even more racist than the crap Pat Buchanan says. 

Cain probably thought he could get away with saying what he did because he's got black skin. It would have been far less offensive if he had used the nigger word. 

Certifiable Neo-Republicans Part II

The psychological "uniqueness" of the right is playing out in the audiences of Republican debates this season. While it has been rightly made into a news item I don't think many people are surprised by what they see because this is the type of emotion most people equate with the right. They just don't talk about it much. They also don't talk about how this mindset effects their policy stances.

it is settled that Republicans are not champions of carbon reductions. They mostly dispute the science that relates carbon emissions with global warming, if they believe that warming is happening at all. Many Republicans are paid to deny warming by companies that don't want to be told what to do, but what about the rank and file conservative warming deniers? Why would they ardently follow suit on the line that science is wrong when they aren't being paid?

We know Republicans dislike gay soldiers. They want uninsured people to die, and they cheer vengeance killing by the state. It is not a stretch to accept that they just don't like pro-environmental agendas or environmentalists who have always found more sympathy and alliance from the left. When scientists present a solid case for impending environmental disaster, conservative psychology demands denial because as they see it, admitting that the science on warming is correct is to allow liberals/Democrats/progressives/whatever to control an agenda. So they join the campaign to discredit warming as a moneymaking hoax just to keep anyone they don't want to agree with from any type of control.

Meanwhile, people concerned with warming are not looking for control. They are looking for a way to sustain the planet. They seek ways to implement policies to alleviate the situations of unprecedented conflagrations, extreme weather, and fatigued polar bears. Politics is about solutions. Control issues are about psychology. When psychology is disguised as politics it doesn't work and the result is disastrous.

It has gotten so that even the craziest Republicans like Ann Coulter are trying to draft people like Chris Christie to run for president. He is not pathologically against the environment nor does he hate all people who are different from him, but he does get really in-your-face bitchy which tests well among Republicans. Whether or not bitchiness is enough to get the Republican nod is most likely what Christie is weighing these days. He is well aware that what the base of his party really wants to see is him setting a polar bear on fire.

Here Come the Neo-Republicans and They Are Certifiably Crazy, Y'all

I don't make points that can't be backed up. Over the past three years I have taken note at the unparalleled ire of the neo-Republican party. On one or two occasions I have mentioned being suspicious at the chasm between what they say makes them angry and what they are really angry about. The protestant Tea Party's rise to counter Barack Obama before he even did anything is one thing. Then came their contrived grievances:
- The accusation that Obama somehow singlehandedly raised taxes
- The attempts to portray the deficit as solely an Obama creation
- Creating a religion based on the belief in Obama's foreign birth

It has all led to the gelling of an idea of mine that conservatism today, more than at any time is a psychological bent more than a political one. Fox News era conservatives have been exhibiting anger, delusions, and antisocial behavior that is a signature of their side. The anger and delusion is brought out in the bullet points above. As for the antisocial attributes, there has been many an inkling. The 2004 and 2008 presidential elections had billboard moments including people of color being bullied and threatened at Republican campaign rallies. Rally attendees screamed demands of physical harm on others, mainly Obama. These stories were rebutted with insistence that these were just examples of unfortunate things that happen on both sides. Though I don't have the statistics, I would not agree that this was the kind of thing that everyone does. But it was hard to argue. All I had was my gut instinct.

THEN CAME THE 2012 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES. Crowds cheered the notion of executions. They (plural) yelled that we as a society should let someone who decides not to get insurance die (perhaps before they have a chance to make any payment arrangements). They (plural) booed a gay soldier asking a question via Youtube.

There's your antisocial. Those three points show more than just political anger. Whether it was sadism, hatred, homicidal tendencies, or all of these, it was excessive. The fact that a man boasts his record as an executioner and the crowd is unable to sit there quietly and let it pass is kind of bloodlusty. It left me wondering if they actually wish for a higher murder rate so there are more people to execute. They'd probably be fine with framing people just to keep death row full.

Am I glad that this kookery has played out so tragically over these past few weeks? Only for the fact that my suspicions have been further validated. I don't view this as any kind of victory because the only victory would be if whatever makes the neo-Republican party hate so many different people would go away, but it's not that simple. It runs way deep.

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Pass this Ab-Toning Jobs Bill!: A Lesson in Marketing

The current Republican Congress' crowning achievement was a bill to repeal so-called Obamacare. They called it "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act." Reinstating preexisting conditions was not the priority of voters in 2010, but Republicans had already promised to repeal Obamacare the moment it passed, given their first chance to do so. By the time their first chance arrived, jobs and the economy had become the number one concern. So instead of actually expending any energy on job creation, Republicans tacked the term "job-killing" on to their mediocre opus, used their majority to pass it, and then called it a session. As predicted, the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act died in the Senate.

Because they do the bidding of the greediest rich people, Republicans perceive themselves as the designated drivers of America, and when they don't have the keys, they get very impetuous and feisty. This causes them to go negative and do things like tack terms like "job-killing" onto bills they know will never become law. All that tells the American people is that Republicans have no positive vision. 

Some may poo poo the notion of positive vision in marketing, but positive vision is what sells snake oil. People who hawk wonder-palcebos do it by telling suckers that their fake product will regrow hair or smooth thighs. What sells is a "miracle hair growth formula" and not a "formula that kills baldness." What the Republicans should have sold was the "Penis-Enlarging Repeal of the Health Care Law" or the "Breast-Lifting Repeal of the Health Care Law." They still would have failed in the Senate, but more people would have bought it. 

A simple shift of modifiers would have changed Republican fortunes just a little bit. Currently Congress has an approval rating of about negative five. Meanwhile, Obama is setting up his tent all around the country selling his jobs bill to the people. He's got people yelling "pass this bill" which is reminiscent of the JG Wentworth TV spot in which people yell "it's my money and I want it now." This is somewhat of a positive visions since jobs are positive, but he is also employing the call to action which has the same effect. Odds are that the jobs package won't pass, but he is controlling the message. The people are clearly on his side. 

This is the Obama people forget about when he seemingly disappears for months at a time while Republicans throw kitchen sinks at him. There is more to Obama than the guy that low-balls himself in negotiations. The guy can get out there and sell when he has to. It does help that he is getting the assist from the Republicans who are technically coming out against jobs. It seems like a counterintuitive message on their part, but there was a time when Redubyacans could get away with selling any old nonsense. As I always say, people tend to err in favor of the pro-establishment party no matter how ridiculous their message is. For several possible reasons that won't be tackled here, this is changing. Even in a bad economy, people have had enough of the Redubyacan bullshit. The effectiveness of their 2+2=5 messaging is slipping as Americans slowly come to. 

Michele Bachmann's lying ass is finding this out the hard way. The last positive message she had was $2 a gallon gas. We saw how well that worked which leads us to the next lesson: people only believe ridiculous positive messages when they promise to improve our physical shortcomings. If Bachmann had promised everyone they would lose 10 pounds by voting for her, we wouldn't be counting the days until she drops out race.

This week is starting off with a political bang as Redubyacans look for a way to message against Obama's popular call to raise taxes on millionaires. Will they counter with a positive message of calls to support butt-firming tax cuts? How about wrinkle-eliminating freezes on tax hikes? Nope. They're going with "class warfare." The good news is that the class warfare message has already been tested. The bad news is that it didn't work. Republicans still think it's the time when you could just say "weak on defense" and win. Those days are over. The Republican message machine needs a new makeover. Is there a pill for that?

Sooooo Angry

This is a picture of Lee J. Cobb in a scene from one of my favorite movies, "12 Angry Men." The movie is about a jury deliberating in the trial of a troubled Puerto Rican teen charged with the murder of his father. Given that, 11 of the jurors are prepared to send the kid up he river quickly so they could get out of the unpleasantness of the hot and sticky confines of their New York jury room. But one juror played by Henry Fonda puts the brakes on and begins raising doubts because something important is on the line - a person's life.

Since the movie has been out for 54 years, I don't feel guilty giving away that the Lee J. Cobb character is the last juror to be persuaded that much of the key testimony is BS. In the movie, Cobb is happiest when he thinks the kid is about to be fried. He is so angry that he is riled at Fonda's critical and analytical approach. what we find out about Cobb is that his wisdom is a (dys)function of his personal misery. His ill-informed choices have simply made his life more miserable. He is the definition of tragedy. 

I see the face of juror Cobb when I see recent polls of how the Angry American Public would like every member of Congress replaced, including for the first time, their own reps. It is tragic wisdom considering this was the Congress an Angry American Public elected less than a year ago. Miffed at high unemployment and slow growth Americans voted Republicans into the majority in the House of Representatives. Voters identified with Republicans because the GOP was angry too, but not at economic conditions. Republicans were just bitter that they were the legislative minority. In running, they promised voters a slew of actions that had nothing to do with improving economic conditions. They also promised to grind the political process to a halt by being recalcitrant in negotiating with the president. When it came to Republican plans regarding the jobs crisis, the Republican leader in the House John Boehner kept promising they would come about "later." 

Thanks to people that voted their emotions rather than issues, less than a year later we now have a country that is even more angry for getting exactly what they voted for. Who do they blame? Not themselves. They blame the Congress who delivered what they promised. That is tragic wisdom. 

The reward in "12 Angry Men" was that the jurors slowly opened up to reason in a way that 300 million Angry Americans don't have the patience for in this mortal coil. The idea that all 535 members of Congress need to be punished for this economic and political clusterfuck we are in is ham-fisted, extreme behavior more indicative of primitive bumbling than human reasoning. I've said it before and I'll say it again, people get the government they deserve. 

Cable chatter has yet to predict a Democratic victory in Congress in 2012. As soon as one news person suggests that scenario, that notion will carry like wildfire. Pretty soon all the news natterers will be repeating it suggesting to the Angry Americans voting Democratic is the way to assuage their anger. It will become a self-fullfilling prophecy. If Democrats do fully retake Congress, I will of course be happy. Another part of me will still be a bit rueful that it wasn't thought or reason that got us there. It will have been the same tragic wisdom waiting to create another impasse when things get rough again. GO, AMERICANS! No, really...

A Path to Contention

According to Republican Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, he and his friends once went down to listen to Martin Luther King speak in Yazoo City, MS in 1962 because it seemed like the thing to do. Apparently it was a good place to go watch girls. I shit you not. He actually said this. Not long after his claim it was discovered that King never spoke in Yazoo City in 1962. This bombshell came shortly before Barbour announced he would not be running for president. 

Of all the things Haley Barbour is or isn't, he is at least self-aware. When Barbour speaks, it takes you to the shoulder of a Southern highway after you've been pulled over for driving with New York plates. If Barbour doesn't do uniformed traffic stops in his spare time he should because it was the part he was born to play. Knowing this, potential candidate Barbour had to find a way to fit in with today's Martin Luther King loving America. Unfortunately, the only way he could do that was lie. To get the "biased liberal media" hound dogs off his trail he took himself out of the running completely, for the time being. 

Those same hounds have helped marginalize Bachmann with her provincial arrogance and they are now on Rick Perry's trail trying to link him with his book "Fed Up." Though it may seem like Barbour is the first in a string of loser Republicans, he may actually be playing his cards right for a vice president slot. Obviously more cards need to be dealt his way.

Barbour could only balance a ticket with a moderate on top. Even though Barbour is not total Tea, he is very Tea friendly. He has never had to say the words "Let's take our country back" because his drawl already says it for him. Even if Barbour was the biggest tax and spend liberal pansy, no one would believe it with that accent. While a Tea Party nominee would be extreme enough to round the ticket out with a running mate just as extreme as they were, Barbour knows his best shot would be running with a Romney type. 

Running as the number two would make Barbour's lying about his youthful experimentation with desegregation less of a big deal. People just don't care that much about the VP candidate. Whatever dogs him won't more than he could brush off with a simple "my mistake, it may have been Paul Robeson."

As for Mitt, he would probably jump at a chance to have Barbour on board. After months in his own media blackout, Barbour will re-emerge much fresher than anyone that had just been through any part of the primary process. Barbour at Romney's side would somehow lessen the funk of Romney's past progressivism including Romneycare and his realized pledge to give in to the gay agenda in Massachusetts. 

This is a glimpse of a possibility. Perry is the poll leader currently, but he is also very new. For both reasons he is subject to a scrutiny as intense as his starshine. Perry's cranky anti-everything screed "Fed Up" is the rock from under which he would be trying to scidder if his tail wasn't caught (if I could draw I'd be a political cartoonist). Eventually we will probably have Tricky Mitt to kick around again. As the right-wing dominance of the primary process recedes and cooler heads prevail, Mitt will probably retake a tepid lead as the Tea candidates clamor for the same votes. 

As much as the right of the right fringe is credited with driving Republican primaries, that may be only an early race phenomenon. Bush was not theeee most conservative candidate in the 2000 Republican primaries. McCain was one of the least conservative candidate during the 2008 Republican primaries. All the talk is about Rick Perry for right now anyway. It seems we have all but forgotten Mrs. Bachmann's little victory in the Iowa Straw Poll? Now it's been two weeks since anyone has even asked what her definition of "submission" is. Mitt is far from done. 

Don't think none of this is occurring to Barbour who is probably rooting harder than any other pure conservatives for one of them elitist fellas to pull ahead. He knows he is what they need if they can pull out a nomination. Otherwise, what are you chances as a Mormon driving through the South with out of state plates. That's the time you want a sheriff's escort. 

Quick Education on Disaster Relief

A good college friend of mine is the Speaker of the Vermont State House of Representatives. In helping to keep Vermonters up to date on relief efforts he posted a synopsis of coordinated functions between state and federal governments on Facebook. Anyone in need who had actually read the bulletin would probably have appreciated that the federal government was covering the lion's share of the cost to the tune of 75/25. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this sort of arrangement is not atypical.

What caught my eye was a comment on the truncated bulletin from a Vermonter which began "Don't know about a federal response, but..." Then she went on praising what a stupendous job the state crews were doing in assisting with the cleanup. I'm guessing this lady saw "ET" or "Outbreak" too many times. She must think that "federal response" is synonymous with scores of white trucks, high-wattage light banks and people in white hazmat suits under the command of a smooth talking manager with odious intentions. Or maybe she's seen too many Keystone Cops shorts and as a result thinks that federal help is going to arrive hanging on for dear life to the back bumper of a patty wagon. 

The truth is probably less engrossing and not as entertaining. Most federal help shows up in the form of a check, and not even a giant cardboard one that sits on an easel at a press conference. It's like when fires break out here in Southern California. There is no federal firefighting force that descends down and magically puts out the fires. The government sends a check to help cover the cost of using local resources 24/7 until the job is done. That way we can still afford to send the kids back to school in September. 

Yes, FEMA does show up sometimes, but that is only when the governor of the state requests FEMA assistance. And no, they do not show up hanging on for dear life to the back bumper of a patty wagon. And no, they are not all at the top of the class either, but better presidents tend to pick better managers. On the whole, when government runs well, no one seems to notice. But when government is run by people who bad-mouth government they end up running government into the ground which makes bad government a self-fullfilling prophecy. 

As for the lady praising the local response back in Vermont, I say enjoy the efficiency. Then see what you get with a President Ron Paul. 

Not Dirty, Not a Secret, and True

In doing a little work on my book "The Michele and Sarah-Pedia: History Made Right" I found an interesting piece of information that I know others will try to deny and possibly revise in attempts to try to control the possession American history. In researching the Pledge of Allegiance I found the story of the man who originally penned the oath in 1892, Francis Bellamy. The story behind the creation of the Pledge lacks the same sizzle as the story surrounding another Francis who wrote our National Anthem. Francis Scott Key wrote the Star-Spangled Banner while watching the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812 from aboard a British ship where he was securing the release of a friend. Francis Bellamy wrote the pledge for flag raising ceremonies at school assemblies commemorating the 400th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the Caribbean. 

Bellamy had been part of a successful campaign to sell American flags to schools. As a promotion for the campaign he devised the Columbus tribute for which he wrote the original Pledge of Allegiance as follows:
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

How Bellamy ended up becoming the Johnny Appleseed of American flags is where the story gets sexy. Bellamy had been a Baptist minister in Boston and a self-described Christian Socialist which is exactly what it sounds like. Bellamy believed that Socialism was at the heart of the teachings of Christ. This was just the kind of thinking that got his congregation to run him out. Bellamy then settled into the job at The Youth's Companion, the magazine responsible for the flag selling campaign. 

Those who exceedingly use "socialist" and "socialism" as pejorative terms today will not readily accept this account as truth.To acknowledge this fact as true would mean that they had been complicit with a socialist plot each time they repeated the Pledge. Either that or they will have to admit to having been duped by a red. So it would just be easier for them to dismiss this little nugget as left-wing propaganda.

That is where I believe we are today. It is the point of my book. There is a side in the political debate that creates their own facts which support how they want to feel instead of accepting actual facts for what they are. In other words, people are being willfully delusional. It is frustrating because you can't argue with crazy. I would love to posit that theoretically, this pathological form of self-esteem preservation is isolating, but that is not always true. Fake facts can infect the minds of less nefarious people as we saw with the flap over Obama's birth certificate.  

A big part of me was gleeful at finding out about Francis Bellamy. I am happy at anything that challenges the fairy tale orthodoxy about this country that gets spewed out. While the kindergarten version of America is easier to comprehend, America is a far more interesting place than that. I love the idea that a Christian Socialist who obviously loved his country came up with our national oath. I also love the fact that it will cause some inner conflict with some people even if they don't freely admit it. 

THIS POST: A Tea Party Study and Funding Bigotry

IF there was anyone out there trying to prove that American conservatism does not equal bigotry, this past week must have been a difficult one. In a year from now, give or take, Republicans will gather for their national convention and inevitably claim that they are a "big tent" party. That will fly in the face of the obvious visuals which will reflect near thorough homogeneity. The Republican party has a low threshold for different people and weeks like this one highlight this oft denied fact.

First there was data presented by two researchers from Harvard and Notre Dame which identified who makes up the Tea Party. The first gratifying reveal was that of those who consider themselves Tea Party supporters, 80% considered themselves Republicans back in 2006 when the original study began. No surprise there. This contradicts the flim flam that the Tea Party is a grassroots, independent, nonpartisan movement (this is underscored by the fact that virtually every elected official aligned with the Tea Party has run on the Republican ticket). If the Tea Party entered a Halloween pageant they would win for worst independent grassroots mask. Everyone knows exactly who they are. 

For the sake of this post though, the even more gratifying reveal from one of the researchers himself (see above video) is that the Tea Party is made up of "the Republicans who are the most skeptical about racial minorities." Anyone who reads this blog knows that his has been an unabashed allegation of mine all along. There is nothing like proof to back up something you feel strongly about. Of course, as you will see later, accusations of Tea Party racism is dismissed by the Tea Party as propaganda which makes no sense. The most likely motivation for that kind of propaganda would be to keep blacks from voting for Tea Party candidates, but Black people already vote overwhelmingly for the Democratic candidate. Who needs to use propaganda? 

Also this week we had the Center for American Progress shedding light on how coordinated the anti-Muslim campaign is among conservatives. They have found that, like the Tea Party, anti-Muslim actions and soundbites are not grassroots or independent. They name several conservative organizations that donate tens of millions to promote such idiocy as anti-Sharia law bills and referendums. These laws are as practical as those that would keep sparrow laws or hula hoop laws from taking over our legislative and judicial systems. Sharia Law bashing has nothing to do with keeping America safe. It has everything to do with keeping the readily frightened in a heightened state of hysteria against American Muslims. Why do they do it? It seems they gotta hate somebody and Blacks have a certain readiness for mobility against such unmitigated denigration. Unfortunately, it seems that American Muslims do not, and to make matters worse, American Muslims seem to be victims of a goodwill gap, due in part to this hysteria.

When New Jersey governor Chris Christie appointed Sohail Mohammed, a Muslim judge to the state bench earlier this year he ran into a cadre of bigots opposing the appointment on the basis of Mohammed's faith. Christie came out swinging against a fringe of his own party who voraciously subscribe to this infantile race baiting. It is sad that there are very few Chris Christies in the Republican party. There may be a lot of people who see eye to eye with him, but they don't speak up because they don't want to draw the ire of the torch and pitchfork crowd who are always frothing at the mouth to run someone, anyone out of town. 

So with this in mind, what will the next Republican National Convention look like? It will look like all the ones past because in the past four years the Republican party has continued to coddle the ugliest members of its ranks. It is not even clear if there is any consensus within the party to do anything about the glaring bigotry problem within. I could warn that the predominant message from the Right is that they are staunch bigots. I think I have laid that case out, but as usual that message would not resonate. One partisan represented that side very well in an online message board in response to the Harvard/Notre Dame study: "Anyone who believes this left wing propaganda should take a brick and smash themselves in the face with it for being so gullible and stupid." Way to recruit, guys. Way to recruit.