Archive for the ‘Fake Populism’ Category

The Top 8 Dumbest Things about the Republican Party

May 1, 2009

This feature is part one of a two-part series centered on the two major political parties in the United States.  For The 8 Dumbest Things about the Democratic Party, click here.

Is the Republican party going to be ok?

Is the Republican party going to be ok?

8.  Republicans believe that The War on Drugs can be solved if we throw everyone into prison.

Republicans get to take credit for the first recorded usage of the term “War on Drugs.”  It was used by Richard Nixon in 1969 as a way to fire up the base of the party against the counter-culture hippies that despised the Vietnam War.

Thanks to the War on Drugs, our prisons are overfilled.  The cost is so high to run some of these prisons that they have to be sold to private companies.  The legislature of California actually considered selling San Quentin prison this year because of the terrible financial shape that the state is in.

And drug cartels love the illegality of drugs more than Republicans do.  Drug demand in the United States will continue and the cartels increasingly find clever ways of evading the DEA.  In fact, cartels are now building semi-submergable vessels that can avoid RADAR and infra-red in Costa Rica.  They pack these boats with up to seven tons of cocaine and park it on a deserted beach in the United States. If they can get seven tons of cocaine to the coast of the United States without being detected, they can get seven tons of anything into our country.

Legalize drugs.  Pull the rug out from under the black market.  Levy taxes on the drugs and use that money to educate kids and help addicts get help.  This is exactly what happened during prohibition.  Legalizing drugs will help to stop the violence and the kidnappings in Mexico and in the southwest.

7.  Republicans demonize higher education.

From discounting professors in their “ivory towers” to laughing in the face of modern economic theory, Republicans love to rally their base on the premise of their shared mediocrity.  Ann Coulter believes that American teachers are “inculcating students in the precepts of the Socialist Party of America—as understood by retarded people.” (link)

There are intellectuals in the party, but you’ll find few conservatives that know them by name.  For every David Brooks, there is a Carrie Prejean.  For every George Will, there is a Joe the Plumber.

This isn’t to say that there are plenty of idiots in the Democratic Party as well.  The difference is that Janeane Garafalo doesn’t get microphone time at the Democratic Convention, while Joe the Plumber, a moron, is viewed as some everyman harbinger of truth in the Republican Party.  The problem with this outlook is that it eventually permeates into the politicians themselves.  The Palin phenomenon.  A folksy former sportscaster that bounced around from college to college without any sense of history or moder political theory is voted into the governorship of Alaska.  Same thing happened with Michelle Bachmann.

The hard right tarnishes the image of the Republican Party just like the Taliban tarnishes the image of Islam.

6.  Republicans believe that corporations are more trustworthy than the government.

Let’s get this out of the way quickly.  The government has done some shitty thingsBut they have also done plenty of good things.   Let’s look at the current financial crisis as a microcosm for the shittyness of government versus the shittyness of corporations.

The government allowed for corporations to create the derivatives market as well as offer subprime mortgages to people that couldn’t afford them.  That’s shitty.

The corporations took these allowances and had a field day.  Not only did they offer subprimes to the people that couldn’t pay them, but they bundled the mortgages into a security and bet on the outcome of the security.

Johnny thinks Group A of subprime mortgage holders will only pay back 40% of the loan while Philp believes that Group A will pay back 80%.  Johnny decides to bet $32,000 on the outcome even though he only has $1,000 in the bank.  Philip bets $28,000 even though he only has $900.  Group A only pays back 40%.  Johnny wins.  Now how the fuck is Philip supposed to pay him?

5.  Republicans believe that the government doesn’t belong in your pocketbook, but it does belong in your ovaries and in your bedroom.

It seems that every time the Republican party is asked about fiscal policy, the only two words on their lips are “tax cuts.”  We’re in a war?  We Need Tax Relief.  We’re in an economic booming period?  More tax cuts.  We’re in a recession?  Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.

People used to be offended if one was yellow and one was dark brown.

People used to be offended if one was yellow and one was dark brown.

Republicans believe that the best judge for whether you should carry your child is the federal government.  In fact, they believe that your Church should have no say in the matter.  They believe that a marriage between gay people somehow infringe on their rights.  There are going to be gay people that your children are going to be exposed to whether they are allowed to marry or not.  What difference does a certificate matter to you?

4.  Republicans believe that the Second Amendment of the Constitution is the only important one.

Not a peep came from the Republican party when George W. Bush all but suspended the Fourth Amendment with the warrantless wiretapping program.  Hell, even after he left office and we discovered that John Yoo had readied an additional memo that would have limited the First Amendment, there was no significant backlash at the Drudge Report and Red State.

But when anyone says that you probably shouldn’t be able to carry an assault weapon capable of shooting 30 times in 10 seconds, Republicans go apeshit.

Here is my compromise.  You can buy any gun you want.  However, that gun is only allowed to fire three bullets before you reload.  Gun manufacturers must make it so that a reload takes more than thirty seconds.  Military and police guns do not have to follow these regulations.

Many Republicans will say that that inhibits their ability to protect their family in case the government comes to get them.  But that’s idiotic.  The government has nuclear weapons, genius.  If they want a police state, then they’re going to get one.  Until then, three shots is all you get.

3.  Republicans say they reject big government when they are out of power, but balloon government when they are in power.

I don’t know how much longer Republicans will fall for this nonsense.  During the reigns of Reagan, Bush, and W. Bush, government grew on a massive scale.  Hell, George W. Bush added the entire Department of Homeland Security.  Government spending went through the roof with all three GOP presidents.  None of them ever balanced a budget or saw a surplus.

fiscal-conservative

It wasn’t until Bill Clinton balanced the budget late in his second term that many Americans finally realized that “fiscal responsiblity” did not belong on the Republican party platform.  Of course, the minute W took office, he squandared the surplus by adding significant tax cuts for the wealthy.  Most republicans don’t realize that the government has to PAY for tax cuts.  It is a signficant loss in revenue.  I’ll allow you to argue supply-side economic theory when a Republican balances the budget.  Until then, Bill Clinton’s “socialistic” 3% tax hike for wealthy people balanced it just fine.

2.  Republicans have shitty sources.

I don’t give a damn what some politician “believes” about global warming or Evolution.  If I want to hear about global warming, I’ll talk to chemists, geologists, and climatologists.  If I want to hear about Evolution, I’ll talk to a biological anthropologist or primatologist. There is no “big science” lobby.  These people do not get paid anywhere close to the bullshit experts from the oil lobbying firms.  They are scientists whose reputation is contingent upon their adherence to the scientific method.

Many, many scientists would like nothing more than to disprove global warming or Evolution.  They would be instant celebrities in the scientific world and they would be written about in textbooks for centuries.    But that doesn’t happen.

1. The people that vote for Republicans

On April 15, 2009 an estimated 189,000 people across the United States participated in Tax Day Tea Parties.  While simultaneously calling for an increase in defense spending, tea partiers were enraged at the 3% increase in taxes for people who make over a quarter of a million dollars a year.  Only 5% of working families in the United States will see a tax hike.

But don’t tell that to the teabaggers.

Sure, you get freedom of speech.  You just dont get to dictate policy when your guys lost.

Sure, you get freedom of speech. You just don't get to dictate policy when your guys lost.

If you asked them, taxes were through the roof on everything.  Even though the protests were sponsored by Fox News as well as two of the biggest lobbying firms in Washington, the majority of tea-party goers swallowed the kool-aid that this was a grassroots movement.

To be fair, the most vocal people on Fox and CPAC do not represent Republican voters collectively.  After all, the most moderate candidate in the Republican primaries John McCain won the 2008 Presidential nomination.  I suppose the proof of where the party is headed won’t be known until 2012.  If a Jindal, Palin, Romney, or Gingrich is selected, then they’re going in the wrong direction.  But if Jon Huntsman Jr.  is able to secure the nod, we may see a more reasonable, more intelligent Republican party.

All that and I didn’t even mention getting us into crazy wars, justifying torture, and the annual gay sex scandals.

Texas Governor begs for federal money after threatening to secede

April 27, 2009

It only took Republican Governor of Texas Rick Perry 13 days to make himself look like a complete moron after threatening to secede from the United States.  Speculation of his idiocy occurred immediately after his statements, but we weren’t sure exactly which form the hypocrisy would embody until today.

Rick Perry will have to import all those hair metal CDs if Texas secedes.  There will also be tariffs levied on wheat, sugar, corn, apples, oranges, bananas, beer and wine.  Have fun with that.

Rick Perry will have to import all those hair metal CDs if Texas secedes. There will also be tariffs levied on wheat, sugar, corn, apples, oranges, bananas, carrots, lettuce, beer, wine, Tamiflu, and everything else that doesn't grow in the middle of a fucking desert. Have fun with that.

Today, Perry begged the federal government for funds to help with a potential outbreak of swine flu in Texas.  Three cases have been confirmed in the Lone Star state.

So Texas thinks that it can survive being its own country, but then freaks the fuck out when it gets three cases of an easily treated strain of the flu?  How the fuck are they going to deal with 100,000 drug-dealing soldiers that will converge on their “country” the second they secede?

Texans, for the love of all that is good in this world, vote your damn governor out and get over the secession business.

RWP Rating: Bizarre


California GOP cries racism over popular Tea Party sign

April 23, 2009

At the tea party I attended, I saw little to no racist signs.  One loon in the corner that was yammering about Obama’s birth certificate aside, the protest mostly focused on demonizing the Democratic leadership.  I know that isn’t what the teabaggers wanted me to get out of it, but that is what it ultimately was.

Several days after the tea parties have ended, the California GOP is actually accusing tea baggers of racism.  Who saw that coming?  Anyway, the sad part about their cries is that the sign in question is simply not racist.  Apparently, their just not as used to playing the race card as the Democrats are.

This is it.

This is it.

Aside from being one of the only truly bipartisan signs, this is an odd message for any Republican to be delivering.  But that’s the point.  This sign was actually created by Ron Paul supporters.  The GOP in California wants to back as far away from this sign as possible.

If Israel didn’t have a Star of David on their flag, then maybe this sign could be considered racist.  But the first thought that went through my head upon seeing it was this:  We give money and weapons to Israel who end up killing a whole bunch of Palestinians.  That isn’t an opinion.  That’s fact. The last scuffle between the two ended with several hundred dead Palestinians and two dead Israelis.

You could make a similar sign using hands from Hezbollah and Hamas dumping cash into a funnel with a Palestinian flag on it and ending with dead Israelis.  That’s not racist.  It’s fact.   People have a right to be mad about shit like this.

The bottom line is that the word “racist” is thrown around far too much these days.  If the California GOP deems this sign “racist” then that stops all real discussion about the policies that the sign is critiquing.

RWP Rating: Bizarre

Full Story:  Concord Monitor

Georgia threatens to secede, dismantle United States

April 16, 2009

Whatever happened to the patriotism of the right wing?  Only love your country when you’re in power?  The Georgia Senate passed a measure on April 1 that says that if a bill is passed banning assault rifles, then Georgia has the right to supersede federal law, effectively seceding from the national government.

You may want to stock up on peaches before they get duty taxed.

You may want to stock up on peaches before they get duty taxed.

Senate Bill 632 says that the federal government has no jurisdiction in Georgia except for crimes involving piracy, treason, and slavery.   They may want to rethink that treason bit.   The bill dictates that if the state determines that a federal law exceeds the reach of the national government, the state maintains the right to secede from the Union.   Bill 632 passed with a whopping 43-1 vote.

You may already know my stance on this one.  Go ahead, Georgia.  With your crumbling schools and $2 billion deficit, how do you think you’ll fare without the United States government?  Once again, stupid posturing from lawmakers at the state level to attempt to appease Becktards everywhere.

RWP Rating: Bizarre

Full Story: AJC

Texas Governor threatens to secede from US during Tea Party protest

April 15, 2009

Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry threatened to secede from the United States during a Tea Party protest in Austin.  Amid Texas flag-waving, protesters chanted “Secede!  Secede!”

Lone Star State may get lonlier.

Perry is attending three Tea Party protests today.  He contends that the federal government is spending too much and blah blah blah.  The juice comes in the following quote:

There’s a lot of different scenarios. We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.

This would make time #2 that Texas attempted to secede from the union.  During the Civil War, Texas seceded, but returned to the union after the North won.

Go for it Texas.  Let’s see how quickly the drug cartels run the streets of El Paso.

RWP Rating: Bizarre

Full Story: Huffington Post

Republican Congress members attending Tax Day Tea Parties

April 15, 2009

Digg It!

Never missing an opportunity for some fake populism, several Republican Congress members are planning to attend Tea Parties today.  No Democrats are currently slated to show.

Dont get screwed by the IRS.  Vote for the people who invented the offshore tax haven.

Don't get screwed by the IRS. Vote for the people who invented the offshore tax haven.

House minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) will attend a Tea Party in Bakersville, CA.  Apparently he needs to work on his killer tan.  House Budget Committee Chair and writer of the idiotic alternate Republican budget Paul Ryan will attend a Tea Party in Madison, WI.  Madison, known for it’s hippies, gays, atheists, environmentalists, feminists, stoners, and out-of-control Halloween parties will let out a proverbial fart in his general direction.

Former Speaker of the House and newly baptized Newt Gingrich will head up to New York for an event.  No word yet on when he will be divorcing his third wife.  We’re pulling for sometime next Thursday immediately after she is diagnosed with incurable and heavily-mutated tuberculosis.  That seems to be his style.

RWP Rating: Unusual

Full Story: The Hill

Quick Link: Obama to have first Passover Seder meal in White House

April 9, 2009

Barack Obama is hosting on Passover Seder meal at the White House on Thursday night.  He will be the first United States President to host a Seder meal while in office.

Will this affect the Jewish vote in the 2012 Election?  Maybe I’m a cynic…

RWP Rating: Unusual

Full Story: TIME

Illinois Governor flip-flops on White Sox / Cubs support

April 9, 2009

Governor Pat Quinn may be in trouble with his south side supporters.  On a WGN radio program, the Governor uttered more damning words than any expletive he could have used.  They were simple: “Go Cubs Go.”

Right hook landed.

Right hook landed.

Heads exploded on the south side in anger.  Grown men with hairy chests and hardhats were reduced to tears.  Quinn, a native of the south side, is supposed to have complete loyalty to the White Sox, not the Cubs.

Chicago politics are so crazy that this may actually affect his favoribility numbers.  Good luck, Governor.

RWP Rating: Strange

Full Story: Clout Street

The Top 8 Dumbest Things about the Democratic Party

April 3, 2009

This feature is part one of a two-part series centered on the two major political parties in the United States.  The 8 Dumbest Things about the Republican Party is available here.

Without further ado, let’s whip this donkey into shape.

Me, checking on the health of the Democratic Party

Me, checking on the health of the Democratic Party

8.  Democrats feel guilty about everything.

To these Democrats, the tragedy of Darfur is the fault of the global imperialism of American companies, gang members just need a stern talking-to, and all military personell are brainwashed by the overlords of the Military Industrial Complex.  All cultural practices are permissible as long as they do not include hunting and fishing in the United States.  Female circumcision and honor killings are morally sound as long as no white people are doing it.

7.  Democrats believe we should save every endangered species on the planet.

Recently, Barack Obama became the fourth president that has committed to saving the Spotted Owl in Oregon.  And while many environmentalist organizations applaud his effort, we also need to realize that species go extinct all the time.  Not only that, but where are we going to put all the windmills that will be needed to secure our energy future?  If we can preserve parks, then that’s great.  But democrats seem to think we can save every species on Earth while still securing the energy needed to run their hybrid Prius.

Blue boobies

Blue boobies.

6.  Democrats believe that they have a monopoly on rational thought.

Rethuglicans.  You see it in the comment sections every single day on The Huffington Post.  Everything the Republicans suggest is immediately wrong and stupid.  These Democrats can’t actually explain the alternate Republican budget proposal, nor can they tell you why global warming is occurring, they just know that if you question any of it, then you’re an idiot.

I’m not questioning the science of global warming.  However, scientists still haven’t even fully grasped what gravity is, much less the intricacies of the warming planet.  Both sides need to question and both sides need to listen to one another.

5.  Democrats believe we can win the War on Drugs by educating the American public.

“Who wants to learn how to use recreational drugs?” Ms. Snodgrass asks her fourth grade class.  “Well, today we are going to learn that you can get high from inhaling the fumes from the rubber cement that I keep in my desk.  But that it’s very bad for you health and you should never, ever do it.”

You know what else parents tell kids?  That candy will rot their teeth and that television will turn their brains to mush.  Guess what?  It doesn’t work.  Kids love candy and TV and when they get older, they may develop a penchant for stogies and hash.  Some people, in life, will become drug abusers.  It’s time we let people have a little responsibility to do what they want with their life.

I D.A.R.E. you to do these drugs.

I D.A.R.E. you to do these drugs.

4.  Democrats exploit blue collar workers.

This is most aggravating during any kind of Democratic primary.  They would have you believe that all Democratic politicians came from nothing and then magically became successful politicians.  Let’s take John Edwards for example.  Edwards almost said the phrase “son of a mill worker” more than John Kerry mentioned his service in Vietnam during the 2004 elections.  Just because your dad was a blue collar worker, doesn’t mean you are “of the people.”  It just means that you had to sink to chasing ambulances in order to buy your first mansion.

Fast forward to 2009.  Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency.  They are losing the message war on the Employee Free Choice Act, and they are doing it by not strongly objecting to the lies that surround the bill.  Claire McCaskill said in early March that she does not believe that they have the 60 votes that they will need.  If they grew a pair and told everyone in the country that the EFCA does not get rid of secret elections, then I think we could actually get somewhere with it.  I just have a funny feeling that there are a few Democratic Senators that do not want the bill to pass because…


3.  Democrats pretend to avoid special interest groups in Washington.

Barack Obama made several early campaign promises of being free from the strings of lobbyists.  Within weeks he passed a law that made it illegal for lobbyists to receive starring roles in the Presidential Cabinet…and then he broke the law 48 hours later.

During the campaign, Obama claimed that he didn’t take any money from oil companies or from Washington lobbyists.  The first claim is misleading and the second is only half true.  It has been illegal for candidates to take any money directly from corporations since 1907, but Obama did take about $213,000 from oil company workers and their spouses.  It is true that Obama did not take any money from Federally Registered Lobbyists, but he did take money from people who work at lobbying firms, as well as their spouses.  (Source: FactCheck.org)

A group of Republicans or Democrats protests the other partys politician.

A group of Republicans or Democrats protests the other party's politicians.

2.  Democrats whine about everything and are afraid to do what they say.

When Democrats are out of power, they pound their chests for the rights of the little guy, for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, and against corporate cronyism in the Republican party.  But when they get into power, things change.  All of the sudden, several members of Congress are rethinking their position on the Employee Free Choice Act.  All of the sudden, we can’t leave Iraq until 2011.  All of the sudden, the CEOs have to stay because they are the only people on the planet that can save us from the economic clusterfuck.

1.  The people who vote for the Democrats.

This one hurts.  And I, just like you, have cringed when I walk into the voting booth.  But we’ve got to accept responsibility for the shitty politicians that we’ve given ourselves.

My main problem with the electorate at large is that they view politicians as blank canvases on which they can project their personal ideals.  A successful politician need only offend the least number of people in order to win an election.  When was the last time you vote For someone more than you voted Against the opposition?

Pundits in the media hurt the electorate more than we can bear.  By smearing 24-hour gossip-athons into our collective face, the media actually convinces us that we do care about the wolves in Alaska, or the pastors in Chicago, or the knocked up teenage daughter.  But if we lived next to the Palins/Obamas/McCains/Bidens it wouldn’t be an issue.  We’ve glorified our politicians right out of their basic humanity.

But I’d hate to leave you on a downer…

Let me tell you a story about a different kind of Democrat.  Harry Braun ran for President of the United States in 2004.  Braun had big ideas for America, which included building a fleet of 1 million windships.

Two windships

Two windships

This may sound like batshit loony tunes Daily-Show-ready material right now.  But let Braun explain his idea:

The Windship systems were developed by William Heronemus, an engineering professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Heronemus graduated from both the U.S. Naval Academy and MIT, and then served as a naval engineer and architect until his retirement in 1965. Note the tugboat at the base of the Windship that is delivering the crew that will live and work in the submerged spherical hulls. Given that each Windship will have a crew of approximately 10 people, the one million windships that will make the U.S. energy independent of all fossil and nuclear fuels will employ 10 million people in high-quality jobs. The hulls will also contain the electrolytic hydrogen production systems that will make hydrogen from the seawater with the electricity generated by the mast of wind turbines. (Braunforpresident.com)

I like it.  It’s radical and I actually believe him.  It may cost a couple trillion dollars to construct the windships, but at least he is facing the energy crisis head-on.  Imagine the freedom of not having to rely on the whim of the Saudis in order to heat your home and put gas in your car.  We wouldn’t have to ruin our mountain landscapes with mine waste and we sure as shit wouldn’t have to fight in a war for resources.  Our energy plan would be completely sustainable into the foreseeable future.

The media quickly dismissed Braun as a “fringe” candidate.  Maybe it’s just me, but he’s speaking more sanity than I’ve heard from a politician in a long time.

-JL

Talking Point: America is a republic, not a democracy

April 3, 2009

Where it started:

Where it was repeated: Glenn Beck has been yammering on and on about it quite a bit lately.  It is one of the featured videos on his 9-12 project website.  It’s pretty ironic that he has both the previous video as well as an article entitled “We Surround Them” on his site.  Which do you want Beck?  The rule of law or rule of the masses?

Why it’s stupid: Well, it’s pretty clear that we do have a Republic and not a Democracy.  It’s not like we have American Idol style courts in the United States where you call in to vote for whether or not Timothy McVeigh should have a seat on Old Sparky.   However, in Democratic Republic, it is necessary for the masses to be able to change the rules and laws of the Republic.

Imagine if a leader decided to impose Sharia law in the United States.  Enough checks and balances are in place that the masses (through representation in Congress) could overthrow that ruling.

Why they are doing it: Barack Obama is really popular right now.  Diehard Fox News viewers are going nuts because the people around them actually approve of this “Socialist/Marxist/Fascist/Communist.”  They have no other place to go than to the comfort of ancient law.