web statisticsRealtime Web Statistics

The Anecdotal Obamacare Story That Matters

If you’re even casually familiar with me, you know that I have almost no use for anecdotal "evidence". Anecdotes are not evidence of anything other than what one person believes they’ve seen at one specific moment in time. Obamacare has brought a glut of anecdotal Obamacare horror stories to my various social media pages. Statistically speaking, every single American who got screwed by this law has ended up finding me on social media. No seriously, the numbers simply don’t support these claims of devastation and woe. One guy claimed that his insurance premiums increased by 250%! Holy shit! Surely Fox News would have found him if this were true, right? I mean, they paraded a bunch of Obamacare "victims" whose stories all turned out to be 100% bullshit. Fox was really in need of a legitimately fucked over insurance consumer. Why didn’t this guy take this opportunity to possibly become a right wing hero a la Cliven Bundy? Why? Because he told me he was in Arizona. I looked up the stats for his state. Turns out that in Arizona, rates went down by ten percent for 2015. Oopsie! I never heard back from him after I shared that data with him. I guess he died at home alone, of a stubbed toe that got infected because he couldn’t afford the one million dollar copay that came with his wretched Obamacare plan. Poor bastard.

And then there was the vet who insisted that the VA was the worst health insurance in the world, and that Obamacare was going to destroy the previously awesome private insurance market. When I pointed out that the VA has always had a higher satisfaction rating than private insurance, he got huffy and played the "I’m a vet and you’re not" card. I let him know that I would be happy to ignore his attempts at acting intellectually superior with actually being intellectually superior if he could find me a single year in which the VA’s approval rating was lower than that of private insurance. He didn’t even bother to do that, instead opting to insist that he knew better because of his first hand experience. I assured him that the curmudgeon contingent was included in those approval ratings. He was unmoved by reason, logic, or anything that might not fit with what he "knew".

These are just a couple of anecdotal examples of why I have no use for anecdotal "evidence" (see what I did there?) Wanna know where I’m going next? Yep, I’m going to share an anecdotal Obamacare story. This is the story of James Webb, a fifty one year old self proclaimed teabagger and veteran. He hates commies and Obama. He does love guns though. He really, really loves guns. He loves to make videos of himself shooting guns. Lots and lots of ‘pew, pew, pew, pew, pew’ videos on his youtube channel. He hates the fact that the gays have ruined The Walking Dead for him. He refers to the Ferguson protestors as the "cesspool of America", who come from "generations and generations, and generations of living off the government". He’s been posting videos on youtube for seven years now so if after reading this, you decide that he was a plant, let me assure you that he isn’t.

Anyway, James posted a video last week that will double the one million views mark he crossed last month (congrats James), in a matter of days. James posted a video explaining why he might vote for Hillary Clinton. See, James retired last year because Obamacare set him free from having to work for health insurance. He’s not interested in losing the awesome and affordable coverage he has. Before I get to the latest video about who he’s going to vote for next year, let’s watch a video he put up seven months ago, explaining how Obamacare allowed him to retire at the age of fifty.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/USe5Ntl_Jas" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Notice how he starts off by saying that, "In the Obama administration, the least [sic] you work, the more you get. Now I know it used to be you worked hard, you saved hard and you retired, but not anymore". But as he kept talking he says, "I’ve been pulling that wagon for thirty-one years. It’s my turn to ride in it, and I’m going to ride. I’m going to ride in that wagon, and I deserve it." This is a guy whose right wing programming is at odds with what he’s seen and lived.

To republicans, if you don’t work until you die, you’re lazy. I know I’m skipping ahead but let’s get into some of the replies he got to the video he posted last week. Some republicans weren’t happy with his considering voting his own self interest in 2016. One woman said, "Heaven fucking forbid you have to go back to work. Since when is retiring at age fifty acceptable?…..Get off your fat ass and go back to work…..You are what’s wrong with this country." This is my favorite part of the stupid twat’s email to him, "People who vote based on what’s best for them are fucked up people. You need to be thinking about what’s best for society as a whole and future generations, and our planet, and humanity as a whole." Yeah, she said that to justify voting republican. WOW! That just redefined the parameters of cognitive dissonance. Another guy writes James to call him a troll. He demands that James explain himself and the affliction that justifies his early retirement.

These people aren’t morally outraged that James is retired at the age of fifty. They’re enraged that they can’t. And the reason why they can’t, is because they’ve bought the whole line of right wing bullshit that keeps them slaves to the billionaires who bought their party. They have Stockholm Syndrome and they can’t allow anyone to suffer less than they expect to have to suffer. These are the same dumb dumbs who insist that welfare recipients should be subjected to drug testing. I post statistic after statistic about state after state, where testing welfare recipients has unearthed very little drug use while costing taxpayers a lot of money. I always get replies to those statistics, proclaiming that "if you’re on welfare, you should be drug tested". But I just showed you that doing that wasted a whole bunch of your taxpayer dollars for no good reason at all. But NO! People on welfare must be punished, and reason, logic, and fiscal responsibility are irrelevant! These people are not rational. They’re probably not even hateful by nature. But their struggles make it necessary to punch down at people who they need to be on the rung below them. Because if there’s nobody suffering beneath you, what does that make you in the grand scheme of society?

I always ask myself, as part of deciding where I land on an issue, "who are you advocating for?" If you want to humiliate poor people, even though it’s going to cost you money to do it, who are you advocating for? If you’re insisting that James’ lazy ass need to get a job right now, who are you advocating for? We see James himself do it at the beginning of the video I posted above, when he said that under Obama, people no longer need to work hard. He can’t even hear his own contradiction when he goes on to say that he’s put in thirty-one years of work, and deserves to enjoy his life. Here’s the difference between liberals and conservatives. Conservatives believe that they’re the worthy exception to the rule. Whether it’s taking food stamps, collecting unemployment insurance because of a layoff, or signing up for Obamacare; they earned it but everyone else is a moocher. Liberals believe that everyone who needs help should have it. The exceptions are the teenie, tiny ( I can post dozens of examples) few who abuse the system.  

Here’s a couple of other things about James that I noticed. He went from the military, straight into a government job where he became eligible to retire at the age of fifty. That dreaded big government he and his ilk hate, is who he worked for. And that dreaded government he worked for provided him with the pension that Ronald Reagan and the republican party don’t want anyone to have. That’s why they invented 401k’s. They weren’t funneling enough money to Wall Street, or enough company profits up to the top with pension plans so they concocted 401ks to steal (I urge you to watch that video) more from you. Everything that James has gotten for his hard work, is something that he’s voted against having. He says that he’s voted republican for thirty-two years.

And by the way, that finish line at age sixty-five wouldn’t exist at all, were it not for democrats. Republicans never wanted, and still don’t want you to have medicare or social security. They also don’t want for you to earn a living wage in exchange for working hard. Is anyone under the impression that cleaning office buildings is work for lazy people? Are they too lazy to work and too lazy to bootstrap themselves into college with that $7.25 an hour they wouldn’t even be earning if republicans had their way? Their whole fucking system is designed to keep you a lifelong wage slave. The only way you get anything in republican paradise, is to be born into it. If you’re not born into a family that can send you to college, you’re literally shit out of luck. You’re worse than shit out of luck, because they will treat you like a lazy piece of crap for not being able to get yourself to college on the crap wages they insist you should earn. I showed you in a post last week, that if you’re born poor in America, 70% of you will stay poor. Republicans like it that way. And poor republicans have been programmed to like it that way. That’s why they avail themselves of the opportunity to shit on someone else, every time they get a chance.

This post is already longer than I intended, so I’m going to wrap it up soon. The reason why James’ anecdotal Obamacare story matters, is because it runs contrary to his ideology. What he realized isn’t what he expected to realize. That just makes him more credible. Here’s the video where he talks about his struggle with his 2016 vote;

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tNfo0o7ay7A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And here’s a follow up he posted yesterday; 

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Tba5P–6Fy8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Notice how the second video lacked explanation? I wonder if that’s because it’s just an inexplicable decision? I believe that James will ultimately vote his own self interest because once the thinking starts, the programming really can’t reassert itself. I don’t know who the nominees are going to be, but I’m pretty sure that James won’t be voting republican.

Share

Operation FDR

My dirty hippie mayor, who won his election by a nearly 50 point spread by running as a socialist, has some wise words for our pathetic democratic party political machine.

I live in New York City so my mayor is Bill de Blasio.  I started volunteering with de Blasio’s campaign when he was polling in 4th place. Not because I routinely get involved in political campaigns. I don’t. I’m seldom motivated to. De Blasio motivated me. I knew he was going to be the next mayor of New York City because of his populist message. I knew the message was the right one.

Raising taxes was part of his platform. No really, it was. I knew that he was going to win because of it. He wanted to raise taxes on the filthiest of the rich in New York City by a tiny amount so that he could provide universal pre-k to every child in the city. Who wins an election in America by promising to raise taxes? Bill de Blasio. Jerry Brown. Twenty seven districts in Wisconsin voted to raise their own taxes. New Orleans voted to amend their freaking constitution to raise taxes. Clayton County in bright red Georgia voted to raise their own taxes. That’s what I could find in a ten minute Google search. One single search string, five pages into those hits. There are definitely more, but you get my point. Some Americans are starting to realize that if you want nice things, you have to pay for them.

Americans are becoming more and more liberal. All across the country, Americans voted to raise the minimum wage. The majority of us have embraced marriage equality. Americans are becoming increasingly less interested in throwing people in prison for smoking pot, so they’re taking the matter in their own hands. That "tough on crime" mantra that gave us those "three strikes" laws in some states is starting to be recognized for the disaster that it is and is slowly being undone by the voters. 

We are becoming more liberal every year, and Bill de Blasio knew it. The democratic party did not. They ran a shit show of an election effort all across the country. Some democratic voters are attributing the blood bath of 2014 to voter suppression. I agree that this was a contributing factor, but the margins shouldn’t have been close enough for that to be true. Others are saying that democrats were wildly outspent. That’s only true in a few races where republicans had to polish their biggest turds: Rick Scott, Rick Snyder, Sam Brownback, and a few others. But generally speaking, the spending was fairly even. The problem was that democrats didn’t have a platform. They ran as "republican lite", and it was absurd. Who the hell is going to vote for republican lite? Democrats? Republicans? Democrats put on a shit show this time around. Alison Grimes can’t say she voted for Obama, yet she’s campaigning with Elizabeth Warren who is the face of socialism? WTF kind of disjointed message was that? How hard is this, "Yes I voted for President Obama and that’s why nearly 500,000 Kentuckians have health insurance for the first time in lord knows how long"? See, that was the perfect answer because it’s true, it sounds genuine, and the word ‘lord" made it in there for good measure! Mark Pryor ran a commercial in which he was thumping his bible so hard, that I swear I lost approximately 10% of my hearing.

To summarize: liberalism won, but "republican lite" lost to "the real deal republican". Any regrouping or strategizing democrats do that ignores this fact is going to be useless.

Enter my socialist mayor. He had a little advice for the party. I agree with everything he said, but I want to go over the parts I found particularly prescient.

As a Democrat, I’m disappointed in last Tuesday’s results. But as a progressive, I know my party need not search for its soul — but rather, its backbone.

We are so off to a good start here.

The truth is that the Democratic Party has core values that are very much in sync with most Americans.

We believe in taking dead aim at the income inequality that infects our communities — from big cities like New York, to small towns and rural areas across the United States.

We believe that the wealthy should pay their fair share so we can lift people out of poverty and grow our middle class.

And we believe in rules that prevent big corporations and Wall Street banks from unraveling workers’ pensions, suppressing employees’ wages and benefits, and rigging the system to reward wealth instead of work.

Hellooo, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, and Bill de Blasio and your incredibly high approval ratings. There’s a reason why they’re so popular, and that was it.

This year, too many Democratic candidates lost sight of those core principles — opting instead to clip their progressive wings in deference to a conventional wisdom that says bold ideas aren’t politically practical.

To working people, it showed Democratic weakness — a weak commitment to the change desperately sought by struggling families, and a weak alternative to a Republican philosophy that has held America back.

Yep. When Alison Grimes refused to say that she voted for president Obama, she looked like a little weasel. Nobody likes an oily politician who can’t even pretend to be sincere for as long as they’re campaigning.

Bold, progressive ideas win elections.

Just ask Senator Al Franken, who has fought fearlessly to rein in Wall Street, and won by a larger margin on Tuesday than President Obama did in Minnesota in 2012.

Or Senator Jeff Merkley, who never backed away from his support for Obamacare — a federal program that is already working to reduce income inequality, and promises to do more to address the inequality crisis than anything out of Washington in generations. Merkley won re-election in Oregon by six points more than Obama won that state in 2012.

Then there’s Governor Jerry Brown, who cruised to re-election after championing — and winning — a millionaire’s tax that dedicated funding to California’s public schools.

And don’t forget Governor Dan Malloy — who was written off by so many in his re-election bid in Connecticut. Malloy raised taxes so he could invest more in education each year (at a time when other Governors were slashing education to close yawning budget gaps). Malloy passed earned sick time and a minimum wage hike. And in his re-election bid, he proudly stood alongside President Obama.

Malloy not only lived to tell about it on Tuesday, he increased his margin of victory in a rematch with his 2010 Republican opponent.

Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I have nothing more to add to that.

Critics will point to competitive Senate races in Kentucky, Arkansas, and North Carolina as places where such progressive policies would all but ensure Democrats’ defeat.

Our question is: how would they know?

In those states, Democratic candidates didn’t say much about progressive taxation, expanding health and retirement benefits, or implementing anti-poverty efforts like universal pre-k or affordable housing.

In Kentucky, more than 413,000 residents have signed up for Obamacare — making it one of the program’s most notable success stories. Arkansas had the nation’s fourth highest poverty rate last year, at 19.7%. In North Carolina — nearly 60% of three-and-four-year olds are not enrolled in pre-k. What were the Democratic candidates offering voters there?

Exactly right. If the progressive ideas are popular, why is running progressive candidates never an option? That was some crappy strategery (my little homage to Bush) on the part of Steve Israel and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who just plain suck at politics.

We saw photo-ops with candidates firing their rifles of choice; witnessed rhetorical gymnastics about how different they were from Obama; and watched televised debates dominated by empty attacks on the Koch Brothers’ influence on campaigns, rather than policies requiring billionaires like the Kochs to pay their fair share in taxes to fund programs benefiting working people.

I’m not blaming the individual candidates here. The strategies they employed are largely the making of Washington insiders who force-feed message points on candidates under threat of being written off by their national party infrastructure.

Yep. That’s his non-Bitchy way of describing the shit show I’ve been referring to for the past week and a half. And he’s referring to the incompetence of Israel and Wasserman-Schultz without naming names.

Acknowledging the need to address income inequality helps win elections. Want proof? Look at the Republicans. In several contests where the GOP prevailed last Tuesday, candidates spoke directly to voters’ concerns on issues like poverty, wage equality, and underemployment.

And tackling inequality is not only good politics; it’s good government.

Yes! The core of the republican base, that 30% that stuck with Bush to the bitter end, the ones who loved Sarah Palin have twisted themselves up so far that they don’t realize this. They think that working hard and not getting jack shit for it is the American way. They have themselves so twisted up into a pretzel, that they literally can’t tell you what they’re advocating for anymore, other than punching down. But they are only 30% of the country. Another twenty percent, who were temporarily caught up in that "tax cuts for the rich will create a utopia for you, in which even cancer is cured" bullshit are coming out of that fog.

You and your government are partners with a vested interest. You work hard, and put forth your best efforts to increase GDP, and your government makes sure that in exchange for that hard work, you’re not starving in the streets. If you work, your basic needs should be met. And since any rational person knows that Comcast won’t do that for you, it has to be your government.

And the fight against inequality isn’t limited to blue states. Right now, there’s a fierce battle being waged on behalf of pre-k in dark-red Indiana. In Kentucky, Governor Beshear maintains wide support and popularity after publicly championing the benefits of Obamacare to the state. Last week, voters in Arkansas, Alaska, Nebraska, and South Dakota approved ballot measures to increase the minimum wage.

I have nothing to add to that, except to say that Americans are moving left while our government is moving right.

The 2016 presidential election is two years off, but will have a huge impact on the lives of America’s middle-class and poor. Democrats simply cannot rely on shifting demographics and a badly damaged Republican brand to hold the White House and help countless Americans who are struggling.

We must demonstrate, from coast to coast, that we are a party dedicated to lifting people out of poverty; one committed to building a bigger and more durable middle-class; one that is unafraid to ask a little more from those at the very top — the wealthy individuals and big corporations who have not only rebounded from the depths of the Great Recession, but who’ve accumulated record new wealth.

Yup. "We suck slightly less than republicans isn’t going to cut it. Liberals aren’t going to accept that. We’re not republicans. We don’t have Stockholm syndrome, and we’re not lemmings with a team mentality about politics. We expect our candidates to uphold their half of the partnership. Independents and younger voters aren’t going to accept that either. They’re just going to stop showing up. And the "we suck slightly less" perpetuates and actualizes the (for now) false notion that both sides are the same.

I understand that democrats need to raise money. I understand that because of Citizen’s United, no politician stands a chance of being elected to any position higher than dog catcher without making nice with a few industries whose self interest are at odds with their constituencies. I get it. I get that we need to fix the money in politics problem, which is why I’m constantly advocating for joining Mayday or (preferably and) Wolf PAC. We need national democrats to get on board in a vocal way. Bernie Sanders can’t be the only politician in the country talking about it. Cenk (Uygur, who started Wolf PAC) seems to think that we can amend the constitution without congress’ help. I don’t agree. We need as many allies in congress as we can get. Democrats need to start talking about this all the time. An overwhelming majority of Americans (72% – 91%, depending on which poll you look at) want to get money out of politics. This is a winning issue. Republican lite is not a viable platform. It’s time to deploy a new strategy. I call it, "Operation FDR". Everywhere we see an FDR or his ideology, we win. It’s time for democrats to go back to their roots and listen to my socialist mayor.

To be clear, I use the term ‘socialism’ in a tongue and cheek way to mock what republicans have done to our dialogue. Regulated capitalism isn’t socialist. Leveling the distribution of wealth so that the game isn’t rigged from the top isn’t socialism. It’s healthy capitalism. And anyone who uses the term ‘socialism’ in any way other than how I use it, should be ignored. That person is batshit crazy, and not worth your time. Spend your time talking to somebody else who has a brain, an open mind, and a heart that isn’t filled with hate.    

 

 

 

 

 

       

Share

The Veto Tsunami

I’ve been seeing variations on this meme for a couple of days now:

Veto Bitches

 

I like the sunny optimism, but that’s not what’s going to happen. This meme assumes that Obama isn’t aligned with a lot of the republican agenda. Remember, he extended the Bush tax cuts. He was dying to make the grand bargain. We do not have the dirty hippie socialist president that some seem to believe we have. I’m sorry, but that’s just a fact.

The thing everyone points to when proclaiming that President Obama is a socialist, is the thing that republicans created twenty years ago. Obamacare is not socialism. It’s a giant gift to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, and it puts a band aid on the failing business model that is for profit health insurance. It gave insurance companies that coveted and rare demographic known as the millennials. Yes, twentysomethings have to have insurance now, and that’s a hail Mary for Aetna because as a nation, we’re getting older and more expensive to maintain. For profit health insurance is going to cave in on itself. Obamacare just bought them more time. Don’t get me wrong, twentysomethings should have coverage. They won’t get insurance if they’re not forced to get it. They don’t need it because they’re young and healthy, and they don’t want to pay for it. Since they traditionally haven’t participated in the health insurance market, we all pay more than we should in our thirties and forties. See, you pay for the insurance you should have had in your twenties one way or another. Since the young and healthy ones aren’t contributing to the risk pool while they’re young and healthy, the risk pool becomes riskier than it should be. More risk = higher premiums. If you’re one of the people who have always had insurance, you paid for your twenties twice. That’s not going to happen anymore, so we got some relief out of this plan too. But it’s not even in the ballpark of socialism. It just happened to be an elusive middle ground when both corporate profits and people get a win.

Obama is not a socialist. He’s not even a liberal. When it comes to all things corporate-profit related, there’s no daylight between what republicans want and what Obama wants. He’s never attempted to regulate Monsanto, stop oil companies from destroying our water supply by fracking the fuck out of our country, hold Wall Street accountable for their malfeasance, or even raise taxes on corporations, who have never paid less than they pay now.

No, there won’t copious vetos in our future.    

Oh, and the hope of the veto also ignores how non confrontational this president is. Remember, he got Shirley Sherrod’s resignation as fast as he did because he was worried about what Glenn Beck was going to say on his show that night. This is not a bold president who stands up to anyone that he isn’t running against in an election. We’ve never seen candidate Obama in the White House, and we’re not going to see him now. 

Share

Republicans Like It Rough

So I was listening to The Young Turks yesterday, and Cenk ended the first hour by telling a lovely story about a shop owner in Ferguson. The shop was one that was looted on the first night. Here’s Sonny Dayean (the store owner) telling his story in his own words (from the HuffPo article);

We got some advisements from people from the neighborhood that said that they heard something, that you know maybe I should board it tonight. But I just didn’t believe it. I’m here 17 years. … So I had faith in the community, and indeed it wasn’t the community — it was just a couple of, you know, bad guys, I don’t know what to call them. But they were drinking all over the store. They stir drinks, they come here, vodka was everywhere, soda was spilled everywhere. I mean you should have seen the store this morning. Man, a mess!

… There’s been four break-ins in here, so it’s not my first time, and it’s not a big deal. But most of the time it’s minor, a door here, a door there, they call Ferguson[police], they come here, they save the day. This time around, the alarm company called Ferguson and said there’s movement inside the store, the officers said we can’t do anything. There’s riots going on and there’s troopers out there.

I had to immediately come over here, and I tried to get into the area. I couldn’t get into the area because the whole area was blocked. And I was like, ‘People are robbing my store, can I just go and put some boards on it?’ They did try, but then in the middle they changed their mind and said no, it’s too risky or something, please wait. They took my information and told me they’re going to call me as soon as the area is clean. That was about 1:45, 3:45 a.m., I’m just waiting.

Nobody calls me, so I just decide to come over. So I get here around 5, 5:30 a.m. There are a few people outside, some reporters were outside too, but the whole store was open, people could come in and out and take what they want at their leisure.

So that’s on the sad part. The good part is the people who were out here were waiting outside, they wanted to help me. So as soon as I got here, they said ‘Can I help you? Can I do this, can I do that?’ I wanted to take my time and clean as part of my therapy, as part of dealing with the situation. But some of them would not leave unless they did something to help, unless they got a hug or something. So that was very overwhelming, I didn’t think I’d come in there to be so overwhelmed by the community. So that’s very sweet.

That’s a great story, right? When I heard Cenk telling it, it felt great to hear a positive story coming out of all hurt and pain in Ferguson. I started to look up the story, just to hear it again. The three minutes it took Cenk to tell it, wasn’t a sufficient amount of loveliness for me so I wanted to spend a little more time being charmed and feeling joy. The first hit I got was from the very conservative National Review. Here’s the headline;

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 8.04.36 AM

 

I read that and thought, WTF? This couldn’t possibly be about my charming store owner. So I read the story to make sure it was about the same person as the story I excerpted above. Here’s what the National Review story said;

Sonny Dayan, owner of St. Louis Cordless Communications, tells National Review Online police prevented him from returning to his business while it was being looted and the police did nothing to stop the crime.

Dayan says police would not let him walk down the street to his business, a cell-phone service and supply store, as they were letting looters run through the streets and into stores. “As far as I know my business is burning down, I’m getting calls from the alarm left and right, you got to get here, you got to get here,” he says. “They [the alarm company] called the police. The police said, ‘We cannot come help you because it’s not our job anymore. We got kicked out.’”

He says police told him they would call him when it was safe to return to his store, but never did. When he did make it back to his store a few hours later on Saturday morning, he found several Ferguson residents standing guard and waiting to help him clean up. He says police came into his store on Saturday to make sure he was okay, but offered no explanation as to why they would not protect his store. “My store or my business, it’s nothing that they worry about,” he says. “It’s the last thing they worry about.”

Huh. This doesn’t even seem like the same person. These stories were published in the same day and posted about seven hours apart, both by reporters who I confirmed are physically in Ferguson covering the events here. I’m a sunny optimist, so my assumption is that neither of these reporters made up any of the quotes attributed to Mr. Dayean (or Dayan, depending on who you read). I’ve observed human nature for long enough to know that both versions of this shop owner can very likely be real. People change depending on who they’re talking to and how questions are presented to them so my observations regarding these two accounts aren’t about the store owner.

Here’s what the HuffPo headline looked like;

HuffPo

 

They’re about the reporters. Specifically, they’re about the reporters skill in writing the type of story that appeals to their audience. This is an observation I’ve made many times before. I regularly (okay, daily) go to websites that range varying points on the political ideological spectrum. I’m not one that just gets my news from sources that will tell me what I like, and what supports the ideology I started with. My opinions don’t precede my information. I like to form opinions based on a diverse pool of information.

When reading articles on the same topic, I always (literally) find the precise difference that is illustrated in this piece; conservatives like it rough, dark, and mean. They like reading about how the world is a bad and scary place. That’s just a fact. Liberals don’t really have a preference as to how a situation is presented. In other words, liberals don’t have a proclivity for "happy" news all the time. They’re not the inverse opposite of conservatives. So called liberal outlets run the gamut of emotional tone and world views, depending on what the topic at hand is. And different liberal outlets will have very different interpretations, even among the liberal community. Conservatives don’t have that. Every conservative article will have precisely the same analysis, and it’s always created around the narrative that the world is full of bad things. We have physiological evidence for why conservatives like it rough. There have been a couple of studies that suggest that conservatives possess a bigger amygdala. That’s the fear center of your brain. The studies used entirely different methodologies and were conducted in different countries. I’m not going to get deeply into the studies because that’s a more analytical post for another day, but they absolutely suggest that we’re (to some degree) born either conservative or liberal.

The reporting on this store owner in Ferguson perfectly illustrates this. I’m positive that Ryan Lovelace’s (from the National Review) approach to the store owner absolutely elicited the responses he received just as Ryan Reilly’s (HuffPo) approach did the same to elicit an entirely different approach to the same situation. I believe that the store owner was more positive and warm in regard to what happened to his store when he was speaking with Reilly, than he was when he was speaking with Lovelace. Ryan Reilly was drawing out those positive emotions.

To be clear, I’m not accusing anyone of intentional bias. I believe that all of us find what we’re looking for when we go on a fact finding mission. I went to Ryan Lovelace’s twitter page to review his tweets from Ferguson. He isn’t attempting to create a narrative that demonizes one side or another. He’s not trying to paint police officials as demons, while lionizing the protestors or vice versa. He genuinely seems to be sharing what he sees so sometimes he tweets about a fucked up thing the cops have done, and sometimes it’s about a fucked up thing a protestor did.

I’ll be honest with you, I found Reilly’s story in HuffPo to be more authentic and credible. Not because I wanted to, but because Reilly used more of the store owner’s words. Many more of his own words. He let the store owner’s narrative dominate his story. Lovelace’s article felt less authentic.

Okay, maybe I want Reilly’s story to be the truth, just a little bit. I’ve been knee deep in the angst of the world for too many days in a row. I’m tired of getting it rough. I want some gentile cuddling for a minute. Is that so wrong?      

 

 

Share

Anthony Weiner’s Penis May Have Saved Social Security

Which makes me a big fan of his penis. In fact, I may be a bigger fan of his penis than anyone he actually shared it with. Because of Anthony Weiner’s penis, Obama appears to be acting more like a democrat in a way that we haven’t seen since the campaign.

Why do I believe that Americans owe Anthony Weiner’s penis a big debt of gratitude? Because one day after losing that seat to republicans, Obama announces that he’s taking social security reform off the table. This is a complete reversal from every signal the administration has ever sent out on the topic of social security. We obviously have Anthony Weiner’s penis to thank for this.

This reversal may (I’m being a sunny optimist again) be good news for Obama’s testicles, since they appear to finally be dropping. We’ll see what happens over the next few days, but it appears that Obama is finally starting to realize that the problem isn’t that crazy, rabid liberals have unrealistic expectations. The problem is that that he has failed to protect the needs of the middle class.

I’m optimistic because I’ve come to expect nothing from Obama, in terms of standing up to teapublicans. So when he shows even the slightest hint of a spine, I’m overcome with joy and optimism. But I’m still a pragmatist, so I’m a little concerned about the statement the white house released on the matter. Here’s the statement:

“The president’s recommendation for deficit reduction will not include any changes to Social Security because, as the president has consistently said, he does not believe that Social Security is a driver of our near and medium term deficits”.

I’m concerned because the statement should have stated that social security has never added a dime to our deficit because it’s a deficit neutral program by design. He needs to start reframing issues, rather than talking about them in republican terms. He needs to make it clear that since social security is a deficit neutral program, that any objections to it are purely ideological. He needs to put this cutting social security bullshit to rest forever. He needs to dispel the lies about social security once and for all. He needs to articulate the facts that no one ever hears. He needs to let Americans know that 2011 is the first year that social security has paid out more than it’s collected. He needs to talk about the $2.5 trillion dollar surplus that social security has at this very moment. He needs to point out that social security is collecting 8% less than it was projected to collect because of income inequality. Regardless of how much someone makes, they’re done paying into the system once they’ve earned $106,800 a year. Since we have fewer people making $90,000 a year, and more people making upwards of $1,000,000 per year than ever before, the system is being strained by that wealth disparity. Obama needs to make these facts clear, not to garner support for social security (70% of us, liberals and teapublicans alike adamantly want social security to stay), but to bring the argument back to a fact-based framing.

I know, I know, he gives me an inch and I want a mile (did I mention how big a fan of Anthony Weiner’s penis I am?).

James Carville is advising the Obama administration to panic. I hope they do. Obama needs to radically change course, not out of fear of losing reelection, but out of duty to the American people. I frankly don’t give a shit about his reelection. If he stays on the course he’s been on, four more years of this shit is nothing I’m fearful of losing. He was elected by people that were hoping for change. He owes two and a half years of change that haven’t yet materialized.

I’m going a step further than Carville. Obama needs to take the fight to republicans. He needs to push for temporarily lowering the medicare and social security eligibility ages as part of his jobs plan. Anyone that is in their 60s is virtually unemployable in this economy. Lowering the eligibility age to 60 on both of those programs will enable some of those people to retire from the work force early, thereby lowering the unemployment rate right away. And he should make the argument that taking them out of the private insurance system will keep premiums flat for everyone else, since they won’t have to pay out those medical bills. At the same time, lowering the average of the medicare risk pool should help medicare.

This will make John Boehner’s head explode, since most Americans will be for it. He and all of the republican presidential hopefuls will have to run against Obama’s plan. He would force them to explain how they don’t give a shit about your mother or your grandmother and that they’re your problem to deal with, because anything else would be a big government intrusion in your life. Yeah, that’s going to play well.

Republicans have created an illusion of a version of a socialist lefty they want to fight against. I think that Obama should turn into an actual socialist lefty that they’re completely unprepared for.

I for one, hope that Anthony Weiner’s penis is actually powerful enough to help make my dream a reality.   



Share

Snatching Defeat From The Hands Of Victory

That should be the tagline for the democratic party. How can I say that a week after democrats successfully recalled two state senators in Wisconsin, and a day after they successfully defended two Wisconsin senate seats? I can say it because they’re poised to fuck up the rest of the work that needs to be done in Wisconsin.

Here’s the deal; Scott Walker, whose approval rating is abysmal is eligible to be recalled in January. Sounds like a great position for democrats, right? Not so fast. National democratic strategists (I use that term loosely and with with much disdain) are now thinking about rolling the Walker recall vote into the 2012 election. Why would they let this asshole keep screwing working people in Wisconsin for another year and a half? Because it’s not about the people. It’s about the politics. And to rub salt in the wound, it’s about bad politics.

These brilliant “strategists” think that they have a better chance of recalling Walker if they ride the Obama wave in 2012. Yup, you read that correctly; The Obama Wave. I don’t know what the fuck they’re doing, but I’m looking at the polls. The only waving being done here is by Obama, waving at his approval rating as it fades into the distance. He has plummeted into the high 30s. That’s right, the guy that defeated the pirates and killed Bin Laden is within 10 points of Bush when he left office. Now, depending on who you talk to, the low approval ratings are either because 70% of us are among the unreasonable “professional left” or, Obama is just the most ineffective president in recent history. But that’s a topic for another post, or several previous posts, as the case may be. My point is that they’re factoring in a mythical movement that isn’t validated by one single piece of empirical evidence. There’s no Obama wave. There is Obama frustration and Obama apathy. There is a decided lack of “wave”.

I believe that the Walker recall has a better chance if it’s a stand alone election. The polls clearly show that Wisconsinites want him to get the fuck out now. I don’t know why you would dick around for another year, hanging your hopes on an advantage that doesn’t exist.

On top of the sheer stupidity, waiting for 2012 clearly sends a message by democrats; We don’t give a shit about Wisconsin or it’s citizens. We just want to win.

This is exactly why most people don’t pay attention to politics and why they don’t vote. All of the options fucking BLOW, and the politicians are getting worse and worse at pretending they don’t suck.

But don’t despair, there is a glimmer of hope. Wisconsinites can buck the national democratic party and get the recall signatures on their own. They can snatch victory from the hands that want to snatch defeat from the hands of victory. Wait, I’m all confused now. Well, you get my point. Wisconsinites have the opportunity to set an example by ignoring the democrats’ nonsense and the republicans’ tyranny. If they take it upon themselves to rectify the situation, independent of either party, they have the chance to give us all hope that we can buck this two shitty party system that we have.

Both parties are being allowed to be shitty by us. It’s time that we start getting active in a meaningful way. I’m talking to you, Wisconsin! Go get em!


Share

There Used To Be A Time In America

When people felt shame over having done something shameful. I don’t know when those days left us, but they’re long gone.

Shamefulness has become a source of revenue, not to mention hubris.

Take this jackass radiovangelist that has failed to predict the rapture twice. Now one would think that he would quietly slink off into hiding but no, he’s back with a lame ass explanation that he got the math a little wrong. And does he feel bad that his idiotic devotees gave away all of their possessions and (some) killed their pets? Of course not! Because you see, he never instructed them to do that. Shameful! And an asshole. And you know what? He’s going to continue to get donations.

Then there’s disgraced former Speaker Of The House, Newt Gingrich. This is a guy that has no shortage of shit to be ashamed of. Let’s set aside his personal life for a moment. He was forced to resign the speakership by his own party. What part of “forced to resign from the last position I was elected to”, says , “I should definitely pursue a much higher office”? What kind of sociopathology leads one to make this conclusion?

Now on to his personal life; what kind of asshole has three wives, two of whom started off as mistresses, and still finds the audacity to say shit about family values? Are you fucking kidding me? You would think that he was Ms Manners! He was banging the current wife while the last wife was being treated for cancer. Shameful! And tacky!

And he’s an idiot. We found out last week, that he has a revolving credit line of half a million dollars at Tiffany’s. He’s an idiot because for that kind of money, he’s either having another affair, or he’s spending it on his wife. Hey Newt, you don’t need to buy expensive jewelry to keep a woman that was willing to blow you in the parking lot of the hospital where your wife was receiving chemotherapy treatments! She’s a cheap whore! Cheap whores don’t need Tiffany’s kind of maintenance.

And then there are members of the Bush administration. Those shameful assholes have the audacity to go on television and give their opinions about the assassination of Bin Laden that they failed to accomplish? Unfuckingbelievable! If your opinions had any credibility you would have gotten the job done. Why aren’t these people ashamed? One failed war, one failed occupation, a failed assassination, and no shame? How is that possible? The only person that seems to have a modicum of decency here is George W Bush (yeah, I didn’t see that coming either). At least he’s got the decency to shut the fuck up and hide in shame.

Why is this happening? Because we so want to be right in our ideology, that we’re willing to go the distance to defend it. We’re willing to go far beyond the point that reason and logic should allow us to go. It’s easy to see this in other people, but seems to be virtually impossible to see in ourselves. Sure, the rapture whackadoodles are easy to mock, but if you think about it, they’re just desperately clinging onto something to believe in and they refuse to be deterred.

Republicans are the most effective defenders of their party. How did that turn out for them? Not a single accomplishment they can point to since Nixon opened up trade with China, and the worst president in US history, by every measure of a failed presidency. And yet, some of them are still hoping that the brother of the worst president in history will ride into the race on a white horse to save the day.

And for democrats, it’s easy to see where republicans went wrong. But it’s impossible to see where they’re going wrong. I hear Stephanie Miller and Randi Rhodes defend, and take up the mantle of apologists for Obama every single day. They never talk about the torture of Bradley Manning, or the extension of the patriot act. They don’t lie about it, but they don’t bring it up either. If they don’t inform their listeners, they damage Obama because it’s up to a politicians’ constituents to keep them honest. If those constituents don’t know what’s going on, they can’t do that. And pretty soon, they will find themselves defending shameless people without even realizing what’s happening to them.

Our politicians and celebrities are shameless because we encourage them to be. It’s like our collective self esteem relies on being right at all costs. Well, I say that the cost is getting too expensive. It’s time to step back and adjust our opinions based on the facts at hand. Molding the facts to fit our opinions isn’t working for us. We’re just making shameless people really fucking rich. And we’re encouraging more shamelessness.

Share

The B-Team

Remember my plea to sane republicans a couple of weeks ago? You know, when I begged them to speak up and drown out the crazies that are entering the republican primaries for the presidential election? Well, my sunny optimism has been extinguished.

It happened when Obama announced that Bin Laden was dead. Once that happened, Obama’s chances of not winning reelection dropped to roughly 5%. In my opinion, the only thing that will prevent Obama from getting a second term, is if the economy collapses before the election. Even this current state of painfully slow recovery won’t harm his chances of reelection. Short of a total economic meltdown, he’s going to serve four more years and republicans know it.

No republican operative with half a brain, can possibly assume otherwise. And my guess is that they won’t even bother putting forth a serious candidate because it’s a losing battle. Ronald Reagan failed to secure the republican nomination twice before he finally succeeded in 1980. Times have changed. I don’t believe it’s possible for a two time loser to take a third stab and succeed anymore. Our culture has changed. Once the stink of “loser” is on you, it’s almost impossible to wash it off. I can’t imagine that republican operatives are going to set up a serious candidate to lose.

In fact, I’d be surprised if Mitt Romney actually went through with a run this time around. He’s already lost a primary bid once. One more defeat, and his political career is done.

Sadly, this is going to be a republican primary of freaks from the fringe. They’re too stupid and ideological to realize that Obama is unbeatable. We’re going to be subjected to Michelle Bachman (I’m positive she’s going to run) and Rick Santorum’s batshit craziness for the next year. Yippee for America! It’s going to be 1995 all over again but much crazier since republican primary voters are significantly more radical than they were in 1995. They won’t all be insane, but the nonwhackos are going to be B-list players. Truthfully, I don’t know if the republican party has any A-list players left, but I know that they won’t make much of an effort to find one until 2016.

Newt is DOA. My prediction is that he’s out of the race by July. He shot himself in both feet and both knees when he prematurely attacked Paul Ryan’s plan to shit on the elderly. He should have waited ninety days to do that. But since he’s a complete idiot, his bad timing has him getting punched harder from the right than from the left. Most republicans have turned on Newt, which means that his ability to raise money is gone.

I have to say that Newt and Trump have been the biggest morons in this whole thing. Neither of them ever really expected to be president. They were going for either attention (Trump) or money (Newt). But they both damaged their brands so badly that they won’t be president, and won’t get any more money or attention.

I don’t believe that Sarah Palin is going to get into the presidential clown car. I never did. Not being in office is entirely too lucrative for her. But since Bachman is very likely to go in, we didn’t exactly dodge the “dim witted, hot but crazy” bullet.

My hypothesis won’t take long to prove or disprove. We’ll know if republicans are serious by August. If they don’t have a serious candidate in the race by then, they never will. And all you have to do is follow the money to know how it’s all going to turn out. The corporate campaign donations for the fourth quarter of this year will say it all. If the money is predominantly going to Obama, then it’s done. Don’t get me wrong, I’m positive that corporate America will generously show their love to congressional and senatorial republican candidates. But they’re going to hedge their bets by stuffing Obama’s coffers if they believe he can’t be beaten.

This republican primary season is going to be a clown parade that makes The Jim Rose Circus look like a Disney movie. But the worst part of this isn’t the assault on our dignity and intellect. The worst part is how fucking relaxed Obama is. He knows that he’s untouchable, which is historically the worst kind of president. I like my politicians scared. Scared of the repercussions that come with fucking me. Obama clearly isn’t scared, which is bad for all of us. He’s got the confidence that comes with knowing that the American people have nowhere to go.

If he were the type of president that actually had an agenda that he felt passionate about, now would be the time to flex his muscles. It’s too soon after the Bin Laden killing to tell if he’s going to go in that direction. The optimist in me hopes that he will leverage his political capitol to do some good, but the pragmatic side of me doesn’t see that happening.

I think that we’re going to get more political theater from Obama. I believe that he’s going to continue playing good cop, while perpetually being defeated by the bad cops. This debt ceiling issue is a pretty telling sign of what we can expect. Everyone knows that the debt ceiling will be raised. Republicans can’t block it because their Wall Street benefactors won’t allow it. Republicans are literally impotent to block the raising of the debt ceiling. And yet we’re going to see “concessions” in the form of billions of dollars in budget cuts that hurt the middle class  coming from democrats. It’s all going to be bullshit designed to make you think that democrats are well meaning, but impotent to stop it. Sound familiar? And if you fall for it, you’ll have the gratification of being on the “good team”, but you won’t have anything else.

The republican circus will be fun to watch, there’s no doubt about that. But if you’re a democrat that’s actually paying attention, fun is the only gratification that you’ll get out of it. If you’re like me, the negative ramifications of having a president with no fear of losing the next election will temper any glee that you may feel.

Share

Sadomasochistic Voting

I know I’ve been a little absent lately, but not because I haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on. I’ve been so completely stunned by the bullshit coming out of Washington, that I needed to form my thoughts and do my research. And boy, did I research!

I’m going to disspell every stupid fucking thing that republicans have said in regard to the budget over the past three weeks, and I’m going to do it without sharing a single opinion.

Ready?

The first thing that I looked at was states’ GDP relative to their corporate tax rates. The tax rates among states range between 0% and 12%. I was surprised to find that Iowa had the highest tax rate by far at 12%. The next closest state was Minnesota with a 9.8% flat corporate tax rate. Here are the top ten states with the highest corporate tax rates (for the purpose of this post, I used the highest rate in states that have tiered tax rates):

Iowa – 12%
Minnesota – 9.8%
Illinois – 9.5%
Alaska – 9.4%
New Jersey – 9%
Rhode Island – 9%
Maine – 8.93%
California – 8.84%
Delaware – 8.7%
Indiana – 8.5%

Then I looked at the states with the highest GDP:

California – 1847B
Texas – 1224B
New York – 1144B
Florida – 744B
Illinois – 634B
Pennsylvania – 553B
New Jersey – 475B
Ohio – 472B
North Carolina – 400B
Georgia – 398B

That’s interesting, the state with the highest GDP (by far) is also one of the states with the highest tax rates. In fact, three out of the top ten states for GDP are also on the list of states with the highest corporate tax rates.

So that made me want to look at the states with the lowest corporate tax rates to see what their GDP is:

Washington – 0%, 323B
Nevada – 0%, 131B
South Dakota – 0%, 37B
Wyoming – 0%, 35B
Texas – 1%, 1224B
Ohio – 1.3%, 472B
Kansas – 4% – 123B
Colorado – 4.6%, 249B
Michigan – 4.95%, 383B
Mississippi – 5%, 92B

That’s weird, only two of the states with the lowest corporate tax rates are in the top ten for highest GDP. And one of those two states is Texas, where the oil developed before the low corporate state tax rate did.

Why aren’t any of the companies that put California at the top of the GDP food chain in any of the four states with no corporate taxes? Paying less taxes is what creates jobs, right? Shouldn’t all the jobs be in Washington, Wyoming, Nevada, and South Dakota? Washington ranks 14th for GDP. Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming rank 36th, 41st, and 48th. Why are Wyoming and South Dakota so unproductive, given their nonexistent corporate income tax rates? Weird.

Another weird thing that stuck out at me as I was compiling this data, is that five of the top ten highest states for GDP are solid democratic states. Three are republican and two are purple. Six of the lowest states for GDP are solidly republican, while four are democratic. That’s going to be relevant further down in this post.

The numbers clearly debunk the bullshit myth that low taxes = job creation so let’s move on.

The next thing I looked at was per capita income in each state. Seven of the top ten states with the highest per capita income are decidedly blue states. The other three are solidly red. Of the ten states with the lowest per capita income, seven are solidly red, one is blue, and two are purple.

I found it interesting that the top and bottom earners have an inverse proportion in political leanings. That inverse relationship led me to look at some other statistics, which produced some fascinating data;

Of the ten states that spend the most on K-12 education, eight are blue, while only two are red.

Seven of the states that spend the most on K-12 education are in the top ten for highest GDP.

Of the ten states that spend the least on K-12 education, nine are red, one is purple, none are blue.

Only one of the ten states that spends the least on K-12 education even cracked the top twenty for GDP.

What does any of this have to do with the title of this post? I’m finally getting there. Look, you know when you live in a shitty place. When you’re in a poor state or a poor neighborhood, you know it. There’s are no illusions about your lot in life. The biggest difference between republicans and democrats is that republicans fundamentally believe that shitty is normal, and that there’s no such thing as a government that can change that. They believe that government will only fuck things up more. Democrats believe (despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary) that government exists to serve the people. And it turns out that democrats were right. I say were because all of that is evaporating before our very eyes, but that’s another post.

So why do republicans keep voting for shitty government? Because it allows them to be right in their belief that government blows and on a visceral level, being right is all you need. They expect government to blow, so they’re not let down when it does. They keep voting for people that offer them more of the same non-governance bullshit that keeps them poor and uneducated because they’re sadomasochistic. They’re sadomasochistic, but they’re right!

The data here is clear; the democratic way is better. It’s better for you because it’s better for your neighbor. When your neighbor’s kid has a shot at a good education and a bright future, they won’t grow up, having to resort to robbing and killing you in order to survive. It makes sense to tax corporations and the mega-fucking-rich because they use more taxpayer resources than you do. This way works!

There’s no fucking reason to vote for the “screw your community, it’s each man for themselves” platform, unless satisfying your sadomasochistic tendencies is more gratifying to you than watching your kid graduate for college is.

The budget cuts that passed this week are going to speed up our race to the bottom. Make no mistake, Obama made this happen. He backed himself into a corner when he agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts. And if you didn’t see this week coming when that happened, you just weren’t paying attention.


The most fucked up thing about this, is that Obama is turning me into a sadomasochistic voter. When 2012 rolls around, despite my best efforts in the primaries, Obama is going to be our nominee. And in November, I’m going to have to hold my nose and vote for him for one single reason; the supreme court. The only thing that Obama is going to do for me, is to appoint a non-whacko to the court.


And what’s worse than the forced sadomasochism, is that I don’t get to enjoy the upside that republicans get. There’s no satisfaction in shitty government for me. It’s all pain and no gain for bitchy.


I need to figure out a way to make this sadomasochism thing work for me. Does anyone have any advice they can give me? What type of equipment should I invest in? Nipple clamps? And when I cut myself, where’s the best place to do it? Any and all suggestions are welcome!



Share

A Multi-Tasking Machine Of Spinelessness

Did anybody read the title and not think that this post was going to be about Obama?

I’ve reached the end of my rope with this president. The tax cut deal was the straw that broke bitchy’s back.

I’ve been of the belief that one of Obama’s problems is that he lacks conviction. I’ve graduated from “belief” to “certainty. He’s not passionate about anything to fight for it, or to even hold his ground.

I honestly thought I voted for a born leader when I cast my vote for him. Turns out that what I got is a middle manager with no real future. He tries to stay under the radar by capitulating to everyone in perpetuity; the quintessential middle manager.

The only belief that he seems to hold firm to, is that there’s always a middle ground to be found. Sadly, he defines “middle” as being slightly less than republicans are demanding, but far more than they ever expected to get.

Just four short weeks ago, all of the republican leaders were sending very strong signals that they would sign a tax bill that excluded the stinking rich if that was all they could get. Did Obama miss that? Was he busy creating a new playlist on his iPod to watch CNN that week? Seriously, what the fuck? Boehner couldn’t have been more clear about his willingness to cave. Don’t believe me? Watch!

And yet Obama still caves by giving them two more years of billionaire tax cuts, thereby increasing our deficit by another 140 billion dollars.

Here’s a fascinating breakdown of the relationship between the top marginal tax rate and the unemployment rate. This graph tells us that there’s an excellent chance that the unemployment rate in this most precarious of times, is very likely to stay high as a result of prolonging these tax cuts.

Can anyone guess what republicans are going to run on in 2012? Could it be the fucking deficit and the unemployment rate?

And what do you think Lloyd Blankfein is going to do with all of the extra cash in his savings account? Is he going to hire people, or is he going to use the money to bitch slap Obama in the 2012 elections by contributing to whoever his republican opponent is?

On the upside, Obama is figuring how to let republicans do three times as much damage with one single kick in the testicles. This saves them a lot of effort. While I admire his deference to Mitch McConnell, in making sure that he (McConnell) doesn’t tire himself out by having to expend more energy than necessary to turn Obama into a eunuch, I wish he would find just a little deference for the people that voted for him and the platform he ran on.

This latest buckling was like so many before it, unnecessary and damaging to us all. You see, we’re having to borrow more money from China so that Jamie Dimon doesn’t have to pay 3.5% more in taxes (as if his accountant can’t find loopholes to cover that).

This s bad for all Americans, but Obama is particularly bad for democrats. Each time he caves into republicans, the thing that he caved in on becomes the thing that Obama owns. These tax cuts for the rich will no longer be referred to as the “Bush tax cuts”. No, they’re the Obama tax cuts now.

Make no mistake – extending these tax cuts is the worst possible thing that can happen to our economy.

And no, this didn’t have to happen (something I hear from democrats all the time). Obama didn’t have to cave. 76% of Americans don’t want these tax cuts extended. He could have leveraged that political capital to stop a compromise from happening. He should have held a prime time press conference to spell out what republicans are trying to do to us, and named names in the process. He should have done this on the day that republicans blocked the tax cut vote on Saturday. He instead made a half assed effort to make his case.

Either he sucks at politics, or he wanted to extend these tax cuts all along.

Democrats already have a serious messaging problem. Having a leader that is willing to shit all over the basic tenets of the democratic party isn’t helping.

I’m worried that Obama is going to irreparably damage the party if he caves in on cutting social security. NO ONE wants for social security to be cut. Well, no one except the people that made out like fucking bandits on these tax cuts anyway. 76% of Americans (republicans and democrats combined) feel adamantly that social security should not be touched. If Obama does so much as raise the retirement age, democrats will forever be the party that cut social security.

Obama’s capitulation has escalated beyond the point of just being frustrating to the democratic base; it’s reckless and dangerous for the country and it will decimate the democratic party.

I’m well past the irritated with this president stage. I’m scared shitless of him in a way that I haven’t been scared by a president in my lifetime. If

Share