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The War Within

I was surprised by how the various factions of the media handled the Sharron Angle tape that leaked over the weekend. Everybody seemed to focus in on her. Her disdain for the republican “establishment”, her willingness to make a back room deal to get the tea party candidate out of the race, and lastly, her admission that she may not win.

Personally, I didn’t think that any of that was the actual story here. Maybe because I don’t find Sharron Angle all that interesting. She’s just another run of the mill nasty bitch. She’s not the story here. But before I get to the story, I do want to point out one thing about her; she’s a hypocrite of the largest magnitude. In the tape, she accuses republicans of losing “their principles”. How rich, since this stupid bitch has spent every single day since she won the republican primary, back peddling on every fucking thing she stood for before winning the primary.

Enough of the dumb bitch. Here’s what I think the story really is. Here’s a lovely anti-Angle web video that highlights the portion of the tape that I found interesting;

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUEyJC4bV4I[/youtube]

It’s not her willingness to make back room deals that I find most interesting. She’s a politician, and a nasty one at that. Back room dealing is par for the course when you have that combination. It’s her easy access to Jim DeMint that fascinates me.

Jim DeMint is actively supporting the tea party nutbags, much to Mitch McConnell’s dismay. There is a war going on within the republican establishment, and no one is talking about it. Everyone is focused in on how the teabaggers are tearing the republican electorate apart. I think that the more interesting battle is happening among republican party elders. I haven’t seen one single shred of reporting on the DeMint/McConnell battle, but I know there’s one going on.

We all heard about how unhappy McConnell was when Rand Paul beat out his hand picked candidate for Jim Bunning’s open senate seat in Kentucky. But why didn’t anyone dig deeper? Why didn’t anyone talk about the strong support that Paul got from DeMint? Why didn’t anyone do a little digging into the relationship between McConnell and DeMint? Does the media think that party infighting doesn’t make for salacious news? I honestly don’t know why the media isn’t reporting on this. I can’t even throw out a conspiratorial guess.

And because they’re not reporting on this, I don’t know anything. This post will be made up almost entirely of conjecture and assumption (something I’m not generally fond of basing a post or an opinion on). But something is definitely happening within the republican establishment. They’re not as in sync as they would have us believe.

What is Jim DeMint’s problem with the current makeup of the republican party? Why is he looking to shift it? What are his issues with McConnell’s hand picked candidates? Is he just making a power play? Is he enamored with the tea party, purely out of self interest or does he have issues with the current establishment? I say “current” establishment because with the exception of Christine O’Donnell, all of the teabaggers that are running have embraced the establishment and are eager to walk among them. Does DeMint hope that McConnell won’t be able to control them and put them in line? Or is he just trying to boost republican populist cred with the teabaggers, all the while intending to work with McConnell to whip them into shape? If that’s his plan, it doesn’t appear that McConnell is in on it.

Anyway, I want to know what the story is with the infighting! Why won’t anyone look into this?

I’m curious as both a rubbernecker, and as an amateur strategist. I believe that this infighting may be the republicans’ achilles heel.

Will somebody please, for the love of god, go out there and report?


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The Power Of Obtuse

I’m watching one tea party nutbag after another, kick the GOPs asses in primary races across the country, and I can’t help but wonder what’s wrong with my progressive brethren? How is it possible that the most obtuse members of our society are having an impact on our elections, when no one else is?

It’s true that these teabag candidates are very likely to get crushed in the general elections, but they’re moving the republican party to dizzying heights of nutbaggery in the process. They’re forcing republican candidates to traverse into a landscape of crazy that they would never otherwise foray into. Look at what John McCain turned into as a result of having to run against JD Hayworth. He went from co-sponsoring a fairly rational immigration reform bill, to “build the dang fence”! The teabaggers are fracturing republicans, but moving them crazy right in the process.

Teabaggers have probably broken the republican party irrepably. Democrats will likely take every seat in which they’re running against a teabagger. But is that any reason to rejoice? YAY, we’re getting another worthless corporatist democrat instead of a batchit crazy teabagger that wants to change the fourteenth amendment! Bust out the champagne!

Why isn’t there a progressive movement fracturing the democratic party? Is it that progressives don’t think that the democratic party needs fracturing? That can’t be the case. If it were, there would be more voter enthusiasm by registered democrats this year.

No, we’re not happy with the party. We’re not happy with the anemic health insurance reform, the anemic financial reform, and the never ending Afghanistan situation so we’re just not bothering to show up to vote. But it didn’t have to be this way.

If only we would take a page from the teabagger’s book, we’d have some candidates on the ballot to get excited about. Sure, we came close to primarying out Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas, but we failed. And, that was the only one! Where is the widespread movement? Where is the Dennis Kucinich faction of the democratic party? Why aren’t we pushing democrats back to the left, or even left of center?

Why is it that progressives can’t accomplish what the abject morons in the tea party are accomplishing? Let’s be honest here – we’ve all seen the signs and the videos from tea party rallies. These people are fucking idiots! They don’t know shit about shit. If you put a gun to any of their heads, they wouldn’t be able to tell you how many articles there are in the constitution. I’m certain of this, because they seem to be under the impression that the constitution is a document that empowers the people. It’s not. There are seven articles in the constitution, and each article enumerates powers for different factions of the government. The peoples’ rights aren’t addressed until the amendments. There are twenty-seven of those, in case you were wondering teabaggers! They are the most obtuse among us and yet, I have to give them some props for getting shit done.

I will admit that mocking the “youth in Asia will kill your grandmother” and “don’t take my rights, I’m still useing them” signs is all sorts of fun. It’s fun until you realize that the embarrassment doesn’t lie with the dumbfuck holding the sign, it lies with us. That dumbfuck is doing more to shape politics in America than the rest of us are (well, not me – I’m trying to shame you into action with this blog!), and that should embarrass you. It embarrasses me.

We need to stop underestimating the power that a group of the most obtuse Americans have garnered, and learn from them. Yes, you read that right. I said learn from the dumbfucks.

Don’t write off the obtuse. They’re proving to be a powerful force in America.

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Irrational Greed

There’s no such thing. I know that you think there is, but there isn’t.

John Kerry docking his boat in another state in order to save $70,000 in taxes. Taxes that incidentally, would ¬†go to pay for initiatives he supports in his own state. I feel fairly comfortable in assuming that he and his wife’s annual capital gains dwarf that $70,000.

Martha Stewart committing the crime of insider trading so that she can make $250,000. Again, I feel very comfortable in assuming that she “earns” more that $250,000 a year in capital gains.

Every single bank executive in America paying themselves record bonuses, while collecting tax payer dollars to save the very institutions that they’re taking those bonuses from. And they did this, all the while knowing how loathsome the world would find them to be.

Charlie Rangel, committing ethics violations that put his re-election at risk (he will get re-elected, by the way), by not reporting rental income from several properties on his income taxes. Charlie, if you can afford to buy multiple properties in two countries, you can afford to pay taxes on the money that those properties generate!

BP not investing $500,000 to make sure they drill in a “safe” way, so that they don’t have to pay out billions of dollars in damages and costs to clean up a huge spill.

Massey energy not investing a few hundred thousand dollars in keeping their mines safe so that their workers don’t die, and they don’t have to pay out millions of dollars in damages.

I can go on and on in listing people taking unnecessary risks to save or obtain money that they don’t need, but you get the point.

Think I’m disproving my own point? Bear with me, I’m about to get there.

The sheer volume of these occurrences committed by people across such a diverse political and social spectrum is proof that greed isn’t irrational. It’s an inherent part of the human condition.

Time and time again, we see people and corporations take unwise and illegal risks to save or earn money that they don’t need. The only conclusion that can be made is that greed isn’t irrational. It’s normal. And the only thing preventing most of us from being excessively greedy, is the lack of opportunity.

Why the hell is Bitchy pontificating human nature on her political blog? Because I’m making the point that libertarians, republicans, conservatives, teabaggers, and Milton Friedmanites are complete idiots.

Trickle down economics is a childish philosophy that completely discounts human nature.

When rich people get tax breaks, they take that money and turn it into more money whether they need it or not. They save it, and they stockpile it. When the poor or middle class get a tax break, they spend that money thereby creating more jobs.

I’m sick and tired of hearing the Friedman philosophy. It’s stupid on its face, and it makes me Bitchy. And when I get bitchy, the only relief I can find lies in calling you for the idiot that you are for perpetuating such an obviously disprovably myth.

Stop advocating for the people that have the means and opportunity to be greedy, and adopt some greed for yourselves. They (like me) think you’re dumbfucks for supporting them anyway.


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Time For The Tea Party To Put Up Or Shut Up

Most of you have heard about the immigration that was passed in Arizona yesterday. This is a vile, hateful bill that promotes discrimination, and does absolutely nothing to reduce illegal immigration. It requires that police officers in Arizona seek proof of immigration status from anyone that they suspect might be here illegally. It forces everyone in the state of Arizona to have their birth certificate, social security card, or passport with them at all times. Do you routinely carry these documents with you? This law is reminiscent of another time, in another country, when SS officers could demand to see anyone’s "papers" for no reason whatsoever. Arizona is recreating Nazi Germany, except that instead of looking for Jews, blacks, and gays, they’re targeting Hispanics. Yes, this might be the first time since WWII ended, that Nazi Germany has been invoked without hyperbole. I can’t think of a bigger government intrusion over the past several decades than this law. Why don’t we just streamline this whole system by requiring that everyone in Arizona pin their birth certificates to their chests at all times? This will save the officers a lot of time that will otherwise be wasted in harassing US citizens of Hispanic origin. Plus it will minimize the torrent of law suits that will lead to inevitable ownership of the state of Arizona, by those US citizens of Hispanic origin that will be falsely imprisoned and unconstitutionally harassed. We don’t have an immigration "problem" in America. We have an immigration solution. Illegal immigrants are the solution for corporations that want to get around those pesky labor laws that we have in America. Illegal immigrants make it possible for Purdue to sell you chicken for $1.99 per pound. If they had to pay a living wage and cover benefit costs for their employees the way federal labor laws mandate, you would be paying $6.99 per pound for that same chicken. If you want to eliminate the flood of immigrants into this country, the most effective way to do that is to have mandatory jail time for anyone that employs illegal immigrants. If the CEO of Purdue does twenty years in prison for hiring thousands of illegal immigrants, I can assure you that the CEO of WalMart would make a strong effort to make sure that he doesn’t suffer the same fate. If there were no jobs here for illegal immigrants, they would stop coming. It’s really that simple. The fact that we don’t go after the employers is evidence that our government doesn’t want to stop the "problem". It’s a system that’s working very well for everybody. Corporations get to maximize their profits by exploiting second class non-citizens, consumers get cheap goods, and the government doesn’t have to worry about millions of people claiming their social security benefits after a lifetime of service to this country. And as an added bonus, low income Americans get to hate a class that they deem to be beneath them. They don’t have to be the bottom of the American food chain the way they would be if the eyelegals weren’t here. But I digress. My point in this post speaks to the tea party movement, a noble group of Americans that has picked up the fight against a tyrannical government takeover of our country. I expect that they’re going to be out en masse to protest this most intrusive of big government laws. GO GET EM, tea party! You must be seething with anger over what Arizona has done here. Time to protect America from the Arizonan SS officers and restore our freedom. As an added bonus, you get to dispel all of the baseless allegations of racism that have been hurled at you by the liberal media. I understand that you’ve gotten a bad rap because of a handful of extremists that seem to have a knack for being in front of every camera that has ever been present at any tea party you’ve ever held. But guess what? You have an opportunity to prove the lame stream media wrong, and shut them down once and for all. You get to wage a just war and restore your good name. What’s not to love about that? So you go get em, tea party! Show the world that you won’t put up with big government, while showing them that you’re tea partiers, rather than the teabaggers they’ve made you out to be.

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Turning The Tables

I’m an idiot. But in my defense, most people that want comprehensive health reform are idiots so I’m not alone. While watching some footage of interviews with teabaggers, something occurred to me that should have occurred to me months ago. Something so obvious, that I’m an idiot for not having seen it before now.

The biggest complaint that the teabaggers have with the reform bill that passed last month, is that it infringes on their liberty by forcing them to buy health insurance. We (health reform advocates) have been combating this assertion with reason and logic, pointing out that costs are out of control and that there are entirely too many uninsured people that need to be covered. We’ve been doing this all wrong. We need to speak to them in terms they can understand. So, my faithful readers, I have come up with the debate winning talking point on health reform.

Are you ready? This is so freaking simple, you’re going to kick yourself for not having parroted it for months.

We need to let the “liberty lovers” know that yes, they should be forced to buy insurance because we’re tired of supporting their deadbeat asses. They shouldn’t have the option of not having insurance because every time they go to the emergency room, they’re bleeding the rest of us dry. They shouldn’t be allowed to be reckless because doing so foists their bill on us, thereby infringing on our freedom. We work hard to pay our taxes so we shouldn’t be forced to pay extra because they’re too lazy to work hard enough to pay their own way. And while you’re at it, let them know that you wish that the bill provided for throwing the deadbeats in jail for not buying insurance. The threat of prison might stop them from mooching off the rest of us.

Let them know that we’re tired of their self entitled socialist ways! They need to step up and deal with their own shit, because we’re not going to carry them anymore! They need to pick themselves up with their own bootstraps, or else we’re going to beat them with ours.

See? It’s short, simple, and fact-free which means they’ll understand it.

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Code Pink Has Reached Code Red

They actually reached code red a long time ago.

Here’s some video of code red at a Karl Rove book signing in Los Angeles on Monday:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rcRR2NQL6A&feature=related[/youtube]

Much to my dismay, after watching this I had to side with Rove. It’s hard to throw in with angry, red faced lunatics no matter what they’re saying. It’s hard for me to throw in with them, but I fear that it’s not hard for everyone. You wanna know who posted this video on youtube? Well, several people posted it, but the copy that I embedded was posted by Michael Moore. Given that Michael Moore has been prone to this type of behavior, I took his posting of this video as an implicit endorsement of the behavior contained in this video.

In my opinion, condoning this type of behavior, implicitly or otherwise hurts the message. It turns the conversation away from the facts and moves the focus to the tactics. Karl Rove’s response to what code pink did, “…this goes to show the totalitarianism of the left.” was 100% correct. There’s no arguing against the point that he made, given what everyone witnessed. They managed to turn a calculating liar into a victim. Nice job code pink. Not only didn’t anyone hear what you have to say, but you managed to make anyone else that says it into a whacko.

They should have made an attempt at civilized discourse. Ask him a question and then politely wait for him to answer it before asking the next question. I’ve watched Karl Rove twist himself into a pretzel trying to “explain” the enormous amounts of evidence against him and the Bush administration. It’s not pretty, and he’s not very good at it. He does very well when confronted by angry people. As you saw in the video, he had to summarily dismiss the downing street memos. How much more effective would progressives have been if they then followed up by asking him about Lawrence Wilkerson’s account of the Colin Powell speech, making the case for the US to go into Iraq? And then a follow up question about General Eric Shinseki’s dismissal? How many sources do you think Karl Rove would have to dismiss before sounding like a jackass? Don’t you think that would have been a more effective approach? It would have made Karl Rove the subject of the reporting. What we ended up with was yet another story about crazy extremists.

It’s a slippery slope to extremism. People don’t start off as extremists. It’s something that happens slowly over time so that people don’t realize that they’re becoming radicalized. It starts by condoning crap like this.

Don’t let yourself fall into that trap. Republicans have boxed themselves in by doing the very same thing with the tea party racists. It’s not possible to speak out against the tea partiers while remaining silent about code pink without being a hypocrite.

You have to denounce this from the inside if you have any hope of stopping it. You don’t have to support everyone that agrees with you. So go out there and comment and denounce from the rational left! Let the right deal with their own crazy. If they dismantle it on their side, then good for us! If they don’t, we need to trust that cooler heads will prevail.

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Rage Against The Machine

I first want to start with a warning; this post isn’t going to be bitchy so much as hippy dippy and full of sunny optimism. I know what you’re thinking, and I’m sorry. I’m not feeling like myself today but I can tell you from past experience that it won’t last. I can assure you that I will be back to my usual bitchy self soon enough so please forgive my temporary bout with optimism.

I, like most of you, have been following the stories of violent teabaggers gone wild over the past week. At first I was scared. Okay, I’m still scared. But something struck me as I was reading through the stories. I’m going to focus on one teabagger in particular because I think he’s emblematic of most of them.

Mike Vanderboegh is a blogger that has stepped up to take credit for the brick throwing through windows of some of our democratic representatives’ offices. He sent out a call to arms last Friday, urging his readers to “Break their windows. Break them NOW”. He did this in protest of health insurance reform. The Washington Post discovered that Mr. Vanderboegh is a 57 year old man from Alabama. He receives $1,300 a month in federal disability checks. He’s on disability because of congestive heart failure, diabetes and hypertension. My immediate reaction to this man focused on the utter hypocrisy of taking an anti-government stance WHILE receiving government hand outs! After I let that stew for a while, it occurred to me that this was a very sad man. His life obviously didn’t turn out the way he had hoped it would and he’s full of rage because of it. I decided to go to his blog. It was full of vitriolic anti-government rantings as I suspected it would. Then I looked at the comments that people posted. There were supportive posts from his batshit crazy supporters and there were posts from “liberals” telling him off. I felt compelled to leave a comment myself, not to tell him off but to tell him that I was sorry that his life turned out in a way that has filled him up with so much rage. I suggested that he take steps to make some positive changes in his life like starting a small business or taking some classes that might qualify him for a desk job. I told him that I really believe that taking some positive steps would make the rage disappear before he even realized it. I clicked the “post comment” button when I was done and, to my surprise, received a message telling me that my comment would appear as soon as the owner of the blog approved it. I was surprised because the comments that told him off led me to believe that he wasn’t moderating comments. I waited a day before I went back to look at his blog again, curious to see if my comments made the cut. They did not! Once I realized what was going on, I was struck by the fact that Mr. Vanderboegh is a person that responds to rage. He’s filled with it, and he feels comfortable being surrounded by it.

I think he represents most teabaggers. From what I’ve seen, these are not wealthy people. They don’t appear to be a crowd of people who have seen their dreams realized in their lifetimes. They all seem to be full of rage. Dick Army did a pretty impressive job of misdirecting their rage and motivating them to go out and protest against their own interest.

We can’t respond to them with rage because doing so amounts to pouring gasoline on a fire. Rage is the only thing they understand. They’re filled with it, and they feed off of it. We can’t educate them. It’s obvious that their anger makes them impervious to facts. They have no use for them. So what do we do?

I feel like we only really have two options.

We can ignore them. I don’t mean ignore them by not reporting on their violent activities. I mean ignore them by not reacting with rage. Berating them publicly only seems to increase their resolve. If we just pass the reporting along to everyone we know without reacting, we ultimately win because the majority of Americans are appalled by what they’re doing. We can let them do what they do and just watch as Americans turn against everything they believe in.

The other option is admittedly a long shot, and it’s where the sunny optimism comes in so bear with me. Maybe we can throw in with them. I don’t mean that we should all go out and fill wheelbarrows full of bricks to hurl through windows. I mean that we should leverage their rage and point it where it belongs. Maybe we can band together with them on things that we all agree on to build a productive coalition. Everyone hates wall street right now. That’s one thing that teabaggers, republicans, and democrats can all agree on. Maybe we can agree that good government isn’t possible as long as our political system is wholly owned by corporations. They surely must agree with that premise so why not work with them to get ballot initiatives in every state across the country to make our elections publicly funded. Clean elections is the only way that we’re actually going to have ideological battles about the direction this country to take. Until that happens, we’re relegated to fighting for corporate America. The only thing that separates democrats from republicans is the pace at which the corporate takeover of America happens.

That second option isn’t likely, but we won’t know that until we give it a shot.

What I am certain of, is that combating teabagger rage with rage isn’t going to work. Let’s give something new a shot.

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