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lovable liberal

Liberty and justice for all.

Updated: 2018-03-01T16:10:09.385-05:00


Too thick to be shamed


President Obama hugged Nina Pham. In the Oval Office!!!

All the wingnut chicken littles who've been fanning fear of ebola are probably too out of their minds with cowardice to notice that Obama's message to them is:
I'm not only smarter, calmer, and better informed, I'm much braver than you crybabies.
Right-wing media's purpose is to keep its consumers outraged and afraid so that they don't notice the con and keep swilling the bullshit and voting for its purveyors.

We used to say, "The stupid, it burns." Evidently not. I wish it did, but it wishes and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all be Fox "News" personalities.

Business failures


Businesses and business people frequently think of themselves as rationally self-interested. They used to add the word enlightened, but they don't much any more. That's so retro, an anachronism of a time before shareholder value became everything, before greed was good, before Ayn Rand told them they were virtuous to be bastards.

But, are they even rationally self-interested?

I see a local gas station with a sign supporting the end of automatic indexing of the gas tax to inflation. Is that really in their interest? I remember 1991, the previous time the gas tax went up 3 cents. All - and I mean all - gasoline retailers raised their prices 6 cents. Indexing gives them the chance to gouge every year, not just every 20 something years.

Democrats manage the economy better for growth, jobs, GDP, and the stock market. The Koch brothers have made their vast fortunes tremendously vaster with Barack Obama as President, yet they hate him and all Democrats to the tune of a billion dollars. It's not rational, just their ideology.

The stock market has done tremendously during the Obama administration, yet investment businesses want more. More, more, always more. It's clear the banks won't be satisfied unless every fraudulent, high risk, socialized risk/privatized profit "innovative product" that steals from honest people is permitted. Yet they're making huge profits, just not enough to feed the tapeworm of Randian bullshit economic feudalism.

Export businesses should look at their international competitors and come out for single-payer health care. They need that huge drain off their books and on someone else's. Nope, after supporting Obamacare when it was still Heritagecare, they're looking to dump what coverage they offer - despite Obamacare's early successes at slowing the growth of health insurance costs.

Businesses and business owners prefer weak government because that's their ideology, not because it's better for their businesses. Weird.

Radical Christian extremist ISIS


Phil Robertson is the moral equivalent of ISIS tyrant Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Robertson quotes Proverbs, "All who hate me love death."

allowfullscreen="" class="video-embed" frameborder="0" height="360" scrolling="no" src="" width="480">

His choice for Muslims is the same choice that ISIS has posed to Yazidis (and doesn't even offer to Shias): Convert  (to my extremist religion) or die.

In fact, Robertson thinks it's too late even for conversion. "That time has come and gone," he says.

For Robertson, there's no place in the world for moral reasoning, only for winning the war over which god is the bigger murderous asshole. And he thinks Satan is the problem!

Of course, Sean Hannity, handmaiden to genocide, is just fine with all this.

Killing the golden goose


Democrats have gotten pretty good at raising small dollar contributions via email. This will not last because they are drowning their supporters in spam.

Especially at the end of every reporting period, I get scores of emails from people I'd like to contribute to - and a few from Democrats I won't contribute to, such as John Tierney, unless he found himself in the unlikely position of being vote 218 for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. Then, I suppose I could hold my nose. Till it bled.

Tierney's emailing me daily, as if I were an ardent supporter whose absence from his list of contributors must be an oversight - or I'm a slacker who needs a reminder to change my underwear. When did it become permissible to spread email addresses to everyone?

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was emailing me on multiple addresses, demanding to know why I haven't renewed my "membership." The day I got five separate emails on each address, I started unsubscribing, and I let them know in no uncertain terms why:
I'm tired of the insulting and manipulative spam. You're destroying a potent Democratic advantage by promiscuously sharing my addresses. Stop it! I get 50 emails per day, and the ones that cast me as a deadbeat piss me the hell off.
The DCCC took me mostly off their list. But I suddenly found myself subscribed to the Democratic Majority PAC's list. It's not as frequent, but I'm not mollified.

Because of this abuse, more and more contributors who can't give to everyone (e.g. me), are going to opt out.

Maybe they're trying to cull their lists. As if.

Really, I think their email contractors are abusing the lists because that's where their incentives lie. If so, Democrats need to learn to write better contracts - or pull their operations back in house.

The alternative: Republicans will still have the Koch brothers and a long line of oligarchs. What will the Dems still have?

Heroes without guns


We Americans privilege our warriors with the label hero. Maybe this follows the long course of Western civilization from the ancient Greeks to Rome's dominating (yes, and pacifying) violence, through the English (never mind the costume dramas of Masterpiece Theatre and the BBC) and the Celts. Maybe it's just ours, born of prison colonies and the scapegrace sorts who needed a fresh start, rather than the devout Pilgrims and their dream of a the city on the hill. But they executed Quakers.

America is a martial, violent culture. In our nation's history, we've gone to war over and over again, so often that it seems to be a cultural necessity. Instead of one night a year for unpunished mayhem, as in The Purge, we think we need a war every few years as catharsis against the savage violence that lives inside us all - or all men, anyway.

Digression: A Greek connection I hadn't known, crypteia, precedent it seems for the killing of Michael Brown. Is my liberal problem that I'm searching for Athens in Sparta? At least, I live in the Athens of America.

Back to heroism...

Heroes speak to me. To be valiant, to be stalwart, to be known as a stand-up guy, these are all in the myths I want to live.

This doesn't require a gun. The New York Times today reports on heroes in the so far losing fight against ebola in West Africa. 
Ms. Sellu, the deputy nurse matron, is a rare survivor who never stopped toiling at the government hospital here, Sierra Leone’s biggest death trap for the virus during the dark months of June and July. Hers is a select club, consisting of perhaps three women on the original Ebola nursing staff who did not become infected, who watched their colleagues die, and who are still carrying on.

“There is a need for me to be around,” said Ms. Sellu, 42, who oversees the Ebola nurses. “I am a senior. All the junior nurses look up to me.” If she left, she said, “the whole thing would collapse.”
These health workers have little to no effective support from their own communities, from their governments, or from the world at large. There are a few western aid agencies, some religious, some secular.

Here at home in America, we celebrate the survival of our fellow Americans. But there's no groundswell of support to save the thousands of Africans who are infected or will be. Why is it that we can't see them as just as human as we are?

Why, too, does a Facebook friend of mine post support for Darren Wilson, who killed Michael Brown? What lack of human sympathy leaves behind only tribal sympathy?

More stupid shit


Apparently, I provide tag lines to the White House.

Apparently, Hillary Clinton believes in magic, at least for electoral purposes.
This is what Clinton said about Obama’s slogan: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
No, it's not an organizing principle.  It's a minimum standard.  One we've been regularly fucking up for the better part of three and a half decades.

The real Massholes


They're going to fight for their right to make you sick.
“Who does the EPA think they are to tell us what we can and can’t do with our vehicles?” Wedge said.
The vast majority listen to Rush, I'd guess.

Next up, shitting in the public water supply.

Lame response to Elizabeth Warren on banksters


The criminal conviction of Credit Suisse is long overdue. But it's a lame sop to Elizabeth Warren, not a significant ramp-up in enforcement.
For Credit Suisse, other than the fines and the reputational stain of being a felon, the implications are likely to be limited. The bank may lose some clients but is otherwise expected to survive largely unscathed. [Emphasis added]
Modern investment banking is tantamount to organized crime.

  • Cream profits off the top by selling fraudulent securities and then betting against their customers in the market. Check. 
  • Launder billions for drug cartels. Check. 
  • Criminally seize properties without title using forged documentation and perjury. Check. 
  • Manipulate the LIBOR to steal from borrowers. Check. 
  • Do business with outlaw regimes internationally. Check. 
  • Crash the economy and through political influence take no haircut at all. Check.

The banksters are not going to change their racket until they feel the hot breath of the law on their well-groomed necks. Eric Holder only wants us to think he's breathing on them so that we stop breathing on him. He's not trying to change the banking racket.

This "industry" probably shouldn't be burned to the ground and started over. The consequences of killing available credit for conscientious citizens and their value-creating enterprises would be too dire.

But investment banking as a whole should be seized, its management imprisoned, and each institution's continued existence made contingent upon its ability to operate without criminality.

Does this sound radical? It should. We have got to cut this cancer of criminal greed out of our economy before it kills us.

They hate us for our freedoms


I spent the weekend in Harvard Square, bastion of freedom and tolerance.  In more than one restaurant, same sex couples were openly kissing on each other.

Why this should offend people, I have no idea - people should love who they love - and no one was offended in Cambridge.

But fundamentalists believe they should be free to keep others unfree, so they fear Massachusetts and its fearlessness.

They should fear us.  We can persevere through winters that would kill them.

Yet we keep sending them subsidies via federal spending, we keep trying to convince them that the Enlightenment beat the Dark Ages for good reason (not to mention the Union defeating the Confederacy), and we keep failing to help them find the joys of the liberal democracy that we, not they, happily inherit from the Founders.

So strange that the one lesson they learned from the Civil War was never to be outgunned.  Tsk-tsk, always fighting the last war...

You'll always have a choice


Click image for full Tim Eagan/Press Democrat cartoon.

Humorless freakout


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Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: President Barack Obama from President Barack Obama allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="" style="border: none; height: 21px; overflow: hidden; vertical-align: middle; width: 90px;">

Why do Republicans and other wingnuts hate President Obama's viral Funny or Die video with Zach Galifianakis? I mean, other than their simple hatred of the President...

This video is reaching young people, and scaring them into not signing up for Obamacare is one way the health-free and die crowd now hope to kill universal health insurance.

A conservative discovers externalities


It's always shocking when a free market conservative discovers that enterprises externalize their costs in order to profit at the expense of society:
What some of us haven’t considered is the possibility that the biggest subsidy of all is being able to pump pollutants into the air with no accountability.

Read more here:
But kudos to those who finally do.

Hmm, what could happen if he'd question his other long-cherished assumptions?

Maybe we're better off with him trying to explain reality to the wingnuts who wouldn't reelect him.  I know they won't listen to me.

When the strong are so weak...


Click image for full Doonesbury cartoon.

Born to run - away


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Whereas a woman with a brain


... is an existential threat to the Talibangelicals.

Hey, Harry Reid, how slow are you?  Go fucking nuclear already.

Apropos of nothing


Why would anyone pay any attention to anything Sarah Palin says?  The husky that lives next door makes more intelligent noises.

Yet our vacuous media still thinks she has something to offer.

When I say conserfative


By conserfative, I mean one of those less-than-wealthy wingnut loyalists who stand up for the poor put-upon aristocrats of wealth in moronic support of policies that further enrich the fatcats and beggar the conserfatives. These moronic loyalists think of themselves as independent and clear-thinking, when in fact they yearn for a strongman and are the easiest sheeple to pull the wool over.

Just to clear that up, if it needed it...

I blog pseudonymously so I can keep using the word bullshit


You never know what sanctions you'll suffer for your opinions or for your language.

Also, too, I can still say fuck. These insane teabagger days, the ability to say fuck without being punished for it in real life is pretty helpful to my continued insouciance in the face of conserfative infestations and the general inability of our politics and our press to deal with evidence.

Left to our own devices?


Click image for full Bado/Le Droit cartoon.

Don't let the door hit you in the ass


The President needs to maintain his exceptional dignity while telling Teapublican assholes like Pete Sessions to hit the road and not come back.  They won't respect anything less.

Feature, not a bug


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Rachel Maddow shows exactly why the Teapublicans were never, ever, ever going to back down from shutting down the government.

There's no reason whatsoever to think they'll change their minds (such as they have).

There's also no reason for confidence that they will shrink back from default when we soon bump up against the debt ceiling.

While we wait...


... for the coming shutdown of the federal government, here's something I found interesting.

Robber barons


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Syrian Second Amendment


Click image for full Mark Fiore/Mother Jones animation.



Timothy Egan nails the head-snapping misrepresentation of poor whites by their Teapublican overlords:Among the 254 counties where food stamp use doubled during the economic collapse, Mitt Romney won 213 of them, Bloomberg News reported. Half of Owsley County, Ky., is receiving federal food aid. Half. You can’t get any more Team Red than Owsley County; it is 98 percent white, 81 percent Republican, per the 2012 presidential election. And that hardscrabble region has the distinction of being the poorest in the nation, with the lowest household income of any county in the United States, the Census Bureau found in 2010. Since nearly half of Owsley’s residents also live below the poverty line, it would seem logical that the congressman who represents the area, Hal Rogers, a Republican, would be interested in, say, boosting income for poor working folks. But Rogers joined every single Republican in the House earlier this year in voting down a plan to raise the minimum wage over the next two years to $10.10 an hour.Instead of voting for their pocketbooks, poor whites have succumbed to a frankly tribal and bigoted appeal that finds fear and threats in blacks, immigrants, and anyone who's different. It's not an accident that the heart of this appeal to the basest of American traditions springs from the South, where it seeks to recapitulate Jim Crow. Never mind what the majority wants, suppress enough votes to keep the aristocracy in power.The GOP can do this because they've changed the postwar social norm. After WWII, we all knew from the battlefield that we were one nation, all in this great cause of freedom and prosperity together. This made very threatening times for the lords of the manor. They might prosper even more under Democrats than under Republicans (look it up), but they needed greater income inequality to feel better about themselves.So they took their financial resources and put them to work changing the social norm. Now, we have an entire right-wing media apparatus built for the purpose of convincing their racist teabagger serfs of a thousand things opposite the truth.But the main new social norm for the conserfatives is the ardent faith that the government and organized labor are the source of their problems, when in fact they are the only counterbalance that exists to the plutocracy that has gluttonously gobbled up all the economic gains of the past thirty-five years and still cannot be sated short of neo-feudalism.What’s at work here is the poison of ideology. Underlying the food assistance fight is the idea that the poor are lazy, and deserve their fate — the Ayn Rand philosophy. You don’t see this same reasoning applied to those Red State agricultural-industrialists living high off farm subsidies, and that’s why Republicans have separated the two major recipient groups of federal food aid. Subsidized cotton growers cannot possibly be equated with someone trying to stretch macaroni into three meals.The saddest part: Those people in Owsley County who are made hungry by Republican fealty to the wealthy will continue to blame the government and the United Mine Workers. In a way, the fucking morons deserve to live in a company town. They've failed to live up to their self-image as self-reliant, independent yeoman Scotch-Irish sonsabitches. But the rest of us don't deserve that company town. And their children don't either.[...]