Archive for January, 2011

Our True Leaders Convened

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2011 by rottenart

I’m not really one for conspiracy theories. Secret cabals of wealthy elites who meet in secret to determine the fate of nations and ensure the continuing subjugation of the working class, all without scrutiny or much public knowledge of their activities and protected in their entirety by private riot police? That sounds like something for Alex Jones’ minions to get worked up about, akin to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the grassy knoll! Right?

Right?

The truth is, it’s no conspiracy. In the wake of the Citizens United decision from the reliably corporate-leaning Roberts Supreme court, this is who holds sway over political power in this country: billionaire brothers who have no interest in anything other than undermining our president and enriching themselves out our expense. The only real mystery is what it will take for the average American to realize that this is our reality and to stand up against it.

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Right Wing Priorities (Updated)

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2011 by rottenart

In addition to the numerous items on the new Republican House’s agenda that are all about have nothing to do with jobs, there were a couple unveiled this morning that really push the envelope.

Michele Bachmann, in her quest to become the most insane elected official in America, rolled out a plan to cut federal spending by $400 billion dollars by trimming some of the fat otherwise known as veteran’s disability benefits! Way to support the troops, Crazy Eyes!

Another fun proposal is the new, cleverly titled “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”. Of course, there are many restrictions on using federal funds for abortion as it is, but Republicans want to do much, much more. How much more? Well, currently, the Hyde Amendment allows exceptions for federal funding in the case of rape or incest. So, what to do to curtail choice even further? Redefine rape! Their proposal would allow funding only for “forcible rape” which would not include statutory rape or drugged rape. So, if your date slips you a Mickey and knocks you up after raping you, ladies… SORRY! What’s that you say? What if I have a private plan? Well, if the federal government is helping out with the cost, as the ACA will for millions of people, you can’t even use that. Goody.

Now, it should be noted that both of these proposals are most likely going nowhere and would surely incur a veto if they miraculously made it through the Senate. But it serves to illustrate just where the GOTea Party’s priorities lie. Obviously they could care less about jobs, but evidently they could also care less about wounded veterans and a majority of rape victims. This must be some more of that compassionate conservatism that everyone was so jazzed up about a few years ago.

Update: It’s no surprise, but here’s what actual veterans think about Bachmann’s plan.

How’s That Going To Play In Peoria?

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2011 by rottenart

The Republicans did a great job last year, campaigning themselves into big wins without telling anybody exactly what it was they were going to do if elected. Actually, that’s not true. They did say they were going to repeal a bunch of stuff. But as far as actual strategies for governing, well, that’s something they weren’t going to divulge until… wait… have they divulged anything yet?

Yes, despite capitalizing on a mantra of “Where are the jobs?” and “Repeal and replace”, the new GOP house has taken a slightly different route since being sworn in. They read the constitution, except the parts they didn’t care for. They did repeal the  health care bill (at least symbolically) but have yet to get to the ‘replace’ part of the plan. Next up on the agenda: restricting gay marriage in DC, reinstatement of DADT, a balanced budget amendment, erasing parts of the 14th amendment, restricting abortion, school vouchers. If that list looks surprisingly short on plans for jobs, you’re not alone in noticing.

Of course, the other big theme of the season, up to and including Tuesday’s SOTU speech and Paul Ryan’s Republican response (and Michele Bachmann’s  zombie response) was spending. Specifically, everyone inside the beltway agrees that spending is bad. That means all of us little people are going to have to tighten our belts. And that’s where the Republicans’ governing strategy really gets good.

It was announced today that the proposed Republican budget, based on Mr. Ryan’s road map from last year, was finally revealed. One of the centerpieces? Privatizing Medicare in the form of vouchers. Now, recall, that’s why no Republican wanted to talk about Ryan’s budget road map in the first place; it was full of drastic cuts and privatization of programs that America was pretty happy with. But support for seniors’ benefits be damned! We’ve got to take our medicine! Remember, they’ve never seen us so ready for tough love.

I’ll buy that the Red State Base is thrilled about the record thus far. Sure, they may be worried about jobs, or not having one, but those amendments sound good. Taking citizenship away from brown people born in America? That’s gold! But to explicitly avoid dealing with jobs, even when you campaigned on asking where they were, is one thing. Pissing off seniors by focusing instead on privatizing Medicare and Social Security is something else entirely.

I wonder how much more the base will take before they realize they’ve been gullible suckers all along, manipulated by powerful corporate interests who could care less about them having jobs. The rest of us saw this coming a mile away.

Don’t Tell The Tea Party

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2011 by rottenart

Well, it turns out that bailing out Citigroup with TARP (though unpopular and not at all likely to curb Wall St. excesses) wasn’t the financial apocalypse that the Tea Party said it was. That’s funny, I was under the impression they were motivated by financial sanity. Of course, they also believe it was Obama who came up with the plan. Unfortunately for their credibility, that’s not true. In fact, many Republicans, recognizing its necessity, voted for it when Bush proposed it. Check out this video of Cryin’ John Boehner shedding tears over getting TARP passed on the House floor in 2008. Yet, here’s the propaganda site, GOP.gov, trying to rewrite history in early 2009, after it became clear the American people didn’t like the word ‘bailout’.

Flash forward to today. The federal government stands to make a $12.3 billion profit on its sale of Citigroup products. Remember, it cost $45 billion to bail them out and we got all of that back. The $12.3 billion is taxpayer profit!

Now, arguing whether steps should have been taken after stabilizing the financial sector in order to punish them and reign in their chicanery is another issue altogether. But if the issue is whether the US is in debt because of all the bailouts, then, at least in the case of Citigroup, the exact opposite is true.

God Bless Us, Everyone! Except You, Ignorant Heathen.

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2011 by rottenart

Well, I’m not sure if this is a joke or not. I’m fairly certain it’s not because the earnestness of insanity doesn’t surprise me. However, even if it is just snark,  I wonder how many of Christ’s “followers” are praying fervently at night, hoping for just such a Dear Leader? Really, the question is: what would such a benevolent leader look like to the Christian fringe? Sarah Palin? Pat Robertson? Big Bird? If you really want to give yourself a headache, just imagine what sort of questionnaire you’d have to fill in to determine an acceptable level of virtuousness. Are you dark-skinned? Did your ancestors kill the Son of God? Do you regularly engage in sweet, evil buttsex?

I, for one, welcome our new Christianist overlords. It will make storming the barricades so much more satisfying.

Let’s Play ‘Where Is He?’

Posted in Art, Other Stuff with tags , , , , , , on January 27, 2011 by rottenart

Well, here for starters. Maybe we’ll catch up soon? Let’s hope so.

In other news: really, Dennis? $150,000? I can’t believe you don’t see how that’s a terrible idea.