redheadedfemme: (stupid people large groups)
This is why Ed Kilgore is one of my favorite political writers.
 
My iron conviction is that if Mitt Romney had won last year and Republicans had retaken the Senate, we’d be well into a reign of fire and blood characterized by instant reconciliation-enabled enactment of the Ryan Budget, the total destruction of the Affordable Care Act, and for added measure, a “nuclear option” more thoroughgoing that that recently imposed by Senate Democrats. We might also be at war with Iran. 
 
I added in a comment to the article: "Also the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Labor Relations Board, and a federal Personhood Amendment."
 
A-frakking-Men, Ed. 



 
redheadedfemme: (ignorance point of view)
This is just...I can't believe the ignorance and stupidity of this man.

Griffith suggested the House should reject an unfavorable agreement from the Senate, even if it resulted in a debt default that severely damaged the economy.

“We have to make a decision that’s right long-term for the United States, and what may be distasteful, unpleasant and not appropriate in the short run may be something that has to be done,” he said.

Griffith, a former majority leader of the Virginia House of Delegates, cited as an example the American Revolution.

“I will remind you that this group of renegades that decided that they wanted to break from the crown in 1776 did great damage to the economy of the colonies,” Griffith said. “They created the greatest nation and the best form of government, but they did damage to the economy in the short run.”

 
Yes, because destroying the United States' and the world's economy, hurting countless people, and damaging the U.S's reputation and good name is just like the American Revolution!

I think George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would spit in your face, sir.


redheadedfemme: (Default)
As usual, Jim Wright nails it. 

You cannot reason with people who are incapable of reason, whose fanatical positions are based on irrational discredited beliefs such as “death panels.” It is not possible to reach a rational compromise with these people because they are not rational people. And in the end, it is perfectly within the legal framework of the Constitution to ignore their minority insanity and move on.

Read the whole thing


 
redheadedfemme: (St. Bastard)
Charlie Pierce eviscerates Paul Ryan's Randian excuse for a budget.

Paul Ryan's economics are not economics so much as they are a statement of political philosophy. All political economics are based in political philosophy but, in Ryan's case, political philosophy is not the root of his notion of a political economy. His political philosophy is his notion of political economics. He believes that there are certain things that the government should not do for its citizens, and he would believe that if the balance showed a 20-gozillion surplus. His goal is to stop the government from doing those things. Everything else he does — every "budget" he proposes — is in service to that philosophy. His whole career has been made within the confines of that philosophy. It has blinded him to the very real human effects of what would occur if his "budget" ever was adopted, it also has blinded him to his own staggering hypocrisy — a man seeking to demolish the very safety net that got him through high-school and college, a man talking about the perils of government who's never had a real job outside of it. He is engaged in an extended act of camouflage through which he concocts disguises for policy preferences that the country has told him, over and over again, it does not want, and which the country has told him, over and over again, do not reflect the country's idea of itself.


I don't believe Paul Ryan is a sociopath (at least, not in the way Mitt Romney was) but I cannot understand how he lives with himself, proposing a horrorshow like this. Does he not realize that people will die if they're thrown off Medicaid? Does he not know that all of us will end up paying for the people who no longer have insurance, who go again and again to emergency rooms to get pain relief for those workplace injuries, or antibiotics for those rotten teeth, but who can never solve the underlying problems because they can't afford it? Does he not envision himself getting older, with the slow inevitable creeping malaise of arthritis or diabetes or heart disease coming upon him, with no way to avoid it because the voucher (excuse me, "premium support") he gets from the government does not provide enough to pay for the care and screenings that could prevent it? Does he not consider that poor women who can no longer get family planning services from Planned Parenthood will end up giving birth to children they did not want and cannot afford, and everyone else will support said children? (Texas recently ran into this conundrum, and is now considering restoring funding. Gee, reality wins again!)

Really, how can you look at yourself in the mirror each morning while pushing such immoral bullshit?

Speaking of morality, here's a lengthy commentary from faith leaders condemning the Ryan budget.

This budget, if pursued and passed, will send a message, in both tone and tactic, that our government is more concerned with protecting those who control wealth and privilege than supporting those upon whom that wealth and privilege has been built. 

It's getting to the point where, each time I see Paul Ryan on the tube, I'm looking for the rotting corpse of Ayn Rand shambling along behind him, attached at the hip.

Yet this smiling blue-eyed boy still advocates this nonsense, while ignoring, as Charlie Pierce said, the "staggering hypocrisy" of making sure other people won't get their Medicare and Social Security now that he's got his.

Just like Joe Biden said during the vice-presidential debate, "now all of a sudden these guys [pointing to Paul Ryan] are so seized with concern about the debt they created."

Yeah. They're so concerned they want to destroy the New Deal and all the progress we've made over the past century....all for our own good. 
redheadedfemme: (kick nuts)
  Oh man, I really really hope this is not just wishful thinking.

I've been wondering since the conventions why so many Republicans are so desperately clinging to the Romneybot, and telling so many lies to get him elected (in addition to the candidate's innate untruthfulness). This may be the reason.

When Mitt Romney loses—and, hopefully, when Democrats secure majorities in both Houses of Congress—I expect to see the end of the Republican Party. As the Bryan Fischer quote indicates, the rabid conservatives will blame the debacle on the GOP not being conservative enough. We might see an emergence of a radically right wing party, on the order of the National Front in France: nativist, fundamentally religious, and so far to the right as to be unable to appeal to voters outside of their circle. Whatever "moderates" are left in the party might form a rump GOP; but without the shocktroops of the Right, it too would have little electoral strength. We might very well be on the cusp of witnessing the demise of the conservative movement for a generation—enough time to put the country on a solid footing, so that when conservatives finally re-emerge as a political force, too much has changed to be undone. It's really the only hope the country has to survive as a decent place worth calling home.

Read the whole thing.


redheadedfemme: (closed mouths)
This is just astounding. It's quite long, but it's well worth reading every paragraph.

Tim Wise: If It Walks Like a Duck and Talks Like a Duck 

Respectable conservatism is dead. It is rotting in a grave, out of which hole has crept the most nefarious and zombified substitute, reeking of an acrid and putrescent characterological rot, upon which no calm and dispassionate bit of reason may find even a temporary home.

Word.


redheadedfemme: (closed mouths)
This is just astounding. It's quite long, but it's well worth reading every paragraph.

Tim Wise: If It Walks Like a Duck and Talks Like a Duck 

Respectable conservatism is dead. It is rotting in a grave, out of which hole has crept the most nefarious and zombified substitute, reeking of an acrid and putrescent characterological rot, upon which no calm and dispassionate bit of reason may find even a temporary home.

Word.


redheadedfemme: (searching for fool)
By now, surely everyone has heard that Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan to be his running mate, so I'll turn the proceedings over to the irreplacable Charles Pierce.

We're not worthy, Charlie.

Paul Ryan is an authentically dangerous zealot. He does not want to reform entitlements. He wants to eliminate them. He wants to eliminate them because he doesn't believe they are a legitimate function of government. He is a smiling, aw-shucks murderer of opportunity, a creator of dystopias in which he never will have to live. This now is an argument not over what kind of political commonwealth we will have, but rather whether or not we will have one at all, because Paul Ryan does not believe in the most primary institution of that commonwealth: our government. The first three words of the Preamble to the Constitution make a lie out of every speech he's ever given. He looks at the country and sees its government as something alien that is holding down the individual entrepreneurial genius of 200 million people, and not as their creation, and the vehicle through which that genius can be channelled for the general welfare.

To add my two cents: I would not vote for Mitt Romney if he was the Last Presidential Candidate on Earth and God Hirself was holding a gun to my head. I cannot believe any rational American citizen would contemplate putting this sleazy, arrogant, dishonest, lying slimeball into the highest office of the land.

But his pick of Paul Ryan for VP only solidifies my contempt. Paul Ryan, after all, wants to dismantle Medicare as we know it, turning it into a voucher system. No, make that a coupon system--you're given a fixed amount to purchase healthcare (just as a store coupon takes only fifty cents or a dollar off the actual cost of the merchandise), and if the annual cost of healthcare is rising beyond the value of your coupon, well, too bad, so sad, you have to make up the difference.

I didn't pay my Medicare taxes for all these years--fifty years by the time I retire--to have the system yanked out from under me just because Paul Ryan has some kind of juvenile Ayn Rand obsession.

Together, these two Twitrands constitute the worst Presidential ticket I have seen in my lifetime.

Vulture/Voucher 2012--"You People Are On Your Own"

Vote for them at your peril.
redheadedfemme: (searching for fool)
By now, surely everyone has heard that Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan to be his running mate, so I'll turn the proceedings over to the irreplacable Charles Pierce.

We're not worthy, Charlie.

Paul Ryan is an authentically dangerous zealot. He does not want to reform entitlements. He wants to eliminate them. He wants to eliminate them because he doesn't believe they are a legitimate function of government. He is a smiling, aw-shucks murderer of opportunity, a creator of dystopias in which he never will have to live. This now is an argument not over what kind of political commonwealth we will have, but rather whether or not we will have one at all, because Paul Ryan does not believe in the most primary institution of that commonwealth: our government. The first three words of the Preamble to the Constitution make a lie out of every speech he's ever given. He looks at the country and sees its government as something alien that is holding down the individual entrepreneurial genius of 200 million people, and not as their creation, and the vehicle through which that genius can be channelled for the general welfare.

To add my two cents: I would not vote for Mitt Romney if he was the Last Presidential Candidate on Earth and God Hirself was holding a gun to my head. I cannot believe any rational American citizen would contemplate putting this sleazy, arrogant, dishonest, lying slimeball into the highest office of the land.

But his pick of Paul Ryan for VP only solidifies my contempt. Paul Ryan, after all, wants to dismantle Medicare as we know it, turning it into a voucher system. No, make that a coupon system--you're given a fixed amount to purchase healthcare (just as a store coupon takes only fifty cents or a dollar off the actual cost of the merchandise), and if the annual cost of healthcare is rising beyond the value of your coupon, well, too bad, so sad, you have to make up the difference.

I didn't pay my Medicare taxes for all these years--fifty years by the time I retire--to have the system yanked out from under me just because Paul Ryan has some kind of juvenile Ayn Rand obsession.

Together, these two Twitrands constitute the worst Presidential ticket I have seen in my lifetime.

Vulture/Voucher 2012--"You People Are On Your Own"

Vote for them at your peril.
redheadedfemme: (Cthulhu)

“No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”  ~George Orwell, Animal Farm

“The point is, there is no feasible excuse for what are, for what we have made of ourselves. We have chosen to put profits before people, money before morality, dividends before decency, fanaticism before fairness, and our own trivial comforts before the unspeakable agonies of others.”  ~Iain Banks, Complicity 

Scare-mongering?

Damn straight.

Joe Biden lays out Mitt Romney's dystopian Presidential horror show.

Imagine what the Supreme Court will look like after four years of Governor Romney. Imagine what it will act like. Imagine what it will mean for civil rights, voting rights, and so much we have fought so hard for. Imagine a Justice Department that supports, rather than challenges, continued efforts to suppress the right to vote. Because that’s what will happen if they win.

The Hunger Games, anyone? (Minus our female saviour, because she'll be perpetually barefoot and pregnant.) Yes, it's a good book, but I don't imagine Suzanne Collins wrote it with the idea of being a prophetess. 

redheadedfemme: (Cthulhu)

“No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”  ~George Orwell, Animal Farm

“The point is, there is no feasible excuse for what are, for what we have made of ourselves. We have chosen to put profits before people, money before morality, dividends before decency, fanaticism before fairness, and our own trivial comforts before the unspeakable agonies of others.”  ~Iain Banks, Complicity 

Scare-mongering?

Damn straight.

Joe Biden lays out Mitt Romney's dystopian Presidential horror show.

Imagine what the Supreme Court will look like after four years of Governor Romney. Imagine what it will act like. Imagine what it will mean for civil rights, voting rights, and so much we have fought so hard for. Imagine a Justice Department that supports, rather than challenges, continued efforts to suppress the right to vote. Because that’s what will happen if they win.

The Hunger Games, anyone? (Minus our female saviour, because she'll be perpetually barefoot and pregnant.) Yes, it's a good book, but I don't imagine Suzanne Collins wrote it with the idea of being a prophetess. 

redheadedfemme: (sorry you suck)
So this op-ed appeared in my hometown newspaper today, which rather surprised me; I was always under the impression that if my newspaper's editor ever printed something like this, s/he would be run out of town. 

First, the writer lists his Republican bonafides. 

Indeed, my first political act was passionately lobbying my fourth-grade classmates to vote for Reagan over Walter Mondale in a mock election in 1984. As an adult, I continued to be a rock-solid Republican- I helped run my law school’s chapter of the Federalist Society and its Republican club. And after the election of President Obama in 2008, I served as an officer in my state Republican Party.

Then he lowers the boom. 

As a local GOP official after President Obama’s election, I had a front-row seat as it became infected by a dangerous and virulent form of political rabies.

In the grip of this contagion, the Republican Party has come unhinged. Its fevered hallucinations involve threats from imaginary communists and socialists who, seemingly, lurk around every corner. Climate change--a reality recognized by every single significant scientific body and academy in the world--is a liberal conspiracy conjured up by Al Gore and other leftists who want to destroy America. Large numbers of Republicans--the notorious birthers--believe that the President was not born in the United States. Even worse, few figures in the GOP have the courage to confront them.

Republican economic policies are also indefensible. The GOP constantly claims that its opponents are engaged in "class warfare," but this is an exercise in projection. In Republican proposals, the wealthy win, and the rest of us lose--one only has to look at Rep. Paul Ryan's budget to see that. 

He is not the first prominent Republican or moderate to say things like this, nor is he the first to leave the party over it. The comments to this article are instructive; of course some of the commenters get into fights, but many of them call the writer a "RINO"--Republican In Name Only--thus proving his point. 

As far as I know, the writer didn't become a Democrat; I believe he registered as an Independent. Nevertheless, it's a sad and terrifying comment on a major political party that has gone completely off the rails, to the point where they drive away those who view themselves as sincere, honest conservatives. 
redheadedfemme: (sorry you suck)
So this op-ed appeared in my hometown newspaper today, which rather surprised me; I was always under the impression that if my newspaper's editor ever printed something like this, s/he would be run out of town. 

First, the writer lists his Republican bonafides. 

Indeed, my first political act was passionately lobbying my fourth-grade classmates to vote for Reagan over Walter Mondale in a mock election in 1984. As an adult, I continued to be a rock-solid Republican- I helped run my law school’s chapter of the Federalist Society and its Republican club. And after the election of President Obama in 2008, I served as an officer in my state Republican Party.

Then he lowers the boom. 

As a local GOP official after President Obama’s election, I had a front-row seat as it became infected by a dangerous and virulent form of political rabies.

In the grip of this contagion, the Republican Party has come unhinged. Its fevered hallucinations involve threats from imaginary communists and socialists who, seemingly, lurk around every corner. Climate change--a reality recognized by every single significant scientific body and academy in the world--is a liberal conspiracy conjured up by Al Gore and other leftists who want to destroy America. Large numbers of Republicans--the notorious birthers--believe that the President was not born in the United States. Even worse, few figures in the GOP have the courage to confront them.

Republican economic policies are also indefensible. The GOP constantly claims that its opponents are engaged in "class warfare," but this is an exercise in projection. In Republican proposals, the wealthy win, and the rest of us lose--one only has to look at Rep. Paul Ryan's budget to see that. 

He is not the first prominent Republican or moderate to say things like this, nor is he the first to leave the party over it. The comments to this article are instructive; of course some of the commenters get into fights, but many of them call the writer a "RINO"--Republican In Name Only--thus proving his point. 

As far as I know, the writer didn't become a Democrat; I believe he registered as an Independent. Nevertheless, it's a sad and terrifying comment on a major political party that has gone completely off the rails, to the point where they drive away those who view themselves as sincere, honest conservatives. 
redheadedfemme: (stupid people large groups)
In my neck of the woods, this is called "cutting off one's nose to spite one's face."

Centrist Women Tell of Disenchantment With Republicans 

You can't insult, belittle, demean and threaten 50% of the population and expect their support.

What's hilarious about this is that President Obama doesn't have to say a word. He's just standing back and watching the Republicans guarantee his re-election. The level of cluelessness on their part is just astonishing.

But I suppose that's what happens when you put purity and ideology (and religious precepts that absolutely do not belong in government) ahead of actually governing.
redheadedfemme: (stupid people large groups)
In my neck of the woods, this is called "cutting off one's nose to spite one's face."

Centrist Women Tell of Disenchantment With Republicans 

You can't insult, belittle, demean and threaten 50% of the population and expect their support.

What's hilarious about this is that President Obama doesn't have to say a word. He's just standing back and watching the Republicans guarantee his re-election. The level of cluelessness on their part is just astonishing.

But I suppose that's what happens when you put purity and ideology (and religious precepts that absolutely do not belong in government) ahead of actually governing.
redheadedfemme: (searching for fool)
"I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university."  ~Albert Einstein

I do not understand why anyone would think this is an appropriate joke to spread about the President.

Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.

A little boy said to his mother; 'Mommy, how come I'm black and you're white?' " the e-mail joke reads. "His mother replied, 'Don't even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark!

What is it about this President that makes people disrespect him so? Hmmm, let me think...

redheadedfemme: (searching for fool)
"I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university."  ~Albert Einstein

I do not understand why anyone would think this is an appropriate joke to spread about the President.

Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.

A little boy said to his mother; 'Mommy, how come I'm black and you're white?' " the e-mail joke reads. "His mother replied, 'Don't even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark!

What is it about this President that makes people disrespect him so? Hmmm, let me think...

redheadedfemme: (infected brain)
"Opposition may become sweet to a man when he has christened it persecution."  ~George Eliot

After watching last night's CNN Republican debate, I can only conclude that the modern-day Republican Party is of besieged* white males, by besieged white males, and for besieged white males. 

No one else need apply. 

(*Besieged by whom? You decide.)

redheadedfemme: (infected brain)
"Opposition may become sweet to a man when he has christened it persecution."  ~George Eliot

After watching last night's CNN Republican debate, I can only conclude that the modern-day Republican Party is of besieged* white males, by besieged white males, and for besieged white males. 

No one else need apply. 

(*Besieged by whom? You decide.)

redheadedfemme: (stupid people large groups)
I've often read this quote from John Stuart Mill without really thinking much about it, other than that it seemed so obviously true.

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.  -- John Stuart Mill

Now we have empirical proof that this is true: a study published by Psychological Science.

Abstract

Despite their important implications for interpersonal behaviors and relations, cognitive abilities have been largely ignored as explanations of prejudice. We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups. In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology. A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact. All analyses controlled for education and socioeconomic status. Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a critical, albeit underappreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models.

The full study can be found here. This is rather scary stuff, I think; it means that no matter how you try to educate conservatives, there's not much chance they'll change their minds, because they prefer feeling safe, and sticking to the status quo, over actually thinking. 

John Dean's book Conservatives Without Conscience also has an excellent take on this whole phenomenon. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about the conservative mindset. 


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Words To Live By

There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away. ~Emily Dickinson

Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins. ~Neil Gaiman

Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in. ~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The road to hell is paved with adverbs. ~Stephen King

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read. ~Mark Twain

I feel free and strong. If I were not a reader of books I could not feel this way. ~Walter Tevis

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. ~George R.R. Martin

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