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by Eli

A Partial List Of Things That “Pro-Life” Conservatives Support

8:37 am in Uncategorized by Eli

…Based on the right’s passionate and indignant opposition to any and all policies that would curtail them:

  • Deaths from gun violence.

  • Deaths from war.

  • Deaths from drone attacks.

  • Deaths from torture and mistreatment of military detainees.

  • Deaths by execution.

  • Deaths from tainted food and poorly tested drugs.

  • Deaths from accidents in mines, oil rigs, nuclear plants, or any other unsafe workplaces.

  • Deaths from polluted air and water.

  • Deaths from infrastructure collapses.

  • Deaths from lack of health care.

  • Deaths from poverty and starvation.

  • Deaths from natural disasters.

  • Deaths from abnormal pregnancies.

  • Extinction of endangered species.

The right’s definition of “life” as fetuses and corporations is as narrow and misguided as their definition of “civility” as the absence of swear words.

(Cross-posted at Multi Medium)

by Eli

Thomas Sowell’s Analogy Fail

4:42 pm in Uncategorized by Eli

Thomas Sowell helpfully explains why it’s so terribly unfair to accuse the right’s Serious Budget Grownups of trying to destroy Medicare and Social Security:

When someone gives you a check and the bank informs you that there are insufficient funds, who do you get mad at? In your own life, you get mad at the guy who gave you a check that bounced, not at the bank. But in politics, you get mad at whoever tells you that there is no money.

Well, that certainly is some lovely and poetic imagery there, but perhaps a better analogy would be if the bank informs you that it has no money for withdrawals because it blew it all on freebies and giveaways for its most valued wealthy and corporate customers, expensive hunting trips overseas, and maybe losing big at Vegas.

Not only that, but that it intends to siphon off your savings and/or garnish your wages so that it can lavish even more money on rich people, gambling and bloodshed.

So yeah, I’m pretty sure I’d be mad at the bank.

(Cross-posted at Multi Medium)

by Eli

Thanks, Conservatives!

11:07 am in Uncategorized by Eli

Thanks so much for all the over-the-top rhetoric about how the Democrats are unlawful fascist tyrants who must be overthrown or killed.

Thanks so much for nodding and winking at the teabaggers who paraded around with firearms and “Time To Water The Tree Of Liberty” t-shirts at Democratic healthcare townhalls.

Thanks so much for denying all responsibility every time some nut goes off and attacks liberals or Democrats, and/or implying that they were perfectly justified.

Thanks so much for fighting so hard to make it easy to buy guns and carry them around everywhere.

I have some questions for you, if you’re not too busy telling us all about how Jared Loughner is a pot-smoking hippie:

1) If all these acts of violence are committed by dangerously disturbed people who are completely apolitical and uninfluenced by your steady drumbeat of “DEMOCRATS ARE TYRANNICAL AND BAD! KILL DEMOCRATS!”, then wouldn’t they be attacking conservatives in roughly equal numbers?

2) If you deplore these violent acts of dangerously disturbed individuals acting completely on their own with no political agenda whatsoever, why do you insist on making it so easy for them to acquire guns? Especially when the law of averages suggests that the next twenty or so Totally Random Apolitical Attacks will be on conservatives?

3) Have you, at long last, no sense of decency? How can you continue to use such recklessly violent language after so much violence? If you had dinner with a family who lost a family member to gun violence, would you be cracking gun jokes all night long or talking about how much you’d like to see some liberal politician taken out and shot?

4) Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you people???

(Cross-posted at Multi Medium)

by Eli

Nice Try

4:05 am in Uncategorized by Eli

photo: hmcotterill via Flickr

CAP’s Bracken Hendricks attempts to make the case for addressing climate change in the right’s own terms:

I worry that conservatives’ lock-step posture on climate change is seriously out of step with their professed priorities. A strong defense of our national interests, rigorous cost-benefit analysis, fiscal discipline and the ability to avoid unnecessary intrusions into personal liberty will all be seriously compromised in a world marked by climate change.

In fact, far from being conservative, the Republican stance on global warming shows a stunning appetite for risk. When faced with uncertainty and the possibility of costly outcomes, smart businessmen buy insurance, reduce their downside exposure and protect their assets. When confronted with a disease outbreak of unknown proportions, front-line public health workers get busy producing vaccines, pre-positioning supplies and tracking pathogens. And when military planners assess an enemy, they get ready for a worst-case encounter.

When it comes to climate change, conservatives are doing none of this. Instead, they are recklessly betting the farm on a single, best-case scenario: That the scientific consensus about global warming will turn out to be wrong. This is bad risk management and an irresponsible way to run anything, whether a business, an economy or a planet.

This is all true, but the problem is that conservatives’ nonchalance and outright denial of the risk of global warming doesn’t contradict their approach to economic, health, or military risk: it mirrors it.

Conservatives are only risk-averse in theory – in practice, their operating principle is to grab a buck and score a political point whenever they can and damn the consequences.  Not only that, but if global warming can’t be fixed using their toolkit of tax cuts for the rich, spending cuts for everyone else, or invading someone, they really can’t be bothered.

(Cross-posted at Multi Medium)

by Eli

Nigerian Spammer Newt 2012!

5:19 pm in Uncategorized by Eli

Hello Deare People!

This mail is from me Mr Newt Gingrich, and I wish to make inform you that you have wone the prestigious Physician Entrepreneur Sucker OF the Year award. You will have invited to the important banqueting with me personally to receiving aaward in person! ANd many other important peoples will be their in the dinner also with foods.

All that is need is for you to send to me a USD$5000 in American funds four that the Awards Foundation of mine can process paperworks of your award. I will also be needing account number of yours at the banking institution for formality of the verifying identities.

Most regards,

Newt Gingirch

(h/t Atrios)

(Cross-posted at Multi Medium)

by Eli

Austerity For Thee But Not For Me

4:08 pm in Uncategorized by Eli

There’s a great – and telling – juxtaposition in today’s PostPolitics. A story about corporations complaining that regulation and tax increases are hurting economic growth shares the page with a photo gallery of long-term "discouraged" unemployed people.

So on the one hand you’ve got the conservative talking point that you can’t raise taxes to reduce the deficit because it slows down the economy, and on the other hand you’ve got the unemployed people who conservatives don’t want to help because it would… increase the deficit.

Well, which is it? If the deficit is such an existential threat that it trumps any thought of stimulating our way out of a deep recession, then why can’t we raise taxes on the have-mores instead of cutting Social Security and other benefits for the "lesser people"? And if economic growth is more important than balancing the budget, then why can’t we extend unemployment benefits and spend more stimulus money where it will actually create jobs?

Don’t tell us that we have to sacrifice economic growth and Social Security to the balanced budget god, and that we can’t raise taxes because it would kill economic growth. Please just choose one ridiculous position and stick to it.

(Cross-posted at Multi Medium)

by Eli

The Populitists

5:00 pm in Uncategorized by Eli

Man, that whole Tea Party narrative is just looking more and more threadbare. The "spontaneous outpouring of patriotic concern by ordinary citizens who are totally not funded by corporations or GOP operatives in any way, nope" myth got blown up almost immediately, and now it looks like the "working-class heartland Americans who are worried about their finances and sick of the government always choosing corporations and rich people over the little guy" story is on pretty shaky ground too:

Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.


Tea Party supporters’ fierce animosity toward Washington, and the president in particular, is rooted in deep pessimism about the direction of the country and the conviction that the policies of the Obama administration are disproportionately directed at helping the poor rather than the middle class or the rich.

The overwhelming majority of supporters say Mr. Obama does not share the values most Americans live by and that he does not understand the problems of people like themselves. More than half say the policies of the administration favor the poor, and 25 percent think that the administration favors blacks over whites — compared with 11 percent of the general public.

They are more likely than the general public, and Republicans, to say that too much has been made of the problems facing black people.

So instead of being blue collar just-folks frightened by unemployment and uncertainty, and outraged by the inequity of the government bailing out fatcats while the poor struggle, it turns out that the teabaggers are moderately-stocky cats who are outraged by the government’s feeble and inadequate attempts to help the poor out. Especially when the poor are those people.

Those of us on the left (myself included) who thought there was some slim chance of making common cause with them against a shared corporate enemy, well, we were completely wrong. The teabaggers are just the latest media-darling flavor-of-the-month iteration of the archetypal I-got-mine-fuck-you conservative. They’re populist only if your idea of populist is a bunch of upper-middle-class people who want to cut off the poor, and the only common ground we have with them is our dislike of Harry Reid and Blanche Lincoln.

We were right about them being mostly racist old white guys, though.

(Cross-posted at Multi Medium)

by Eli

Love Your Horse, But Don’t LOOOOVE Your Horse.

5:06 pm in Uncategorized by Eli

Another day, another homophobic Republican wanker:

Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that the expansion of state laws allowing gay marriage could lead to people marrying horses.

Hayworth, during an interview with an Orlando, Fla., radio station explained: "You see, the Massachusetts Supreme Court, when it started this move toward same-sex marriage, actually defined marriage — now get this — it defined marriage as simply, ‘the establishment of intimacy.’"


"I mean, I don’t mean to be absurd about it, but I guess I can make the point of absurdity with an absurd point," he continued. "I guess that would mean if you really had affection for your horse, I guess you could marry your horse."

The former Republican congressman then insisted that the "only way" to prevent men from marrying horses is to create a federal marriage amendment. Hayworth noted that he supports such an amendment.

Or you could, y’know, just make it illegal to marry horses.

Personally, I’d like to see Obama pass a bill outlawing cross-species marriage, just for the fun of watching Republicans and conservatives reflexively oppose it. Mitch McConnell would unleash the full fury of his obstructionist bag of tricks, and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck would rant and rave about Obama the communofascist infringing on Americans’ God-given Constitutional right to wed farm animals.

Who knows, maybe the GOP would even add horse-buggery equiphilia as an official plank in the party platform, just to show those liberals that no one tells them what to do.

(Cross-posted at Multi Medium)

by Eli

Shock Doctrine Troops

7:22 am in Uncategorized by Eli

Psychologist Michael Bader confesses his dislike for the teabaggers, but also advocates empathy as well:

People can’t tolerate feeling helpless and self-hating for very long. It’s too painful, too demoralizing and too frightening. They have to find an antidote. They have to make sense of it all in a way that restores their sense of meaning, their feeling of agency, their self-esteem, and their belief in the possibility of redemption. They have to. They have no choice. That’s just the way the mind works.

The paranoid strategy is to generate a narrative that finally "explains it all." A narrative — a set of beliefs about the way the world is and is supposed to be — helps make sense of chaos. It reduces guilt and self-blame by projecting it onto someone else. And it restores a sense of agency by offering up an enemy to fight. Finally, it offers hope that if "they" — the enemy, the conspirators — can be avoided or destroyed, the paranoid person’s core feelings of helplessness and devaluation will go away.


For new Tea Party members… the drift toward paranoia is facilitated by the right-wing media machine that offers several ready-made narratives perfectly designed to help its consumers clear up their confusion, understand their helplessness, absolve them of any blame and offer a way out. The conspiratorial alliance of business and government, a growing tyranny intended to disenfranchise, disarm and exploit ordinary citizens, secret pacts to overthrow the Constitution, etc. all currently led by an un-American, godless, colored, elitist, contemptuous foreigner: Barack Hussein Obama. A grim and frightening picture of the world to be sure. Psychologically speaking, however, it offers relief from helplessness and a sense that things are falling apart. It offers a sense of cohesion and identity based on certainty, a commonality of interests, innocence, and even martyrdom. While the world of the Tea Partiers is filled with danger, it is a danger mitigated by moral certainty, clarity of purpose and a definable external enemy.

This is truly horrifying if you think about it.  The right is actively manufacturing and promoting extremist narratives to exploit these people’s sense of helplessness and fear – caused by their own destructive policies – and turn them into an army of fanatics.

Imagine this guy, we’ll call him Rob, secretly schemes to get his friend Tee fired from his job.  Tee then confides in Rob his sense of helplessness and despair.  But instead of helping him find a new job and get back on his feet like a real friend would do, Rob instead tells Tee that it’s all Rob’s bitter rival Dan’s fault and that Tee should show Dan that he’s on to him and teach him a lesson.  That, in a nutshell, is what the Republicans are doing, and it’s amoral and disgusting.

Republicans aren’t just obstructing meaningful economic stimulus and health care reform because they want Democrats to fail, but because every person who loses their job or their health insurance is another potential convert to Glenn Beck’s teabag gospel.

(Cross-posted at Multi Medium)

by Eli

Whatever Happened To The Cheney Doctrine?

7:04 am in Uncategorized by Eli

Peter Daou takes on the climate change deniers – I found this passage particularly compelling:

Another conservative writer goes on about "unsettled science," as though we were engaging in a hypothetical legal exercise about the merits of reasonable doubt. In fact, this is our only planet. It’s the only place we can survive. We can’t afford to take chances. We can’t afford to do anything less than everything in our power to rectify the problem. We have no choice but to be alarmists — there’s no second chance. We get it wrong and we’ve doomed our children and their children. For what? Because we don’t want to recycle? Because we don’t want to stop polluting? Because we don’t want to bother making sacrifices? Because we don’t want some eager young kid who cares about the earth to dictate to us? Because we don’t like Al Gore? How profoundly selfish can someone be, to deny what they see with their own eyes: car fumes, bus fumes, truck fumes, factory fumes, chemical waste, human waste, toxins coursing through our waterways, in our food, filth we create in immense quantities turning our planet into a garbage dump.

If anything, we should be outdoing one another trying to address the issue, not smugly questioning the need for action under the guise that the science is imperfect. Reversing the damage we’re doing to the earth should be a priority for every citizen. Instead, environmentalism is treated like an annoyance that the media will occasionally poll about and that we bring to the fore once every April.

The right’s willingness to take the hugest of chances that global warming is junk science or some elaborate Al Gore hoax is particularly striking when you consider the Cheney Doctrine that they’re so enamored of:

Cheney defined it: "If there’s a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It’s not about our analysis … It’s about our response." Suskind writes, "So, now spoken, it stood: a standard of action that would frame events and responses from the Administration for years to come."’

Why such a heavy bias towards action on an improbable threat, and such a heavy bias against action on a much more probable and truly existential one?  Republicans embrace a 1% Doctrine on terrorism, yet it’s more like 99.9% when the fate of the entire planet is at stake.

If I didn’t know any better, I might almost think that their policy prescriptions aren’t really about protecting us from harm.

(Cross-posted at Multi Medium)