Debt Ceiling/Shutdown, and real journalism

I was a serious journalist a long time ago, inspired by Woodstein, Geraldo’s Bellevue expose, and 60 Minutes.  So I HATED doing press-release news and he said/he said.  But that’s all we get from mainstream news these days, not just broadcast/cable but also newspapers.  I guess you can’t get paid to tell THE TRUTH anymore, like this piece of debunking Reaganite mythology that underlies Republican government shutdown threats, and even Democratic compliance.

Journalism used to be called “the rough draft of history” or “the first draft of history” (or more correctly, of historiography).  Today it’s not even that — at least I hope not!

GOP Big Lies

“The Obama economic fix isn’t working.”

Right.  That’s why we’re not in the freefall the Republicans got us into and left us in / we threw their asses out over, which we were in until this plan kicked in.  Coincidence?  The economy is a somewhat complex machine (like a corporation, it’s not a person).  At the very least, it didn’t make things worse.  It didn’t create jobs?  You want corrupt (Republican) no-show “created jobs,” or somewhat ethical, legal government contracts that are focused, as they usually are, on accomplishing tasks, not creating jobs per se.  They clearly SAVED JOBS.  Did the President overstate or oversimplify?  Yeah, he does that; I wish he wouldn’t.  But same difference.

“Healthcare reform is about a government takeover.”

That’s why all anybody in Washington, Democrat or Repug, is talking about is money, money, money, no takeover.  *I* want a takeover, just like civilized nations have, like the UK and NOT Canada.  But on this I’m to the Left of the centrist Demos who mathematically should be in charge at this time by virtue of (unstolen) election.

How would I do a takeover?  Wellll…  Since corporations are creatures of the State [Hey, “Statist”! Real conservatives would strike out on their own without the legal figleaf of incorporation, like their pioneer ancestors on the Frontier! Oh, that’s right, they stole that too….] created for some Public Good, I assert there’s no such thing really as “corporate property,” they’re just holding it in stewardship for the Chartering Sovereign, ie, the State in most cases in the U.S.  When the Public Good for which they were Chartered has been accomplished, or set on basically autopilot … OR they’ve turned the law on its head for their own enrichment and the project needs to be terminated or taken in hand … the State yanks their Charter, dissolves them or gives them to better stewards, or takes it over itself.  I figure between the bloodsucking, opportunistic, profiteering health insurance companies and HMOs … overcharging providers … mercenary, “ask your doctor” Big Pharma … vicious or spineless politicians … and even under-reimbursed good Medicare/Medicaid providers …  “politically” active / bribing Corporations all (or most) … (Have I forgotten anybody?) … I think I’m on good grounds here, don’t you?  Anyway, it’s cheaper than having to buy back our own Corporations from the people we Chartered only to have them leech from  us “for the Public Good.”  As a greater Mind than I said once, “They already have their reward.”

Otherwise, I can’t find out how the Brits actually engineered it after WW2 — eminent domain, purchase, dissolution?  But what’s wrong with socialized medicine, alongside

  • socialized police and fire protection,
  • socialized water and sewer,
  • socialized trash and garbage collection,
  • socialized primary and secondary education,
  • socialized electricity,
  • socialized roads and highways and bridges,
  • socialized national defense!,
  • socialized money (Oh, actually that’s privatized: See what a great job they’re doing with it?),
  • socialized Corporate Welfare/Wealthfare,
  • socialized farm subsidies,
  • socialized homesteading (Stolen: see above),
  • socialized airports,
  • socialized trade promotion,
  • socialized ports,
  • socialized Corporate industrial waste cleanup,
  • socialized diplomacy (sometimes),
  • socialized union-busting,
  • socialized religion and charity subsidies,
  • socialized technology subsidies (to get us caught-up with Europe and Japan!),
  • socialized tax loophole subsidies (Oh yes, there’s wealth redistribution … upward, not downward!),
  • socialized road signs,
  • substantially-socialized higher education (State universities, ROTC, CIA, etc.),
  • socialized parks and recreation centers,
  • socialized stadiums (and subsidized pro sports teams / Wealthfare),
  • socialized imperialism and war,
  • socialized Protestant evangelism (of American Indians and Alaska Natives, well into the 1900s) and catechesis (of public school children, also well into the 1900s),
  • etc etc etc.

So what’s so offensive about health care?

GOP health plan: Kill the sick.

Sure, that’ll save money … though only for the middle class and poor they’re taxing anyway!

As a Disabled person who, if God is patient with me, will be around to see the disaster (further) unfold … well, they’ll kill me.

I object.

Socialism

If it were socialism, its critics would be unheard from, in jail, in Siberia, under heavy sedation or other psychiatric drugs… or dead.

How soon we forget.

Bush-Cheney-Powell Treason?

Isn’t lying your country into at least one war a fundamental undermining of its military position akin to treason?  Especially if those same parties are claiming we have millions of “enemies” all over the world to be worried about?

I quote Article III, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution of 1787:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Certainly no bigger aid or comfort can be given to our alleged enemies, Muslim terrorists, than to divert half our armed forces from the “Global War on Terror,” to what Bush and others have admitted was a war of choice (ie, aggression) against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his government and political party, leaving us fighting the GWOT with one hand tied behind our back.

And we are all witnesses.

New Exodus to Canada?! (satire)

A droll piece purporting to be from a Manitoba newspaperPLEASE!!!  VOTE FIRST, THEN  SPLIT!!!  I know it’ll be a month colder up there, but we can’t give up YET, and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!!!  Besides, I’m disabled, I’d never make it, even if I was an English major!!! 😉

Then again, if Palin’s gonna get away with hinting about Rep. “Uncle” Barney Frank as a pedophile*….  Race-baiting, pedo-baiting, Red Scare / McCarthyism (I don’t mean Jenny!), bigotry, woeful judgment, a hot temper and violence, questionable health, corporatocracy, potential PTSD, faked assaults — If we let them steal this one, it might be hard to get it back from them.  So much for your vaunted rights and freedoms, “inventory and investments”**….  😦

(*–Honestly, that’s right up there with Dick Armey’s “Barney Fag” — as if a guy named Dick Armey has any right to talk!)

(**–Yeah, that’s Joe the Plumber, “inventory and investments”!  TOTALLY OUT OF TOUCH AND OUT OF CONTROL!)

Politics roundup

Campaign Roundup

Please, you guys, Ayers / Wright is so old, learn a new tune, eh?  Either they don’t have much else to push on us, or they think just getting out their “base” will be enough on Election Day.  What do they know that we don’t?  Is it already “in the bag,” like 2000 and ’04?!!!  Election integrity, please!!!  And watch those polls from here on in for fudging both by pollsters and MSM.

Electoral College tally based on said polls looks good for America so far!  Remember it’s the Electors who elect … and we elect them.

Palin going to court … or so it looks, in connection with her “unlawful abuse of power” in Troopergate and possibly other matters.  It seems Wooten and Monegan want their reputations back, or just compensation.  It’s nice to see politicians being held accountable for their personal lies and abuses once in a blue moon!  I think if public figures defended their good names in court more, it might help clean-up our political discourse, which has been in the gutter since Reagan / Falwell / Robertson.  NOW I bet we’ll find out the meaning of IS!!!

De jure 44th President of the United States John Kerry isn’t just a hockey parent, he PLAYS hockey.  Did Comcast ever have him drop the puck at a Philadelphia Flyers game back in ’04?  It’s just Big Business, corporations, and Republican partisanship.

GOP borrow-and-spend, engineered fiscal crises

The Republicans like to run against Democrats by calling us “tax-and-spend liberals.”  They also pretend to fiscal restraint and conservatism, competence and responsibility, supposedly in contrast to us.  What’s become clearer to more and more Americans in the last 28 years is just how untrue this all is.

Anybody who gets into power in government has political or financial ‘debts’ to pay, support to buy, punishment to mete out, interests of their own to pursue, maybe even once in a while sincere attempts to do the right thing.  We Democrats are supposedly averse to cutting programs – for the rich as well as for the poor – because we’re softies, or usually feel sensitive to cross-aisle criticism with an eye on re-election.  In fact Democrats in Congress are frequently brutalized into cutting programs for the poor, rarely for the rich.  But when we want to do more, we’re generally honest about the cost, and try to “pay as you go.”  It’s cheaper that way: no years of interest piling up.  But it’s politically costly unless it’s a ‘home run,’ and national Democrats haven’t hit many of those since the ’60s and ’70s.

Republicans, OTOH, have figured out a neat way to spend what they want.  They borrow the money, cynically put the government, ie, you and me, into debt to finance their grand schemes usually for the rich and business, stockholders I mean – certainly not workers who do the work!  This may be called BORROW-AND-SPEND.  It ingeniously separates the issue of the proposal from the issue of paying for it, by years.  And their beneficiaries are very grateful, and show it.  Doubt me?  Reagan was a master at it; the fact that Clinton left office with a huge surplus was little short of a miracle.  But just as fast, W. and Co. have put us back into a deep hole with no bottom in sight.

But surely the chickens come home to roost eventually, you say?  So much the better from the Republican perspective.  Fiscal crisis makes it politically easier for them to get away with cutting help for the poor, needy, and workers; they’re definitely not softies.  Also, by the time crisis comes, all that accumulated debt is just a huge dollar sign, and they can make us forget what it was for.  “Certainly we have to pay our debts,” they say, and everybody agrees.  “But if we overtax the rich and businesses, they’ll leave us in the lurch.”*  And so our already-regressive tax system goes into a higher gear, hitting the poor and workers even more, while their rich, powerful friends remain grateful, and keep on showing it.  To add insult to injury, the GOP now gets an undeserved reputation for fiscal restraint and responsibility.  IT’S PURE POLITICS, SMOKE AND MIRRORS, BAIT-AND-SWITCH.  More recently, they “create facts on the ground,” getting us into wars that benefit mostly nobody but their contractor buddies; now it’s, “We can’t leave that country in a mess, can we?”

There’s a place for borrowing by government: needs such as capital construction or repair or purchase, or emergencies.  But Republicans borrow excessively, at least at the federal level.  In effect they SPEND-AND-TAX: They tax future generations!  That means interest on top of the initial (unworthy) cost.

This habit of theirs actually undermines two foundational principles of English/American democratic government: The people may not be taxed without the consent of their legislative representatives, aka, “Taxation without representation is tyranny**;” and, No legislature may bind a future legislatureDebt-abuse taxes future generations unnecessarily without their advance consent.  And it binds future legislatures to tax, to pay for this unnecessary debt.  Historically these principles are on a level with the Magna Carta, and ought to be considered more weightily than they have been in recent decades, especially by the GOP as it claims a “conservative” and “small government / anti-government” mantle … unless these too are just blowing smoke.

(*–What an undermining of our sovereignty!!  That’s treason!)

(**–Although there are certainly worse forms of tyranny!)

Rolling Stone: The truth about McCain, Palin

…and on the U.S. political system as a whole (no pun intended).  For Palin, see both the mythbusting list on this page and the perceptive Matt Taibbi rant linked from the top of it.  Highlights include Abramoff, earmarks, pork, Alaska’s highest taxes, Alaska’s highest federal spending, Wasilla being Alaska’s meth capital, etc.

They also now have up top there the newer issue’s McCain expose.  I have to go to bed, but get a load of this just one page one:

…Dramesi, who went on to serve as chief war planner for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander of a wing of the Strategic Air Command, was not surprised. “McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man,” Dramesi says today. “But he’s still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in.”

McCAIN FIRST

This is the story of the real John McCain, the one who has been hiding in plain sight. It is the story of a man who has consistently put his own advancement above all else, a man willing to say and do anything to achieve his ultimate ambition: to become commander in chief, ascending to the one position that would finally enable him to outrank his four-star father and grandfather.

In its broad strokes, McCain’s life story is oddly similar to that of the current occupant of the White House. John Sidney McCain III and George Walker Bush both represent the third generation of American dynasties. Both were born into positions of privilege against which they rebelled into mediocrity. Both developed an uncanny social intelligence that allowed them to skate by with a minimum of mental exertion. Both struggled with booze and loutish behavior. At each step, with the aid of their fathers’ powerful friends, both failed upward. And both shed their skins as Episcopalian members of the Washington elite to build political careers as self-styled, ranch-inhabiting Westerners who pray to Jesus in their wives’ evangelical churches.

In one vital respect, however, the comparison is deeply unfair to the current president: George W. Bush was a much better pilot.

Canada ends constitutional links to Britain

Yes, it’s true.  Way back in 1982 Canada ended the pro forma necessity for the Parliament at Westminster (UK) to ratify amendments to its constitutional law.  In Canada this is commonly referred to as the patriation of the constitution, ‘bringing it home’ so to speak.  This includes the Monarchy, because it is part of Canada’s constitutional system.  Therefore, Canada is most clearly no longer ruled by the Sovereign of the UK, but by the Sovereign of Canada.  Canada agreed in a way extemely difficult to change, to continue sharing its Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II and her heirs and successors, with other interested countries, such as the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Belize, etc.  In fact, Canada freely and democratically adopted the strongest pro-Monarchy constitution in the Commonwealth, stronger even than the UK itself.  The fact that Canada’s Monarch is shared, and resides in the UK, diminishes this not one iota, since Her Majesty is represented in Canada federally by the Governor General of Canada, and separately in each province by that province’s Lieutenant-Governor, all appointed on the advice of the democratically-elected federal Ministry, ie, the prime minister.  Furthermore, for the last half-century, all Canada’s GGs have been Canadians, not Britons or Australians or anything else.

My headline is a poke at Canada’s few thousand (small-R) republicans, who tend to get disproportionate MSM coverage there (while the Monarchy, the GG, the LGs, and monarchists get very little, usually negative or stereotyped, such as relatively unimportant “gaffes,” or “tea and crumpets” Anglophilia), and who claim to desire to “end constitutional links to Britain” by abolishing Canada’s Monarchy.  They clearly either don’t understand Canada’s constitution, or deliberately obfuscate the issue for ulterior motives: Many want to make Canada a clone of the United States (though others claim not to).  The fact is that Monarchy vs. Republic is not an issue as far as the general Canadian public cares; they’re content with the status quo.  If some MSM “journalist” or pollster asks a leading question like a bad prosecutor, then sure, they think about it, because they’re caring, intelligent people, less likely than Yanks to tell them to do something unpleasant to themselves.  But for the Canadian democracy — as opposed to the Canadian (U.S.-influenced) punditocracy — constitutional change of this magnitude is a non-starter.  They remember how a whole generation from the mid-1970s to the mid-90s was consumed with constitutional questions, and they just want to get on with normal life.

Do some Canadian politicians want to dump the Queen of Canada and become President?  Canadians are wiser to the ways of politicians than most Americans I think, perhaps because they have an option to deny them absolute power: the Monarchy.  Even the most powerful politician in Canada is nothing more than Her Majesty’s Canadian chief servant or advisor; “The Executive Government and Authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen” (Constitution Act 1867, paragraph 9 [formerly known as the original British North America Act that created the Canadian confederation out of 4 UK colonies]).

So it’s true, Canada has ended constitutional links to Britain … as of 1982.  In fact, HM came to Ottawa and signed it herself!

PS: I wonder if at least some who oppose Prince Charles succeeding his mother perceive her as having been weaker than some of her recent male predecessors, whereas His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is well-known for having definite opinions that call into question the accumulation of power — to society’s detriment — by politicians, businesspeople, ideologues, gratuitous anti-traditionalists, even ‘regressive’ pseudo-traditionalists, and such.  I certainly don’t agree with everything HRH has said or done publicly or personally, but he does strike me as sometimes a real ‘progressive conservative,’ or Red Tory in Canadian terms!

McCain lies

Recently got the following in a mass-email from national Democratic chairman, Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.:

John McCain is running the sleaziest and most negative presidential campaign we’ve ever seen — his campaign is setting new lows with their lies and desperate personal attacks.

Even Karl Rove, the mastermind of George W. Bush’s slash and burn politics, admitted that McCain’s attacks have gone “too far.”

…The McCain campaign has defended and repeated their lies, even after news outlets and independent watchdogs called them “shamelessly misleading,” “thoroughly dishonest,” and “a toxic mix of lies and double-speak.”

The Republicans even lied about the crowd size at one of Sarah Palin’s rallies — they reported 23,000 attendees when there were only 8,000.

These tactics are just more of the same culture of the dishonesty and division that has hurt America so badly the last eight years.

And John McCain is fighting for another four years of the same. Last week, he hired a Washington super-lobbyist to handpick potential White House staff. Apparently he wants to run our government the same way he runs his campaign — surrounded by lobbyists.

Obama “liberal” charge racist, groundless.

I’M a liberal (in America), and he ain’t!  Do they just presume because he’s Black, he’s “liberal”?  As if social justice is “liberal”!  Guess we know where that places the “conservatives”!!!

As for “Obama’s liberal allies in Congress,” we could USE some!  Congressional Democrats at large haven’t been “liberal” since the ’70s!

Then again, this might just be that syndrome where “conservative” talk radio mouths call anyone more moderate than themselves liberal.

“He changed Washington”?

Then how come it’s still the way it’s been since 1980?!!!  McCain didn’t change Washington.  “That’s not a maverick, that’s a sidekick!”

“She fought the Bridge to Nowhere”?

Only after vigorously supporting it, and all kinds of other pork-barrel spending for Alaska, till it became a joke in the rest of the country!

Orchestrated?

Is it possible they picked Palin precisely because of the questions she and her family and Alaska would provoke, as a means of (further) energizing their “base” (in both senses of the word) – see how they turned tonight into “Avoid the Issues / Bash the Media Night” – as well as producing a tail-between-the-legs repentance in the fearful, McCain-adoring MSM?  Enough that they’ll “pay no attention to the man behind that curtain” fiddling with the voting machine come November?

Some have noted how they threw poor Bristol to the wolves (not the ones shot from helicopters either).  If someone asks you, “Are you really the mother of Trig?” a logical answer isn’t, “My single teenage daughter’s pregnant,” it’s, “I’m not even going to dignify that bizarre question with a response.”  Is this the way Bristol’s real mom would respond?!!

I don’t say “Well played, Rove,” because for us not to raise these questions would be irresponsible.  If you can’t stand the heat, don’t keep dragging your kids and their lovers into the kitchen kicking and screaming – or onto the airport tarmac – while continuing to preach “family values” and privacy!  Maybe journalists play softball up in the 49th (-most-populous) State, although the top two newspapers there question her readiness too (and also her inflated – ie, lying – popularity rating).

If this is all a cynical ploy, it shows their disrespect for the White House they covet so.  Of course, the real decisions are made by the Ruling Class elsewhere, but the White House can slow their plans and ambitions if in the “wrong” hands.  Note I said slow; have they ever been stopped?

It also shows their disrespect for their “conservative” constituency, as well as that constituency’s willingness to be used so.  “What Would Jesus Do?”

Troopergate probe going Abramoff?

Did somebody “get to” the Palin aide who was to be a key voluntary witness and who proved Palin lied when she said none of her staff were involved?  Looks suspicious.  Just like how Abramoff fallout was going to bring down dozens of GOP Congresscritters … and what’s happened there?  “Challenging jurisdiction”?  Yeah, that’s real open, real change, real “maverick / reformer”!  If she has nothing to hide, she should go back to the Legislature freely, yes with lawyer if necessary … can’t do anything without lawyers anymore.  (And don’t let me hear them go on their “trial lawyer” tear now too!)  But by gosh, get them under oath, under pain of perjury, no Cheney / Gonzales special deals where they can lie again through their perfect teeth.  Sounds like she had a deal: no subpoena embarrassment.  For someone “not part of the Washington establishment,” she’s learning pretty quick!  “That’s not a maverick, that’s a sidekick!!”

Do we really know McCain?

McCain is touting America’s familiarity with him over Obama.  I guess it’s the devil you know over the devil you don’t know?!!  If that’s the best he has against the Democratic nominee, this’ll be a slam dunk!

But seriously, does the McCain America knows really exist?  The “maverick” buddy of the Religious Right and Bush/Cheney?  The “maverick” beloved of the MSM who votes mostly with the Hard Right?

Who’s zoomin’ who, Senator?  America is having the wool pulled over its eyes, I think.

“The Real McCain II”

New video exposes MSM support for McCain despite his non-straight talking.  (If he’s not a straight-talker, is he a queer-talker?!!!  Inquiring minds wanna know!)

(Also includes a spoof Stephanopoulos interview that’s pretty funny!)