Friday, February 13, 2009

Party First or Country First?

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), who broke with his party to support President Obama's stimulus package last week, said before the final vote Friday that more of his colleagues would have joined were they not afraid of the political consequences.

"When I came back to the cloak room after coming to the agreement a week ago today," said Specter, "one of my colleagues said, 'Arlen, I'm proud of you.' My Republican colleague said, 'Arlen, I'm proud of you.' I said, 'Are you going to vote with me?' And he said, 'No, I might have a primary.' And I said, 'Well, you know very well I'm going to have a primary.'"

... read the rest after the click.

My comment: In our two party system of government, some people are able to put the country first. Others feel they have to put party before country. I wonder how that's going to play in Peoria.

... and then there's this by John Ridley:

The Republican Bipartisan Myth

Shangri-la and Brigadoon and Bipartisan. Three mythical places. One of which few Republicans have seemingly ever heard. Because if there is one thing we can take from the first weeks of the "New" Washington, it's that the (liberal) Democrats are incompetent (old news, really) and the Republicans are disingenuous when it comes to bipartisanship. Oh, sure, they talk up the swellness of President Obama every chance they get. And will continue to do so as long as his approval numbers are above fifty percent. But most GOPers tend to become like children who dance hysterically in a sandbox when it comes time to play with others.

Despite all the sit-downs Obama had with the Republicans -- apparently too many for Speaker Pelosi's tastes -- and despite the fact that the House version of the Stimulus Bill contained specific tax breaks for which the Republicans had asked -- though not to the degree they wished -- not a single GOPer would break ranks, step up and vote for the bill. A surprisingly "my way or the highway" attitude for the minority party whose eight years of good cogitating was a major factor in whipping America into the stellar fiscal shape we find ourselves.

... read the rest of this one after the click.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Still More "Why things are the way they are"

Imagine that ... !!! I can only wonder who prevailed ...

It takes a real sense of priorities to be in government.

I wonder if they're going to find any ...

Heck of a paint job, Brownie!

Who could have predicted that?

You now have choices ...

Good thing, too!!

Uh ... that narrows it down ...

Again, what a surprise ...

I would have guessed after 20, but what do I know?

[Tip o' the hat to Bob M. in Pennsylvania for passing this one along to share.]

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

There are consequences ...

... that follow from putting people in charge of government who believe government is the problem; who believe government doesn't work and who have a vested interest in proving that government doesn't work:

The president of the peanut company linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak serves on an industry advisory board that helps the U.S. Department of Agriculture set quality standards for peanuts.

Stewart Parnell, president of Peanut Corp. of America, based in Lynchburg, Va., was first appointed to the USDA’s Peanut Standards Board in July 2005 and was reappointed in October for a second term that runs until June 2011, according to the USDA.

... read the rest on AJC (Atlanta Journal Constitution) after the click.

Republicans: Spare Me Your Newfound "Fiscal Responsibility"

from Joseph Palermo

At his press conference on Monday, President Barack Obama had to remind Mara Liasson of Fox News and NPR that it was the Republicans who doubled the national debt over the past eight years and it's a little strange to be hearing lectures from them now about how to be fiscally responsible. That interchange was my favorite part of the press conference. A savvy inside-the-Beltway reporter of Ms. Liasson's caliber shouldn't have to be reminded that George W. Bush and the Republican Congress were among the most fiscally reckless politicians in U.S. history.

The most inexcusable action the Republican Congress and the Bush administration took vis-à-vis the federal budget was to launch two wars and two open-ended occupations without raising one dime in revenues to pay for them. Never in the history of this country has an administration and Congress cut taxes while launching open-ended wars.

... read the rest on Huffington Post after the click.

My comment: A new found sense of fiscal responsibility; a new found desire for bipartisanship ... but the same old sense of social responsibility. Party first, nation second, but wave the flag and accuse everyone in sight of being unpatriotic. You can ignore the plight of the unemployed, and the recently homeless among us as long as you wear a flag pin. Conservative economists be damned! Who cares if they say tax cuts won't do the trick ... go for the tax cuts. After all, its bought votes in the past. No reason to think it won't work now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

FDR didn't get us out of the Great Depression ...

Source: Measuring Worth.

All those public works projects like the WPA and the CCC which rebuilt our infrastructure, made all those walkways in the National Parks that you enjoy so much, that planted trees to fight the effects of the Dust Bowl ... no effect. All those Librul programs that put over 10 million unemployed people back to work (8 million in the WPA alone) ... didn't do anything positive. All that damned "spending"! What a silly thing to do!

The only thing that had an effect were the tax cuts he ceded to Conservatives in 1937 - 1938. Oh, wait, maybe the graph is up-side-down!

Yeah .. well ... it was WWII that got us out of the Great Depression. So, guess who the leader was through THAT?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Republicanism Explained

from Jude T. of First Draft

In the last few months, as the scavengers have picked at the carcass of the Republican party, I've heard a lot of people talk about what "conservatism" means. Most recently, the New York Times saw fit to address the issue in this waste of virtual space.

Well, I can't definitively say what "conservatism" means. I possess no advanced degrees, am not a philosopher, and have almost no knowledge of political science.


I can tell you what Republicanism means, and that, I think, is a more germane issue. As I'm sure you've noticed, we don't have a "Conservative" party on our ballots. No. We have a "Republican" one. So figuring out what they stand for seems to be a much more useful endeavor than attempting to define "conservatism."

Well, I've done a lot of observing and thinking, and it seems to me that the Republican party stands for two things.

  1. Tax cuts are the cure for everything, including the common cold.
  2. Fuck you.

And that's pretty much it. All of the shit that the Republicans do flows from those two points.

... more from First Draft after the click.

The Evil of Banality

from Joseph Palermo

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham's fulminations on the Senate floor last Friday were a sight to behold. He denounced President Barack Obama for being "A.W.O.L." on providing leadership for his economic stimulus bill and theatrically concluded: "This bill stinks. The process that's led to this bill stinks. If this is a new way of doing business, if this is the change we can all believe in, America's best days are behind her!" Graham then made his usual rounds on corporate media repeating his "it stinks" tag line. When I caught a snippet of Graham's dramatic soliloquy it led me to wonder to what constituency is he speaking? Could it be the people who live in those counties in South Carolina where unemployment is now 20 percent? Or was Graham just channeling the sentiments of the beleaguered white men of his state?

... read the rest of it after the click.

and then there's this ...

Sixty-seven percent of the American people approve of how President Obama's handling his efforts to pass an economic stimulus bill, as opposed to 48% for Democrats in Congress and 31% for congressional Republicans.

... more after the click.

Innovative Uses for Corporate Credit Cards

... or catch the video here on YouTube.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Dawkins on Creationism

Professor Richard Dawkins on creationism, evolution and religion.

Crash Landings: Paul Krugman's Depression Economics

By Bernard Avishai

"We sometimes, for example, hear it said," writes John Stuart Mill in his Principles of Political Economy, "that governments ought to confine themselves to affording protection against force and fraud"; that people should otherwise be "free agents, able to take care of themselves." But why, he asks, considering all the "other evils" of a market society, should people not be more widely protected by government--that is, "by their own collective strength"? Much like Mill, Paul Krugman likes capitalism's innovations but not its crises and thinks that government has a duty to facilitate the former and protect us from the latter. He doubts that citizens will get much protection from moguls--or from most economists, for that matter--unless we trouble to grasp how the whole intricate game works, so that our legislators will form a consensus about how to regulate it.

... more in The Nation, with all that Liberal media bias (you can't find anywhere else) after the click.