We didn’t break that.

Seriously, with all the furor over the president’s ill-chosen analogy, Republicans haven’t had a chance to look in the mirror lately. (How many ice cream vendors have built bridges that allow customers to get to their shop … or ‘shoppe’? How many manufacturing firms built a global peer-to-peer computer network to talk to suppliers and customers? None? Okay then.)

Someone made a disparaging, unfounded and spurious charge about the irresponsible nature of President Obama and his handling of “the people’s money.” So I wrote him a note. No, it wasn’t the guy in the photo, but he’s been busy lying, too. Here’s what I said:

What you need to do, is stop believing what you’re *told* is the problem. “Obama’s an irresponsible spendthrift and we need to cut government services for the ‘lazy’ and ‘irresponsible’ and stop giving away other people’s money?” That’s the charge, in its many and varied iterations, that is parroted back most often. Whether the discussion is government programs, the deficit, or ‘the shameful waste of government’ vs. ‘the lean, mean fighting machine of capitalism’, facts seem to bounce off right-wing cerebrums with equal ease.

This fiscal year the deficit will total around 7.6% – which is not good. What is good, is that next year the number will be 6.3% and by 2014 down to 5.8%. Ronald Reagan struggled with the economy, too – running an annual deficit of 6% in 1983 – but just as the current administration is doing – whittled it down until we were in surplus again by 1998. Of course, Ronald Reagan also tripled the national debt, raised the debt ceiling SEVENTEEN times and raised taxes (after famously cutting them).

Reagan’s tax increases didn’t put the burden back on Americans equally, though – it was mostly on the backs of the working class (the same poor sods who keep electing Republicans because .. guns! … gays … God!). Oh yeah, President Reagan also took money out of the Social Security trust fund to bring his budget back from the brink of deficit Hell. But, as a Republican icon of ‘anti-government’ toughness – none of these FACTS about Reagan are fair game in any rational discussion of where the country is today, right?

Our annual budget deficit was 30.3% in 1943, but America had a war to win back then – so we all pitched in: we rationed food, gas and planted victory gardens. In 2003, our president told us to “go shopping,” put the war effort on the country’s credit card (but never, EVER on the actual BUDGET), and outsourced over half the effort to third world nations (can you say Halliburton hired boatloads of workers from the Republic of the Philippines to do American jobs? I knew you could.)

Yes, Dick Cheney’s idea to “privatize” the military has been a total success – for Dick Cheney and his pals. For the soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines – not so much. How many servicemen were electrocuted in the showers before America started paying attention? Remember the “hillbilly Humvee armor?” Yes please – fewer services and increased costs! It’s the American way!

Each year, the loopholes and deductions available only to the wealthiest Americans costs this country approximately $1.7 TRILLION in lost revenue. It dribbles out of our Treasury in itemized tax deductions – $77,000 for a pet horse owned by Ann Romney here – a quarter million in a tax haven there. What you do, is move money from a candidate’s right pants pocket, to his left – sheltering the cash in a stock that doesn’t actually GO to the needy – but keeps the charity portfolio strong, allowing them to keep their Park Avenue offices open – ready, willing and able to help poor fat-cats find shelter from the IRS storm.

And yes – it may be a tax deduction today, but it’s still available for buying a new dressage horse, should the Romneys decide at a later date to cash in the stock. You know what happens when the uber-rich don’t pay their taxes? Greece.

In the words of Senator Lindsey Graham

“I don’t blame anybody for using the tax code to their advantage…It’s a game we play.

Every American tries to find the way to get the most deductions they can. I see nothing wrong with playing the game because we set it up to be a game.”

The only problem with that statement, of course, is that there is a completely different set of rules for those that have, and those who have to work for a living. Which may explain why House Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wrote a loophole for himself into the STOCK Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge).

The Senate bill required reporting of any transaction over $1,000 within 45 days by both members of Congress, staff and family. Simple and straightforward language. In the House version, Cantor exempted family members from the reporting rule – so if you talk about your workday and it just so happens that you mention insider information which will send a stock price higher – how can that member of Congress be held accountable if their SPOUSE cashes in on that knowledge? I mean, really? Actually, they can’t.

Cantor also stripped out the language which required lobbyists to register their involvement in the House of Representatives, and the portion of the law that took away pension payments from members of Congress found to be corrupt. So if you’re found guilty of a felony – it’s good to be a member of the United States Congress.

But yeah – Obama’s the problem. I can see the new attack ad as if it were this afternoon: “Obama supporter now admits: “OBAMA’S THE PROBLEM.” And not one trace of irony was noted. Bravo – well played.

Thank you, Google.

I was looking for some picture of the Minnesota Congresswoman, but this works out just as well.

Michele Bachmann is a paranoid lunatic who, offered the right counseling and pharmacological help, might someday live a happy, healthy and productive life.  As it is, she’s an embarrassment to herself and the state she represents.

Did you know that Huma Abedin, a top advisor to Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, is actually a secret agent for the Muslim Brotherhood? Neither did she… or the FBI … or the CIA, or the United States Secret Service. Thank goodness Michele was there to sound the alarm, huh?

She also fired off letters to the Department of Defense (who failed to “characterize accurately the jihadist motivations” of Maj. Nidal Hassan, (it’s because he’s Muslim, you see – not that he’s crazy), the Department of Homeland Security (who is covering up the “deep penetration” of the Muslim threat to our American way of life), the US Department of Justice (where officials are being duped by “fronts” for the Brotherhood) AND to the Office of Director of National Intelligence, requesting “your office conduct a formal investigation or evaluation into the extent to which Muslim-Brotherhood tied individuals (read ‘any Muslim’) and entities (read ‘Mosques and schools’) were involved in” something or other that makes her nervous. Like loud noises – or getting on you knees to pray (but only if you use a rug).

Did you get all that? ‘There are Muslims in America and they want to take away our freedoms.’ Wait, what? You think I am oversimplifying Rep. Bachmann’s message? Okay then, let’s hear it directly from the horse’s mouth, in her response letter to Rep. Keith Ellison (who essentially told her to stop being a reactionary zealot).

“So, the danger of the Muslim Brotherhood is not just encouraging terrorism through their ideology but also trying to take over governments so everyone has to succumb and live under their ideology.”

You know, like self-righteous Christian theocrats who stray from the church into politics. But I digress.

You see, our law enforcement personnel and intelligence and judicial employees are just rubes and easy prey for these sinister plots. According to Ms. Bachmann: “Considering that many U.S. Government agencies, including some of those in the intelligence and law enforcement community, have engaged in outreach programs with organizations and their leaders identified by the U.S. Government as Muslim Brotherhood members and fronts, it is entirely reasonable to… ” ask these agencies to spend millions of dollars on a witch hunt. Right?

Not to put too fine a point on the matter, but when Congressman Ellison noted that Bachmann and others said “the mother, brother and deceased father of Huma Abedin, Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood…” and this makes her actions suspect, Michele Bachmann was quick to note how WRONG Mr. Ellison was.

Said Ms. Bachmann in her reply: “In fact, what we wrote was that: “…the Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin, has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations. Her position provides her with routine access to the Secretary and to policy making.”

Potato, potahto.

And now that the sane people in the room are taking note of just how far out on the lunatic fringe she really is, she’s doubled-down on her attack on Huma Abedin (perhaps because she’s married to disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner). I mean, doesn’t the woman have enough troubles, without this?

Abedin’s late father, Professor Syed Z. Abedin wrote an article in 2002 for the Brigham Young University Law Review. In it, he acknowledged the former director of the Muslim World League was a supporter of one of his charities. The Muslim World League was connected to the Muslim Brotherhood – in Europe – between the 70s and the 90s. Aha! A “smoking gun.” But wait – what does the very next paragraph in the article written by Huma Abedin’s father say?  Syed Abedin concludes that the Koran calls for, “multiple ways of life … i.e. religious and cultural plurality among mankind.” Be afraid, Michele. That’s some dark, “take over governments so everyone has to succumb and live under their ideology” Islamo-fascist rhetoric.

What a maroon. Can we please vote this woman out of office this time? I mean, really? Please?

 

The Selling of American Democracy: The Perfect Storm

Robert Reich is ‘one of those guys’ who might be doing more for America since he’s left a life of public service. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are a couple others. Because Professor Reich is now unrestrained from living the conventional wisdom of those inside the Beltway of Washington, D.C. He doesn’t really care if you agree with him or not. Building consensus isn’t on his agenda anymore. Waking people up to the sad realities of how badly broken things are … is.

Well, wake up, America. You’re about to lose it all. The whole kettle of fish.

“Compared to what the GOP is doing this year, Democrats are conducting a high-school bake sale. The mega-selling of American democracy is a Republican invention, and Romney and the GOP are its major beneficiaries. And the losers aren’t just Democrats. They’re the American people. You need to make a ruckus. Don’t fall into the seductive trap of cynicism. That’s what the sellers of American democracy are counting on. If you give up on our system of government, they win everything.”

Read the whole article here.

Aaron Sorkin Rocks. Out loud.

You know why people don’t like liberals? Because they lose. If liberals are so fucking smart, how come they lose so goddamn always? And with a straight face you’re gonna tell students that America is so star-spangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom, Japan has freedom, the U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia. Belgium has freedom! 207 sovereign states in the world, 180 of them have freedom. Just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there are some things you should know, and one of them is there is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re seventh in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force, and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies. Now, none of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you nonetheless are without a doubt a member of the worst, period, generation, period, ever, period. So when you ask what makes us the greates country in the world I don’t what the fuck you’re talking about. Yosemite? 

The Newsroom 1.01 | We Just Decided To

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Some of you may be catching wind of a story about some state level Michigan Republicans huffing and puffing because a female representative said the word “vagina” on the floor of the House.

Ignore this story. It is a sideshow.

Instead, please turn your attention to this guy. His name is Bruce Rendon, and he is a state representative from a tiny little backwater town in northwest bumble-fuck Michigan with a population of less than 1000.

Bruce Rendon is not an evil man, just a simple one. He has an associates degree in how to draw a straight line. He’s in the construction business just like his daddy used to be, and his idea of a god-fearing good time is judging dairy cows at county fairs. That’s fine. The world needs men who pin prize ribbons on cattle, but those men should not be given the power to legislate the complexities of biomedical ethics. That’s how wars on women get started.

You see, this pointy-headed numnard recently introducedHouse Bill 5711, a ham-fisted piece of legislation that’s being called the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion bill. All the ridiculousness on the floor of the Michigan House is a direct result of this ignorant piece of draconian drivel.

It’s unsophisticated men like Bruce Rendon who in their righteousness are fucking things up for the rest of us, and though he may not be an evil man, that doesn’t make him any less an enemy, and I personally believe it’s always a good thing to know your enemy’s name.

Go fuck yourself, Bruce Rendon.

Thank you, The Coquette