Tag Archives: Obama

Should America have a secret police answerable only to the president?

10 Mar

Since it’s now apparently normal and OK for the president to have the power to execute American citizens with no judicial due process, congressional, or judicial oversight, why not a secret police force? If we’ve already established that it’s OK to execute citizens over seas, why not here inside the country? (The whitehouse has already acknowledged killing Americans overseas, but they won’t let on if they’re planning on using drones inside the country.) Why does it matter if the president uses a drone or a man with a gun? They both achieve the same effect. The executive branch, through Bush and now Obama, has already asserted it’s right to perform warrant-less wiretaps, searches and seizures, indefinite detention, and suspend habeus corpus. You just need to be labeled an enemy combatant or terrorist to lose all your rights. With the new ability to extrajudicial execute Americans, it would make a lot more sense for the president to form a special terror-fighting task force that combines all these powers. They would be able to spy on all Americans freely, arrest terrorists and dissidents, and imprison/execute offenders. Operating as an independent task-force answerable to only the executive branch would enable them to move quickly and decisively when protecting the state. We could call it something snazzy like the Security Task-force And Safety Initiative.

The passage of “Obamacare” highlights republican disconnect with reality.

30 Jun

Last week Obama’s healthcare reform legislation was upheld by the Supreme Court. CNN and Fox, showed just how little facts matter to them in their rush to be first to break the story by neglecting to read the whole document before declaring the legislation dead. Meanwhile, republicans showed just how little facts matter to them by promptly exploding upon hearing that the legislation passed.

Some republicans hilariously threatened to move to Canada as a result of this ruling. Little do they know, Canada has universal healthcare much stronger than anything passed in Obama’s legislation.

Romney promptly came out and denounced the legislation, vowing to repeal it on his first day in office.

Which is hilarious because in 2006 it was his idea:

In fact, the whole notion of an individual mandate, the government forcing you to buy something against your will, was originally the brain-child of the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation.

You see, the anti-free market notion of being forced to buy health insurance was developed by conservatives. Obama’s legislation was crafted by the health insurance industry. It spoon feeds them 30 million new customers who are required by law to buy from them.  Back in 2009, when all this was starting, 77% of the country supported having a public (government) option to generate competition and help keep prices down. Competition would have been bad for health insurance industry profits, so they made sure to take that option off the table. Instead we got this watered down legislation. Yes, it’s better than nothing at all, assuming it lives to take full effect, but what we needed was real systemic reform and this is not it.

But you see, conservatives are masters of compartmentalization and ignoring cognitive dissonance brought on by hypocrisy. None of the above mentioned facts will have an effect on them. They will continue to scream about the evils of making sure everyone has access to health care, and how this whole thing is liberal big government taking over their lives. This just goes to further highlight what I’ve been saying is the rosetta stone to understanding conservatives:

Objective reality and facts don’t matter. Narrative does.

In other news, republicans ban scientists and city planners from discussing sea level rise.

Are colleges liberal indoctrination mills?

28 Feb

Last week republican presidential candidate Rich Santorum said Obama was a snob for wanting all Americans to have the opportunity to go to college and get an education. He said this to the cheers and applause of a crowd of happy idiots.

The fact that higher education is good is almost axiomatic. (Don’t worry, we’ll wait while our conservative readers take a moment to google that big word.)

Got it? Good. Moving on.

Why do republicans like Santorum despise higher education? Simple. They view colleges as indoctrination mills where faithful, pure, and impressionable young people go to be brainwashed by a bunch of godless Marxists.

I would say the problem is that they are unable to accept that reality has a liberal bias, but I think the issue is deeper than that.

I don’t think they understand the concept of reality in the first place.

Without understanding the concept of reality, any argument made to stress the importance of reality might as well be in an alien language. They simply aren’t capable of comprehending. This isn’t because they’re bad people, or that they’re inherently stupid, just that they’ve never been exposed to the concept and have consequentially built up their entire world view on a foundation of ignorance.

I think this lack of an understanding of reality is the driving factor behind not only their disdain for education, but their mistrust of science and fervent religiosity. (But I’ll get to that in a moment)

How to do you about explaining reality?

Well, right now you’re in reality, whether you know it or not. It is the same as a fish that might not realize it is in water, but nonetheless is swimming in it. This place you’re in, it has laws. We don’t know every law there is, but we’ve been steadily finding out. So far we know this about the laws: You can’t break them.

This is not like a law against speeding where you can break it, and then get a ticket. You are not physically able to break these laws.

This place you’re in, it does not care who you are, how much money you have, or how strongly you feel about something. It will act in accordance to its laws and if you refuse to play along, you do so at your own peril.

So how do we know how to act in this place that has its own laws and doesn’t care about us? We watch. We test something and see how it works. If it does work, it fits with reality, if it doesn’t, then we must abandon the idea because it doesn’t fit. This may be extremely uncomfortable because people often have a lot invested in an idea, only to find out that it doesn’t fit. (And then a lot of them try to ignore that it doesn’t fit, only to eventually be destroyed for not playing along)

The richest, most powerful man in the world can stand on a beach and command the tide not to come in, but reality doesn’t care. If he refuses to move, he will drown. (That’s called natural selection, but that’s a different topic)

Unfortunately, republicans grow up being told that the world they live in is a certain way, even though that’s not how the world really is. Again, it’s not because they’re evil, or stupid, they are simply misguided. The older people telling them how the world is were also misguided by their parents, and their parents before them. Nevertheless, the children are taught to respect authority and that not questioning (faith) is a virtue.

The big disconnect comes with the idea of testing your views against how reality works to see if they stand up. This notion of testing is the heart of the scientific method. This disconnect also explains why conservatives are hostile to science. They just don’t operate that way.

College is a testing ground. People go to college in order to test ideas and see how they work. It is safer to test ideas in college where people outside won’t be impacted if something doesn’t work. Would you want a bridge builder testing a new design on an actual bridge that your family had to drive across? No. You’d want them to test it elsewhere to make sure it works, THEN come build the bridge.

College is a free market of ideas. This is possibly the only place we can make an analogy that conservatives might understand. What is the free market? Companies that are able to adapt survive, companies that don’t, fail.  (Also a form of natural selection!)

In college, ideas that work succeed, ideas that don’t, fail. So with this in mind, lets look at colleges.

Yes, colleges tend to be more liberal. A conservative would look at that and think “well obviously that’s because all the teachers are Marxists.” The truth is, it is not that the professors are Marxists, it is that conservative ideas fail the test against reality. If they passed, if ideas like “less access to birth control=fewer pregnancies” held true with reality, then you’d see colleges backing that.

Colleges are instead a reflection of reality. If colleges look liberal, it’s because reality is liberal.

So what’s a conservative to do? Change and adaptation are antithetical to conservatism, so instead the buckle down and shove their fingers in their ears even harder. They denounce education, denounce learning, and try everything they can to undermine the threat to their understanding of the world. This usually is in the form of disuading people away from education, like Santorum just did, cutting funding to education, or even building up their own bubble.

It is possible for a child to go from home school, to a private evangelical college, to the job place without ever having to come in contact with a new idea. Naturally, the results are disastrous, but since they’ve been brought up to believe that the conservative  world view is unquestionably correct, the fault for failure must always rest with some foreign enemy or saboteur.

The real tragedy is that, with these people in control of the country, when they refuse to move for the tide, we all drown.

There is nothing Obama can do right…

5 May

In the eyes of republicans, there is NOTHING Obama can do right. They refuse to give him credit for anything, no matter how much they might like it. It’s like an abusive relationship and Obama’s a hurt dog that keeps coming back to its master, begging to please, only to get beaten senseless at every trick preformed perfectly for the master’s amusement. I’m starting to think the president is somehow is mentally unstable.

Osama bin Laden is dead. Hunting him was one of the primary reasons (at least, officially) for why we invaded Afghanistan a DECADE ago. We hunted him down and killed him under Obama’s administration. But instead of making this an American victory, some conservatives are hell bent on making this a republican victory. (After all republicans = America and thus anything not republican ≠ America)

Lately I’ve heard a lot of talk along the lines of “Well, Obama’s not really responsible for killing Osama bin Laden since he wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger….”

You know what? If you follow that “logic” Osama bin Laden wasn’t really responsible for 9/11 because he didn’t fly the planes into the buildings… (But what am I say? Screw logic)

But now a lot of republicans are attacking Obama because apparently Osama was unarmed when we killed him. “How horrible was it that we killed an unarmed Osama bin Laden?!?!? The president is an evil evil man!”

I dare you, I fucking dare you to tell me republicans would be saying the same thing if Bush was the one who had an unarmed Osama bin Laden shot. There is no fucking way in hell republicans would be giving Bush shit for shooting Osama. They’d all be like “AMERICA!!!!! FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!111″

But no, the president is evil for killing the most evil man in the world simply because he puts a D by his name.

“You know, this really isn’t Obama’s victory because Bush was the one who started this whole thing. It’s really because of Bush’s policies that we’ve caught and killed Osama….”

I wish I was kidding, but that’s seriously what some of them are saying….

First off, Clinton (D) started the hunt for Obama before Bush ever took office, before 9/11. (But conviently ignore that unless you want to try and blame 9/11 on Clinton’s failed attempts to find Osama, at which point you’d also be ignoring the fact that the worst terrorist attack in US history happened on a republican’s watch)

Secondly, you’ll try to take credit for killing Osama because of policies enacted by Bush, but you won’t take credit for the economy crashing because of policies made by the exact same president?!?!?!

(Are you beginning to see how their minds work?)

Republicans do everything perfectly, democrats do everything horribly. Whenever something bad happens while a republican is in power, it’s the democrat’s fault. Whenever something good happens, it’s to the republican’s credit.

It’s the exact same “logic” they apply to god. God is on our side. Whenever something good happens, god did it. Whenever something bad happens, it’s because of our sinfulness and not following god. Everything happens for a reason. A tornado hits a house and kills an entire family except for one small child, “It was a miracle that the child lived! Isn’t god amazing?!” (Nevermind the fact that god allowed the tornado that just killed everyone else in the family) The game is rigged so god can never be put in a position of blame. Same is true for the republicans.

Not surprisingly, I’ve heard a lot of people attribute our killing Osama to god’s divine help. Yes laddies and gentlemen, the very same god who stood there and watched as 3,000 men,women, and children were butchered has finally decided to help us find and kill the man responsible after 10 years, $1,500,000,000,000, and 1,000,000 war dead. God works in mysterious ways eh?

Why does it matter where you were born?

2 May

Last week Obama caved to the pressure of a growing number of wingnut conspiracy theorists who firmly believed his pregnant mother flew from the US to Kenya to give birth to him, and then immediately to Hawaii (the farthest state from Kenya, seriously! Florida was only a couple thousand miles closer) in order that her child could one day be president of the United States.

The fact is, this whole “birther” movement isn’t about Obama’s birth certificate. It never has been. If you read between the lines you’ll see that all this talk about where he was born is just thinly veiled racism. “Obama is a nigger, and niggers aren’t Americans.” It’s sad, but not surprising, that such a large chunk of conservatives have subscribed to this view. They, and they alone, are the true Americans, surrounded in a land of savages and heathens who would destroy their America.

But the fact that Obama isn’t white, and thus will never be a “real” American, aside, why does it matter where you are born? I’ve never understood people’s preoccupation with this. I feel like it’s some pseudo-spiritual bullshit like the idea that the stars you were born under dictate your personality. (Horoscopes)

It does not matter where your mother squeezed you out of her vagina.

Back in World War Two, Nazi propaganda encouraged young couples to have sex in particular cemeteries. The idea was that if the woman conceived a child from the encounter, the spirits of the ancient German folk heroes buried there would enter the womb and thus be given a new body when born.

Believing that where you are born matters is no more bat-shit crazy than believing ancient ghosts will enter your baby if you fuck in a cemetery. The whole notion of “where you’re born matters” revolves around this idea that some “spirit” or quality of the place imprinting itself on you at birth.

I was born in Texas. Therefore I must be a real Texan right? Hell no. I was there for about a year, all of which I don’t remember. I don’t hunt, I don’t drive a truck, I’m not religious, I don’t have a cowboy hat or boots, I don’t have a Texas accent, I don’t like spicy food, and I’m not a republican. Nothing about me is Texan.

Land is land is land. There is no mystical qualities about one place that makes it different from another. The only difference is in weather and vegetation. Last time I checked, the 5 day forecast and what types of berries grow outside don’t effect a person’s personality.

What matters more than where you entered the world is where you spend time growing up. The culture you’re raised has a large impact on your personality and world view. Someone raised in Saudi Arabian culture is going to be molded by that culture. The physical land surrounding that culture doesn’t do the molding, the people living there do. Yes, geography impacts culture, but none the less, you’re not being raised by the rivers and the trees.

A perfect example would be the children of immigrants. They may be born in another country, but their parents are still the ones who raise them. Depending on how strict the parents are about keeping the traditions and culture from their homeland, the child may or may not grow up to resemble that culture.

So in essence, it doesn’t matter where you’re born. Obama could have been born in Japan, it wouldn’t make a lick of difference. He was raised in the US and thus he is American. Oh, and little know fact: John McCain was born in Panama, which is now not part of America.

It’s a great time to be a conservative

7 Jan

Last Wednesday at noon the republicans took control of the house with the vow to slash domestic funding and decrease the federal deficit.  They came in with a strong list of new rules. One of the biggest changes was “Slash as you go” instead of “Pay as you go.” This means that for every dollar in government spending you add, you must slash a dollar somewhere else. They also forbade anything that would add to the deficit.

But these are republicans, rules? principles? You’ve got to be kidding. Cue massive hypocrisy.

The biggest target in republican’s cross-hairs is the weak sauce healthcare reform. Unfortunately for them, the Congressional Budget Office (the non-partisan organization that crunches the numbers for everything the government does or is considering doing) came out and stated that repealing the health care reform would add $143 billion onto the deficit. That’s a mathematical fact provided by an independent accounting organization.

But then again these are conservatives. Reality and facts are what you want them to be.

The new speaker of the house, republican John Boehner simply replied “The CBO is entitled to their opinion.” The republicans tacitly admitted they knew the CBO was right because they then passed one of their first acts: giving themselves and exemption to their rule of “slash as you go” so they could kill healthcare and add $143 billion to the deficit. Bravo…. (Oh, and don’t forget, even when they kill healthcare, the republicans are planning on keeping their free healthcare that they get as US congressmen.)

But healthcare hypocrisy is not the only reason to celebrate! The republicans plan on gutting every protective legislative body they can. The FDA regulates businesses that make sure the food your family eats or the drugs you take aren’t poison? Kill it. The EPA regulates corporations that would dump toxic sludge in your neighborhood rivers? Kill it.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, they are going after protective legislation with a battle ax.  The goal is to put us back to the turn of the 20th century, where you were either dirt poor or one of those robber barons, where snake oil salesmen went from town to town bilking people of their money in return for poison, where tainted meat and vegetables made their way easily onto your dinner table, where environmental protection was only a dream. This is the goal.

Speaking of environmental protection, it’s official, there will be no improvement in the fight against global warming; the most dangerous and pressing issue facing us today. If we do nothing we may all die. We may very well push our planet out of the the knife edge thin “Goldilocks zone” where the conditions for life are just right, into a run away greenhouse effect that is currently cooking the planet Venus.

But that won’t happen. You know why? JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, denying reality (be it scientific or what the CBO says the numbers are) is mandatory for membership in the republican club house. A shinning example is John Shimkus. Johhny boy is trying to become the chairman of the committee responsible for oversight on those groups that regulate pollution, toxic waste, and the greenhouse gases that are cooking our planet. But have no fear! Even though all the observable evidence tells us that we are racing for the cliff edge, nothing bad will happen. Jesus won’t let it. God made this earth for us and he wouldn’t make it so we could corrupt it…. (original sin? releasing evil into the world? No? Guess he’s not big on reading his own book, but then again republican and hypocrisy are synonymous)

But the party continues! Now that the republicans are in control of the house they are promising non-stop investigations and witch hunts, even against organizations that don’t exist anymore.

Yet do you want to know the #1 reason right now is an amazing time to be a conservative? The icing on the cake? The piñata of goodies?

Because Obama is your bitch and no matter how bad your policies fuck up the country and the future of the world, ultimately he is president and there is a “D” by his name.  Obama just hired William Daley to be his chief of staff, replacing Rahm Emanuel. (Rahm who said liberals, ie the people who voted for Obama and make up the democratic base, were “fucking retarded.”) If you think Rahm is right wing and pro-establishment, get a load of Daley! Daley’s a right wing corporatist who works for JP Morgan and who wants to kill the consumer protection agency! There is no fucking way Obama is a liberal or has any intention of fighting the status quo! He is the status quo.

So republicans are vicariously living through Obama while pushing through their “kill all government agencies that don’t help the rich get richer” policies that, if they fail or fuck everything up, they can easily lay at the feet of the democrats just in time for the 2012 elections when they can do it all over again for another four years… Goddamn it’s a good time to be conservative!

Obama is a republican

9 Dec

You’re only kidding yourself if you still believe Obama is a democrat; he’s come out and made it abundantly clear that he’s a republican. Here is a short list of reasons why:

Tax cuts and unemployed benefits: Obama has fully taken up the republican position that the richest people in the country should be even richer and that poor people can go to hell. For the longest time republicans have been threatening to filibuster everything unless they got the 2 year extension of Bush tax cuts, essentially holding unemployment benefits hostage. (They can afford to wait, rich people don’t worry about paying the heating bill and putting food on the table with winter coming) Well along comes Obama and, not only does he completely side with the republicans, he gives them more than they could ever dream of. Obama’s tax cuts go much deeper than Bush’s. On top of the normal income tax cuts for people making over $250,000, the estate tax is lowered to 35% from 55% (something republicans have been trying to get for decades!) Secondly, the rich get the majority of their money from investments, not from a job salary, and under these new tax cuts the taxes on the major sources of that income will be 15% (Capital gains, dividend taxes, etc) This means the tax rate on the rich’s main source of income will be drastically lower than the tax rate for normal people. In return for ALL this, Obama gets unemployment benefits extended for a measly 13 months, a little over HALF the amount of time the rich got on their tax cuts. The sick thing is that Obama could have easily gotten much more for the poor had he stood up and fought. (For every $1 government spends on unemployment, it gets $1.40 back in economic activity since poor people turn around and spend the money quickly to buy food and other necessities. Tax cuts for the rich, however, only return about $.40 since they are more likely to save and horde their money during bad economic times)

I really have to admire the republicans on this. Their strategy is brilliant! They get Obama to publicly side with their policies and increase the deficit to make the rich richer, then they will turn around and destroy Obama in 2012 by saying “Look! That damn democrat drastically increased government spending and the deficit!!!!” at which point Obama will crumple into tears “Bu..bu..but I thought you were my friends?” Meanwhile, they have Obama attacking the democrats and doing all the leg work for them!

On the Today Show, David Axelrod, senior advisor to the president said of the democrats “If they don’t vote for this proposal, it will be borderline immoral.”  The Huffington post reports the white house is now blaming the democrats, claiming THEY are holding employment benefits hostage in order to deny a small group of rich people a tax break.  This is a massive and brilliant flip. Even though the republicans have been blocking everything democrats want for the past 2 years, and have been threatening to filibuster everything if they didn’t get their tax cuts, it’s now suddenly the democrats’ fault because they’re not caving to republicans fast enough. Fucking brilliant! At the same time Larry Summers, Obama’s top economic advisor came out and threatened “if the democrats don’t pass this bill within the next couple of weeks, it will materially increase the risk that the economy will stall out and cause a double dip recession.” That’s right, if you don’t give tax cuts to the multi-millionaire bankers that orchestrated the economic crash, then you’re responsible for when they do it again.

This one topic alone is a dream come true for republicans. Karl Rove just came out in praise of Obama’s recognition that republican policies were right. Just the other night Bill O’Reilly praised Obama on his segment “Talking points” saying he did the right thing for the country by siding with “us.”

But enough about republican Obama on tax cuts, what about Social Security?

Yep, Obama just helped put another nail in the coffin of Social Security. Obama came up with the wonderful idea to cut payroll taxes (which is the lifeblood of Social Security) for 6.2% to 4.2% ($120Bn cut). Republicans LOVE it because it helps undermine Social Security. Republican Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee astutely pointed out “Once something like this goes into place, a year from now, when it expires, it’ll be portrayed as a tax increase.” This is also brilliant on the part of the republicans! Obama gives them a tax cut from the life blood of social security (something conservatives despise) and they will portray the tax rate returning to normal as an increase. People won’t like that, and they’ll be able to permanently starve Social Security of that money. Brilliant!

Lets move along the list shall we?

No public option in healthcare. Despite 77% of people supporting a public option that would have increased market competitiveness, Obama sided with the big insurance corporations who didn’t want competition. Instead he let the companies practically write the bill themselves, guaranteeing millions of new customers are forced to buy their product, easily making up the cost and then some for the little concessions they had to make like not dropping you if you got sick.

Federal Pay freeze: Republicans love it! What did Obama get in return for agreeing to it? Jack Shit. (It could easily have been a powerful bargaining chip and he just flat out gave it to them.)

An absolute and humiliating farce of financial reform.

No prosecution on republican war criminals who lied about the reasons for going to war in Iraq, no prosecution on torture and waterboarding (for which we executed Japanese officers after WWII), in fact Obama CONTINUES to use these illegal “tactics” to get unreliable information.

No end to the prison at Guantanamo Bay, no end to “indefinite detentions” where people disappear into a black bag and are never heard from again.

No end to the secret prisons around the globe.

An escalation of the war in Afghanistan. Meanwhile 92% of Afghans have never heard of 9/11 and have no idea why we’re there. (They just attack us because we’re in their country.

Obama reversed his campaign promises and opened up new areas to off-shore drilling, despite the BP disaster.

Obama took a stance against LGBT rights. His administration even went so far as to appeal gay marriage rulings that were made in favor of LGBT rights.

Obama continued and expanded faith based initiatives, giving government money to religious organizations.

Obama just decided to delay EPA enforcement of pollution regulations.

I could go on, but doing this is getting depressing. I think you get the idea. There is no way in hell Obama is a liberal. He should just abandon all pretenses to being one and change the D by his name to an R. Perhaps then republicans will stop whipping him every time he does their bidding. Who knows, maybe he likes the punishment he recieves in the process of serving them. It’s too bad for him though, it looks like he’s ruined his chance of running as a republican in 2012 since so many of the republican base already are scared of him. (He’s doing what they want, but he’s still black, and that’s scary.) One thing is damn sure though: come 2012, throw his ass to the curb.

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