Wednesday, September 30, 2009

GOP Outrage Towards “Die Quickly” Crack Rings Hollow

If you’re like me, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) is your new hero!  Last night, on the floor of the House, Rep. Grayson did what Republicans have been unable to do…spell out their alternative health care plan, which is:

1.  Don’t Get Sick

2.  If you do get sick, DIE QUICKLY!

Watch it, it’s quite funny:

Of course, Republicans are outraged!  How could a Representative say such awful things on the House floor?  It’s unprecedented! 

Um…not really.  See, they’ve been talking about death all summer:

Frankly, this is typical of the Republican Party.  They can dish it out, but they can’t take it.

63% Willing to Pay Taxes for Health Care, but 35% Believe Government Can Deliver

I have always said that I would be willing to pay for quality health care, even if that health care plan is run by the Government.  It appears I’m not alone.

Most Americans would pay higher taxes to fund healthcare reforms that provide the best quality of care, but only a minority expects Washington to deliver it, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

The telephone survey of 3,003 U.S. adults conducted by Thomson Reuters found 63 percent willing to pay for healthcare reform, though most also said they are happy with their own doctors, insurance plans and out-of-pocket costs.

However, only 35 percent of those surveyed said President Barack Obama's reform agenda and the debate in Congress will lead to better health service, while 41 percent said they would expect it to lead to lower costs.

I find the second part of this interesting.  Truth be told, I agree.  I sincerely question the Government’s ability to pass any meaningful reforms, especially since it appears they’re in the insurance industry’s hip pocket.  That said, I remain optimistic as four of five proposed bills (three in the House and one in the Senate) have public options.  We’re going to see a lot of haggling and wrangling the next few weeks.  Should be interesting.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nutter Bill and Me: Part II - Unexpected Correspondence, Animated Birds, Email Hell, and Confessional

Those of you who follow along regularly might have noticed that I’ve been phoning it in lately.  I’ve been posting lots of clips with very little writing.  Yeah, phoning it in is how I would describe it.  Frankly, I haven’t had the desire to write.  As a relatively new pundit, I found the month of August to be quite taxing on my optimistic view of the future.  I credit my encounter with Nutter Bill as the event that took the wind out of my sails.  Truth be told, I had no problem with the meeting itself.  No, my problem is what happened after. 

A couple of days after our meeting, I received a letter in the US Mail from none other than Nutter Bill.  Yes, he sent me personal correspondence in an envelope, complete with postage.  I have to admit, it was a little creepy.  I mean, who writes letters anymore except for lawyers.  Also, what would he have to do to find my address?  Phone book?  Who uses that anymore?!?  And, I just met this guy on the corner!  Yeah, I told him my name and where I lived, but jeez, I didn’t tell him that much! 

I took a second, decided I told him enough, that I’m not that hard to find, and read the letter.  It turned out to be very thoughtful.  I didn’t agree with all of it, but I could sense that we had a mutual respect for the other, as Americans, and that if we boil our differences down, we’d see that we weren’t that far apart. 

I wanted to write him back, but my wife, who isn’t as optimistic as I am and tends to be cautions about such things, as well as being more creeped out than I was, told me it was a bad idea.  I sat on it for a few days, finally giving way to curiosity, deciding that better angels would prevail.  My intention was not to change his mind, but to open a dialogue with somebody who didn’t see the world as I did.  Exchange ideas and shake hands when we were done.  Maybe we’d become friends, I thought, honestly debating political issues over beers.  Maybe we’d hold hands while we got matching tattoos.  Perhaps cartoon birds would land on our shoulders whistling a happy tune while the tea kettle and the toaster sang a song about the importance of friendship.

I sent him an email thanking him for his thoughtful letter.  I expressed hope that even if we were in different sides of the fence, we might be able to find the common ground we all so desperately need.  I hit send, winked to the drawn bird who was whistling while I typed, and called it a day.

The next morning, I powered my computer to find 12 emails from Nutter Bill.  The first one explained that it was going to take a while to complete the picture, but the series of emails that was to follow was to enlighten me to the socialist evils of the Obama Administration and the forces working behind the scenes to crush America as we currently know it.  All of this was followed by a link to everybody’s favorite rubber room on the internet, Free Republic!  The link took me to their version of Barack Obama’s life.  I was amused by the fact that the footnotes are not linked.  The sources at the bottom are linked, but only back to the number that accompanies the claim, not the source.  I started reading, it but after the fifth, “If-Then” type statement, I was firmly convinced it was bullshit.

I received 44 emails in three days.  Lots of stuff from Powerline  and Hot Air.  Many of the biggest conservative stars, like Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, Newt Gingrich, and Charles Krauthammer were there.  I received a lot of stories on Chappaquiddick, you know, because Ted Kennedy just passed.  Tons of “Obamacare” stories, which set my hair on fire because Bill would argue the standard line of keep government out of health care, but don’t touch my Medicare.  And on and on.  With the exception of some political cartoons and a couple of blonde jokes, I received all the conservative news and views I could handle.  I finally had to write him and say enough.

I explained that I knew of the people and sites he was sending me.  I told him that I couldn’t possibly refute with the truth because my proof would be deemed liberal brainwash and part of the Democratic master plan that he was trying to free me of.  I expressed frustration that while he would freely slam Obama for many of the country’s ills, many of those ills started under the previous administration, if not before.  I called him on his health care contradiction. I sent him former Reagan and Bush I employee, Bruce Bartlett’s article that appeared at the Daily Beast which argued that conservatives were blaming the wrong guy.  Finally, I expressed dismay because we were both angry, but at different things.  Frankly, I haven’t been the same sense.

What started as an optimistic attempt at bridging gaps became an exercise in futility.  I was crushed with an overwhelming sense that we will never be able to bring this country together again.  I found myself questioning truth.  I questioned my new found roll as pundit and blogger.  I mean, what difference does it make if I’m preaching to the choir?  I started wondering how those that do this for a living handle it, or, at the very least, keep going.  I suppose it would be easier if you didn’t have a position and could just relay the story.  But I do have a position.  A very strong position.  And that’s where I am today. 

I wish I had some sage Doogie Howser computer diary ending, but I don’t.  Hopefully, pouring this out will help me get my mojo back.  In the meantime, bear with me while I try to get out of this funk.  But know this, I’m down, but I’m not out.  I just need some good news for a change.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Constituent Asks Senator Baucus why He Doesn’t Support the Public Option

Please say hello to Mr. Bing Perrine of Billings, Montana.  He appears to be a young fellow with a nice looking family.  According to the clip below, he had a heart condition that required open heart surgery.  This guy is younger than me.  He’s questioning his Senator, Max Baucus, as to why he is not supporting the public option.  I have been wondering that very same thing myself.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Senator Sanders Speaks Out On Corporate Ownership of Government

In my opinion, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is the only member of the Senate who works for his constituents, not corporate masters.  While it’s true that there are many Senators who are trying to do what’s right, Sanders is the only one who’s willing to make videos like the one I’m sharing below.  It’s a forceful statement against corporate interference in Government and one I think everybody should hear.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Flashback to Glenn Beck’s Crazy FM Days

Ugh.  Here’s where it all began.  Beck appears to be one half of another in a long line of nuthouse FM DJs, giving away cash and playing nothing but today’s best hits.  Yuck!

You can read more about it here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Will Ferrell and Friends Stick Up for the Insurance Industry

Here are a whole bunch of stars standing up for the insurance industry, because, you know, they need folks in their corner.

Congressional Districts that Need Health Care the Most are Mostly Represented by Health Care Obstructionists

The map below represents the US broken out by congressional district.  The dark blue areas indicate districts where 20% or more of the population are uninsured.  Click the map to go to an interactive version.

healthmap

The irony, of course, is that most of these districts are represented by either Republicans or Blue Dogs.

…of the 100 congressional districts with the highest uninsured rates, 53 are represented either by Republican lawmakers — who are fighting the Obama administration's attempt to overhaul the health care system — or by Blue Dog Democrats — conservative Democrats who have slowed down and diluted the overhaul proposals.

Shocked?  I’m not.  You can hear the entire NPR report here:

Friday, September 18, 2009

O’Reilly Supports Government Health Care Option

I must give credit where credit is due.  Yes, he talks out of his ass 99% of the time.  That leaves 1% for gold like this:

O’REILLY: But you know, I want that, Ms. Owcharenko. I want that. I want, not for personally for me, but for working Americans, to have a option, that if they don’t like their health insurance, if it’s too expensive, they can’t afford it, if the government can cobble together a cheaper insurance policy that gives the same benefits, I see that as a plus for the folks.

Watch it:

Because he’s getting so much positive, liberal press, I’m sure he’ll come back tonight and stress that he believes that the public option will never happen, which will be consistent with the first part of the clip.  Regardless, this is a rare moment of Fox balance.  You know, like a Yeti sighting.

Copy & Paste Digg Comment is Too Good Not to Share

I came across this comment (first one from UniversalGuy) on Digg this morning.  It is not original and can easily be found at a number of different places around the web.  That said, the message must be forwarded.  Government is not the root of all evil.  Government can do things right.

I am a conservative.

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the U.S. Department of Energy.

I then took a shower in the clean water provided by a municipal water utility.

After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC-regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like, using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

I watched this while eating my breakfast of U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time, as regulated by the U.S. Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level
determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank.

On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the U.S. Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and Fire Marshal's inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.

And then I log on to the internet -- which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration -- and post on Freerepublic.com and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can't do anything right.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New DNC Ad Fights Back on the Right’s Attack on Czars

Glenn Beck should do his homework…oh…wait…that would mean that he could accurately process information!

AP Recap of Baucus Plan Makes Vomit Magically Appear in Mouth

Yesterday, I said that the new Senate Finance Committee plan sucks balls.  The Associated Press backs up this claim, causing me to taste my breakfast for a second time:

The latest health overhaul plan circulating on Capitol Hill gives health insurers, drug makers and large employers reasons to heave sighs of relief, sparing them the higher costs and more burdensome rules included in other Democratic-written alternatives.

(The health insurance industry) would score a new, taxpayer-subsidized customer base of millions who don't currently have insurance, thanks to a mandate that everyone purchase coverage – backed up by steep penalties on people who don't. And it wouldn't have to compete with the government to cover people, unlike in the four other health overhaul plans approved this year by Democratic-dominated congressional committees.

Nor would the nonprofit so-called "co-ops" designed to provide consumers with an alternative to private health insurance pose any real threat to their business, according to a nonpartisan analysis released Wednesday. The Congressional Budget Office said those plans "seem unlikely to establish a significant market presence in many areas of the country or to noticeably affect federal subsidy payments."

But health insurance stocks jumped Wednesday at the news of Baucus' public option-free measure. And privately, industry lobbyists acknowledged that the plan is far more to their liking than any of the other measures currently under discussion, and expressed confidence that it would improve further as senators and Obama's team continued to haggle over its details as it approaches a Senate vote.

(emphasis added)

I don’t believe for a second that this bill will pass, at least in its current form.  That said, this bill is the water that will be mixed into the other proposals on the table.  It’s mere presence is to weaken whatever strong bill comes forward.

If any of this garbage gets into what could be a strong bill, it will be the third time this year a major industry kills a provision that would be good for American’s everywhere.  The first was the destruction of cramdown, which was killed by the mortgage/banking industry.  Second, it was that garbage credit card reform bill, written by the nation’s credit card issuers.  This will be the third. 

There’s still time.  We can get a strong bill if we want it.  Do you want it?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Baucus, Finance Committee Releases the “Insurance Industry Profit Protection and Enhancement Act”

The Senate Finance Committee, lead by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), has finally released a draft of it’s health care bill.  To be blunt, this bill sucks balls:

Many of the details in the Baucus' bill were already known. Unlike more liberal versions passed by three committees in the House and by the Senate's Health Committee, it shunned liberals' call for the government to sell insurance and relied instead on co-ops to offer coverage in competition with private industry.

Baucus' approach includes a requirement for individuals to buy insurance, with financial penalties for those who don't. Rather than a mandate for larger businesses to provide coverage for employees, they would be required to defray the cost of any government subsidies for which their employees would qualify.

In other words, everybody, you, me, your neighbor, the poor single mother trying to stay in her home, the small business struggling to keep their doors open, is required BY LAW to fund the private health insurance industry.

Thank goodness for citizens like Mr. Wendell Potter.  You may remember Potter, the former insurance executive turned insurance whistleblower, from his appearance on Bill Moyers’ program.  He appeared before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee yesterday and had some harsh words for the Baucus bill.

…I have also expressed concern that if Congress goes along with the so-called "solutions" the insurance industry says it is bringing to the table and acquiesces to the demands it is making of lawmakers, and if it fails to create a public insurance option to compete with private insurers, the bill it sends to the president might as well be called the Insurance Industry Profit Protection and Enhancement Act.

H.R. 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, encompasses a comprehensive set of reforms that address the critical need for expanded coverage, lower health care costs, and greater choice and quality. Other legislative proposals, including the "Baucus Framework" being considered by the Senate Finance Committee's "Bipartisan Six," would benefit health insurance companies far more than average Americans.

Watch the entire statement here:

“The Insurance Industry Profit Protection and Enhancement Act.”  Boom!  That’s exactly what the Baucus bill is!

Now, I have some faith and optimism that we will get a good health care bill.  Between now and the time the House and Senate vote on their preferred bill, there will be a lot of changes and negotiations to the final bill.  That said, it’s so obvious that this Finance Committee bill is the bill that has been bought by the health insurance industry, it makes me ill. 

Monday, September 14, 2009

Billionaires for Wealthcare Join Weekend Tea Bag Festivities

Here’s a nifty little video from the Billionaires for Wealthcare.  They made it to DC and got some great footage of the anti-reform crowd.  It appears that the irony was lost on some of those marching.  Shocking, I know.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rockin’ Video Celebrates our Health Care Ranking – We’re #37!

See the full rankings here.

Address to Congress Renews Optimism Going Forward

As predicted, the President killed another important speech last night.  Meanwhile, during that same speech, Republicans solidified their positions as the biggest assholes in the country.

Before I discuss the speech, I would like to note a pattern coming from the White House that started last year during the election.  I’m going to call it the Rope Strategy, meaning, give your opponent enough rope and they will hang themselves.  While this strategy is simple, it’s also a gamble and the gambler is guaranteed to receive some lumps.  Plus, there has to be absolute certainty that the opponent has no real ideas or message. 

In this case, the White House essentially gave Conservatives the month of August. They sat back and let the gun toting, “Obama as a Nazi” sign holding, “Obama as the Joker” t-shirt wearing, town hall crazies run the show.  They also let the fear merchants and liars like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Betsy McCaughey get their messages out. 

As I said, lumps will be received with this strategy, and the White House took their fair share.  The Administration accounted for beatings as they made two bets.  First, the White House bet that they had the moral and political high ground.  Second, they bet that the crazies, in the end, would be viewed as crazy and the lies would be easily dismissed.  Last night, both bets paid off.

Today represents the tightening of the noose.  The President offered a clear, reasonable plan forward, a strong argument why we need reform, and a forceful rebuke of the last month’s shenanigans.  From this day forward, any member of Congress who finds themselves against regulations like ending coverage discrimination for pre-existing conditions, gender, or age is a heartless bastard.  Any Senator that warns of a Government takeover of health care with be exposed as a liar and a fear merchant.

As for the Republicans in general, unless they decide they want to be on the right side of history, they can forget being part of any conversation going forward.  They showed last night that they’re no better than the town hall protester they represent.  Frankly, they looked small and foolish while they waved their papers, texted, and heckled.  Any American that feels proud of the Republican display last night deserves their representation, because they’re not getting anything going forward. 

Overall, I’m happy with last night and am looking forward to the next few months.  My hope is that Democrats can come together and make the President’s vision a reality.  His proposal is sound and reasonable.  We may not get everything we want and we could be right back here in 10 or 15 years.  That said, this proposal is stronger than anything that has ever come forward.  We will get reform and I am optimistic that it will have teeth as well.



InDoctrination

hahahahahahahaha. TaliDan here. The Reagan Revolution lives. Thank Goodness parents of all Ilk have agreed on one thing.....KEEP SOCIALISM OUT OF MY PUBLIC SCHOOLS. How dare the President, the duly elected president of the Majority, speak to students today. I am quite certain it must be Kim Jong (license to) Il. Let's compare Ideologies!...for history's sake. read or watch.

Or we could listen to a real Leader trying not to Indoctrinate students!



Change the Constitution! (Negro's..really?)

I would hate to see students feel like students were being swayed by indoctrination.

I mean here is Bush Sr. for cryin' out loud. You talk about nazifascsocilaistanarchism.
READ ME
That is how you talk to students.

Enough hypocrisy, enjoy some non-political lightheartedness!
I mean come on!



Sorry bad link.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thoughts on Tonight’s Address to Congress

A lot has been made of tonight’s address to congress.  The overall theme being, tonight is a make or break moment for Obama.  I find that to be a bit overstated.  He kills every “make or break” moment and I would expect nothing less.  No, tonight will be a fine speech.  What will be interesting will be the post speech reaction.  Will he debunk all the health care lies that have been floating around?  Will he (vaguely) call out specific members for not working in good faith?  Will he defend the public option?

Personally, I’m hoping to see a forceful rebuke of the last month, a strong argument reminding Americans why we’re talking about it, and a framework of the plan going forward.  Ultimately, I want to see him own this. The truth is, health care reform is high political ground, and the stronger it is, the better it is for those who vote in favor of it. 

The way I see it, 1/3 of the people staunchly against everything and congress will never make them happy.  Another 1/3 will be destroyed should a half-assed, watered down reform bill pass.  The final 1/3 knows that reforms are needed, but they’re not sure what the best way to go about it is.  Under this notion, you will upset two-thirds of the population with a soft, crummy bill.  However, you will get two-thirds of the electorate with a strong, reasonable bill.

I enjoy politics because there are so many similarities to sports.  In this case, the visiting team has had the ball for a long time now.  They’ve been threatening the goal line, but have been unable to score.  It’s time for the home team to take the ball back, march down the field, and put it in the end zone.  Tonight, President Obama takes the ball back and intends on scoring in what should be a fantastic finish.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Parody of Loon Mother, So Real it’s Sad

Welcome back to work, people.  I trust everybody had a relaxing holiday weekend. 

I would like to start the week off with a little levity, sort of.  The following clip is a well done parody of a CNN interview.  This is a mother who has decided to keep her kids home from school instead of having them listen to Obama’s stay-in-school speech.  I say sort of because it’s sad to think that there are people who really feel this way.  At any rate, enjoy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Numbers, The Noise

66,882,230 people voted for Barack Obama (365 electoral votes).
58,343,671 people voted for John McCain (173 electoral votes).

10,000 people, 200 per state, represent .008% of the voting population in 2008, and can get considerable more air time at town halls because we Americans love the train wreck.

Age 18-24. Obama 66%, McCain 32% (10% of vote total)
Age 25-29. Obama 66%, McCain 31% (8% of vote total)
Age 30-39. Obama 54%, McCain 44% (18% of vote total)
Age 40-49. Obama 49%, McCain 49% (21% of vote total)
Age 50-64. Obama 50%, McCain 49% (27% of vote total)
65 and over. Obama 45%, McCain 53% (16% of vote total)

No wonder pull the plug on Grandma gets so much attention.

Mid term elections are dominated by 50+ voters. Keep the hope alive, try and drown out the noise.



Paranoia

Talidan here. Happy Labor Day! Happy ND shutout weekend! Happy short work week! Happy film watching Michigan, you'll have your work cut out for you!

One of the reasons I love reading about history, is that it helps me cope with today's society. History teaches us what has gone wrong, or what was done right; it is a rough blue print for today's problem solvers. It also is comforting to know that what we face today is not new. It has been going on since the beginning of time. People (98% of us) are always suspicious of power (2% of us). Without history, I would feel somewhat hopeless today. I would look at the Beck/Limbaugh/Palin/Bachmann followers, the death panels, Tea Party movement, The Secessionists, the nazi/fascist/communist/anarchist comparisons made about our democratically elected President, the tenthers, the birthers, the 'How dare the President speak to our school children even though plenty of Rethug Presidents have done the same'; and I would probably lose my mind. I would feel as though we are getting dumber, or more malicious, or that we are becoming so Partisan as to threaten our Union's existence. However, wingnuttery and bat shit crazy is nothing new. In fact it is a perfectly sane reaction by people who fear that the world as they know it is changing.

I stumbled across two lengthy papers that were eye opening. One is The Paranoid Style written by Richard Hofstadter for Harper's Magazine in 1964. The other is The Clash of Civilizations? written by Samuel Huntington for Foreign Affairs magazine in 1993. Huntington's thesis is that the world is moving away from a world of wars between nations, and one of a world where cultural differences lead to conflict. Indeed, one could think of the Al-Qaeda movement within Islam as one born out of the fear that their version of Islam was being Westernized. Some reasons, according to Huntington:

"First, differences among civilizations are not only real; they are basic. Civilizations are differentiated from each other by history, language, culture, tradition and, most important, religion. The people of different civilizations have different views on the relations between God and man, the individual and the group, the citizen and the state, parents and children, husband and wife, as well as differing views of the relative importance of rights and responsibilities, liberty and authority, equality and hierarchy. These differences are the product of centuries.

Second, the world is becoming a smaller place. The interactions between peoples of different civilizations are increasings; these increasing interactions intensify civilization consciousness and awareness of differences between civilizations and commonalities within civilizations.

Third, the processes of economic modernization and social change throughout the world are separating people from longstanding local identities. They also weaken the nation state as a source of identity. In much of the world religion has moved in to fill this gap, often in the form of movements that are labeled "fundamentalist." Such movements are found in Western Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as in Islam."

In conclusion:
"In the longer term other measures would be called for. Western civilization is both Western and modern. Non-Western civilizations have attempted to become modern without becoming Western. To date only Japan has fully succeeded in this quest. Non-Western civilization will continue to attempt to acquire the wealth, technology, skills, machines and weapons that are part of being modern. They will also attempt to reconcile this modernity with their traditional culture and values. Their economic and military strength relative to the West will increase. Hence the West will increasingly have to accommodate these non-Western modern civilizations whose power approaches that of the West but whose values and interests differ significantly from those of the West."

Although Huntington is focused on the role of the Western world and a clash of global civilizations, it is easy to see how this could relate to cultures within the United States as well. As the world becomes ever complex, lurching forward in various speeds of progress, those feeling that they are losing a cultural battle will fight. The old path is comfortable, the new is uncertain.

Which leads me to Hofstadter's article. Using McCarthyism as a backdrop, he sheds some historical perspective on the Radical Right. From the Anti-Freemasons, anti-Catholics, to the Communists, the fundamentalists have always had a target to blame.

To quote some of the ideas (again 50 years ago):
"American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. In recent years we have seen angry minds at work mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated in the Goldwater movement how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority.

If, after our historically discontinuous examples of the paranoid style, we now take the long jump to the contemporary right wing, we find some rather important differences from the nineteenth-century movements. The spokesmen of those earlier movements felt that they stood for causes and personal types that were still in possession of their country—that they were fending off threats to a still established way of life. But the modern right wing, as Daniel Bell has put it, feels dispossessed: America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion. The old American virtues have already been eaten away by cosmopolitans and intellectuals; the old competitive capitalism has been gradually undermined by socialistic and communistic schemers; the old national security and independence have been destroyed by treasonous plots, having as their most powerful agents not merely outsiders and foreigners as of old but major statesmen who are at the very centers of American power. Their predecessors had discovered conspiracies; the modern radical right finds conspiracy to be betrayal from on high.
Important changes may also be traced to the effects of the mass media. The villains of the modern right are much more vivid than those of their paranoid predecessors, much better known to the public; the literature of the paranoid style is by the same token richer and more circumstantial in personal description and personal invective. For the vaguely delineated villains of the anti-Masons, for the obscure and disguised Jesuit agents, the little-known papal delegates of the anti-Catholics, for the shadowy international bankers of the monetary conspiracies, we may now substitute eminent public figures like Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower., secretaries of State like Marshall, Acheson, and Dulles, Justices of the Supreme Court like Frankfurter and Warren, and the whole battery of lesser but still famous and vivid alleged conspirators headed by Alger Hiss.

A final characteristic of the paranoid style is related to the quality of its pedantry. One of the impressive things about paranoid literature is the contrast between its fantasied conclusions and the almost touching concern with factuality it invariably shows. It produces heroic strivings for evidence to prove that the unbelievable is the only thing that can be believed. Of course, there are highbrow, lowbrow, and middlebrow paranoids, as there are likely to be in any political tendency. But respectable paranoid literature not only starts from certain moral commitments that can indeed be justified but also carefully and all but obsessively accumulates :evidence.” The difference between this “evidence” and that commonly employed by others is that it seems less a means of entering into normal political controversy than a means of warding off the profane intrusion of the secular political world. The paranoid seems to have little expectation of actually convincing a hostile world, but he can accumulate evidence in order to protect his cherished convictions from it."

So thank goodness we are not getting crazier, dumber, or more obstinate. Thank goodness we have been here before. And survived. Arm yourself with facts, dispute the outlandish with their own hypocrisy. In the end however, accept that they may never be convinced. Hope that the majority agrees with your stance on issues, attempt to convince the best you can. In the end,
do not despair that progress is unreachable. Just make sure that the way we progress is in a sane, humane, and beneficial way for society. Remember Kennedy: change is not driven by those in comfort, in fact it may be resisted. Thank goodness history repeats itself, or I may just lose my marbles.




Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday Morning Cartoons – Football Now and Then

Happy College Football Kick-off day!  As you can tell, everybody over here at On the Cut as well as Saturn X are very excited.  Needless to say, I love Saturdays in the fall.  So, for today’s cartoon, we’re going to pit a classic team from yesteryear against a modern team from the 50s.  Let’s see what happens…

Its here

good morning sunshine, grab your cup of coffee and seize the day! Its here! Its here! Football is coming! Its an ATIOTC Triple Feature Gameday especial.





Friday, September 4, 2009

Eve Indeed

Oh man, oh man, oh man.....I feel a thrill up my leg. I can see AndrewT is gettin' worked up! Good work on the USC clip. Remember, ND won 13 in a row vs. those sad sacks! Heck Yeah. You know what the best thing about being a Cubs fan is? Their season ends right when Coll F-Ball begins!...For those unfamiliar with how this works...., well football eve is all about the intro before the big game. see ya tomorrow am!




Friday Night! Outta Sight! Madonna in "Holiday"

It's been a strange busy week, which distracted me from the fact that it's a long holiday weekend! Awesome! So, in honor of Monday's off, I bring you 80s Madonna with "Holiday"!



Catch My Latest Column over at News Junkie Post

Howdy, y’all.  Just a quick note to let you know that my latest column is up over at the News Junkie Post!  It’s the touching story of a chance meeting of two individuals that don’t meet eye to eye.  Oh, and it’s true.  How do I know?  I lived it!

This is part one of a three part story.  Please head over and check it out because I don’t want you coming in late and asking me what you missed…Ha!

Obama's Speech to School Children is The Most Important Event in Our Lives! Ever!

There are times when I wonder if I should say something about an issue or just leave it alone.  My gut instinct is that I shouldn't draw more attention to the matter at hand, otherwise I am helping to encourage.  Two examples would be the tax day tea bag protests and, more recently, the town hall protests.  In both instances, I left two cents, getting my jabs in when I could.  However, there were a number of stories that I left on the shelf because I didn't think I should encourage them any more.  This is a tough call because, as we have learned, crazy equals ratings, and mine have been in the tank.

Having said all of that, this will be my only comment regarding the controversy surrounding President Obama's upcoming back-to-school address.  Frankly, this is a pile-on moment.  Every blogger and journalist worth their salt should expose the right's false outrage for the fraud that it is. 

But first, I would like to take a second to discuss sheltered kids.  You know, sheltered kids are a hoot.  Everybody went to school with a sheltered kid.  They are the ones who couldn't do anything.  They couldn't watch anything.  They couldn't listen to anything.  Then one day you run into them and they have either a drug problem, a kid, or are simply a garden variety fuck-up.  They could have been normal had they had some experience and permission to develop their own tastes, but they didn't because mom and dad knew what was best.

Now, we have the leader of the free world preparing to give the students of this country a pep talk.  Work hard and stay in school are two values that nobody in this country can deny.  Instead, these whack jobs are using the event to politicize what is otherwise a message everybody can agree with.

This stupid must stop and now.  We can no longer give these people a platform to spew this idiocy.  We can no longer allow them to drag this country down with them.  There are too many other issues that are way more important than a "don't be a fool, stay in school" message.  We are spending far too much time combating this nonsense.  It's way past time we ignore these people.

As for the parents who choose to keep their kids home, I wish them all the best and hope that they never have to lock Johnny in his room with a couple of buckets in order to kick his smack problem or that Katie doesn't leave the kid with them while she parties all night.

Happy College Football Eve!!!

I don't think I can overstate how excited I am today.  Simply put, I love fall Saturdays because I love college football and today is like Christmas Eve.

I love watching Gameday on ESPN.  I love noon Big Ten games.  I love the 3:30 big games...ND on NBC...SEC on CBS...Big Ten or Pac Ten or Big Twelve on ABC.  I love the ABC/ESPN Primetime games.  I love the late West Coast games that start at 10:30 eastern and don't end until 2 am.  I love it all.

Now, I don't think it's a secret that I'm a huge Notre Dame fan.  TaliDan has been great the last couple of weeks sharing clips from classic games, getting us fired up for tomorrow.  I'd like to follow in his footsteps with this lovely recap of the ass kicking ND applied to USC in 1988.  Yeah, it's 21 years ago, and the tables have turned in USC's favor, but they'll get theirs soon enough.



Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hilarious New Ad Series Introduces the “Caveman Energy Caucus”

I was flipping around on the Huffington Post when I came across an ad which contained a picture of a caveman who looked an awful lot like Will Ferrell.  I’m not one to click ads, but I was intrigued.  I clicked it and found this:

When it comes to America’s energy future, there’s a simple choice to be made between OLD and NEW.

The members of the Caveman Energy Caucus made the wrong choice. They chose OLD energy when they voted no on the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Old energy means America keeps sending a billion dollars a day to buy oil from countries that undermine our national security. It means protecting oil company profits instead of creating American jobs. And it means rewarding polluters that endanger the air our children breathe and the water they drink.

 

Apparently there are more on the way.  I’ll keep a lookout and get them to you as soon as they’re available.

It’s the First Thursday in September! What? September? Earth, Wind, and Fire’s September? Yeah!!!

Look, I’m predicting a great day.  I generally feel these things in my bones.  Frankly, I haven’t had much time to post this week and I hope that I can make up for that a bit today.  At any rate, I’d like to start the day with probably the happiest song ever written.  Folks, put your hands together for Earth, Wind, and Fire while they sing “September”!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

NPR-Author Discusses “The Death of Conservatism”

First, let me start by saying how sorry I am that this is my first post of the week.  I’ve been very busy doing the things I should be doing, which keeps me out of trouble, like, for example, posting to this blog.  Ha!

Anyway, I haven’t had much time to check the headlines, but I did come across this segment from yesterday’s “All Things Considered.”  Robert Siegel sat down with author Sam Tanenhause to discuss his new book “The Death of Conservatism”.  While the title may excite a liberal on the surface, I think the more important point is that our democracy works better when we have two healthy parties keeping each other honest.

Please take a moment to listen as I found it to be a very fascinating discussion.