Sunday, September 12, 2010

Last Call

Orange Julius in April:

When pressed for a number, Boehner said he believed the GOP could win as many as 100 seats in this fall's elections."At least 100 seats," Boehner said when asked how wide the playing field for districts is. "I do," the top House Republican answered when asked if he thinks there are 100 seats in the U.S. "that could change hands."

Orange Julius today:

"I think winning the House is still an uphill fight, but I can tell you that we have great candidates across the country and we have a great opportunity," Representative John Boehner told CBS television's "Face The Nation."

Wait, I thought Republicans taking the House was a given.  I thought we had all moved on to "Speaker John Boehner" and the only question was now if they could take the Senate too, the House was a lost cause, 80-100 seat GOP pickup, Fire Nancy Pelosi, massive Republican tsunami coming, huge Tea Party wave, Democrats no longer a viable political party after November and all that jazz.

And now all of a sudden it's "an uphill battle to take the House" now for the GOP?

You mean that hey, the American people are waking up to what a GOP Congress would really do if it was in charge and what they would do to Obama, and how it would turn into a complete circus of insanity where the GOP would target the most needy of us and put them on the block?

Gosh.  Almost sounds like now that real election season is here, that Orange Julius realizes that defending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and making the other 97% of us pay for them through social cuts isn't going to be a winning hand anymore.

Imagine that.  And just a couple days after Obama decides to finally start fighting back, too.  Could it be that all the Democrats had to do was to stand their effing ground on this all along?

Imagine that, indeed.

To The Point Of Making Your Ears Bleed

Newt Gingrich isn't Barack Obama's bigest fan or anything, but I wasn't aware he had totally thrown away any and all credibility he had left (which was microscopic to begin with) by descending into the ranks of the birthers.

Citing a recent Forbes article by Dinesh D'Souza, former House speaker Newt Gingrich tells National Review Online that President Obama may follow a "Kenyan, anti-colonial" worldview.
Gingrich says that D'Souza has made a "stunning insight" into Obama's behavior -- the "most profound insight I have read in the last six years about Barack Obama."
"What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?" Gingrich asks. "That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior."
"This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president," Gingrich tells us.
"I think he worked very hard at being a person who is normal, reasonable, moderate, bipartisan, transparent, accommodating -- none of which was true," Gingrich continues. "In the Alinksy tradition, he was being the person he needed to be in order to achieve the position he needed to achieve . . . He was authentically dishonest."

And not only has he descended into the circle of Birther Hell, he's doing so in order to cynically and specifically stoke dog-whistle us vs them racism as well.  He's all but accusing the President of being a Kenyan citizen here and not even American, of having "played a wonderful con" and lying to all of us.  It's the most base form of Obama Derangement Syndrome here.  "Will nobody rid me of this troublesome Kenyan?"

At this point Newt is just blowing the racism dog-whistle so loudly that it's bursting eardrums.  It's disgusting to see our politics and politicians playing at this level, but the 2010 campaign season is officially here and the insane GOP is going full out to portray Barack Obama as the scariest black man who ever lived.

It's sad.  Of course, nobody will say a word to Newt about this.  He'll be joined by a majority of the GOP soon enough.  Birthers are now the official mainstream position of the Republican party.  But there's a reason for that:

Gingrich bases his portrayal of Obama as a Manchurian foreigner programmed by his Kenyan father to wreak Africa’s revenge for Western colonialism on an article in Forbes by Dinesh D’Souza. D’Souza’s argument was given its proper name—ideological birtherism—and utterly destroyed by Daniel Larison here.

But pointing out that ideological birtherism is wholly based on lies won’t deter its champions from using it as a political strategy. Why? Because that’s all they’ve got. 

It's the new Southern Strategy, and they are blowing that whistle until the dogs rip free from their frayed leashes and savage the country.

On the other hand, Steve seems to think Newt's just projecting his own crap onto Obama.  He's got a pretty fair point., Old School

Here at the Cincinnati Zoo with my parents, enjoying the day. The zoo itself is an historical landmark, well over a century old. There are more than a few markers here from the WPA days of the zoo in the 40's.

You know, back when investing in infrastructure and public works like a zoological and botanical garden was considered better than arguing over how long to extend unemployment benefits because apparently spending money on make work projects when the private sector isnt creating jobs is horrible socialism.

Your history lesson for today. Still has truth for today too.

Pulling The Plug And Letting It Die

More and more Republicans believe they will win a House majority and are looking forward to forcing Obama to shut down the government for as long as it takes to get their spending cuts and defunding of government programs they don't like permanently into law.  Republicans like Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia can't wait to throw Americans under the bus in this economy in order to pay for more tax cuts for the rich:

If we hold the line, if we get those courageous men and women to be part of our majority. If we say look, the American people we’re listening to the American people, this is what we’re going to do. If government shuts down, we want you with us. We want you with us. We gotta have you because later on you all will call us and say look I didn’t get my check. Daddy can’t go to the VA. You know, the National Parks are closed. We need to be sure that you are with us because let me tell you this, all Americans need to understand. We need to understand this and I hope you can help share this analogy with people. Just as when you talk about what is going to possibly happen, you know I was unfortunate to cut myself with a chainsaw. I don’t know how many of you have cut yourself with a chainsaw. Chainsaw is not the cleanest instrument if you’re going to cut yourself. [...]

He said this is going to sting a little bit and it hurt like crazy. But you know what, if he didn’t clean out that wound, it would have never healed. I would have got gangrene. I would have died from it. And what has happened with this country, we have put bandaids on things that need to be cleaned out. It’s going to take some pain for us to do the things that we need to do to right the ship.

And Westmoreland and other Republicans want to make sure that pain is felt primarily by working class Americans, the elderly, the disabled, and our injured veterans who fought in the Sandbox for us for close to a decade now.  Meanwhile the wealthiest Americans will continue to get a bigger share of the wealth as their taxes are cut.  They won't suffer at all.

The last 30 years have all but destroyed the middle-class.  The wealthiest one percent of Americans control upwards of 24% of the wealth in this country.  And as home values and wages get smaller and Social Security cuts and Medicaid/Medicare slashing gets bigger to keep the rich getting richer, we're the ones who will bear the brunt of the pain.

The Republicans are telling you that it will be good for you, and it will be necessary.  Meanwhile their fat cat donors continue to rake in billions.  Republicans are all but promising austerity measures that will be borne the most by the least able of us, those on fixed incomes, veterans, and the infirm.  But that's how Republicans roll.

There's a choice in this election.  Sane ideas to fix the economy, or shutting it down and amputating the weakest members of society.

This Should Settle It

The argument that the oil in the Gulf of Mexico is being happily consumed by bacteria or is being otherwise made harmless by Mother Nature was always a crock, and now scientists have found the stuff.  The dispersants may have dispersed, but the oil got back together and simply settled on the seafloor in a massive sheet over hundreds of square miles.

The Research Vessel Oceanus sailed on Aug. 21 on a mission to figure out what happened to the more than 4 million barrels of oil that gushed into the water. Onboard, Samantha Joye, a professor in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia, says she suddenly has a pretty good idea about where a lot of it ended up. It's showing up in samples of the seafloor, between the well site and the coast.

"I've collected literally hundreds of sediment cores from the Gulf of Mexico, including around this area. And I've never seen anything like this," she said in an interview via satellite phone from the boat.

Joye describes seeing layers of oily material — in some places more than 2 inches thick — covering the bottom of the seafloor.

"It's very fluffy and porous. And there are little tar balls in there you can see that look like microscopic cauliflower heads," she says.

It's very clearly a fresh layer. Right below it she finds much more typical seafloor mud. And in that layer, she finds recently dead shrimp, worms and other invertebrates.

So there's millions and millions of gallons of slimy, gooey crap on the floor of the ocean, literally suffocating anything on the bottom.  The effects on the Gulf's ecosystem will be catastrophic.   Unless there's some way to dredge at a depth of thousands of feet across hundreds of square miles of seafloor, that toxic mess is staying down there for a very long time, killing the basic building blocks of sea life.  That's going to go up the chain and soon.

The total effects may not be known for decades, but one thing's for sure, out children and grandchildren are goig to be shaking their heads at how stupid we were to let this happen and keep drilling anyway.
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