02 February, 2010

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Hmm.  I step away for a few days, and it seems the stupidity has continued on just fine in my absence.  And nothing will demonstrate just how stupid the Con base has become better than this poll:

A new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll, conducted among 2,000 self-identified Republican respondents nationwide, gives an interesting peek into the psyche of the minority party's base.

Kos has not yet released the full numbers, but here's some early info on the poll that he has posted on his Twitter account:

• 39% of Republicans want President Obama to be impeached.
• 63% think Obama is a socialist.
• Only 42% believe Obama was born in the United States.

• 53% think Sarah Palin is more qualified than Obama to be president.
• 23% want to secede from the United States.

And on and on with just the kind of mouth-breathing stupidity we've come to expect from the Faux-News watching, Teabagging right-wing masses.  No wonder the people they elect are such dumbshits.

And yes, they really are extraordinary dumbshits:

Last week Mike Pence, the third-ranking Republican in the House, was asked what compromise he would agree to on health care. His answer, word for word, was
Well, look, you know, I was, uh, yeah, yeah, look, uh.
Today Tim Pawlenty has an article in Politico, which is a bit more articulate than that — but as Bruce Bartlett says,
he rants about the deficit without proposing any spending cuts and insisting on still more tax cuts.
Well, look, you know, he was, uh, yeah.

The moral here is that right now the GOP literally has no ideas about how the nation should actually be governed.
Well, actually, Rep. Paul Ryan has ideas.  They're really bad ideas, destructive ideas, but they're ideas:
The White House's 2011 budget is only the second-most interesting budget proposal released recently. First prize goes to Congressman Paul Ryan, the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, who's released a budget proposal that actually erases the massive long-term deficit.

As you all know by now, the long-term budget deficit is largely driven by health-care costs. To move us to surpluses, Ryan's budget proposes reforms that are nothing short of violent. Medicare is privatized. Seniors get a voucher to buy private insurance, and the voucher's growth is far slower than the expected growth of health-care costs. Medicaid is also privatized. The employer tax exclusion is fully eliminated, replaced by a tax credit that grows more slowly than medical costs. And beyond health care, Social Security moves to a system of private accounts that CBO says will actually cost more than the present arrangement, further underscoring how ancillary the program is to our budget problem.

An important note to understanding how Ryan's budget saves money: It's not through privatization, though everything does get privatized. It's through firm, federal cost controls. The privatization itself actually costs money.

The proposal would shift risk from the federal government to seniors themselves. The money seniors would get to buy their own policies would grow more slowly than their health-care costs, and more slowly than their expected Medicare benefits, which means that they'd need to either cut back on how comprehensive their insurance is or how much health-care they purchase. Exacerbating the situation -- and this is important -- Medicare currently pays providers less and works more efficiently than private insurers, so seniors trying to purchase a plan equivalent to Medicare would pay more for it on the private market. It's hard, given the constraints of our current debate, to call something "rationing" without being accused of slurring it. But this is rationing, and that's not a slur. This is the government capping its payments and moderating their growth in such a way that many seniors will not get the care they need. 

This is what they propose when they actually propose specifics: fuck the seniors.  Fuck the poor.  Fuck everyone, in fact, aside from the rich and powerful.

As Ezra goes on to point out, this slash-and-burn proposal is coming from the same gang of fucktards that screamed over minimal cuts to inefficient bits of Medicare in the Dems' reform bills.  Will Dems be smart enough to pounce on the hypocrisy?  Alas, I cannot hold my breath on that point.  But it needs to be hammered home to the country that the minority party would finish taking their battering ram to everything that makes this country somewhat livable if they get their hands on the reins of power again.

Let's discuss more Con hypocrisy the Dems should shine a spotlight on, shall we?
For much of the Bush-Cheney era, Republican leaders characterized themselves as more than just allies of the military establishment, but also deferential to the military's judgment on national security matters. "Listen to the commanders on the ground" became a common adage in GOP circles.

But over the last year or so, it's become increasingly apparent that it's President Obama and his team that are aligned with the military establishment, leaving Republicans at odds with the brass they used to revere.

CNN's John King asked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) an interesting question yesterday about trying terrorist suspects in criminal courts, as has long been in the norm.
KING: If you ask the White House about this, it highlights -- they say it's not just the president, it's not just Attorney General Holder, that General David Petraeus says he believes a public trial at a federal courthouse is the best way to do it so that it's not an al Qaeda recruiting tool.
That Secretary Gates, a holdover from the Bush administration at the Defense Department, also they believes a trial in the federal court system is preferable to a closed trial in the military commission. And that the CIA operatives leading the fight against these guys in Yemen, in Somalia, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, also believe that if you did it in a closed setting in a military commission it would be a powerful recruiting tool.
If General Petraeus, Secretary Gates, and the intelligence leaders say, do it in court, why do you say that's a bad idea?
MCCONNELL: I simply disagree and so do the American people.
Keep in mind, it wasn't too terribly long ago that Democratic politicians simply weren't supposed to say that Petraeus, Gates, and intelligence leaders were wrong about national security matters. Indeed, for Dems to say that they knew better than Petraeus, Gates, and intelligence leaders -- that their judgment was superior to military leaders' -- was grounds for mockery, if not condemnation.
And yet, Obama has spent a year following the guidance of military leaders, and Republicans have spent a year breaking with the judgment of the military establishment.

It's a fascinating dynamic. On everything from civilian trials to Gitmo to torture, we have two distinct groups -- GOP leaders, the Cheneys, Limbaugh, and conservative activists on one side; President Obama, Gen. Petraeus, Secretary Gates, Colin Powell, Adm. Mullen, Adm. Blair, and Gen. Jones on the other.

Dems apparently don't have the stomach for political hardball, which is why Cons get away with this shit, but they have a beautiful opportunity here.  All they need to do is turn GOP tactics against the GOP.  If we're supposed to listen to the commanders and meekly accede to their every wish on everything else, then we should be meekly acceding to their wishes on DADT, public trials of terrorists, and so much more.  Anything else is treason, cuz the GOP sez so!  Wait - they're no longer saying that?  Then they're a lousy lying bunch of motherfucking hypocrites, and don't deserve another moment's consideration.  That point needs to be hammered home again and again and again if Dems ever hope to break this cycle.

They also need to point out that Mark Pence is lying his fool head off about supporting the troops.

We also need to realize that when Cons talk about workers' rights and how unions destroy businesses, what they really mean is that the workers should have the inalienable right to be fucked up the arse by their employers:
House Republicans held a forum last month to slam the Obama administration's alliance with organized labor, charging, among other things, that government favoritism toward the labor movement was unfairly preventing non-union companies from getting contracts. But GOP lawmakers declined to mention that a key witness at the event, the CEO of a Pennsylvania construction firm, had in fact agreed to be temporarily barred from receiving government contracts after being found to have violated state wage laws by underpaying workers.

Gee, color me surprised.  A Con businessman breaking wage laws and treating his employees like trash?  Whoever could've seen that one coming?

Moving on to health care for a moment.  If you're a gentleman with a good health insurance plan in need of an attractive wife, a woman with a pre-existing condition would like your phone number.  It's the only way she's ever going to get insurance if the Dems don't get off their fucking cowardly asses.

And someone might want to inform the gentleman from Virginia that, while the health care reform bill under consideration isn't ideal, it certainly has no provisions for the taking of souls.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to go back to burying myself in my work.  Or possibly watching more chick flicks.  They're a fuck of a lot less stupid than the Cons in this country.

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