Sunday, August 24, 2014
From your ideology to your politicians, from your propaganda news network to your message, from your heroes to your faith-based homophobia and racism.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
The now discredited Senator still wants to take us into war...one, two, three...as many wars as we can manage to engage in.
Do you remember “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”? Then candidate McCain and the Republican Party were subscribing to a hawkish position that we should not only stay in Afghanistan and Iraq, but we should bomb Iran...because they were within a year of building a nuclear bomb.
Seven years later, Iran hasn't built a nuclear weapon, diplomacy, sanctions and common sense have succeeded; the people of Iran will live to see another day, one in which they might replace their repressive theocracy with a secular democracy.
But McCain wanted to have the U.S. Intervene in Ukraine, in Syria...and now he wants us back in Iraq to fight ISIS...how much more of this warmongering and sabre rattling can we endure?
When those Jihadist terrorists beheaded a journalist the whole world was appalled as it should be. But putting boots on the ground to fight religious fanaticism just won't cut it...after all, we have plenty of that here at home...as well as repugnant racism.
Dead is dead, whether it is a beheading by some religious fanatics or shooting an unarmed Black young man because of pervasive racism.
How do we solve the ISIS terrorists threat? I think that we could invite the King of Saudi Arabia to the U.S....give him the royal welcome he deserves...21 gun salute, gourmet meals and a one week stay at Camp David.
There, he has to be told and persuaded to end support for terrorists, to convince those religious leaders who get on the pulpit to spew hatred and encourage terrorism to stop.
Money talks and bullshit walks...when the Saudis are faced with the prospect of sanctions, losses of oil revenues in the billions, they will find the way to curb and persuade those Islamic extremists that are emerging not only from Saudi sources but also from sources in other countries, such as Iran, Kuwait, and Syria. When they see that three or four of their religious leaders who encourage and aid the terrorists are blown up when they start up their cars, they too will abandon this Jihadist quest.
When it comes to solving our domestic racist problem it may not be as easy...America is a dismally divided society working with a dysfunctional government...and one political party that is exploiting the racial divide. But it can be done...expose them, shame them, ridicule their racism as bigotry and totally unpatriotic. Let's put an end to AFA Hate Group’s Bryan Fischer: “God Will Use ISIS To Punish America and the Gay Gestapo” and people like him.
We have to get our priorities straight...there is a lot of work to be done in America; our time, treasure and efforts should be spent here at home improving our society, infrastructure and our government...we have to, we must, it is incumbent upon us to stop listening to discredited, old politicians who haven't met a war they didn't like.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
...I LOVE THOSE CHARTS!
In a parallel universe where these right wing extremists live, they seem to have a talent for manufacturing lies, outrageous talking points, and, most of all, a narrative that is laden with hatred and division.
This works on the premise that if you tell a lie, an innuendo, a conspiracy theory or some other nonsense out there, repeat it enough times, some gullible people will begin to believe it...then the more stupid ones will actually incorporate them into their insane agendas...to coincide with the greed and power hungry super rich minority.
It works for them up until now. We have people like Elizabeth Warren calling them out on this. We have Bernie Sanders (Socialist-Independent) who everyone of these right-wing operatives try to dismiss by using the scare tactic that he's really a Communist and that Socialism is just as bad. The American people are not buying it any more...they see that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are telling the truth and have the facts to back it up.
But somehow, along the way, the facts emerge to not only disprove all this nonsense, but to totally deprive the right wing of all credibility.
Government spending increased dramatically under President Bush. It has not increased much under President Obama. This is just a fact.
Note that this chart starts with Clinton's last budget year for comparison.
The numbers in these two charts come from Budget of the United States Government: Historical Tables Fiscal Year 2015. They are just the amounts that the government spent and borrowed, period, Anyone can go look them up. People who claim that Obama "tripled the deficit" or increased it or anything of the sort are either misled or are trying to mislead. President Obama inherited a budget deficit of $1.4 trillion from President Bush's last budget year and annual budget deficits have gone down dramatically since.
The Stimulus and Jobs
In this chart, the RED lines on the left side – the ones that keep doing DOWN – show what happened to jobs under the policies of Bush and the Republicans. We were losing lots and lots of jobs every month, and it was getting worse and worse. The BLUE lines – the ones that just go UP – show what happened to jobs when the stimulus was in effect. We stopped losing jobs and started gaining jobs, and it was getting better and better.
The leveling off on the right side of the chart shows what happened as the stimulus started to wind down: job creation leveled off at too low a level.
It looks a lot like the stimulus reversed what was going on before the stimulus. We have gone from losing around 850,000 jobs a month to gaining over 200,000 jobs a month.
Conclusion: THE STIMULUS WORKED BUT WAS NOT ENOUGH!
More False Things
These are just three of the false things that everyone "knows" because places like Fox News repeat them over and over and over. Some others are (click through): Obama bailed out the banks, businesses will hire if they get tax cuts, health care reform cost $1 trillion, Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme or is "going broke", tax cuts grow the economy, government spending "takes money out of the economy."
Actually This Reduced Spending And Lower Deficit Have Hurt The Economy
Government spending is literally, by definition, the things that government does to make our lives better. People have been tricked into thinking that government spending is somehow bad. The billionaires and giant corporations spread this nonsense around because they are greedy and just want their taxes lower. The top income tax rate used to be more than 90 percent and the top corporate tax rate used to be more than 50 percent. That was back when we built this country's great infrastructure, had good schools and defended the world against the Soviet Union. We also had higher economic growth and a growing middle class.
Government spending does not "take money out of the economy." In fact it puts money into the economy, creates jobs and lays the foundation for future prosperity. The decline in government spending shown in the charts above is the reason that the economy remains sluggish and jobs are still hard to get. Just look at that chart showing what the stimulus spending did for the job situation. But since the stimulus ended, Republicans have obstructed every effort to continue to use our government to help our economy.
For example, this chart from The Atlantic, "The Incredible Shrinking U.S. Government," shows how government spending to create government jobs helped us get out of the 1981, 1990 and 2001 recessions. But since the 2007 "Great Recession," we instead have laid off hundreds of thousands of government employees, obviously making unemployment even worse.
This chart shows only the loss of government jobs. Never mind the job losses in the stores where all of these people were shopping. The Atlantic article says this, "EPI argues that "these extra government jobs would have helped preserve about 500,000 private sector jobs."
And never mind the millions of jobs lost or not created because of "austerity" cutbacks in government spending on things like maintaining (never mind modernizing) our infrastructure! And beyond that, what if we had spent some money (public investment) to retrofit every building and home in the country to be energy efficient, or built high-speed rail around the country? How many millions more would have been hired to do those things – and how much would we be saving on energy and other costs from now on?
This chart from Roger Hickey's post, Continued Jobs Growth. But Highway Bill Shows Austerity Still Hurts., shows how "conservative budget cutting has undermined growth from mid-2010 through 2014":
"As you can see, the impact of austerity on the economy is projected to be reduced over the next two quarters, but the next budget is not expected to be expansionary – and Republicans are still writing budgets under the mistaken conservative theory that spending cuts somehow stimulate growth."Family Budget?
They say that government is like a family budget – when the money isn't coming in you have to cut back. That's just nonsense if you think about it. First of all, if we make the big corporations and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes again, the money would be coming in. And anyway, families do invest in a mortgage, student loans and car loans so they can have a place to live, a good education to get a better job, and a car to get to and from work.
So don't fall for the nonsense the big corporations and billionaires are spreading through their right-wing outlets. When you look a little deeper, that stuff just falls apart. A country needs to invest to create jobs and have a better future.
Why This Matters
These things really matter. We all want to fix the terrible problems the country has. But it is so important to know just what the problems are before you decide how to fix them. Otherwise the things you do to try to solve those problems might just make them worse – just as laying off government workers in a recession makes unemployment worse.
If we get tricked into thinking that Obama has made things worse and that we should go back to what we were doing before Obama – tax cuts for the rich, giving giant corporations and Wall Street everything they want, when those are the things that caused the problems in the first place – then we will be in real trouble.
Note: This is an updated version of the 2011 post, "Three Charts To Email To Your Right-Wing Brother-In-Law." This post has updated charts using more recent data, and has been rewritten somewhat, partially to note the disastrous effect of austerity (budget cuts) on people and our economy.
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF. Sign up here for the CAF daily summary and/or for the Progress Breakfast.
One last thing, when these Republicans tell you again and again that we have a spending problem...just tell them that what we have instead is a revenue problem....easily fixed if all the corporations and the very wealthy would pay their fair share of taxes.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
The homophobic hate-mongers are finding their collection plates dwindling.
When Vladimir Putin went after the LGBT community with Draconian anti-gay laws, the homophobes applauded him. Some even declared that they wanted to leave America and move to Russia.
Then the Olympics were over and Putin invaded the Crimea. The attacks on the Ukraine followed to be topped by the downing of a Malaysian airliner. Those homophobes are keeping their traps shut now.
From Billy Graham to Pat Robertson, from Jerry Falwell to Anita Bryant, from Fisher to Reckers, from Matt Barber to Brian Brown, all used homophobia to enlarge their wealth. Then there was Rush Limbaugh...not only did he go after the gays, he went after women, Blacks, Hispanics...and the list goes on. Where did all of this take these people?
The American people are not as dumb as they figured. The erosion started slowly. It was beginning to emerge as a negative referendum on the Catholic Church which covered up the sexual crimes against children by pedofile priests. People got so fed up with it, that church attendance went down considerably and so did their collection plates' donations.
For a couple of decades the Republican Party made Culture issues and placed anti-gay referendums on ballots in order to energize their homophobic, fundamentalist, Christianist base. But as time went on, it was not working any more in most places as gay people demanded their rights and refused to be humiliated.
All of these LGBT people had family, co-workers and friends who readily saw how unjust it was to deprive them of rights everyone else had based on their sexual orientation. These friends and family of gays also disapproved of the way they were being discriminated and treated.
I firmly believe that this time around, the Evangelicals, Fundamentalist Christianists are on the losing end of the fight and are even wishing Ebola on the gays. The Republican support for homophobia is anemic at best at this point, because they are not raising enough money by spewing hatred and division.
The homophobic cow is drying up!
What if we turned the tables around and it was the Blacks carrying the weapons openly and stood behind “stand your ground” crap?
If our Black citizens can get killed just walking down the street, or done away with by some deranged vigilante while not carrying any weapons...what would happen if they did like those Cliven Bundy militia types who think they are such patriots?
Could you see a truck full of blacks carrying rifles while riding in the back of a pick-up truck in the South? Yet, those same crackpot traitors are roaming the streets with impunity and they committed treason, threatened Federal Agents and Travon Martin is very dead and so is Michael Brown.
The images of Occupy Wall Street protesters being pepper-sprayed at the University of California at Davis are still in my mind. Then there have been a number of incidents involving the use of excessive force by law enforcement just about everywhere.
I can't help but thinking that we're becoming more and more a police state. A society where the racist, crackpots blow up buildings and kill doctors; a very divided society where racism, xenophobia, homophobia and religious intolerance is ever present. One would think that America was Iraq where diversity is a bad word...but then again, for the ultra-right it is too.
Congress needs to hear from us loud and clear: it's time to demilitarize the police in America. Sign our petition demanding Congress reform Section 1033 now.