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Archive for the ‘conservativism’ Category

The opposite of Pro-gress is Con-gress, Paul Ryan edition

Posted by Charles II on October 11, 2015

With right-wing media anointing Paul Ryan the next Speaker, it falls to Paul Krugman to remind us who Paul Ryan is:

As the Paul Ryan clamor gets louder, a public service reminder: he’s a con man.

I don’t mean that I disagree with his policy ideas, although I do. I mean that his reputation as a serious thinker is based on deception, both about what he has actually proposed and how it has or hasn’t been vetted.

Take, for example, the famous “fiscally responsible” budget plan. As I explained way back when, what Ryan did was to present a sort of vague fiscal outline to the Congressional Budget Office that envisioned implausibly large cuts in spending and mysterious increases in revenue, and stipulated for the purpose of the exercise that CBO take those numbers as given.

…as I’ve said, Ryan is to budget analysis as Carly Fiorina is to corporate leadership: he’s brilliant at self-promotion, but there’s no hint that he’s actually able to do the job.

In short, Paul Ryan is the image of the sensible conservative that the Republican Party wants to project. Behind the image, there is nothing beyond a grasping nature and a lust for power. Conservatism died long ago, and left a formaldehyde-saturated lump of meat whose face is someone, perhaps Paul Ryan.

Posted in conservativism, Republicans acting badly | Comments Off on The opposite of Pro-gress is Con-gress, Paul Ryan edition

The face of evil

Posted by Charles II on June 24, 2015

Added: To be clear, the point is that evil doesn’t look any different than what we see every day. The face of evil is found in someone exulting in being a slumlord, in the easy acceptance with which the Tea Party–of which many chapters have close links to the Conservative Citizens Council– has met with the media, and in the refusal of this country to recognize the mass murder in Charleston as being the result of something embedded in our national DNA, namely the “original sin” of slavery. This sin can only be removed by genuine repentance, which means de-normalizing racism in whatever form it appears. As long as a guy like Earl Holt III is normal, the whole nation is polluted.


Via David Nir, DK.

Earl Holt III is a white supremacist, radio personality on WGNU, and leader of the Council of Conservative Citizens. He has replaced the fortunately late Gordon Baum as the president of that organization. Why a man like this was allowed to use the public airwaves is beyond me.

This is how Earl Holt III describes himself in FEC filings:

This is the face of evil, ca. 1990 (From Lindsay Bever of the WaPo):

Lindsay Bever:

[Holt] preferred, he said, “to contribute directly to conservative Republican candidates, ONLY, because we do not trust the RNC to spend our money as wisely as we would. Moreover, if it occurs to us to mention it, we also indicate our preference for Tea Party-endorsed candidates, to whom we have been quite generous the last few election cycles.”

And this is the face of evil now:

(Via Hinterland Gazette)

And here is the list of politicians who happily accepted contributions from a self-described slumlord:

Rep. J.D. Hayworth of Arizona
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas
ex-Rep. Charles Djou of Hawaii
Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska

As the Rev. William Barber said, The perpetrator [of the Charleston massacre] has been arrested, but the killer is still at large.

Posted in Congress, conservativism, crimes, racism, Republicans as cancer | Comments Off on The face of evil

Faux News, faux comments

Posted by Charles II on October 21, 2013

Ben Dimeiro, MMA:

In a chapter focusing on how Fox utilized its notoriously ruthless public relations department in the mid-to-late 00’s, Folkenflik reports that Fox’s PR staffers would “post pro-Fox rants” in the comments sections of “negative and even neutral” blog posts written about the network. According to Folkenflik, the staffers used various tactics to cover their tracks, including setting up wireless broadband connections that “could not be traced back” to the network.

A former staffer told [NPR reporter David] Folkenflik that they had personally used “one hundred” fake accounts to plant Fox-friendly commentary:

I’m sure if Fox works on it, they can sink lower.

Posted in conservativism, liars | 1 Comment »

Ornstein’s swan song: GOP sucks

Posted by Charles II on April 16, 2013

20 years too late, Norm Ornstein sees the light, The Hill

There are no more moderate or liberal Republicans — the Sherwood Boehlerts, John Porters, Amo Houghtons and Michael N. Castles are long gone. What now passes for a moderate would have been considered a bedrock conservative in the early 1990s.

The House GOP has veered sharply, even drastically, to the right from what already was a pretty rightist center of gravity.

But more important has been the attitudinal change. Respect for the institution of Congress — much less for the framers’ vision of policymaking through deliberation, debate and an effort to find common ground, or at least grounds for compromise — has been replaced by obduracy, contempt for compromise and a level of demonization of the other side, starting with the president.

The ‘wingers are just doing what their masters tell them to do. Wreck government so that corporations and the wealthy can rule.

Posted in conservativism, corruption, Republicans acting badly | 1 Comment »

By any means necessary

Posted by Charles II on January 21, 2013

Someone might start thinking that the GOP doesn’t believe in democracy:

The state Senate is split 20-20 between Republicans and Democrats. On Monday, while state Sen. Henry Marsh (D) — a 79-year-old civil rights veteran — was reportedly in Washington to attend President Obama’s second inaugural, GOP senators forced through a mid-term redistricting plan that Democrats say will make it easier for Republicans to gain a majority.

With Marsh’s absence, Senate Republicans in Richmond had one more vote than Senate Democrats and could push the measure through. The new redistricting map revises the districts created under the 2011 map and would take effect before the next state Senate elections in Virginia and would redraw district lines to maximize the number of safe GOP seats.

They then, on Martin Luther King Day, adjourned to honor the memory of Stonewall Jackson.

Michael Lind was right in calling conservatives the ideological heirs of Lenin.

Posted in conservativism, Republicans as cancer, totalitarianism | 3 Comments »

Important information on understanding the links between conservatives and far right

Posted by Charles II on July 27, 2011

Amy Goodman did a stunning show on the links between the Breivik mass assassination and the mainstream conservative movement. The links to anti-feminism are particularly interesting. Updated with excerpts.

Jeff Sharlet (famous for C-Street House):

sometimes—he says he’s lifting from a lot of sources, many of them American. Sometimes he identifies them, as with Robert Spencer, a popular anti-Islamic blogger. Sometimes he doesn’t, as with William Lind, a prominent conservative critic whose attack on what he sees as political correctness as a sign of Western decadence he lifts kind of whole cloth without attribution. So, you really have to kind of read the text and then really double-check and see where it’s coming from. I mean, even some of the most extreme things, you’re then stunned to see—for instance, his Bible battle verses that he uses as he’s preparing for combat. You know, you think this is really fringe, and in fact it comes from Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily, a very popular conservative website in the United States.

Eva Gabrielsson (the life partner of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo novelist Stieg Larsen, who wrote about the right):

EVA GABRIELSSON: Well, he—when you talk about violence against women, or discrimination, Stieg used to say that they are just two sides of the same coin. They are directed towards different groups of the people in a society, but it’s the same mechanism, it’s the same ideology, it’s the same terror or discrimination that they want to impose, to subject somebody to something to be able to get more power of their own….And I’m horrified to see that his long-term aim, by using terror to destabilize whole nations and the whole of Europe, is supposed to end up in a coup, first civil war and then a coup, where which they will reestablish the patriarchy again—obviously with him in some kind of lead then at some point in time.

The Guardian on the Berlusconi right’s defense of Breivik:

Interviewed on a popular radio show, Francesco Speroni, a leading member of the Northern League, the junior partner in Berlusconi’s conservative coalition, said: “Breivik’s ideas are in defence of western civilisation.”

The Italian politician was endorsing the comments of another high-profile member of the league who had drawn fierce criticism for arguing that the killings might have been part of a plot to discredit hardline conservative thinkers. Like many in his party, Mario Borghezio, who sits in the European parliament, is an admirer of the writings of the late Italian journalist and author Oriana Fallaci, who popularised the term Eurabia to describe a future, supposedly Islamised Europe.

Pat Buchanan’s defense of Breivik:

And that massacre in Oslo, where a terrorist detonated a fertilizer bomb to decapitate the government and proceeded to a youth camp to kill 68 children of Norway’s ruling elite, is a fire bell in the night for Europe.

His writings are now being mined for references to U.S. conservative critics of multiculturalism and open borders. Purpose: Demonize the American right, just as the berserker’s attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson was used to smear Sarah Palin and Timothy McVeigh’s Oklahoma City bombing was used to savage Rush Limbaugh and conservative critics of Big Government.

native-born and homegrown terrorism is not the macro-threat to the continent.

That threat comes from a burgeoning Muslim presence in a Europe that has never known mass immigration, its failure to assimilate, its growing alienation, and its sometime sympathy for Islamic militants and terrorists.

Europe faces today an authentic and historic crisis.

As for a climactic conflict between a once-Christian West and an Islamic world that is growing in numbers and advancing inexorably into Europe for the third time in 14 centuries, on this one, Breivik may be right.

Let’s be clear on this. There are elements in the conservative movement who are exposing themselves as violent extremists. Buchanan and some of the Berlusconians, by justifying Breivik’s philosphy while condemning his actions are in actuality endorsing his actions. One cannot honestly separate the philosophy of a mass murderer from his murders: the same brain thought the thoughts as pulled the trigger.

Posted in conservativism, crimes, fascism, terrorism | Comments Off on Important information on understanding the links between conservatives and far right

The pest and the blightedest

Posted by Charles II on June 26, 2011

Terry Krepel has a good post up on Ben Shapiro. Among other things, Shapiro has been accusing the Obama Administration of hiring a Cuban spy, even though rumors circulated by that font of Moonie rectitude, Insight, were investigated by the FBI and found to be baseless. But Shapiro has reached new fringes of the outer limits by attacking former USDA official Shirley Sherrod:

Shapiro used his July 29, 2010, column to attack Shirley Sherrod as a “Marxist” as well as a “racial separatist and quasi-shakedown artist.”…

claiming that the settlement of the class action lawsuit brought by Shirley Sherrod on behalf of African American farmers (which was done as a private citizen/activist before her hiring by the USDA)

…a scam. [in which]. According to Rep. Steve King, who I interviewed on my radio show, the vast majority of payouts under Pigford are fraudulent. In excess of 80,000 ‘black farmers’ have taken advantage of the Pigford settlement, despite the fact that during the period the lawsuit covers, there were only 16,000 black farmers in the entire country.

According to Krepel, the 16,000 figure is actually the number of people who won the class action lawsuit. The 80,000 figure is how many people later applied for redress of historical discrimination, many of whom will be determined to be ineligible. The total number of African American farmers in the affected period was far greater. In 30 seconds on the Google machine one may establish that there were 926,000 African American farms in 1920, and half a million in 1950, but that this declined to 185,000 in 1969. In the period covered by the first settlement, there were roughly 60,000 African American farmers at the start of the period and 18,000 at the end of it. Indeed, according to the Congressional Research Service, there were many more farms, with 32,000 surviving into 2007. And, of course, farmers might have filed for more than one loan. CRS has the history of Pigford, and Congressman King–if he made the inflammatory and baseless statements ascribed to him by Shapiro–should be given a ticket back to Iowa.

What makes this notable is that Ben Shapiro, according to Krepel, “at age 17, he became the youngest syndicated columnist in America. In between, he wrote a couple of books and graduated from Harvard Law School.” (undergraduate, UCLA) The books are, Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV (Broadside Books; a HarperCollins imprint) and Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth (Thomas Nelson, a “Christian” publisher). Why would any publisher, much less one that claimed to represent Jesus Christ, publish the work of someone who can’t be bothered to spend sixty seconds on Google before spreading libels and hatred?

And why are our elite colleges and law schools graduating people who simply can’t tell the truth from a lie? If this is what our country has to offer the world, it deserves to fall from grace.

Posted in conservativism, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | 2 Comments »

Donald Trump, The Ultimate Republican: Greedy, Lying, Selfish, Deluded

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 1, 2011

Johann Hari of the Independent nails both Trump and the GOP (and Obama in the bargain):

Enter stage (far) right Donald Trump, the bewigged billionaire who has filled America with phallic symbols and plastered his name across more surfaces than the average Central Asian dictator. CNN’s polling suggests he is the most popular candidate among Republican voters. It’s not hard to see why. Trump is every trend in Republican politics over the past 35 years taken to its logical conclusion. He is the Republican id, finally entirely unleashed from all restraint and all reality.


Trump probably won’t become the Republican nominee, but not because most Republicans reject his premises. No: it will be because he states these arguments too crudely for mass public consumption. He takes the whispered dogmas of the Reagan, Bush and Tea Party years and shrieks them through a megaphone. The nominee will share similar ideas, but express them more subtly. In case you think these ideas are marginal to the party, remember – it has united behind the budget plan of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan. It’s simple: it halves taxes on the richest 1 percent and ends all taxes on corporate income, dividends, and inheritance. It pays for it by slashing spending on food stamps, healthcare for the poor and the elderly, and basic services. It aims to return the US to the spending levels of the 1920s – and while Ryan frames it as a response to the deficit, it would actually increase it according to the independent Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Ryan says “the reason I got involved in public service” was because he read the writings of Ayn Rand, which describe the poor as “parasites” who must “perish”, and are best summarized by the title of one of her books: ‘The Virtue of Selfishness.

The tragedy is that Obama needs serious opposition – but not from this direction. In reality, he is funded by similar destructive corporate interests, and has only been a few notches closer to sanity than these people. But faced with such overt lunacy, he seems like he is serving the bottom 99 per cent of Americans much more than he really is.

This is why we’re suddenly seeing serious attacks on him from all quarters. If he’s allowed to stand, he gives away the corporate GOP platform as well as its reliance on the Southern Strategy.

Posted in conservativism, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Snoopy victorious

Posted by Charles II on March 1, 2011

(image from songfacts)

More of that superior morality for which conservatives have become justly notorious, European edition, from Helen Pidd of The Guardian:

He was voted Germany’s most popular politician, a chisel-jawed, gelled-haired aristocrat who held such rock-star status that his party used to play an AC/DC track every time he took to the stage. But Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has resigned as defence minister after being engulfed by a plagiarism scandal, leaving the ruling coalition with a serious charisma vacuum.

His departure is a huge blow for Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union party (CDU). Already weakened after defeats in recent regional elections, she is facing the prospect of implosion at six other local polls this year.

The 39-year-old baron, often tipped to be a future chancellor, has handed in his notice to Merkel after almost two weeks of frontpage stories about the authenticity of his PhD thesis.

Muammar Gaddafi’s son got a lot of attention for his own academic misdeeds. I wonder whether the Baron from Cut-and-Paste will get similar scrutiny.

Posted in conservativism, rightwing moral cripples | Comments Off on Snoopy victorious

The True Reagan Legacy

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 9, 2011

I spent so much time on this comment I made over at Renaissance Post, that I felt it deserved a post of its own:

The Reagan presidency is one of the many poisoned fruits of the deliberate rejection, by the various moneyed interests that back the people that rule us, of anything the least bit edifying.

Many business tycoons went along with FDR’s New Deal creation of universal public education from kindergarten through high school because they wanted an educated workforce. Then in the 1960s, they saw what happened when you gave tens of millions of kids a decent primary education and good preparation for college: They learned enough to see a) who was screwing who, and b) how to organize to stop it. As a result, big business largely stopped backing universal public education (the bogus “A Nation at Risk” report and the burying of the Sandia study debunking it shows the increasing hatred of the ruling classes for public education), and in fact stopped supporting non-ideological science and research unless it provided a direct financial benefit.

Not only did big business turn its back on schools and science, but on basic human decency as well. The whole point of the “Southern Strategy” is not that it plays on the bigotry of people, many but by no means all of whom live in the former Confederate states, but that Corporate America is allied with the persons inflaming the bigotry, and sees it as a tool for financial gain. They sell cutting taxes (especially for the rich), and thus cutting social programs, as a way to hurt blacks and other nonwhites. As Reagan strategist Lee Atwater put it in 1981:

”You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

”And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘Nigger, nigger.”’

Bigotry isn’t just a mental habit of certain white working-class Southerners or even white-flight exurbanites; the very worst bigots, and the most dangerous ones, are, like the Koch brothers, extremely rich and not at all interested in using their money to help those who are less fortunate. That’s why Ayn Rand is so popular in these circles: She tells them through her writings that they are superior, that greed is good, and that they are justified in grinding the rest of us beneath their boot heels.

They turn their backs on education, on knowledge, on culture, on science, on simple human decency, all so they can justify living their lives without any type of restriction on their throbbing, over-gratified ids.

Posted in conservativism, corruption, libertoonians, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples, Silly Republicans | 4 Comments »

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