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Eric Cantor
A confederacy of dunces
The more we hear from Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the more I come to the unavoidable conclusion that he is not very bright. I am sure he is "bright" in the way politicians need to be "bright" to win elections, but his policy pronouncements seem invariably to be nearly substanceless drivel of the worst and dullest sort. His version of government consists of a loose collection of important-sounding edicts, each roughly what a fourth grader would come up with as school project: he himself is convinced of their brilliance, but only because a one-night school assignment hardly needs to delve into such nonsense as logic, or thinking through consequences, or wondering if perhaps anyone else in the history of the human race might also have thought of this same problem, and come up with better solutions.

Cantor's latest op-ed for the Washington Post is just another in this series of silly little announcements. To summarize: blah blah blah, Obama is mean, government is evil, and the only focus America needs to have is cutting social programs, cutting cruel regulations on business, and cutting taxes (except on the working class, of course.) Whether or not we ever had these social programs or these regulations for a reason, in the past, is not something he is willing to bend his small mind towards thinking about. In this case, Cantor immediately sets his sights on some EPA rules which he sees no possible rationale for, rather than simply to torture job-creators unnecessarily:

Our country is facing two related but separate crises. The first is the federal government’s debt crisis, the result of decades of fiscal mismanagement by both political parties as well as unsustainable entitlement commitments. The second is the jobs crisis, which has resulted in painful levels of unemployment and underemployment. President Obama is wrong to think that the answer is to increase spending or raise taxes when so many millions of Americans are out of work.

In fact, the Obama administration’s anti-business, hyper-regulatory, pro-tax agenda has fueled economic uncertainty and sent the message from the administration that “we want to make it harder to create jobs.” There is no other conclusion for policies such as the new Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including the “Transport Rule,” which could eliminate thousands of jobs, or the ozone regulation that would cost upward of $1 trillion and millions of jobs in the construction industry over the next decade.

"There is no other conclusion" but that regulations like the ominous sounding "Transport Rule" exist because Obama, in his lust for an "anti-business, hyper-regulatory, pro-tax agenda", wants to "make it harder to create jobs."

The demon! To think our nation was governed by such a monster as that, working to undermine the American economy from inside the White House itself! If there is no other conclusion, after all, then there is no other conclusion. And you can bet that Eric Cantor, who fancies himself one of the best and brightest minds conservatism has to offer (no snide comments from the gallery, please) taxed his brain coming up with any number of possible reasons for the "Transport Rule" other than President Barack Obama attempting to destroy private enterprise in his quest for something or other, painstakingly running through all the possibilities and dismissing each in turn before coming to the no other conclusion part.

I was personally intrigued by this, especially since the rest of his latest policy pronouncement was merely a dull rehash of his last ones. Clicking on the link provided in his own editorial takes you to a page describing the basis for devil-spawned "Transport Rule":

On July 6, 2011, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule that protects the health of millions of Americans by helping states reduce air pollution and attain clean air standards. This rule, known as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), requires 27 states to significantly improve air quality by reducing power plant emissions that contribute to ozone and/or fine particle pollution in other states.

This rule replaces EPA's 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). A December 2008 court decision kept the requirements of CAIR in place temporarily but directed EPA to issue a new rule to implement Clean Air Act requirements concerning the transport of air pollution across state boundaries. This action responds to the court's concerns.

As impossibly quick background: those of you with long memories may remember a little something from the 1970's and 1980's called acid rain. For some reason, nobody gave a flying crap that immense amounts of pollution were going into the air until we got around to "discovering", back in the 1970's, that the same pollution was coming right back down on us again in the form of nasty, pollution-laden raindrops. "Acid rain" was (and is) the phrase used to describe rain so infused with pollutants that it is literally acidic, stripping the paint off cars, etching stonework on buildings and monuments, killing trees, changing the chemical composition of lakes, and so forth. (Plus, as afterthought, that whole human health thing.) It is still around, of course, but it was the late seventies and early eighties that saw the beginnings of that particular battle here in the United States. States with coal-fired power plants in the midwest sent their pollution into air headed for the northeast, saying "what's the problem? We're putting it high into the atmosphere, so the pollution in our state just isn't that bad!". The same stuff came back down over those northeastern states, and there was not a damn thing those states could do about it until Congress finally stepped in with various amendments to the Clean Air Act meant to help curb the problem, the most notable one being in way back in 1990.

I mention "acid rain" only because it is still a phrase that scares the old folks, even while the identical phrase, "air pollution" is tsk-tsked at even today as being not a problem. Go figure: nothing is a problem, I guess, until it damages the paint on your Mercedes—after that all bets are off.

Moving forward a bit, it was not until the dreadful socialism of the George W. Bush years that the Clean Air Interstate Rule was finally issued by the hippies of the near-communist Bush EPA. The premise of the 2005 rule was that states should not be able to simply foist their air pollution off onto their neighboring states and claim it was not their problem. The thing Eric Cantor is objecting to, the Transport Rule, is the rewrite of that Clean Air Interstate Rule after the D.C. Appeals Court ordered it be rewritten to remove "fatal flaws", but left CAIR enforcement intact in the interim due to the adverse health and environmental effects that would take place, according to the court, if the rules were nullified without adequate replacement. There you are: apparently you now know more about the origins of and motivations behind the Transport Rule than Eric Cantor himself does.

Given that brief history, then, I wonder: might we be able to think of a purpose for the EPA "Transport Rule" that was not predicated on the "Obama administration’s anti-business, hyper-regulatory, pro-tax agenda" sending a message that "we want to make it harder to create jobs"?

This is the fundamental flaw with any Libertarianesque philosophy, especially of the Ayn Rand sort. The general premise of "I should be allowed do whatever I want, and screw the rest of you" makes good sense up until the exact moment you realize the implications if everyone around you were held only to that same sociopathic standard. Some people have the capacity to recognize that rather obvious flaw immediately; others, like Eric Cantor, never seem to puzzle it out, no matter how long they ponder on it.

It may be a question of scale. I think most regulation-averse libertarians like Cantor might be able to deduce that it would be wrong if, in order to save costs on garbage pickup, you simply dumped your trash over your neighbor's fence and called it done. (I say most could, but I recognize not all could.) Similarly, you should not save costs on your septic system by making your "septic system" merely an uncapped pipe that leads to your neighbor's driveway, and as such, we have laws against such things.

Scale this up to the town or county level, though, and it suddenly becomes profoundly controversial. When twenty or thirty cities are on the banks of a single river, each city simultaneously thinks it is both their God-given right to have clean water from the river and to dump their untreated sewage into that same river, regardless of who might be downstream. This works brilliantly for the uppermost city, but works out progressively worse for each city down the line. As long as their own sewage (or factory chemicals, or farm runoff, or mine tailings, or heaven knows what else) floats downstream, however, it is not something that any individual town wants to spend much money worrying about. Sucks to be you, every other downstream city!

Scale it up to the state level, and suddenly any implicit right to not have your neighbor crap in your drinking water vanishes by the wayside. I think it has something to do with "states' rights", by which people mean "... to do anything they like", and I believe that for people like Cantor, limiting the "to do anything they like" part is the mark of socialism and/or federal tyranny. He is the exact sort of neighbor who would not think twice about crapping in his neighbor's drinking water, so long as his neighbor was enough of a distance away as to not see it right away; he would apparently not hesitate to toss trash over his fenceline, because that is why God made fences: to hide whatever you throw to the other side.

By the time we get to the national or global level, or start talking about invisible pollution that manifests itself primarily in causing lung diseases in people you don't know or re-carving historic statuary you have never seen, forget it. Some brains simply cannot wrap their minds around something a hundred miles away still being their problem.

As for corporatists like Cantor, I expect he would be the sort to form a limited liability partnership just so that he could crap in other people's drinking water without personal repercussions. That is essentially what he is arguing for, after all: he just insists on a grander scale.

I am not quite sure how people like Cantor get away with making their impressively shallow arguments in public. The short version of everything he says is that corporations must hold supremacy over government, and that neither citizens nor their government has the right to interfere with that, even if it is in the obvious public good to do so. A company could not execute workers for fun, but they should ostensibly be allowed to endanger them for profit; a company cannot murder a child directly with its pollutants, but injuring tens of thousands should be perfectly allowed, so long as they are sufficiently far away, whether "far away" means "across the factory fence" or "across state lines" or anything between. There is no other conclusion, to use Cantor's own words, but that in attacking clean air regulations, worker safety regulations and the like, he is arguing that very premise.

If you cannot fathom why one state should not be able to pollute the air or water of another state without repercussion, however, I wonder if you are the caliber of person that should be sitting in Congress in the first place.

In any event, I wish there were more opportunities to question Cantor directly. We get to hear his lurid assertions of governmental overreach and tales of corporate suffering in the Washington Post and other outlets on an apparently regular basis, but any larger rationale behind his arguments is always left for the intrepid reader to imagine. I would at least like to know how far away you have to be from someone before you can crap in their water supply or poison their air without repercussion, and if the boundary is merely any state line at all, I would like to invite Mr. Cantor on a fact-finding trip to Four Corners Monument so that we can test his theories more fully.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Cantor should get (18+ / 0-)

    The Water test.

    Put two glasses of water in front of him. One is clean and clear. The other is cloudy, and smells like rotten eggs.

    If he drinks the clean water, he's just another tree-hugging eco-freak.


    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 06:03:45 AM PDT

  •  Anbody Can Do That (9+ / 0-)

    Eric Cantor's next speech could cost as much as $1 trillion and thousands of jobs.  It will create uncertainty for the business climate, and will do nothing to curb runaway federal spending.  We have a crisis of unemployment, and Mr. Cantor insists on speaking.  

    Blah, Blah, Blah.

    Even Sarah Palin can do that.

  •  Some chuckles at Eric Cantor's Bitch Face (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III

    Eric Cantor's Bitch Face

    “Oh honey, you don’t have to offer him a drink. He’s the gardener.”
    “Someone get those children and their sticky hands away from my chaise lounge.”
    “OMG you took a TAXI? That’s precious.”
    “You simply reek of public education.”

  •  You leave Peter Parker alone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:



    Oh wait this is just another soulless Republican carrying water for his corporate paymasters.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 06:10:50 AM PDT

  •  Cantor is paid not to like the EPA (8+ / 0-)

    big power companies, coal producers, etc.    They don't want to pay for their pollution. One can't make sufficient profits if one has to pay for the costs of one's own pollution.

    And all those little people who use the fuel and electricity, it is really their fault for using it, so they should pay for it in larger proportion than through the pricing of the product.  Better a regressive tax or their personal losses for which there is no compensation, than the product being used less because it truly reflects the costs to produce it.

  •  "sociopathic" (7+ / 0-)

    is the relevant adjective here in describing Conservative thought.

    There is no other possible conclusion.

    "Mr. Obama needs to put forward a comprehensive plan and fight for it. If he loses to obstructionist Republicans, Americans will know who is to blame."---NYT

    by claude on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 06:25:18 AM PDT

  •  Let's stop calling them dunces and such... (5+ / 0-)

    and start calling them what they really are: sociopaths, psychopaths and killers.


    -7.88 -8,77 Just a wine sipping, brie eating, $6 coffee drinking, Prius driving, over educated, liberal, white, activist, male New Englander for Barack Obama.

    by EquationDoc on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 06:26:12 AM PDT

  •  T&R (3+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately we have quite a few people in this country who cannot logically reason out what would happen without all those pesky rules and regs.  

  •  "I am not quite sure how people like Cantor... (11+ / 0-)

    get away with making their impressively shallow arguments in public."

    That really is the big question, isn't it?

    "It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." George Carlin

    by psnyder on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 06:26:59 AM PDT

  •  Given the location of Cantor's district . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Given the location of Cantor's district . . . right near Washington D. C., I'm thinking a nice government shutdown al la 1996 would give him something to think about concerning the "evils of government." That's his weak spot.

  •  If you shit in Cantor's drinking water, he's (0+ / 0-)

    package it and sell you a baby ruth bar.

    "You're messing with my zen thing man....." Kevin Flynn

    by Ex Real Republican on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 06:28:20 AM PDT

  •  Eric cantor can go to hell (0+ / 0-)

    And no need to feel bad for him. All his best friends will be there too.

    Actually this is why I'm an atheist. Can you imgaine, having to spend F*%# ETERNITY with these people? Id shoot myself now just to hurry it along if i thought thats how id be spending eternity.

    It felt like rather a long time, but then long times get longer when you're standing around thinking about them. A curious thing, that. Long roads get longer too, if you're thinking about them, but what about long words? They don't change nearly as much

    by kamrom on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 06:29:24 AM PDT

    •  I understand you are an Atheist, and you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GrannyOPhilly, Floja Roja

      don't beleive in "judgement day". However just for one moment think about Cantor appearing before St. Peter and being asked just what did you do to make this world a better place for those less fortunate than yourself Eric, and Cantor trying to give him some bullshit corporate talking points.

  •  Great diary! But it's time to "dummy it down". (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, rabel, rlharry, semiot, bwren

    Cantor does what Republicans are so exceptionally good at and we definitely are not.

    The Eric Cantors of the world (a world that includes every Republican candidate for President) get the gist of an issue/problem into one or few code phrases, call it "job-killing" and "costs trillions" and drop a simple solution in our laps.  That whole discussion takes about 20 seconds. And then, move on. Faced with anyone who can ask a few followup questions, the GOP-er either switches the subject away from the merits into code phrases or criticizes the question as biased and misleading. And moves on.

    Hunter equips us to understand, maybe to have a real discussion/debate on the merits. But the subject has moved to something else and other listeners couldn't tolerate detail anyway.

    We do not want to sink to the level of the other guy's discourse, but often when we don't, we lose the day. (We may be smarter, more nuanced, more thoughtful ... but we lose the day.)

    Suggestion: After explaining the merits, suggest some rejoinders. Maybe - I'm just practicing at this, trying to get better, and this may not be accurate enough - "But Eric overlooks the cost in lost health and lives of 'transporting - let's call it for what it is, dumping - acid rain on neighboring states. That's what the 'transport rule' covers." Or some such.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 06:31:23 AM PDT

  •  No, he is certainly not very bright. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry, semiot

    What is perhaps of more concern, though, is that politicians are no longer trying to conceal or camouflage statements like this in more ambiguous terms.  They used to, at least, try to make their BS sound plausible.

    Now, it is as if they have concluded that there is no reason to take that trouble.  They apparently can safely assume that sufficient numbers of voters will not check their work.  They certainly can safely assume that the traditional media will not check their "facts", since only "viewpoints" matter.

    •  So what you are saying is Cantor is not that (0+ / 0-)

      bright, but neither are a sufficent number of voters, or those in the media.
      Today, I opened up my facebook home page to a status line from one of those not sufficiently bright voters. She was asking everyone to "Pray for America", to pray to remove those "evil" demons from the White House and Congress. I admit, I don't know what this woman has done with her life since H.S. but back then, she was as dumb as dirt, an dropped out in her Jr. year. I know people change, but I also know some don't, especially when you have no ability to do so.

      •  My Repub neighbor has a sign on his front lawn (0+ / 0-)

        saying "Pray for America: Chron 2 (something)". They went to Dick Perry's Prayerappalooza and the sign went up. This must be their new mantra.

        Nature created the human race, but humans created racism.

        by GrannyOPhilly on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 07:54:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The other part of the post was something like (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          elect born again Christians, who believe in the holy spirit. I have no problem with people believing what the hell they want to believe, my problem is with the electing only "born Again Christians". Maybe I am old fashioned, but I still beleive in seperation of church and state, and relegion should have no place in politics at all. People can pray for America all they want, America needs all the support she can get, but when their prayers for America are directed to praying to elect the "right" kind of people, you are not really praying for America, but for your own selfish intersts.

  •  The Transport Rule is a great program (8+ / 0-)

    I worked closely with it in the 90's. Being that the largest ozone hole was, and probably still is, hovering over Glen Burnie and that transferring nox and sox credits and retrofits to older companies from new projects, we did see some tangible gains [reductions].

    It is also a job creating program. For educated people like engineers and science-y peoples. and construction-y peoples. and state epa type peoples. It's really fascinating stuff. I'm glad I got to be involved with it.

    •  But your job doesn't count (4+ / 0-)

      because it was the results of a big guvrmint rule.

      The only jobs that count are the ones 'created' by the 'job creators'.

      "Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle." Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by bear83 on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 06:38:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's an axiom for people like Cantor (5+ / 0-)

        that government can't create jobs. It's a cartoonishly stunning bit of willful ignorance, considering that Cantor and his staff all have government jobs, but never mind.

        "It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." George Carlin

        by psnyder on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 06:46:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It very possibly saved some jobs (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          psnyder, Floja Roja, elfling, Hunter

          and companies by retrofitting their physical plants so that their energy costs were lowered enabling them to stay in business and/or hire people. The project I worked on was a cement plant in Maryland [the most modern one in the world] and a business in the Philadelphia area.

          To be accurate, the engineers in this case were in house for the super heater and from Germany, but the company in Philly got all of their specs done for next to nothing, including working models and feasibility studies.

          •  In the end, most regulations like this (0+ / 0-)

            end up saving money. They force companies to look more long term and they allow the good companies breathing room to afford to comply rather than being forced to participate in a race to the bottom.

            Los Angeles has far cleaner air than it did in the 1970s - and also a more vibrant economy (and far more people and cars and economic activity). I think it is actually directly related - had LA proceeded on the path to Mexico City or Bejing smog, that there would be fewer jobs, a weaker economy, and a lower standard of living all the way around.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 09:33:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Willful ignorance (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          psnyder, Floja Roja

          is a sprecialty of today's GOP.

          "Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle." Franklin D. Roosevelt

          by bear83 on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 06:58:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I was a volunteer activist liaison. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Cantor v. Powell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    maybe we'll get lucky:

  •  The clean air act has saved thousands of lives (8+ / 0-)

    including the lives of children. Thanks for going through the dreadful excuse for logic that pseudo-libertarianism uses. Of course, Cantor is not much of a libertarian when it comes to the freedom of individuals who are dealing with abusive corporations. Cantor is a corporate apologist posing as a libertarian, in my opinion.

    Here's what Cantor's anti-EPA corporate apology comes down to.

    Pollution caused asthma is a very real and deadly killer of children.

    Cantor would let polluting corporations kill babies for profit.

    This is the bottom line.

    Eric Cantor baby killer.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 06:38:23 AM PDT

  •  Less exposure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I realize this essay would get less exposure as an op/ed in a newspaper (snark...kinda) but it sure would be cool to see this in a few newspapers, especially in Cantor's district.

    Another home run by Hunter.

    [Terrorists] are a dime a dozen, they are all over the world and for every one we lock up there will be three to take his place. --Digby

    by rabel on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 06:44:39 AM PDT

  •  "A Confederacy of Dunces" (0+ / 0-)

    That is one of the very tiny things that I disagree with in this thorough analysis of the absolutely vacuous intellectualism of the Repugnantcan Party. "Dunces" implies a transitory state of failure to learn an assigned lesson in a given time-frame. These gentlemen pictured are willfully ignorant. Willfully ignorant for they will never admit to having learned the true status of the environment's health, because to admit the true state of the issues within the purview of the EPA, would be to admit their willful deceit of the electorate who put them in office. That is not to say that they have not learned the lessons in which the ecosystem is instructing humankind; they simply are using deception to achieve a certain political goal and advance an agenda of personal financial profit, from whatever source.
    Somewhere in the Bible it says something about God giving mankind responsibility for all of the animals, fish, birds, and conditions of nature. Accepting that a higher power has charged humankind with that responsibility, thanks to the willfully ignorant people in your picture, humankind has been a miserable failure in carrying out that charge.

  •  Why Cantor Does Not Like the EPA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GrannyOPhilly, BlackNGreen

    I wish folks writing and reading this blog would follow the money. The best communication strategy to defend our environmental laws and our environmental regulators is to focus on who is paying for these ridiculous attacks that link EPA to "killing" jobs. What crap, of course. But to talk about pollution itself is beside the point. The reason Cantor and the rest of the Republicans are attacking EPA is simply to solicit campaign contributions from polluters. Thus, the best way to defend EPA and environmental regulation on the State and Federal level is NOT to engage in a lot of noise about pollution, cost/benefit, health, etc. Everyone who matters KNOWS all that. But what people do NOT know is the extent to which polluters are payng for a coordinated political hack job on environmental laws and the agencies at the federal and state level who implement them. I know whereof I speak because I am an environmental attorney for EPA with some 30 years of experience in legislative affairs. I'm telling you, research the contributions to those who attack environmental laws and regulators. Then find out their record of environmental violations. Simple example:  who paid for the drafting of the bill that would put us back into the dirty dark ages regarding the Clean Water Act? Always follow the money -- dirty money. Out them, reveal who is paying for all this nonsense and show why it is to promote the right to pollute, the right to endanger public health, the right to poison us all. Show a direct connect between Cantor, his money, and environmental polluters -- it is that simple.

    •  I think the outing of the Koch brothers woke up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      some people. It's always about the money, but the financial backers HATE the publicity. What that one group did at Lincoln Center in NYC when one of the Kochs was there, was genius and should be repeated everywhere regularly - even if the Kochs are not present. I think Koch Brothers Exposed dot com is the group.

      Personally, I'd go further and out every single executive in all the companies. Name and shame. It broke up the C-Street Scam Group.

      Nature created the human race, but humans created racism.

      by GrannyOPhilly on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 08:06:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One of the memes to work with on corporate money (0+ / 0-)

        is to point out that if the rules allow unlimited, untraceable money from corporations and others, that for example foreigners - including foreign dictators - will also be able to pour millions of dollars into our elections.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 09:35:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  see Easterbrook on EPA as the bogeyman (0+ / 0-)

  •  Brilliant piece; thank you (0+ / 0-)

    This should have been published right beside Cantor's article in the Post.

  •  do you think that much of the attraction to the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Tea Party type politicians is precisely because they are NOT very bright, therefore make their equally dim-witted constitutents feel that they are just like them?

    People are always bithing they don't want elitist (euphemism for smart and educated) leaders, they want people just like them.

    Well, sheeple people, this is what you get when you want folks just like you!!

    The People's Congress.

  •  Why stop at calling Cantor a corporatist? (0+ / 0-)

    Since we all know corporations are people {wink} let's just call him the corporation that he is.

    Well, let me amend that......

    Corporation and Tool.

    There, that's better.

    I've got my spine, I've got my (DKos) orange crush, we are agents of the free.....R.E.M.

    by FlamingoGrrl on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 08:43:23 AM PDT

  •  great ! (0+ / 0-)

    This is how we should frame our arguments...!

    From personal to local to regional to national to global.

    I love the image of Cantor throwing trash over the fence when no one is looking. That's what deregulation is all about!

    Many thanks, Hunter, for the ammo!


    I would've thought that whole "debt-ceiling" debacle would have done him in.....

    and the "class warfare" comments...

    NOTICE TO ERIC CANTOR....The United States IS waging class warfare...and you ARE public enemy #1..!!!!

    I hope when the super-committe fails, they cut a TON of defense jobs from his district...!!!

  •  Good diary as usual: My comment (0+ / 0-)

    in terms of your statement:

    "I am not quite sure how people like Cantor get away with making their impressively shallow arguments in public. "

    It is because they generally go unchallenged and no one outside the specialty blogs takes them on over it. I agree with much that you say, Hunter, and certainly think you are on target with this analysis. But I am not surprised and the proposition that Congressman Cantor (aptly described by Bill Maher as 'the talking prick') is shallow and plays loose with the facts to advance his detestable political position is not particularly a new thing, at least among us Kossacks.

    It would be a surprise, I think,  to many who do not think deeply about the issues, and who are comfortable with having their opinions dictated to them by others. In this, I must fault the so-called 'mainstream media' who routinely allow political and other leaders to get away with weak arguments, distorted positions and flat out untruths. . .and certainly never take to task these people over the implications of what they say. It is not so much bias as laziness and a desire to not lose precious 'access', plus the plain old truth that they got a paper or a show to put out every day; don't wanna spend too much time doing a real analysis.

    I'll give a real life 'forinstance', something I saw today on CNBC while having morning coffee. It was the interview with Gov Huntsman, the 'sane' Republican, in which he was asked about the irresponsible position of his party in rejecting any tax increases to help close the deficit. Not that CNBC would ever broaden their argument by including the proposition of asking the wealthy to shoulder their fair share of the burden in improving the country. He said that he would support the elimination of 'tax breaks, loopholes and subsidies' and admitted it would be a tax increase, but then said "we would invest it in the tax structure so that we could lower rates and broaden the base" or something like this.

    Now, even an idiot can see through this. Most obviously, is this a tax increase or not? Meaning does the government get more money with this scheme, which it undoubtedly would if we left tax rates the same (something even semi-rightwing publications have advocated)? Or does it not, in which case why bother and how is it different from the 'no new taxes' pledge that most Repubs have signed onto? Or does it even lower taxes in in which case how is it different from an irresponsible continuation of the Bush tax cuts? Furthermore, if by broadening the base, how is this not regressive to the 50% of the population who currently pay no federal income tax because, quite simply, they can't afford it? Or even more broadly, have you, governor just not thought this through because it is the standard political sound bite you are making to sound good, whther or not what you say truly connects with reality in any meaningful manner?

    Now, did CNBC come even close to asking any of these questions or commenting along these lines after their interview with 'the sane one' was over? No, but the representative of CNBC, whom I contacted this morning about this tepid PR piece assured me that the network would do an in-depth anaylsis, the very minute after kung-fu pandas flew out of my butt.

    So given this, I eagerly await a squadron of hard-hitting Washington Post journalists to do a real examination of the congressman's shallow assertions as to the deviousness of the EPA. Come on guys, I'm still waiting.

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 10:12:56 AM PDT

  •  I think we can sup up this post with a few words.. (0+ / 0-)

    He's just not that bright.  It would be nice if he thought this stuff through and actually had a reason beyond the knee-jerk response.  But he hasn't.  He's dumb as a post.

    That can mean only one thing: Republicans think all the jobs are trapped inside women's uteruses. - BiPM

    by Jensequitur on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 11:07:32 AM PDT

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