From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…
I Love The Smell Of Liberalism In The Morning
I don’t keep many opinion pieces hardwired in my brain, but Paul Waldman's July, 2006 column at TomPaine.com is one I do, and I like to pull it out every now and again. It's called, It's The Conservatism, Stupid. At that time we were months away from capturing the House and Senate, Republicans were floundering, and Waldman cut to the chase:
The key challenge facing progressives right now is how---once George W. Bush decamps for Crawford in January of 2009---to maintain the increased energy motivating the political left in recent years. They will be able to do so if they come to understand that George W. Bush is not what they need to fight. What they need to fight is conservatism.Because…
The story of American history is that of conservative ideas and prejudices falling away as our society grows more progressive and thus more true to our nation's founding ideals. Conservatives supported slavery, conservatives opposed women's suffrage, conservatives supported Jim Crow, conservatives opposed the 40-hour work week and the abolishment of child labor, and conservatives supported McCarthyism. In short, all the major advancements of freedom and justice in our history were pushed by liberals and opposed by conservatives, no matter the party they inhabited at the time. … Conservatism is everyone you never wanted to grow up to be.Six years have passed since Paul wrote that, and conservative ideology is not going quietly into that good night: blacks are lazy freeloaders. Women are baby factories who don’t deserve to have control over their bodies (even in cases of rape and incest). Voter suppression bills are being passed by Republican state legislatures before the ink is dry. Applause breaks out when Republican godfather Newt Gingrich proposes firing adult janitors and replacing them with child janitors. Debtors prisons are discussed as a viable idea. A Florida representative claims that 81 members of the U.S. House are members of the communist party and is rewarded with millions of dollars in campaign contributions. The advice shouted out to Ron Paul when asked what he should do if he, a doctor, encountered a dying person without health insurance? "Let him die!"
That more Americans aren't completely disgusted by all that is mind-boggling.
2012 conservatism is about cruelty, sabotage and exploitation of the gullible in the pursuit of money and power. The only way they can stay alive now, in fact, is to push bigger and bigger lies with such overwhelming force and lockstep conviction that it's almost impossible to debunk them fast enough. And when they actually control levers of power, it gets mighty ugly mighty fast as we've seen.
Mitt Romney promises that, if he gets in the White House he'll lord over the several states with a wrecking ball of "severe conservatism." His biggest fan, Dick Cheney, thinks that's just peachy. We have 113 days to make sure that doesn't happen.
So. Good morning, liberals. Glad you're here. It's Monday. Saddle up.
Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Cheers and Jeers for Monday, July 16, 2012
Note: A reminder that mlharges is hosting a Kossack meetup this Thursday in New Orleans and you're invited. It starts at 7 O'clock at The Columns Hotel (3811 St. Charles Avenue) and you'll recgnize the table by its orange decorations. If you need more info, give mlharges a shout via kosmail.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til Ramadan: 4
Days 'til the 47th annual Yarmouth Clam Festival: 4
Amount of the contiguous United States that is now in a drought: 61%
(Source: U.S. Drought Monitor)
Rank of the Britain, Germany and Japan on the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard: #1, #2, #3
Rank of the U.S.: #9
(Source: the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy)
Percent of Mainers surveyed who believe that the key to economic growth in this economy is to "spend more and raise taxes": 52%
Percent who believe the answer is to "lower taxes and cut spending": 35%
(Source: Critical Insights poll for the Portland Press Herald)
NEW! "The President is Distant and Aloof and I Can PROVE it!"
I tell you the President is distant and aloof---here's the proof!!!
Puppy Pic of the Day: "And Schmeling goes down…in one round!!!"
CHEERS to getting your Dilbert on. Former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie is a pro's pro. He can spin anything to the conservative side and make it look easy. But yesterday he shit in his boss's bed on Meet the Press when he responded to criticism that Mitt Romney was engaged in Bain Capital's outsourcing deals even while he was off organizing the Olympics. Get used to hearing this sound bite on the "What were they thinking?" political campaign highlight reel:
David Gregory: He was still financially linked to Bain. And of course, a lot his fortune is due to his time with Bain. Even when he was on leave, does he stand by the business decisions that were made by the firm he created?This morning on Gillespie's to-do list: figure out how to retroactively retract retired retroactively. Really rapidly!!!
Romney surrogate Ed Gillespie: He actually retired retroactively at that point. He ended up not going back to the firm after his time in Salt Lake City. So he was actually retired from Bain.
CHEERS to citizens united against Citizens United. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, who was a terrific host at Netroots Nation in Providence, could achieve something very good today when the Senate votes on votes on…
…the DISCLOSE Act of 2012, which will address the flood of unlimited secret money in elections unleashed by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. ... The DISCLOSE Act requires any organization that spends $10,000 or more during an election cycle to file a report within 24 hours, identifying any donors who gave $10,000 or more. It will require political groups posing as social welfare organizations to disclose their donors and will prevent corporations and other wealthy interests from using shell corporations to funnel secret money to super PACs. ... The DISCLOSE Act is supported by a broad coalition of voting rights, civil rights, and good government groups.But a few Republicans might be convinced to vote for it anyway. Ba-dum bum.
CHEERS and JEERS to the ups and downs of bid'ness. I ain't no Paul Krugman or Bonddad, meaning I can't straggle too far into the weeds of financial news without having flashbacks of all the D's and F's I got in every numbers-oriented and graph-centric class I ever took. So I pretty much stick to the headlines to maintain my sanity and youthful beauty. Here's a sample from various business sections to give you a taste of what's going on:
U.S. preparing cases in global rate-fixing probeBut, of course, the most important business story is that this Wednesday is National Caviar Day. Try not to spill any on your Manolo Blanhiks, one-percenters.
Most Greeks want government to renegotiate bailout
Agency proposes simple, three-page mortgage form
More volatility on the way. Thanks, Congress!
Consumers leaving less in Las Vegas: casino owners
Earnings season kicks off
China growth slows
Wall Street waits for Bernanke to testify
Capitalism loses fans thanks to recession
CHEERS to lighting one helluva candle. Today is the 43rd anniversary of the blastoff of Apollo 11. Cronkite's understatement: "Oh, boy …What a moment." The mission would fulfill a vision set forth by President John F. Kennedy eight years earlier to put a man on the moon before decade's end, and would climax with Neil Armstrong's immortal words four days later: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for... Mmmm! Cheddar!"
CHEERS to the sound of defeat. I imagine that the moment Mitt Romney decided it would be a good idea to warble through "America the Beautiful" was the same moment the Obama team knew they'd be using it to create a killer ad. And, boy, they made one that will be talked about for decades. Speaking strictly from a technical perspective, professional movie directors are saying there are "a lot of pedals on the organ being played at once." And from a messaging standpoint, here are some of the responses I got when I asked for a one- or two-word reaction from folks on Twitter:
Pitch perfect! … Home run … "Zing!" … Best yet … No apologies … Check, please! … Fucking beautiful … Fucking awesome! … 'bout time! … Snap! … "tone deaf" (Romney, not the ad) … Kick Ass … Mitt Welk … Epic crush … Knockout punch … Slice: dice … Lemon. Wet.(That last one was submitted by David Waldman, spot-on as always.) If you listen carefully this morning you'll hear a single bead of sweat falling from Karl Rove's forehead into his Cocoa Puffs. With more to come.
Five years ago in C&J: July 16, 2007
JEERS to hypocrites on parade. Okay, pay attention, children. When a Democrat cheats on his wife with an intern, it's acceptable fodder for the right-wing slime machine. But when a Republican (like, say, Senator David Vitter) cheats on his wife with hookers, according to Hugh Hewitt, it's just divine fate:
"You see, Christians have a very different view of this stuff. Sin is kind of a given. Everyone’s standard is going to be broken. People understand that."Uh huh. Meanwhile, in Tucker Carlson's world, when a "pro-family" U.S. Senator shits on the principle of marital fidelity with hookers, it's equal to...eh...a parking violation:
"I mean, you have to remind yourself that it is a crime. So if he double-parked or went into a handicapped zone, would he be apologizing to the American people? ... I‘m not defending David Vitter, I‘m defending a principle. And the principle is this. If you disagree with his positions on public policy matters, argue against them. Don‘t trash the man for something that is none of your business. And this is exhibit A in 'none of your business.'"Truly God's people.
Have a nice Monday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial:
"I have to tell you, I've been covering Cheers and Jeers for a good portion of the year now. I have not heard that kind of sustained booing for Bill in Portland Maine."