Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Holidays, Mr. President

by Rich Miles

Dear Mr. President:

I've been trying to think of a good gift for you, to offer my thanks for all you do for the American people, and I think I've come up with something you may find useful. Sorry I'm a bit late for Christmas.

At any rate, here's what I think you should say the next time the Republicans get their respective and collective tails in a knot about whatever. In essence, I am volunteering to serve your administration as a speechwriter - for just this one speech. I'm not auditioning for the job. I just want to give you this. It came into my head almost fully-formed, and I want you to have it. I hope you'll use it, but it's a gift, so you'll do with it as you will. At any rate, here it is:
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I have some brief remarks I'd like to make concerning the recent (controversy du jour - insert crisis here.)

I'd like to start by addressing my worthy opponents in the Republican party, by saying that effective today, the rules of the game are changed.

No longer will I or any other members of the Democratic Party be intimidated by the empty threats of Republican leadership or rank and file.

No longer will Democrats seek bipartisan compromise for its own sake. When the business of the American people can be concluded with bipartisan action, that will be a good thing. But this administration will not seek such action in and of itself any longer.

You have accused us of many things, including class warfare, profligacy with the public purse, raising taxes, unpatriotic behavior, and lots more.

And the truth is, most of those accusations applied to YOU rather than us - especially the accusation of lack of patriotism.

Because, you see, the bills you want passed, the laws you want to see on the books, will, if made into law, ruin our country - literally push its face into the dust, and kill many of its citizens. For instance, if you succeed in dismantling Social Security, as you seem so intent on doing now, many people will die - many people will have no family to support them in their later years, when they are too weak or sick, or simply OLD, to support themselves. And they will die for lack of the Social Security benefit that might have given them the facility to save their own lives.

And we will not take the blame for these deaths. For many years now, we have taken the blame for a whole raft of social and political ills, because to defend ourselves against your scurrilous attacks would make US look worse than YOU. So by and large, we let you lie, and defame us, and condescend to us, without so much as a reply.

But no more. From now on, when you lie about any or all of us, we will call you out. We will challenge you to provide proof to substantiate your claims. And if you fail to do so, we will call you what you are: a liar. It will be time-consuming to do so, but it will be consuming of far more resources than time NOT to.

And we will do this on a local, state, regional and national level. In fact, if the opportunity arises, we will do it on an international level.

Because enough is enough. As you Republicans well know, the kind of people who become Democrats are generally gentle people, who value truth and fair play and comity and bipartisanship whenever possible.

And those who tend toward becoming Republicans are generally regimented sorts, rules-followers who value winning at all costs - at ALL costs, even the loss of their integrity, and sometimes the loss of their souls. Who call bipartisanship the political equivalent of date rape. Who will do whatever it takes, regardless of the scurrilousness of the behavior, to defeat and humiliate their opponents - especially humiliate. Who don't really want to compromise on any issue, no matter what they say. Those are Republicans.

It didn't used to be so. There was a time when Republicans truly WERE fiscal conservatives, as they claim to be now. But they were men (and, very occasionally in those days, women) who could be reasoned with, with whom a mutually-acceptable compromise could be reached.

No longer. No longer is there any such thing as mutually-acceptable, and Republicans seem to believe that, IF the compromise IS mutually acceptable, there must be something wrong and weak about it.

That's the Republican Party today. It's undeniable. And we, members of the Democratic party, have let this go on for far too many years, taking the blows and the lies without response, losing elections we should have won, MIGHT have won except for the crooked dealings of our main opponents.

But no more. No longer will we, the Democratic party, allow your crimes and misdemeanors to go unremarked and unpunished. We will stand up, and shout "Liar!!" at the top of our voices. No longer will we simply roll over and take it. And when we do this, and you fight back and say that WE are the liars, we will show the proof. It will take some time, years, likely, to make this strategy - we call it the "truth strategy" - work with the majority of the American people. But it will take eventually. We feel certain of it.

Now, we realize that this change in us will be abrupt for you in the Republican Party. We see that you will be confused sometimes, as the doormats you used to run roughshod over suddenly grow spines and fight back - or refuse to engage at all, which I rather expect will infuriate you even more.

But this, the partisan wars we now live in, can't continue. The people's business - the passage of laws of importance to the daily wellbeing of the American people - is not being tended to. And Americans are suffering, in more ways than one. And it has to stop. Now.

So we will not any longer merely roll our eyes, and try to ignore you, and hope we can get our message out despite your dirty dealings. It will be rough in the beginning, and we may fail at our goal many times before it begins to register with Americans, and indeed our allies and enemies abroad, who are dismayed that it has taken us this long to stand up to our adversaries, and quite literally to take our nation back.

I believe I have made my point, and there is no point in belaboring this issue any further. But today will henceforth and forever more be known as Independence Day II. The day America was liberated from the tyranny of the Republican Party. Or at least, the part of it that seeks to destroy America.

You see, we in the Democratic Party don't think we're always right. We just don't think YOU'RE always right either. And we've been acting as if we do think that for too many years now. No more.

We're not declaring war on you, Republicans. Not unless you make it necessary to do so. We're trying to restore a genuine two-party system in America. Instead of one party who shouts lies, and another party who allows the shouts, and most importantly the lies, to go unchallenged.

We think this is a better way. And after the dust settles, and we all start working together and actually achieving things for the benefit of America and Americans, we think you'll like it better too.

But whether you do or not, this is the way it's going to be from here on out.

Thank you for your time and attention, and God bless America.
That's what I think Americans want. Not all this feuding and fighting and inaction. What do you think, Mr. President?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Guess who opposes the Bush tax cuts?

By Rich Miles

Much has been said in recent years about how different it is to be a Republican today, compared to what it was like, say, 30 years ago and more. I still hated them back then - Nixon was still a dick as long ago as 1973 or '74, and Reagan managed to cruise through 8 years in the White House without ever setting feet on the ground - but remembering what I do about the era, it really wasn't as bad as it is today. Though it was bad enough.

But there are a few personalities from the Reagan era who remain at least curiosities today. And one of them is....

(drum roll please)

David Stockman. For those who didn't live through it and don't care to look him up, Stockman was the budget director for Pres. Reagan from the beginning in 1981 until the end of the first term in 1985.

The budget director, mind you. Not some minor functionary whose opinion we may safely discount, but the budget director. A guy who knew something about what was going on. Whether we agreed with him or not.

But yesterday, on NPR's Terri Gross-moderated "Fresh Air" program, Stockman said, not for the first time, that leaving the Bush tax cuts in place, especially in the top brackets, would bankrupt the United States.

That's right - bankrupt it. Not just damage the budget process, not just increase the deficit, but BANKRUPT the United States!

And this is the opinion of the alleged creator of Reaganomics, the program that almost bankrupted the U.S. 25 or more years ago. So for the prime mover of that debacle to complain about THIS debacle is just a shall I put this? frightening!!

Here, read the whole thing for yourself, and don't trust any more Republicans, OK? It'll only come to grief.

I mean seriously, don't these people ever even listen to EACH OTHER?!?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cletis? That you??

Let me just take a moment to recommend a newcomer blogger to you - he does a bit of rewriting and reposting, but his original stuff is quite interesting. Head on over and take a look at

I think you'll find him amusing...

Welcome, Mr. Cletis, to the land of the living here in Left Blogsylvania. We can use all the help we can get these days.

Rich Miles

Friday, December 10, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards R.I.P.

by Rich Miles

It's an odd thing that so few of the local bloggers have written about the passing of Elizabeth Edwards. She was a woman of distinction, of accomplishment, and a woman who showed the rest of us what it was like to conduct oneself with dignity when circumstances sought to relieve her of any vestige of dignity.

I saw her speak during the pre-primary 2008 election season. She was extolling the virtues of her husband, and as I listened, all I could think of was, I wish I had a woman who had that much faith in me.

As it turned out, I DID have such a woman, but I didn't know it, but that's another story for another time. In any case, Elizabeth spoke eloquently of her husband, and his plans for America, and how all it would take to accomplish these plans was for all of us to vote for her husband, get him the Democratic nomination and then he'd be on his way.

She may have been right, I don't know. None of us will ever know if John Edwards would have been a good president, because he couldn't keep his dick in his pants, but at that point in time, Elizabeth thought so.

And now, she's gone and John is unquestionably mourning her. As well he might. I feel saddest for her little girls.

But in any case, we are all the poorer for the loss of Elizabeth Edwards. We should keep that thought in mind as we move toward 2012. She, even with her by-then unelectable husband, might have taught us some dignity. God knows we can use some of that in America these days.

I admired her. You should have too. God bless her, and may she rest in peace.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

by Rich Miles

If you go back over my essays for the past 6 years or so, one of the things you will find is a relatively frequent use of the expressions "I don't know how..." or "I can't understand how" this or that happened.

And in almost every case, you will find that I will be making that observation about a fine point of human nature. For instance, "I don't know how these people can be so effin' stupid as to" vote for such and such a moron candidate.

But now, I think I may understand, at least a little bit better.

People vote for Republicans because they (the repugs) appear to be able and willing to kick the shit out of the opposition. And deep down in their shrivelled little hearts, that's what the "people" want: politicians who are as close as we can get today to the ancient warriors. Men like Achilles, and Odysseus, and in another context, Geronimo and Chief Joseph. George Patton. George Custer. All our heroes, not just the ones mentioned here but many more, are bloody, murderous men, who were ruthless to their enemies and took no prisoners.

(Why doesn't Hitler make this list, you may wonder. He certainly had the raw skills. It's because he overdid it, and killed too many innocents. And did it too publicly. Too visibly. IMHO. And this we couldn't stand in our relativistic moral universe.)

And these are the men we want our leaders to be like today. But we're too civilized for all that, so we elect Republicans instead - men who do the rhetorical equivalent of killing all the enemies, who at the very least do the modern equivalent of counting coup on their adversaries, an exercise with no other purpose than to humiliate their enemies, and weaken them by that.

Every once in a while, we tire of all the bloodshed, and we elect some Democrats for a while. But sooner or later - usually sooner - our bloodthirstiness catches up with us, and we elect the ones who do the most damage to the enemy, who leave the most mutilated corpses on the field of battle - the Republicans.

We are not so civilized as we think much of the time. We seek leaders to do these things for us, and to keep us in a state of war as close to constantly as possible. (Think about that one for a minute - how long have we NOT been in some war or another in the history of the republic?) And it is our leaders' duty to make it look as if WE are the peaceful ones, who only go to war when provoked. But a closer reading of history will show differently. We were not provoked in very many of our longest conflicts.

For you see, wars are excellent ways for leaders to control the people. It's happening right now. It's been happening in an undeniable way since 9/11. We are being lied to and controlled. I don't need to offer examples of this, because thinking persons will see it with very little prompting.

And the rest don't matter.

How much of our nation's substance has gone for "defense" - how much could we as a race have accomplished if we had not spent so mucn on war?

Impossible to say. But the above is, I believe, the reason why we vote for Republicans, despite clear and unmistakable evidence that it's bad for us to do so. They spend all our money on wars. They kill our children in wars. In short, they keep us in control with wars. And we let them do it, because we WANT war. Macro or micro, World War or political wrangling - we want war. We want the conflict. It makes us feel manly - even though women sometimes feel it too.

And that is why we keep electing Republicans. And it makes me so very sad to see it. Every time it happens. The older I get, the more it simply wears me out to see it. My fellow human beings are so foolish as to yield (without knowing it most of the time, I believe) to their "baser instincts". That of the kiiler. The maimer. The destroyer.

I don't know why human nature is this way. I personally do not conform to this model. But I know why our leaders use it this way. Because they can. Because we let them. We don't put together the cause and effect - haven't done so for 5000 years and more. And the net result has been nearly 5000 years of war and death and destruction.

And as Sean Connery says in the film "The Untouchables": What are you prepared to do about it?

Major government corruption

by Rich Miles

Geez, I didn't sleep last night with contemplating this Ark Park thing. Our economy is in deep and ongoing shit, and promises to remain so for years to come, and our illustrious goobernator proposes to GIVE AWAY multi-millions of taxpayers' dollars to religious nut-freaks who preach total rubbish!

THIS will rob you of sleep! It did me, anyway. How do politicians think this shit up? How do they twist their powers of rational thought around until it looks like this? I really don't get it.

And there's really not much chance that the lege will put a stop to this, since our Senate prez has recently embraced the nutso-crazoid Tea Party, and the rest of both houses is liberally (get it? LIBERALLY) sprinkled with some of the worst mental cases ever to occupy a public office. Which is saying something in this day and age.

A couple off-hand predictions: you know that 900 jobs they're bandying about? Most of them will be part-time with no benefits, and the merest whiff of unionism will get the perpetrator run off with a shotgun (figuratively, I think.) I'll have more predictions as time goes by, but these two I'd almost bet on. File these away some-where, where you can retrieve them when truth time comes.

GOD, people! Can't you do any better than this? I mean really, must you bury your heads in the sand like this? Must you waste time, effort and money on shit like this? There is so much more we have to achieve, not only in this state but all across our country. Can we do no more than sit around jacking off?

I wasn't kidding about the taxpayer revolt, you know. Bring it on!

Friday, December 03, 2010

OK, so I missed something...

by Rich Miles

OK, I didn't read about the Ark amusement park before I wrote the piece on Ken Ham and the governor. Sorry about that.

But having said that, the only thing I could find in reference to Steve Beshear's involvement in this massive goatfuck is that the governor "joined" the developers of the park, and that the developers will seek tax breaks - which is where MY tax dollars enter into it.

Because obviously, if the creationists get tax considerations, that's the same as the state supporting this unquestionably religious undertaking.

And that makes me sick to my stomach.

I did not, and as far as I know, neither did any other Kentuckians, vote in favor of giving tax dollars to a bunch of religious nuts. It's estimated that the park will produce some 900 jobs when it opens in spring of 2014, and in the abstract, that's a good thing. Lord knows we can use another 900 jobs in Kentucky, especially in Grant County, where they're trying to put this monstrosity.

But if this is such a winning plan, consider this: the reason most governments give tax breaks is as an incentive for the business receiving the breaks to stay in the jurisdiction that is providing the tax breaks.

But one is tempted to ask: if Kentucky doesn't provide the tax breaks, where are these zealots going to go?

I mean, Ohio and Indiana have been known to go off the deep end in matters religious on occasion, but seriously - do you think either of those states would want this bunch of loonies enough to offer incentives?

I've been surprised before, so I can't say "no" with certainty. But I think not. I hope not.

So why are we in Kentucky paying these fools for the privilege of having them stay here? I mean, they already have their own incentive for staying here, in that they've already put the museum here. So where would they go?

And why has Beshear cozied up to them like this? Inquiring minds want to know.

Is it time for the taxpayers' revolt yet?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Our governor is an idiot!

by Rich Miles

Steve Beshear is taking bribes from Ken Ham. Not just campaign contributions, but actual bribes.

That's the only explanation I can come up with. Or at least the only one that doesn't require me to come to the conclusion that the governor of my state (Kentucky) is a complete lamebrain, who is sucking up to the republican radical religious right-wingers nearly a year before the 2011 election.

Ken Ham is the moron - and I use the term advisedly - who owns and operates the Creation Museum up in Northern Kentucky. The museum that says that dinosaurs co-existed with humans several thousand years ago. The one that tells this tripe to children, who are intellectually malleable enough to actually believe it.

Yellow Dog at Blue in the Bluegrass calls this intellectual child abuse. I concur. It is very likely that children who are indoctrinated with this mind rot now will hold these beliefs well into their adult years - all efforts to rethread these kids' heads in the intervening years notwithstanding. There is even the possibility that the kids will grow into adults who NEVER recant this shit. After all, there are an awful lot of adults who were taught the pabulum of fundamentalist religion as children, sometimes as infants, and still hold those beliefs today, the evidence of daily living on this planet notwithstanding.

But our governor - our GOVERNOR, the chief executive of our state - accepts this crap. Not only accepts it, but embraces it. And we have to lower our eyes as we walk the streets anywhere away from home, lest anyone recognize us as Kentuckians.

You know, I was a member of one of the political organizations who endorsed Beshear in '07. Sure wish I could take that vote back. But even as I say that, I realize that there wasn't much else to choose from at the time. Gatewood Galbraith? Steve Henry? Etc.?

When do we get some GOOD candidates for governor? You know, ones with a bit of intellectual acuity about them?

What's that you say? NEVER???? Never as long as we're Kentuckians?

I was afraid you were going to say that.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Thievery Becomes More and More Transparent

by Rich Miles

A "boondoggle" is defined as a government program which is claimed to be intended to perform a service for the people of a country, but which in reality is a major waste of government funds with virtually no benefit to the people.

It's also defined as "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security". One of the biggest, if not THE biggest, boondoggle in the history of the world. And I do not exaggerate.

Homeland Security is a conglomeration of some 8 or more Cabinet-level sub-departments which were, before the attacks of 9/11/01, separate departments with their own budgets, staffs, and other levels of autonomy.

However, after the 9/11 attacks, it was decided (by whom, it's hard to trace to this day) that national security, or "homeland" security, would be better served if all or nearly all those who served in that regard were under one legal aegis, rather than 8 separate entities.

One of the ways in which this was supposed to be beneficial to America was supposed to be in the realm of cost savings. Much brouhaha was made of the waste of government resources pre-Homeland Security, and how the combining of all those departments would save billions of dollars each year.

Not very many people believed this, especially Democrats. But those who were old enough to remember, also remember how difficult it was to resist anything the White House was trying to do in this regard. The atmosphere back then gave new meaning to the term "juggernaut".

So, all in all, the Dept. of Homeland Security was destined to be a-borning from the day it was first proposed. There was absolutely no way to stop it once it got underway. And so it was.

I'm sure it was a good idea in fine. But those of us who had any sense of realism about the function of government realized that, far from reducing the costs associated with homeland security, the combined form of the eight agencies were far more likely to cause sharply INCREASED costs.

And so it did.

I had intended to provide some monetary statistics in this piece to demonstrate my  premise: what DHS cost last year, what the same departments cost pre-DHS, etc. But despite the supposed savings due to combining the departments, it's very difficult to pull all those numbers together. Almost as if the departments were still separate, and the government is trying to keep it a secret from us dim, dumb taxpayers.


My friends, my fellow taxpayers - we are being had in the worst kind of way. Obama has not tried to close the cash spigot, no one has even mentioned the possibility, at least as far as I have seen - and I do try to pay attention to such things.

If we wish to balance our federal budget, a good start would be to "undoggle" the boondoggle that is Homeland Security. But it's going to take a brave president to take on that bag of wildcats. Because the Republicans will put on their shiniest patriot armor, and accuse the Democratic president who makes this move - for it will be a Democrat - of being weak on national defense.

And on and on and blah blah blah. One can almost predict exactly what the debate will consist of - and thus it will take many years and many trillions of wasted dollars.

And why say anything else? God help us, if there is one.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


by Rich Miles

Update: As of this date, April 12, 2013, DeLay is, according to Wikipedia, still free on bail while he appeals his conviction. I wonder who is paying his legal bills - or did he steal enough to pay them himself? Nah, these crooked bastards NEVER pay their own way as long as there's some poor sucker to do it for them.

With apologies and thanks to Gary Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury.

But I am delighted to report that Tom DeLay, disgraced former representative from Texas and Majority Leader of the House, was on Wednesday November 24 found guilty of money-laundering charges in a Texas state court.

I mean, this really makes me happy. He's going to appeal the verdict, but the original conviction seems firm enough that the appeal won't do any good. And if it doesn't - TOM DELAY WILL GO TO PRISON!!!

Or most likely will anyway - the judge in the case has the option to sentence DeLay to probation, but even in Texas that would be a bad idea.

So one of the bastards of the Bush administration is quite likely to eat steel for at least 5 years. And my heart could not be gladder!

The only thing that might make me happier than this, in fact the only thing that could make me die happier than this, would be if this same fate befell the Shrub, El Arbusto, the jerk of the century George W. Bush.

Perhaps DeLay's conviction is a step in that direction. One can only hope!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Palins bedamned

by Rich Miles

Edit: It's Bristol Palin, not Crystal. Not that I give a shit. And Jack, you really seem to have some serious negative energy on these women! I mean, I do too, but you really kick ass and take names. Good on ya!

This will be a short post, because I don't want to waste bandwidth on these twits (did I spell that right?)

Sarah Palin has hired a really top-notch PR agent. I am so sick to death of seeing her and her daughter all over TV. But if I ever need a PR agent (God forbid!), I'll get that guy, or lady.

But there may be a downside to this blitz. In fact, there may be several downsides.

First off, it's beginning to appear that there's a fix in for Crystal Palin to win DWTS. In fact, it's beginning to appear unquestionable that this is so. Crystal may turn out to be Sarah's biggest albatross by the time it's over. One thing about that phenomenon will be to see how and how fast she will dump her own daughter if it becomes necessary to do so. And where the hell is her husband, fer cryin' out loud? She'd do better not to have one than to have one so marginal in her life.

Second, this is all happening WAAAAAYYYY too far in advance of the 2012 election. With the insufferably short memory of American voters, by May of '12, the main question in the air may be "Sarah who?"

Third, she's in essence making a fool of herself and behaving very UN-presidentially in her activities. I'll leave that to the opinions of the viewers.

And fourth, she is making the mistake of believing that anyone gives even a remote shit what she does and how she lives her life.

Is this the way we want our president to look? I mean her behavior and demeanor, not her actual appearance, which if I have to admit it is kinda hot and milf-ish. But is that how America wants its president to present? I kinda doubt it, on either side of the aisle.

This is all McCain's fault. He made the mistake of giving her something she could read as evidence that she mattered to America or to anyone who doesn't have the same last name as hers. One more mistake from McCain.

Not as short as I thought. Sorry.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My "" Opus

by Rich Miles

I've been meaning to do this for a while now. Below is a link that will take you to the "Other Posts by Rich Miles" section of the archives of Salon magazine online. The dates of the pieces are April 10, 2007 to November 15, 2007 - the latter date being just about the time my brain disorder kicked in and made me stop anything like writing. Or indeed, reading.

I'm putting them up here for several reasons, not least among them that I'm quite proud of some of the posts and don't want them to be lost forever. But also, the posts have attached to them a link that will take you to the Salon article about which I'm writing, so you can, if you wish, figure out exactly what it is I'm commenting about. Most of my essays don't have that info, so you have to remember as well as I do what it is I'm on about with each one.

So - if you really like my writing, here are 68 pieces of varying length from letter to the editor to full essay. Hope you enjoy them!

(I have a similar body of work on The Nation online. I just have to figure out how to access them. Might take a while.)

Letters by Rich Miles

You repugs gotta be kidding!

by Rich Miles

Awright, this shit has got to stop. There's an editorial in today's New York Times in which it is recounted how the repug leadership of the House AND Senate have refused, or in truth simply ignored, a dinner invitation from the President of the United States at the White House.

From the editorial:

It has been more than two weeks since President Obama issued a postelection invitation for Congressional leaders to join him for dinner on Nov. 18 to discuss “how we can move the American people’s agenda forward.

And all of 'em - all 200+ repug members of the U.S. House and Senate - were just too busy. Couldn't make it. Not even a "Sorry, Mr. President" - just ignored him, and didn't show up for dinner at the White House to discuss the people's business.

I mean, is it me, or is this stuff becoming more and more childish as time goes on? Childish AND disrespectful. I mean, is snubbing the Prez like this supposed to make him look weak, and thus hurt his chances for re-election? Does no one in the electorate even notice this kind of behavior? Are repug voters actually PROUD of their leaders for treating the holder of the highest office in the land like a fiel' hand? I mean, why don't they just come out with it, and say "We ain't sittin' down to eat with no n***er"? That would at least be an honest representation of their feelings.

I've said this about other things since Obama became prez, but think of it: can you just IMAGINE the uproar if the Dem leadership had done something like this to Saint George of Bush? I mean, it's just impossible to fathom.

And why can't we on the left use similar tactics? Yes, they're dirty tactics, and yes, we should, just like the repugs, be ashamed of ourselves for using them, but hey! Our opponents have shown repeatedly that anything goes, any tactic is a proper means to an end - so why shouldn't we do the same?

I'd be ashamed, if I didn't have such shit sonsabitches for opponents. In fact, I'm still ashamed. But I think the Dems should do it.

Raise holy hell, Dems! It would happen to you if the situation were reversed! For once, take the low road like your opponents.

Please! I'm getting tired of seeing my leaders gutted and left to die by the side of the road. Let some blood be let on the other side for a change.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Magical Thinking in High Places

by Rich Miles

Have you ever had something - anything, any topic - turn into a virtual obsession? Your mind latches onto a thought, an idea, a question, and you just can't let go of it?

It can be really annoying to the normal mind (the abnormal mind takes this in stride - it's the way things always are for lots of mental patients). But quite often, you just turn the issue over and over and over, with no progress on an answer or resolution for the longest kind of time.

But then, when you DO finally reach something like an answer, it's sort of like an orgasm - a great rush and release of anxiety and tension, and a feeling of real accomplishment in the realm of thought.

Well, I just had one of those. Let me elaborate:

Ever since George W. Bush became a national figure back in late '99, into 2000, I have wondered something. In fact, there were lots of things I wondered about him, but there was this one main thing I couldn't come to grips with, to wit:

How could George W. Bush stand in front of a camera, or in front of a crowd of at least putatively intelligent people, and LIE HIS ASS OFF to them, repeatedly, and in great detail sometimes, and just without any apparent shame or embarrassment - just LIE, say things that were, to most normal human beings, obviously not factual. I mean, how could he do that, day in and day out, and never or rarely get caught in his own lies, and never show any contrition for doing so, and on the occasions when he was caught, how could he simply say that the catchor was wrong, that he either didn't say that, or if he did say it then it was true? How could he do that? Most of us can't, at least not for that long and with that much conviction. We may be able to lie, but not many of us can keep it up for that long without either tripping up on our lies, or having our listeners laugh us off the podium etc.

So how does he do it, I asked myself? And just last night, after he's been out of the White House for nearly two years, and after he's written a book that has served as a forum for even more of his lies, it came to me: Bush lies so effectively because he doesn't know he's lying!

And the reason he doesn't know he's lying is that he is a victim - or perhaps practitioner would be more accurate - of a psychological disorder/phenomenon known in the psych biz as magical thinking.

Yup, it's a real phenomenon - though to refer to this particular syndrome as "real" is almost laughably ironic - and despite this rather lengthy intro to the actual thesis of this essay, I encourage, in fact implore you to read this Wikipedia explanation of magical thinking.

OK, ya back from that? Well, I want to offer this shorter layman's definition of magical thinking: It's when you think that a thing is true simply because you think it's true, without any proof or evidence or reason. It's sorta like what the Xtians call "faith" - which, if one reads the Wikipedia piece above, is exactly what is defined.

But back to the original premise: that GWB engages in magical thinking. How else to explain how Shrub could completely ignore all or most of his military advisors, and insist that we invade Iraq? How to explain his insistence that taxes be severely cut in wartime?

How to explain his new book, and the disagreement of several world leaders with the content of the book? How to explain how he could so thoroughly balls up the recovery of New Orleans after the hurricane, yet believe he was doing a good job at it?

The list could go on forever, but the main premise is: Bush thinks things that no one else in the whole world (or at least no one who isn't as deranged as he is) would believe.

And he was the leader of the most powerful nation in the world for 8 years! And as a result, it's my premise that we are no longer the most powerful nation in the world. We are in decline, and although I'm sure many Republicans and some Democrats will disagree, it's my contention that the decline is directly and specifically George W. Bush's fault. Certainly the Dept. of Homeland Security, one of the hugest money-wasters in the history of the WORLD, is Bush's fault. The ineffectiveness of Homeland Security not only could be predicted, it WAS predicted, by several congresspersons including Russ Feingold (his senatorial career R.I.P.)

But Bush thought, magically, that a single bureaucracy encompassing all the OTHER existing bureaucracies would somehow be more efficient and workable. I think evidence since has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that this has not and is not so.

No, folks, America is falling apart, and the bulk of the reason for it is the 8 years of GWB's "reign". Even now that Bush is out of technical power, he still has influence over the management of our nation. The new book is proof of that - some people are claiming it's a guide for the new century, and god forbid if that turns out to be an activated thought.

But anyway - now that you're an expert on magical thinking, re-examine the past 10 years, most especially that 8-year Bush interregnum, and see if it doesn't all make more sense if viewed in that light.

Sadly, if you're a sensible person, I think it will.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Is it possible? Could we get him?

by Rich Miles

Here's a statement that will cause eyebrows to raise in some quarters of New York City, and perhaps elsewhere:

Jerry Nadler is my hero!

Jerrold (Jerry) Nadler is a short, fat, not terribly handsome little guy originally from Brooklyn, and now the U.S. Representative for, arguably, the most expensive strip of real estate in the United States, and certainly the most expensive in the eastern half of the country: the West Side of Manhattan. His district includes some other areas into Brooklyn and elsewhere, and the 9/11 Ground Zero is in his district.

But that's not why Jerry Nadler is my hero. He's my hero because he is chair of a judiciary subcommittee, and HE WANTS GEORGE W. BUSH PROSECUTED FOR WAR CRIMES!!

And that fact gladdens my heart.

Not that it won't take a lot for this pipe dream ever to come to pass. Not that there isn't a very great chance that it will NEVER come to pass.

No, what makes my endorphins flow in this instance is that a Member of the U.S. Congress WANTS this, and is quite happy to say so in a highly public and highly visible/audible manner.

Way back in February of '06, I wrote a piece called Time to Set a Precedent, in which I propounded that it was time we put the president of the United States in jail, just to prove that we can, so the future sonsabitches in that office are aware that they can't get away with just anything, and that there are very real and personal consequences to their actions. I re-propound that piece today because George W. Bush needs to go to prison, and his own words in his recent book where he admits to ordering waterboarding on a U.S. prisoner, should be used against him.

And to attempt to come full circle, that's what Jerry Nadler wants: to hoist Bush on his own petard, use his own words to prosecute him, and put him in prison.

And despite a number of obstacles to this plan, not least among them the fact that the U.S. Attorney General refuses to do it, I think we ought to go for it. It couldn't happen to a nastier ex-president. And despite my living nowhere near where such a trial would be held, I'd volunteer for jury duty. They wouldn't take me, because I have already made up my mind, but I'd volunteer nonetheless.

And that, in a nutshell, is why Jerry Nadler is my hero!

Remember, they got Al Capone for tax evasion. Maybe we can get Shrub for the unpardonable crime of writing a book.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

I'm back, reluctantly

by Rich Miles

Hewwo, tonstant weaduh - please pardon my absence since the election. My heart has truly been in pain since then. I haven't been able to collect my thoughts or assemble them on the page since then.

But I'll try now. I guess. I'm so demoralized, not so much at what the repugs will do - it's well-known that they're going to fuck up the country as much as possible. No, what really shatters me is how insufferably stupid my fellow Americans and especially Kentuckians have become in a mere two years. I mean, is it really possible that a) most people don't recognize how badly the 8 years of GWB fucked up the country, and b) they also don't recognize that handing power back to the repugs so soon (or really, ever) is just the perfect way to bend the country over and fuck it bloody?

I mean, how can you people do this? How can a majority of Kentuckians choose the clown Rand Paul over Jack Conway, who at least showed some seriousness about him during the campaign? How can a majority have chosen Paul, because his "religious beliefs" were attacked? I mean, when did it become a given that ANY candidate's stated religious beliefs MUST be believed and not challenged no matter what actions he may take in opposition to those stated beliefs? Why is it not possible for a person to LIE ABOUT HIS RELIGIOUS BELIEFS? I mean, really. Nobody believes US that automatically. Why should Rand Paul be believed automatically?

SO Jack was supposed to be ashamed of what he said about Paul's religion, JUST BECAUSE RAND PAUL SAID SO!!

I don't think so. And in fact, Paul's actions in the campaign and since suggest, once again for me, that if this is how a born-again Christian behaves in the world, then I want nothing whatever to do with being a born-again Christian.

I rather expect Rand Paul to resign as senator when he discovers how little senators earn relative to self-certified eye doctors. If he doesn't, it's a sure sign that senators are robbing us more than we thought.

Because Rand Paul may love power, but I have the distinct impression that he loves money more.

And I'm absolutely certain that he's an asshole.

Now challenge me on that observation, SENATOR Paul. I am as trustworthy as you are. I am as religious as you are. I am as worthy of having my morals accepted unquestioned as you are.

I am no more a lying m-----f----- than you are. So if I get questioned (and I do), then so do you. So shut the eff up, you little weasel

I wandered on this one a bit. I'll try harder next time.

Monday, November 01, 2010

How to restore the Democratic majority

by Rich Miles

“It is absolutely critical that you go out and vote,” Mr. Obama said here in Philadelphia. “This election is not just going to set the stage for the next two years. It’s going to set the stage for the next 10, the next 20.”

Well, lots of political rhetoric can be disputed and turned on its head - but without claiming to be able to see into the future, I think we could reasonably say that the above is a true statement.

I'm grieving already, even though the election isn't for two more days. I mean, I know pundits and prognosticators aren't always right, and they could be dead wrong this time. But if they're right, then the Republicans are going to make major gains in the Congress, and could conceivably take control of both Houses. And for that prospect, or even that of their taking one House, I grieve.

Cuz ya see, I love this country, and its people and its institutions. And seeing the possibility of even one House of Congress falling into the hands of the lunatic fringe just makes me so very sad. Why are our people so ignorant, so oblivious? Why does it appear likely that we'll vote back in the party that nearly destroyed America under George W. Bush? Why does it look like we will be so ignorant that we'll vote for nation-slayers simply because Pres. Obama has been unable to perform the miracle of reversing in two years the damage GWB did in 8 years, while fighting the obstructionism of the opposing party?

I am grieving. Truly.

But I have an idea that might help the Democrats in the future, if not right away. Here's my idea:

If the Repugs win one or both Houses, nothing of President Obama's agenda is going to get done in the next two years, and it's very possible that Mitch McConnell will get his wish and Prosident Obama will be a one-term president. God knows that's what the entire mechanism of the Republican party is aiming for.

BUT! And this could work, folks - think about it: If one or both Houses are lost, then the very next day, November 3rd, the Democrats must start bombarding their respective Houses with every single scintilla of Obama's agenda. I mean everything any of them ever thought of as the Democratic agenda MUST go into the hopper, and it must remain a steady stream for two full years. And each one of those bills must be trumpeted to the skies!!! Every American with a radio, a TV, a computer, or dental fillings that pick up signal must be made aware that the Dems are working for them, and the repugs are obstructing every gahdam thing! For two full years, this must be the message. Most if not all of the bills will die in committee, and never make it to a floor vote. But the repugs will eventually, I'm thinking about July or so of 2011, have to account for themselves. They'll have to tell the American people just WHY they're doing fuck-all to deal with the nation's problems, and WHY they're shitting all over everything the Dems are trying to do in that regard.

And even the most steadfastly stupid and pseudo-conservative among us will have to admit that not a damn thing has gotten done for the American people while the repugs have been in charge. And maybe some of these lunkheaded morons who voted the repugs back in just might change their vote, maybe enough of them will do so to swing things around.

But I mean, it's got to be a constant Niagara Falls of bill submissions, and every single one of them has to be shouted to the rafters. It'll be a lot of work, but hell, the bastards need something to occupy their time for 100-odd thousand dollars a year.

And if this is done with dedication and aplomb, by November 2012, we'll be so effin' sick of the repug bastards and their obstructionism that the Dems will take back both Houses in an unimaginable tidal wave of votes. Even Karl Rove won't be able to steal this one!

And that's what I think the Dems have to do, IF they get their butts kicked as badly as the pundits currently seem to think they will. Of course, if they don't get whupped that badly - well, they need to do damn near exactly the same thing. Only without quite so many trumpets.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

OK, let me explain something here...

by Rich Miles

Do any of you wonder what this talk is in the TV commercials about a 23% sales tax? I mean, I see this topic getting way out of hand if there isn't some clarity injected into the discussion. So let me give it a try:

First, let me say that I'm not sure if I favor this plan yet or not. There are too many uncertainties to it. I know that if it were laid out the way several countries in Europe do it, then I would be for it, wholeheartedly. But I still have infinite faith in our government to take a perfectly fine idea, and fuck it up miserably. So I'm not going to express an opinion on it until I've seen what, if anything, our lads in Washington are going to do with it. I rather expect it won't be anything like what I'm about to describe, at least in its first incarnation. Assuming there will be a first incarnation.

OK, so here's what is being bandied about, though not with a very high priority at the moment. It's called a value-added tax, or VAT, and it's common in many of the other countries of the civilized world.

But most countries who have a VAT do not apply it to everyday purchases like groceries, toiletries, soft drinks, etc. VAT is intended as a consumption tax. Great Britain has an approximately 17% VAT, in addition to income tax and assorted other taxes - but NOT sales tax. I don't know what other countries charge, though it should be easy enough to ferret them out on the Internet.

So what would be the point of America adopting a VAT, which is the 23% tax that's being talked about? Well, if the income tax remains in effect, there would be little point to it. But if the VAT were to replace the income tax, and were attached to enough commodities, it might end up being a boon to all of us - no income tax, and a refund on a portion of the VAT at the end of the year.

So far, there hasn't been enough (none is not enough) sane discussion of the tax to determine if it's feasible in America. But it's not automatically a rotten idea. There are circumstances under which a VAT could be a good idea.

But you'll never convince a repug of that. It's a tax, and there's nothing else for it but to reject it.

So that's what the tax is about. It will take a lot more talk before it can even be considered in this country.

And if you have a clearer explanation of VAT, please comment here. I'd appreciate it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Find John Roberts a new job

by Rich Miles

Yellow Dog, over at Blue in the Bluegrass, has posted on a topic that I think should become near and dear to the hearts of all liberals: the impeachment of Supreme Court justices who do not serve the people. Go read the whole thing.

But here's what I think: This - the impeachment of one or more extremely biased Supreme Court justices - is one of the best ideas I've seen in years. In fact, I had this idea about a year or so ago, but figured it would lead to civil war, so never put it out there.

But ya know, all considered, civil war may not be such a bad thing. At least, not considering the alternative, which is the destruction of the American way of life.

Roberts, Scalia, Alito, and arguably one or two others, need to be gotten rid of (this is NOT a physical threat, but an urging toward the use of law to remove them from office). The Supreme Court must always be seen as the last, FAIREST resort of American government, and now it's like the judges on the courts of some banana republic, where the rulings are pretty much decided in advance.

And the Citizens United ruling is unquestionably the WORST ruling the U.S. Supreme Court has EVER handed down. It literally hands the right to vote to wealthy corporations, to the exclusion of the rest of us.

We're seeing the effect of this now, in the 2010 election cycle. NO ONE thinks this is a good idea except the CEO's of large corporations.

And have you ever parsed out WHY corporations agree with this ruling?

It's because Citizens United allows corporations quite literally to BUY POLITICIANS. It's no longer covert - the pols are for sale, and they're just about price-marked and on the shelves waiting for the highest bidder.

And of course, after those pols are bought and placed in office, they continue to have allegiances, required allegiances, to those whut brung 'em.

Again, to the exclusion of the rest of us. So our Supreme Court is no longer ours. It belongs to the corporations, which according to the courts, are just like human beings and have every right to give as much money as they wish to any candidate they wish.

Now how can anyone view that as anything but permission to buy politicians? Give 'em as much money as you want, and then expect them NOT to do your bidding at every turn? Are we really that stupid, that we think that's NOT what's going to happen? And who gave us this ruling, but Roberts' court?

And how do we get rid of corrupt justices? And what doubt can there be that several of our justices are unquestionably corrupt?

Impeach Roberts. To start with. And then we'll see what happens next.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bush lets self off hook too easily - again!

by Rich Miles

Today, the Huffington Post reports that George W. "I never did anything wrong while in the presidency" Bush finally admits to having done something less than perfectly while he warmed the seat in the Oval Office. Can you believe it?

But he gets this one wrong too - he says that his biggest mistake while president was not privatizing Social Security!

I mean the gall of this guy! First, he really seems to believe that it was all his doing that it failed, and secondly, he seems to think it would have been a GOOD thing if he'd succeeded

Read the whole thing here.

You know, a pattern is beginning to emerge in American history - I'm being hyperbolic, it's already emerged. The pattern is, every time since Reagan inclusive that a Republican president has been in office, the American treasury has taken a major hit, and the Democrats have gotten blamed for it.

I mean, Reagan's tax cuts, and other monetary chicanery, and Bush's additional tax cuts, PLUS the establishment of the Homeland Security department, and the consolidation of all those cabinet departments under its aegis, and other spending and deficit accumulation over 8 years - I mean, people, it's not just cant to say that there was a SURPLUS in the federal budget before Bush hit Washington - there really was a SURPLUS!!! MORE money than we needed to pay the nation's bills! You know...a SURPLUS!

And now, after 8 years of Bush and less than 2 years of Obama, there is a MASSIVE and I mean massive deficit - and it all gets blamed on Obama???

I mean, how stupid can Americans be? Do we really think that just SAYING that Obama is responsible for the deficits of the past 10 years makes it so?

(I mean yeah, Obama and his people have made some decisions that have added to the deficit, but c'mon!!! Let's look at the figures - Obama's additions have been a small percentage of what Bush put there with his people, his Congress, and his executive orders, and so on.)

I'm beginning to despair of Americans' intelligence - do we really have so little ability to remember history, to observe facts, to really figger it out, that we're going to hand over Congress to the very people who put us in this mess, in the hope that they'll pull us out of it this time? Are we really that stupid? That we're going to expect a segment of the population to behave totally against type? That we will expect liars to tell the truth this time?

Will we do this at our own peril? And will we suffer the consequences - among them the loss of Social Security payments as Republicans take the SocSec surplus and apply it to the general fund deficits?

Think it over, people. It's not only the future of our country, and our children. It's our own future too. Believing Republicans is hazardous to our and our country's health.

If the pundits are to be believed, we are. And it just makes me sick in my guts to see it happening.

I mean, I keep praying for what looks like a miracle. And you know how useful that can be.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

What's wrong with him?

OK, I'm stumped: What's the problem with David Brooks?

I mean, the guy spent 8 years being the biggest kind of Bush-lovin' asshole, and completely alienated me, among many others.

And now, at least to a certain degree, Brooks has lately been a perfect, or near-perfect, gentleman!

Today's column (10/5/10) is a positive paean to - of all people on the opposite side of the aisle - Rahm Emanuel! Brooks spends pretty much the entire column talking about how misunderstood and mischaracterized poor Rahm is, and how he's a much nicer guy than everyone thinks he is.

Read the whole thing here.

Now, I have no way of knowing if Rahm Emanuel is a nice guy or not - I've only met him once, and that was at an all-Democrat function where he would be inclined to be on his best behavior. In that instance, he was indeed a gentleman, though one could sense the pent-up power of the man. But of course, pent-up power can move in two directions, so even that doesn't really say anything definitive.

Anyway, I'm out of things to say here. I'd love to have your opinions on Brooks' column, and any further perceptions you may have about Emanuel or about Brooks' recent tone. Thanks!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Too many truths, too many lies

by Rich Miles

Dear Republicans:

I don't know why I bother with these open letters to Repugs. As a group, you've all made it perfectly clear that you won't listen to anyone except those who say exactly what you want to hear. But I keep thinking if I continue to try to get some truth down to you, eventually a few of you will wake up to something resembling reality. Only time will tell if I'm right or wrong. So far, I'm fairly certain I'm wrong.

Anyway, today's sermon is on the topic of Social Security. In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that I am a recipient of SocSec benefits. But this only serves to make me more careful to get my facts straight when discussing the matter.

Let me start by pointing out that almost everything Republicans have said on this topic has been either wrong or a deliberate lie. Democrats have made a few errors on the matter, but I don't think I've so far seen any direct lies from a Dem.

Anyway, I'd like to ask you all, of either persuasion, to take note of a very salient fact in the discussion: in the portion relating to how long SocSec can survive, the numbers keep getting bigger. For instance, as recently as about 18 months ago, it was being said that benefits could be paid for 25 years, after which 75% of promised benefits could be paid almost into perpetuity.

Now, the estimate is that all promised bennies can be paid through 2039 (29 years out), and that 80% will be paid for almost-ever.

The numbers are getting bigger, see?

Predictions of SocSec insolvency have been made for decades. There was an article in Esquire magazine back when I was still in high school, prior ro 1971, that said the insolvency would ALREADY be here, by 1996 if I remember correctly.

But it's still solvent, and the actuarial estimates for how much longer it will survive are another 29 years out.

I begin to believe that the entire purpose of the Republican party and all its members is to KILL SocSec. Nothing else, just that. They certainly haven't DONE anything else to dispel that belief.

BUT - there is one bit of misinformation that is making the Democratic rounds that I'd like to put a stop to:

Some people seem to think that the way to absolutely ensure solvency is to increase the maximum income level up to which payroll assessments for the system are made, or eliminate any maximum and just keep taking out deductions up to infinity. It's currently at $106,800, which means that if you make more than that, your employer will stop deducting SocSec from your gross pay.

But the suggestion has been made, repeatedly, that deductions should continue to be made no matter how much one makes. That would increase contributions to the fund by a lot, and add to solvency. Well, that's not entirely true, but here's why such a plan would not be fair: because of the maximum amount on which benefits are calculated. That amount is, you guessed it, $106,800. If you make more than that, your benefit when you retire will not increase as a result. So, it's not really fair to ask high income makers to pay more for something that will not benefit them more.

Or so the theory goes. It's up to you whether you agree that it's unfair to continue to take deductions for something that doesn't produce a benefit. I don't really know how I feel about it. I'm tending toward the old leftie position of "Shut the fuck up and pay the money", but I'm not sure yet.

Got an opinion on this?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Held Hostage

by Rich Miles

You know, there are lots of people who write blogs and columns who are trying very hard to make noise and get noticed. So when a guy with a national forum just plugs along, telling major truths without shouting about it, it's kinda refreshing.

So it is with Paul Krugman. I know I've spent a lot of time and column inches praising him lately, but he really does seem to be one of the few national voices telling us the unpleasant truths. He's a leftie, that much seems undeniable, and that's probably one of the reasons I like him so much. But he's also revealing some of the deep-level machinations going on in Washington, and we need such revelations.

Like, for instance, that the Republicans in Congress are seeking to blackmail the entire country if they don't get what they want: consider this excerpt from Krugman's column of this date (9/23/10):

“Nice middle class you got here,” said Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader. “It would be a shame if something happened to it.”

O.K., he didn’t actually say that. But he might as well have, because that’s what the current confrontation over taxes amounts to. Mr. McConnell, who was self-righteously denouncing the budget deficit just the other day, now wants to blow that deficit up with big tax cuts for the rich. But he doesn’t have the votes. So he’s trying to get what he wants by pointing a gun at the heads of middle-class families, threatening to force a jump in their taxes unless he gets paid off with hugely expensive tax breaks for the wealthy.

You got that? He's willing to raise taxes on the middle class and poor in America, and if he doesn't get the permanent tax cuts he wants for the TOP 2% of wage-earners, he will hold the remaining 98% of us HOSTAGE by raising our taxes.

Now seriously - what kind of total scumbag would do something like that? Who, other than a repug moron, like oh I don't know, Mitch McConnell, thinks that the richest 2% of our population deserves more consideration that that poorest 98%?

And to go back to the top of the page, my point about Paul Krugman is that he's just quietly revealing this sort of information, very quietly, without fanfare or acrimony. Or name-calling or hatred or childish behavior. He just tells it like it is. Which is pretty damn rare these days.

But back to the point: Mitch McConnell and his party-mates are willing to fuck you in order to score partisan points. They'll harm you, raise your taxes, AND leave the taxes of the wealthy UNraised.

I mean, did all these jerks fail basic arithmetic? Do they not understand that wealthy people have more money than the rest of us? I mean, as surprising as it may seem, I don't, and most liberals don't, want rich people to be taxed punitively. We don't want them taxed so much that they cease to be wealthy.

We just want them to pay their fair share. Like about, oh I don't know, Clinton-era tax levels. No one went bankrupt at those tax rates, and we ended up with a budget surplus (yes, that's right, a SURPLUS) for about a minute and a half, till the repugs lied their way into office in 2000.

Doesn't anyone remember George Bush claiming in the campaign debates, more than once, that his tax cuts would benefit all Americans, and Al Gore replying that the actuarial analysis showed that Bush's proposal for tax cuts overwhelmingly benefitted the top 1-2% of taxpayers, and Bush lying his ass off, even ridiculing Gore by saying that it wasn't true.

But it was. True, I mean. And a few months after the election, when the big-time pundits discovered it was true, they acted soooooooo surpriiiiised! One of the network guys, I wish I could remember which one, even said that there was "no way we could have predicted such an outcome." I remember this much - when I saw the guy say that, I wanted to wring his effin' geeky little neck.

And it remains true. And the entire repug side of the entire U.S. Congress, both houses, are willing to lie through their teeth right to our faces.

And these same repugs want us to give them CONTROL of both houses in November, so they can do stuff to aid the wealthy and big business even more. And by extension, whether intended or not, to screw the rest of us. And I'm pretty sure it's intended.

Man, talk about yer class warfare!

Democrats, stand up and knee these guys in the nuts! Please!

And repug voters, come ON!!! Look at what's going on around you! They're screwing you too, you know. It doesn't take much research to see it.

It's not partisan politics. It's the future of our country. Believe it!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Krugman Scores Again

by Rich Miles

Here's the paragraph of the week, from Paul Krugman of the New York Times and Princeton University. I tried to reduce it to one sentence, but I couldn't do it. So, for your reading enjoyment:

It seems almost superfluous, given all that, to mention the final insult: many of the most vocal austerians are, of course, hypocrites. Notice, in particular, how suddenly Republicans lost interest in the budget deficit when they were challenged about the cost of retaining tax cuts for the wealthy. But that won’t stop them from continuing to pose as deficit hawks whenever anyone proposes doing something to help the unemployed.

I mean, ain't that great??? This from a column entitled "Appeasing the Bond Gods", in which Dr. Krugman shows us how Republican operatives are treating the bulk of the American people like human sacrifices whose only function is to appease the gods.

I've probably said this before, but I think based on Krugman's column today and on current circumstances in our country, it bears saying again: What do the repugs plan to do for servants and peons, once they wipe all of us poor and middle-class people out? When I first posed the question, I intended it to be more or less humorous, but as time passes it seems a more and more serious concern for the poor Repugnicans. If all of us Democrats and other lefties are reduced to struggling skeletons fighting each other for scraps of food, or worse if we start dying of starvation, which is the logical extreme of Republican policy, then what will the fat cats do for valets, butlers, cooks, etc.? Surely they won't have to polish their own shoes, prepare their own meals, wipe their own asses, etc., etc., etc?

OK, so it's a long time till that happens - but the process has to start somewhere. And driving the bulk of the middle and lower classes to abject poverty is, as far as I can see, a good first step toward it. And they (the repugs) have been embarked on this mass murder for at least 40 years, since Nixon was president.

Add to this direct effort at impoverishing us, there are wars to kill off our young men, ignoring global warming, and for all I really know a concerted effort to purchase land away from the coasts, so when global warming kicks in, and the ice caps melt, and the coasts close in on us, they'll have some place to go, and we won't.

There is lots more, but I'll leave that to your imagination. I also realize how paranoid this whole article is. I at least acknowledge that there is no organized plot to achieve this - at least, not yet.

But if the gap between the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor continues to widen, as it has done for the past 25-40 years, none of this - NONE of it, mind you - is impossible. No matter how unlikely it may seem, it's not impossible.

Read your science fiction. Note how much of what USED to be science fiction is now fact. And consider how much more could become so. Try reading "The Handmaid's Tale", by Margaret Atwood, to see how people can become second, third or lower-class citizens in the service of the wealthy. In Atwood's tale, rented or hired wombs. In The Terminator, men vs. machines, machines created by wealthy men who wanted control of Earth. And of course, Harlan Ellison's I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, among many others he wrote that spoke to the same topic.

Men like Paul Krugman are, whether they know it or not, fighting against these sorts of things. Unfortunately, before most of us will join the battle, we will require proof that amounts to nearly losing the battle. That's called complacency.

In the paragraph of the week above, substitute "the poor and lower classes" for "the unemployed", and it works much better for the right-wing extremists. Or maybe even "the unwashed lower classes". Or worse.

Friday, August 13, 2010

This one is positively criminal!

by Rich Miles

Well, we've all watched Rand Paul stumble, slash, lie and apologize his way through this campaign, and I don't know about you, but it makes me tired just to watch him. I want the campaign to be over so I don't have to wake up almost daily to his latest faux pas or lie or idiocy or whatever.

But this one - the moronic remark du jour - is just too much. He's crossed over the line from stupidity to genuinely aiding and abetting criminal behavior. My friend Bob over at Blue Bluegrass has detailed for us today (8/13) how stupid Rand has declared that the drug problem in eastern Kentucky is not a pressing issue.

I mean, what kind of total moron would say such a thing? Surely no one who has ever been to Eastern Kentucky for longer than 5 minutes. Surely no one who has any friends or relatives in that part of the state (or indeed, anywhere in the state). Surely no one who has ever read a state-based newspaper with a bureau in the eastern half of the state.

Surely no one with an effing BRAIN IN HIS HEAD.

I mean, fer cryin' out loud, there were 114 overdose deaths in the 21-county area in the first - wait for it - TWO MONTHS of this year!! And Bubblehead Paul thinks that Kentuckians won't miss the Operation UNITE anti-drug task force because most of us haven't even heard of it. And most of the voters in the region will vote for him because he and they are socially and fiscally conservative.

While the high-powered rifle fire is passing through their homes....

I'm serious - this remark from Rand Paul is no less than aiding and abetting criminal enterprise. In order to take a tiny little bit of pressure off the federal budget, we should let an extremely vicious and ruthless criminal element just ply their trade unimpeded. It's hard to interpret this any other way. Except perhaps that Rand doesn't think the loss of an average 57 Kentuckians a month, nearly 2 a DAY, to overdoses is any big deal.

Does this anger you? Does it anger you even a bit worse that the man who said all this now wants your vote in getting him elected to the Federal legislature, where he can actually vote on such actions and perhaps help them get passed?

Is he going to apologize for this one too? And if so, Republicans, are you going to let the apology count?

Or is it time yet to kick this clown to the curb? Hasn't anyone else gotten as sick of this little dweeb as I have?

I simply don't know where else to go with this. I can't imagine an adult saying something like this. But then, we're not really sure Rand Paul is an adult.

Whup his ass, Jack. PLEASE!!!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hey, Babes, Let's Network!!

I've always envisioned all the bloggers across the country as a force of almost unimaginably massive proportions to be reckoned with - thousands or ever hundreds of thousands of individual writers with their own personal outlets, who can if they want reach almost every human being with a computer all across the country and even around the world. That is, to me, what blogging is all about, or should be.

So now I'm asking you to help me fulfill that dream by reposting the following information. You see, the Republicans have been trying to defeat Social Security ever since it was first created in 1935 - in fact, some of them have made it their life's work to try to do so. But obviously so far, they have failed.

But they're still trying to this day - and for reasons that so far escape me, some of the high-level pundits whose work I usually admire seem to believe that somehow, this time, they may actually have a chance to pull it off.

So spread the word, far and near, spread it loud and permit no bullshit to get in your way: Social Security is NOT going away, and any politician who votes for it to be repealed does so at peril of his career.


I DIDN'T WRITE THIS. BUT I SURE DO WANT IT SPREAD. PLEASE HELP!!!! And you can cut&paste the links at the bottom of the page if you want further information.

I'd love to see this on every blog in America. Except of course the right-wing ones. That's never gonna happen!
Social Security is under attack and we need to fight back against the lies.

Have you heard that Social Security is going bankrupt? Driving up the deficit? In crisis?

Well none of that is true. These are all myths that opponents of Social Security have been spreading to scare people into accepting benefit cuts this fall. But the myths are taking hold—so we have to fight back with the facts.

So we've put together a list of the top five myths about Social Security, along with the real story. Can you check out the list and then share it with your friends, family, and coworkers?

Share the list by going to If you're on Facebook, share it by clicking here. If you're on Twitter, tweet it here.

Top 5 Social Security Myths
Myth #1: Social Security is going broke.

Reality: There is no Social Security crisis. By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.6 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a 'T'). It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it'll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits—and again, that's without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers' retirement decades ago.2 Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.

Myth #2: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.

Reality: This is a red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts. Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than they did 70 years ago.3 What's more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly—since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4 But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut.

Myth #3: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security.

Reality: Social Security doesn't need to be fixed. But if we want to strengthen it, here's a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share. If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come.5 Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income.6 But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.

Myth #4: The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs

Reality: Not even close to true. The Social Security Trust Fund isn't full of IOUs, it's full of U.S. Treasury Bonds. And those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.7 The reason Social Security holds only treasury bonds is the same reason many Americans do: The federal government has never missed a single interest payment on its debts. President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market—which would have been disastrous—but luckily, he failed. So the trillions of dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund, which are separate from the regular budget, are as safe as can be.

Myth #5: Social Security adds to the deficit

Reality: It's not just wrong—it's impossible! By law, Social Security's funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can't add one penny to the deficit.8

Defeating these myths is the first step to stopping Social Security cuts. Can you share this list now?

Thanks for all you do.

–Nita, Duncan, Daniel, Kat, and the rest of the team


1."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010

2. "The Straight Facts on Social Security," Economic Opportunity Institute, September 2009

3. "Social Security and the Age of Retirement," Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 2010

4. "More on raising the retirement age," Washington Post, July 8, 2010

5. "Social Security is sustainable," Economic and Policy Institute, May 27, 2010

6. "Maximum wage contribution and the amount for a credit in 2010," Social Security Administration, April 23, 2010

7. "Trust Fund FAQs," Social Security Administration, February 18, 2010

8."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010

Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. This email was sent to Richard Hauenstein on July 29, 2010. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Paul Krugman copies me

by Rich Miles

A most remarkable thing happened this morning. I mean really remarkable. I've often had major thoughts about stuff before anyone in the MSM does (I predicted the major gum-up in the intelligence community, and its concomitant huge expense, years ago, for instance), but rarely if ever has there been any proof of this. If I let the thought go by without expressing it, I was screwed - no one knew I'd had this profound thought.

But today, Paul Krugman wrote on the same topic (mostly) that I did yesterday: The attempted rehabilitation of George W. Bush, all the while using that rehab to make Barack Obama into the Great Satan.

Dr. Krugman, Nobel Prize winner, is impressing me more and more, though he's been a brilliant man for a long time now. He recognizes the little stuff inside the big stuff, and tells us about it, all the while informing it with the big picture.

But today's Krugman column tells secrets that the repugs don't want you to know - that they're not only not working with the president to make America better, they're actually working against him, and seeking to bring back the Bush administration, the one that almost broke America completely.

I mean, what the hell is it with these people, and what was it about Bush that made them so keen to get him, or at least his ideologies, back in place in America? I've said before that Reagan was never a charismatic figure, and if Reagan wasn't, then Bush damn sure wasn't. So it isn't that he was such a towering public figure.

Are we as a nation and a people so venal, so self-absorbed, so lacking in perspective that we'll vote for a politician who will destroy the rest of the country, as long as he promises to lower taxes? Is that all that matters to us any more, lower taxes?

Read Dr. Krugman today. See if his premise doesn't scare hell out of you. I think it just might. Karl Rove is speaking publicly again. That alone should make you wee yourself.

And I'm quite sure that there are interests in this country - self-interests, mostly - who would love to see another Bush era. Because it would benefit them. Never mind the deep damage it would do the country. We have become a nation of selfish bastards, and there are those - quite a few of them actually - who are trying to make sure we stay that way.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Questioning Authority

by Rich Miles

Let me ask you fuckin' repugs something:

(Hey, I like that - fuckin' repugs. Think I'll use it more often.)

So anyway, let me ask you something: Why are the additions to the federal deficit created by Obama and other Democrats so important and so dire, when 8 YEARS of deficit creation by Bush and his fuckin' repugs were never spoken of with so much as a discouraging word?

Why was Bush allowed not only to spend zillions of dollars, but to KILL OUR CHILDREN, in a cause that had nothing to do with the attacks on our soil of Sept. 11, 2001?

Why was that all right, but Obama's efforts to get the country and its people back on something resembling an even keel are not to be tolerated?

Now don't get me wrong - I don't like the idea of deficit spending any more than the next guy. But why was it all right for the God Bush to do it, including that stinkin' war we're still in today, the longest war in American history, but it's not all right for Obama to spend even more, even though he's making a (so far insufficient) effort to put people back to work, which is our real problem now?

And why is it not as obvious to you as it is to us that the entire Bush the Younger administration was about NOTHING more than robbing America - stealing as much of her substance as possible in 8 years, and doing rather a damned good job of it at that?

Dear fuckin' repugs, don't you know this is what infuriates us about you the most? Your inconsistency, your ability to let the sins of your leaders pass by unremarked, while the sins (or not) of our leaders are just too evil for contemplation. Your hyperbole, your effort to make everyone believe that your people are led by God, while ours are pretty much the instruments of Satan?

Doesn't it ever chafe a little on the inside of your skulls? Don't you ever examine your leaders and their actions enough to recognize that they're not looking out for your best interests? I mean, it's obvious to us - just because they SAY they're on God's side doesn't mean they ARE! Just because they tell you their wishes are those of God doesn't make it so!

I mean, don't you people EVER question anything, or anyone among your leaders?

I can't go on. This gives me a headache, realizing that fellow human beings can be so very very STOOPID!!

I mean really, you fuckin' repugs! Don't you EVER....

Ahhhh, fuck it. No one is going to change their minds because of this. But what I learn from this, the battle of the Democrats and the repugs, is that fuckin' repugs are just crazy. Vehemently, virulently crazy! That is, where they're not stupid beyond redemption.

And THAT is what we really think of you. We'd feel sorry for you, if you weren't so busy taking potshots at our heads - usually figuratively, but occasionally quite literally.

So not that it will do the slightest good, but - would you people get your shit together? I mean seriously - some day you're going to have to be put out of your misery if you don't. At least, I hope you are.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Why can't anyone call it like it is?

by Rich Miles

So I'm watching all this shit going down in Congress about "business reform", and in the midst of all that, I suddenly realize that no one, but NO one, is really saying what has happened: the Republicans have fucked up the country beyond all recognition, and we're now faced with the daunting task of UN-fucking it.

No one is saying that in any kind of serious public forum. No one is saying that back in the Reagan administration, when the talk was all about "free markets", and suchlike nonsense, and we actually LET THEM DO IT, let them remove most of the government regulations that controlled the robber barons to a degree, and as might be predicted the robber barons started lunching on all the rest of us, and their greed was so great that twenty-five or thirty years later, there was hardly a one of us who didn't have at least the odd bite mark on our sorry carcasses, and some had been utterly devoured.

And here we are, 30 years after Reagan was elected, and the only honest statement one can make about the business practices of those 30 years is that they DIDN'T WORK for the overwhelming majority of the American people. And as we try to fix the system that ate at least a little of almost all of us, no one is willing to use the one word that describes the actions of those vultures to a T:


For that's all it was. It wasn't letting the free markets have their way, it was greed. It wasn't capitalism at its "best", it was greed.

It was people who were already insanely wealthy using the relaxed laws to rob the less wealthy and the poor. It was unregulated big business devouring the small mom and pop businesses that all but don't exist today. It was those same big businesses greasing the palms of government to secure contracts that made them even huger and richer.

In short, it was greed. And those who could not trade in greed perished. Those who had a conscience, and couldn't bring themselves to run roughshod over their fellows were themselves run over and killed. And it continued for years and decades, and now we've finally realized the human and financial costs of such a status quo, and we're trying to put the genie of greed back in the bottle.

But it ain't easy. For one thing, the greedy have received lots of help from the courts, and for another, the greedy are whining about their right to be greedy being infringed upon, or potentially so, by these new laws. Seriously, they're whining!

But the country can't keep up this way. We can't have this kind and degree of greed continuing in the boardrooms and office suites of America. There has to be some sort of regulation of these people. They cause too much pain and damage when left to their own devices. Congress is slow, but they seem to be on it this time, at least to a certain degree. But they have to pass some version of the reforms. It is very possible that America will not survive if they don't. At least, won't survive in its present form. We won't be able to afford her. There'll be about 1000 people with all the money, and none of them will be paying any taxes.

Far-fetched perhaps. But not impossible.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Whatever happened to Jim Webb?

by Rich Miles

You know, of all the recently-elected liberal or progressive senators, the one who appeared to have the most solid liberal credentials and the most likely to raise some serious leftie hell in the Senate is Jim Webb of Virginia.

While he was a candidate, ol' Jim in essence told the good ol' boys to go fuck themselves, and made it clear that he was going to be his own man and big-biz interests could just screw off, thank you very much.

But since he's been elected? Not so much.

THe only times I've heard of ol' Jim, who does not represent my state, and therefore is not top of mind for me all the time, have been when he's voted for something extremely RIGHT-wing. Like yesterday.

Ol' Jim got not one but TWO chances to be a traitor to his progressive roots yesterday, and by golly, don't you know he took BOTH of them?

First, the vote was taken for the Jobs bill, already passed in the House, and on the spurious grounds of "deficit reduction", the Senate voted it down, including our trusty Mr. Webb. The final tally was 52-45, with every single slimebag anti-American family repug joined by about a dozen supposedly liberal Democrats, including our boy Jimbo.

Then, so as to make it a full day of work, they voted on an amendment introduced by one of the few remaining REAL progressives, independent Bernie Sanders. Here's what ol' Bernie's pretty straightforward amendment allowed: to "eliminate big oil and gas company tax loopholes, and to use the resulting increase in revenues to reduce the deficit and to invest in energy efficiency and conservation." See? Deficit reduction, just like the rationale for not passing the unemployment bill.

But deficit reduction only matters when it can come out of the pockets of ordinary Americans, not corporate "people".

Remember this, America!!! Remember how we were betrayed even by some of those who we had every reason to expect to be our champions, like Jim Webb.

In the interest of accuracy, the two bills mentioned above were NOT literally voted on on the same day. It was within TWO days, not that that really makes any difference to the traitorous thesis of this article.

But see, as so many have been saying for so long, Democrats don't need the repugs to defeat them, when they do such a good job on themselves. If Democrats can't be counted on to be at least somewhere left of the middle of almost every issue, then where is our beloved two-party system left?

In closing, let me mention that John Kerry voted against the Big Oil amendment, and Russ Feingold voted against the Jobs Bill.

Where o where are our liberal champions? If there are any anymore.

I'm getting old, and I'm not sure I can figger this stuff out any more. Are people really this conservative across the board? Do Americans really want their elected reps to vote this way?

Or are our elected reps not even taking our wishes into consideration before they vote, just like always?

Storm the Bastille. I'm tellin' ya, that's what it's eventually gonna come to.

And I'm not even going to MENTION What's-his-name Barton's apology to BP. That one made me a little ashamed to be an American.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Definition of egregious

by Rich Miles

The New York Times today has an editorial that should make your blood boil. It did mine.

I just don't understand the people who not only are able to get away with this, but who actually believe that it's right and proper to do so - who actually believe they are more entitled to these things than the overwhelming majority of the rest of us.

Here's the kicker. Read the whole thing:

"Nonemergency provisions in the (unemployment insurance extension) bill do need to be paid for, including renewal of several generally useful business tax breaks, like the research-and-development tax credit, totaling $32 billion over 10 years. To help cover those costs, Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate started out with the sound idea to close an egregious tax loophole that allows wealthy fund managers at private equity firms and other investment partnerships to pay a top tax rate of just 15 percent on much of their earnings — versus a top rate of 35 percent for all other higher-income Americans.

Here's my perfectly obvious question: Why do the wealthy get the tax breaks? They've got lots of money. That's why they're known as, you know, the wealthy. They've got a lot of money left over AFTER they pay taxes. Usually more after taxes than the overwhelming majority of us will ever see BEFORE taxes are paid.

So when is this going to stop?

How about a little Bastille-storming? Or the 21st-century equivalent thereof?

Friday, June 11, 2010

A New Political Party

by "Not Sure Who Wrote This"

Got this in my email today, and thought it was marginally clever. I don't say I agree 100% with everything said here, but it seems that a good deal of it needs to be said one way or the other. See what you think:

*A New Political Party.*

*Not Democrat, Not Republican, Not Independent, and most definitely not Tea.*

*It's called the “PISSED OFF PARTY" (or POP).*

*This party is dedicated to vote every incumbent out of office in the next elections.*

*If you're Democrat, vote Democrat. Just don't vote for the incumbent.*

*If you're Republican, vote Republican. Just don't vote for the incumbent.*

*We need to send a message to all politicians, that we're tired of their B.S.*

*If the country votes out all the incumbents, the new incoming politicians will get the message..*

*It's pretty simple. Nobody needs to change parties and let’s face it, there's plenty of blame to spread around.*

*A few good politicians will lose their job but they probably have better retirement and insurance than 95% of the American public.*

*You've had to struggle for the last 5 years. Some of you have lost your job and may be working in some other sector just to feed your family.*

*I guarantee you, none of them will suffer like this country has.*

*If you like what's going on and think this is a bad idea, delete this.*

*But if you're fed up and think this is a good idea, then pass this E-mail on.*

*If you really think this has legs, then a website and a blog could help get the word out.*

*To All 535 voting members of the US Congress: it is now official: you are ALL corrupt morons.*

Here's how we know:

*a.. The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.*

*b. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.*

*c.. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.*

*d.. The War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.*

*e.. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.*

*f.. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.*

*g.. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.*

*You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.*



*Folks, keep this circulating.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


by Rich Miles

You wanna know something? My constitutional rights are being violated. Regularly and egregiously.

Because I am not represented in the US Congress. Not in either House. Nope. My beliefs and wishes are not represented. There are three guys who nominally represent my district - Brett Guthrie, Mitch McConnell, and Jim Bunning. But they don't represent ME.

Because they are idiots, who espouse policies and governmental actions that are abhorrent to me. They are not merely frequently in disagreement with me - they are CONSTANTLY in disagreement with me. I don't remember any of these three guys, or their predecessors, ever doing anything I wanted them to do. It's pretty much 100% when one considers matters of any controversy whatever.

Now, I do understand the concept of democracy - the "majority rules" ideal, and I know that by the very definition of their respective and collective elections, I am in the minority in my congressional district. But geez, don't I EVER get to have a congressional representative who does what *I* think is right?

I can't wait till this November. Maybe a Democrat will slip through the lines, and I'll be at least partly represented. I mean hey, a boy can dream, can't he?

Naaah. This IS Kentucky, after all - the state that competes with Mississippi and Arkansas for the bottom rung of the American economy and educational excellence. I mean, it isn't impossible, but it seems damned unlikely based on history.

So I'll just go on not being represented in Congress. There are several million others like me, after all. And hey, who knows? We could elect a Democrat SOME day. Some how. Can't we?

I mean, can't we?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Why I am a Democrat

by Rich Miles

Way back in the old days, when I was about 18 years old or so, and Richard Nixon was you'll pardon the expression president, I learned all I needed to know about my personal politics by watching Nixon and his compadres in action on national television. I learned that, no matter what else you may be able to say about a Republican, the fact remains that they are mean-spirited, selfish, hateful, and just altogether not nice people. And that they are so un-self-aware that they don't even know it.

And I learned that I didn't want to be like them, and that the only logical way to remain an American but NOT be like them - was to become a Democrat. And so I did.

But in all those years, I tried repeatedly, in essays like this, in letters to the editor and in other fora, to come to a statement of WHY I believe as I do, and I always failed - most often I degenerated into babbling, incoherent fury at the assholes, and couldn't make it really clear what I felt. Sometimes I got partway there but couldn't find the words to really nail it. Sometimes I didn't even get that far.

But I write today because someone has found the words for me. Steve M. has this over at No More Mister Nice Blog:

I suppose it's futile to hope for this, but the left response to the Sestak story should be: Republicans, how dare you. Amid job losses, oil spills, terrorist attacks, and all the other problems we have, you want to bring down a government now, over this? Talk about the criminalization of politics.

But then, Republicans simply don't care about what happens to America. They'd burn America to the ground if it meant they'd rule over the ashes.

I thank Steve immensely for breaking my years of inarticulation. And I rather suspect I'll use this quote again. Accredited, I'm sure.