Friday, August 17, 2012

Lies, damn lies, and statistics, Part II

by Rich Miles

Apropos of nothing really, Blogger has some mildly interesting statistics on this site that I wanted to share with you.

One list of stats is the countries from which my site is visited. Needless to say, the majority of my visitors are from the U.S.

But guess what nation is second place, with approximately 18% of the visits?

Russia!! That's right, Russia, the former Soviet republic. I confess I have no idea what to make of that fact, but fact it is.

If you'd care to offer an opinion about why about 1/3 as many people from Russia as the U.S. visit this site, I would be happy to read it.

But if you use the word "Communist", you will be deleted and blocked. Unless you use it in reference to something besides me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Biggest Conspiracy

by Rich Miles

OK, my friends - I have danced and jigged around this topic for several years now, without ever coming right out and saying what I believe, because it sounded too paranoid to put out there. But finally, available evidence just speaks too loudly. I cannot HELP but believe that what I am about to say here is true. See if you agree.

The basic premise here is this: our country is nearly hopelessly screwed up on a number of levels, notably the fiscal, a large portion of the screwing up took place during the George W. Bush administration, and we - all of us, of all parties - are now stuck with the net results.

And it is MY belief that the Bush administration DID IT ON PURPOSE!! That the Bushies set out to make our country weak and impoverished and all other manner of ills, and here's why:

First off, everywhere in this essay that I say "George Bush" or "GWB" or "Bush" or "Shrub", what I mean is the Bush administration, the Bush cadre, including Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and dozens more who conspired with them to create this effect. What effect? I'm glad you asked me that question...

So anyway....Bush set out to make things horrible in this country. He set out to put us in hideous debt. Set out to destroy our national prestige, to trash our credibility overseas, SET OUT to weaken our military capabilities, reduce employment, and dismantle our national social safety net. He, they, did all this, and MORE, on purpose.

And why did they do this, you may ask? What would be the reason behind such nefarious acts?

Have you ever heard the term "permanent Republican majority"? Have you heard the term "vast right-wing conspiracy"?

Follow me on this: Bush knew that things had gotten sooo screwed up on his watch that the next president was unquestionably going to be a Democrat.

And he also knew that this Democrat was going to make every effort to UNfuck everything Bush had fucked up. He would have no choice but to make a valiant effort to do so.

But he also knew that if the Congress, either or both houses, were controlled by Republicans, a simple program of knee-jerk obstructionism, and the very occasional evil-intended legislation would at least put a stick in the spokes of any corrective programs, and would possibly simply draw it all to a standstill.

Soooo....Bush et al. set out to screw everything up that he could get his hot little monkey paws on, and succeeded to a large degree, and then - handed it all off to the Democratic successor, Mr. Obama.

And Barack has been hamstrung at every turn, has proposed while the Repugs disposed (of), and in general has been made to look as weak and ineffectual as possible.

And it has all WORKED!! With the intention of making the electorate vote for a Repug in 2012, or in the event of a total moron like Romoney, 2016, and beating the drum of partisan lies, the Repugs would hold the White House, and probably one or both houses of Congress, for years to come.

Voila! (Near) permanent Repug majority. There would have to be the occasional Democratic interregnum of 4 or perhaps in a pinch 8 years, just because people like change, or because the fucking-up gets a bit out of hand for a generation or so, but by and large, there will be nothing but Repugnicans for as far as the eye can see, for the foreseeable future!

And it's all intentional! These people care more about their own political careers and personal fortunes than they do the well-being of the nation. By a long CHALK, they care more. They enrich themselves and their cronies at the taxpayer's expense, and will continue to do so for a hundred years or more. And if we, the electorate, won't help them enough, they'll jigger the voting laws or vote counts until they win anyway. George W. Bush was the first experiment in this game, and IT WORKED!! The conservative majority on the Supreme Court was a part of the plan, and IT WORKED!!

It worked. It all worked or is working, even Obama being elected in '08. One of the net results aimed for is the redistribution of the nation's wealth upward, and THAT is working too. At the end of a century, there will be a couple thousand multi-trillionaires, and the rest of us will be begging for food in the streets, if the Repugs have their way. And they might.

Now, dear reader - tell me none of this makes sense, I dare you. You may say it's paranoid, too suspicious by half, whatever you wish. But you CANNOT say with certainty that I'm wrong. And if you examine what I say here, you may find yourself saying, "Ya know, he could be right!"

As monstrous as it is, I could be right. And you know it. Wish I could offer suggestions on what to do to stop it, but short of violence, which I cannot advocate, I don't have one.

I could be right...couldn't I?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Blecchh of the Irish

by Rich Miles

UPDATE: See at bottom of this post for info on Ryan's legislative record over 13 years in Congress.
UPDATE #2 - This guy has attracted all sorts of negative attention in no time at all. In order to save time on him, take a look at The Paul Ryan Reading Guide: The Best Reporting on the Republican VP Candidate, and then share that link with the whole rest of the left-leaning world. And maybe even a few righties as well. Seriously, Ryan is proving to be every bit as much an a-hole as I thought Mittens was.  Mitt is nothing like as virulent as his running mate.

You know, they keep mentioning that Mitt is still the "presumptive" candidate for the Repugnicans - but he'd better watch his ass, because Ryan is MUCH more of a right-wing loony than Mittens. They might decide they like Ryan much more than Mittens. Can they do that?
Update #3 - Words of Power Here is a most amusing, but also cogent essay on Ryan that I thought you might find informative. If you are much in the future, look for the Saturday August 11, 2012 entry.
 Here is the original post:
 The Irish are known as a race with much compassion for the less fortunate in the world. In fact, if you websearch "most famous Irish-Americans" or simply "Notable Irish persons", you'll get more hits than you can handle, and lots of them will be philanthropists, or people who did philanthropic things in their chosen professions. In general, they're good people, and I suspect a large portion of this is because they were so sorely and cruelly persecuted in centuries past. Those tales are history, and are as easily websearched as their notable compatriots.

But then, along comes a feller named Paul Ryan. Among other things, he disgraces the whole concept of being Irish. I mean to say, the man is toxic!!

Let's go back to the start of his life, and see how his hypocrisy has carried over to the present day: Paul's father, Paul Sr., died when Paul was 16. A sad fact for any young man. But THIS young man received Social Security benefits as a surviving child, and used that money to live on, and later to go to college - thus surviving a tough time in his life because of government bennies.

But today, about 26 years beyond that time, Paul Jr. has decided to make it his life's work to dismantle Social Security so that no one else can benefit as he did. He hasn't managed it yet, but he has stated repeatedly that it's what he wants to do, and the famous Ryan Budget says so, too. Hell, it's part of the reason he was selected as the Mittens' running mate.

(BTW, speaking of his father's death, there seems to be a family trend afoot there - Paul's great-grandfather, grandfather, and father all died of cardiac disease in their 40's and 50's. Medicine is better today, and Paul gets the excellent benefits that go with being a congressdog, but is this a medical history we want a heartbeat away from the preznitcy? Normally, I would consider this a private matter, but "normally" and "running for VP" do not go together.)

Add to this the fact that Ryan has repeatedly expressed his desire to dismantle Medicare, and one sees an ideal Ryan futuretopia with dead old and poor people lying in the streets because they couldn't get or afford adequate medical care.

And he wants more tax cuts for the wealthy, and tax INCREASES for the middle class (read: anyone making under $250K)

He wants to cut veterans' benefits. He wants to cut Pell Grants, and food stamps, and probably every other program that actually helps PEOPLE, instead of corporations.

He wants to increase military spending, even as two wars are being wound down under Pres. Obama. BTW, military spending is the single largest contributor to our indescribable multi-trillion-dollar national debt. More than medical malpractice suits (HA!!), more than Medicare/Medicaid, more than Social Security, and so on and so forth. And who started the longest and most expensive war in the nation's history? REPUBLICAN George W. Bush, who you may notice no one is mentioning or consulting on the right. And DAMN sure not on the left!

 Let me just state upfront that I recognize that our country is in a helluva fiscal mess. I have pointed out before, and I will do so again, that I think the Repugs did this on purpose - made the fiscal mess we're in now - so as to make the Democrats look bad when they got elected, as they were, to fix the problem. And the Repugs have done their best to block everything the Democrats have done to try to fix it. The term "obstructionist Republicans" is not only true, it's redundant!

I say, try every Republican holder of public office on charges of treason - but only in courts presided over by genuinely non-partisan judges. There are probably 3 or 4 such courts somewhere in America!

But in any case, Paul Ryan is a disgrace to the Irish, and to America. And as soon as the aged among us hear the word "voucher" and the word "Medicare" in the same sentence, there may just be an uprising.

UPDATE: Just now on "60 Minutes" Romoney referred to Ryan as a "real leader". Given that Ryan does have some expertise in the budget process, he has been in Congress for 13 YEARS, and had authored TWO bills - one a renaming of a post office, the other a tax bill adding some 15 cents to the cost of an archery arrow. In 13 YEARS!

Is this the record of a "real leader"??

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tell this to everyone you know!

by Rich Miles

Know what this is?

It's a tax calculator.

Now don't get excited all over yourself. It's a tax calculator that will tell you something very important.

It will tell you what your tax will be this year under the tax proposals of President Obama, and what it will be under the proposals of Mitt 'the Mutt' Romoney.

And the results are pretty astounding. In my family's case, we saved over $4400 with the Obama plan.

Of course, that's nothing compared to the approx. $87K I would save with Romoney's plan If I were a millionaire. And a member of the 1-2% club. And an unconscionable bastard, who cares only for myself and my money. Yes, if I were all those things, I could get a MUCH larger cut of the pie.

But I'm not. I'm just a middle-class pensioner.

If you're a millionaire, vote for Romoney! If you're an American, vote for Obama. It's that simple!

Fortunately, there aren't enough millionaires to swing the vote to Romoney. At least, unless they cheat. Which they've been known to do.

Gawd, what's happening to this country?

Now THIS is funny....but true!

By Rich Miles

New anti-Mitt ad on the airwaves. Take a look:

Mitt Romoney's Hand is in Your Pocket

I mean, the toad has so little respect for us, the taxpayers, that he's barely bothering to hide his oligarchical tendencies any longer. And if you read his speeches, don't have to parse them much, just READ them, or listen if you can get your hands on the video or audio, you'll see that he is not only an oligarch, but quite literally an out-of-touch, let-them-eat-cake fool, who doesn't even realize how condescending and offensive he's being toward us.

And take his recent trip to Britain etc. Do we really want 
ANOTHER president who can be counted on to embarrass us every time he leaves home (not to mention every time he opens his mouth at home)?

PLEASE, voters! If you're leaning towards Romoney, PLEASE take serious note of who he is, and what he says, and how he says it. It scares the pee out of me that he is as close in the polls as he is - one Quinnipiac poll has him AHEAD of Obama. I'm hoping that's an outlier.

Remember my fave quote: "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"? Well, look back in the books or the videotapes to the year 2000, when Al Gore TOLD us in no uncertain terms that GWB's tax plan was going to benefit the top 1 or 2% of the earning curve? That was when Shrub laid the "fuzzy math" crapola on us. But Gore was right - and even at that, Bush was re-elected in '04. Or elected for the first time, say some. Like me. 

So how many times does it take us to learn? Are we going to elect ANOTHER tax-cuts-for-the-rich oligarch? Or, as some are observing now, is Romoney going to elect himself with voter-eligibility chicanery? 

Wake up, America!! Or as they used to say in the old films noirs, get wise to yourself! The guy is no good for America!

I'm the first to admit that Obama has not performed as well as we hoped he would when we voted for him in '08. He's done a decent job in many ways, but we were expecting miracles that did not materialize. There are numerous reasons for this, not least among them the obstructionist House repugs, but all in all he's let us down. But letting us down is not the same as BEATING us down, which is where Romoney is headed. 

Use your head, not your heart this November. And if you love America, you cannot vote for Romoney. You simply CANNOT!!!
I forbid it!

Not that what I forbid means squat to you. But take a look at the commercial. It should at least make you laugh. And from my POV, a good laugh is the best we can hope for right now. Till November, anyway, when I will hope for more.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

As George Raft says, "big joke"

by Rich Miles

Know what this is?

It's a tax calculator.

Now don't get excited all over yourself. It's a tax calculator that will tell you something very important.

It will tell you what your tax will be this year under the tax proposals of President Obama, and what it will be under the proposals of Mitt 'the Mutt' Romoney.

And the results are pretty astounding. In my family's case, we saved over $3000 with Obama's plan. You know, the one the Repugs have blocked repeatedly, in an effort to give the same tax breaks to the 1-2% of obscenely wealthy people in this country. Unconscionable greed and avarice. Simply unconscionable.

Now, the Republicans call the info and assumptions on which this calculator was created "a joke". They would, after all - anything that makes them look bad has to be ridiculed and discounted.

But as far as I have been able to find, there is no explanation of WHY it's a  joke - what's funny about it, or what's not true about it.

So spread it all over the Web. If it turns out to be BS, I'm sure it will become known quickly. However, as of right now, it's true. And unconscionable.

See what you can find out about it if you like. I have researched it, and can find no flaws in its premises.

And its conclusions are truly sickmaking.

I never met a Repug with a sense of humor about anything except the suffering of others. THAT they find VERY funny. But you wanna know what's a joke? Any Republican ever speaking the words "tax break for the middle class".  Now THAT is an effin' joke.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Whatever happened to Jack Jodell and Cletis Stump?

By Rich Miles

Here's a lesson for young or rookie bloggers: Blog OFTEN!  Make sure there is new content for your readers, especially when it becomes clear that you have a few regular ones.

Like Jack and Cletis. Some few years back, these two gentlemen, who I have never met in person, commented on almost every post I made. They showed themselves to be thoughtful, intelligent gentlemen, who also liked my writing. (That last is the best reason of all to please your readers.)

But now, it's been 7 months for Cletis, and almost 16 months for Jack, since they last commented on me. And again despite the fact that I've never met them, it feels like the loss of a couple of pretty good ol' pals.

So where are ya, boys? Come back! I promise to try to write more often!

And to you newbie bloggers - let this be a lesson to you!

They come, they go. But sometimes when they go, they don't come back easily.

This is KILLING me!!!

by Rich Miles

OK, look, I have made it unmistakably clear over the past umpty-ump years exactly where I stand politically - I am a bleeding-heart liberal in most regards. Only area in which I could be accused of being reactionary or right-wing is that I want all right-wingers and repugnicans killed. But that's only a fond wish, as it will certainly never happen. Sadly for this world.

But I continue to be confused, confounded and repelled by the right wing's CONSTANT insistence that rich people get tax breaks, and poor people not get those breaks.

(Before I go on, I have to throw in this fact that arose yesterday: the House of Representatives have voted down ObamaCare (you know what I really mean) 33 times!!! They can't take a vote AT ALL on several of Obama's judicial nominees, but they can vote down, and be defeated by the Senate, 33 times!!! on this one issue.)

OK, back to the subject at hand: I continue to be amazed, astounded, and appalled that the repugs actually stand up on their hind legs and say, in essence, "Let's keep these tax breaks for the wealthiest among us - people making over $1,000,000 a year! Let's repeal the breaks for those making less than $250,000 a year. (and since when was THAT figure a cutoff point between rich and poor?)

I mean, HOW DO THEY DO IT? How do they call themselves representatives of the people, and then proceed to do things that represent and benefit only approx. 1% of those people? How do they live with their consciences when they vote FOR tax cuts for people who already have large (often huge!!) amounts of money, and AGAINST tax cuts for those who are struggling with finances, and bills to pay, and TAXES - just because few of those people run their own businesses?

Has anyone ever done research to discover how many of the people who make over $1,000,000 a year actually DO own businesses? And how many are just greedheads who stick all their money in investments of various sorts, but who have never DREAMED of putting their money at such a risk as a business, which could fail or something!

OK, OK, I recognize the connection between investing and a healthy economy. I see that rich people who invest in say, DuPont are keeping that company healthy, and keeping their employees employed, and their retirees funds funded.

But what seems never to have entered into the thinking (you'll pardon the expression) on this matter is this:

If 1% of Americans can invest $1,000,000 (for example), then how would it be if 99% of Americans could invest say, $10,000 in business? Or if successful, $20K? Or $100,000? Maybe never a mil, but hell, there are 99 TIMES as many of these small investors as there are the big'uns.

So why are these people abandoned? And more to the point, why do congressdogs say these outrageously classist and selfish things, and expect conservative voters to vote for them? And why do those conservative voters DO IT??

It's frightening, that people who were raised in that ethos, of taking care of the poor and giving to those in need, and all that, are now voting for people who SAY that's what they espouse, but who BEHAVE exactly the opposite - who root for the rich, since it's the rich who are paying for their re-election campaigns.

Seems simple, doesn't it? So why are repugs winning even elections for dogcatcher, much less higher offices? Why, I ask you?

No answer. But stupidity has NOT been ruled out.

C'mon, mongrels!! Make sure you know what the candidate stands for BEFORE you vote for him or her. You might be surprised to learn that that Republican label does not mean they think just like you. They might just be in opposition to what you think is right. You might even have to vote for (shudder) the Democrat!

And then where would you be? Apart from in a box.

Don't be stupid, people. Think - look - make sure the man is more than the party label. And that applies to Democrats, too!!