Tag Archives: economics

On minimum wage alone, Billary Clinton deserves to lose NY and CA

Today the states of California and New York, the most populous and the fourth-most-populous states respectively, enacted legislation to raise, gradually, their minimum wage to $15 an hour, the highest minimum wage in the nation.

(The federal minimum wage is a paltry $7.25 an hour. As of today, 39 states’ minimum wage is less than $9 an hour, and 11 states’ minimum wage ranges from $9 to $10; and 21 states’ minimum wage is $7.25 or even less.)

I am glad — and proud — to be a Californian!

Of course business owners and those who love them — cold-hearted, greedy, treasonously selfish motherfuckers who never would be remotely content to live on as little as $15 an hour themselves — have cried DOOM! for the two states’ economies because of their minimum-wage increases to $15.

Bullshit. If you truly cannot pay your employees a livable wage, then your business isn’t viable — and it should go under. (Of course, most business owners well can afford to pay their workers significantly more; they just lie that they cannot so that they can keep buying those expensive cars and yachts and other toys and bigger and bigger mansions and otherwise hoard our nation’s wealth while income inequality only continues to worsen.)

The Democratic governors of both populous blue states, Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo, today signed the $15-an-hour-minimum-wage pieces of legislation for their states.

Interestingly, an Associated Press news story today notes that “[Billary] Clinton joined … Cuomo as he signed the law that will gradually boost that state’s pay rate and she predicted the [$15-an-hour-minimum-wage] movement will ‘sweep our country.'”

Yet there is no mention at all in the AP news story that Queen Billary all along in her latest campaign for the White House has supported only a $12-an-hour federal minimum wage, whereas Bernie Sanders all along has supported a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage.

Yet here is Billary appearing with Cuomo in New York City today, taking credit by association for New York’s minimum wage increase to $15 an hour, claiming “victory for New York families”:

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

New York Daily News photo

Fucking shameless. Way beyond shameless.

But it’s how Billary operates: She jumps on board only after others already have done the hard work — and pretends that she was on board all along.

Billary leads from behind, whereas Bernie Sanders always proves to have been ahead of the curve.

Leaders lead the herd. They don’t follow the herd.

Billary deserves to lose the New York primary on April 19 and the California primary on June 7, on this issue and her craven, self-serving, flip-flopping posturing on it alone.

(Billary is worth around $25 million, by the way, whereas Bernie is worth around $500,000. I’d love to see Her Highness Billary be forced to live on $12 an hour! No doubt it’s because of her fat-cat campaign contributors that she has supported no more than $12 an hour for us commoners. She must do their bidding — if she wants the millionaires’ and billionaires’ money to continue to flow to her and her family and her cronies.)

Thankfully, Real Clear Politics right now has Billary at only 11 percent ahead of Bernie in New York and only 9 percent ahead of him in California (The Huffington Post right now similarly has Billary at 10.4 percent ahead of Bernie in New York and 8.8 percent ahead of him in California), and Bernie has enough time to catch up to and overtake Billary in both states.

Of course Billary could lose both California and New York to Bernie and still win the presidential nomination by garnering more delegates than he, but the optics of Billary Clinton losing the two most populous blue states would be incredible.

It would demonstrate further how weak she is within her own fucking party, and how weak she would be going into the White House — should she actually manage to win it with her favorability ratings (among all American voters, not just Democratic Party hacks) that are upside down — by double digits.

And let’s not get it twisted: Billary Clinton inherently is a weak “Democratic” presidential candidate because she is craven and corrupt. Let’s not blame Bernie Sanders for her remarkable shortcomings and for her wrongdoings; she has harmed herself, and neither she nor her Billarybots correctly can blame Bernie or anyone else for weakening or harming her second campaign for the nation’s highest elected office.

We should thank Bernie Sanders for shining the spotlight on the cockroach that is Billary Clinton, and fuck us if we choose to ignore what we see in that spotlight, believing that willful ignorance is bliss; the consequences of our own such fucktardation would be entirely on us.

Update/possible correction (April 5, 2016): The Associated Press news story that I linked to above, in its last paragraph, now states:

Sanders has made the $15 wage a foundation block of his candidacy, while Clinton backs Senate legislation that would enact a federal minimum wage of $12 an hour, with the ability of individual cities and states to set a higher threshold.

The AP routinely updates/revises its news stories, and so I’m not sure whether I missed that last paragraph (I rather doubt that I did, but it’s not impossible that I did) or whether AP updated the news story after I first linked to it.

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Warren fights for the working class while Walker calls us terrorists

CPAC shows how the GOP’s 2016 strategy of avoiding the MSM could backfire

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Reuters and Associated Press photos

Koched-up Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday, in his braying before the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland (as pictured above), compared the thousands and thousands of Wisconsinites who converged on Wisconsin’s Capitol four years ago to oppose his decimation of the working class and the middle class to the terrorists who comprise ISIS

There is a receptive audience to Wisconsin Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker’s recent indirect but sure comparison of members of the working class and middle class who want union protection from the likes of the Koched-up Walker’s billionaire sugar daddies to the terrorists who comprise ISIS.*

That audience, of course, would be the Repugnican Tea Party.

Anyone who would dare oppose the continued decimation of the American middle class and working class by our plutocratic overlords surely is an anti-American terrorist. The hallmark of the teatards, in fact, is that they do the plutocrats’ bidding for them by bashing the working class and middle class.

I saw this with my own eyes at a pro-working-class rally here in Sacramento that was in solidarity with Wisconsin four years ago, in late February 2011, when Wisconsin’s capital was afire with thousands and thousands of protesters trying to protect their livelihoods and families from Walker’s right-wing, pro-plutocratic, anti-populist assault on their labor rights.

The plutocrats, of course, weren’t there taunting those of us who were there at the rally at California’s state Capitol to support labor rights. No, it was the teatards — people (if you can call them that) who hardly are rich themselves (and who very unlikely ever will be) but who think that it is a great idea to help the millionaires and billionaires to destroy what’s left of labor rights and thus to destroy what’s left of the middle class and the working class. These “people” are, of course, in a word, traitors, just as are the plutocrats whom they insanely support against even their own best interests.

This is what Scott Walker represents: Aiding and abetting millionaires and billionaires in their class warfare against the rest of us (while actually claiming that this actually is to our benefit).

So it’s not a huge surprise that Walker recently told the fascistic traitors at the Wingnuts’ Ball (a.k.a. the Conservative Political Action Conference): “We need a leader who will stand up and say [that] we will take the fight to them [he was referring to the members of ISIS] and not wait until they take the fight to American soil. If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same in the rest of the world.”

Wow.

I get it: Walker was trying to make the bullshit claim that somehow his experience as the pro-plutocratic, anti-populist governor of Wisconsin has qualified him to be a leader on the world stage as president (and commander in chief) of the United States of America.

But in so doing, of course Walker compared members of the middle class and working class who have dared to stand up to him and his plutocratic puppeteers to terrorists. That’s probably how he views them personally. If not, at the very least, that’s how his main plutocratic puppeteers, the Koch brothers — whose millions are behind Walker’s political success (well, “survival” probably is a better term than “success”) in Wisconsin — want him to portray those of us who oppose treasonous plutocracy.

(And it’s funny — in a sick and fucking twisted way — that the teatards have attempted to appropriate the American Revolution, which was fought against the oppressive monarchy and aristocracy of Britain, yet the teatards fully support the oppressive plutocrats and aristocrats of the United States of America today. These hardly are revolutionaries. They actively aid and abet the enemy, the oppressors of the masses, which makes them not revolutionaries but traitors.)

It’s interesting that Walker would compare members of the American working class and middle class to the terrorists of ISIS, because I see Walker and his ilk and their plutocratic patrons as evil. They don’t behead people or burn them alive (yet), but the harm that they nonetheless cause to millions and millions of Americans (and millions and millions of others abroad) is incalculable, and, just like the terrorists of ISIS, they sociopathically feel no guilt or remorse over the grave harm that they cause others for their own benefit. And that, of course, is the very definition of evil.

I’ve written before (more than a year ago) that I’d love to see a Scott Walker-Elizabeth Warren matchup in 2016. (I’m not saying that it’s going to happen — I’m saying that I’d love to see it happen.)

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s words for the members of the middle class and the working class are diametrically opposed to Walker’s. Walker & Co. blame the victims; Elizabeth Warren actually stands up for the victims. For instance, I recommend that you watch this video of Warren’s recent opening statement for the Middle Class Prosperity Project (I’m glad that progressives have taken back the true meaning of the word “prosperity,” as opposed to the Koch brothers’ “Americans for Prosperity,” which more accurately should be named Billionaires for More Prosperity for Billionaires, and Repugnican Tea Party Pretty Boy Paul Ryan’s bullshit “Path to Prosperity,” which, of course, was only a blueprint to further destroy the middle class and the working class):

Wow. It’s a rare member of Congress — which for years and years and years now has been dominated by the corporation-loving duopoly of the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party — who speaks like this. Billary Clinton (who, if the Repugnican Party is the Coke Party, is Diet Coke) certainly never speaks like this (or, if she ever does, given her coziness with the weasels of Wall Street and other corporatocrats and plutocrats, her credibility on the issue is nil).

While Koch, Walker & Co. continue to blame our nation’s ills on the members of the working class and middle class who only want to staunch the flow of their — our — blood to the Olympic-sized private swimming pools of the plutocrats, Elizabeth Warren, by stark contrast, correctly identifies and emphasizes the fact that beginning in the 1980s, under the treasonously pro-plutocratic, anti-populist Repugnican President Ronald Reagan, the once-robust middle class and working class have been under continued, decimating assault by the treasonous plutocrats who scream “class warfare!” when the members of the middle class and the working class attempt to protect ourselves from the actual class warfare that the treasonous plutocrats started against us decades ago.

Elizabeth Warren fights for the middle class and the working class when no one else (save only a few others) in Washington, D.C., dare to actually do their fucking job, which is to fight for the greatest good for the greatest number of Americans; Scott Walker, meanwhile, compares the middle class and the working class who are fighting for their lives and their families’ lives to the terrorists who comprise ISIS.

This is a fight in which I’d love to participate. To Scott Walker and the treasonous teatards who support him, I can only say: Bring! It! On! Traitors! We are beyond ripe for another, actual American revolution!

*If you are wondering where I stand on ISIS, I oppose ISIS not for the religion that its members claim they adhere to, but I oppose their continued and multiple acts of terrorism, such as their slaughter of scores of those who don’t share their fascistic religious ideology and their destruction of valuable pieces of art, artifacts and architecture that they deem to be “idolatrous” or the like.

In short, the “Islamofascists” of ISIS are doing exactly what the “Christo”fascists here at home would do if they could. It’s not the exact religion (Islam, Christianity, Judaism, etc.) that is the problem, but the theofascism that is the problem. (And if you want to further reduce that to fascism in general, religious-based or not, that’s fine with me, but fascism tends to have at least some degree of religious backing. It certainly does here in the United States, big-time.)

I can’t deny that I’d like to see the smug, punk-ass “Jihadi John’s” theofascist head on a silver platter, but, again, evil in the form of theofascism certainly isn’t limited to Islam. (“Jihadi John” — seriously. What, did this virgin nerd [whose real name is Mohammed Emwazi] go from being on his computer in his underwear in the basement of his parents’ house to being a “bad-ass” terrorist overnight? And could you be a bigger fucking coward than to tie someone’s hands behind his back, rendering him defenseless, and then behead him, or put him beneath an iron cage, rendering him defenseless, and burn him alive? This isn’t bad-assery. This is fucking cowardice to the nth degree.)

And no, I don’t let the United States off of the hook, either. The treasonous, unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War, which I vehemently opposed before it was launched in March 2003, has resulted in the wholly preventable and unnecessary deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocents in Iraq, and the U.S. military continues to slaughter innocents in the Middle East (via drone and other technologically advanced lethal methods, which one certainly could call cowardly) and continues to prop up the terrorist state of Israel, which treats Palestinians much like how the Nazi Germans treated the Jews, including slaughtering them by the masses.

(Despite the Israelis’ non-stop claims of being oppressed victims, the body counts always have been insanely lopsided, with far more Palestinians dying than Israelis; the United States of America’s blind support of Israel, with detractors of this deeply insane and deeply immoral foreign policy knee-jerkingly slanderously branded as “anti-Semitic,” is a huge factor behind this evil. [Yes, the Judeofascist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can kiss my fucking ass, as can all of the “Christo”fascist members of the U.S. Congress who believe that it’s perfectly OK to do a treasonous end-run around the democratically elected president of the United States of America by inviting the stinking piece of fascistic shit that is Netanyahu to speak in what is supposed to be the American people’s house, not Netanyahu’s for his campaign purposes.])

U.S. actions in the Middle East, such as the illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War (whose perpetrators should be put on trial for their war crimes and crimes against humanity and punished accordingly, Nuremberg style, as that would be the only fair and just thing to do) and the continued coddling and arming of Israel, provide ISIS and the like-minded with all of the recruitment material that they could ever need.

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Yes, LET’S look at the content of Marco Rubio’s speech

In this frame grab from video, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio takes a sip of water during his Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pool)

Associated Press image

The vast majority of those who claim that crypto-fascist presidential wannabe Marco Rubio didn’t get enough attention to the content of his recent speech on live national television probably haven’t actually listened to or read his entire speech (which you can do here). Having read every word of Rubio’s speech, and having compared it to reality, I can say that he’s damned fucking lucky that the water bottle got all of the attention. 

Associated Press editor Liz Sidoti wrote a column that she (or Yahoo! News) titled “Our Collective Obsession with the Trivial” that is about as original and insightful as was Repugnican Tea Party Sen. Marco Rubio’s speech that she insinuates was overlooked because of the “trivial.”

Every once in a while we pseudo-chastise ourselves about not being serious enough — but then we jump right back into the “trivial” anyway. Let’s face it: We’re never serious about getting serious. And so the vast majority of us who chastise others about not being serious enough, but focusing too much upon the “trivial,” are hypocrites.

Sidoti — who, ironically, is part of the problem that she whines about (the problem of the mass media’s propagation of “trivia”) — begins her column:

Persistently high unemployment. A sluggish economy. Debt. Deficit. Obesity. Fundamental disputes over guns, immigration and the climate. A to-do list that would exhaust even the most vigorous multi-tasker. A meteor in Russia, even.

Yet what created one of the buzziest brouhahas in America last week? Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s inopportune sip of water on live TV.

Enormous challenges pack the nation’s plate, but this country just can’t seem to get enough of the small stuff….

One hopes that we can multi-task, since we’re (even further) fucked if we can’t.

Yes, issues such as unemployment and a sluggish economy, the federal budget deficit (caused in no small part because of runaway so-called “defense” spending by the traitors who comprise the military-industrial-corporate complex), obesity, and global warming persist, although, of course, not all of our so-called “problems” actually are problems; what we so thoughtlessly label (like lemmings) as “progress,” such as indefinite economic expansion — such as the construction of even more strip malls and fast-food chain restaurants and chain stores — often if not usually only contributes to the further degradation of the planet and to the further threats to the future welfare of Homo sapiens and to countless other species and to perhaps even all life on planet Earth. (Indeed, our idea of “economic expansion,” which widely is considered to be “good,” is predicated upon the ideas that the planet has magically infinite resources and that ever-increasing population growth, which slowly is killing us all, is good.)

But those (like AP editor Liz Sidoti) who claim that we’re ignoring the Big Issues and focusing too much on Marco Rubio’s lying-induced-dehydration-related fucktardation on live national television aren’t seriously looking at the content of Marco Rubio’s speech either.

Rubio’s speech — the Repugnican Party’s response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday — was just more trickle-down bullshit (what’s trickling down on us is the plutocrats’ urine), just more right-wing platitudes, just more feel-good, propagandistic, “Go U-S-A! We’re No. 1!”  pap that is right out of the 1950s or before.

If you don’t believe me, read Rubio’s speech yourself, but know that in his speech the man-serpent Rubio lied through his venom-dripping fangs right out of the fucking gate. Here is the beginning of his speech:

Good evening. I’m Marco Rubio. I’m blessed to represent Florida in the United States Senate. Let me begin by congratulating President Obama on the start of his second term. [Right…] Tonight, I have the honor of responding to his State of the Union address on behalf of my fellow Republicans. And I am especially honored to be addressing our brave men and women serving in the armed forces and in diplomatic posts around the world. You may be thousands of miles away, but you are always in our prayers. [Fuck our teachers, nurses and others who work hard every day — it’s only if you’re in the military that your job counts, you see.]

The State of the Union address is always a reminder of how unique America is. For much of human history, most people were trapped in stagnant societies, where a tiny minority always stayed on top, and no one else even had a chance. [Because it’s certainly not that way in the United States today, with a tiny plutocratic minority on top of the socioeconomically struggling masses, is it?]

But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them. [Not content with just delivering the “American exceptionalism” propagandistic bullshit, the dim bulb Rubio even felt the need to actually use the adjective “exceptional.”]

Like most Americans, for me this ideal is personal. My parents immigrated here in pursuit of the opportunity to improve their life and give their children the chance at an even better one. They made it to the middle class, my dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid. I didn’t inherit any money from them. But I inherited something far better – the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams. [Gotta love this pro-immigrant rhetoric from the same party that for years now has been attacking brown-skinned immigrants from south of the border, immigrants who have just wanted a better life.]

This opportunity – to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life – it isn’t bestowed on us from Washington. It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs….*

This is the tired old “pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps” rhetoric that the right wing just won’t stop spewing. Mom-and-pop businesses for the most part are a thing of the past, having been replaced by the Walmarts with which they just cannot compete long, long ago, yet the Repugnican Tea Party traitors bloviate as though we still live in the days of Mayberry, when, if you wanted to start your own small business and thrive, you could.

In stark contrast to the pretty, red-white-and-blue, Thomas-Kinkade-and-Paul-Harvey-like portrait that right-wing punk Marco Rubio paints of the “exceptional” United States of America, Nobel-Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz just this past weekend posted an opinion piece in the New York Times titled “Equal Opportunity, Our National Myth.”

Whether Stiglitz wrote his piece at least partially in response to the thirsty Rubio’s pack of lies I’m not sure, but in his piece Stiglitz wrote (bold-faced items are my own emphasis, and the links are Stiglitz’s):

Today, the United States has less equality of opportunity than almost any other advanced industrial country. Study after study has exposed the myth that America is a land of opportunity. This is especially tragic: While Americans may differ on the desirability of equality of outcomes, there is near-universal consensus that inequality of opportunity is indefensible. The Pew Research Center has found that some 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity. [Rubio and his anti-government ilk actually claim that we should leave it up to the plutocrats to ensure equality of opportunity, because isn’t that what the plutocrats are all about — socioeconomic equality? (It’s always a great idea to put the foxes in charge of the chickens, isn’t it?)]

Perhaps a hundred years ago, America might have rightly claimed to have been the land of opportunity, or at least a land where there was more opportunity than elsewhere. But not for at least a quarter of a century [has that been the case]. Horatio Alger-style rags-to-riches stories were not a deliberate hoax, but given how they’ve lulled us into a sense of complacency, they might as well have been.

It’s not that social mobility is impossible, but that the upwardly mobile American is becoming a statistical oddity. According to research from the Brookings Institution, only 58 percent of Americans born into the bottom fifth of income earners move out of that category, and just 6 percent born into the bottom fifth move into the top. Economic mobility in the United States is lower than in most of Europe and lower than in all of Scandinavia.

Stiglitz also notes that “the life prospects of an American are more dependent on the income and education of his [or her] parents than in almost any other advanced country for which there is data.”

That blows Marco Rubio and his “exceptional,” red-white-and-blue bullshit right out of the fucking water of which he so badly wants a swig, doesn’t it? Where is the punk Marco Rubio’s Nobel Prize in economics?

And it’s not just that Rubio is a pandering fucking liar who long ago decided to parrot the right wing’s feel-good lies for his own personal and political gain.

It’s that these lies are harmful because they induce individuals to believe that if they just can’t make it in this vicious, dog-eat-dog, everyone-for-him-and-herself American economy, in which the insane income gap between the haves and the have-nots rivals the gap that we saw back in the 1920s, then there is something wrong with them.

In the right-wing worldview, it’s always the individual who is at fault — never the fucked-up system, which always gets off scot-free. The Thomas Kinkade landscape, even though it’s wholly made up and captures nothing of reality, is always just fine; it’s always the individual who is the failure.

So yes, there is plenty about the content of Marco Rubio’s speech to not only find fault with, but to find to be fairly terrifying, since the lying, pandering Rubio obviously is an ambitious asshole.

So let’s dispense with the myth that Marco Rubio’s wonderful speech was overlooked by the fact that he bizarrely acted as though he wasn’t on live national television, that he bizarrely acted as though if he just pretended that we couldn’t see him do something on live national TV, then we couldn’t. His apparent mindset of juvenile and magical thinking, in which he creates reality, could be a whole other blog post (and might be one day, but not today).

Marco Rubio, like the other dumb punks in the Repugnican Tea Party who have been hailed as the party’s “future,” such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Pretty Boy Paul Ryan (who, like Rubio, was parched during his vice presidential debate with Joe Biden, who kicked his punk ass), is only finding out that his flimsy facade won’t withstand the scrutiny of the national spotlight. That’s his fault, not ours.

And I agree wholeheartedly: It’s not about the little water bottle that Marco Rubio grabbed during a live national television address.

It’s about the fact that no one who asserts that we still live in a time that, if it ever existed at all, ceased to exist decades ago, is fit to lead.

You can lead only if you are planted firmly in the present and in the problems of the presentnot if you’re still stuck in an episode of “Leave It to Beaver” or “The Andy Griffith Show.”

*Again, Rubio’s full speech is here. I find most of it not worth regurging here, as most of it is the same, tired old anti-government, pro-fox-and-anti-chicken and anti-fair-taxation (let’s let the rich and their corporations off from paying a fair share of taxes, since then they’ll just give their tax savings to the rest of us, right?) rhetoric that the right wing has been spewing out for some decades now.

But I do find Rubio’s “solution” to the problem of massive student loan debt interesting. In his little speech he said:

“When I finished school, I owed over $100,000 in student loans, a debt I paid off just a few months ago. Today, many graduates face massive student debt. We must give students more information on the costs and benefits of the student loans they’re taking out.”

That’s it. That’s his “solution.”

Wow.

Rubio won’t say that treating our college students like cash cows to be milked for decades after they graduate with their often-worthless-in-this-economy degrees is wrong.

He certainly won’t advocate that we, say, divert some of the billions and billions of dollars from the bloated-beyond-belief U.S. military budget — which is just a way for greedy fucking traitors to loot the U.S. treasury under such guises as “national defense” and “national security” — and use it to at least help our college students (say, perhaps, those who earned the better grades in high school) to pay for college.

No — Rubio’s “solution” is to “give students more information on the costs and benefits of the student loans they’re taking out.” Not to save them from the student-loan sharks, you see, but to just tell them about them.

Meanwhile, under Rubio’s “vision,” the student-loan sharks remain free to savage our students, and the student-loan sharks remain the only source of funding that is available to many if not most of those who want to go to college.

This is leadership?

This is what Joseph Stiglitz, on the other hand, has to say about education and student-loan debt in the U.S. in his New York Times piece:

…Probably the most important reason for lack of equality of opportunity is education: both its quantity and quality. After World War II, Europe made a major effort to democratize its education systems. We did, too, with the G.I. Bill, which extended higher education to Americans across the economic spectrum.

But then we changed, in several ways. While racial segregation decreased, economic segregation increased. After 1980, the poor grew poorer, the middle stagnated, and the top did better and better. [Indeed, the current yawning gap between the rich and the rest of us started under Ronald Reagan, due to his pro-rich, right-wing policies.] Disparities widened between those living in poor localities and those living in rich suburbs — or rich enough to send their kids to private schools. A result was a widening gap in educational performance — the achievement gap between rich and poor kids born in 2001 was 30 to 40 percent larger than it was for those born 25 years earlier, the Stanford sociologist Sean F. Reardon found. …

Unless current trends in education are reversed, the situation is likely to get even worse. In some cases it seems as if policy has actually been designed to reduce opportunity: government support for many state schools has been steadily gutted over the last few decades — and especially in the last few years. Meanwhile, students are crushed by giant student loan debts that are almost impossible to discharge, even in bankruptcy. This is happening at the same time that a college education is more important than ever for getting a good job.

Young people from families of modest means face a Catch-22: without a college education, they are condemned to a life of poor prospects; with a college education, they may be condemned to a lifetime of living at the brink. And increasingly even a college degree isn’t enough; one needs either a graduate degree or a series of (often unpaid) internships.

Those at the top have the connections and social capital to get those opportunities. Those in the middle and bottom don’t. The point is that no one makes it on his or her own. And those at the top get more help from their families than do those lower down on the ladder. Government should help to level the playing field.

Americans are coming to realize that their cherished narrative of social and economic mobility is a myth. Grand deceptions of this magnitude are hard to maintain for long — and the country has already been through a couple of decades of self-deception.

Without substantial policy changes, our self-image, and the image we project to the world, will diminish — and so will our economic standing and stability. Inequality of outcomes and inequality of opportunity reinforce each other — and contribute to economic weakness, as Alan B. Krueger, a Princeton economist and the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, has emphasized. We have an economic, and not only moral, interest in saving the American dream. …

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You have to be brain-damaged to celebrate what they’ve just done to you

In this image from House Television, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., center, appears on the floor of the House of Representatives Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, in Washington. Giffords was on the floor for the first time since her shooting earlier this year, attending a vote on the debt standoff compromise. (AP Photo/House Television)

Associated Press image

Your future is being dismantled, chunk by chunk, by the partisan duopoly in D.C. — but hey, look! There’s Gabrielle Giffords!

No offense, but what does it say that a literally brain-damaged congressperson voted “yes” on your legislation?

But seriously, apparently the “feel-good” “news” story of the day is that Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was capped in the head by yet another white male psychopath/sociopath in Tucson in January, returned to the U.S. House of Representatives just in time in order to give her thumbs-up to the Capitulator in Chief’s latest selling out of yet another huge chunk of the store to the plutocratic and pro-plutocratic right wing.

Reports The Associated Press tonight:

Washington, D.C. — Crisis legislation to yank the nation past the threat of a historic financial default sped through the [U.S.] House [of Representatives tonight], breaking weeks of deadlock. The rare moment of cooperation turned celebratory when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords strode in for the first time since she was shot in the head nearly seven months ago.

The vote was 269-161, a scant day ahead of the deadline for action. But all eyes were on Giffords, who drew thunderous applause as she walked into the House chamber unannounced and cast her vote in favor of the bill.

A final Senate sign-off for the measure is virtually assured on Tuesday. Aside from raising the debt limit, the bill would slice federal spending by at least $2.1 trillion, and perhaps much more.

“If the bill were presented to the president, he would sign it,” the White House said, an understatement of enormous proportions.

After months of fierce struggle, the House’s top Republican and Democratic leaders swung behind the bill, ratifying a deal sealed Sunday night with a phone call from House Speaker John Boehner to President Barack Obama.

Many Republicans contended the bill still would cut too little from federal spending; many Democrats said much too much. Still, Republican lawmakers supported the compromise, 174-66, while Democrats split, 95-95.

“The legislation will solve this debt crisis and help get the American people back to work,” Boehner said at a news conference a few hours before the vote.

The Democratic leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, was far less effusive. “I’m not happy with it, but I’m proud of some of the accomplishments in it. That’s why I’m voting for it.”

So, too, many of the first-term Republicans whose election in 2010 handed the GOP control of the House and set the federal government on a new, more conservative course.

“It’s about time that Congress come together and figure out a way to live within our means,” said one of them, Sean Duffy of Wisconsin. “This bill is going to start that process although it doesn’t go far enough.”

The measure would cut federal spending by at least $2.1 trillion over a decade — and possibly considerably moreand would not require tax increases. [Emphasis mine.] The U.S. debt limit would rise by at least $2.1 trillion, tiding the Treasury over through the 2012 elections. …

I’m happy that Giffords is doing better these days, but does that fucking erase the fact that, chunk by chunk, my future as a forty-something, as a member of the crew that has to follow with shovels the elephants in the parade that are the fucking baby boomers, is being destroyed by the overwhelmingly self-serving, legacy-ignoring baby-boomer “leaders” in Washington? And that Capitulator in Chief Barack Obama is happily helping them in the name of “bipartisanship”?

Oh, we’re seeing a lot of “change,” all right — the decimation of Social Security and Medicare, which I’ve been paying into since I was a teenager, and other public benefits sure the fuck is a change, just not the change that I’d hoped for, and certainly not the change that President Hopey-Changey Obama had promised us.

But I suppose that I’m a heartless ogre if I am not mindlessly distracted by the “feel-good” fact that Gabrielle Giffords was there to vote “yes” on the further destruction of my nation, to endorse the further widening of the gulf between the rich and the poor in the rapidly crumbling United States of America.

I haven’t blogged on the “debt ceiling crisis” until now for many reasons:

One, I’ve come to expect Barack Obama to sell us out. He consistently and predictably sells us out. He is committed to selling us out. (He always has wanted to be the next Ronald Reagan, remember. He is succeeding spectacularly.)

Two, I’ve always figured that “at the last minute” they (the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party — and if you can’t tell the difference between the two, well, don’t feel badly, because most of the rest of us can’t, either) would announce some “breakthrough” “deal,” thus “miraculously” averting “economic Armageddon!”

Three, I’ve always figured that this has been bullshit all along, that this always has been just an elephant-and-donkey show, that the Democrats and the Repugnicans are in bed together and that a “last-minute deal” always was in the script, that the fear-mongering was meant to create the illusion among the masses that there’s actually some struggle for the soul of the nation going on in D.C. — and not, say, the collusion of, for and by two duopolistic parties that don’t give a flying fuck about you or me that’s actually going on.*

Fuck, they even threw The Return of Gabrielle Giffords into the script.

If I wasn’t a conspiracy theorist before (and I wasn’t), I think that I am now.

*No, this statement is not an endorsement of “Americans Elect.” “Americans Elect” is evil. The Wall Street weasels who have caused our economic collapse are not the ones to turn to for solutions.

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Mitt Romney: The next Bob Dole

In honor of Mitt Romney officially announcing his 2012 presidential bid today, I am reposting the following piece, which I originally posted on March 6.

I have little to add — and the poll numbers remain pretty much the same — except that it’s clear that Romney, especially in comparison to such whackjobs as Michele Bachmann, is going to emerge as the most electable (that is, the most inoffensive) candidate to the old school Repugnican Party establishment, which pretty much means that the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party nomination is all his.

Romney will bore the voters to death (like wooden Repugnican presidential candidate Bob Dole did in 1996), and Barack Obama will win re-election. You have to be pretty fucking boring to make Barack Obama seem exciting again.

(I would love for Obama to have a strong primary challenge — and by “strong” I don’t mean just giving him a little scare, but making his loss of the nomination a very real possibility — but the old school Democratic Party establishment will turn anyone who dares to oppose Obama [who more and more resembles the wizard of Oz, all talk and no substance, and never mind what’s behind that curtain over there!] into a political pariah, so I don’t expect a strong primary challenge to Obama. I expect nothing of the Democratic Party these days except continual cave-ins to the Repugnican Tea Party in the name of “compromise” and “bipartisanship.”)  

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

Associated Press photos

Above: Repugnican Mitt Romney pontificates at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., [in February]. Below: Failed 1996 Repugnican presidential candidate Bob Dole appears at a rally for Repugnican Tea Party nutjob Sarah Palin in Raleigh, N.C., in November 2008.

Bob Dole - Sarah Palin Campaigns In Raleigh Three Days Before Election

Getty Images

Repugnican Mitt Romney will be the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate. And he will lose to Barack Obama in November 2012.

Romney consistently appears in the top three favorites of Repugnican Tea Party members for the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination in recent nationwide polls. He usually ranks under Mike Huckabee but above Sarah Palin.

A Feb. 24-Feb. 28 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, for instance, put Huckabee at 25 percent, Romney at 21 percent, has-been Newt Gingrich at 13 percent, and Palin at a measly 12 percent.

A Feb. 19-Feb. 20 Gallup poll put Huckabee at 18 percent, Romney at 16 percent, Palin also at 16 percent, and Gingrich at 9 percent.

Finally, a Feb. 12-Feb. 15 Newsweek/Daily Beast poll put Romney at 19 percent, Huckabee at 18 percent, and Palin at 10 percent.

It’s a safe bet, I think, to write off Palin and Gingrich (and anyone else) and to narrow it down to Romney and Huckabee.

Huckabee is doing only slightly better than is Romney in most polls, and the closer that we get to November 2012, the more the crotchety Huckabee will remind Repugnican Tea Party voters of 2008 presidential loser John McCainosaurus, I believe. Their angry, bitter, old white guy lost in November 2008 to the much younger (gasp!) black guy by 7 percent of the popular vote, and they don’t want a repeat of that, I’m sure.*

Huckabee’s latest trips are asserting falsely that Barack Obama grew up in his father’s homeland of Kenya (Obama actually grew up in Hawaii and in Indonesia [mostly in Hawaii] – doesn’t Huckabee pay attention to the birthers?) and that recent best-actress winner Natalie Portman is awful for being an unwed pregnant woman, quite reminiscent of Repugnican retard (that’s redundant…) Dan Quayle’s remark way back in 1992 that the fictitious television character of Murphy Brown, who on the TV show had had a child out of wedlock, was a horrible example for others.

Huckabee, a former Southern Baptist minister, is living in the distant past. The majority of Americans no longer give a shit whether a woman chooses to have a baby inside or outside of marriage. The majority of Americans correctly believe it to be the woman’s business and no one fucking else’s. (And they know that Barack Obama was not raised in Kenya.)

Romney, on the other hand, is expected to avoid social/culture-war issues in his quest for the White House and to emphasize the nation’s economic woes. After all, for him to emphasize social/culture-war issues would only emphasize the fact that he is a Mormon, which is troublesome not only for anti-theocratic progressives like me (I’m a gay progressive, so there’s no way in hell that I’d ever vote for an active Mormon), but for Huckabee’s base of non-Mormon “Christo”fascists, the majority of whom believe that Mormonism isn’t Christian.

Already Romney has coined his “Obama Misery Index,” which is predicated on convincing the majority of the American voters that we went right from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama – that the eight, long, nightmarish years of rule by the unelected BushCheneyCorp regime never fucking happened. (George W. Bush inherited a federal budget surplus from Bill Clinton but ended his two unelected terms with a record federal budget deficit.)

Romney also is parroting Repugnican icon Ronald Reagan’s “trickle-down” economics (even more tax breaks for the corporations will result in more jobs for Americans, Romney is lying), which never worked and which never will.

While Romney is launching a campaign of blatant fucking lies that the national economy was just fine until Barack Obama came along and that Romney has the solutions for our nation’s economic ills, Romney at least is focusing on what the majority of the 2012 voters care about: their pocketbooks (and not, say, Natalie Portman’s Murphy-Brown-like pregnancy).

And let’s face it: Romney is a lot more telegenic than is the wall-eyed Huckabee, too. In presidential (hell, in almost all) politics today, how you look matters. It should not, but it does.

Further, Romney inexplicably became governor of the blue state of Massachusetts (for one four-year term from 2003 to 2007), so he presumedly has more experience appealing to “swing voters” than does Huckabee, who was governor of the red state of Arkansas for more than two four-year terms (as the state’s lieutenant governor he had assumed a portion of the previous governor’s term in 1996 and then was elected as the state’s governor in 1998 and re-elected in 2002).

Huckabee, unlike Romney, never has had to play to an audience of voters who actually have two brain cells to rub together, and what plays well in Arkansas (cue the banjo) doesn’t play well nationwide, which Huckabee is going to discover.

There are other factors in Romney’s presidential loss in 2012 as well, such as the fact that it’s unlikely for an incumbent president running for re-election to lose his bid. Jimmy Carter’s loss in his re-election bid to Ronald Reagan in 1980, and George H.W. Bush’s loss in his 1992 re-election bid to Bill Clinton were some exceptions, not the rule. Even George W. Bush eked out a second term in 2004, with 50.7 percent of the popular vote. (Had Hurricane Katrina happened before the 2004 election, instead of the following year, I have no doubt that Gee Dubya would have been only a one-term president.)

Losing a presidential election much more often than not is the end of a politician’s presidential aspirations. Richard Nixon lost in 1960 to John F. Kennedy but then won the White House in 1968, but in my lifetime (I was born in 1968), this was the rare exception, not the rule. Since 1964, presidential election losers Barry Goldwater, Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry and John McCainosaurus did not, have not or (probably) never will run for president again.

So you would think that members of the Repugnican (Tea) Party would prefer to sit 2012 out, given the uphill battle, but Romney and Huckabee have been out of elected office for a while now, and they probably don’t want to risk becoming more obscure over the course of another four more years, only to possibly be replaced in popularity in 2016 by an upstart (say, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Ohio Gov. John Kasich or Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels or maybe even Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal – and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is termed out in 2012).

And, I suppose, the lure of the White House is just too appealing to too many egomaniacs, even if it’s a quixotic quest — even if, as in Mitt Romney’s case, rather than being the next Ronald Reagan (a title already claimed by Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker), he’s much more likely to end up like the stiff and yawn-inducing Bob Dole did in 1996, losing to Bill Clinton by 8.5 percent of the popular vote.**

*While Romney is a deceptively youthful-looking [64 years old] and Huckabee actually is younger than Romney, at 55 years old, to me and to most other people, I surmise, Romney appears to be the younger of the two.

**Although, to be fair and balanced, I think it’s possible that Romney will lose to Obama in 2012 by a smaller margin than McCainosaurus did in 2008.

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To hell in a handbasket — on crack



This the is “vision” that the Repugnican Tea Party has for the United States of America.

The members of the Repugnican Tea Party in the U.S. House of Representatives promised to make jobs and the economy their No. 1 issue. But let’s tick off what they’ve actually “accomplished” thus far:

  • They read the U.S. Constitution to us aloud — minus those unpleasant portions about slavery, of course.
  • They have attacked Planned Parenthood and women’s rights.
  • They have attacked the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • They are engaged in a nationwide union-busting campaign that benefits only their corporate and plutocratic benefactors pimps.
  • They have attacked our public servants, even our public-school teachers.
  • They have attacked National Public Radio, and got the scalp of NPR’s president and CEO.
  • Tomorrow they are to began McCarthyesque hearings on what a danger to the nation Muslim Americans are.

In short, the Repugnicans in the House have done nothing substantial toward bringing about national economic recovery.

They know that this is what they should be addressing, however, because they frequently are using the economy as their bullshit excuse to fulfill their Wingnut Wish List.

We can’t afford NPR, they claim, when in fact, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (NPR’s parent) — and Planned Parenthood — get a fucking pittance from the federal government compared to the bloated military-industrial complex, which is draining our nation of its lifeblood, a huge threat to the continued existence of our nation. (Many other empires collapsed due to military overextension and concomitant domestic rot.) Our public servants, too, get a negligible portion of the federal budget, and they’re worth every penny of their underpaid salaries.

The treasonous Repugnican Tea Party House members’ intent in these aforementioned instances isn’t to save us money — it’s to censor/silence NPR (and the Public Broadcasting System), to deny women their right to self-determination of their own fucking uteri, and to destroy every last governmental hurdle to complete corporate control of the nation.

It’s about the wingnuts in the U.S. House of Representatives throwing huge chunks of red meat to their base of plutocrats and “Christo”fascists. (The upcoming House hearings on “the Muslim problem” — remember Adolf Hitler’s “Jewish problem”? — especially are an early Christmas gift to the “Christo”fascists.)

If the Repugnican Tea Party members of the House were serious about tackling the nation’s federal budget deficit that “President” George W. Bush created by giving tax breaks to the rich and the super-rich while wasting hundreds of billions of our tax dollars in bogus warfare, they would make the rich and the super-rich pay their fair share of taxes and they would seriously, meaningfully cut the bloated budget of the military-industrial complex.

Instead, the Repugnican Tea Party is on a campaign to make the United States of America more and more like a third-world nation:

  • Get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency — so that climate change accelerates, making the entire planet resemble the planet in the movies “The Road” or “WALL-E” or “Idiocracy.”
  • Get rid of Planned Parenthood and outlaw abortion — so that we have many more mouths that we can’t feed and many more consumers of the planet’s limited resources, accelerating climate change and other environmental catastrophes.
  • Privatize all of the public schools so that only the children of the rich and super-rich can get a decent education, and institute only right-wing and pro-corporate curricula in what remains of the crumbling, old public school system.
  • Destroy all of the labor unions so that the corporations have no barriers in their mistreatment and exploitation of their wage slaves.
  • Get rid of NPR and PBS — so that the only source Americans have of “news” and “information” is Faux “News” and the other right-wing, pro-corporate media.
  • Continue to ignore homelessness and continue to build gated communities, in which the rich and the super-rich live, protected by their private security thugs, while everyone else lives in crime-infested squalor.
  • Attack Muslims, literally and figuratively — so that we have perpetual enemies/“enemies” and thus perpetual warfare, a la George Orwell’s 1984.

This is some serious shit. Life as we know it — indeed, the very ability of the planet to sustain human life itself — is at stake if we, the people, don’t fight back against the traitors who spend every waking hour calculating how they can destroy us for their own selfish benefit.

We, the people, cannot depend upon the members of what excellent writer Chris Hedges calls the “liberal class” in his book  Death of the Liberal Class.

Members of the so-called liberal class* include such hypocritical cowards as the supposedly pro-labor Barack Obama, who has remained mostly silent while tens of thousands of pro-labor Wisconsinites are in their third week of protests to keep the middle class and the working class in Wisconsin alive, and Vivian Schiller, the CEO and president of NPR who, instead of holding her ground against the right-wing assault on NPR, cut and run in order to appease the right-wing fascists who are out to destroy the nation.

We’re on our own.

No one is going to save us from the fascistic onslaught that we are witnessing now — except ourselves.

*I have a problem with the term “liberal class,” since these cowardly, self-serving hypocrites aren’t actually liberal. They pay lip service to liberal ideals, but their actions and their inaction only help the right wing. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

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Mitt Romney: The next Bob Dole

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

Associated Press photos

Above: Repugnican Mitt Romney pontificates at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., last month. Below: Failed 1996 Repugnican presidential candidate Bob Dole appears at a rally for Repugnican Tea Party nutjob Sarah Palin in Raleigh, N.C., in November 2008.

Bob Dole - Sarah Palin Campaigns In Raleigh Three Days Before Election

Getty Images

Repugnican Mitt Romney will be the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate. And he will lose to Barack Obama in November 2012.

Romney consistently appears in the top three favorites of Repugnican Tea Party members for the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination in recent nationwide polls. He usually ranks under Mike Huckabee but above Sarah Palin.

A Feb. 24-Feb. 28 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, for instance, put Huckabee at 25 percent, Romney at 21 percent, has-been Newt Gingrich at 13 percent, and Palin at a measly 12 percent.

A Feb. 19-Feb. 20 Gallup poll put Huckabee at 18 percent, Romney at 16 percent, Palin also at 16 percent, and Gingrich at 9 percent.

Finally, a Feb. 12-Feb. 15 Newsweek/Daily Beast poll put Romney at 19 percent, Huckabee at 18 percent, and Palin at 10 percent.

It’s a safe bet, I think, to write off Palin and Gingrich (and anyone else) and to narrow it down to Romney and Huckabee.

Huckabee is doing only slightly better than is Romney in most polls, and the closer that we get to November 2012, the more the crotchety Huckabee will remind Repugnican Tea Party voters of 2008 presidential loser John McCainosaurus, I believe. Their angry, bitter, old white guy lost in November 2008 to the much younger (gasp!) black guy by 7 percent of the popular vote, and they don’t want a repeat of that, I’m sure.*

Huckabee’s latest trips are asserting falsely that Barack Obama grew up in his father’s homeland of Kenya (Obama actually grew up in Hawaii and in Indonesia [mostly in Hawaii] — doesn’t Huckabee pay attention to the birthers?) and that recent best-actress winner Natalie Portman is awful for being an unwed pregnant woman, quite reminiscent of Repugnican retard (that’s redundant…) Dan Quayle’s remark way back in 1992 that the fictitious television character of Murphy Brown, who on the TV show had had a child out of wedlock, was a horrible example for others.

Huckabee, a former Southern Baptist minister, is living in the distant past. The majority of Americans no longer give a shit whether a woman chooses to have a baby inside or outside of marriage. The majority of Americans correctly believe it to be the woman’s business and no one fucking else’s. (And they know that Barack Obama was not raised in Kenya.)

Romney, on the other hand, is expected to avoid social/culture-war issues in his quest for the White House and to emphasize the nation’s economic woes. After all, for him to emphasize social/culture-war issues would only emphasize the fact that he is a Mormon, which is troublesome not only for anti-theocratic progressives like me (I’m a gay progressive, so there’s no way in hell that I’d ever vote for an active Mormon), but for Huckabee’s base of non-Mormon “Christo”fascists, the majority of whom believe that Mormonism isn’t Christian.

Already Romney has coined his “Obama Misery Index,” which is predicated on convincing the majority of the American voters that we went right from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama — that the eight, long, nightmarish years of rule by the unelected BushCheneyCorp regime never fucking happened. (George W. Bush inherited a federal budget surplus from Bill Clinton but ended his two unelected terms with a record federal budget deficit.)

Romney also is parroting Repugnican icon Ronald Reagan’s “trickle-down” economics (even more tax breaks for the corporations will result in more jobs for Americans, Romney is lying), which never worked and which never will.

While Romney is launching a campaign of blatant fucking lies that the national economy was just fine until Barack Obama came along and that Romney has the solutions for our nation’s economic ills, Romney at least is focusing on what the majority of the 2012 voters care about: their pocketbooks (and not, say, Natalie Portman’s Murphy-Brown-like pregnancy).

And let’s face it: Romney is a lot more telegenic than is the wall-eyed Huckabee, too. In presidential (hell, in almost all) politics today, how you look matters. It should not, but it does.

Further, Romney inexplicably became governor of the blue state of Massachusetts (for one four-year term from 2003 to 2007), so he presumedly has more experience appealing to “swing voters” than does Huckabee, who was governor of the red state of Arkansas for more than two four-year terms (as the state’s lieutenant governor he had assumed a portion of the previous governor’s term in 1996 and then was elected as the state’s governor in 1998 and re-elected in 2002).  

Huckabee, unlike Romney, never has had to play to an audience of voters who actually have two brain cells to rub together, and what plays well in Arkansas (cue the banjo) doesn’t play well nationwide, which Huckabee is going to discover.

There are other factors in Romney’s presidential loss in 2012 as well, such as the fact that it’s unlikely for an incumbent president running for re-election to lose his bid. Jimmy Carter’s loss in his re-election bid to Ronald Reagan in 1980, and George H.W. Bush’s loss in his 1992 re-election bid to Bill Clinton were some exceptions, not the rule. Even George W. Bush eked out a second term in 2004, with 50.7 percent of the popular vote. (Had Hurricane Katrina happened before the 2004 election, instead of the following year, I have no doubt that Gee Dubya would have been only a one-term president.)

Losing a presidential election much more often than not is the end of a politician’s presidential aspirations. Richard Nixon lost in 1960 to John F. Kennedy but then won the White House in 1968, but in my lifetime (I was born in 1968), this was the rare exception, not the rule. Since 1964, presidential election losers Barry Goldwater, Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry and John McCainosaurus did not, have not or (probably) never will run for president again.

So you would think that members of the Repugnican (Tea) Party would prefer to sit 2012 out, given the uphill battle, but Romney and Huckabee have been out of elected office for a while now, and they probably don’t want to risk becoming more obscure over the course of another four more years, only to possibly be replaced in popularity in 2016 by an upstart (say, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Ohio Gov. John Kasich or Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels or maybe even Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal** — and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is termed out in 2012). 

And, I suppose, the lure of the White House is just too appealing to too many egomaniacs, even if it’s a quixotic quest — even if, as in Mitt Romney’s case, rather than being the next Ronald Reagan (a title already claimed by Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker), he’s much more likely to end up like the stiff and yawn-inducing Bob Dole did in 1996, losing to Bill Clinton by 8.5 percent of the popular vote.***

*While Romney is a deceptively youthful-looking 63 years old (and turns 64 in less than a week) and Huckabee actually is younger than Romney, at 55 years old, to me and to most other people, I surmise, Romney appears to be the younger of the two.

**While the Egypt-like battle in his state is ongoing, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s political future is, I believe, toast.

***Although, to be fair and balanced, I think it’s possible that Romney will lose to Obama in 2012 by a smaller margin than McCainosaurus did in 2008.

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