Tag Archives: Ron Paul

Billary is inevitable? So was Dean! (And Bernie Sanders is NOT Ron Paul)

Associated Press photo

Howard Dean has an emotional moment, including the “Dean scream,” in Iowa in January 2004, after he devastatingly came in at third place in the Iowa caucuses (behind John Kerry and John Edwards), the first contest of the presidential primary season. Howard Dean widely was considered the inevitable victor of the contest for the 2004 Democratic Party presidential nomination, but once individuals actually started participating in the caucuses and primary elections, it was clear that they had dated Dean but decided to marry Kerry. Billary Clinton, like Howard Dean did, came in at third place in the Iowa caucuses in 2008 (behind Barack Obama and John Edwards). And like Dean in 2004, Billary in 2008 never recovered from her stumble in Iowa. Billary is a stunningly weak candidate, yet the lemmings have lined up behind her, just as they did for Howard Dean.

I certainly hope that Slate.com writer Jamelle Bouie was not “inspired” by “Democratic” U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri when he recently sloppily compared presidential aspirant U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont to former Repugnican/Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Democrat in name only McCaskill, who is on Team Billary, recently bloviated that Sanders “is too liberal to gather enough votes in this country to become president” and dismissed the large crowds that Sanders attracts at his campaign events by stating that Ron Paul “got the same-size crowds. [Former Repugnican Party presidential aspirant] Pat Buchanan got massive crowds. It’s not unusual for someone who has an extreme message to have a following.”

As many have noted (such as this writer for Salon.com), a majority of Americans actually quite agree with Sanders’ so-called “extreme” message. Democracy sure sucks when it doesn’t go your way, when your center-right claptrap (like McCaskill’s) actually isn’t in line with the majority.

And leave it to a member of the pro-dynastic, anti-populist, Democratic-in-name-only Team Billary to try to make your popularity with the people into a bad thing.

I get it that McCaskill lives in what I’d certainly classify as a red state: Mittens Romney won Missouri in 2012. (The last “Democratic” presidential candidate who won Missouri was Bill Clinton in 1996.) Missouri has a Democratic governor and one “Democratic” U.S. senator (McClaskill), but both houses of its state legislature overwhelmingly are Repugnican, and its delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives is six Repugnicans to two Democrats.

So to survive politically in a state as red as is Missouri, McClaskill has to pander to the right and the center-right. I get that.

But is the entire Democratic Party to shift even further right so as to further please DINOs like McClaskill in the red states, as former “Democratic” Louisiana U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (good riddance!) expected it to?

What about those of us in California, for instance? We’re the most populous state in the nation. Our governor and both houses of our state legislature are in Democratic control, both of our U.S. senators are Democrats (well, plutocrat Dianne Feinstein is a DINO), the majority of our U.S. representatives are Democrats, and a Repugnican presidential candidate hasn’t won California since 1988.

But we’re to stifle our values and ourselves for the likes of Landrieu and McCaskill? I have a much better solution: red-state DINOs (like McClaskill) just call themselves Repugnicans already and be done with it. They need to join the party with which their political philosophy and worldview is most aligned instead of trying to get the rest of us actual Democrats/progressives to convert to their version of what the Democratic Party “should” be.

Their tent is just way too damned fucking big. When you stand for everything, you ultimately stand for nothing.

Even Slate.com’s Jamelle Bouie, most of whose writing I find insightful and wise, even though he acknowledges that “At 10,000 people, [Sanders’] crowd [in Madison, Wisconsin, last week] was the largest* of any candidate in the presidential race so far,” joins the conventional-“wisdom” herd and proclaims that “visibility isn’t viability, and there’s almost no chance Sanders will become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, even if he sustains his momentum into next year.”

Bouie adds: “Sanders is a fascinating candidate with a vital, underrepresented message in American politics. But the same qualities that make him unique — relative independence from the Democratic Party, a foundational critique of American politics — make him unsuited for a major party nomination, much less the Democratic one.”

Bouie concludes his unfortunate screed on Sanders:

Sanders won’t be the Democratic nominee. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be important. Here, it’s useful to think of Ron Paul, the former Republican representative who ran for the GOP nomination in 2008 and 2012. Paul drew large crowds and raised huge sums for his campaign but couldn’t translate that success into votes. Nonetheless, his splash mattered. He helped bridge the divide between libertarians and the Republican right, and he inspired a new group of conservative and libertarian activists who have made a mark in the GOP through Paul’s son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

If Sanders can sustain and capture the left-wing enthusiasm for his campaign, he could do the same for progressives. He could bring their issues onto a presidential debate stage and into the Democratic mainstream, and bring them into the process itself. No, Democrats won’t change overnight, but with time and effort, the Sanders revolution could bear real fruit.

Hey, I have an extremely radical idea, perhaps even more extreme and radical than any idea that even Bernie Sanders has put forth: How about we, the people, actually get to vote in the primaries and participate in the caucuses in order to determine who ultimately emerges as the 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate?

How about we allow Bernie Sanders to run his campaign for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominationthe first caucus and the first primary election aren’t until February, seven months from now – instead of declaring Billary Clinton the winner now and giving Sanders the lovely parting gift (like Rice-A-Roni) of the warmth of knowing that his candidacy helped to melt the cold, right-wing hearts of those who call themselves Democrats but who actually are a bunch of Repugnican Lites?

Crazy, huh?

But seriously: How about we, the people, and not DINOs like Claire McClaskill and not media pundits who are steeped in the conventional “wisdom” of wolf-pack “journalism,” decide, through actually participating in the actual democratic process, whether or not we deem Bernie Sanders to be an acceptable presidential candidate to put forth in November 2016?

Jamelle Bouie educates us silly Sanders supporters:

Despite the polls and the voting, presidential primaries aren’t popularity contests. Instead, they’re closer to negotiations, where interests and individuals work to choose a leader and representative for the entire group. That person has to appeal to everyone, from ideological factions and political power centers to wealthy donors and ordinary voters and activists. The candidate also has to show that he or she can do the work of a national campaign, from winning debates to raising money.

Oh, I agree, for the most part, probably. But then Bouie continues: “Clinton has done this. She came close to winning the 2008 nomination and spent the next seven years — right up to the present — building her stature in Democratic politics. …”

Yeah, 2008 was close but no cigar, and Bouie apparently essentially advocates that because Billary has been working at this since 2008, we should acknowledge that and coronate her as the 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate already; Bouie’s conventional “wisdom” apparently can be reduced to telling us Sanders supporters: “Surrender, Dorothy!”

But I recall clearly that this was what the “Deaniacs” essentially were saying to the rest of us Democrats and progressives in 2004: That former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean was So Self-Evidently Inevitable that everyone should just accept that fact and get on board with Team Dean already. (I still recall that one of my favorite fellow leftists, Ted Rall, at the time a Deaniac, even went so far as to write a blatantly anti-democratic column in which he suggested in all seriousness that the Democratic primaries and caucuses just be canceled in order to save money, since Dean’s victory was assured anyway.)

I supported John Kerry as the 2004 Democratic Party presidential candidate from the get-go (as I saw him as the candidate who best could unseat the incumbent “President” George W. Bush), but I was told then by the Deaniacs: “Surrender, Dorothy!”

Except that in early 2004, when the voters actually had their say at the primaries and caucuses – which is all that actually counts, in the end – Howard Dean imploded spectacularly, and John Kerry spectacularly rose from the dead and won the 2004 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Interestingly, campaign adviser Tad Devine, who was instrumental in Kerry’s spectacular rise from the dead like Lazarus on crack, right now is a senior adviser for Bernie Sanders.

So yeah, those who smugly write Bernie Sanders off (those would be Billary supporters, mostly), methinks, could be in for a big shock in early 2016, much as the smug Deaniacs were in early 2004 when underdog John Kerry, who had been left for dead, and not Howard Dean The Inevitable, won the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Not only does Bernie have John Kerry resurrector Tad Devine on his team, but what does it say of Billary that she lost to Barack Obama in 2008? She had been first lady for eight years in the 1990s and a (carpetbagging) U.S. senator for New York for eight years, yet upstart Obama, who had been in the U.S. Senate for only four years, not even a full term, beat Billary, which wasn’t “supposed” to happen.

Billary is significantly flawed – or she wouldn’t have lost to Obama, who came from nowhere in 2008 to snatch – democratically – the crown away from her.

And let’s face it: The uber-scandalous, slimy Billary is just one leaked e-mail or one leaked secretly-recorded video away from implosion.

Do we want Billary’s implosion to happen before the 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate is actually elected by the primary-election voters and the caucus-goers, or do we want to risk that Billary’s implosion happens after we stupidly just allow the high-risk Billary to have the party’s presidential nomination (you know, because she wants it so badly and because she has been “working” for it for so long now!) but before the November 2016 presidential election?

I, for one, not only cannot in good conscience support DINO Billary Clinton – whose vote for the Vietraq War in October 2002 when she was in the U.S. Senate (Bernie Sanders voted against it when he was in the U.S. House of Representatives) alone makes her unfit for the Oval Office** – but I wouldn’t take the risk of gambling everything away in November 2016 with her, with such a flawed, risky candidate.

I wisely resisted running with the Lemmings for Dean in 2004; I similarly am resisting running with the Lemmings for Billary in 2016.

For me, it’s Bernie or bust.***

*Bouie further notes:

Hillary Clinton drew 5,500 people to her [formal announcement] speech on Roosevelt Island in New York City, while Jeb Bush drew just 3,000 people to his announcement event at Miami Dade College in Florida. (Sen. Ted Cruz spoke to 11,000 students at Liberty University, but they had to be there — Cruz announced at the school’s convocation, which is mandatory for students living on campus.) Before Madison, Sanders spoke to a packed auditorium of 700 people in Iowa, and before that, he spoke to 5,000 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

**Gee, I wonder if Billary felt any pang of guilt or even remorse when, on this past Fourth of July during a parade in Podunk, New Hampshire (at which Queen Billary’s henchpeople employed ropes to keep the rabble safely at bay), she told a 40-year-old man whom the Vietraq War — the war for which as U.S. senator she voted — put into a wheelchair, “Thank you for your sacrifice.”

I mean, it’s not that common that the results of a soulless, self-serving politician’s wrongdoing so starkly stare him or her in the face.

***On that note, if we are going to compare Bernie to anyone on the right, in the end, when all is said and done, history just might record him to be much more like the late arch-conservative Barry Goldwater than like Ron Paul.

Not only is there the fact that in modern history members of the House of Representatives (like former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul) never go straight from the House to the White House, but must have been a U.S. senator or a governor first (Bernie meets that qualification but Ron Paul never did), but I can see Bernie winning the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination but unfortunately losing the 2016 presidential election, as Repugnican U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona lost the presidential election of 1964.

However, while Goldwater lost in 1964 (badly), he is widely credited with having fathered the “Reagan revolution” and the success of the right that we’ve seen for the past several decades. (The right’s success is evidenced not only by the worsening income inequality of the past several decades, but also by how far to the right it has spooked the Democratic Party into moving, especially under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.)

I could see Bernie Sanders doing for the left what Barry Goldwater did for the right. But the comparison of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders to the much more fringy former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul is lazy and sloppy at best.

So I agree with Bouie that “with time and effort, the Sanders revolution could bear real fruit,” but Bouie and I don’t get to that point of agreement by the same route.

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We still have no real national leader on stopping the use of killer drones

This video frame grab provided by Senate Television shows Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaking on the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Senate Democrats pushed Wednesday for speedy confirmation of John Brennan's nomination to be CIA director but ran into a snag after a Paul began a lengthy speech over the legality of potential drone strikes on U.S. soil. But Paul stalled the chamber to start what he called a filibuster of Brennan's nomination. Paul's remarks were centered on what he said was the Obama administration's refusal to rule out the possibility of drone strikes inside the United States against American citizens.  (AP Photo/Senate Television)

Associated Press image

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has aligned himself with the Repugnican Party, the “tea party” and the libertarians, filibustered on the topic of the use of killer drones from yesterday afternoon until early this morning. Unfortunately, Paul’s concerns about the use of killer drones apparently is limited only to their use on “non-combatant” American citizens on American soil, and it seems to me that the upstart Paul’s goal is to promote and position himself as a future president at least as much as it is to tackle the problem of killer drones.

It was a breath of fresh air to see Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Rand Paul filibuster on the topic of the use of killer drones, a topic that the spineless, useless Democrats in D.C. (who are only about protecting the brand name and who have no sense of right and wrong) have refused to touch, since Papa Obama wuvs his drones, and Papa Obama must not be crossed.

The first slaughter of a human being by a U.S. drone occurred in Afghanistan in November 2001, during the reign of the unelected Bush regime. Pretty much nothing but evil came from the unelected Bush regime, yet DINO President Barack Obama decided to continue with the use of drones as remote-controlled killing machines.*

Most of the the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in D.C. want to preserve the use of human-snuffing drones for use by future Repugnican Tea Party presidents, and while many if not most of the DINOs in D.C. probably have a problem with the use of drones to kill human beings, none of them has the balls to stand up to Obama in a public and meaningful way.

So it was great to see Rand Paul buck both party establishments and speak out against at least one of the obvious problems that the use of human-killing drones poses. (I might say that that problem is their “abuse,” but since I believe that they should not be used at all, I won’t say “abuse,” because that connotes that their use at all might be OK.)

Don’t get me wrong. I could never cast a vote for Rand Paul.

Among other things, he opposes a woman’s right to an abortion even in cases of rape and incest, but would leave it to each state to determine whether or not to allow legal abortion, Roe v. Wade be damned.

At least at one time he held the view that Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits private businesses from engaging in race-based discrimination, is unconsitutional, because a private business should be allowed to discriminate by race if it so wishes.

Although Rand Paul claims to be a strict constitutionalist, he doesn’t like the fact that the 14th Amendment makes anyone who is born on American a soil a U.S. citizen, regardless of the child’s parents’ citizenship status, and so he wants so-called “birthright citizenship” to end (he supports a constitutional amendment to end “birthright citizenship” if it can’t be ended otherwise).

Rand Paul apparently wants to pick and choose among the constitutional amendments, because he vehemently supports the Second Amendment, opposing all gun control. (As I’ve noted before, no civilian needs an assault rifle, and when the so-called founding fathers crafted the Second Amendment, no such weapons 0f mass destruction existed, so to claim that of course the Second Amendment extends to them is quite a fucking stretch.)

Rand Paul personally opposes same-sex marriage but is OK with allowing each state to decide the matter. (I have a personal problem with his personal opposition to it, with his ignorance and his bigotry on the matter, his heterosexism and homophobia, and I also disagree vehemently that any state should be able to decide whether or not to honor any U.S. citizen’s constitutionally guaranteed equal human and civil rights.)

All in all, although the term “libertarian,” which Rand Paul uses to describe himself, implies a love of liberties and freedoms, with the libertarians (most of whom are right-wing white males), it is the same-old, same-old: These liberties and freedoms belong only to white, right-wing, “Christian,” heterosexual men (especially those who have power and money). They were the only ones who (regardless of what the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and other founding documents proclaimed) had liberties and freedoms at the nation’s founding, and it should be that way forever, right? Just like the rich, white founding fathers intended!

That’s where Rand Paul is coming from. Indeed, he is considered a member of the “tea party” also. (I suspect that he just jumped on to the “tea party” bandwagon because the “libertarian” bandwagon wasn’t going to get him into the U.S. Senate, but if he says that he’s a member of the so-called “tea party,” and he does, then I’m going to hold him to that.)

While there is nothing that the “tea party” traitors believe that I also believe — far from being “revolutionaries” who are fighting for “freedom,” the “tea-party” dipshits support our corporate oppressors, which makes them treasonous fascists, not revolutionaries, and their belief system, if fully implemented, would bring about the even further enslavement of the American people, not our further freedom — the so-called “libertarians” are right on a few issues.

Rand Paul’s libertarian daddy, Ron Paul, for instance, although a patriarchal, misogynist homophobe also, opposed the Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War, a rarity for someone aligned with the Repugnican Party.

Of course, Ron Paul’s reasoning for his opposition to the Vietraq War wasn’t the same as mine. My main problem with the Vietraq War was the carnage — thousands and thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians as well as more than 4,000 U.S. military personnel died pointlessly in the bogus war — carnage that benefitted only Big Oil and Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp.

From what I can discern, Ron Paul’s biggest problem with the war was not the cost in human lives, but was that the war, he argued in October 2002, was unconstitutional**; the U.S. Congress just giving the U.S. president carte blanche approval to declare war was akin to monarchism, he declared. I agree with that, but it was the foreseeable death and destruction, not the constitutional arguments, that were my biggest concern during the Bush regime’s run-up to its Vietraq War in 2002 and early 2003.

It also has been the gargantuan fiscal cost of the Vietraq War to the American taxpayers that has concerned Ron Paul and other libertarians — and that has been a huge problem, too, as the cost of the Vietraq War is a nice chunk of our federal budget deficit — but it troubles me that Ron Paul and his fellow libertarians haven’t focused on the human costs of such bogus warfare.

Still, I suppose, although we did our calculations very differently, at least Ron Paul came to the same, correct answer: The United States never should go to war unless it absolutely, absolutely is necessary, and, as the U.S. Constitution mandates, the U.S. Congress must keep the U.S. president in check when it comes to waging war, and must never abdicate its sole constitutional authority to declare war to the president, under any circumstances.

And wars of choice for war profiteering — robbing the U.S. treasury via bogus warfare — are intolerable. And they are treasonous. Knowingly taking the nation to war with another nation based upon lies cannot be anything other than treason, except, of course, also war crimes and crimes against humanity.

On the topic of the use of drones to slaughter human beings, Rand Paul, much like his daddy, at least partially comes to the right answer, but with calculations that are too cold.

In his nearly 13-hour filibuster, Rand Paul’s main or even only concern about the use of drones, I understand from the media coverage of his filibuster, is that killer drones might one day be used on “non-combatant” American citizens on American soil, in blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee that no U.S. citizen shall be deprived of his or her life or liberty as punishment for an accused crime or crimes without first having been granted a fair trial.

That’s way too narrow a problem to have with the use of killer drones.

Why should only American citizens be granted such fairness, decency and justice? Is not every human being on the planet worthy of such fairness, decency and justice, or are Americans superior to other human beings? Are only American lives valuable?

Further: Drones are a cowardly, lazy and sloppy way to kill, and their use quite foreseeably could explode to the point that innocent people all over the world (including in the U.S., of course) are being maimed and slaughtered by drones, like something out of one of the “Terminator” movies.

Therefore, the use of drones to slaughter human beings should be prohibited worldwide. Their use should not be prohibited only against American citizens, whether on American soil or whether on foreign soil, whether they are deemed “combatant” or “non-combatant,” but should be prohibited against any human being. You can’t trust the average adult with the “proper” use of a killer drone any more than you can trust the average child with the proper use of a shotgun.

Sadly, however, even Rand Paul’s public stance on killer drones is to the left of the public stance taken by the DINOs (which mostly is an eery silence).

DINO Nancy Pelosi, for instance, on the subject of the use of drones to slaughter human beings, to my knowledge only has offered a reassurance that of course Barack Obama never would use a drone to kill a “non-combatant” American citizen on American soil.

That’s not nearly good enough, Nancy.

Maybe Obama would not, but what if another election-stealing would-be war criminal like George W. Bush got into the White House? That could happen in less than four full years.

It would be wonderful if our “representatives” in Washington would actually lead, which means having an eye on the future — fuck, even the near future.

As Rand Paul stated himself during his filibuster, it’s not about Barack Obama (whose handlers constantly are asking us if we have his back when it sure would be nice if he had ours). It’s about the principle of the use of drones to slaughter human beings becoming so widespread and so out of control that we Americans or we human beings anywhere on the planet can’t fucking leave our own homes without worrying about whether or not a fucking drone might maim or kill us that day, accidentally or intentionally.

Neither Rand Paul nor any other member of U.S. Congress, to my knowledge, has stated publicly that that is the issue here.

And I’m still very leery of Rand Paul. I have no idea how much his filibuster actually was about the use of killer drones against “non-combatant” Americans on American soil and how much it was showboating because he has presidential aspirations.

It fairly clearly was such showboating when he remarked during a hearing in January to then-Secretary of State Billary Clinton on the subject of the September attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya: “Had I been president and found you did not read the cables from Benghazi and from Ambassador Stevens, I  would have relieved you of your post.”

He came off as a major prick because, well, he apparently is a major prick.

Although he’s only in his third year in the U.S. Senate, Rand Paul already was talking about his being president one day while he was attacking a woman who has been in national politics far longer than he has been. Would he have talked like that to a white male secretary of state? I doubt it. It was a sickening, nauseating display of that stupid-white-male sense of entitlement again.

While I’m glad that someone finally spoke out against the use of killer drones in some meaningful way in D.C., the patriarchal, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic and apparently racist/white-supremacist Rand Paul would make as awful a president as his daddy would have, and, because he limited his argument against killer drones to the protection of only “non-combatant” American citizens on American soil — and, of course, whether or not someone targeted for slaughter by drone is a “combatant” or a “non-combatant” in many cases could be up for interpretation, and thus is wide open to abuse — we still have no real leadership in Washington, D.C., on the subject of drones used to slaughter human beings.

*DINO Barack Obama’s having continued the use of drones to slaughter human beings is one of the many reasons that I could not cast a second vote for him in November 2012. Obama is an immoral man, perhaps not immoral as most of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are, but still immoral. The lesser of two evils is still an evil.

**In his October 2002 speech in which he stated his opposition to the U.S. Congress giving then-“President” Bush the power to declare war on Iraq, Ron Paul also stated, “There is no convincing evidence that Iraq is capable of threatening the security of this country, and, therefore, very little reason, if any, to pursue a war.”

That is common knowledge now, and during the build-up to the Vietraq War it was clear to me, also, as just a consumer of the news, that Iraq posed no threat to the U.S. and that the treasonous members of the unelected Bush regime were lying through their teeth (“aluminum tubes,” “yellowcake from Niger,” “mushroom clouds,” “anthrax,” etc.) and were dead-set upon invading Iraq no matter what.

In his speech Ron Paul also interestingly stated that the impending Vietraq War did not pass the “Christian” litmus test for a “just war.” He said:

First, it [the “Christian” litmus test for a just war] says that there has to be an act of aggression; and there has not been an act of aggression against the United States. We are 6,000 miles from [Iraq’s] shores.

Also, it says that all efforts at negotiations must be exhausted. I do not believe that is the case. It seems to me like the opposition, the enemy, right now is begging for more negotiations.

Also, the Christian doctrine says that the proper authority must be responsible for initiating the war. I do not believe that proper authority can be transferred to the president nor to the United Nations.

In his speech Ron Paul also, besides engaging in the usual libertarian United Nations-bashing (the U.S. should call the global shots, not the UN, you see), attacked the Bush regime’s neo-conservative concept of “pre-emptive war,” stating, “No matter what the arguments may be, this policy is new; and it will have ramifications for our future, and it will have ramifications for the future of the world because other countries will adopt this same philosophy.”

It’s too bad no one is that far-sighted when it comes to the use of human-slaughtering drones!

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Assorted shit Sunday!

On Cuba, Pope Palapatine just hates the competition

Woman sits under banner of Pope Benedict XVI in Havana

Reuters photo

A Cuban woman on Friday sits under a banner in Havana announcing the impending visit of Pope Palpatine. If the Cuban government were as evil as Palpatine claims it is, it probably wouldn’t let him set foot on the island in the first fucking place. Palpatine proclaims that Marxism is dead, yet it’s backasswards Catholicism that is dying in the more developed nations of Europe and the United States, and Latin America remains the last bastion of the dying Catholic empire.

“Today it is evident that Marxist ideology in the way it was conceived no longer corresponds to reality,” Pope Palpatine decreed of the government of the nation of Cuba on Friday, in advance of his scheduled visit there tomorrow.

I love the apparently unintended irony of that statement: “Marxist ideology in the way it was conceived no longer corresponds to reality.”

Um, what about Catholicism?

Here in the U.S., we have far-right-wing Catholic nutjob Prick Santorum telling us that as president — as Pope Palpatine’s puppet in the White House — he would support banning contraception, abortion, same-sex marriage and “obscene” pornography (which would be pretty much all pornography).

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 (in Roe vs. Wade) ruled that abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy is always legal, and the same year essentially ruled (in Miller vs. California) that the porn that we see today that widely is considered to be legal is protected free speech (and not “obscenity”).

The far-right-wing Pope Palpatine, however, views the mildly progressive reforms of the Catholic church of the 1960s as having gone too far, and believes that the church should revert to the “good old days” before the 1960s.

But Marxism is outdated?

In order to remain relevant any ideology needs to change and grow with the times — which the patriarchal, misogynist, homophobic, anti-science Catholic church refuses to do, which is why its membership is hemorrhaging in the U.S. and Europe — but with rampant global capitalism destroying the planet at record pace, Marxism is even more relevant today than it was when Karl Marx was still kicking around, when the greedy, selfish capitalists’ ability to destroy the entire fucking planet wasn’t nearly what it is now.

Pope Palpatine’s real problem with the government of Cuba, of course, is that he fucking hates the competition for the minds, hearts and souls of the masses.

It long has seemed to me that the people of Cuba have been far better off under Fidel Castro than they ever would be under the tyranny of capitalism, which sees the masses only as a means of making a tiny few obscenely richer in such noble names as “democracy” and “freedom,” or under the theocratic tyranny of the Catholic church, which, like a virus, only wishes to subvert the time, energy and money of the masses from their own benefit to propping up the decaying carcass of the Catholic church, an all-male hierarchy that should have met its extinction long ago.

Prick Santorum still stuck on his Etch-A-Sketch bullshit

Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, waves a Etch-A-Sketch while criticizing the policies of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a rally in Shreveport, La., Friday, March 23, 2012. Santorum has strong support among many conservative voters in the state which his campaign hopes results in winning Louisiana's primary on Saturday. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Associated Press photo

Prick Santorum lamely still waves an Etch-A-Sketch Friday in Shreveport, Louisiana, a state where such retarded tactics apparently work.

The anti-Mittens “Etch-A-Sketch” thing wasn’t worth exploiting in the first place, since its exploitation was based upon wildly twisting its source’s rather obvious intended meaning, but Prick Santorum, having nothing else to offer, continues to use the lame tactic that ultimately only is hurting his own fucking party.

On CBS’ “Face the Nation” today, Prick declared, “Even though a lot of folks are saying this race is over, the people in Louisiana said, ‘No, it’s not.’ They still want to see someone who they can trust, someone who’s not running an Etch-A-Sketch campaign, but one who has their principals written on their heart, not on an erasable tablet.”

Really, how much mileage does Prick believe that he’s going to get out of this retarded diatribe?

Of course Prick won Louisiana yesterday and previously won some other Southern states (including Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee): The Southerners are all a bunch of mouth-breathing inbreds to whom Prick’s preaching about the supposedly Jesus-Christ-based hatred and oppression of self-respecting women, gay men and lesbians, non-Christians, non-whites and many others appeals. Truly: The Prick Santorum voters’ mantra must be: “We love him! He hates everyone we hate!”

Actually, the Repugnican Tea Party presidential race is over. According to The Associated Press, Mittens Romney thus far has more than twice as many delegates as does Prick Santorum, 568 delegates to 273. Newt Gingrich has a paltry 135 and Ron Paul an even paltrier 50, and even if you gave those 185 delegates to Prick, he still would trail Mittens by more than 100 delegates.

The next big state on the Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary season calendar is Wisconsin, which votes on April 3. Even if Prick should eke out a win in Wisconsin (he did win neighboring Minnesota and Iowa, but Mittens won neighboring Michigan and Illinois), Mittens should clean up in April, with several Mittens-friendly states on the calendar, including New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware, and if Mittens actually wins Prick’s home state of Pennsylvania on April 24 — and remember that Prick lost his 2006 U.S. Senate re-election bid in Pennsylvania by 18 percentage points — then we probably will see Prick actually toss his Etch-A-Sketch prop into the garbage for good.

By that time, though, Prick will only have further damaged Mittens, whose lack of charisma, whose alleged opportunistically changing political positions — accurately and fairly or inaccurately and unfairly — are criticized by the members of his own party as well as by the members of the opposing party, and whose exalted status as a multi-millionaire in a nation whose commoners still struggle economically — as well as his membership in the Mormon cult — never made him a strong candidate against Barack Obama anyway.

Still, Mittens is the best that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have got, which apparently even they increasingly are recognizing, as evidenced by the fact that Mittens these days is polling in the low 40s in the Gallup daily tracking poll, while Prick can’t even break 30 percent.

And most national polls show a much tighter race between Obama and Mittens than they do between Obama and Prick. Even a Faux “News” poll taken earlier this month puts Obama at only four percentage points ahead of Mittens, 46 percent to 42 percent, and a whopping 12 percentage points ahead of Prick. (A Bloomberg poll taken around the same time has Obama and Mittens tied, at 47 percent each, and Obama six percentage points ahead of Prick.)

The good news in all of this is that the “Christo”fascists, with whom the Richie Riches of the old guard Repugnican Party struck an unholy alliance because the 1 percent can’t win elections on their own, these days apparently are more of a drain than a help to the GOP, at least presidentially.

Wild West bullshit needs to be made illegal in all 50 states

I haven’t weighed in yet on the apparent race-based murder of Trayvon Martin —

FILE - This undated file family photo shows Trayvon Martin. Martin was slain in the town of Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26 in a shooting that has set off a nationwide furor over race and justice. Neighborhood crime-watch captain George Zimmerman claimed self-defense and has not been arrested, though state and federal authorities are still investigating. Since the slaying, a portrait has emerged of Martin as a laid-back young man who loved sports, was extremely close to his father, liked to crack jokes with friends and, according to a lawyer for his family, had never been in trouble with the law. (AP Photo/Martin Family, File)

Associated Press image

— the 17-year-old who apparently was gunned down in Florida late last month by a vigilante named George Zimmerman who claims that he shot the black teen in self-defense, even though the teen reportedly was “armed” with only a bag of Skittles and some iced tea.

I will get this out of the way, though: As a blue-eyed white guy, I’m happy that George Zimmerman looks like this:

Handout booking photo of George Michael Zimmerman

Reuters image

— and not, say, something like this:

FILE - In a Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009 file photo, Andrew Breitbart attends a news conference, at the National Press Club in Washington. Breitbart, who was behind investigations that led to the resignations of former Rep. Anthony Weiner and former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, died Thursday, March 1, 2012 in Los Angeles. He was 43. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

Associated Press photo

— or this:

(That’s a photo of the Archie-Bunker-like Andrew Breitbart that was taken before he went to hell early this month and a photo of “Joe the Plumber” and some other yahoo with a dead bear that I found on the Internet. [I’m sure that it was a fair fight with the bear, you know, mano a mano, because those right-wing white guys are so fucking tough!])

Seriously, though, when I read the name “George Zimmerman,” I’d thought that yet another stupid whitey had gunned down someone for the crime of breathing while being brown or black, and I was, admittedly, at least a little relieved to discover that Zimmerman is half-white and half-Latino.

However, that fact is of no consolation to Trayvon Martin’s family, I’m confident, and what can you say about such a senseless slaughter that very apparently was race-based to at least some degree (and probably a large degree)?

The news today on the Trayvon Martin case is that Zimmerman and his family and friends are fearful for his safety, and so he is hiding at an undisclosed location.

Jesus fuck — is this another right-wing attempt to make the victimizer into the actual victim here?

The Trayvon Martin case screams for us to examine (at least these) four social phenomena (in no certain order): The one in which the victimizers claim to be the actual victims; the one in which many right-wing Latinos, perhaps especially in backasswards Florida, think that the ticket to being accepted by whites is to join whites in their oppression of blacks; the one in which armed-and-dangerous fucktards think that it’s OK for them to play cops and robbers with real guns and real bullets; and the phenomenon, the cancer, of the gated community, which is sick and fucking twisted and probably not what Jesus Christ had in mind, that the rich, who can only become rich through exploiting others, should barricade themselves in ritzy neighborhoods while everyone else slowly dies from poverty.

Most of the focus on the Trayvon Martin case seems to be around the race of the slaughtered and the slaughterer, and while of course the evil of racism still is alive and well in 2012 (the incredibly racist “Don’t Re-Nig” anti-Barack-Obama-re-election bumper sticker is one of many examples that I could give), it seems to me that not enough attention is being focused upon the fact that Zimmerman slaughtered Martin while Zimmerman was volunteering on a neighborhood watchThe Associated Press notes that “Martin was shot dead after Zimmerman, 28, a white Hispanic neighborhood watch captain, believed the young man walking through the gated community looked suspicious.”

Since when did neighborhood watches involve vigilantes gunning people down in the streets? 

The American empire indeed is crumbling all around us, but is this what we have come to — the return of the wild West?

States (like Florida and more than a dozen others) that have so-called “stand-your-ground” laws, which allow people to cap other people in the streets willy-nilly — and which make you wonder if certain paranoid, fearful, gun-loving individuals want to find “reasons” to cap other people in the streets willy-nilly — need to repeal these laws voluntarily or the federal government needs to step in and nullify them, as these woefully misguided laws blatantly violate the United States Constitution.

You have the constitutional right to defend your home from actual grave threats (that is, threats that might actually put you in your grave…), and you have the constitutional right to own a gun, but I have the constitutional right to be able to walk down the street without fear of you blowing me away because you, for some fucking reason, deem me to be a “threat.”

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It’s NOT the economy? STUPID!

I had thought that we would hear about nothing except for the economy and jobs and the supposed miracle of capitalism from now until Election Day in November.

Nope.

The issue du jour is contraception.

Contraception because Prick Santorum, a Catholick, is Pope Palpatine’s puppet, obviously. Concerns that John F. Kennedy would take marching orders from the Vatican were way overblown, but in the case of Santorum, they very apparently are not. And Pope Palpatine is the pope who believes that the slightly more liberal reforms of the Vatican II should be rolled back. Since the Vatican II took place between 1962 and 1965, that means that Pope Palpatine wants to drag us at least back to the 1950s, if not to the good old days of the Dark Ages themselves.

The wingnuts can get a chunk of Americans on board with their anti-abortion stance, but even then, polls show that no more than a quarter of Americans believe that all abortions should be prohibited and that a solid majority of Americans believe that abortion always should be allowed or should be allowed in most cases.

On their anti-contraception stance the wingnuts also have only minority support.

Even a Faux “News” poll taken this month that asked, “The new Obama health care law requires that employer health plans provide birth control coverage as part of preventive services for women. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of requiring employer health plans to cover birth control for women?” found that 61 percent said they approved, 34 percent disapproved, and 5 percent said they weren’t sure.

But what was supposed to have been a war on unemployment and economic stagnation this presidential election season instead has become, under the “leadership” of the Repugnican Tea Party “Christo”fascists, a war on women and on gays.

Prick Santorum believes that women should not serve in combat roles in the U.S. military. Not that that is sexist or anything.

Initially Prick proclaimed that women shouldn’t be in combat because of “the types of emotions involved.” When there was a backlash because he apparently had asserted that women are too emotional to be able to serve in combat roles, he backtracked, and said no, he didn’t mean that — he meant that the effectiveness of the men in combat would be diminished because they’d be too worried about the safety of their weak female comrades.

(“So my concern is [that] being in combat in that situation [the situation of women serving alongside men in combat roles], instead of being focused on the mission, they [male soldiers] may be more concerned with protecting someone who may be in a vulnerable position, a woman in a vulnerable position,” Santorum said.)

Great “save,” there, Prick: It’s not that women are too emotional — it’s that men are too emotional about women’s inherit weakness.

Not content with putting just one foot in his mouth, Santorum’s mouth sucked in his entire body as though his mouth were a powerful black hole. He also declared:

“Women have served and do serve and do wonderful things within the military and … they do have opportunities to serve in very dangerous positions…. And I certainly understand that and respect that and admire women for doing so, but I think on the front line of combat is not the best place and it’s not maximizing what they can bring to the table.”

Because you see, what Prick Santorum believes is that contraception should be illegal and that women should not be allowed to serve in combat roles in the U.S. military. They should be pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen, and what he means by “what they can bring to the table,” apparently, is dinner.

Not to be outdone by Prick Santorum, Mitt Romney — whose Mormon cult, along with Santorum’s Catholick church, funded Proposition H8, which federal judges last week ruled was an unconstitutional assault of the hateful and bigoted majority on a minority group — declared at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday that by prohibiting same-sex couples from other states from getting married in Massachusetts, “On my watch, we fought hard and prevented Massachusetts from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage,” adding, “When I am president, I will defend the Defense of Marriage Act and I will fight for an amendment to our Constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman.”

Yes, Mitt Romney is proud that as governor of Massachusetts he made damn sure that no one could come there for their equal human and civil rights, that he limited the evil of equal human and civil rights to Massachusetts only, and as president he would write the hatred of and the unconstitutional, unjust and immoral discrimination against a minority group into the U.S. Constitution if he ever got his mitts on the Oval Office, and indeed, during his CPAC speech on Friday he declared, “I can’t wait to get my hands on Washington.”

Gee, I can’t wait, either.

It is clear what the Repugnican Tea Party “vision” for the United States of America is. Just look at their remaining four presidential candidates: all four of them are right-wing, patriarchal, misogynist, homophobic, racist white men (yes, even the anti-choice Ron Paul, who is no liberal or progressive).

There is no place in the Repugnican Tea Party worldview for those of us who do not wish to continue to kowtow to stupid white men, despite the ugly U.S. history of stupid white men oppressing the rest of us.

There is no place in the Repugnican Tea Party worldview for intelligent and self-respecting women, for those of us who are not white (although we are a little more acceptable if we want to be white), for those of us who are not right-wing “Christians” (“Christo”fascists), for those of us who are not heterosexual, for those of us who are not gender- and gender-role-conforming,  for those of us who do not worship the golden calf that is unbridled capitalism.

And together, we, the historically oppressed by stupid white men, are the majority of Americans.

Given that only about a quarter — certainly no more than about a third — of Americans agree with Prick Santorum’s and Mitt Romney’s hard-right-wing worldview, what this means is that under a President Romney or a President Santorum, we would have a tyranny of the minority.

And we already had that under George W. Bush, since he never was elected by a majority of the American people in the first place.

Obviously, Romney and Santorum right now are trying to out-wingnut each other for the primary season (it’s safe to write off Ron Paul, and very most likely Newt Gingrich, too), and we would expect either eventual victor to moderate his message for the general election.

But how do you forget such patriarchal, misogynist and homophobic proclamations as they are making now?

I see precious little difference between putting the Mormon cult or the Catholick church in the White House than putting the Taliban in the White House.

What all three groups agree upon is that men should rule, that women should be wholly subservient to and obedient to men, that there should be perpetual warfare, and that gay men and lesbians and other non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals, as well as non-believers, should be oppressed, certainly, but ideally, exterminated.

What I predict, however, is that the Repugnican Tea Party’s focus on social issues is going to boost Barack Obama’s re-election chances.

As much as the “swing voters” should care about the rights of women and non-whites and and non-heterosexuals and other historically oppressed minority groups, what the majority of them care about is their wallets and pocketbooks.

The U.S. economy seems to be improving, but not fast enough for the Repugnican Tea Party to ignore the economy and to instead focus instead on whom to hate and to oppress. The haters already hate. Preaching to the white-pointy-hatted choir isn’t going to sway the “swing voters,” who just want to be able to pay their bills. And, regardless of what I think about them, it’s the “swing voters,” not those of us who are committed to the far right or to the far left, who decide presidential elections these days.

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Another one bites the dust

Republican Presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry sits down for lunch at The Drive-In Restaurant in Florence, South Carolina

Reuters photo

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, shown in South Carolina earlier this week, is to drop out of the presidential race today. Perry couldn’t catch fire even in the backasswards, white supremacist state of South Carolina, polling dead last.

When I saw yesterday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was polling at only 6 percent in South Carolina, putting him at fifth and last place, I wondered why in the hell he was remaining in the race. He came in at fifth place in Iowa and sixth place in New Hampshire, and if he couldn’t do well in fellow secessionist red state South Carolina, it definitely would be all over for him.

Maybe — just maybe — Perry figured that he’d rather his paltry support in South Carolina go to the top not-Mitt-Romney candidate when South Carolinans vote on Saturday, and that’s why he reportedly is dropping out of the race today. South Carolina, after all, very most likely is the last chance to deny Romney his crown. (Or maybe it wasn’t a bit of actual selflessness at all; maybe Perry just didn’t want another humiliating loss…)

Only about a third of South Carolinans want Mitt Romney to be the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate, but with Perry’s departure, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul remain in the race to split the anyone-but-Romney vote three ways.

I have to wonder if the far right is going to make Ron Paul its Ralph Nader of sorts, blaming Paul’s candidacy for splitting the vote and enabling Romney to win the party’s nomination.

Anyway, I believe that it primarily was a combination of two things that sank Rick Perry’s candidacy: the fact that the last governor from Texas who became president now is He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned even within his own party, and the fact that Perry’s debate performances were disastrous. Overcoming the inevitable comparison to He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned would have been a tall order for Perry, but Perry’s utterly unpresidential presence doomed him.

Let’s just hope that Perry remains politically dead outside of his own backasswards state of Texas.

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‘Bomb-throwing’ Ron Paul wins wingnuts’ New Hampshire debate

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, points to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as he answers a question during a Republican presidential candidate debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Associated Press photo

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, left, gestures at front-runner former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during tonight’s Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary debate in Manchester, New Hampshire. Romney was polished and toed the party line, while Paul kept it real and wasn’t afraid to buck the party consensus.

I live-blogged tonight’s Repugnican Tea Party presidential debate, the first 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary debate that I’ve watched in its entirety. The live-blogging is below.

I conclude that Ron Paul won the debate, hands down.

5:59 p.m. (Pacific time): The debate should begin within minutes… I’ve yet to force myself to sit through an entire 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential debate, but tonight I am going to, come hell or high water.

6:03 p.m.: It’s telling that all six candidates are middle-aged or old white men. These are the faces of the Repugnican Tea Party, no doubt. Anyway, with Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos and some other guy moderating, this apparently is a pretty high-level debate…

6:07 p.m.: All of these fascists more or less look alike to me, but thus far Mitt Romney seems to be doing pretty well, with the exception of his fakey-fake “friendly” voice, which is whisper-like and condescending. Rick Santorum seems to be uncomfortable in his own skin, not entirely unlike how he is parodied by Adam Samberg on “Saturday Night Live”…

6:11 p.m.: The candidates are now singing the praises of capitalism, which they aren’t calling “capitalism,” but are calling “free enterprise,” since that polls better and since capitalism isn’t as popular as it used to be with the 99 percent these days. There was a mention of how dangerous Iran is, which I’m sure we’ll get back to. This “free enterprise” crap sounds just like the portion of a debate I listened to a long time ago, when Michele Bachmann was still in the race…

6:14 p.m.: Ron Paul has called Santorum “corrupt.” Santorum has taken issue with this charge, of course. Santorum also states that he isn’t a libertarian, but that he believes in some government. (Government when it helps the plutocracy, right?)

6:17 p.m.: Ron Paul brags that he has signed only a handful of appropriations bills in the U.S. House of Representatives, that he opposes most government spending. “I am not a libertarian, Ron,” Santorum has repeated.

6:19 p.m.: Rick Perry is on now. He has bashed “corrupt spending” in Washington, D.C., and touts that he’s a D.C. outsider. His claim that he has been the “commander in chief” of Texas’ National Guard, apparently, is risible.

6:21 p.m.: Ah, we’re back to Iran. What’s the U.S. without a bogeyman? Jon Huntsman is rambling now. Sawyer asked about Iran, but Huntsman, perhaps fearing he won’t be able to answer another question, hasn’t answered the question, but has given a little stump speech. Huntsman is as white-bread as Romney is, but maybe that’s a product of their Mormonism.

6:25 p.m.: So Romney has called Barack Obama’s a “failed presidency,” stating that Obama has no leadership experience (I guess that the past three years don’t count), and alleging that Obama hasn’t been tougher on Iran, even though elective war in the Middle East has brought the American empire to the brink of collapse already.

6:27 p.m.: “Iran’s a big problem, without a doubt,” Rick Perry has proclaimed, further claiming that Iran (somehow) threatens our freedom. (It would be the plutocrats here at home who threaten our freedom, but that’s another blog post.) We heard the same thing about Iraq, did we not? That it was a threat to our freedom and our security? Again, it’s apparent that the Repugnican Tea Party fascists intend to use the specter of Iran to scare the populace into voting for them. Will it work again?

6:30 p.m.: Ron Paul passionately has talked about chickenhawks, though who gladly send our young off to war when they avoided military service themselves. Paul and Newt Gingrich went back and forth about whether or not Gingrich evaded military service, which would make him a chickenhawk. It’s rare for a Repugnican Tea Party candidate to bash chickenhawks.

6:33 p.m.: Ron Paul passionately has talked about how blacks and other “poor minorities” disproportionately are punished by our “criminal” “justice” system (as opposed to whites), including the fact that blacks and other poor minorities are more likely to be executed than are whites. Paul’s rant was a diversion from the question about the reportedly racist overtones of his old newsletter, but it’s rare to hear a Repugnican Tea Party candidate admit that the “criminal” “justice” system is patently unfair and racially biased.

6:35 p.m.: So there’s a break now. Some fucktarded ABC News pundit has called Ron Paul a “bomb-thrower,” but Paul seems sincere in his positions to me. Thus far, Ron Paul is doing the best in the debate, in my book, but as his views are closest to mine, maybe that’s why. I find front-runners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum to be yawn-inducing and utterly uninspiring.

6:41 p.m.: Mitt Romney states that he personally opposes any attempt to ban contraception, although he states that he has no idea as to whether or not it would be constitutional for a state to attempt to ban contraception. Romney states that he supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define a marriage as being only between a man and a woman. This makes him utterly unelectable to me, to codify homophobia in the U.S. Constitution.

6:42 p.m.: Romney states that he believes that Roe vs. Wade should be overturned, which also makes him utterly unelectable to me.

6:43 p.m.: Rick Santorum, not to be outdone by Mitt Romney, also states that he also would overturn Roe vs. Wade. These men sure hate women.

6:45 p.m.: The topic now is same-sex marriage. Ron Paul has talked about privacy rights, but I’m not sure of his stance on same-sex marriage. Thus far no one supports same-sex marriage, unsurprisingly, with the possible exception of Paul. Jon Huntsman says he supports civil unions but does not believe that same-sex marriage should be allowed. That’s the coward’s way out, and separate is not equal.

6:47 p.m.: Santorum says that marriage is a federal issue. (I agree. Same-sex marriage should be allowed in all 50 states.) Santorum sounds like he also supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman only.

6:49 p.m.: Romney has used the bullshit “argument” that same-sex marriage should not be allowed because children should be raised only by heterosexual couples. Studies refute this assertion, and of course many people marry with no intent to raise children. Newt Gingrich essentially has tried to make the argument that “Christo”fascist haters are being oppressed by not being allowed to hate and to discriminate against others based upon their hateful religious beliefs. Oh, well. Gingrich has a snowball’s chance in hell of making it to the White House anyway.

6:54 p.m.: Rick Perry couldn’t resist adding that he also supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning same-sex marriage, and he is echoing Gingrich’s “argument” that the poor “Christo”fascists are experiencing a “war on religion.” Really? How about we start throwing them to the lions so that at least they aren’t lying through their fucking teeth when they claim that they are so fucking oppressed because they can’t cram their bullshit beliefs down our throats?

6:59 p.m.: Sounds like Jon Huntsman supports our withdrawal from Afghanistan. Newt Gingrich has used the topic of Afghanistan to bring up the specter of Iran, but, surprisingly, indicated that the problems in the Middle East don’t call for military solutions. Rick Santorum speaks again. He still seems ill at ease. He opposes withdrawing from Afghanistan any day soon, very apparently, because, he says, “radical Islam” is a “threat.” (Funny — I see radical “Christianity” as a much bigger and much more immediate threat to my own freedoms and security than I see Islam ever being.)

7:01 p.m.: Rick Perry says that he disagrees with the pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq, because Iran will overtake Iraq — “literally” “at the speed of light,” he said. (Really? Literally at the speed of light?) Like the last governor from Texas knew what to do in Iraq… Anyway, Rick Perry isn’t getting much air time, and I predict that his campaign won’t make it to next month.

7:04 p.m.: Ron Paul correctly points out that so many of the members of his party can’t wait to, as John McCainosaurus once put it, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran, but that he thinks it’s a bad idea, as the U.S. military already is woefully overextended. (Paul did make an awkward comment about how although the Chinese government killed scores of its own citizens, it was a ping-pong game that “broke the ice.” Again: Awkward…)

7:06 p.m.: Rick Santorum seems like he’s so nervous that he might barf. We’re on another break now.

7:11 p.m.: Still on break. In my book, Ron Paul is winning this debate. However, he’s not mimicking all of the others on key stands (Iran evil, same-sex marriage evil, etc.), so I can’t see him getting even the vice-presidential spot on the 2012 ticket (presuming he’d even want it).

7:20 p.m.: We’re talking about the nation’s infrastructure now, apparently having finished with social issues and foreign policy. Mitt Romney is supposed to be talking about infrastructure, but instead he’s singing yet another insipid paean to capitalism, as opposed to Barack Obama’s “social welfare state.” Newt Gingrich is actually answering the question. Newt says that we have to maintain our infrastructure in order to keep pace with China and India (not because it’s good for us commoners, but because it’s good for business, apparently). Rick Santorum is supposed to be talking about infrastructure, but instead is claiming that corporations are overtaxed and over-regulated. Apparently the Repugs don’t really want to talk about the infrastructure, which the unelected Bush regime allowed to crumble for almost a decade.

7:25 p.m.: So little of substance was said on the topic of our crumbling infrastructure. Apparently all of our resources should go into even more warfare in the Middle East for the war profiteers and for Big Oil. Ron Paul is rambling on about cutting spending. Who is going to pay for our infrastructure? Oh, no one, since it’s not important, apparently. Rick Perry is now pontificating about lowering taxes (although without taxes, we can’t have a commons) and is advocating an energy policy of “drill, baby, drill,” essentially, and claims that Texas’ being a “right-to-work” state has resulted in job growth there. The plutocrats love it when the worker bees cannot unionize for better working conditions and better pay and benefits and rights. Rick Perry is evil, and his state’s jobs are low-paying jobs with bad or no benefits, which is why he focuses on the number of jobs, not the quality of those jobs, in Texas. Bad, low-paying jobs in which the deck is insanely stacked in the favor of the plutocrats are great for the plutocrats, but are catastrophic for the working class.

7:26 p.m.: Mitt Romney says that the November 2012 presidential election is about “the soul of the nation.” Indeed. If any of these fascists win, the soul of the nation will wither even further than it has over at least the past decade.

7:28 p.m.: Newt Gingrich has brought up Ronald Reagan. I’m shocked that it has taken this long for the name of St. Ronald to be brought up. (No mention of George W. Bush yet. Not one… Hee hee hee…) Rick Santorum, who still appears to be nauseous, just essentially stated that we don’t have socioeconomic classes here in the United States of America, and that Barack Obama has been trying to stoke “class warfare.” Wow. We are a classless society? When is the last time that Rick Santorum hosted a homeless person in his home, I wonder? And given that Obama took more money from the Wall Street weasels than John McCainosaurus did in 2008, how has Obama been stoking “class warfare” (as Santorum means it)?

7:32 p.m.: Now the topic is China. Apparently China is The Enemy, too, although I’m sure that Iran remains Public Enemy No. 1. Hmmm. Isn’t it the capitalists who sell us out here at home for their own enrichment, rather than anyone in China, who are responsible for our nation’s economic collapse? All of these bogeymen, when the enemies are right here among us…

7:40 p.m.: Another break. Overall, this is a sorry batch of candidates, a bunch of circus clowns, for the most part; Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman seem to be the least insane of the six all-white, all-male candidates. Rick Perry wants to be George W. Bush’s third term, apparently, and again, I can’t see that happening for him; I predict that he’ll be the next to drop out. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum seem to be too similar on the issues for it to matter much which one might ever be president, Mitt the Mormon “Christo”fascist or Rick the Catholick “Christo”fascist.

7:42 p.m.: Damn, this shit is over already!

The winner of the debate, in my book, was Ron Paul. The pundits, not shockingly, are calling Mitt Romney the winner. Gee, if being as insipid as a glass of warm milk makes you the winner, then perhaps Romney won, but Paul showed more spunk and passion and sincerity — and, dare I say it, some wisdom — than any of the other five candidates.

I think the pundits are calling Romney the winner only because they’re fucktards who are going to side only with establishmentarian, orthodox candidates. To them, Ron Paul essentially is a ghost, an invisible man, because he doesn’t say what they think he should say. They don’t really listen to him, but only compare what he’s saying against what his cohorts/“cohorts” are saying, and because he isn’t mimicking his cohorts, and because his views don’t fit neatly into the pundits’ oversimplified worldview, they simply ignore him or dismiss him.

I hope that Paul sticks it out and keeps sticking it to them. He’s the only thing remotely interesting about this crop of backasswards white men who would be president who seem to be stuck in the ethos of the 19fucking50s.

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Michele, we hardly knew ye (and other notes on the horse race)

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann announces the end of her presidential campaign in West Des Moines

Reuters photo

Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann announces today that her sixth-place finish in yesterday’s Iowa caucuses has induced her to quit her quest for the White House.  

We won’t have Michele Bachmann to kick around anymore. At least not for a while.

Bachmann dropped out of the Repugnican Tea Party horse race after garnering only 5 percent — sixth place — in the Iowa caucuses yesterday. 

Yahoo! News quotes Bachmann’s communications director as having told reporters of Bachmann, “She doesn’t see where she made mistakes. None of us, you know, see where there were mistakes made.”

Gee, maybe that was their primary problem: their inability to recognize their mistakes. 

I remember when “President” George W. Bush, on at least one occasion before a television camera, struggled to come up with any mistakes that he’d made as “president” when a reporter had asked him to list any.

The inability to enumerate any of one’s mistakes is a pretty fucking serious pathology.

Speaking of Gee Dubya, it is interesting that his name rarely comes up in the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential horse race when he was his party’s last occupant of the White House, for a full eight years.

It is as though extraterrestrials shoved memory-erasing probes up our collective national rectum, completely wiping out our collective memory of the years 2001 through 2008, idn’t it? Indeed, we went right from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, did we not?

Speaking further of Gee Dubya, about the only time He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned has come up this quadrennial go-around is when people have asked if we really want another governor of Texas ascending to the Oval Office.

Speaking of Texas governors, unlike even Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Prick Perry can’t take a hint. Despite coming in at fifth place in the Iowa caucuses yesterday (with only 10 percent of the vote), Perry has proclaimed that he will compete in the January 21 South Carolina primary, where, he remarked, “real” Repugnican Tea Partiers will vote, as opposed to those “quirky” Iowans.

Iowans indeed are quirky, although “quirky” sounds like a dangerously minimizing euphemism for “bat-shit-crazy theofascist.” 

However, Perry should have done better in Iowa, with its plethora of “Christo”fascists to whom he is trying to appeal. If he doesn’t appeal to the “quirky” Iowans, it’s difficult to see him appealing to the Repugnican Tea Party nationally.

The Associated Press reports that Perry today “said voters in South Carolina share his values and that he feels confident he will do well there.”

Share his values? Is that code for Texas and South Carolina both being bastions of white supremacists who long for the “good old days” of the Confederacy? (“Quirky” Iowa, of course, never was part of the treasonous Confederacy, but both Texas and South Carolina seceded from the Union before President-Elect Abraham Lincoln even took office in 1861.) 

Prick Perry had an uphill battle as it was, joining the horse race relatively late and reminding everyone of the last governor of Texas who went to the White House — the “president” who was so shitty that the members of his own party pretend as though his two terms hadn’t even happened — but Perry blew it by acting like a drunken Alzheimer’s patient in the nationally televised debates and in other public appearances.

He might do fairly well in fellow secessionist state South Carolina, but only 11 states formed the Confederacy, and Perry would have to do much better than that to win his party’s nomination.

Perry has only himself to blame for his failure, not “quirky” Iowa or anyone or anything else (with the possible exception of Gee Dubya, of course, for having soured the nation, even his own party, on governors from Texas).

Hopefully, though, Perry will do horribly in South Carolina and we’ll be done with him then.

Ditto for Rick Santorum.

However, at least one pundit posits that Santorum, because he trailed permacandidate Mitt Romney, the party establishment’s choice (indeed, 2008 party presidential candidate John McCainosaurus just endorsed Romney), by only eight (yes, 8) votes yesterday in the Iowa caucuses, might make it even beyond “Super Tuesday” on March 6.

I can’t see Santorum winning the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party nomination. Do the Repugnican Tea Partiers really want to front against President Barack Obama a candidate who lost his last election (his 2006 re-election bid to the U.S. Senate for Pennsylvania) to his Democratic challenger by 18 percent, which Wikipedia calls “the largest margin of defeat for any incumbent senator since 1980 and the largest margin of any incumbent Republican senator ever”?

And how can Santorum, whose fundraising and organization lag woefully behind permacandidate Romney’s, catch up now, even if he does get the lion’s share of Newt Gingrich’s and Bachmann’s and Perry’s supporters? (Gingrich came in at fourth place in Iowa yesterday, by the way, which I’d find more encouraging if McCainosaurus also hadn’t come in at fourth place in Iowa in 2008 yet still won his party’s nomination.)

But I can see Santorum dragging the whole mess out, although hopefully not nearly as long as Obama and Billary Clinton dragged out the Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential primary season (in which Obama didn’t emerge victorious until June 2008).

Oh, well.

It will, I suppose, provide more blogging fodder, and a prolonged fight between the establishmentarian Repugnicans, represented by Romney, and their “tea party” wing, represented, for the moment, by Santorum, might only swing even more “swing voters” Obama’s way in November 2012.

Obama sucks* and does not deserve to be re-elected, but push come to shove — and you’d have to push and shove me pretty hard — I suppose that I’d prefer his re-election over another Repugnican in the White House. I, for one, have not forgotten the eight long years of unelected rule by George W. Bush.

P.S. How could I forget Ron Paul? He did, after all, come in third place in the Iowa caucuses yesterday (at 21 percent, just behind Romney and Santorum, who were tied at 25 percent), and anyone who makes the top three in Iowa generally is considered to be a viable candidate for his or her party’s presidential nomination.

Well, let’s face it: Paul has a few positions that even progressives like me agree with, and Salon.com columnist Glenn Greenwald is correct that Paul, while wrong on many if not most issues, has brought up some critically important issues that neither the Coke Party nor the Pepsi Party wants brought up in a presidential campaign. But the bottom line is that Paul isn’t taken seriously even by his own party, so what progressives think of Paul is a fairly moot point.

Ron Paul is treated like his party’s crazy old uncle, and having attained only to the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul never really had a chance anyway. (This was unfortunately true for Democratic Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who is treated like his party’s crazy uncle [he was my ideological favorite for 2004, but his nationally presidential unelectability was clear, and so I supported John Kerry, whom I viewed as much more electable] — and fortunately true also for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.)

If Ron Paul wants to run as an independent/third-party candidate, he has my blessing, though. Although many if not most Democrats deny it, it seems to me that the third-party presidential bid of billionaire H. Ross Perot (yet another Texas special) largely was a reason that Bill Clinton denied the first George Bush a second term in 1992.

*The Obamabots have easily toppled “defenses” of President Hopey-Changey — you should read Ted Rall’s recent column titled “How to Talk to an Obama Voter (If You Must)” for a list of a few of these “defenses” and why they’re bullshit. Here, I think, is the money shot:

Obamabot Talking Point: If I don’t vote for Obama, the Even Worse Republicans win.

Answer: So vote for Obama. Or don’t vote. It makes no difference either way. Voting is like praying to God. It doesn’t hurt. Nor does it do any good. As with religion, the harm comes from the self-delusion of thinking you’re actually doing something. You’re not. Wanna save the world? Or just yourself? That, you’ll have to do outside, in the street.

But perhaps Rolling Stone political writer Matt Taibbi delivers the most scathing criticism of President Hopey-Changey that I’ve seen (at least in a long time) in his recent piece titled “Iowa: The Meaningless Sideshow Begins.” The money shot of the piece, I think, is this (the links are all Taibbi’s and the emphases are mine):

… But the ugly reality, as Dylan Ratigan continually points out, is that the candidate who raises the most money wins an astonishing 94% of the time in America.

That damning statistic just confirms what everyone who spends any time on the campaign trail knows, which is that the presidential race is not at all about ideas, but entirely about raising money.

The auctioned election process is designed to reduce the field to two candidates who will each receive hundreds of millions of dollars apiece from the same pool of donors. Just take a look at the lists of top donors for Obama and McCain from the last election in 2008.

Obama’s top 20 list included:

 McCain’s list, meanwhile, included (drum roll please):

Obama’s list included all the major banks and bailout recipients, plus a smattering of high-dollar defense lawyers from firms like WilmerHale and Skadden Arps who make their money representing those same banks. McCain’s list included exactly the same banks and a similar list of law firms, the minor difference being that it was Gibson Dunn instead of WilmerHale, etc.

The numbers show remarkable consistency, as Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup all gave roughly twice or just over twice as much to Obama as they did to McCain, almost perfectly matching the overall donations profile for both candidates: overall, Obama raised just over twice as much ($730 million) as McCain did ($333 million).

Those numbers tell us that both parties rely upon the same core of major donors among the top law firms, the Wall Street companies, and business leaders – basically, the 1%. Those one-percenters always give generously to both parties and both presidential candidates, although they sometimes will hedge their bets significantly when they think one side or the other has a lopsided chance at victory. That’s clearly what happened in 2008, when Wall Street correctly called Obama as a 2-1 (or maybe a 7-3) favorite to beat McCain.

The 1% donors are remarkably tolerant. They’ll give to just about anyone who polls well, provided they fall within certain parameters. What they won’t do is give to anyone who is even a remote threat to make significant structural changes, i.e. a Dennis Kucinich, an Elizabeth Warren, or a Ron Paul (hell will freeze over before Wall Street gives heavily to a candidate in favor of abolishing their piggy bank, the Fed). So basically what that means is that voters are free to choose anyone they want, provided it isn’t Dennis Kucinich, or Ron Paul, or some other such unacceptable personage.

If the voters insist on supporting such a person in defiance of these donors – this might even happen tonight, with a Paul win in Iowa – what you inevitably end up seeing is a monstrous amount of money quickly dumped into the cause of derailing that candidate. This takes overt forms, like giving heavily to his primary opponents, and more covert forms, like manufacturing opinions through donor-subsidized think tanks and the heavy use of lapdog media figures to push establishment complaints. …

President Hopey-Changey can’t even pretend to be on the side of the 99 percent when it’s the 1 percent — the Wall Street weasels and their allies — who gave him many more millions than they gave even to McCainosaurus in 2008.

And it’s the numbers next to the bullet points above that explain why I refer to the Democratic Party and the Repugnican Party as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party: the two are fairly indistinguishable. (I am, by the way, a registered member of the Green Party, and proudly so.)

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