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No, we’re NOT all going Texan

A graphic of Texas divided into states

The lazy “journalists” at TIME have announced on the cover of the October 28 issue that “the Lone Star State [Texas, of course] is America’s future” — so much so that we’ll be “the United States of Texas.”

It’s popular these days to make such an assumption, perhaps especially after Gail Collins’ June 2012 book As Texas Goes…: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda.

But it’s also a ridiculous argument to make that any one state is going to take over the entire nation’s sociopolitical culture any decade soon.

Of course you can take the nation’s most populous states — California, Texas, New York and Florida are the top four, in that order — and find similarities between these states and the rest of the states.

We’re talking about the top two most-populous blue states and the top two most-populous red states, yet the combined population of California and New York exceeds 57.5 million Americans, whereas the combined population of Texas and Florida, by comparison, is around 45 million.

Texas and its red-state mentality aren’t exactly taking over the entire nation.

TIME helpfully notes that from 2010 to 2011, California lost 94,000 residents while Texas gained 110,000 residents, but the graph in the magazine does not give us the context of that, which is that California has just more than 38 million residents to Texas’ just-more-than 26 million — yes, Texas is a good 12 million people behind California, putting it at a distant second place — so we’re hardly talking about an exodus.

And comparing other red states to Texas is pretty fucking stupid because duh — they’re red states.

The God-awful red state of Arizona, for instance, where I lived for the first 30 years of my life, of course is much like Texas. In Arizona, like in Texas, the business owners, the plutocrats, the fat cats, call the shots. You, the commoner, probably especially in the workplace or as a consumer, have almost no rights, because that’s how these states’ laws are written: for the benefit of the plutocratic overlords and to the detriment of the working class and the poor. It’s set up that way.

Consumer protection? Employee protection? Environmental protection? Dream on! These Commie luxuries cut into the fat cats’ profits, and that’s anti-American! And anti-Christian, too (even though Jesus said to pay your taxes without complaint and that it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom of Heaven)!

This is how Arizona was when I left it for good 15 years ago, in 1998, so to claim that Arizona is copying Texas now is bullshit.

The red-state-blue-state divide has been with us since before the Civil War, and to claim that the entire nation is going to turn all blue or all red during our lifetimes is short-sighted and ridiculous.

Despite even the McDonald’s-ization of the United States of America — I refer to the monolithically capitalistic American culture, with McDonald’s and Wal-Mart stores in all 50 states, as well as movies and television shows that Americans watch in all 50 states — the regional sociopolitical and cultural differences throughout the U.S. persist, and they will for a long time to come.

TIME’s article quotes one person who puts the Texas “miracle” into a nutshell: “The Texas model basically calls for low taxes and low services,” TIME quotes Erica Grieder, author of the April 2013 book Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas. (Clearly, Grieder sees the Texas “miracle” in a different light than does Gail Collins, and I have to wonder if Grieder’s book was a response to Collins’.)

More emphasis needs to be placed on “low services,” the part of the red-state equation that almost everyone usually misses when singing the praises of Texas’ low taxes. There are low services because these red states don’t care about the individual, unless he or she is filthy rich. For the filthy rich — those who need the least amount of help — the red states can’t bend over backwards enough.

The commoner, however, is pretty fucking fucked in a red state. Those who need the most help in a red state are the most fucked, yet, ironically, these are the very same states that claim to be the most “Christian,” even though Jesus Christ was all about people helping other people (and not about claiming that the richer the plutocrats get, the more all of us will benefit — somehow!).

As far as taxes are concerned, you get what you pay for, and I experienced the “low-services” environment of Arizona, in which everyone except for the richest was pretty fucking miserable. The richest Arizonans could afford their own health care, education, transportation, etc.; the rest of us were quite on our own in this “low-services” environment.

So if you are a commoner and you want to pay lower taxes but stupidly don’t give a shit about your quality of life, then by all means, pack up your shit and move to Texas.

Concurrent with the myth that there is an exodus of commoners from California (and other blue states) to Texas is the myth that we Californians are so distraught over seeing anyone leave the state.

No, actually, we’re not.

The lower the population is, the lower the taxes can be, the lower the competition for resources will be, and the quality of life will increase for those of us who remain.

So: Go!

And most of us Californians are fine seeing greedy, unethical business owners packing up and moving their businesses to Texas (and other red states), where, without state regulations that protect the consumer, the employee and the environment, they can rape, pillage and plunder and profiteer far more effectively than they can do here in California, where we believe in protections for the environment, the employee and the consumer.

Most of us Californians aren’t abject fucktards, and so we are quite clear that the vast majority of plutocrats don’t exist to help out anyone else, but are in it almost entirely or entirely for themselves and their fortunes, which they gain at our expense as employees whom they under-compensate and as consumers whom they overcharge (and, of course, at the expense of our environment, which they destroy in their quest for obscene personal profits).

“Trickle down” is the fat cats urinating all over the working class, what little remains of the middle class, and the poor. The plutocrats don’t ensure that all boats rise. No, they keep buying larger and larger yachts for themselves while they foreclose upon our dinghies.

“Jobs!” is the mantra of the Texas-promoting plutocrats and those who love them like chickens showing love to Colonel Sanders.

Right: Jobs with shitty wages and shitty or even no benefits — in states with “low services,” so don’t expect any help outside of your employer, who only exists to fuck you over! Lots and lots of these shit jobs in Texas, but hey, they are jobs, in the strict, dictionary-definition sense of the word, right?

Again, does quality matter at all?

I say that it does, and so I’m staying here in California, where I’m happy to pay my fair share of taxes for a better quality of life — instead of evading taxes and living among the miserable in a dog-eat-dog, “low-services,” pro-plutocratic red state.

And again, when you are talking about the nation’s two most populous states, the blue state of California and the red state of Texas (states so populous and so influential that the two of them have the most influence on the public-school textbook industry, with, basically, Texas editions and California editions), it’s easy to compare the two states to other states — or even to the nation as a whole.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s accurate to do so.

I’m not a hypocrite on this matter; it works both ways. The New York Times on Friday apparently held out California as a model that, if followed, could break the gridlock in Washington, D.C.

Indeed, although wingnuts claim that California still has a state budget deficit, California for some time now actually has had a budget surplus under Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who after his November 2010 election reversed years of budget deficits under former Gov. Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger, the Repugnican fraud who ruled the state from the do-over gubernatorial election of 2003 through early 2011, and under the nation’s shitty economy under George W. Bush from early 2001 through early 2009.

Because Brown has accomplished in less than three years what Baby Daddy never accomplished in more than twice that amount of time, Brown’s re-election in November 2014, should he seek it, is guaranteed. Because Brown — unlike his Texas counterpart, the blowhard Repugnican Gov. Prick Perry — just quietly does his job (which I define as doing what’s best for the majority of the residents of the state that he governs, regardless of their income) without a lot of fanfare and bluster, Brown’s accomplishments aren’t well known outside of California, but here in California, Brown is on solid footing with the majority of the state’s voters.

That is the truth of where California and Californians stand today.

“The turnaround [in California] from just 10 years ago — striking in tone, productivity and, at least on fiscal issues, moderation — is certainly a lesson in the power of one-party rule,” the New York Times notes. “Democrats hold an overwhelming majority in the [state] Assembly and [state] Senate and the governor, Jerry Brown, is a Democrat. The Republican Party, which just three years ago held the governor’s seat and a feisty minority in both houses, has diminished to the point of near irrelevance [in California].”

Gridlock doesn’t happen when the Repugnican Tea Party is as impotent as it is in California, and, the aforementioned Times article also notes, because in most elections in California a Repugnican candidate would have to be moderate (or at least campaign as a moderate) in order to win, most Repugnican candidates in California don’t have to worry much, if at all, about being “primaried” by a far-far-right-wing whackjob of the so-called “tea party.”

But, unlike those who tout the so-called Texas “miracle” — and only our treasonous plutocrats have anything to gain from the “miraculous” arrangement in Texas — I’m realistic.

Yes, as the New York Times at least insinuates, if the treasonous Repugnican (Tea) Party were as weak in D.C. as it is here in California, the nation would be much, much better off. We most likely would have no more gridlock and a return to prosperity. It would be great.

But like the Texas “miracle” is a right-wing fantasy, that the much-quieter California miracle will sweep the nation is a left-wing fantasy.

It’s not like the long-standing dynamic of the red states and the blue states is going to go away soon. The entire nation isn’t going to California-ize any year soon any more than it’s going to Texas-ize any year soon.

Indeed, the Civil War still wages. The red-state-blue-state divide is not an oversimplification. It’s a fact. (I could produce a lot of proof, but how about [once again…] a map of the slave states and territories and the free states and territories compared to a map of the 2012 presidential election results?:

Florida went to Obama in 2012, by the way.)

It’s a long, hard slog, and the change is slooooow, but, I predict, once it becomes clear to enough Americans what, exactly, the so-called Texas “miracle” actually entails, and once more Americans realize that the right-wing lies about how California is today are just that — lies — the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in D.C. will see their power diminish, as it has here in California.

It’s already happening.

After all, in all but one of the past six presidential elections (the 2004 election), the Democratic candidate indisputably received more votes than did the Repugnican; Texas Gov. Prick Perry, for all of the blather about the coming “United States of Texas,” couldn’t win even his party’s presidential nomination, much more the White House; and more and more it’s appearing that the Democrats might take back control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the November 2014 elections.

In the meantime, go to Texas and have your “miracle” there, while I enjoy the actual miracles that are happening here in California.

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‘IRSgate’ is just yet another pathetic right-wing pseudo-scandal

“Benghazigate” is on life support, so, thankfully for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors who can’t win presidential elections anymore, there’s a new “scandal.” Reports the Associated Press today:

Washington — Republicans said [today] that the Internal Revenue Service’s heightened scrutiny of conservative political groups was “chilling” and further eroded public trust in government.

Lawmakers said President Barack Obama personally should apologize for targeting tea party organizations and they challenged the tax agency’s blaming of low-level workers. [Emphasis mine. Note that long before any actual fair investigation has been done, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors already have convicted President Barack Obama of wrongdoing.]

“I just don’t buy that this was a couple of rogue IRS employees,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. “After all, groups with ‘progressive’ in their names were not targeted similarly.”

If it were just a small number of employees, she said, “then you would think that the high-level IRS supervisors would have rushed to make this public, fired the employees involved, apologized to the American people and informed Congress. None of that happened in a timely way.”

The IRS said Friday that it was sorry for what it called the “inappropriate” targeting of the conservative groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.

But according to a draft of a watchdog’s report obtained [yesterday] by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner, senior IRS officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011. …

Now, before I go on, let me inconveniently-for-the-right-wing remind you that the anti-Obama wingnuts in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009 specially singled out the left-leaning, progressive group ACORN for defunding (and the spineless “Democrats” in D.C., not wanting to be deemed “guilty” by association with ACORN, let them).

ACORN in turn sued the U.S. government, correctly, in my book, calling the act of Congress a bill of attainder — “an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without privilege of a judicial trial,” per Wikipedia — but ultimately, per Wikipedia, in 2010 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a ruling on the matter “cited a study finding that only 10 percent of ACORN’s funding came from federal sources and stated, ‘We doubt that the direct consequences of the appropriations laws temporarily precluding ACORN from federal funds were so disproportionately severe or so inappropriate as to constitute punishment.'”

Wow. I didn’t know that whether or not something is a bill of attainder has to do with the percentage of government funding that’s involved in the matter, but, in any event, that relatively small percentage of federal funding shows you what “ACORNgate” actually was all about: attacking the organization that, according to the right-wing conspiracy theorists, had stolen the 2008 election for Barack Obama, who, like the employees of ACORN were, once had been a community organizer.

(While voter registration fraud apparently was committed by some ACORN workers who were paid per voter registration — a reason why voter registration never should be linked to payment, in my opinion — only the casting of fraudulent votes, not fraudulent voter registration, ever could affect the outcome of an election. Duh.)

In terms of whether or not the Congress punished ACORN appropriately when it stripped ACORN of its federal funds, here is what Wikipedia reports of the actual criminal investigations of ACORN (the wingnuts in Congress, of course, were not interested in a fair investigation, but in scoring a political “victory” over Obama and his supporters):

On December 7, 2009, the former Massachusetts attorney general, after an independent internal investigation of ACORN, found the [“undercover”] videos [made by a right-wing punk and convicted criminal] that had been released appeared to have been edited, “in some cases substantially.” He found no evidence of criminal conduct by ACORN employees, but concluded that ACORN had poor management practices that contributed to unprofessional actions by a number of its low-level employees.

On March 1, 2010, the District Attorney’s office for Brooklyn determined that the videos were “heavily edited” and concluded that there was no criminal wrongdoing by the ACORN staff in the videos from the Brooklyn ACORN office.

On April 1, 2010, an investigation by the California Attorney General found the videos from Los Angeles, San Diego and San Bernardino to be “heavily edited,” and the investigation did not find evidence of criminal conduct on the part of ACORN employees.

On June 14, 2010, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its findings which showed that ACORN evidenced no sign that it, or any of its related organizations, mishandled any federal money they had received.

But by then, of course, it was too late. The right wing already had destroyed ACORN, which apparently disbanded primarily because it so successfully had been smeared, not because it needed the federal funding so much. The right wing had had no interest in whether or not ACORN actually was guilty as charged. The right wing had interest only in destroying an organization that stood in effigy of Barack Obama.

(And Obama, being the political reptile that he is, just like he didn’t defend the Rev. Jeremiah Wright or Shirley Sherrod or Van Jones from race-based, right-wing attacks, didn’t defend ACORN, because he never has wanted to be associated with the “bad,” “radical” black Americans who frighten! white Americans.)

The case of ACORN is a perfect example of representatives of the U.S. government singling out an organization for destruction out of purely political motives. Apparently this is perfectly A-OK if it’s a left-leaning/progressive organization that is unfairly targeted for destruction, but it’s an abomifuckingnation (or should I say Obamifuckingnation?) if a right-leaning organization ever is so targeted.

So back to “IRSgate.”

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ charge, apparently, is that Barack Obama, or at the very least someone very close to him (with his full knowledge and approval, of course), had the Internal Revenue Service unfairly single out “tea party” groups for heightened scrutiny in an attempt to at least harm, if not destroy, those groups.

I don’t see the need to stretch this out like I usually stretch shit out. This seems pretty simple to me:

The “tea party” groups have made their feelings about having to pay any taxes to the federal government quite well known. The “tea” in “tea party,” recall, is supposed to mean “taxed enough already,” ha ha ha.

So — as opposed to other political and supposedly non-political and actually non-political groups, you have some groups that quite publicly have stated that their opposition to the federal government’s collection of federal taxes is one of their chief reasons for even existing.

So — would it really be a shock that the IRS would take more interest in these anti-federal-tax groups than it would take in other groups?

Really?

Would it be a shock that the young man wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a large marijuana leaf might attract more attention from the narcotics cop than would others in the crowd?

I’m shocked that I have yet to see any “coverage” of “IRSgate” that points out that duh, of course an anti-tax group might get heightened scrutiny from the nation’s tax collectors.

Slate.com’s David Weigel points out what should be two other fairly obvious reasons why the “tea party” groups might get heightened scrutiny from the IRS:

One: Tea Party groups flowered quickly [indeed, they fairly exploded overnight], and in situations like that you want to see where the money went. Two: As Ezra Klein explains, the rules governing non-profits are increasingly ill-suited to the reality of non-profits. The secrecy accorded to 501(c)4s has made them incredibly attractive for people who want to stack money away without having to disclose their donors.

All of this pesky logic and reason and facts and reality aside, what needs to happen in “IRSgate” (or whatever “-gate” we’re calling this one) is exactly that which did not happen in “ACORNgate”: The facts need to be examined very carefully and methodically, and it needs to be determined, very carefully, whether or not anyone within the IRS violated any actual laws or rules or regulations regarding the work that the IRS does.

If IF — any laws or rules or regulations were violated, the violators need to be dealt with in a fair manner. (No, they probably don’t need to be shot or hanged, as the “tea party” dipshits might recommend as the appropriate punishment.) And the IRS would need to make the necessary changes to prevent any future such violations.

And the right wing won’t shut up, of course, until and unless it is determined how far up the chain of command any decision to single out “tea party” groups for any actually illegal heightened scrutiny by the IRS went. (I don’t use the term “improper heightened security” because “improper,” of course, is an opinion, and, of course, most “tea party” dipshits probably would view any scrutiny of “tea party” groups by the IRS to be “improper.”)

But, of course, the right wing won’t ever actually shut the fuck up about “IRSgate.”

Just as no facts or actual investigation was going to change their minds about ACORN, they’ve already written their “IRSgate” narrative with their troglodytic chisels in stone: Barack Obama had the IRS crack down on “tea party” groups in a blatant attempt to crush his political opponents.

The only question now, it seems to me, is whether or not the rest of us are just going to allow the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to get away with this one, just like they got away with their ACORN bullshit.

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My guess: It was domestic terrorism, perhaps over taxes

So today was Tax Day and deadly bombs went off in Boston, Mass., the site of the iconic 1773 Boston Tea Party, which was a protest against the British taxation of the American colonists.

Coinky-dink?

Maybe. Maybe not.

But I can’t see “Islamofascists” having pulled off this one. Given the not-too-subtle symbolism of it, I can, however, see right-wing, anti-tax domestic terrorists having done so.

If this is correct, it would be interesting to know whether the domestic terrorists (I’m guessing that there was more than one terrorist who pulled this one off) consider themselves to be members of the so-called “tea party” or not. (If memory serves, the “tea” in “tea party” is supposed to mean “taxed enough already.”)

If so, what horrible PR for the “tea party” this will be…

In any event, I’m all for making political statements, and while I can live with property damage, committing the murder and/or the maiming of innocent people in order to make a political statement is a shitty fucking thing to do, and of course any political statement is lost entirely among the carnage, which is all that anyone can see, such as the serious injury done to this man, who lost his legs in the terrorist attack in Boston today:

Associated Press photo

A cropped version of this photo was all over the Internet today; I found this apparently unedited version on liveleak.com. (The news photo has been glitchy for me, so if you don’t see it above, you can see it here: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=eaa_1366058986)

I think it’s best not to sanitize the results of terrorism, whether it’s like the apparent domestic terrorism that we saw today in Boston, or whether it’s like the terrorism that the unelected Bush regime committed in Iraq in such noble names as “freedom” and “liberation” and “democracy.” Speaking of which, the photo above reminds me of this iconic photo from the Vietraq War:

Terrorism is terrorism, and no “good guys” commit terrorism. Only bad guys do.

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Obama’s Round Two already shaping up to look just like Round One

US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Obama (D-IL) shares laugh with Senator Hagel (R-NE) at Amman Citadel in Amman

Reuters photo

Then-U.S. Sens. Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel yuk it up in Amman, Jordan, in July 2008. Obama is expected to nominate the Repugnican former senator as his secretary of defense any day now, because “bipartisanship,” you see, means that a so-called Democrat does things that no Repugnican Tea Party traitor ever would do in kind.

 Let’s see:

“Democratic” President Barack Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated for his second term, and already he:

  • Threw U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice under the bus when she came under attack from the white supremacists and patriarchs, who rather would see U.S. Sen. John Kerry in the position of U.S. secretary of state, since a white male Democrat is better than any other kind of Democrat
  • Capitulated on the Bush-regime-era tax cuts for the rich, having promised over and over and over again to increase taxes on inviduals earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000, but actually having agreed to increase taxes on individuals earning more than $400,000 and families earning more than $450,000  
  • Is poised to sell us out on Social Security and/or Medicare in the deferred so-called “fiscal cliff” fight over the federal budget (after all, he and his family are set for life)
  • Is poised to name Repugnican former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel as U.S. secretary of defense, reinforcing the meme that Democrats are shitty on defense, and doing something that a Repugnican president never would do (i.e., appoint a Democrat to his cabinet, perhaps especially for defense)

Have I forgotten anything? And again, Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated yet for Round Two.

Your vote for Barack Obama on November 6 was significantly different from what Mittens Romney was offering how?

The most immediate next fight in D.C. apparently will be over Hagel, whose nomination might be announced as early as tomorrow, according to Reuters.

Not that Hagel would represent the first time that Obama sold out those who voted for him where it comes to his selection of the U.S. secretary of defense. Recall that Obama, at the start of Round One, lazily, cowardly and stupidly kept on Robert Gates, who under George W. Bush had replaced war criminal Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense in November 2006. Gates stayed on the job as defense secretary under Obama until he retired on July 1, 2011.

My biggest problem with Hagel is that again, a Republican president of today never would put a Democrat on his cabinet (yes, I use “his” because a female Republican president is pretty much an oxymoron), and DINO Obama has sold out the Democratic Party enough as it is.

Yes, I have a real problem with Hagel having referred to former U.S. Ambassador James Hormel in 1998 as “openly, aggressively gay” — we gay men should keep our sexuality strictly and entirely in the closet, just like straight men always do, you see (since when has equality been an American value?) — but I do like Hagel’s reportedly made comments about the “bloated” defense department budget (our national “defense” budget is bloated beyond belief, and mostly represents only the perpetual looting of the U.S. Treasury by treasonous war profiteers) and the insanely disproportionate amount of power and influence that the “Jewish lobby” (I call them the “Israel-first lobby,” because of course not every Jewish American is an Israel firster) has in D.C.

Admittedly, it is unusual for a Repugnican to attack the sacred cows of the military-industrial-corporate complex and the Israel-first lobby, even though both of those sacred cows are milking us dry. And Hagel, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, also apparently wasn’t enough of a cheerleader for the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War — which also is unusual for a Repugnican.

But are there no qualified Democrats whom Obama could nominate as defense secretary?

What’s Obama’s logic here? That as long as his nominee as defense secretary uses the Republican label, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the U.S. Senate will be OK with it?

“This is an in-your-face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel,” Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham– who, along with Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. John McCainosaurus, was instrumental in Obama’s caving in on the nomination of Susan Rice — already has declared of Hagel’s nomination.

Not that the likes of wingnutty closet case and chickenhawk Lindsey Graham would approve of any of Obama’s nominees, but why the fuck can’t Obama at least respect those who voted for him by ceasing to kiss the ass of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, who never return the favor in the fucking slightest?

Oh, well.

As I watch Barack Obama for the next four years continue to sell out those who voted for him — and continue, just like Bill Clinton did, to make the Democratic Party more and more indistinguishable from the Repugnican Party (I lovingly think of the two corporation-loving and individual-hating parties as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party) — at least I won’t feel nearly as punk’d this time as I did during Obama’s first term, because while I stupidly voted for Obama the first time, on November 6 I cast my vote for the Green Party candidate for president.

As George W. Bush once so wisely declared: Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again!

See you around, fools.

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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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Eddie Munster vants to suck our blood

Putting yourself in the public spotlight is risky. You might succeed spectacularly. Or you might have Jon Stewart remarking of you on his show that he didn’t know that “Eddie Munster grew up to be a J.C. Penney catalog model.”

Indeed, Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, with his widow’s peak, indeed resembles the little Munster —

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— which at least one individual pointed out as early as January.

But worse than being compared to Eddie Munster would be being compared to vampiress Sarah Palin, and I have the feeling that Paul Ryan is going the way of Sarah Palin: an individual in his or her 40s with presidential aspirations who isn’t all that bad on the eye but whose wingnutty policies are for shit and who just isn’t ready for political prime time.

As I have noted, very apparently the Repugnican Tea Party thought that they could put Paul Ryan’s pretty face on their wet dream of privatizing (and thus destroying) Medicare and ensuring that the rich and the super-rich never pay their fair share of taxes again — and that Paul Ryan alone was enough lipstick to put on that monster pig.

But thus far, the majority of Americans apparently would prefer to keep Medicare intact and to make the rich and the super-rich pay up rather than to gush all over Paul “He Works Out, You Know!” Ryan.

But Rep. Ryan apparently thinks that he’s some hot shit, taking on the president.

In case Ryan didn’t notice, his Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker-like tactics aren’t going over very well in his own home state right now, so why does he believe he has a strong political base from which to take on Barack Obama?

The uber-cocky Ryan has accused Obama of being a “campaigner-in-chief” for publicly having taken exception to Ryan’s plan to destroy Medicare and to make the rich richer, and indeed, Ryan is brazenly denouncing everyone who doesn’t embrace his so-called “path to prosperity” that gives the rich and the super-rich even more tax breaks while soaking the working class, the middle class and the poor even more than they have been soaked over the past several decades. (So it is a “path to prosperity” — just not our prosperity!)

And it’s ludicrous to hear Ryan accuse Obama of being political, when of course Ryan is being at least as political, and, as they are both politicians engaging in politics, of course they’re being political. (Of course, the charge that the other side is being “political” isn’t meant to denote that the other side is engaged in the struggle for power, which is the very definition of engaging in politics, but is meant to connote that the other side is being unreasonable, that of course the other side would agree with your very reasonable proposal(s) if he or she would just be reasonable instead of “playing politics.”)

On the heels of calling Obama political (in a bad way), Paul “I’m Rubber and You’re Glue” Ryan announced that Obama’s denunciation of his plan to destroy Medicare and further enrich the rich has only strengthened the Repugnican Tea Party’s support of Ryan’s plan in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Oh, please. The stupid white men who comprise the majority of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the House of Representatives support Paul Ryan over Barack Obama? Shocker!

Paul Ryan’s idea of destroying Medicare and enriching the rich isn’t “bold” or the like. It’s a colossally shitty idea is what it is. Not only is it horrible public policy (and, I will add, anti-Christian) to allow the wealth care profiteers to shamelessly profit even further from Americans’ pain and suffering via the bloated wealth care-industrial complex, but to attack Medicare is as politically smart as it was for George W. Bush to attack Social Security.

Nor is it OK to assure current oldsters that they’ll be OK, but that the rest of us are fucked where Medicare and/or Social Security is/are concerned. I’m 43 years old and I’ve been paying into Social Security and Medicare since my teens, and I want both benefits, fuck you very much, Mr. Ryan; you’re not going to fuck me up the ass — no matter how much you look like a J.C. Penney catalog model.

Cutting the bloated-beyond-belief budget of the military-industrial complex and making the rich and the super-rich pay their fair share of taxes, as I have noted, will keep afloat Medicare, Social Security and other government programs that benefit the majority of the American people instead of further enrich the rich.

So of course Ryan’s “path to prosperity” — his own prosperity and that of his right-wing ilk, not yours and mine — does not include cutting the “defense” budget or making the rich and the super-rich pay their fair share of taxes.

Which demonstrates that he’s not serious about resolving the federal budget deficit. He’s serious about making the rich richer and the poor poorer. He’s a radical-right-wing ideologue, not a problem solver, especially since his proposed “solutions” would make the problems worse, not better.

Unfortunately, Ryan seems to represent a reliably red congressional district. He won his seven two-year House terms with an average of 64 percent of the vote, so he probably would be very difficult to unseat, even in Wisconsin, in which the Repugnican Tea Party is under fire right now.

However, Ryan’s deceptively titled “path to prosperity” can be relegated to the dustbin of U.S. history, where it belongs, and hopefully, he’ll never rise any higher than the U.S. House of Representatives, where he essentially is just a saner-seeming version of Michele Bachmann.

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Trotting out Mr. Billary was a big mistake

 Obama turns to leave the podium as Clinton speaks ...

Reuters photo

Match made in hell: Barack Obama doesn’t want to do the job of Democratic president of the United States of America and Billary Clinton wishes that he still were in the job of president, so Billary pontificated on behalf of Obama for a half-hour in the White House briefing room today.

Wow. As shitty a “president” that George W. Bush was, I don’t recall that he ever had any former president making his case for him — at the White House.

Yet today embattled President Barack Obama had Billary (former President Bill) Clinton make his case for him at the White House that the deal that surrender monkey Obama unilaterally made with the Repugnicans — violating his campaign promise to end the unelected Bush regime’s tax cuts for the wealthy — is a good thing.

It was, in my book, a stunning political miscalculation. Dusting off Billary and presenting him in front of the cameras does Obama little good.

The progressives who regret having supported Obama’s candidacy for the presidency and who want Obama to have a Democratic presidential primary challenger for 2012 aren’t big fans of the centrist, triangulating, give-away-the-store-to-the-Repugnicans Bill Clinton — and Billary stating, as he did at the White House today, that he would have done the same thing that Obama did where tax cuts for the wealthy are concerned doesn’t exactly disabuse progressives of their widely held belief that Obama hardly is a president who has delivered his promised “hope” and “change” but is just another Clintonesque “Democrat” who waves the white flag before the battle has even begun. 

Probably worse, having Billary cover for Obama makes Obama look like a pussy who doesn’t know what the fuck he is doing (um, because that is what he is) who, in desperation, asked his big bwubber to protect him from his playground enemies.

Having Billary speak in support of him would gain more confidence in Obama, Team Obama probably calculated; I calculate that the political stunt has had the opposite effect, and that it only further erodes Obama’s base — you know, those committed, passionate individuals who actually give their time and money to presidential candidates’ campaigns — even further.

We elected Barack Obama for a first term — not Billary Clinton for a third.

It would behoove us to knock Obama out of the 2012 Democratic presidential primary. Howard Dean, I believe, could do it.

And a primary challenger to Obama should be in it to win the White House, not just to temporarily force Obama to tack left of center.

Were Obama to win a second term, he’d only go right back to the center again after the election.

Barack Obama has shown us what he’s made of.

And he’s got to go.

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