Archive for: July, 2011

A Debt Ceiling Deal Where No One Wins And The American People Lose

Jul 31 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

The most striking element of the debt ceiling deal announced by President Obama is that there are no winners, and the biggest losers are the American people.

Here is the video from MSNBC:

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The big sell point for Obama was possibility of increasing revenue by raising taxes on the wealthy and closing corporate loopholes in the second part of the agreement,

Now I have said from the beginning that the ultimate solution to our deficit problem must be balance. Despite what some Republicans have argued I believe that we have to ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share by giving up tax breaks and special deductions. Despite what some in my own party have argued I believe we need to make some modest adjustments to programs like Medicare to ensure that they are still around for future generations.

That’s why the second part of this agreement is so important. It establishes a bi-partisan committee of Congress to report back by November with a proposal to further reduce the deficit which will then be put before the entire Congress for an up or down vote. In this stage, everything will be on the table. To hold us all accountable for making these reforms, tough cuts that both parties would find objectionable would automatically go into effect if we don’t act, and over these next few months I’ll continue to make a detailed case to these lawmakers about why I believe a balanced approach is best to finish the job.

Now, is the deal I would have preferred? No, I believe that we could have made the tough choices required on entitlement reform and tax reform right now rather than through a special congressional committee process, but this compromise does make a serious down payment on the deficit reduction we need, and gives each party a strong incentive to get a balanced plan done before the end of the year. Most importantly it will allow us to avoid default and end the crisis that Washington imposed on the rest of America. It ensures also that will not face this same crisis in six months, eight months or twelve months, and it will begin to lift the cloud of debt and the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy.

Obama thanked the American people for getting a deal done, “Most of all I want to thank the American people. It’s been your voices, your letters, your emails, your tweets that have compelled Washington to act in the final days, and the American people’s voice is a very powerful thing.”

This deal has a loss in it for everyone. Obama loses because he got no immediate revenue increase. Republicans lose because Obama got the extension he wanted through the 2012 election, the GOP got zero entitlement cuts, the cuts that they will have to vote yes on will be mostly paper illusions, and they got stuck with facing possible cuts to defense spending if they don’t act. Congressional Democrats lost because in the second part of the plan entitlements are on the table.

Looking towards 2012, Obama now gets to run for reelection by claiming that he has cut $2.4 trillion off of the national debt. The idea that he is tax and spend Obama will be a tough sell for the GOP nominee next fall.

Republicans won because they managed to get Democrats and even progressive activists who consider themselves the watchdogs of the Democratic Party to buy into the nonsensical premise that the debt ceiling and debt reduction are related and got them to do something that was previously unprecedented. They for no rational reason have now set the precedent that debt ceiling increases must be tied to spending cuts. However, you can look for this new interpretation of conditional debt ceiling raises to fall by the wayside as soon as the government returns to one party control.

The biggest losers in this whole debacle are the American people. As Paul Krugman pointed out today, this deal is likely to increase unemployment and cause more people to become permanently unemployed.

No matter how both the right and left try to sell it over the next few days, this is a bad deal for the American people. The result of the Republican Party’s refusal to pass one line of legislation is that millions of Americans will be forced to endure more hardship and suffering.

The Republican Party created the debt ceiling crisis to politically wound President Obama, but the deepest wounds will be inflicted on people who have already been devastated by one recession and will now likely have to endure another.

In 2010 some Americans decided that they wanted a divided government, and now we all are going to have to live with the consequences of their fulfilled wish.

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The Christian-Rock Roots of the G.O.P.’s No Compromise Rigidity

Jul 31 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

In a televised speech on July 24, Barack Obama said that Americans are “fed up with a town where compromise has become a dirty word.” But some Americans believe that “compromise” is not just a dirty word, but a sinful one — a belief that is rooted at least partly in conservative Christian theology and Christian rock music.

In politics, there always have been varying degrees of acceptable compromise, depending on the individual and the issue. And, yes, some people are less flexible (1964’s Barry Goldwater, preaching that “extremism in the pursuit of virtue is no vice!”, comes to mind), and some issues are less negotiable, than others. On the other hand, the purist absolutism of “no compromise whatsoever” seems to be a modern phenomenon — and the refrain “no compromise” has exploded since Barack Obama was elected President.

In October 2010, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) said that earlier Republican majorities had allowed “altogether too much compromise” and promised that “there will be no compromise” if Republicans took control again (as they did). John Boehner, discussing how he would work with Barack Obama if he became Speaker, promised purity: “This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles.” Darrell Issa tried to redefine the term into meaninglessness: “You know, the word ‘compromise’ has been misunderstood,” he said, clarifying that his job will be “Getting America back to the center right where it exists.” And those leaders’ “no compromise” stance has seeped its way down to the grassroots, so that, for example, a gun-rights advocate can write, “One of the reasons our system of government has lost its way is legislators fail to stand on principle and instead give into compromise.”

The refrain is at the heart of the current debt ceiling impasse. Ron Paul: ““What you and I need is someone who stands for conviction over compromise.” Eric Cantor, asked “is there any compromise you can make on taxes?,” answered “No”; his position is that merely showing up at negotiations is compromise enough. Michelle Bachmann is sending signals that no compromise is acceptable. Rush Limbaugh, quoting Ayn Rand, asked “where do you compromise between food and poison” and, later, advised the G.O.P. to hang tough, saying, “winners do not compromise” — a statement Fox News calls an “epic rallying cry.” A right-wing blogger states straightforwardly, “Republicans must never attempt to compromise with Democrats.”

No compromise. No compromise. No compromise. That phrase sounded oddly familiar — and then I remembered why.

In 1982, I was college roommates, and good friends, with a born-again Christian. My friend (I’ll call him “Matt”) was a very good guy: a hard studier, wryly and intelligently funny, an exuberantly bonecrunching flag football player, always happy to pop open a few beers on a sunny afternoon or do serious damage to a bottle of V.O. while we played cards. Although he was a “born-again,” conservative in his interpretation of the Bible, and sincere about his faith, he wasn’t intolerant of others — and, significantly, his faith didn’t infect his politics; the professional Christian Right simply hadn’t advanced that far yet. (Once, when we listened to some audiotapes of a then-unfamiliar Jerry Falwell, he agreed with me that Falwell was strangely shrill and theologically unsound, and was uncomfortable with his God-and-Mammon blending of religion, politics, and fundraising.)

But while Matt wasn’t an extremist back then, he was at least a prototype of future extremists — the subject of an early-Reagan-era experiment in conservative religio-political engineering. Early political fundamentalists like Falwell, Chuck Colson, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson, and related groups like Young Life and Dobson’s Focus On The Family, were starting to use Christian radio and books and campus organizations, not to save souls, but to see whether the religious integrity of good people like Matt could be twisted into political servience — whether, by cleverly marketing certain issues that blended morality and politics, like abortion, people like Matt could be convinced that conservative politics and conservative Christianity were branches of the same vine, so that they would sweat, bleed and even die for conservative politicians as if they were angels of the Lord Himself.

Of course, they succeeded.

An early sign of the religiopolitical messaging that was pushed on people like my friend back in the late ’70s and early ’80s was a seminal album by the immensely talented and influential Christian musician Keith Green: 1978’s “No Compromise.”

“No Compromise” was tremendously successful on the Christian rock charts, helped establish Christian rock as an economically viable market, and influenced countless later musicians. After Green died in a plane crash in 1982, both his biography and a tribute album also were named “No Compromise,” the phrase Green believed summed up his entire religious philosophy:”No Compromise is what the whole Gospel of Jesus is all about…” And, apparently disregarding copyright laws, innumerable later Christian musicians gave their albums the same name.

Although the surface meaning of Green’s “No Compromises” statement may have been religious, it always had political overtones. The original album cover didn’t show a Christian refusing to bow down to a pagan idol, along the lines of Robert Service’s poem “The Soldier of Fortune.” Rather, it showed a crowd bowing down to some kind of political leader, a king or pasha of some sort — and the Christian in the image is refusing to bow down to him. In other words, “No Compromise” always promoted political wilfulness and resistance, not just religious integrity.

My roommate had that album, of course, as well as a T-shirt with the same slogan and a cross. And he talked a lot about what it meant, which to him was that a person of integrity should not only refuse to compromise his faith, but refuse to compromise any of his ideals, in any circumstances. Over time, his fondness for the phrase turned him from a reasonable, spiritual person into a rigid, inflexible moralist — with “moral” being defined only by the people and ideas he considered authoritative. Sadly, the very independence that he had (rightly) treasured as a moral good had been twisted, psychologically, into the very subservience to worldly men that he considered unfaithful to his God and wanted passionately to avoid.

Since then, “No Compromise” has continued to serve as right-wing religionists’ version of “No Fear!” or “Just Do It!” — but it also has spread to the political world. The slideshow linked below has a sampling of “No Compromises” images, showing how the phrase has expanded from a niche Christian pop album, to church youth groups and advertisements, to Tea Party and anti-immigration symbolism, and even to become the logo of an international military weapons manufacturer. And, to the extent it has shaped the ethics of a generation of (now middle-aged) social conservatives who now serve, lobby, petition, and fundraise for the G.O.P., how it has become the Republican Party’s counterproductive maxim for how to govern in a diverse, secular democracy.

“No Compromise” slideshow

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Banning Books for Christ in Republic, Missouri

Jul 31 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Burning Books

It’s interesting how we can’t have anything in our public or school libraries that doesn’t perpetuate Christian myth, or to be more precise, is in some way deemed to contradict Christian myth. We’ve seen this time and again, dating back to the earliest days of Christianity, “unfriendly” texts burned out of existence, and sometimes the author for having written it.

We may not burn authors any more, but books are still burned, and when they are not burned they are banned. This is what happened in Republic, Missouri, when two books were deemed “inappropriate” for high school students. The books? Sarah Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer was removed from the school’s library, and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five from the school’s curriculum.

And here’s where Christian intolerance for other viewpoints comes into play.

The school board claimed that the books were banned because they were not “age-appropriate” (Slaughterhouse Five has too much swearing, as though kids these days can’t surpass Vonnegut even on an off-day and Twenty Boy Summer has too much sex, as though kids need a sex-primer to “do it”) but according to the original complaint the problem was not age at all, but the Bible. Wesley Scroggins, a Republic resident, charged in the complaint that got the whole ball rolling that the books “teach principles contrary to the Bible.”

Another book Scroggins wanted banned was Speak, by Laurie Halsey Anderson, a young adult novel about date rape. The school board decided to keep that one. Given how full or rape the Bible is, and the Bible’s endorsement of rape, it s difficult to see how anything dealing with rape could be against biblical principles.

The narrow-minded Scroggins (perhaps we should investigate his life to see how in accord it is with Biblical principles) said, “I congratulate them for doing what’s right and removing the two books.” The Christian bigot had to suffer his share of disappointment as well: “It’s unfortunate they chose to keep the other book.”

Of course, only one of the voting board members had actually read all three books. In this they seem to have a lot in common with our Republican members of congress.

This of course is not the first or only instance of book banning based on religion. I’ll note just a few examples here.  Americans United for Separation of Church and State reports that

In 1995, Religious Right activists in Virginia tried to start a new group targeting public libraries. They called it “Family Friendly Libraries.” The organization, which was in cahoots with Focus on the Family, proposed taking all of the books fundamentalist Christians didn’t like – tomes dealing with human sexuality, “the occult,” “non-traditional” families and so on – and isolating them in a special room or getting rid of them entirely.

Back in 2002 in Texas Christian activists banned a sex-ed book banned from school libraries for allegedly “teaching homosexuality.” A very well known case is that of Sarah Palin, while Mayor of Wassila. Although it has been argued by that Palin did not actually try to fire the librarian for not getting rid of books Palin wanted banned, she did inquire about banning books. As relates,

But, as the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman (Wasilla’s local paper) reported at the time, Palin asked general questions about what Emmons would say if Palin requested that a book be banned. According to Emmons, Palin “was asking me how I would deal with her saying a book can’t be in the library.” Emmons reported that Palin pressed the issue, asking whether Emmons’ position would change if residents were picketing the library. Wasilla resident Anne Kilkenny, who was at the meeting, corroborates Emmons’ story, telling the Chicago Tribune that “Sarah said to Mary Ellen, ‘What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?’ “

I’ve always been astounded by the claim that Christianity saved Western Civilization.[1] Part of this claim is the assertion, incredible though it may seem, that Christianity actually saved and passed on Classical learning, the very Classical learning it is itself responsible, with malice aforethought, for systematically destroying!

After eradicating nearly every manuscript it found inconvenient, dangerous or not in some way useful, and redacting what survived until it fit Christianity’s needs, it now attempts to take credit for preserving what little remains to us out of the countless millions of books, letters and tracts that in the period of a few hundred years, it ruthlessly destroyed.[2]

The problem is best expressed by Ramsay MacMullen:

Very little of whatever there once was from  non-Christian authors has survived. The Christians, not only in their triumphant exaggerations but in their sheer bulk, today, seriously misrepresent the true proportions of religious history.[3]

The true proportions of religious history are to be given a battering again based on Republican political theology being pushed by the likes of David Barton and others, including Mr. Scroggins. The simple fact is that how a book relates to the Bible or its teachings is completely irrelevant.  The school board can “finesse” the reasons it bans this or that book but the complaint cited the Bible. And that is a violation of the First Amendment; the school is essentially legislating the Christian religion by banning books that are not Bible-friendly.

The goal of course is to control where our thoughts can travel. If we can’t be exposed to new ideas, or to different ideas, then (the thinking goes) Americans will be forced down the “right” path; between revisionist publications and banned books we will see another misrepresentation of the proportions of religious history, and the real history of America and the world will be kept from our children in order to promote a narrow, bigoted, Bible-based worldview. Because in the end, nobody has a right to be a non-Christian. As the Borg said, you will be assimilated.

Image from the Springfield News-Leader


[1] An example of this is to be found in Philip J. Sampson, 6 Modern Myths about Christianity and Western Civilization (InterVarsity Press, 2001), an apologetic attempt to refute the crimes of Christianity against civilization and science. See also Thomas E. Woods, Jr. How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization (Regnery Publishing, Inc, 2005). Woods apparently feels we should ignore the destruction wrought by Christianity and thank Catholicism for replacing it with a syncretistic amalgam of its own creation. These books (and Christianity itself) are in open defiance of the well proven credo, “if it isn’t broke; don’t fix it.”

[2] The process was simple: books were outright burned, or were not recopied, or were reused. This latter process, that of the palimpsest, vellum pages of older works were scraped and washed and the surfaces reused. In this way, many ancient texts were destroyed.  Sometimes, these lost texts come to light, as in the case of the Archimedes Palimpsest, a 10th century manuscript of several treatises by that 3d century mathematician, which had been “palimpsested” by a 12th century monk and reused to write down Greek Orthodox prayers. It would be disingenuous at the least to argue that this is an example of Christianity saving ancient learning. Felicia R. Lee, “A Layered Look Reveals Ancient Greek Texts,” NY Times, November 27, 2006. See also the project website at

[3] Ramsay MacMullen, Christianity & Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries (Yale University Press, 1997), 3.

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Paul Krugman: Debt Ceiling Deal Is Going To Make Unemployment Worse

Jul 31 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

On ABC’s This Week, Paul Krugman warned that the proposed debt ceiling deal is going to make unemployment worse and cause more misery for the American people.

Here is the video from ABC News:

When asked about the spending cuts in the debt ceiling deal Krugman said,

We shouldn’t even be talking about spending cuts right at all now. We have 9% unemployment. These spending cuts are going to worsen unemployment. It’s even going to hurt the long run fiscal picture, because we have a situation in which more and more people are becoming permanent long term unemployed, and if you have a situation in which you are going to permanently raise the unemployment rate, which is what this is going to do that’s actually going to reduce future revenue, so these spending cuts are ever going to hurt the long run fiscal position let alone cause lots of misery, and then on top of we’ve got these budget cuts which are entirely, basically the Republicans we’ll blow up the world economy unless you give us exactly what we want, and the president said, ok. That’s what happened.

Krugman laid out the scenario for America if we cut spending and don’t increase revenue,

We’re looking; I mean we used to talk about the Japanese and their lost decade. We’re going to look to them as a role model. They did better than we’re doing. This is going to go on. I have nobody I know who thinks the unemployment rate is going to be below 8% at the end of next year. With these spending cuts, it might well be above 9% at the end of next year. There is no light at the end of this tunnel, and the revenue debate in Washington, which is all about gee, we’re going to make this economy worse, but are we going to make it worse on 90% of the Republicans’ terms or 100% the Republicans’ terms and the answer is 100%.

While we have all gotten caught up in the politics of determining winners and losers the debt ceiling battle, it is important to look at the actual economic impact of any deal that is based on the framework that is being reported right now. Recessionary economies don’t improve with spending cuts only. Cuts without addition revenue strangles the system even more, and makes things worse.

Democrats have completely lost sight of the fact that Republicans aren’t trying to rationally or logically solve the problem. The people on the other side of the aisle are governing strictly by ideology. What matters to them isn’t the outcome, but the implementation of their belief system about the economy.

The most frustrating thing about this debate is how, not just Obama, but all Democrats have been willing to discuss the debt ceiling on Republican terms. Spending cuts should have never factored in to raising the debt ceiling. Yet, I have not heard a single progressive or Democrat in Congress or the White House stand up and ask why are we talking about spending cuts? This is about the debt ceiling. The two aren’t the same thing.

This isn’t just on Obama. It is also on all of those progressive activists who are screaming don’t touch entitlements. They also bought into the Republican construct. The left should have been screaming in unison with the Democrats in Congress that that there will be NO votes for any deal that ties spending cuts to raising the debt ceiling.

Those on the left who are angry at Obama tend to forget that leadership goes both ways. If they feel that this president is getting off course, then the pressure should be placed on congressional Democrats to lead, and right the ship. As it stands, only our resident socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, who isn’t a Democrat, has called this what it really is.

The most frustrating thing that all of Washington seems to be oblivious to the fact that millions of people in this country are going to lose or not be able to find a new job because of this deal. By averting a crisis they have added to our problems.

It is still debatable whether this deal will have the votes to pass. Our government is so dysfunctional that nothing may pass. The economic consequences of doing nothing and going into default would certainly be worse than this deal, but the millions of Americans who are struggling right now are likely to be screwed either way.

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At Her Founding, America Had Almost 1 Trillion Dollars of Debt

Jul 31 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

US founded on debt

The tea party and in fact many conservatives love to embrace the Constitution and the flag. Unfortunately they FAILED to embrace U.S history at the same time. Within the next couple of days the United States will become a dead beat nation because of the very small minority of ideological conservative tea party members. These individuals have embraced the constitution, not because they know what is in it, but because it is “politically expedient”. In the 14th Amendment section 4 it states,

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

The United States of America was FOUNDED on debt. Yes, we had debt in the amount of 75,463,476.52 by January 1, 1791 according to the bureau of public debt.

Without debt, the country would have NEVER won independence and thus NEVER become the country we know today. When you adjust for inflation, 75.4 million dollars in 1800 is almost ONE TRILLION in 2010.

The United States had an almost ONE TRILLION dollars debt when this country was born. This debt was almost paid off by the mid 1800s, not because of austerity, but because of economic growth.

The founders of the United States did not like debt, but obviously understood that debt is a necessary evil. In times of war, we submitted to this evil, like in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

By the end of President Clinton’s term, the United States had a projected annual surplus and we were going to pay down our national debt. That all changed back in 2001 when the Republicans won the Presidency, US House of Representatives, split the US Senate. Instead of being fiscally responsible and using this surplus to do pay down the debt, the Republican House, and split Senate supported to ignore the debt and give a huge tax break instead.

The biggest names and critics of the debt and deficit that come to mind today, are Speaker John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan. These three are the biggest frauds when it comes to fiscal responsibility. They all voted to ignore the debt and use the surplus to partially finance tax breaks.

Republicans like to use the analogy of running the government like a business or your own home. So let’s look at this like an average American.

The average American has a personal debt of 100k. They come across some extra cash and now have a surplus at the end of the year. Instead of using this extra cash to pay down that 100k dollar personal debt, they spent it. This is exactly what Speaker Boehner, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan did.

Now this 112th congress led by John Boehner and the tea party wants to implement a Constitutional amendment to mandate a balanced budget. If we had a balanced budget amendment during the Revolutionary War, we would have never won and we also would have never won the Civil War either.

Balanced budgets are good for the country, during robust economic times and times of peace, but in times of national emergency, like war, natural disaster, or economic recessions, this country needs to have the ability to borrow. Look at what Clinton did during peace time, we had a surplus that actually made Federal Reserve Chair, Alan Greenspan nervous. Why was he nervous?

How many of you, average Americans are in debt due to emergencies? If you have a child that just broke his arm playing football, but do not have cash on hand to pay the medical bill, do you NOT borrow money to get him better? Of course you do. Better yet, if you have a car that needs some major mechanical work. Do you take out a line of credit to fix it, if you don’t have cash on hand, yes of course.

Businesses regularly borrow money to pay employees, to increase factory size, etc. So all this talk from the Republicans about running the country like a house or business is complete nonsense.

If you had a personal balanced budget amendment for your home or business you would never be able to get out of the emergency situation you are in.

Even Mitt Romney, GOP Presidential hopeful made his MILLIONS borrowing money and buying distressed companies. Without the ability to borrow, he would be an average middle class guy, not a multi-millionaire.

This makes me wonder, if Senator John McCain won in 2008, would we even be in this situation? Of course not! It’s all political and the Republican Party is seeking to win the Presidency, rather than win the future and sink our Country into another recession.

The debate over the budget should NOT be done over the debt ceiling, it should be done during budget negotiations. The tea party Republicans have an ideological agenda and they aren’t going to waiver.

This debt and deficit is not about SPENDING, it was created by the “STARVE THE BEAST” mentality. Starve the beast, means cut off revenue to the federal government and kill the programs that help regular people.

How can people believe conservative pundits who have come right out and said, cut off the revenue in order to reduce the government and in the same breath tell us it’s a spending problem. THEY TOLD US they will cut the revenue, meaning this deficit is a revenue problem! Common Sense!

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Obama Must Fulfill His Oath Of Office Even If Republicans Don’t

Jul 31 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

There is a consistent theme to teabagger and Republican antics since the 112th Congress began their assault on America, and it is that they keep breaking their oath of office. It is interesting that at the start of the 112th session, Republicans and teabags held a reading of the Constitution and it seems they were all dead asleep and missed some very important amendments. For the record, every congressional representative and senator swears to, “Support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” It is a simple oath that should not require interpretation or any special reading of the Constitution in Congress, but apparently the conservatives need to have another reading so an 8th-grade student can point out the myriad ways they are breaking their oath.

In the 14th Amendment, Section 4, there is a little statement that puts the current debt ceiling debate into its proper perspective as well as expose how teabaggers are breaking their oath of office. In Section 4 it says, “The validity of the public debt of the United State… shall not be questioned.” Since Republicans, and especially teabaggers, want so badly to stick to a strict interpretation of the Constitution, they should be able to appreciate the simplicity of that one section. However, they have not only questioned the validity of the debt, they are willing to ignore it to send the country into default. In lieu of defaulting, they are using it to hold the economy hostage unless the government is reduced to no more than a war machine where the entirety of America’s assets are spent on producing bombs and bullets to kill Muslims. Of course, if there are any assets left over they are to be distributed to corporations, the oil industry, and the wealthy who warrant special privileges for their unwavering support.

The bigger issue besides raising the debt limit is the validity of questioning the public debt. The Republicans did not question the debt ceiling when George W. Bush was president and ran up the debt with two unnecessary wars and tax cuts for the filthy rich. In fact, they raised the limit seven times in eight years because the country could not afford giving the wealthy and their corporations tax cuts or two unnecessary wars. A big part of the debt we are wallowing in now is the interest on Bush’s credit card spending spree that suddenly warrants questioning because a Black man is in the White House. Some Republicans have admitted that it will be devastating to the economy if the debt ceiling is not raised, so they know how crucial it is to act, but they are not acting unless they get to eliminate social programs that affect a majority of Americans.

There are calls to the president to invoke the 14th Amendment and end the entire debate to save our economy, and if Republicans fail to reach a compromise, it is reasonable for Obama to follow the Constitution. There is a time and place for reaching agreements through compromise, but Republicans and teabaggers have no intention of giving anything in the way of concessions that would resemble a compromise, and in fact are upping the ante with calls for a balanced budget Constitutional Amendment. The idiot conservatives say they will agree to raise the debt limit after the balanced budget amendment is passed. It is another example of what happens when inexperienced, ignorant ideologues are given positions of power by more ignorant voters. It is apparent that teabaggers have little conceptual understanding of the steps and time it takes to put a new amendment in the Constitution. Of course it is entirely possible that they know exactly how long it takes and are hoping that by defaulting on the debt, the government will collapse waiting for three-fourths of the states (38/50) to ratify a balanced budget amendment. It is more likely that there is nothing the White House, Democrats, or even Republicans can do to satisfy the teabaggers unless they disband the federal government and install a Christian family values administration headed up by a fanatical Christian preacher.

It may well come down to the president following the Constitution and invoking the 14th Amendment to stop the country from defaulting on its debt. Invoking the Constitution would also stop the madness and devastation the conservatives are willing to wreak on the country just to end the most important features of the New Deal. President Obama has a Constitutional duty to support and defend the Constitution as well as the federal government’s existence. Americans now have a duty to impeach the representatives and senators who have blatantly broken their oath of office for various reasons, but none more important than deliberately questioning the validity of the public debt. It is not a mistake or an oversight, and each and every one of the lying debt-deniers swore to god to uphold the Constitution; not ignore it to collapse the economy and by extension, the government.

The President has gone far enough looking for compromise from the conservatives and by now he must have a clue that there is nothing more he can do to elicit cooperation short of disbanding the federal government, resigning, and appointing Bachmann or DeMint the Preacher-in-Chief. Neither Republicans nor teabaggers will ever agree to a balanced approach to the budget morass so there is little need for Obama to continue negotiating a debt ceiling increase. He owes it to the country, American people, and the Constitution to support it because if he does not, the teabags and Republicans will collapse the government and make a new Constitution called the Christian bible.

The Constitution’s writers thought they addressed every eventuality the country would face except a government collapse, and when teabaggers are finally successful, the Constitution will be unnecessary and by then, even the president’s oath will be meaningless. President Obama must lead and fulfill his oath even if every Republican and teabagger in Congress does not. It is not like conservatives have ever kept their promises, and based on their questioning the public debt, they have no intention of keeping their simple oath to support the Constitution. It is tragic the public is too timid to act on the oath-breakers, so once again we have to depend on the president to do the right thing for America. It is obvious that no Republican or teabagger will ever do the right thing even if it means keeping a simple oath.

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The Politicus Musical Pulse – July 31, 2011

Jul 31 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Today’s edition of the Politicus Musical Pulse features, in the continuing spirit of Rage Against the Machine, The Nightwatchman.

Until the End – The Nightwatchman

Maximum Firepower – The Nightwatchman

Alone Without You – The Nightwatchman

Saint Isabelle – The Nightwatchman

This Land Is Your Land – The Nightwatchman

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Yes, Anders Breivik and Our Fundamentalists ARE Christians

Jul 31 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

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Gay Group Works Against Equal Rights By Supporting Michele Bachmann

Jul 30 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Politics in America is based on alliances between similar-thinking groups that work toward a common goal, and with a two-party system it is a crucial aspect to govern and win elections. There are times though, when a particular special interest group makes alliances with the major party that has no interest in promoting their cause, and in some cases, is the antithesis of the special interest and seeks to eliminate their influence as soon as they are in power. It is becoming normal for Republicans to give lip service to special interest groups during campaigns only to reverse their position when they no longer need their support. However, it is curious why a special interest group supports a party that opposes them as a matter-of-course and is a reminder that there are always people willing to vote against their own self-interest.

There is an old adage by Sun-tzu, a Chinese general and military strategist from around 400 BC that says, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” to signify the importance of knowing your enemy’s plans about your demise. It is no different in politics, but for a group to support their enemy and help them win elections borders on having a death wish. GOProud is a gay conservative group that advocates Republican policies and although it seems counterproductive for gays to support Republicans, their conservative logic overrides any sense of self-preservation. The group’s leaders have expressed an interest in meeting with anti-gay rights presidential aspirant Michele Bachmann and it exemplifies making a deal with the devil. Whether GOProud understands that Bachmann has no interest in their opinions or their cause is a mystery, but they should know that Bachmann will take their support now and then crucify them all if she is elected.

Everyone understands Republicans hate President Obama and are desperate to blame the economic mess on his administration.  It is also evident that members of GOProud are angry that President Obama did not destroy the economy and instead of anger at their man-turned-god, George W. Bush, for his economic policy that ballooned the national debt, they have lashed out at Obama even though he has helped the LGBT community as far as the Constitution allows him. But instead of being honest and supporting the president’s pragmatic economic solutions and his advocacy for equal rights for gays, they want to support Bachmann whose goal is alienation and discrimination of gays. It reminds thinking individuals that there is no accounting for the twisted logic inherent in conservative minds, and makes one wonder if GOProud is really a gay rights group or just a bunch of twisted, angry conservatives who use gays to garner support for people like Bachmann.

It is possible that GOProud is not aware of Bachmann’s hateful opposition to gays, but there are numerous examples of her intentions to send them back in the closet if she is ever elected president. In fact, nearly all the Republican presidential hopefuls have made it clear they will reinstate DADT, seek a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman and various other prohibitions on any mention of homosexuals. Bachmann in particular has made it  her practice to defame gays at every opportunity with lies and misinformation. When she was pushing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Minnesota, her lying story was that if the same-sex marriage ban wasn’t passed, kindergarten students would “be required to learn that homosexuality is normal, equal and perhaps you should try it. And that will occur immediately, that all schools will begin teaching homosexuality.” It is the same argument Mormons, Catholics, and evangelical Christians used to frighten the public during California’s Proposition 8 campaign, and although it is an abject lie, the fear mongering invoked outrage and anger in ignorant voters who reacted by voting to pass the prohibition on same-sex marriage.

Bachmann also said that being gay is “an issue of sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders,” and also that being gay is “part of Satan.” Are the members of GOProud really guilty of “specifically targeting our children” to turn them gay or does their hatred of President Obama override any sense of decency and more importantly preservation? If any gay American thinks for one second that people like Bachmann, Santorum, or Pawlenty will not impose sanctions against them, they are living in a fantasy world and may have a death wish. GOProud is not a stupid bunch of people, but supporting a candidate who calls them deviants with sexual identity disorders who target kindergarten children to turn them gay certainly is not a show of intelligence.

We get it GOProud; you are furious  you cannot blame Obama for Bush’s policies, but we want you to survive and thrive. Michele Bachmann  is against your survival and not only wants you to get back in the closet, she wants you out of schools, government jobs, the military and white Christian neighborhoods; yet you want to support her and her anti-gay Christian candidacy. It is one thing to support and vote against your own self-interest, but supporting the person who will preside over your demise is absolutely insane. However, gay or not, sanity among conservatives and Republicans is becoming a rare occurrence and stupidity over a Black president is driving seemingly intelligent people to make incredibly stupid decisions. For a gay American to support Michele Bachmann or any conservative who uses Christianity as their basis for policy is stupid and insane; because if they win the presidency, your stupidity will prove to be deadly.

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Court Says Rick Perry’s War on First Amendment Can Proceed

Jul 30 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

A court ruling says Rick Perry can proceed with his attack on the First Amendment but how much company will he have? Reliant Stadium’s 1,900,000 square feet (177,000 m2) seats 71,500 people. So far, Rick Perry and his highly touted “The Response” – a fundamentalist Christian prayer orgy scheduled for August 6 – has managed to fill just 6,000 of those seats according to the Houston Chronicle (ABC News claims 8,000).

It’s no wonder that the Family Research Council is asking folks to pray for the event. Sounds like it needs all the prayers it can get. Maybe Americans don’t agree with Perry that America’s problems can be prayed away. After all, those problems weren’t prayed into existence, but legislated. It’s a reasonable assumption that only  through good legislation can the bad legislation be made to go away, but that would violate the entire fundamentalist premise that our problems are a result of “impiety” by America. We’re being punished by God so only God can fix things.

As I earlier reported here (on June 8), Perry is having trouble recruiting governors. Despite Perry’s invitation to ALL other 49 governors to attend, only one has still accepted:  Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, a conservative Catholic and cosponsor of the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Mark P. Jones, a government professor at Rice University, though he says “he is not surprised by the lukewarm response” also doubts Perry “have trouble filling the venue.”

Obviously, as Jones points out, Democrats have nothing to gain by going and even other conservatives run the risk of being associated with something Perry says. Safer by far to hedge their bets and offer support from afar.

Given the identity of The Response’s backers, this caution seems well-placed. From Right Wing Watch:

Lest you think this is all the craziness to be had, Right Wing Watch adds a proviso to what you just viewed:

There were also several other clips that we just couldn’t work into this short video, like Cindy Jacobs saying birds were dying because of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t tell, Jim Garlow saying African Americans were saving the nation from the “bondage and enslavement” of gay marriage, David Barton saying Jesus opposed the minimum wage, Peter Wagner saying Japan is cursed because the Emperor had sex with a demon spirit, Buddy Smith saying gays are “in the clasp of Satan,” or any of the littany of bigoted statements uttered by Bryan Fischer over the past year.

Unfortunately, says ABC News, a Houston court has ruled that Perry can attend the event despite First Amendment concerns raised by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group of atheists and agnostics based out of Madison, Wisconsin, and the Houston clergy (who were not part of the suit). Apparently President Obama’s National Day or Prayer torpedoed the effort to defend the First Amendment, along with an alleged lack of standing by the plaintiffs. Because of course, American citizens are not allowed to defend the Constitution when the government and the courts won’t.

A spokesperson for The Response, Eric Bearse, celebrated this attack on the First Amendment by claiming it was “a tremendous victory for the First Amendment.” Apparently, previous attacks on the First Amendment justify subsequent attacks. That is, two wrongs DO make a right. Who knew?

It’s nice to know that atrocities get easier the more often they’re committed. At this rate our Constitution shouldn’t outlast the decade, and that is likely the plan.

We’ll know in a week how successful that plan has been.

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