Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stand up and BRAG

I was reading one of my favorite liberal blogs (Hullabaloo) where Digby was happy to prove that the Koch brothers funded one of the principal groups that helped get the tea bagger movement going and then lied about it.

And it struck me, WHO CARES?

I am sure that if you proved with canceled checks to a teabagger that their movement was started by a billionaire, they wouldn't care. Its only a fact and tea baggers are believers without a strong appetite for facts

I guess I don't care who paid to get the baggers all fired up.
Conservatives have their billionaires, we have ours and they all spend tons of money in support of their beliefs and goals

The question is not who funds the idiots, the question is why do we allow them to win.

Why are our supposed leaders not out there shouting out how proud they are of their accomplishments. Why are our supposed leaders not out there reminding the voters that the economy historicaly performs better under Democratic Presidents than under Republicans, that Democrats have a better record on the deficit than Republicans, that taxes for 95% of working families have actually gone down under this President, that the Health Care Reform bill will actually reduce the deficit, that global warming is real and DEMANDS action, that there are very VERY few SMALL business owners making 250,000 or more per year, that the wealthiest 1% of the population have more of the national wealth than the bottom 50% and that wealth is more concentrated now that it was before the great depression.

The problem is not who financed the startup of the tea bagger movement, the problem is that our leaders are so afraid of being called bad names by the Republicans they are cowering in the corner begging please don't call me a Socialist again.

We need to get out and drag out leaders out and BRAG about what Democrats have accomplished in 2 years and BRAG about what Democrats have accomplished in the last 60 years and we need to challenge the Republicans to tell us how they are going to balance the budget without raising taxes or cutting defense spending or cutting medicare or cutting Social Security. Expose them for the demagogues they have become without any real plans who are only interested in blaming someone else for their failures so that they can get back in power and fail again.

Its not just enough to counter the Republican lies with the truth, We have to present a positive vision of the accomplishments of this Administration and Democratic Administrations since WWII and a strong positive REALISTIC vision for where we are going towards.

Fuck the Koch brothers and all the other millionaires and billionaires who are funding the baggers. They aren't winning because of their money. They aren't even winning because they have a better message.

They are winning because WE are acting afraid.

We need to be PROUD of what has been done both in the past 2 years and in the past 60 and we need to stand up. We need to take back the Liberal label and fill it with the pride that Liberal accomplishments deserve.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

These People are Nuts

I am beginning to think that a significant fraction of the population is simply unhinged.

I have been having several discussions on conservative blogs about Global Warming. And there are still people out there who deny that either the average global surface temperature is increasing or that the increase it due to human activity or both. Some of them have been known to say that Global Warming is good, it will lead to nicer temperatures in Canada so its got to be a good thing.

And when I ask them about the science what I get in most cases is a conspiracy theory.

It kinda goes like this.

Every Climate Scientist who has published a peer reviewed paper on Climate Change and the human activity factors that are driving it is part of a conspiracy. Some, maybe many, perhaps even all, know that its not true but if they admit it then they will lose funding for their studies. And since they are the ones doing the peer reviews, they can reject papers that contradict this conspiracy driven false explanation. So they can control the process and eliminate the voice of dissent by simply rejecting papers that don't match the orthodoxy.

All of them.

Every one of the more than 1000 studies dating back over 20 years is part of this conspiracy. Not a one of them has won the lottery and had enough money that they didn't have to worry about grants so they can come into the open and expose the conspiracy.

This is the gist of the explanation that I get in many of the discussions that I have. Thousands of scientists are hiding the truth from us and have been for decades now.

This apparently is easier for these people to accept than all the supposed evidence that the scientists claim to have.

If you point out that 2009 was the hottest year on record, they say we can't be sure because 50 years ago thermometers were as accurate as they are now. If you talk about tree ring studies, they simply reject the concept that we can learn anything about the past from tree rings. If you talk about ice cores they reject using ice cores because of isotopic drift. If you talk about the glaciers receding over most of the world, they talk about a segment of South American or somewhere where the glaciers grew last year more than they have in a thousand years. And they will tell you with certainty that volcanoes put out an order of magnitude more CO2 than human activity. And they stick to their guns. They believe.

There mind is made up and they are not interested in facts. Actually they are convinced that all the facts coming from the climate scientists who have produced more than 1000 studies on this issue are all somehow distorted, even deceptively altered to fit a false narrative.

They remind me of the Swift Boaters in 2004. They believed all the people who were willing to challenge Senator Kerry's honesty and heroism based on the testimony who were not on his boat. Many of the people never even met Lt Kerry. Many were not in the fights he was in. Those people who were actually on his Swift Boat all supported his testimony. But people like the Global Warming deniers chose to believe everybody else, not the people who actually served on the Swift Boat Lt Kerry commanded. In the action that drew the most debate, Lt. Kerry's boat was part of a small flotilla of Swift Boats under the overall command of a man who later became one of the leaders of the Swift Boat lie. That overall commander got a Bronze Star for what happened that day, just like Lt. Kerry did. And if you read the Bronze Star citation for the overall commander, it supports all the things that he later said never happened. But people, for reasons passing understanding still want to believe that Lt. Kerry is some sort of cowardly liar.

Like I said. Nuts!!

These are probably the same kind people who, 25 or 30 years ago, who were denying that cigarettes were addictive or caused cancer.

And then there are the Creationists. They may be the funniest of all. They can't even agree amongst themselves if the Earth is 5000 or 5Billion years old. Some of them insist that humanity and the Dinosaurs actually coexisted on this planet sometime within the past 5 millennium. And they want their fantasy to be taught as science. Despite having no scientific evidence to support their myriad of theories. Despite the fact that many of their theories directly contradict the evidence available to science (getting back to humans and dinosaurs sharing the planet at one point in time).

They believe what they want to believe and when asked to provide some sort of evidence for their beliefs, they can't. They know that Evolution or Global Warming both can't be right. They just know it, so the just spout anything they can think of. And then they accuse the real scientists of incompetence or deliberate distortions or even fraud.

The new theme I have been hearing recently is that Liberals are the real racists and that the civil rights movement of the 50's and 60's was really a movement within the Conservative movement and, did I mention, that all Liberals are Racists. Its a bizzaro world vision where white is black and day is night.

Don't try to confuse them with the facts, cause I am beginning to think they are all simply nuts.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why are the Republicans so popular

I haven't posted in a while which is in some ways a reflection of the ways in which the current political environment has disheartened me.

But I am back and slightly pissed off.

My party has failed to put out its message.

This congress has been one of the most productive congresses since President Johnson's first full term. They passed a health care reform bill that, though not going as far as I would have liked, was a major advance for bringing the US into the 21 century. They passed the largest stimulus package in history in response to inheriting the most devestating recession this country has seen since the Great Depression. They overhauled the Student Loan program taking huge subsudies away from private lenders and making most of those savings available in additional Pell Grants and loans. The House even passed Cap and Trade legislation as a major step towards addressing the looming crisis' associated with Global Warming.

The stimulus package created 4 - 6 million jobs and stopped the recession from being even deeper and broader. The health care reform bill will bring private health care insurance to an additional 32million Americans while actually reducing the deficit slightly. It will also end the most obnoxious of Insurance Company abuses and it will, long term, help to reduce health care costs. And it closed the donut hole in the Prescription Drug bill passed under President Bush. It wasn't all that I wanted, but it was a major first step, long over due and ugly in its creation, but a huge start none the less.

But instead of trumpeting their successes, my party is running around with their tail between their legs while Republicans and Tea Baggers continue to tell every lie they can think of about everything this Congress has acheieved.

They lied about the Health Care Reform bill providing subsudies to illegal aliens, they lied about the health care reform bill having some thing Sarah Palin called Death Panels, they lied about the health care reform bill being a budget buster even though the CBO scored the bill as actually reducing the deficit, they lied about the bill calling for rationing, they lied about the bill taking $500Billion away from Medicare, they lied about it providing subsudies for policies that would pay for abortions. Despite not have any facts to support them, they continue to tell many of those same lies today.

They lied and continue to lie about the stimulus bill claiming that it failed completely and didn't create any jobs despite the results of every study that shows that the stimulus bill created between 4 and 6 million jobs, WHILE ACTUALLY REDUCING TAXES FOR 95% OF AMERICA'S WORKING FAMILIES! And they keep lying about our taxes going when when they have actually gone down.

They lied about the cost to America's families of the Cap and Trade legislation, using exaggerated numbers from a partisan study whose only real purpose seems to be so that they could cite a study when they lied.

They continue to deny the facts of Global despite the simple fact that EVERY published climate scientist who has studied the question agrees that human activity is the major driver in Global Warming. They put out stories that Volcanos put out more CO2 than Human Activity, which is not even close to true. Human Activity contribute atleast 100 times more CO2 to the atmosphere that volcanic activity. They put out stories that the current global warming trend is caused by sunspots or the solar cycle, neither of which is significant enough to explain the current temperature trends.

And then they say that even if Global Warming is being caused by human activity, fixing it is too expensive, again using partisan studies that have little or no basis in reality.

And somehow they have convinced themselves and many other that Global warming is a conspiracy by climate scientists, every one of them, to get more money for studies or something like that. Seeming to ignore the simple reality that if a Climate Scientist had come to the Bush Administration with a proposal for a study that would somehow disprove the human connection to global warming, the Bush Administartion would have happily funded their study and trumpeted its results.

And somehow they have convinced the American Populace that Republicans are somehow better stewards of the US Economy than Democrats. A blatant and bald-faced lie.

Compare the job growth under Democratic and Republican Presidents and its clear, the economy has consistently created more jobs under Democratic Presidents than under Republican.

During the much maigned Jimmy Carter's one term, the economy added more than 3 million jobs a year, far better than Nixon or Ford before him or Reagan and Bush after him. Under Bill Clinton the economy added 2.4 million jobs a year, far better than Reagan and BushI before him and immeasurably more than BushII whose administration was marked by the most dismal economic performance since the Great Depression and who bequeathed his predecessor the deepest recession in 70 years.

But its more than just job growth.

Each of these measure of national economic activity, job create, GDP growth, Stock prices all performed better under Democratic Presidents than Republican.

And now Republicans and Conservatives are all enraged about the Deficit pretending that the current deficits are the result of President Obama's spending spree or something. Yet another lie. They want you to forget that the most of the current deficit is the result of the previous administrations policies, fighting two wars without paying for them, the unpaid for prescription drug benefit, and the Bush Tax Cuts that benefited mostly the wealthy while exploding the deficit. Somehow now this is all President Obama's fault, the Republican party had nothing to do with the deficit. Another bald-faced lie.

The Bush era tax cuts and two unpaid for wars constitute the vast bulk of the current deficit. And this chart doesn't even show the $700Billon dollar cost of the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit that President Bush mad no attempt to pay for.

They lie because lying is working for them. And its working for them because the Democrats are not out there calling them liars every time they trot out one of their lies.

I don't know why, but they are not.

And the lies are killing us.

We need to do a better job at getting the truth out.