Monday, October 24, 2011

Who are the Republilcans - Part Duhh

The devolution of the modern Republican party continues to amaze me.

There have been literally years of stupidity where the Birther fringe of the Republican party sacrificed all seriousness, where DONALD TRUMP rode the birther idiocy to a lead in the Republican polls before flaming out when the President released yet another document proving where he was born. After all that 23% of Republican voters still believe that President Obama is an undocumented alien.

23% of Republicans

That's not a fringe, that not out on the edge, that's a serious chunk of the Republican Party.

Is it any surprise that Herman Cain is the Republicans leading candidate for President of the United States?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Voter Fraud Alert!!!!!

I missed this somehow, and I pay pretty close attention to what is going on. But apparently there has been massive and pervasive voter fraud happening in almost every state that has a Republican Majority in their Legislature. That must be it. Huge Voter Fraud scandal and I just missed it. I clearly need to pay better attention.

So now Republican legislatures across the nation are enacting laws designed to prevent this massive voter fraud by requiring that everyone who votes have a government issued ID card.

As with any attempt to prevent fraud, some amount of legitimate voting will have to be sacrificed. Young people, poor people, minorities, the elderly, people who live in cities, all these people who don't have cars and so don't have the most common form of government issued ID, Drivers Licenses, all those people can't vote unless they find their birth certificate and then go to some state office somewhere, often the DMV (and we all know how much fun a visit to the DMV is) to apply for a state issued ID card for which they have to pay around $20 depending on the state.

Now these good Republican legislators who clearly have the people's best interest at heart understand that some among us can't afford the cost of this new ID card so these benevolent legislators will allow you to have this new ID for free if you can prove to some other bureaucrats that you can't afford it. Of course if you minimum wage job doesn't allow you the time off to traipse from one government office to the next to prove that you are poor but still really you, then I guess you are just tooo much of a loser to be allowed to vote.

I would like someone to point me to the stories of voter fraud that I must have missed. I looked on The Google and couldn't find them, but I know they must be out there. Why else would so many Republicans want to make it so much harder for the poor and the young and minorities, and the elderly to vote. Surely these laws which have already prevented 10's or even hundreds of thousands of people from voting were made necessary by some massive voting fraud scandal. And that is something I would be interested in reading about!!

But then we all know that is not true.

There hasn't been any massive voter fraud.

And those incidences of fraud that did occur in our past wouldn't have been prevented by this law.

The problems is that the young and the poor and the elderly and minorities (who are often among the poor) have historically tended to vote Democratic. So if you want to reduce Democratic voter turnout then its easy to claim to be trying to prevent voter fraud and make it difficult or impossible for all these people who generally vote Democratic to vote. Republicans don't have to get as many of their voters out to the polls because they have used the law to prevent so many Democratic voters from being allowed to vote.

This is the modern Republican party. They make up this story that they are trying to prevent voter fraud as a cover for their real intent to suppress turnout by traditionally Democratic voting groups. They don't even really have to try to convince anyone since the seem to do this in states that have Republican majorities in the legislature and Republicans as Governors.

Talk about massive Voter Fraud!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Who are the Republicans?

I must admit to not really understanding in many ways the Republican Party.

This is, after all, the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.

It used to be that there were adults in the Republican party, people who understood that working together for the betterment of this country was more important than ideological purity or craven political gain.

I disagreed with Ronald Reagan on almost every issue. His policies of tax cuts and deregulation and spending more and more borrowed money on defense spending that dwarfs what is spend by our prospective adversaries exploded the deficit and gave us the Savings and Loan collapse that cost $500Billion to fix. And the legacy of his insane policies haunts us to this day with every Republican worshipping at the Altar of Reagan in California.

Ronald Reagan could not get nominated for County Commissioner by today's Republican party. He was too liberal, to willing to cooperate with Democrats to actually get things done. He recognized that he had to raise taxes to reign in the explosion in the deficit that his own policies had created.

As a Republican candidate in today's America, he would be less likely to get nominated than Buddy Roemer.

Today's Republican Party has abandoned everything that Reagan stood for. Reagan compromised about taxes and actually raised taxes 6 times. He supported immigration reform granting amnesty to millions of undocumented aliens. As governor he signed the most liberal abortion in the land years before Roe vs. Wade. He would actually cooperate with Tip O'Neil, the Democratic Speaker of the House. Today's Republicans insist that the only way to reduce the deficit is by cutting everything except defense spending. They insist that those they disagree with must be Communists or Socialists or Hate America.

They think that attacking President Obama for anything and everything that he does somehow constitutes a policy. Even when he does the things they earlier encouraged him to do. In one of the first Republican Presidential Debates EVERY one of the candidates agreed that they would reject a deal to reduce the deficit that was 90% spending cuts and only 10% tax increases. Their rigidity is their hallmark. They were willing to literally let the country default on its obligations in their monomaniacal insistence on reducing the deficit exclusively through spending cuts. They talk allot about how bad the economy is yet block every attempt by this President to actually spur the economy. Republicans originally proposed a deficit commission and then turned against it when President Obama embraced it. Obamacare, with it's individual mandate, strongly resembles the mandatory health insurance program passed in Massachusetts by then Governor Romney. Now that same Romney promises to repeal Obamacare as one of his first acts in office if elected President.

Look at the current leading candidates for the Republican nomination.

Mitt Romney is widely thought of in the media as the adult in the room. This is the same man who has changed every major position in his political life since his time as governor. This same man who claimed that his actually residence for voting purposes was in the basement of his son's house. And this is the adult in this group of dwarfs.

And next we have Herman Cain. This mental giant has actually proposed doing something instead of just promising to repeal everything that President Obama has done. But his 999 proposal for tax reform would increase taxes on the poor and cut taxed on the wealthy and would increase the deficit since it wouldn't bring in as much money as the current system does. And we asked how is program would actually work in detail, he literally said he had no idea. IT'S HIS IDEA. You would think that he might want to have an idea bout how his idea would work.

Next we have Mr Texas Economic Miracle himself, the Governor of the big state of Texas, Rick Perry. This mangles the language more then even his predecessor in Austin, George Bush, did. It doesn't appear that he is that much brighter than Shrub either. But he does like executing people. And his record for executions is apparently a great applause line in Republican Debates. He wants us all to follow Texas's example by failing our schools, creating more minimum wage jobs than anyone else, and Praying for rain while denying the realities of Global Warming. To his credit he actually seems to have a heart sometimes. He supports for Texas' version of the Dream Act and the HPV vaccination program which will literally save thousands or even millions of lives. Of course those policies are the least popular parts of his platform among the Republican faithful.

Michelle Bachman had her brief moment in the sun, but quickly showed that she was even too nucking futs for even the Baggers she tried to appeal to. The threw here aside for Perry before trying to throw him aside for Christie and now threw them all aside for Cain.

And the rest aren't even a good side show.

Who are these people

Is this really the cream of the Republican Party?

Unfortunately I think it is. This really is the best of what is left in that once great and proud party.

And that's kind of a shame.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What have Conservatives done to make American Better

I have asked this question before. Usually I don't get any response what so ever.

But to date, I haven't gotten one clear example of something Conservatives have done to make America Better?


Friday, October 7, 2011

Yeah Sure, the Mainstream Media is Liberal - Sure it is

Its a consistent whine from conservatives across the land that the Mainstream Media has a liberal bias and is not and cannot be objective.

Like so much of what they say I don't know which of them really believes it and which of them just like the way it sounds, but they say it all the time.

But think about it if you can.

When the tea party erupted on to the scene (financed by the Koch brothers) the entier media treated it like it was some sort of grassroots uprising of patriotic (if a little quircky Americans) with legitimate greviences. You could get new crews to show up if you 15 or 20 baggers protesting on the Mall and the news would treat it like it was this huge thing.

Now you have Occupy Wall Street, where there are (depending on the day) hundreds to thousands of protesters in the Financial District in New York protesting against the disastorous role played by the big institutition represented there in crashing the economy.

For weeks the supposedly liberal Mainstream Media didn't cover it at all. Now they cover it with ridicule, highlighting the goofiest or least articulate of the protesters.

Where is the respect they gave the Baggers? Where is the acknowledgement that this really is a grass roots movement not an event sponsored by major corporations like the Tea Party?

I suspect most of you never heard about "The People's Budget" either. If the media is so liberal, then why don't they give more coverage to Liberal events or causes?

Like tax cuts that pay for themselves and the myth that giving tax breaks to corporations will spur hiring, the myth of the Liberal Media permeates conservative speak.

And like so much of what they say, its simply not true

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Science and Global Warming

In the eternal quasi debate about Climate Change the deniers keep coming back to a central tenet of their belief. Climate Scientists are somehow corrupt. They believe that all the Climate Scientists that have reached the conclusion that the current warming trend in global average surface temperature are involved in some sort of global conspiracy.

What the point of the conspiracy is I have never quite understood. Unless you just want to believe that Climate Scientists just like to lie for the sake of lying.

Then two recent stories about science caught my attention. In the first, a group of scientists in Europe were measuring the speed of neutrinos. And they discovered, to universal surprise, that the neutrinos actually traveled faster than the speed of light. That is, for the science community, shocking and amazing news. The absolute inability for any particle to exceed the speed of light has been one of the bedrock realities of science every since Einstein postulated his theories of Relativity and Special Relativity. The response in the scientific community was surprise and excitement. The work of these scientists will now be examined very closely by scientists around the world. Some will be trying to explain away the findings with some calculational or instrument error. Others will be trying to duplicate the findings, running experiments that duplicate the original experiment and designing different experiments to test the speed of neutrinos.

The second story came today in the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to an Israeli scientist who proved the existence of quasicrystals which are crystalline materials where the pattern of atoms in the crystal doesn't repeat. When this Israeli scientist first published his work it challenged fundamentally what chemists had taken as a given for a very long time. So other Chemists began testing the discovery, trying to duplicate the results or trying to refute them as flawed in some way.

This is what scientists do.

Hypothesis, Experiment, Analysis, Synthesis.

The first scientist that I know of that theorized that human activity was causing the globe to get hotter faster was an American scientist back in the late 50's. I suspect that at that time his theories were not widely accepted. But scientists did what scientists do, they measured and analyzed and tested and observed and they came up with theories that described what they were observing and then they tried to figure out other ways to test their theories. Scientists would look for other theories that would better explain the data. By the early 90's, the scientists were convinced. Every published climate scientist agreed that human activity, most importantly the production of CO2, was taking an existing warming trend and accelerating it. Human activity became acknowledged as the principal driver in the warming that was occurring in global average surface temperatures.

There is no conspiracy here. When somebody stole thousands of emails from climate researchers in England they then published extracts and snippets of different emails that they claimed somehow proved that there was a vast global conspiracy among climatologists to lie to us all and to suppress dissenting views.

So there have been at least 5 investigations into these allegations of fraud. The University of East Anglia (where the scientists worked) investigated, the British government investigated a couple of state Attorney's General investigated. Every investigation came to the same basic conclusion.

There was no fraud, no academic malfeasance, no conspiracy to lie.

Its almost been funny to watch the deniers spin theory after theory. At first denying that the globe was actually warming, then claiming that volcanoes put far more CO2 into the atmosphere, or claiming that data more than about 50 years old was unreliable because those old thermometers weren't as accurate as ours are today, or something called Isotopic Drift invalidated the results of ice core surveys or that tree ring studies were just not meaningful for some reason or that where the thermometers were placed was flawed so that their readings were not sufficiently isolated from local conditions like urban heating.

And every theory gets dis proven.

The scientists who may have discovered neutrinos moving faster than the speed of light, and the scientist who discovered quasicrystals were doing what scientists to. Observing, Hypothesizing, Experimenting, and then refining the hypothesis. And then doing it again.

That's what climate scientists have been doing on the issue of global warming since at least the late 50's.

There is no fraud, there is no conspiracy, there is no big lie. At least not from the Climate Scientists.

BELIEVE what you want about Global Warming. Believe that its caused by aliens or solar cycles or volcano's or bad thermometers if you want. But when your BELIEFS are in direct contradiction of the conclusions of virtually every climate scientist, then perhaps you need to understand why you so desperately want to believe something that isn't true. Belief is in your heart. Belief is not what scientists do.

Observe, Theorize, Test and repeat. That's what scientists do. Don't believe them if you choose not to, but don't bother pretending that your BELIEFS are based on science. Just ask the real scientists.