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The nightmare (free market) scenario the GOP faces: THEY’RE A VERY BAD INVESTMENT


 

I’ve got a great dirty trick you can play on a three-year-old kid. Kids learn how to talk from listening to their parents, see? This is a good one. So here’s what you do. So you have a three-year-old kid and you wanna pull a trick on ‘em, whenever you’re around them.. TALK WRONG.

So now it’s like his first day of school and he raises his hand: “May I mambo dogface to the banana patch?”

“Give that kid a special test. Get him out of here.”

—Steve Martin, A Wild and Crazy Guy, 1978

That classic Steve Martin joke came immediately to mind when I read Columbia University’s Lincoln Mitchell’s essay, “Is Fox Even Helping the Republicans Anymore?” this morning. That and “if you have to ask, then the answer is almost certainly ‘no.’” Fox News has become a liability to the GOP? Who’d have ever thunk it?

A few other things popped into my head as well when I read Mitchell’s article:

This has been a difficult election season for Fox News. Among the most enduring media images of the last few days of the election are Karl Rove late on election night angrily denying that Ohio, and thus the presidency, had gone to President Obama, and Dick Morris only a few days before the election confidently predicting a Romney landslide. Morris later tried to explain away his mistake after the election by claiming he had done it to create enthusiasm among Republican voters. The incidents involving Rove and Morris, both of whom work as both commentators on Fox and political consultants to conservative clients, are obviously embarrassing for Fox, but also raise the question of whether the network has outlived its value, even to the Republican Party.

Because Fox generally reports news based on partisan talking points and ideological certainty rather than focusing on pesky things like facts, information and events, it has, in the past, been effective in encouraging misperceptions about President Obama’s background, nurturing the growth and development of the Tea Party movement and covering economic policy by referring to any spending by the government as socialism. These things have helped mobilize and misinform the right wing base of the Republican Party. Similarly, during the Bush administration, Fox helped increase support for the Gulf War by repeating White House positions on weapons of mass destruction, almost without question.

“Ideological certainty” sure is a fun term to mull over these days, isn’t it? Especially in light of what happened on Election Day. Imagine having your entire naive “conservative” (and all that implies outside of the cult) worldview crushed just like that by the sheer force of math and changing demographics… not that I have much sympathy for dolts.
 

 
How would people who watch Fox News all the time ever hear—let alone be able to mentally process—something like “Herbert Hoover presided over a bigger spending increase than Obama has”? Or that “Obama won more popular votes than any Democratic candidate for president in history—except for himself in 2008”? I’ll tell you how they process it: “He stole the election!”

If you follow, like I do, the far reich blogosphere, it’s very plain to see that these people live in a cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs fantasyland, in an America that doesn’t even exist, hasn’t really existed for years, and that will never exist again short of a genocide that would kill tens of millions of people, and which, frankly, isn’t something I expect to see happening in North America anytime soon.
 

 
Even in the minds of GOP bigwigs, this Bizarro World/“mambo dogface to the banana patch” shit is looming large: Did you read former Reagan economic adviser Bruce Bartlett—the guy who coined the term “Reaganomics”—writing in The American Conservative on how even elite Republicans view The New York Times as if it is some far left samizdat? WTF??

Interestingly, a couple of days after the Suskind article appeared, I happened to be at a reception for some right-wing organization that many of my think tank friends were also attending. I assumed I would get a lot of grief for my comments in the Suskind article and was surprised when there was none at all.

Finally, I started asking people about it. Not one person had read it or cared in the slightest what the New York Times had to say about anything. They all viewed it as having as much credibility as Pravda and a similar political philosophy as well. Some were indignant that I would even suspect them of reading a left-wing rag such as the New York Times.

I was flabbergasted. Until that moment I had not realized how closed the right-wing mind had become. Even assuming that my friends’ view of the Times’ philosophy was correct, which it most certainly was not, why would they not want to know what their enemy was thinking? This was my first exposure to what has been called “epistemic closure” among conservatives—living in their own bubble where nonsensical ideas circulate with no contradiction.

Read that last sentence again. That would describe Fox News perfectly, a place where nonsensical ideas circulate with no contradiction. EVER, or else they cut your mic. A black hole of intelligence that’s sucking the GOP faithful into a place of foolishness from which they can never return.

Back to Mitchell:

Over the last several years, this has been very helpful to the Republican Party, but during 2012, particularly in recent months, this has begun to change. Fox has now become a problem for the Republican Party because it keeps a far right base mobilized and angry making it hard for the party to move to the center, or increase its appeal as it must do to remain electorally competitive. For example, Bill O’Reilly’s explanation of why the Obama was reelected may, in fact, resonate, with the older and heavily white viewership of Fox, but it is precisely the wrong public message and messenger for the Party.

Precisely, it was the sort of grumpy old white senior citizens who reliably vote in the Republican primaries—and get their “informations” from Fox News—who forced Mitt Romney to contort himself into positions that made him an unpalatable shit-dipped pretzel to non-white, non-old, non-idiotic Americans and therefore patently un-electable.

I got yer manifest destiny right here: Romney scored the “reliable low IQ buffoon” vote, that’s for sure, and for many of us, that alone was a good enough reason to vote against him. How will the “big tent” Republicans go about courting that surefire base of the Tea party / “Moran” / covert (or overt) racist / Christian home-schooled creationist conservative bloc in elections to come without alienating absolutely everyone else?
 

 
Talk about a difficult dance step with both of your shoes tied together and nailed to the floor. Is it even possible to pull off such a doomed political tango moving forward in history? It’s a stupid uphill battle to wage to begin with. Why bother trying to swim against this kind of historical and demographic current? Why hitch your wagon to some horses who require oxygen tanks and twice daily insulin shots? It doesn’t make any sense.

Any aspiring young politician with half a brain would be a fool to think he’d be the BMOC by joining the party of people with no brains at all (Scott Brown, I’m looking at your short political career. Still glad you pledged Phi Kappa Dipshit?). Whereas, the Democrats, or at least some of them, seem more like the folks with one eye in the kingdom of the blind (I exempt Florida’s Alan Grayson from this assessment), the Republicans just seem like mean-spirited know-nothing buffoons, country blumpkins (that’s not a typo) and Jeebus freaks who belong in carnival sideshows, not voting booths. Where do you go from there when your baseline members consist of the country’s most irritating assholes and blowhards under the same “big tent”? (Think of the GOP not as a political party, but a party party. Who wants to party with the Republicans? They’ve got John Rocker signing autographs!)

And listen to the hilarious “conciliatory” noises that even the likes of Sean Hannity are starting to spout about immigration reform (he’s “evolved”—not a word typically associated with Hannity, is it?). A little late, buddy, don’t cha think? How do you solve a problem like, uh, Maria, at this late stage of the game, genius? YOU don’t. You try to fuck off with some tiny shred of dignity left! (If you care about what Sean Hannity “thinks” about immigration reform, I truly fucking pity you and anyone you come into contact with on a regular basis).

Moreover, while Fox helps the Republican Party when it slants its news coverage to the right, it damages the Party when its news coverage becomes too shoddy. A network that cannot get election night right because one of its star pundits simply refuses to accept defeat offers very little reason for potential viewers to watch it. Similarly a network whose pundits are so off in their election predictions will ultimately marginalize itself completely, as Fox is beginning to do.

Fox News “offers very little reason for potential viewers to watch it.” As Glenn Beck likes to say “Well, duh!”

If the information a news organization brings to the public is wrong and is demonstrated—easily—to be incorrect, then what is the value proposition? Fox News fills not-so-bright people’s heads with comforting bullshit and it serves to get them riled up and angry with… non-facts. It tells dum-dums, not “the news,” but what they want to hear. Study after study has shown that Fox News fans are the least informed people in America—indeed they are the very opposite of informed, as they tend to actually know less than they would had they watched no TV news at all.

There is clearly very little of nutritional value to get out of Fox News. It’s like eating Cheetos all the damned day and believing that you are consuming a futuristic health food (like Tang and Gatorade) even as you weigh 500 lbs and have to be lifted by a crane into your electric scooter.
 

 
Fox News imbicilizes its viewership. Its viewership IS the Republican base and probably comprises the greater part of its primary voters. According to Bruce Bartlett, it’s also the leadership…

Another thing that came to mind reading Mitchell’s essay was Paul Krugman’s withering quip about Newt Gingrich being “a stupid man’s idea of what a smart person sounds like.” Ouch, but it’s just so very, very true. If your mind is tiny, Newt’s must seem vast, but that doesn’t say much about the price of tea in China, just what passes for “brainy” to a group of people as dumb as a cows. Gingrich, like Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, is merely a self-confident idiot. and yet these bozos are the very ones they pass off as the smart guys because they’re louder, more emphatically blusterous and in the case of Gingrich, just flat-out fuckin’ meaner.
 

 

One of the bigger challenges facing the Republican Party is that they are perceived as the, to phrase it nicely, less smart of the two major parties. The anti-science perspective, unwillingness to speak out against absurd sounding conspiracy theories, and even the attacks on Nate Silver, presumably because Silver did somewhat sophisticated math, have contributed to this and are damaging the party. It is no coincidence that the Obama campaign had a more sophisticated targeting and turnout operation and better statistical modeling. A party that refuses to take a firm stand in support of evolution or recognizing climate change is not going to draw too many people with advanced statistical training as advisors and consultants.

Don’t forget world-class computer programmers and developers.

Fox contributes to that environment by creating a climate where partisan rantings of people like Dick Morris are indulged while criticism by serious people like Tom Ricks is shut down and attacked. There is no inevitable link between conservatism and stupidity, but one could be forgiven for coming to that conclusion while watching Fox News. As it is currently constructed, Fox News is going to bring in almost no swing voters in the coming years. It will more likely continue to repel them through poor analysis and rants that strike the precise tone the party should be trying to avoid.

BAM. The toxic ménage à trois of the GOP, Fox News and the dumbest old coots in America means that they are perceived from the outside as being synonymous, and so herein lies the FAR BIGGER problem for the Republican party: Its very base, the braying Tea party dumbasses who they have so assiduously courted and pandered to, has made the Republican Party itself look like a BAD INVESTMENT. They can’t win lumbered with the imbecilic hordes of Fox News viewers, but they sure cannot win without them, either. What to do?

Tee-hee! This is yet another particularly vexing Catch 22 that I don’t think the GOP counted on. It goes far beyond their demographic problems and presents a much, much more immediate Wiley E. Coyote looking down to see that he’s already in very big trouble sort of crisis.

It’s also not something that I think is obvious to them—yet: Smart businessmen don’t tend to throw good money after bad. They certainly don’t keep doing it forever. Why would the people who have traditionally given money to the Republicans be foolish enough to do that again in 2016?

I think even the fucking US Chamber of Commerce got the message this time, don’t you? How could they have missed it?
 

 
Mitchell concluded by offering a final compelling reason for what I’m seeing as the “bad investment” aspect of the unholy trinity of Fox News, the GOP and the dumbest Americans:

It is in the interest of the Democrats, not the Republicans, for there to be a loud, extremist, heavily white faction in the Republican Party, constantly pushing that party rightward. One of the reasons Mitt Romney was so unable to pivot back to the center was due to the drumbeat at Fox which contributing to forcing him to the right during the primary season. Even after the primary season, when Fox became a big supporter for Romney, the rift between official editorial position and the political feelings of Fox viewers and hosts, was clear.

Unfortunately for the Republicans, while this is bad politics, it is good business for Fox. By positioning itself as the place where angry Republicans can go for their rhetorical red meat, Fox guarantees itself a sizable viewership, so the incentive for Fox to keep doing what it is doing is substantial, as is the potential damage to the Republican Party.

Good business for Fox News, but bad business for rich supporters of the Republican Party.

It’s a very difficult thing to convince someone that they’re stupid, however, it’s utterly infuriating when someone lets you know that they think you’re stupid and you suspect they might be right (I’d imagine, it’s not like this has ever happened to me). Faced with that uncomfortable power dynamic, stupid people tend to huff and puff and dig in their heels even harder when it comes to something that threatens them. As the Republican electorate gets older and has less and less influence, the growing realization that the rest of us think they’re knobs will see the thrashing displays of abject crazy get ratcheted up to levels of lunacy not yet seen, but that will just seem more and more silly, shrill and impotent as time goes on. For the Republicans, it used to be that automatically having the coalition of the stupid in their back pocket was a winning strategy. Today that’s why they’re losing and yet they can’t exactly cut them loose, either.
 

 
So the upshot of all of this is that GOP can’t really compete on a national level anymore, and if this isn’t an entirely 100% watertight truth (although the demographics sure seem to back it up) it’s still true enough.

If they were a sports team would you bet on them?

And ask yourself, even if you were stinking rich would you knowingly invest in a losing (hell, DOOMED) team?

As that notion sinks in, and becomes fully baked into the popular “loser” perception of the GOP, will the 1% continue to financially support the Republican party?

I think it’s pretty clear that the answer is gonna be NO.

(What this portends for the Democrats and one party rule in America is something beyond the scope of this already overlong post).
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.30.2012
04:50 pm
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Yuck: Carly Fiorina sure is a nauseating human being


“Quote, unquote ‘working people’”

Failed 2010 Republican Senate candidate and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (“19th Worst CEO of All Time”) is a confirmed failure in both business and politics—an extremely notable failure at that—and yet for some inexplicable reason, her “success” at nearly destroying HP saw Fiorina gifted with a $42 million “golden parachute” severance package when they fired her. (She claims $21 million, conveniently forgetting the other half). Hell, I’d be willing to run HP into the dust for the bargain price of $500,000, less, even, how’s about you?).

Portfolio magazine described Fiorina as “a consummate self-promoter” (A job creator!) who “paid herself handsome bonuses and perks while laying off thousands of employees to cut costs.” 18,000 people to give you a nice round number.

So why does NBC News keep booking her as an “expert” on Meet the Press? What are Carly Fiorina’s qualifications to have her opinions on the so-called “fiscal cliff” taken seriously? How is Fiorina’s “expertise” measured when SHE, of ALL PEOPLE, makes a statement like this one:

“It is not fair that public employee union pensions and benefits are so rich now that cities and states are going bankrupt, and college tuition is going up 20 and 30%… There is a lot that isn’t fair right now.”

Fair? Who is Carly Fiorina to decide what’s fair or not? How fucking fair is it that an individual rewarded with $42 million for being a total fuck up (during her tenure at HP, the company’s stock lost half its value) is on NBC News whining and pontificating about public union employees? Someone who fired 18,000 workers as she ground a major American corporation into the curb? Yeah, let’s canvass her opinion on the direction the country needs to take!

Hell, Carly Fiorina is so clueless that she even ran as a Republican in CALIFORNIA! I mean, what’s up with that? (Endorsed by Sarah Palin, Fiorina lost by 10 points!) If she’s any kind of expert on anything beside failing upwards then I’m Sean Hannity.

And for the record, 7 of 10 public union employees—like cops—retire on a pension of around $30k a year. Just sayin…

Via AmericaBlog:

So tell me who is really part of the moocher class that corporate CEOs and 1%-ers keep talking about? Are they the people asking for basic healthcare or the people who have enough money to build moats and personal golf courses around their mansions? Another tip off sign of a moocher is that no matter how much they have, it’s not enough and they want more of your money.

Damn if these Republicans don’t always want stuff.

Tee-hee. I’m SO sick of hearing about this fiscal cliff nonsense, but ESPECIALLY from the likes of Carly Fiorina. If they try to cut Social Security or Medicare benefits, there will (finally) be riots in this country (which is why I don’t think anything is going to happen on that front, just “talk”). They need to dump the Bush tax cuts for people making over $250,000 (it’s at least a start) and GUT THE PERPETUAL WAR MACHINE and hey, presto, no more fiscal cliff… Obviously, if they cut back on the war toys, America would be swimming in money.

This morning an email arrived from the Senate’s sole openly socialist member—and I think, a great American—Bernie Sanders of Vermont:

At a time when the wealthiest people in our country are doing phenomenally well, we must eliminate the Bush tax cuts favoring the top 2 percent.

At a time when corporate profits are soaring, we must end the absurd tax policy that allows about one-quarter of large, profitable corporations to pay nothing in federal income taxes.

At a time when the federal treasury is losing over $100 billion annually because the wealthy and large corporations are stashing their money in tax havens in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere, we must pass real tax reform that ends this outrage.

At a time when we spend almost as much as the rest of the world combined on defense, we must cut defense spending.  There is also waste in other governmental agencies which must be eliminated.

This kinda sounds like a better plan than cutting pensions and healthcare benefits for older Americans.

And to Carly Fiorina, why don’t you have some dignity and fuck off. No one, but no one, wants to hear your opinions. NO ONE CARES what you think about the lives of ordinary working men and women and the direction American needs to go in. Go count your mountain of money away from the cameras, safe from the moochers in your gated mansion, stop embarrassing yourself and get off my tee-vee.
 

 
Thank you Steven Otero!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.28.2012
11:08 am
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Glenn Beck makes his own ‘Piss Christ’ with Obama Bobblehead
11.27.2012
09:42 pm
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In which the loony former television personality decides to do something “controversial,” as reported on his own website, The Blaze:

The idea, for Beck however, is not to be untoward, but through irony, to highlight the hypocrisy of those who would shout in defiance at defacing the image of a sitting U.S. president, but not that of an image so sacred to Christianity — the world’s largest religion.

Beck’s piece is titled “Obama in Pee-Pee” and he says it’s for sale at $25,000. Beck admitted that it was not his own celebrity whiz in the container, but just some beer.

The clip is painful to watch, although I will admit to LOLing when Beck referred to his “home-brewed ‘Country Time.’”
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.27.2012
09:42 pm
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The Republicans are way, way, more screwed than they thought!


 
New York’s Jonathan Chait has written persuasively on several occasions in the past year about the rather obvious fear and desperation—but not, paranoia, a distinction I think he too kindly makes, but no matter—of Republicans and the importance to the conservative right to win big in 2012, for the reason that it might be their very last chance to win nationally before rapidly changing racial demographics in the American electorate make that all but impossible.

The Republican Party is way, way more fucked than they dared suspect. New findings from Pew Research Survey’s close analysis of the youth vote in the 2012 elections strongly suggests the GOP’s worst nightmare: The rise of an increasingly liberal young electorate that cuts across racial boundaries. They’re even losing the younger white people!

Chait writes:

Among the 2012 electorate, more voters identified themselves as conservative (35 percent) than liberal (25 percent), and more said the government is already doing too much that should be left to the private sector (51 percent) than asserted that the government ought to be doing more to solve problems (44 percent). But this is not the case with younger voters. By a 59 percent to 37 percent margin, voters under 30 say the government should do more to solve problems. More remarkably, 33 percent of voters under 30 identified themselves as liberal, as against 26 percent who called themselves conservative.

What all this suggests is that we may soon see a political landscape that will appear from the perspective of today and virtually all of American history as unrecognizably liberal. Democrats today must amass huge majorities of moderate voters in order to overcome conservatives’ numerical advantage over liberals. They must carefully wrap any proposal for activist government within the strictures of limited government, which is why Bill Clinton declared the era of big government to be over, and Obama has promised not to raise taxes for 99 percent of Americans. It’s entirely possible that, by the time today’s twentysomethings have reached middle age, these sorts of limits will cease to apply.

Obviously, such a future hinges on the generational patterns of the last two election cycles persisting. But, as another Pew survey showed, generational patterns to tend to be sticky. It’s not the case that voters start out liberal and move rightward. Americans form a voting pattern early in their life and tend to hold to it. That isn’t to say something couldn’t shake these voters loose from their attachment to the liberal worldview. Republicans fervently (and plausibly) hoped the Great Recession would be that thing; having voted for Obama and borne the brunt of mass unemployment, once-idealistic voters would stare at the faded Obama posters on their wall and accept the Republican analysis that failed Big Government policies have brought about their misery.

But young voters haven’t drawn this conclusion — or not many of them have, at any rate. So either something else is going to have to happen to disrupt the liberalism of the rising youth cohort, or else the Republican Party itself will have to change in ways far more dramatic than any of its leading lights seem prepared to contemplate.

I personally don’t expect to see much of a reversal of fortune for Republicans. They’re a party of silly old men, “morans,” racists, idiots, jingoists and religious fanatics and to many people, this is ALL that their shit-for-brains “semiotic” stands for. How do you go about rebranding the very gestalt of American political stupidity to make it more attractive to young, liberally inclined voters?

I don’t think you can do this. How would that even work?

And which one of these mentally deficient special interest bozo groups that constitute the modern day Republican party will be the first to embrace abortion rights, universal healthcare, gay marriage, Blacks and Latinos, living wages, equal pay for women and the separation of church and state?

It would be like turning on Fox News and all of a sudden Sean Hannity had grown a fucking brain or that Bill O’Reilly woke up wondering if maybe—just maybe, I said—he’s been wrong all of these years? About almost everything?

That ain’t gonna happen…

I’ll leave you with this tasty morsel of Republican idiocy: Rick Santorum is back and he’s got a new cause: Opposing the disabled.

I’m sure this will be a winning issue for Santorum and the GOP moving forward. If at first you don’t succeed, um… pick on the cripples, I guess.

That’s moral leadership, Republican style!
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.27.2012
02:41 pm
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God rubs Mitt Romney’s nose in karmic dogshit


 
Irony of ironies or just a cosmic coincidence?

Mitt Romney’s share of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential race, when all is said and done, will probably be recorded as 47 percent. Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman has noted that President Obama has actually expanded his portion of the popular vote to 50.8 percent, while Romney has fallen to 47.49 percent, which accounting for rounding down puts his percentage at the magic number of government dependent moochers that he himself estimated, at a secretly taped bigwig fundraiser, would never vote for him.

Via The Washington Post:

By virtue of rounding, Romney’s share of the popular vote will be recorded here and elsewhere as 47 percent, so long as it doesn’t rise above 47.5 percent again.

That seems unlikely. Wasserman projects that Romney’s vote share will actually head more toward 47 percent flat — 47.1 percent or 47.2 percent — because many of the outstanding ballots in the presidential race come from California and New York, which both voted for Obama by a large margin.

And Obama’s popular vote margin, in the end, is likely to be 51 percent to 47 percent.

In actual fact, Obama’s margin of victory is bigger than the elections margins seen by George W. Bush (both the 2000 and 2004 elections), Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Richard Nixon when he ran against Hubert Humphrey in 1968. All had smaller electoral margins than Obama.

Imagine if the Democrats had run a white guy at the top of the ticket in 2012 and some of the “racist” voters—who knows what percentage they represent—didn’t automatically give Romney their support? What would the GOP vs. Democrat tally been in that theoretical instance?

Not that it matters much, anymore, really: The Republicans are gonna be so fucked in 2016, even in the red states, by the rising percentage of Latino voters—just a 1% demographic change in that direction is HUGE in US electoral terms—and well, it’s going to happen. There is nothing they can do about it.

And it’s going to be fun to watch.

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.27.2012
10:53 am
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Feel the Fear: Text of goofy 1970s conservative fund-raising letter


 
In Rick Perlstein’s excellent article The Long Con: Mail-order conservatism, the author of the classic Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America discusses the odd world of mail order conservative fundraisers who prey on gullible older people, parting them from their pensions by agitating them with nonsense.

This revealing text of a 1970s conservative fundraising pitch originated from Heritage Foundation founder Paul Weyrich’s “Free Congress Research and Education Foundation”:

Dear Friend,

Do you believe that children should have the right to sue their parents for being “forced” to
attend church?

Should children be eligible for minimum wage if they are being asked to do household
chores?

Do you believe that children should have the right to choose their own family?

As incredible as they might sound, these are just a few of the new “children’s rights laws” that could become a reality under a new United Nations program if fully implemented by the Carter administration.

If radical anti-family forces have their way, this UN sponsored program is likely to become an all-out assault on our traditional family structure.

Perlstein’s analysis of this sort of goofy vintage mail order entreaty is, uh, right on the money, so to speak…

Following the standard scare-mongering playbook of the fundraising Right, Weyrich launched his appeal with some horrifying eventuality that sounded both entirely specific and hair-raisingly imminent (“all-out assault on our traditional family structure”—or, in the case of a 1976 pitch signed by Senator Jesse Helms, taxpayer-supported “grade school courses that teach our children that cannibalism, wife swapping, and the murder of infants and the elderly are acceptable behavior”; or, to take one from not too long ago, the white-slavery style claim that “babies are being harvested and sold on the black market by Planned Parenthood”).

Closer inspection reveals the looming horror to be built on a non-falsifiable foundation (“could become”; “is likely to become”). This conditional prospect, which might prove discouraging to a skeptically minded mark, is all the more useful to reach those inclined to divide the moral universe in two—between the realm of the wicked, populated by secretive, conspiratorial elites, and the realm of the normal, orderly, safe, and sane.

Weyrich’s letter concludes by proposing an entirely specific, real-world remedy: slaying the wicked can easily be hastened for the low, low price of a $5, $10, or $25 contribution from you, the humble citizen-warrior.

These are bedtime stories, meant for childlike minds. Or, more to the point, they are in the business of producing childlike minds. Conjuring up the most garishly insatiable monsters precisely in order to banish them from underneath the bed, they aim to put the target to sleep.

OUCH. He nailed it. And this sort of practice continues thirty years later, not that the come-on message has become any more intellectually sophisticated, because it hasn’t…

From Fox News, to Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and Glenn Beck on the radio, not to mention Internet conspiracy theorists like Breitbart.com and the lowest of the low, WorldNetDaily, the reichwing mediasphere is all about keeping people ill-informed, stupid and fearful.

Having a large audience who doesn’t know shit from shinola is a big plus when you’re flogging exorbitantly over-priced gold coins, half-priced Ann Coulter books and prepackaged food rations that require no refrigeration and remain edible for up to four decades in your nuclear bomb shelter.

Like Rick Perlstein, I subscribed to a number of far-right mailing lists myself when the Tea party movement first exploded onto the scene (Obviously these emails provide great fodder for a blog like this one to poke fun at). The best ultra-conservative daily emails, by far, I think, come from WND, mainly because editorially speaking, it’s probably the dumbest and most comically paranoiac of all the major reichwing blogs—and yet, conversely, WND is the best organized from a business and e-commerce standpoint.

There’s a comically formulaic structure to the WND emails—I get about a dozen per day—they’re as strict and singsong as limericks, usually posing the subject line’s topic in the form of a burning question like “Guess which one of Obama’s Commie BFFs will be named Secretary of Assassinating Conservatives? Michael Savage spills the beans!” or some bullshit like that. (As I’ve been typing this, a new one has come in: “HOW OBAMA CAN BE STOPPED IN ELECTORAL COLLEGE Exclusive: Judson Phillips offers constitutional means to put Romney in office Jan. 21”)

And then there are some links to a new “Bible Codes” book revealing the identity of the Antichrist (who can this mysterious “BO” character be???), an “explosive” DVD expose about Barack Obama being a homosexual crackhead or pricey dietary supplements that you can take and then throw away your insulin shots forever!

The Long Con: Mail-order conservatism (The Baffler)

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.19.2012
06:31 pm
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Paranoid Republicans in Georgia discussing Obama’s mind control plot
11.15.2012
09:01 pm
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If you really want to burrow deep into the brain-damaged Bizzaro World rabbit hole of the most “out there,” batshit crazy conspiracy theories currently making the rounds, “Agenda 21,” is zooming to the top of the charts with a bullet among the tin foil hat set… and beyond.

That’s right, Agenda 21 is going mainstream, baby!

Agenda 21 is actually (sort of) a real thing, a non-mandatory proposed declaration pertaining to sustainable development first introduced at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro. It has never been ratified by the US Senate, but despite this, lunatics on the fringes of the far right (and at least one group identifying itself as a Democrat-leaning subset) think it is the most nefarious globalist plot ever hatched to steal away our American birthrights and freedom and shit. Or something.

Agenda 21 is a fairly fluid, one-size-fits-all conspiracy theory, like HAARP, and can be called upon to enforce imaginary, at zero risk of happening things like mandatory birth control and involuntary sterilization (and sometimes just the opposite), Soylent Green-style euthanasia of old people and the forcible rounding up of country folk who will be made to live in cities and give up their cars.

To the fruitcakes propagating these theories—Glenn Beck and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, come to mind on the right, as well as less ideologically categorizable sources such as David Icke and Alex Jones—“sustainable development” is just some BS “New World Order” code-word for “UN control” and of course, the bogeyman of Socialism (or at least whatever that term currently means to folks on the right).

Where an unsophisticated, buffoonish belief system like this becomes a problem is when a gang of aging low IQ baby boomers—the kind who believe in ACORN plots, birtherism and tax cuts for oligarchs—get riled up by Glenn Beck and decide that anything dubbed “sustainable,” mentioning “smart growth,” “climate change” or god forbid, cutting down on pollution or trying to preserve the environment, must mean it’s a plot against freedom, the Founding Fathers and Jeebus and so they turn up at local zoning hearings to shout down rational discussion with their paranoiac drivel and drown out sane people.

Ecologically sustainable development = NWO “they’re coming to take our freedom away” dog whistle. But of course! Of course!

Even worse the same dum-dums who joined the Tea party and who think Glenn Beck’s “eureka!” moments represent profound moments of deep undercover revelations about the evil leftwing puppet masters who want to destroy America—and not just some asshole shooting his mouth off shilling shit to the rubes—are getting themselves elected to local and state positions in growing numbers in red states. The state legislatures in Alabama, Kansas and Tennessee have approved resolutions blocking Agenda 21—which was never ratified, I remind you—from ever being implemented in their states. Not that there’s much of a danger of that ever occurring…

But it’s not stopping there as Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy writes in “Top Georgia GOP Lawmakers Host Briefing on Secret Obama Mind-Control Plot”:

President Obama is using a Cold War-era mind-control technique known as “Delphi” to coerce Americans into accepting his plan for a United Nations-run communist dictatorship in which suburbanites will be forcibly relocated to cities. That’s according to a four-hour briefing delivered to Republican state senators at the Georgia state Capitol last month.

On October 11, at a closed-door meeting of the Republican caucus convened by the body’s majority leader, Chip Rogers, a tea party activist told Republican lawmakers that Obama was mounting this most diabolical conspiracy. The event—captured on tape by a member of the Athens-based watchdog Better Georgia (who was removed from the room after 52 minutes)—had been billed as an information session on Agenda 21, a nonbinding UN agreement that commits member nations to promote sustainable development. In the eyes of conservative activists, Agenda 21 is a nefarious plot that includes forcibly relocating non-urban-dwellers and prescribing mandatory contraception as a means of curbing population growth. The invitation to the Georgia state Senate event noted the presentation would explain: “How pleasant sounding names are fostering a Socialist plan to change the way we live, eat, learn, and communicate to ‘save the earth.’”

The meeting consisted of a PowerPoint presentation followed by a 90-minute screening of the anti-Agenda 21 documentary, Agenda: Grinding America Down. It was emceed by Field Searcy, a local conservative activist who was forced out of the Georgia Tea Party in April due to his endorsement of conspiracy theories about the president’s birth certificate and the collapse of World Trade Center Tower 7. The presentation also featured a special video cameo from conservative talking-head Dick Morris in which the former Clinton aide warns that Obama “wants to force everyone into the cities from whence our ancestors fled.”

About 23 minutes into the briefing, Searcy explained how President Obama, aided by liberal organizations like the Center for American Progress and business groups like local chambers of commerce, are secretly using mind-control techniques to push their plan for forcible relocation on the gullible public:

“They do that by a process known as the Delphi technique. The Delphi technique was developed by the Rand Corporation during the Cold War as a mind-control technique. It’s also known as “consensive process.” But basically the goal of the Delphi technique is to lead a targeted group of people to a pre-determined outcome while keeping the illusion of being open to public input.”

Superb!

Mother Jones also had a simply marvelous screen shot from Field Searcy’s Powerpoint presentation:
 

 
Georgia Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers hosts a public meeting of top GOP Senate leaders to discuss Obama-related conspiracy theories.
 

 
Glenn Beck explains “Agenda” 21 in his very special way:
 

 
Oh wait, what’s this? Only the most fucking genius commercial of all time: It’s for Glenn Beck’s new novel, Agenda 21, and I haven’t seen a version, yet, that wasn’t videotaped off a television screen, so I’m wondering if it’s meant to look like this? I think it’s much better if that was intentional…
 

 
Thank you Sia Abderezai!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.15.2012
09:01 pm
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‘Are your there, God? It’s me, a foaming at the mouth, raving rightwing lunatic’


 
Larry Klayman, Esq., a former Justice Department prosecutor, the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch and the author of WHORES: Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment, went off on one of the most hilariously tweaked post-election rants that I’ve yet found. It’s a mini-masterpiece of spittle-flecked reichwing Christian conspiracy theories and just total bughouse, nutjob batshit craziness.

This is mind rot at its absolute finest. Savor it:

Many times in the history of the world, God has destroyed His people and started anew when they strayed from His word. Just ask Noah what the flood was all about! This time, even with the floods of Hurricane Sandy and the re-election of the President Barack Hussein Obama, God has spared us for the moment. Instead God has sent a dire warning and encouraged We the People to rise up, in His name, to restore His kingdom.

Had Mitt Romney been elected president, many among the flock would have been lulled asleep and deluded into thinking that a Moses had appeared to deliver us out of the Egyptian-like bondage we find ourselves in – thanks to our “Mullah in Chief” and his growing voter hoards of socialists, communists, anti-Semites, anti-Christians, atheists, radical gays and lesbians, feminists, illegal immigrants, Muslims, anti-Anglo whites and others who last Tuesday cemented his destructive hold on the White House and our country.

It is now clear that there is no Republican Moses [Ya think?]. Indeed, if Mitt Romney could go back in time, he should have first advocated putting the Grand Ol’ Party into bankruptcy, along with Chrysler and GM. Now, with this latest stunning political defeat, the party has finally had its last hurrah and is dead once and for all. Good riddance! One party down and one more to go. The Democrats, who are even more corrupt than the Republican establishment (and that is hard to fathom, I know), are, despite their election victory, not far behind – that is, if We the People rise up and exercise our God-given rights and fight for our freedom.

The bottom line is this: Americans of faith and those who believe in capitalism and hard work as the means to achieve, not “Atlas Shrugged”-portrayed government handouts, have now seen their country taken over largely by uneducated and lazy morons, goons and thugs who want to dismantle all our Founding Fathers conceived of and fought for. And, their hateful Marxist desire to destroy Western civilization is not limited to the “Great Satan,” the United States, but to its biblical Judeo-Christian roots, embodied in the nation of Israel. With no racial slur intended, but only to employ the same lingo used sarcastically by many of Obama’s supporters to describe their past plight, if we do nothing and simply look to future elections to restore the nation, we will soon become the “new niggers,” relegated to the back of the bus – as the bus speeds away to quickly fall over the fiscal, social and moral cliff. African-Americans were right when they said this years ago, and we’re now right to feel the same way today.

I’m sure you get the point. It goes on (and on and on) from there.

Larry Klayman, you are one crazy motherfucker, that’s all I have to say… because commentary in this case is quite unnecessary!

Read more of “God Has A Bigger Plan,” if you can stand to, at WorldNutDaily.

HT TPM

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.14.2012
12:18 pm
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Papa John’s: ‘Pepperoni, black olives, and can you take a big SPIT right on my pizza, please?’
11.14.2012
10:22 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Not content with the humiliating—and apparently “shocking” if Fox News is your sole source of intellectual nourishment—shellacking they got just last week, some impotent, rage-filled rightwing blowhards have a new “thing” to support to stick it to that Kenyan Muslim socialist in the White House and his commie plot to give poor people healthcare.

And wouldn’t you know it, it involves eating shitty, artery-clogging fast food (again).

Welcome to America!

A Facebook group calling itself “Rebooting America” is touting an event on the social network, planned for this Friday, Nov. 16, to protest the Affordable Care Act (ACA) due to centi-millionaire, “Papa John” Schnatter, founder and CEO of Papa John’s Pizza—and a big Mitt Romney donor and fund raiser—ostentatiously whining that he’ll be jacking up the price of his lousy product and passing that cost off on to his customers because Obamacare.

Hooray? I guess some people just get off on seeing their fellow man suffer, and it causes them to work up an appetite for disgusting pizza that tastes like cardboard topped with Alpo and burned Velveeta, but with Friday’s call for a “National Papa John’s Appreciation Day,” I don’t think the reichwing knuckleheads really thought this one all the way through, as Daily Kos Labor reporter Laura Clawson writes:

You know who I don’t take seriously when they say they really want everyone to have health insurance and it’s a shame Obamacare isn’t the right way to insure more people? People who run businesses where only a third of workers are insured. Like Darden Restaurants (the parent company of Red Lobster and Olive Garden, among others), which also said that Obamacare was what would be causing it to cut down on the 25 percent of its workers that got the 30 hours a week qualifying them for health insurance, Papa John’s is one of the 50 largest low-wage employers, and it’s a highly profitable one. So, no, “I’m so concerned that I might have to cut hours for some of the one in three employees I currently insure even though my 2011 revenues were $1.22 billion” is not the thing that makes me, personally, think “gosh, Obamacare really is putting intolerable burdens on businesses that want to take care of their workers but just might not be able to afford it.”

But I’m not the target for this kind of talk. Will Republicans mobilize in Schnatter’s defense? Failed Delaware Senate candidate and non-witch Christine O’Donnell wants to bring back that Chick-fil-A magic.
&nbsp:

 
People who think low-wage, no-health-care jobs are a great thing should definitely go to Papa John’s on Friday to make the political point that the company would be right to cut workers’ hours. What’s more, everyone who heeds O’Donnell’s call should be sure the workers know why they’re ordering this pizza on this day. Alternatively, they could just leave a “please spit on this pizza repeatedly” note when ordering each one.

Admittedly, this was the first thought that came to my mind, too (I guess it’s a good thing I don’t work at Papa John’s). The second was fantasizing about spitting in John Schnatter’s face…

The question is, how will Schnatter’s dickish politicization of raising his prices impact his shareholders and the Papa John’s franchise holders around the country? I don’t think this is another Chick-fil-A protest that will end up as a net positive, or neutral event for Papa John’s (keep in mind that Chick-fil-A’s food actually tastes good, whereas Papa John’s pizza tastes, in the memorable words of Stephen Colbert, like the ‘ass of a raccoon that drowned in your birdbath’).

When the Chick-fil-A support day occurred, there was at least a threadbare cover of “traditional Christian values” and all that implies, whereas this is just a mega-rich JERK shooting his mouth off. Centi-millionaire Schnattar’s peevish pronouncements about raising his prices make him look poorly, the way Donald Trump’s deranged ass clown rantings make him look. And like Trump, Schnatter is not a sympathetic character, he’s just a fucking super-rich asshole.

If you’re so stupid that you think purchasing some low-grade junk-food to show your feeble support of some CHEAP Republican bastard with over a hundred million dollars in the bank who doesn’t want the people who work for him to have health insurance is a good idea, hey, by all means order some Papa John’s Pizza this Friday, just cross yer fingers that no one spits on your pie, dipshit!

Bon appetite!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.14.2012
10:22 am
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FUBAR Republicans: How Mitt Romney’s campaign accidentally suppressed his own vote!
11.09.2012
01:46 pm
Topics:
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Breitbart has a legitimate scoop today, one that may have deeply pained them to report on: The staggering technical incompetency of Mitt Romney’s ground game.

A source within the Romney campaign shared his thoughts about “Project Orca,” the campaign’s massive get-out-the-vote digital infrastructure—which failed completely—with Breitbart News:

It’s easy to point fingers after a loss and I wouldn’t normally do it, but consider what happened.

Project Orca was supposed to enable poll watchers to record voter names on their smartphones, by listening for names as voters checked in. This would give the campaign real-time turnout data, so they could redirect GOTV
resources throughout the day where it was most needed. They recruited 37,000 swing state volunteers for this.

I worked on the Colorado team, and we were called by hundreds (or more) volunteers who couldn’t use the app or the backup phone system. The usernames and passwords were wrong, but the reset password tool didn’t work, and we couldn’t change phone PINs. We were told the problems were limited and asked to project confidence, have people use pencil and paper, and try to submit again later.

Then at 6PM they admitted they had issued the wrong PINs to every volunteer in Colorado, and reissued new PINs (which also didn’t work). Meanwhile, counties where we had hundreds of volunteers, such as Denver Colorado, showed zero volunteers in the system all day, but we weren’t allowed to add them. In one area, the head of the Republican Party plus 10 volunteers were all locked out. The system went down for a half hour during peak voting, but for hundreds or more, it never worked all day. Many of the poll watchers I spoke with were very discouraged. Many members of our phone bank got up and left.

I do not know if the system was totally broken, or if I just saw the worst of it. But I wonder, because they told us all day that most volunteers were submitting just fine, yet admitted at the end that all of Colorado had the wrong PIN’s. They also said the system projected every swing state as pink or red.

Regardless of the specific difficulties, this idea would only help if executed extremely well. Otherwise, those 37,000 swing state volunteers should have been working on GOTV…

Somebody messaged me privately after my email and told me that North Carolina had the same problems—every pin was wrong and not fixed until 6PM—and was also told it was localized to North Carolina.

Mind-blowing, isn’t it?

The reichwing is still trying to wrap their heads around, not just why Romney lost, but why he failed even to match John McCain’s tallies in 2008. I tell ‘em: HEY, IT WAS GOD’S WILL.

And then I laugh in their faces. (Actually that’s not true, I don’t know any fucking Republicans).

Orca: How the Romney Campaign Suppressed Its Own Vote (Breitbart News)

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.09.2012
01:46 pm
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