Saturday, March 14, 2009

Toxic brew of regressive policies, sold through hate driven marketing techniques, all backed by the engine of kleptocratic thievery

At The Smoking Chimp, Hofstra University Professor Dr. David Michael Green pulls no punches in this scalding critique of the present-day GOP:

The GOP's problem is its ideology, plain and simple. Their toxic brew of regressive policies, sold through hate-driven marketing techniques, all backed by the engine of kleptocratic thievery, just isn't getting traction anymore. Just as it was inevitable that Bristol Palin and her nineteen year-old boyfriend, Levi Johnston, won't be getting married after all (golly, didn't see that one coming at all!) - Republican family values notwithstanding! - so was it clear that the GOP would end up being its own worst enemy. Americans show an amazing capacity for stupidity, to be sure, but just the same they will usually figure out in the end that what's bad for them is bad for them.

Understanding that political pendulums swing, and that absolute power corrupts not just Repulicans, Dr. Green fixes a realistic gave into medium future.

But one could imagine, much as with Labour and the Tories in the UK, that a decade or two from now the Democrats will get lazy and corrupt and stupid enough to lose to a deradicalized Republican Party that runs on a non-ideological appeal purely focused on competence, as an alternative to the messed-up incumbents.

Again, it's the policy that's the problem.

When the best you can offer to a frightened and submerged American public is some cheap and disingenuous rap about earmarks, along with a government that would do nothing to help, your party is going to go the same way as Herbert Hoover.

Because you are Herbert Hoover.

A few years ago while visiting some Iowa relatives, my folks and I stopped at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Musuem in West Branch, Iowa.

The library's web page notes that the library opened on 10 August, 1962, and has subsequently undergone "a massive expansion and renovation project" and "has grown from 32,000 to 44,500 square feet."

Massive expansion and renovation projects didn't come all that cheap even in 1992, when the museum was rededicated by Ronald Reagan. The web site notes:

The $8-million facelift was very much a public-private partnership, with Washington supplying $5 million for bricks and mortar, supplementing some $3 million raised by the Hoover Presidential Library Association for new exhibits and educational programming.

In other words, the facelift was a FIVE MILLION DOLLAR EARMARK which went to preserve the legacy of Herbert Hoover.

At least that's one way of looking at it, as for example a recent Chicago Tribune article headline noted about some recent Massachusettes earmarks.

Preserving the Kennedy heritage

March 12, 2009

More than $1 out of every $5 of the $126 million Massachusetts is receiving in earmarks is going to help preserve the legacy of the Kennedys. The spending package includes $5.8 million for planning and design of a building to house a new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate. The measure also includes $22 million to expand facilities at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum and $5 million for a new gateway to the Boston Harbor Islands on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

—Associated Press

Or maybe it's just Democratic-sponsored earmarks that are evil incarnate?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dancing in the streets - for the sake of your health

"Nothing so reshuffles the hierarchy of values of a politician - North or South - or gives his dormant conscience a wee breath of life, as a mass demonstration in the streets."

Howard Zinn: The Southern Mystique

Today on Democracy Now! Amy Goodman interviewed Russell Mokhiber who has formed a new group, Single Payer Action ( in order to "have a direct confrontation with the health insurance industry and their lackeys in Congress."

Mokhiber notes that 60% of the American people plus majorities of doctors, nurses, and health economists support a single payer/Medicare model. Fierce resistance exists to even let the idea enter the national discussion. Mokhiber says "it's the usual situation where the will of the American people is being stopped by the powerful players in Washington" (health insurance industry and lobbyists).

In order to grab the attention of our local congress critters, Mokhiber advocates this strategy:

Now, there is an answer. The answer is not email campaigns. Congress is becoming immune to email campaigns. The answer is not letter writing. The answer is direct, face-to-face confrontation with the insurance industry and with Congress, with your members of Congress in your district. So we’re calling on Americans to sign up at and to organize protests in front—get to know your district—your member of Congress district office. Probably less than five percent of Americans know where the district office of their member of Congress. Get to know it. Camp out there. Call the local media. The local media is going to love it. And let’s get this thing done. Let’s push through single payer for the American people, like the rest of the civilized world has.

District Office of U.S. Representative Melissa Bean
1701 E. Woodfield Road, Suite 200,
Schaumburg, IL 60173