Friday, March 02, 2012


Jane, you ignorant slut... foreshadowed the highbrow, courteous, reasoned debate of the 21st century between right and left

Here's a bit of back and forth from me and a lawyer friend who is theoretically my polar opposite politically, but in real life, on real things, we probably see eye to eye. And what is typical in my experience, is that people who are right wing delusional Republicans in theory are, in practice, more liberal than I am in many respects. Confounding human nature!

On 3/2/2012 9:03 PM, XXX wrote:
Got a few responses to my e-mail on this subject. About 3 each for Newt and Romney and even 1 for Ron Paul. Then there was about a half dozen for Santorum. Of course, that is most likely because I said I tended toward Santorum. Without saying, this was not a scientific poll.

I terribly upset a friend with my comment about moving to the Republic of Texas and possibly being at war with the Federal Government. But everytime another move is made to reduce the level of freedom and liberty we have is another step up in the level of the struggle - at some level - to retain the freedom and liberty given to us by our ancestors, going back to the mid-1700's.

Remember, Barry Goldwater said, "Extremism in the defense of Liberty is no vice."
Regardless of whoever comes out with the most votes Tuesday, we will all be winners only if we get enough votes out in November to beat Obama.

I apologize for bothering you again.




Here was my response to that. I want to know what every intelligent liberal wants to know: why do the right wing Tea Party types so firmly glom onto their delusions about Obama that are not only not true, they are the opposite of reality (like that he's an appeaser or a Socialist- would that he were a Socialist on health care!)

I get that a lot of people are angry and want to defeat Barack Obama. What I don't get is that the reasons they want to do so are generally the opposite of reality. Just two examples:

(1) THE DELUSION: "Obama care" is somehow socialism and is terrible for America because of that.

REALITY: Rational people opposed his reform bill because it was the opposite of socialism. Instead of expanding Medicare (Medicare for all) or coming up with a single payer plan; he created a cash funnel to private insurers and also guaranteed that hospitals and doctors and drug companies would not be nationalized. No national health care for us, no sirree. So what exactly is the complaint about "ObamaCare' as it relates to "Socialism?" And how do Tea Partiers justify signing up for Medicare when they turn 65 and accepting those benefits (which are truly socialistic) while opposing "socialist Obama"?

(2) DELUSION"Obama is a terrorist/Muslim/appeaser."

REALITY: Again, the delusion is the opposite of reality. Those who are rational and liberal oppose his policies because they are inflammatory and counterproductive- like escalating the war in Afghanistan and using drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. The military budget keeps going up as real military threats diminish unless we create them (not terrorism, which is a non-military threat). While budgets are busting, we are pouring hundreds of billions into currently useless conventional and nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the ignorant are screaming that Obama is stripping America of its defenses. One wonders: what part of their brain allowed them to avoid or extenuate the reality that Obama succeeded in killing Bin Laden after making it a priority to locate him. Meanwhile, back on real earth, liberals are upset at the lack of due process- assassinating Bin Laden after he was captured and helpless, and worse yet, authorizing the killing of an American citizen who had never been charged with a crime and whose father had filed an unprecedented federal lawsuit in Washington to stop the murder of his son.

So what's up with the people who oppose Obama? I can name 5 or 10 things that are specific, concrete, and distressing, from assassinating Anwar al-Awlkaki (the American killed with a drone strike in Yemen), which was legally murder, to keeping a "State secrets" rule for preventing civil rights abuses from being exposed in litigation, to not ending unlawful rendition, to going after whistle blowers instead of the abuses they uncover, to casting aside any hope of a single payer plan, to using private funds and not public financing for his campaign, and so on. Can you or your friends name one specific action (don't say the economy- that presupposes the President has a magic wand he could have waved to make it better), but a specific action that you consider a terrible thing for America? Such as George W. Bush accelerating deregulation, as requested by his lobbyist/controllers from Enron, or waging war on Iraq, to gutting FEMA which could not properly respond to Hurricane Katrina, to refusing to allow Medicare to bargain for drug prices as part of the Prescription Drug package in 2003, to cutting taxes, increasing spending on two wars, and taking a $160 billion surplus and turning it into $750 billion deficits that tanked the ability of the government to handle a potential depression, to authorizing torture and murder, to authorizing spying on American citizens e-mails, and so on and so on.

I want specifics. Not fiction (the birth certificate, Muslim, socialist appeaser, stuff not based on reality).


Here was his response, with my response to his response in italics

On 3/2/2012 11:10 PM, XXX wrote:
I don't feel like typing a long dissertation right now, but I will list a few things.

-- Starting with one of the most recent. Trying to force a religious based enterprise do something that is contrary to its religious tenents. (He would never force something against a Muslim entity.) Then, when that got so much flack, he says, "Okay, we'll just make the insurance companies give it to the insured without the insured having to pay for it." Say what??????

I have to say I was confused about the politics of this one, and I thought it was one more example why health insurance should be completely separated from employers- as in Canada or Europe, where the government pays for it. And the contraceptive payment as part of health care makes no sense to me- as a health care issue. It makes dollars sense on a government savings issue- fewer unwanted children means less money spent on the social safety net. And shouldn't social conservatives want fewer abortions, which is would expanded birth control opportunities obviously would engender as a necessary outcome?

-- Killing the pipeline from Canada (environmental idocy).

Here's the thing: We can not lower the price of gasoline by drilling. And that pipeline was (I think) for natural gas. American isn't going to be a disaster if we don't build that pipeline, and our energy costs won't go down if we do build it.

-- The moratorium of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico - against the advice of all the experts: it was not necessary - as if the economy of the Gulf Coast, as well as the entire nation, was not bad enough.

I'm guessing you heard there was a little bit of an oil spill from an uncapped well there last year that threatened to destroy the economy of the Gulf coasts. And see my point above: more drilling has zero effect on gasoline at the pump prices.

-- Suing Arizona for trying to enforce immigration laws that the Federal Government will not enforce.

Remember Article 6 of the Constitution? Again, there is nothing about this one that is a disaster for the country. In fact, illegal immigration has fallen in the years Obama has been in office. Here's just a snippet of one recent story from Phoenix's main newspaper, The Arizona Republic (I picked it up daily in Chandler when I was staying there).

by Daniel Gonz?lez - Nov. 5, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

Read more:

NOGALES - The number of illegal immigrants arrested by the Border Patrol in the Tucson Sector fell by more than 40 percent last year, a significant drop that indicates illegal immigration has slowed considerably in Arizona.

Official statistics won't be released for several weeks, but Alan Bersin, the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, told Border Patrol agents in Nogales this week that arrests in the Tucson Sector fell to 123,000 last fiscal year. Arrests in the Nogales station, the largest in the Tucson Sector, fell by 43 percent to 18,000.

Read more:

-- From the very beginning, running around the world apologizing for preceived wrongs of the United States; bowing to Arab leaders; being disrespectful to our allies (particularly England and Isreal).

Query: how does attacking terrorists in drone strikes in Yemen & Pakistan, authorizing a raid in Pakistan that killed Bin Laden, escalating the war in Afghanistan, and killing Somalian pirates- real world facts- square with this imaginary right wing delusion?

-- Nationalizing Government (formerly General) Motors and Chrysler - and giving some of the interest to labor unions.

I think you will find that General Motors and Chrysler disagree with you. Another right wing delusion. Either the government owns and controls those companies, or it doesn't. Here's a brief article from USA Today a few months ago:

Chrysler to pay back all but $1.3B of bailout
By Dee-Ann Durbin, Associated Press

Updated 6/3/2011 10:20 AM |
57 | 11

DETROIT — Chrysler Group, newly profitable and confident in its revamped products, will soon sever its ties with the U.S. government after most — but not all — of the bailout loans it got two years ago are repaid.

And one from the NY Times on GM's record profits:

Published: February 16, 2012

DETROIT — General Motors reported a big annual profit on Thursday, but losses in Europe dragged down fourth-quarter earnings.

The results mean G.M.’s hourly workers in the United States will receive profit-sharing checks next month of up to $7,000, a record.

G.M. said it earned a quarterly profit of $472 million, or 28 cents a share, down from $510 million, or 31 cents a share, a year ago. It was the eighth consecutive quarterly profit for the carmaker, which cleansed much of its debt in bankruptcy two years ago, but also the smallest during that stretch.

For all of 2011, G.M. earned $7.6 billion, nearly all of it from North America. That was 62 percent higher than the $4.7 billion it earned a year ago and nominally more than G.M.’s previous record of $6.7 billion in 1997 (in today’s dollars, the 1997 profit would be about $9.4 billion).

"...he created a cash funnel to private insurers and also guaranteed that hospitals and doctors and drug companies would not be nationalized..."
Are you just kidding me or do you actually believe that would be a result of ObamaCare??!! It will kill insurance companies and the ultimate goal is to nationalize EVERYTHING. Doctors, expecially older ones who are getting fed up with what they are already having to put up with, are leaving the practice of medicine. My doctors office will take no more Medicade patients.

Here's a simple question to which I have already looked up the answer. If you believe in free market capitalism, which I think you do, then you also should believe that some of the best and brightest have calculated the effects of the Health Care Reform Act of 2010 on the future profits of private insurance companies. Check out where their stocks have been compared to S & P overall stock prices and you will explode the myth of the doomsayers.

People are getting fed up with government interference.

, XXX, people have been fed up with government interference since the Whiskey Rebellion in my home state of Pennsylvania in the early 1790's. It's the nature of man and the nature of the institution of government. However, which political party wants to invade my privacy, tell me what I can ingest in my system, how to have sex and with whom, and wants to impose its religious beliefs on me? Hint: it starts with the letter "R."

Oh, yeah, what about "fast and furious"? Setting up a scheme to look like the evil selling of guns to Mexican drug dealers - to follow up with another campaign to ban firearms in our country. Fortunately, they out-smarted themselves; unfortunately, Americans died in the process.

Give me some facts to support this right wing doomsaying fantasy. Remember the run on guns and ammunition following the November 2008 election? Any facts on the ground ever occur to make those right wing fears a reality? (I only wish that responsible gun control legislation was in the offing, but not even the mass killing in Tucson last year had any effect whatsoever).

One last thing that is sufficient in and of itself ----- the addition of 6.5 TRILLION dollars of debt!!!!!

Agreed. Where were the right wing protests when the groundwork for this was laid- two wars, tax cuts, and a prescription drug benefit that expressly prohibited leveraged large buyer group negotiations of lower drug prices and Americans buying cheaper generics from Canada to save money. Where were they then? We could have paid off the entire debt of this nation by this year if the Clinton surpluses had been allowed to continue, and we wouldn't be wasting hundreds of billions on interest payments or be in hock to China. Who was screaming about this in 2001 when Bush took office? Hint: not the party with the letter R. They were leading the charge towards the government policies that wiped out the surplus and gave us record setting deficits every year of the Bush Administration after 2003.

Our grandchildren - if they survive attacks from Islamists, China and Russia because of a weakened America - will not be able to pay it off. Thanks to Mr. Obama and all his czars.

We are not going to be attacked by "Islamists" unless we are crazy enough to bomb Iran. China and Russia have no interest in a conventional (or nuclear) war with the U.S. The 21st century "wars" right now are fought with money, not guns. And we're losing. But not because of Obama. Because as a nation, we want to have everything, even if we have to borrow money we can't afford to borrow, including a bloated defense budget. And we won't sacrifice anything, including having rich people pay higher taxes- or even the same tax rates on capital gains and interest as wage earners pay for Social Security or Medicare. They pay $0 on that unearned income for those taxes. How is that fair?