Why are Republicans Wrong about Everything?

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rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Feb 16, 2013 - 05:29pm PT
California has balanced its' budget and now has Rick Perry trying to poach California jobs with the lure of lower bussines taxes in Texas....is that proof that democratically run government is performing better than those red tea bagger states...?
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 16, 2013 - 06:32pm PT
Texas has a rolling economy for the same reason that all of the oil states do. High oil prices have created a drilling boom. It is taxed, and at least in Oklahoma, where the state takes 7.5% off the top, it is a large part of our revenue.

Rick Perry is a sideshow.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Feb 16, 2013 - 07:55pm PT
"Thirty-five years ago, the thought of Brown as the last bastion of reason in California would have been terrifying. Now, I think he's actually doing a decent job."

Me, too.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Feb 17, 2013 - 05:15pm PT
This is what the Repubs what to stop happening.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Time now to check in with StoryCorps and the Military Voices Initiative, a project collecting stories from veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and those of their families.

SIMON: This week, the Pentagon announced it would extend some benefits to gay and lesbian couples who serve in the military. North Carolina national guardsman Tracy Johnson is paying close attention to these changes. She's an Iraq veteran and an Army widow. She married her longtime partner, Staff Sergeant Donna Johnson, a year ago on Valentine's Day. Last October, Donna Johnson was killed by a suicide bomber while serving in Khost, Afghanistan. At StoryCorps, Tracy told her mother-in-law, Sandra Johnson, how she learned of Donna's death and what happened next.

TRACY JOHNSON: That day, I had a bad feeling. I immediately started scouring the news websites, and it said that there were three U.S. soldiers were killed in Khost, Afghanistan, and I knew. Obviously, that's where she was stationed.

SANDRA JOHNSON: So, how did you get notified?

JOHNSON: I knew that any communication about Donna was going to come to you guys because even though we were married, I wasn't considered her next of kin. So, Donna's sister called me and told me that the military people were there. So, I grabbed a copy of our marriage certificate. I went to your place, and I said, you know, I am her wife and I brought documentation. The notification, the officer looked at it, and he looks at me, and he looks at it again. He goes can I have a copy of this. And when a soldier's fallen, they usually have a military escort that brings them home. And I said can I do it, because I'm military. He goes, well, we'll see. Well, I know it wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for your assistance.

JOHNSON: I just, I did not want her coming home with a stranger. I wanted her coming home to family.

JOHNSON: I was flown up to Dover to see her brought back on American soil. And honestly, I can't tell you how great of an honor it is to escort a fallen hero home. And when that hero is your wife, it means a lot more. And I was given all her awards and all her personal documents that I had to turn over to you. And one of the hardest things for me was our wedding ring. Well, I actually slept with it that night. I put her ring on with mine because I thought it was going to be the last time I was going to get to see it.

JOHNSON: Wow. I gave you your ring back. I thought that was only natural, 'cause I don't know how the Army or any military does it. I just know what's fair is fair, you know.

JOHNSON: I'm so thankful for everything you've done. You allowed me to be named as a spouse in the obituary. Being given a flag in a private ceremony before the funeral, being given a second copy of all her awards, being allowed to sit in the front pew and pretty much being treated as family the entire time. 'Cause in reality...

JOHNSON: In reality, you married my daughter and that was it.

JOHNSON: But if anybody else were in my shoes, they could have been completely shut out and not had anything. So, I understand how blessed I am to be a part of your family.

JOHNSON: Well, I want you to know that I'm very proud of you. I consider you mine because Donna considered you hers, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

SIMON: Sandra Johnson and her daughter-in-law, Staff Sergeant Tracy Johnson. Sergeant Johnson is believed to be the first gay spouse to lose a partner at war since the repeal of the don't ask, don't tell policies.

This conversation is part of the Military Voices Initiative, and, like all StoryCorps interviews, it will be archived at the Library of Congress. To get the podcast, you can visit npr.org
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 17, 2013 - 05:41pm PT
Rick Perry is a sideshow.

I disagree. Rick Perry is a freak show.

No wait.....


Texas politics is a freak show
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Feb 17, 2013 - 06:08pm PT
Sacramento is a completely disfunctional freak show!
jghedge

climber
Feb 17, 2013 - 06:20pm PT
"Sacramento is a completely disfunctional freak show!"


...yawn...

5 airport treminals in 3 days, and not a single ball grope

What's a guy gotta do?
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 17, 2013 - 06:39pm PT
You Might Be a Right-Wing Crackpot If…


2013/02/17
By BW Jeffery

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/02/17/you-might-be-a-right-wing-crackpot-if/



•If you think Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama’s social-security number is a fraud, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama’s Selective Service registration document is a fraud, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama was born in Kenya, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama is a secret Muslim, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama is in the pocket of the Muslim Brotherhood, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama sealed all his records, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama registered as a foreign student at Occidental College, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama used a fake college ID “Barry Soetoro,” you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama was a Black Panther, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama trained to overthrow the government, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama ordered soldiers to swear allegiance to him, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama’s coming for your guns, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama’s coming for your gold, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama is planning FEMA concentration camps, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama was behind the Aurora massacre, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama personally caused Hurricane Sandy, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama had Andrew Breitbart killed, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama spiked the jobs report, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama faked bin Laden’s death, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama is bulldozing President Reagan’s childhood home, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama throwing a football is a fraud, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama shooting a gun is a fraud, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama death squads targeting gun rights activists, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama is Communist or was raised as one, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama is a Socialist, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama is Marxist, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama is Fascist, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama is a Nazi, you might be a right-wing crackpot.
•If you think Obama is a Communist Socialist Marxist Fascist Nazi, you definitely are a right-wing crackpot.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 17, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
Rubio and the Zombies

By PAUL KRUGMAN

Published: February 14, 2013 NY Times


The State of the Union address was not, I’m sorry to say, very interesting. True, the president offered many good ideas. But we already know that almost none of those ideas will make it past a hostile House of Representatives.

On the other hand, the G.O.P. reply, delivered by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, was both interesting and revelatory. And I mean that in the worst way. For Mr. Rubio is a rising star, to such an extent that Time magazine put him on its cover, calling him “The Republican Savior.” What we learned Tuesday, however, was that zombie economic ideas have eaten his brain.

In case you’re wondering, a zombie idea is a proposition that has been thoroughly refuted by analysis and evidence, and should be dead — but won’t stay dead because it serves a political purpose, appeals to prejudices, or both. The classic zombie idea in U.S. political discourse is the notion that tax cuts for the wealthy pay for themselves, but there are many more. And, as I said, when it comes to economics it appears that Mr. Rubio’s mind is zombie-infested.

Start with the big question: How did we get into the mess we’re in?

The financial crisis of 2008 and its painful aftermath, which we’re still dealing with, were a huge slap in the face for free-market fundamentalists. Circa 2005, the usual suspects — conservative publications, analysts at right-wing think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute and the Cato Institute, and so on — insisted that deregulated financial markets were doing just fine, and dismissed warnings about a housing bubble as liberal whining. Then the nonexistent bubble burst, and the financial system proved dangerously fragile; only huge government bailouts prevented a total collapse.

Instead of learning from this experience, however, many on the right have chosen to rewrite history. Back then, they thought things were great, and their only complaint was that the government was getting in the way of even more mortgage lending; now they claim that government policies, somehow dictated by liberals even though the G.O.P. controlled both Congress and the White House, were promoting excessive borrowing and causing all the problems.

Every piece of this revisionist history has been refuted in detail. No, the government didn’t force banks to lend to Those People; no, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac didn’t cause the housing bubble (they were doing relatively little lending during the peak bubble years); no, government-sponsored lenders weren’t responsible for the surge in risky mortgages (private mortgage issuers accounted for the vast majority of the riskiest loans).

But the zombie keeps shambling on — and here’s Mr. Rubio Tuesday night: “This idea — that our problems were caused by a government that was too small — it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.” Yep, it’s the full zombie.

What about responding to the crisis? Four years ago, right-wing economic analysts insisted that deficit spending would destroy jobs, because government borrowing would divert funds that would otherwise have gone into business investment, and also insisted that this borrowing would send interest rates soaring. The right thing, they claimed, was to balance the budget, even in a depressed economy.

Now, this argument was obviously fallacious from the beginning. As people like me tried to point out, the whole reason our economy was depressed was that businesses weren’t willing to invest as much as consumers were trying to save. So government borrowing would not, in fact, drive up interest rates — and trying to balance the budget would simply deepen the depression.

Sure enough, interest rates, far from soaring, are at historic lows — and countries that slashed spending have also seen sharp job losses. You rarely get this clear a test of competing economic ideas, and the right’s ideas failed.

But the zombie still shambles on. And here’s Mr. Rubio: “Every dollar our government borrows is money that isn’t being invested to create jobs. And the uncertainty created by the debt is one reason why many businesses aren’t hiring.” Zombies 2, Reality 0.

In fairness to Mr. Rubio, what he’s saying isn’t any different from what everyone else in his party is saying. But that, of course, is what’s so scary.

For here we are, more than five years into the worst economic slump since the Great Depression, and one of our two great political parties has seen its economic doctrine crash and burn twice: first in the run-up to crisis, then again in the aftermath. Yet that party has learned nothing; it apparently believes that all will be well if it just keeps repeating the old slogans, but louder.

It’s a disturbing picture, and one that bodes ill for our nation’s future.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2013 - 11:14am PT
Credit: Dr. F.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2013 - 06:00pm PT
How the Bush administration sold the Iraq war

Michael Isikoff
10:59 AM on 02/16/2013

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/02/16/how-the-bush-administration-sold-the-iraq-war/



NBC’s investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff joins Chuck Todd to take a look at the upcoming MSNBC documentary called "Hubris" and take a look back at the Iraq War.



Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War, a documentary special hosted by Rachel Maddow airs Monday, 9 p.m. ET on MSNBC.

ANALYSIS: As the Obama White House vigorously defends its policy of using drone strikes to kill suspected terrorists—including in some cases American citizens—it invokes the findings of secret intelligence showing that the targets pose an “imminent” threat to the U.S.

But there’s a powerful reason to be perennially skeptical of such claims–and perhaps never more so than now, as the country approaches a sobering historic moment: the tenth anniversary of President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

The war that began March 19, 2003, was justified to the country by alarming claims that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and connections to al-Qaida terrorists—almost all of which turned out to be false. Some of the most senior officials in the U.S. government, including President Bush himself, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, asserted these claims in public with absolute confidence, even while privately, ranking U.S. military officers and intelligence professionals were voicing their doubts. Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War, a documentary special hosted by Rachel Maddow that will air Monday night on MSNBC at 9 p.m. (and based on a book I co-authored with David Corn), provides new evidence that the dissent within the administration and military was even more profound and widespread than anybody has known until now.

“It was a shock, it was a total shock–I couldn’t believe the vice president was saying this,” Gen. Anthony Zinni, the former commander in chief of U.S. Central Command, told me in an interview for the documentary. Zinni, who had access to the most sensitive U.S. intelligence on Iraq, was on a stage in Nashville, Tennessee, receiving an award from the Veteran of Foreign Wars on August 26, 2002, when he heard the vice president launch the opening salvo in the Bush administration’s campaign to generate public support for an invasion. “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney said. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.” Zinni, sitting right next to Cheney’s lectern, says he “literally bolted” when he heard the vice president’s comments. “In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD [weapons of mass destruction], through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program.” He recounts going to one of those CIA briefings and being struck by how thin the agency’s actual knowledge of Iraqi weapons programs was. “What I was hearing [from Bush administration officials] and what I knew did not jive,” Zinni says.

In the documentary, many of those who were sources for the book “Hubris” appear on camera for the first time. One of them, Mark Rossini, was then an FBI counter-terrorism agent detailed to the CIA. He was assigned the task of evaluating a Czech intelligence report that Mohammed Atta, the lead 9/11 hijacker, had met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague before the attack on the World Trade Towers. Cheney repeatedly invoked the report as evidence of Iraqi involvement in 9/11. “It’s been pretty well confirmed that he [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April,” Cheney said on Meet the Press on Dec. 9, 2001. But the evidence used to support the claim–a supposed photograph of Atta in Prague the day of the alleged meeting—had already been debunked by Rossini. He analyzed the photo and immediately saw it was bogus: the picture of the Czech “Atta” looked nothing like the real terrorist. It was a conclusion he relayed up the chain, assuming he had put the matter to rest. Then he heard Cheney endorsing the discredited report on national television. “I remember looking at the TV screen and saying, ‘What did I just hear?’ And I–first time in my life, I actually threw something at the television because I couldn’t believe what I just heard,” Rossini says.

Cheney, like most other senior Bush administration officials, declined to be interviewed for Hubris. One who did talk to the filmmakers was Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of the defense for policy under Donald Rumsfeld and an ardent defender of the war. Feith explains the strategic thinking that drove the administration decision to invade. “The idea was to take actions after 9/11 that would so shock state supporters of terrorism around the world that we might be able to get them to change their policies regarding support for terrorism and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction,” he says in the film.

But documents that have been declassified in recent years show that Bush administration officials weren’t interested in changing Saddam’s policies: they wanted him gone and were determined to launch a war to achieve that. The chronology also reveals that Saddam was in their crosshairs even before 9/11. The very afternoon of September 11, 2001, Rumsfeld met in the Pentagon with top aides. As his handwritten notes written by one of his aides at the meeting show, Rumsfeld asked for the “best info fast..judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] @ same time—not only UBL [Osama bin Laden].” Rumsfeld also tasked “Jim Haynes [the Pentagon's top lawyer] to talk w/ PW [Paul Wolfowitz] for additional support [for the] connection w/ UBL.” Before being presented with any evidence linking Saddam to al-Qaida, Rumsfeld was already looking for ways to use the World Trade Center attacks to justify taking out the Iraqi leader.

By late November, Rumsfeld was meeting with Gen. Tommy Franks, who succeeded Zinni as commander of the Centcom, to plot the “decapitation” of the Iraqi government, according to the now declassified talking points from the session (shown on television for the first time in the documentary). The talking points suggest Rumsfeld and his team were grappling with a tricky issue: “How [to] start?” the war. In other words, what would the pretext be? Various scenarios were outlined: “US discovers Saddam connection to Sept. 11 attack or to anthrax attacks?” reads one of them. “Dispute over WMD inspections?” reads another. “Start now thinking about inspection demands.”

These talking points make it clearer than ever that Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others were determined–probably from the moment they came into office–to invade Iraq. Paul Pillar–then one of the CIA’s top terrorism analysts—says in the documentary that the 9/11 attacks “made it politically possible for the first time to persuade the American people to break a tradition of not launching offensive wars.” But to achieve the goal, secret intelligence was twisted, massaged, and wildly exaggerated. “It wasn’t a matter of lying about this or lying about that,” Pillar says. “But rather—through the artistry of speechwriters and case-presenters—conveying an impression to the American people that certain things were true.” But those things were not true. It’s worth watching to see how it was done.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Feb 18, 2013 - 06:07pm PT
Thanks Craig for that article...RJ
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Feb 18, 2013 - 06:14pm PT
^^^ That ^^^ is the most heinous crime I've witnessed in my lifetime.

Those guys - Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, Bush, et al - should be spending life in prison for the damage and killing they did.

But no, all rich and free, still heroes to way too many right wing boneheads
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2013 - 07:45pm PT
Bruce Kay posted this already on another thread
But it's too good to let slip by


The Ignorance Caucus

By PAUL KRUGMAN

Published: February 10, 2013 NY Times


Last week Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, gave what his office told us would be a major policy speech. And we should be grateful for the heads-up about the speech’s majorness. Otherwise, a read of the speech might have suggested that he was offering nothing more than a meager, warmed-over selection of stale ideas.

To be sure, Mr. Cantor tried to sound interested in serious policy discussion. But he didn’t succeed — and that was no accident. For these days his party dislikes the whole idea of applying critical thinking and evidence to policy questions. And no, that’s not a caricature: Last year the Texas G.O.P. explicitly condemned efforts to teach “critical thinking skills,” because, it said, such efforts “have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

And such is the influence of what we might call the ignorance caucus that even when giving a speech intended to demonstrate his openness to new ideas, Mr. Cantor felt obliged to give that caucus a shout-out, calling for a complete end to federal funding of social science research. Because it’s surely a waste of money seeking to understand the society we’re trying to change.

Want other examples of the ignorance caucus at work? Start with health care, an area in which Mr. Cantor tried not to sound anti-intellectual; he lavished praise on medical research just before attacking federal support for social science. (By the way, how much money are we talking about? Well, the entire National Science Foundation budget for social and economic sciences amounts to a whopping 0.01 percent of the budget deficit.)

But Mr. Cantor’s support for medical research is curiously limited. He’s all for developing new treatments, but he and his colleagues have adamantly opposed “comparative effectiveness research,” which seeks to determine how well such treatments work.

What they fear, of course, is that the people running Medicare and other government programs might use the results of such research to determine what they’re willing to pay for. Instead, they want to turn Medicare into a voucher system and let individuals make decisions about treatment. But even if you think that’s a good idea (it isn’t), how are individuals supposed to make good medical choices if we ensure that they have no idea what health benefits, if any, to expect from their choices?

Still, the desire to perpetuate ignorance on matters medical is nothing compared with the desire to kill climate research, where Mr. Cantor’s colleagues — particularly, as it happens, in his home state of Virginia — have engaged in furious witch hunts against scientists who find evidence they don’t like. True, the state has finally agreed to study the growing risk of coastal flooding; Norfolk is among the American cities most vulnerable to climate change. But Republicans in the State Legislature have specifically prohibited the use of the words “sea-level rise.”

And there are many other examples, like the way House Republicans tried to suppress a Congressional Research Service report casting doubt on claims about the magical growth effects of tax cuts for the wealthy.

Do actions like this have important effects? Well, consider the agonized discussions of gun policy that followed the Newtown massacre. It would be helpful to these discussions if we had a good grasp of the facts about firearms and violence. But we don’t, because back in the 1990s conservative politicians, acting on behalf of the National Rifle Association, bullied federal agencies into ceasing just about all research into the issue. Willful ignorance matters.

O.K., at this point the conventions of punditry call for saying something to demonstrate my evenhandedness, something along the lines of “Democrats do it too.” But while Democrats, being human, often read evidence selectively and choose to believe things that make them comfortable, there really isn’t anything equivalent to Republicans’ active hostility to collecting evidence in the first place.

The truth is that America’s partisan divide runs much deeper than even pessimists are usually willing to admit; the parties aren’t just divided on values and policy views, they’re divided over epistemology. One side believes, at least in principle, in letting its policy views be shaped by facts; the other believes in suppressing the facts if they contradict its fixed beliefs.

In her parting shot on leaving the State Department, Hillary Clinton said of her Republican critics, “They just will not live in an evidence-based world.” She was referring specifically to the Benghazi controversy, but her point applies much more generally. And for all the talk of reforming and reinventing the G.O.P., the ignorance caucus retains a firm grip on the party’s heart and mind.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Feb 18, 2013 - 07:54pm PT
Last year the Texas G.O.P. explicitly condemned efforts to teach “critical thinking skills,” because, it said, such efforts “have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”


Ha!

My daughter just got an award for critical thinking in her second grade class.

Actually, she has been questioning my authority lately....

Maybe they are right on that
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Feb 18, 2013 - 08:21pm PT
Your daughter is the future.


And I am very optimistic about it.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Feb 18, 2013 - 09:04pm PT
Sure enough, interest rates, far from soaring, are at historic lows — and countries that slashed spending have also seen sharp job losses. You rarely get this clear a test of competing economic ideas, and the right’s ideas failed.

Won't they every learn?
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Feb 18, 2013 - 09:45pm PT
Credit: philo
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Feb 19, 2013 - 04:10am PT
Red Brain, Blue Brain: Evaluative Processes Differ in Democrats and Republicans

Schreiber, Fonzo, Simmons, Dawes, Flagan, Fowler, Paulus

From the article: "Other scans have shown that brain regions associated with risk and uncertainty, such as the fear-processing amygdala, differ in structure in liberals and conservatives. And different architecture means different behavior. Liberals tend to seek out novelty and uncertainty, while conservatives exhibit strong changes in attitude to threatening situations. The former are more willing to accept risk, while the latter tends to have more intense physical reactions to threatening stimuli."

PLOS ONE (eISSN-1932-6203) is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication. PLOS ONE welcomes reports on primary research from any scientific discipline.
locker

Social climber
FukUville
Feb 19, 2013 - 07:58am PT


"Some things never change"...

This thread being one of them...

LOL!!!...

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