Monday, November 16, 2015

On Ben Carson's Misunderstanding Of What GDP Represents

Note: This commentary concerns the 3rd Republican Party presidential debate, which was held on 10/28/2015 in Boulder at the University of Colorado.

During the debate Ben Carson discussed his tax plan (which involves abolishing the IRS) and replacing it with a "tithing" system. Because, according to Carson, "I think God is a pretty fair guy".

But Carson's tax plan is just another example of how he doesn't understand economics (among a plethora of things we SHOULD expect a person who is QUALIFIED to be president to know).

Ben Carson: If you talk about an $18 trillion economy, you are talking about a 15 percent tax on your gross domestic product [GDP], you are talking about $2.7 trillion. We have a budget closer to $3.5 trillion. But if you also apply that same 15 percent to several other things, including corporate taxes and including the capital gains taxes, you make that amount up pretty quickly. So that's not, by any stretch, pie in the sky. (Does Ben Carson's tithe-based tax plan lead to a $1 trillion hole? by Linda Qiu. PolitiFact 11/4/2008).

The answer to the question "does Ben Carson's tithe-based tax plan lead to a $1 trillion hole?" is YES, it does. And, that Carson speaks of how much revenue his tax plan would generate based on our 18 trillion dollar economy also shows he doesn't know what GDP represents.

Definition of Gross Domestic Product: GDP is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period. GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis... GDP includes all private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports minus imports that occur within a defined territory. Put simply, GDP is a broad measurement of a nation's overall economic activity.

The PolitiFact article quoted above also points out that there are other portions of our GDP beside government spending that is currently untaxed.

[in addition to government spending] not all of GDP is taxable... To apply his rate to all $18 trillion, Carson would have to tax health insurance premiums, pensions... to name a few.

BTW, Carson wants to cut government spending by around 30 percent, which would reduce our GDP. As if taxing government spending made any sense, given the fact that it's money the government got by taxing.

Carson's tax plan is a total stretch and completely pie in the sky, as he bases it on taxing the ENTIRE economy which includes government spending! This guy might be quite smart when it comes to his area of expertise (neurosurgery), but when it comes to the areas of knowledge a president needs to possess, Carson displays not just a lack of knowledge, but pure idiocy.

SWTD Tags: 2016 Election, Ben Carson.

DSB #27

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mathematical Proof That Republicans Are Engaging In Widespread Election Fraud

On the 11/13/2015 airing of The Thom Hartmann Program Thom had on Richard Charnin, an individual with a masters degree in applied mathamatics and author of the 2012 book Matrix of Deceit: Forcing Pre-Election and Exit Polls to Match Fraudulent Vote Counts.

Specifically Thom spoke with Mr. Charnin in regards to the 11/3/2015 election in which Matt Bevin supposedly beat Jack Conway and was elected governor, but he has applied his analysis to a number of other elections and found that the evidence points to widespread election theft - by Republicans.

Richard Charnin's analysis involves looking at Cumulative Vote Shares, which is what percentage of the vote each candidate gets in each county. Charnin found that in rural counties, vote shares match pre-election and exit polls, but in more urban counties they don't. Surely it is highly suspicious that that in rural counties, where the electorate tends to vote Republican, poll results match up, whereas in more urban areas, where the electorate tends to vote Democratic, they don't. (Red State, Blue City: How the Urban-Rural Divide Is Splitting America).

What follows is an excerpt from Mr. Charnin's blog.

Since the largest counties are usually heavily Democratic, the consistent pattern of Republican Governor candidates gaining share from small to large precincts is counter-intuitive. On the other hand, there is virtually no change in vote shares in smaller, heavily GOP counties. This defies political reality and the Law of Large Numbers. (KY 2015 Governor: Cumulative Vote shares indicate Likely Fraud by Richard Charnin 11/5/2015).

What the Law of Large Numbers says is that because "there is virtually no change in vote shares in smaller, heavily GOP counties", there should be virtually no change in vote shares in larger, heavily Democratic counties.

In probability theory, the law of large numbers (LLN) is a theorem that describes the result of performing the same experiment a large number of times. According to the law, the average of the results obtained from a large number of trials should be close to the expected value, and will tend to become closer as more trials are performed. The LLN is important because it "guarantees" stable long-term results for the averages of some random events. (Wikipedia/Law of large numbers).

Mathematical proof that Republicans are stealing (and have been stealing) elections? Looks like it to me. Further proof would be the fact (in KY) the Democrats running in the down ballot races - for Secretary of State, Attorney General and even state Auditor - each reportedly received tens of thousands more votes than Conway did at the top of the ticket. (DSB #25).

How likely is it that someone would vote straight ticket Democrat for EVERY SINGLE candidate on the ballot EXCEPT governor? I say NOT AT ALL LIKELY.

SWTD Tags: Election Theft, Thom Hartmann.

DSB #26

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Kentucky Election On 11/3/2015 In Which Matt Bevin "Won" The Governorship Was Likely Stolen

On the 11/10/2015 airing of The Thom Hartmann Program Thom said "I don't believe that Matt Bevin was actually elected governor of Kentucky. I don't believe that it's possible to defy the polls so largely". This statement in regards to the 11/3/2015 election in which Tea Party nut job Matt Bevin supposedly defeated his Democratic opponent Jack Conway.

[Regarding the KY "election" of Matt Bevin] We see, again... [an] election where all of the pre-election polls suggest Candidate X is set to win, but Candidate Y ends up winning by a huge margin... and nobody even bothers to verify that the computer tabulated results accurately reflect the intent of the voters. ... That's exactly what happened in KY... where Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway was leading by a fair margin (3-5 points) in almost every pre-election poll... but then ended up being announced as the loser to Tea Party Republican candidate Matt Bevin by a landslide (almost 9 points) - According to the state's 100% unverified computer tabulation systems.

...there are a number of reasons to question the reported results. ...the Democrats running in the down ballot races - for Secretary of State, Attorney General (Conway's current job) and even state Auditor - each reportedly received tens of thousands more votes than Conway did at the top of the ticket! Bev Harris of described the higher vote totals in the down ballot races as a "significant anomaly". ... "More votes in those races and not at the top - that just doesn't happen". (Questioning the Unverified Computer Results of Kentucky's Governor's Race by Brad Friedman. BradCast 11/4/2015).

Yeah, I don't buy this result either. Given the polls, and also given the popularity of Kentucky's state run ObamaCare exchange, Kynect, which Bevin ran on dismantling. He also says he wants to reverse the Medicaid expansion under the ACA, kicking thousands of Kentuckians off Medicaid. Me, I think that would motivate poor and lower middle class people to get out and vote for Conway.

I mean, it's one thing to vote against healthcare when you don't have it, but it's another matter to take it away after they already have it... and LIKE it.

More than 500k people have gotten health insurance in Kentucky through the state's health care exchange, Kynect, and through expanded Medicaid. Kentucky has seen the second-steepest drop in uninsured of any state. ... Kynect... has been held up as one of the best-functioning state exchanges in the country. (Popular Health Exchange In Jeopardy After Surprise Republican Win by Domenico Montanaro. NPR).

Also (according to the article quoted above) "in Kentucky, the governor has the power to unilaterally create or disband programs like Kynect".

So... the polls (just prior to the election) showed that the Kynect supporting candidate was ahead, but the Kynect dismantling candidate wins? This result doesn't pass the smell test, IMO. I'm with Thom Hartmann in thinking this is another election that was likely stolen by cheating Republicans.

SWTD Tags: Election Theft, Tea Party, Thom Hartmann.

DSB #25

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hell Yes A Time Traveling Jeb! Would Kill Baby Hitler

If given access to a time machine would potus hopeful John Ellis Bush go back in time and kill Adolph Hitler as a baby? Obviously this is an example of the kind of important questions the voters are demanding answers to.

The question initially arose when The New York Times Magazine polled its readers last month and found that a plurality of respondents said they would, in fact, kill Hitler as a baby. Bush was then asked the question directly via the email address that he distributes widely to public audiences: But he did not answer the inquiry until asked on camera by HuffPost, while riding on his campaign bus in New Hampshire. (Jeb Bush On Whether He'd Kill Baby Hitler: "Hell Yeah, I Would!" by Scott Conroy. The Huffington Post 11/9/2015).

BTW, does the fact that Hitler wasn't a "born American" with Constitutional rights, but a German, explain why Jeb says "hell yes" to killing Baby Hitler sans due process? Although, if his answer were no, surely we could send Russ Feingold in his place (to do the butchering/aborting)?

Audio: "Baby Hitler" parody tune from Stephanie Miller Show contributor Rocky Mountain Mike.

SWTD Tags: 2016 Election, Abortion.

DSB #24

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Is Negotiating With Vladimir Putin The US President's #1 Job/Priority?

To hear Republicans tell it, it is. Also, to hear the current GOP potus hopefuls tell it, they'd all do a much better job of it than our current prez. Although our current prez disputes that.

President Obama on Monday night mocked the Republican candidates who complained heavily about the CNBC debate moderators and called for major changes to the debate format.

"Have you noticed that every one of these candidates say, "Obama's weak. Putin's kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he's going to straighten out", Obama said. "And then it turns out, they can't handle a bunch of CNBC moderators". (Obama: If GOPers Can't Handle CNBC Moderators, They Can't Handle Putin by Caitlin MacNeal. Talking Points Memo 11/3/2015).

Video: President Obama appeared at a fundraiser in New York on Monday 11/2/2015. He decided to have some fun with the Republican candidates for having a temper tantrum because they did not get the questions they wanted from the CNBC moderators. In effect they wanted softballs. The President called them out in a manner that made them seem rather whiny.

SWTD Tags: 2016 Election, Barack Obama, Republicans & Putin.

WTNPH: On Obama Making Fun of the Republican Candidates for Their Bitching and Moaning About the Recent (CNBC) Debate Moderators (11/7/2015).

DSB #23

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

One And Done?

"He spent a year of his life and countless hours away from his family training to save a life" the Right-wing placard offering a specious argument regarding why fast food workers don't deserve a raise says. The "he" referred to is an EMT who, apparently put in all this time training to save just one life. When he, IMO, should have been training to save LIVES, he trained to save just one person, apparently.

Which might explain why this EMT only makes $15 an hour. After all the expensive training he's only going to work until he saves one life. At least the burger flippers trained to flip more than ONE burger, for crying out loud! This might explain why their labor is worth more than $15 an hour? If this is the "difference" the Conservative-creator of this placard is talking about, then, YES, I do see it.

Image Description: Right-wing placard arguing against raising the minimum wage for fast food workers.

WTNPH Commentaries: Some Minimum-Wage Perspective 7/11/2015 and On the Concept of Paying Burger-Flippers the Same Wage as EMTs or Even CNA's and Teacher's Aides 11/10/2015.

SWTD Tags: Minimum Wage.

DSB #22

Monday, September 7, 2015

How Much Money Will Kim Davis' Bigotry Net Her?

Kim Davis, the bigoted Rowan County KY clerk who defied a US Federal Court order requiring that she issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the Obergefell v. Hodges U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States, will get a lot of money from other bigots as a form of support, apparently.

This I learned while reading a recent World Net Daily story concerning supporters trying to get money to her via the GoFundMe website.

WND: [Davis] has become the symbol of religious opposition to the heavy-handed tactics of the "gaystapo" who are ramming same-sex marriage through at the federal level across the nation in opposition of religious conservatives. Supporters attempted to initiate a GoFundMe campaign for her defense, but were thwarted by the site's Terms and Conditions, which were updated on April 29 to specify the site can choose not to allow "campaigns in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts". (GoFundMe nixes fundraiser for Kentucky clerk).

So that does it, right? The answer to my question is obviously nothing. Kim Davis will make no money for being bigoted.

But wait! Her fellow bigots aren't giving up yet. They still wish to reward Davis for standing up to the "homobrigade" (as dubbed by WND commenter "HockeyShark").

Another option for getting $$$ to Davis was brought up by another WND commenter.

Marcus Hester: The left-leaning fundraising site GoFundMe has declined to accept a fundraising campaign for jailed Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis. THIS IS WHERE CHRISTIANS UNITE AND HELP ONE OF OUR ON! GIVE NOW AT CHRISTIANFUNDME.COM - now set up! Help is on the way!

Christians are stepping up to the plate ... help Kim Davis - just put up! Christian Funding Site - this is what we do! #1 For Christians Help her now - send donations - Show her we love her! -Doc.

According to "ChristianFundMe" the tally for Kim Davis so far is $23 (given by Marcus Hester)... with a goal of $50,000.

Supposedly this is to cover her legal fees, but I suspect that won't stop supporters from sending her as much as they can in excess of those fees... as a way to reward her for her bigotry. The question is... how much do you think she's going to profit off this? How much will supporters send her? Will there be a paid interview? A book deal? Also, did profiting off becoming a martyr inform her decision to defy the judge (at least in part)?

According to Salon Davis makes a cool 80K a year for the job she's currently refusing to do (not too shabby). And, given that she's an elected official, cannot be fired from.

Perhaps Mike Huckabee with huckster some money out of his supports pass some along to Davis? The huckster is holding a "#ImWithKim Liberty Rally" on Tuesday and the National Organization for Marriage has a goal of gifting her with 100K (also according to Salon).

Perhaps I should become a gay bigot martyr? Obviously it pays very well. Also, I surely would not feel the least bit guilty for taking money from any (fake) Christians who wanted to support me.

Image: Kim Davis receives support from her fellow "Christian" bigots. According to the NBC News story this picture is attached to, a local evangelist named Randy Smith asked a group of 200 supporters "how many of you are thankful that we actually have somebody who has a backbone to stand up against wickedness in high places".

SWTD Tags: Homophobia.

DSB #21

Friday, August 21, 2015

Subway Severs Ties With Jared Fogel Due To Him Getting Arrested And Pleading Guilty To Sex With Minors Way Worse Than When He Said He Was Personally Going To Give Kids AIDS?

As you likely have heard, Jared Fogle has agreed to plead guilty to "distribution and receipt of child pornography and unlawful sex acts with minors". I don't know how, but apparently this is way worse than when he said "I'm going to seek out all the underprivileged and hungry children of the world and I'm going to give them AIDS myself".

And, even though he said this over 13 years ago, Subway continued their relationship with Jared until just this year! This, despite him also saying "When it comes to fitness, Subway goes hand in hand with AIDS". That's AIDS, as in acquired immune deficiency syndrome, the disease that has killed 37.34 million people worldwide (as of 2013). Even so, Subway continued to utilize Fogel as a spokesman. Something they surely regret now.

Perhaps you don't recall Jared saying that he was going to give kids AIDS? I know I didn't remember. That is, until I saw a repeat of a TV program. A program where what happened was dramatized by the creators of South Park. The episode that aired on 3/6/2002 as a part of the program's sixth season.

Jared Has Aides is the first episode of the sixth season of the American animated television series South Park. The episode was rated TV-MA in the United States... In the episode, weight loss advocate Jared Fogle incurs the wrath of South Park after he announces that he lost weight because he has aides (misinterpreted as AIDS). "Jared Has Aides" was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker. The episode, which satirizes Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, was inspired after Parker saw several commercials featuring Fogle on television. While the episode has received positive reviews from critics, it has been criticized by Rick Hollingsworth, an AIDS activist, and was briefly banned on television due to a scene portraying child abuse. Fogle himself reacted positively toward the episode, calling it "flattering". (Wikipedia/Jared Has Aides).

Jared was "flattered" by Trey Parker shinning a light on Jared's perverted idea that he should give kids AIDS? That seems extremely odd. Too bad the authorities didn't take the episode seriously. Which I presume they did not, given the fact that Jared wasn't arrested for over a decade after this SP episode aired.

By the way, do I think the SP episode was funny? Not really. This post? Not that funny either. Possibly also in bad taste. Not in as bad of taste as Trey Parker writing an episode in which Jared says he's going to give kids AIDS, however. Given current events. I mean, if Trey Parker had relayed his info to the authorities instead of using it to create a SP episode? Perhaps Jared could have been stopped before he committed his crimes.

Image: Subway Orders All Signs Down. Jared's image is quickly being removed from shops across the country.

DSB #20

Monday, August 10, 2015

Washington More About Insiders V Outsiders Than Democrats V Republicans (Thom Hartmann Rant #7)

The following is an excerpt from the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 8/3/2015, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Thom discusses what matters most in Washington, which is being an "insider". Thom explains that whether someone is an insider or an outsider is more important than their political affiliation.

Thom: We thought Barack Obama was an Outsider. We voted him in as an Outsider, but he was really an insider all along. He basically was taken under Bill Clinton's wing when he gave the DNC speech. The powers that be worked miracles to get him into the Senate. He was in the Senate only a few months before they started running him for president.

He was the Insider's nominee. But he ran on a platform of being an Outsider. It worked, and it worked because it had been tried before. It was tried in 1992 by Bill Clinton who ran on an Outsider's campaign platform, which was called the New Covenant.

Bill Clinton's New Covenant was basically that we need to reject Reganism and go back to the wisdom of FDR and John Maynard Keynes. We need to take America back to before the Reagan Revolution. But, as has been famously documented by [Naomi Klein], in the weeks leading up to his inauguration - when candidate Bill Clinton became president-elect Bill Clinton - Larry Summers, along with Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin sat Clinton down and said...

Son, you may think that you are the populist president, that you were elected on this platform of dramatic change - but that's now how you're going to govern. Not if you want to be on the Inside. Not if you want to have the assistance of Congress. Not if you want to have the assistance of the corporate system.

Being an Insider is like being in the mafia. And I don't mean that in a "bad" way, I mean that in an organizational way. It's structure. Most companies are structured like this, by the way. You've got Insiders in companies and you've got Outsiders. It's the Insiders who rise up through the ranks, and it's the Outsiders who stand on the outside and wonder why they get passed over for promotions. Even if they're smart and even if they make better contributions.

It's knowing how to play the game. I've been given several opportunities since I started this program 12-13 years ago to essentially become an Insider. Invited to the White House, etc. I chose, from the very beginning, that I was never going to be an Insider. I wanted to maintain my integrity. I did not want to be dependant upon party or political structure.

You will find other people in the media, on so-called Left-wing radio and TV who want to become part of the Inside. They don't want to be Outsiders. And so those people will not talk about our insane trade policies, because that is something that is very important to the Insiders. They make a lot of money off our trade policies.

They won't talk about net neutrality, because that is also something that is important to the Insiders. The small number of corporations that own our media don't want net neutrality. You won't hear Democrats and Liberals who are Insiders talk about those things. You won't hear Hillary Clinton talk about those things. You won't hear them talk about the TPP or Keystone XL. Because these are things that produce [or could produce] an enormous amount of money for the Insiders.

If you start talking about them, immediately the power structure [will try to shut you up]. And it's not like some weird conspiracy, but it's there. You can watch someone on television for 2 minutes and know - Insider or Outsider. Harold Ford Jr, Insider. Michael Steel, Insider. Virtually every guest that you see on CNN or MSNBC is an Insider.

And the Insider message [on the Democratic side] is - we want to elect Hillary Clinton. She's been an Insider from day one. Her husband is an Insider. He brought us "free trade" and deregulated the banks. Things that helped the Insiders. He governed in a fairly moderate way, just slightly to the Right of Dwight Eisenhower - who was, I would say, probably the last Outsider President on the Republican side.

Although you could argue that Reagan was elected as an Outsider... and then became an Insider. His vice president, George Herbert Walker Bush was the ultimate Insider. His father had been a United States Senator. In fact, he got busted by FDR for dealing with the Nazis after we were already involved in World War 2.

But for the Democrats, this is the question - how did the Democratic Party lose it's soul.

[End Thom Hartmann Rant]

The Democratic Party lost it's soul when "the party abandoned its working-class base" according to a 11/11/2014 Nation article by William Greider.

The shift away from the people was embraced most dramatically when Bill Clinton's New Democrats came to power in the 1990s. Clinton double-crossed labor with NAFTA and subsequent trade agreements, which encouraged the great migration of manufacturing jobs to low-wage economies. Clinton's bank deregulation shifted the economic rewards to finance and set the stage for the calamity that struck in 2008. Wall Street won; working people lost. Clinton presided over the financialization of the Democratic Party. Obama merely inherited his playbook and has governed accordingly, often with the same policy-makers.

This is the kind of shit that causes anyone who pays attention to think it's hopeless. The oligarchs have corrupted both parties. We have two corporate parties, although one of them is fully corrupted and FULLY does the bidding of the plutocrats, while the other is less corrupted; or a lot less corrupted (depending on if you're talking about a Blue dog or a Progressive).

Bernie Sanders might be the only politician in Congress who truly represents The People instead of the rich people. Although he has to compromise to get anything done. So in the end he does vote for legislation that benefits the Insiders. Makes me wonder what it's going to take before the people revolt.

By the way, many people who don't pay attention to politics also think it's hopeless. But it's because they believe the false meme that says the two parties are equally corrupt. There is a difference, however. Which is that the Repubs work for the benefit of the oligarchs exclusively, while the Dems work for the benefit of the oligarchs so they can get the campaign cash they need to compete and get into government and do a little for working people.

At least that was Bill Clinton's reasoning (that the Dems needed to sell out a little or Repubs backed by plutocrat cash would crush Dems with no plutocrat cash). Was Bill Clinton right? No, I do not think so. Although if the plutocrats are able to crush the campaign of Bernie Sanders... well, that might prove that Bill was right. Or that he set up a self-fulfilling prophecy. By which I mean this - Bill went 3rd way and the Dems started selling out big time, thus causing a lot of people to turn away from politics and stop paying attention.

Thus many people are too apathetic to realize that Bernie is the real deal (or even know who he is). They just see the plutocrat-funded ads that play during their TV programs and think they're getting the truth, when (in reality) it's lie-filled deceptive brainwashing propaganda designed to trick people to voting against their own interests.

SWTD Tags: 2016 Election, Bernie Sanders, MSNBC, Thom Hartmann.

DSB #19

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Initial Thoughts On The 1st 2016 Republican Potus Debate

It's over for Randal Paul. He hasn't a chance. I mean, obviously, Fox Nooz is running the show. 7 hopefuls were sent to the kid's table, likely ending their chances. I heard Rick Perry (who was on the cusp) wasn't happy to be edged out by Kasich.

But Randal? the Fox pundits obviously do not like him. One of the big moments of the night, according to the post-debate discussion, was when Randal stood up for our 4th amendment rights and Christie went after him for it (yeah Christie!). Fox is clearly not on the side of the Constitution on this one. Those rights need to be chucked out the window in order to wage the "war on terror".

Of course everyone had to out anti-choice each other. Huckabee wasn't the only one who went full on Religious Right and declared that fertilized eggs have full Constitutional rights. Although, I'm guessing these eggs don't have the rights we need to chuck in order to "keep us safe" from the "terrorists". But the one that keeps the eggs from getting murdered? They definitely have that right.

One area where Fox (nor the audience) did not go full on Religious Right, however, was in regard to Megyn Kelly asking Kasich about expanding Medicaid... and him citing his religious beliefs as why he did it. Both the Fox moderators and the audience voiced their disagreement on that one. Which reminded me of the last time the Repub potus hopefuls debated and an audience member yelled out in the affirmative in response to Ron Paul being asked about letting someone without HC die (Ron's answer was also YES).

Helping needy Americans is clearly something the Right does not like. So Kasich is gone too. Despite the fact that he just squeaked by (poll-wise) to make it to the big boy table. For the record, he came off as the most Moderate of the bunch by far. Even though he is also anti-choice (I don't recall if they got to him on that question).

Ben Carson said (my interpretation) that Black people should just get over it (racism, that is). And it's Obama's fault that race relations have gotten worse during his time in office. Don't blame all the racist Right-wingers for hating that a Black man was elected president, in other words. The audience LOVED that. Ben is the right kind of Black man. An (ex) MSNBC personality described him as the Conservative Black best friend... although someone told me that's racist. A Conservative someone, btw.

My verdict? Kasich is out. Carson is likely out. Randal, like his father, will stick it out although he will NOT be the nominee. He does not seem to be quite as popular as his father, however, so that ups his chance of dropping out before the convention (quite a bit, I think). Everyone who did not even make it to the debate? They're probably out too.

In regards to the front runner, Donald Trump... right out of the gate Megyn asked the 10 contestants which of them would not take a pledge to support the nominee and not run 3rd party. A question obviously aimed at Donald. Raise your hand if you won't pledge, Megyn said. They waited and Donald eventually raised his hand... and the audience did not like his response.

Later Megyn asked Trump about some misogynist comments he had made, and he shrugged them off with a joke about him only saying such things about Rosie O'Donnell. And not being politically correct - which did not cut it. The audience didn't buy it. Nor did they buy it when he was asked what his proof is that the Mexican government is sending rapists and drug dealers over the border - and he couldn't provide it.

The panel of voters "just like me" after the debate said their opinion of Trump was harmed by his performance. Randal accused him of trying to help Hillary by leaving open the 3rd party run possibility. Megyn also suggested he would be helping the Dems (although she did so before Randal lept to the attack).

Rubio got a jab in when asked the God question - which was that the Democrats have no good candidates (even though polls show, I believe, that Hillary beats any one of them). And God gave the Republicans quite a few good candidates... according to Marco.

God approves, apparently, of punishing poor women because Planned Parenthood spends $0 of government money on abortion services. And of not helping poor people (because they refuse to help themselves?). Every candidate (who was able) was sure to stress their humble beginnings. They did it (became wealthy), so screw the lazy poors (sloth being a sin?).

Image: 10 candidates were interviewed by Fox Nooz on 8/6/2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland OH. (Row 1) Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, John Ellis "Jeb" Bush, Donald Trump, Chris Christie. (Row 2) John Kasich, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Randal Paul.

SWTD Tags: 2016 Election, Fox Nooz, Mike Huckabee.

DSB #18

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Democratic Socialism & The Market (Thom Hartmann Rant #6)

The following is an excerpt from the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 8/3/2015, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Thom discusses regulated markets in the context of Chris Matthews conflating Socialism and Democratic Socialism. Under Socialism, the State owns the means of production. This is not the case under Democratic Socialism, despite Chris Matthews bashing Bernie Sanders by lying about him being a Socialist in favor of "getting rid of the market". (See DSB #16).

Thom: the Democratic Socialist countries like Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Ikea [a Swedish company] isn't owned by the government. Volvo [also Swedish] isn't owned by the government. Siemens [a German company that is a prominent maker of medical diagnostics equipment] is not owned by the government. All the northern European countries - probably most of the European countries - would define themselves as Democratic Socialist countries.

In fact the United States, since the FDR administration, has been a Democratic Socialist country. Social Security is democratic socialism. Medicare is democratic socialism. Medicaid is democratic socialism.

Basically it's where we say... what are the boundaries between the Commons - the things that we all collectively own administer - and the private industry sphere. What are the appropriate lines?

Democratic Socialists place them in a very slightly different place than Insider mainstream Democrats do. Insider mainstream Democrats think that it's fine that half the electricity in the United States is produced by For Profit companies. Democratic Socialists say that electricity is a natural monopoly and should be owned by the community.

In fact, if the democratic socialist perspective had prevailed, right now president Obama wouldn't be facing a lawsuit from the trade association for the For Profit electric companies who are all hysterical and angry at him for tightening up the air pollution rules.

The question I've been asking on this program for weeks now - since Bernie has really taken off - is when will the Insiders really go to attack him? First they tried to ignore him as Ghandi pointed out. First it's a media blackout. Well, they're maintaining that blackout.

Then they tried ridiculing him. Oh, he's too old. He's too rumpled - look at his hair. Now they're attacking him. Chris Matthews pretending he doesn't know the difference between Democratic Socialism and Soviet-style Socialism... implying that Bernie is a Soviet socialist, which he is not.

[plays clip of Chris Matthews saying Democratic Socialists like Bernie Sanders are in favor of "government control of the economy" and "getting rid of the market". According to Matthews Democrats "accept the power and efficiency of a capitalist system" while "Socialists do not". And that this is a "fundamental difference". Also, Bernie can't be the nominee because it's not the "Democratic Socialist Party".]

Yeah, socialists in the old Soviet Union didn't [accept the power and efficiency of a capitalist system]. But Bernie Sanders does. What we're seeing right now... it s not that Bernie is too far Left, or that Hillary is too far Left or too far Right. You notice that conversation that Chris Matthews had with Chuck Todd... it was free of policy. They were not discussing issues. They were discussing "what brand".

Chris Matthews was essentially saying to Hillary Clinton - you need to brand Bernie as a Socialist. But polls show that, among Millennials, Socialist is actually a good word! It's associated with genuine hope and change.

[End Thom Hartmann Rant]

Democratic Socialists believe in the market, although they realize that the market needs to be regulated. The "free market" is a fairy tale believed in by Republicans and Libertarians. And Hillary is a corporate Democrat... or "Insider Democrat", which is the terminology that Thom uses. It essentially means that she is a part of the establishment, and the establishment always looks to protect itself.

Which explains why Hillary is able to raise massive amounts of money from wealthy corporate Democrat donors. These are Democrats who want to keep things the way they are. Yes, they will try to improve things for the poor and working people... but don't get carried away and do something radical like putting The People first! The People being a reference to the masses instead of the Rich People. (Note: Corporations play both sides by donating to both parties. There aren't many corporations that donate exclusively to Democrats or Republicans).

Both Insider Democratic politicians and Insider Republican politicians put rich people first. Although the Insider Democrats put The People (the "lower classes") second, while the Republicans put The Rich People 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. And they MIGHT do something for The People simply to placate the masses. And so their false meme that says Conservative economics benefits everyone isn't exposed as the fraud that it is. They've got to keep the dupes thinking that the masses will reap the rewards when the wealth "trickles down". Ha ha. It's a joke. On us.

"Government regulation is artificial influence" is what these people believe. Artificial, in that it prevents monopolies and wealth concentration, which Conservatives and Libertarians love. Although some deny this, saying they are for "reasonable regulation".

So, what's the difference? The difference is that some believe that the market has some intelligence and needs minimal regulation, while others realize that the market is dumb and needs to be managed.

The idea that markets allocate resources or hash out prices on their own is completely nonsensical. It's like saying your computer can calculate your tax returns on its own, without you having to hit a button. [The] libertarian preference for a small government is no more "neutral" than is Bernie Sanders' preference for a robust and activist social democracy. Both represent a particular set of inputs, and thus a particular set of outcomes. (Bernie Sanders is right: Markets are dumb).

Priorities must be set and the output We The People want should be that priority. For those who believe in the "free market", their priority is that which is best for the few. For those who believe the priority should be the many, Socialism, a system that involves "central planning, or of having bureaucrats direct the flow of every last resource in the economy", is one proposed answer. But historically this system has been shown not to work.

A compromise that marries the best of Capitalism and the best of Socialism is the answer. Why? Because it has been shown to work in the European Democratic Socialist Nations.

SWTD Tags: 2016 Election, Bernie Sanders, MSNBC, Thom Hartmann.

DSB #17

Monday, August 3, 2015

On Chris Matthews Conflating Socialism & Democratic Socialism To Harm Bernie Sanders (Thom Hartmann Rant #5)

The following is an excerpt from the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 8/3/2015, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Thom discusses a question posed to Debbie Wasserman Schultz (DWS) by Chris Matthews on the Thursday 7/30/2015 edition of Hardball and what Matthews said after DWS left.

The question Matthews asked was how are Democrats different from Socialists (this was in the context of the self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders running for president as a Democrat). After Debbie dodged the question and (instead) explained how Democrats are different from Republicans, Chris Matthews gave his take on why Debbie dodged the question, which was to bash Bernie Sanders and try to harm his chances in the Democratic POTUS primary. Thom's rant concerns why Matthews did this. (see SWTD #301 for my take on DWS's dodge).

Thom: After Debbie Wasserman Schultz was on and Chris Matthews tries to get her to, essentially complain about Bernie being a democratic socialist [he went on to deliberately conflate Democratic Socialism with Socialim].

Here's what he had to say... listen to this.

Chuck Todd: She doesn't want to answer that question. What do you think?

Chris Matthews: I think there's a big difference. Socialists traditionally believe in government control of the economy. Democrats believe in modifying the economy to help people at the bottom. A safety net. Modification, but clearly they believe in the market.

Chuck Todd: Why do you think she didn't say that?

Chris Matthews: Well, politically, she doesn't want to offend the Bernie people.

Chuck Todd: You think that's the issue?

Chris Matthews: Well, I think so. Maybe there was an intellectual problem, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt and say it was really a political problem. Because I think Hillary Clinton hasn't staked out the difference, and she better. I mean, it's not the Democratic Socialist Party.

You've got to run as a Democrat, which is always harder... to explain being a Progressive or a Liberal. It's a lot harder than just being a right wing or a left winger. You're actually somewhere center left, and it's a little harder to define. But clearly Democrats have had a record in this country for 200 some years of being for Social Security, Medicare, Civil Rights, interventions in the market.

But not getting rid of the market. Clearly they accept the power and the efficiency of a capitalist system. Socialists do not. This is a fundamental difference.

Socialists do not if you're talking about Chinese communism, or if you're talking about the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. But Chris Matthews is trying to say that Bernie Sanders doesn't believe in capitalism or the market, which is a complete lie.

Either Chris Matthews is profoundly ignorant - which I don't believe for a second. I think he's one of the smartest guys out there. Or this is the leading edge of the establishment/insider spear thrown against the outsider Bernie Sanders.

It's really Insiders versus Outsiders here.

[End Thom Hartmann Rant]

The Insider Democrats are those who work for the "powers that be", or the wealthy and the large corporations (passing legislation that favors them in return for campaign contributions). Bill Clinton referred to this sellout movement as the Third Way. MSNBC is an Insider network, which is why they recently canned a number of their on-air personalities, including Ed Schultz. (Schultz wasn't Insider enough).

Chris Matthews is an Insider who is obviously in the bag for Hillary, which is why he lies about Bernie Sanders. And why he posed his gotcha question to DWS. DWS, while being the representative of the Insider Dems, realizes that the Dems need the votes of the Bernie supporters after Bernie bows out (the conventional wisdom, not what is inevitable), which explains why she dodged the question.

For more of my take on the differences between Socialism, Democratic Socialism, and the Democratic Party see SWTD #301, "On Debbie Wasserman Schultz Not Knowing The Difference Between A Socialist & A Democrat".

SWTD Tags: 2016 Election, Bernie Sanders, MSNBC, Thom Hartmann.

DSB #16

Saturday, August 1, 2015

On Al Gore Being Elected President In 2000 #2

The following is an excerpt from the 7/18/2011 transcript from the Progressive personality Thom Hartmann's TV Program, The Big Picture.

In this segment (see video below) Thom asks "can Republican get elected without fraud & treason?". The answer according to Thom is NO. Thom says that "since Dwight Eisenhower left the presidency in 1961 - 5 different Republicans have been President of the United States. And every single one of them - from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush - have been illegitimate".

Watch the video for Thom's reasoning regarding the other frauds... my commentary here concerns only George W. bush's theft of the 2000 election from the rightful president, Al Gore.

Thom Hartmann: ...the most recent illegitimate Republican president - George W. Bush - the man who was given the White House by five right-wing justices on the Supreme Court. In the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision in 2000 that stopped the Florida recount and handed George W. Bush the presidency - Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his opinion:

The counting of votes ... does in my view threaten irreparable harm to petitioner [George W. Bush], and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he [Bush] claims to be the legitimacy of his election".

I guess denying the guy who ACTUALLY won the most votes in Florida - Al Gore - the presidency - did not constitute "irreparable harm" to Scalia. And I guess it wasn't important to mention that Scalia's son worked for the law firm that was defending George W. Bush before the high court.

Just like it wasn't important to mention that Justice Clarence Thomas's wife worked on the Bush transition team and was busy accepting resumes from people who would serve in the Bush White House as long as her husband stopped the recount in Florida... which he did.

And more than a year after the election - a consortium of newspapers including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and USA Today did their own recount in Florida - manually counting every vote in a process that took almost a year - and concluded that Al Gore did indeed win the presidency in 2000.

As the November 12th, 2001 article in The New York Times read:

If all the ballots had been reviewed under any of seven single standards and combined with the results of an examination of overvotes, Mr. Gore would have won.

That little bit of info was slipped into the seventeenth paragraph of the Times story on purpose so that it would attract as little attention as possible around the nation.

Why? because the 9/11 attacks had just happened - and journalists feared that hitting people with the plain truth that George W. Bush actually lost the election would further hurt a nation that was already in crisis.

[End Transcript from The Big Picture]

The NYT article referenced above is not available online, although a Google search reveals MANY references to it. One example would be a 5/28/2008 Alternet Article titled "New York Times Perpetuates the Myth that George Bush Won the 2000 Election" which reveals that the original NYT article was by Ford Fessenden and John M. Broder... and YES, says Gore won.

Although 7 years (and change) later a movie reviewer for the NYT got it wrong. Alessandra Stanley, in a 5/23/2008 review of the HBO television movie Recount, wrote "Mr. Bush would have come out slightly ahead, even if all the votes counted throughout the state had been retallied".

Nope. Under FL law a recount should have been performed. Larry Beinhart of AlterNet writes "the Florida court... ordered a recount. Then the United States Supreme Court stepped in and shut the recounts down".

But the votes were recounted later by a consortium of newspapers (as Thom recounts)... and, concerning that recount, Larry Beinhart wrote "it took almost a year and cost more than a million dollars. [In the end the conclusion was that] Al Gore got more legal, countable votes than George Bush".

There you have it... Al Gore was elected to the White House as our 43rd POTUS. But he did not serve because the Conservative justices of the SCOTUS stopped the recount and anointed George W. bush.

Video: Excerpt from the 7/18/2011 airing of Thom Hartmann's "The Big Picture"... Thom asks "can Republicans get elected without fraud & treason? (9:01). Section concerning the theft of the 2000 election starts at 4:45... and ends at 6:58.

SWTD Tags: Al Gore.

DSB #15

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Free Market Economics Is A Cancer (Thom Hartmann Rant #4)

The following is an excerpt from the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 5/28/2015, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Thom discusses the similarities between cancer in living organisms and metaphorical cancer. Specifically the non-biological cancer caused by free market economic policies favored by Conservatives and Libertarians... and how that cancer has spread to our body politic.

Thom: George Johnson wrote a great piece in the science section of the New York Times yesterday. I think it apropo to our political system today, to Donald Trump, and to capitalism.

Yet me start out by explaining how Milton Friedman, Von Mises and all these kind of religious free market fundamentalists believe both economics and politics should be organized. It's an article of faith. Really, a belief system. This is Ayn Rand as well. This is basically the Libertarian worldview.

It goes something like this... In the days or weeks or months that it takes a legislative committee or a bureaucracy to figure out how things should be, either in the government or the economy, millions of individuals have made hundreds of millions of economic decisions by choosing what to buy and what not to buy. And this defines how things should go. Therefore, if every person, instead of supporting something like what the Founders created - a democratic republic - supported "the marketplace" [and the BS of "self regulation"].

Whether it's a marketplace for bluejeans or cars, or whether it is a marketplace for ideas. And whoever buys the most of those "idea", the marketplace has it's own intelligence - it will automatically come up with the best solution.

This is the theology, the religion of these guys. But over and over again we've seen this tried and it always produces bubbles and busts and a very small group of rich people and a very large group of working poor. It always destroys economies. Universally. And it destroys political systems.

There is a biological analogy to this. "Cellular Cheaters Give Rise to Cancer" is the title of the George Johnson article yesterday. He doesn't come right out and say Donald Trump is a cancer within our body politic, but he comes awful close.

He starts out by talking about, how back in 1871, Charles Darwin speculated that all life on earth probably began in a warm pond with chemicals assembling themselves randomly and accidently until they did so in a way that could replicate itself, and thus life came about.

The early life was just interested in replicating itself. The early viruses, for example. They don't consume or excrete, they just reproduce. And then you get more complex life forms, single celled bacteria and amoeba, things like that. But then we get to more complex life forms like you and me.

With hundreds of billions or trillions of cells that have to interact with each other. George Johnson says "as the primordial cells mutated and evolved, ruthlessly competing for nutrients, some stumbled upon a different course. They cooperated instead, sharing resources and responsibilities and so giving rise to multicellular creatures — plants, animals and eventually us. Each of these collectives is held together by a delicate web of biological compromises. By surrendering some of its autonomy, each cell prospers with the whole".

And then he gets to where I'm going with this question - does Donald Trump, sort of like Silvio Berlusconi in Italy, represent the cancer stage of politics? Because the Supreme Court, back in 1976 [with Buckley v. Valeo, which struck down limits on spending in campaigns] and then again in 2010 with Citizens United [which said that the 1st Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation. The principles articulated by the Supreme Court in the case have also been extended to for-profit corporations, labor unions and other associations].

These decisions basically turned our political marketplace into a capitalist marketplace by saying basically that billionaires can buy any politician they want and spend a virtually unlimited amount of money to influence the nature of elections, issues, and debates. Are we in a state of a democratic republic corrupted by an economic cancer - the cancer stage of capitalism?

George Johnson says "inevitably, there are cheaters: A cell breaks loose from the interlocking constraints and begins selfishly multiplying and expanding its territory, reverting to the free-for-all of Darwin's pond. And so cancer begins".

Then he explains how cancer shows up in virtually every complex life form - plants, mamals, reptiles... fungi. Then this incredible sentence... this is in a science story i the New York Times... "no wonder cancer has become a metaphor for human excess — overpopulation and consumption, environmental pollution, the concentration of resources among a hyperacquisitive 1 percent".

So here you have a science writer in the New York Times identifying the hyperacquisitive America - The Donald Trumps of America - as cancer. I thought it was astonishing.

When the top 1 percent, or the top 1-thousandth of 1 percent (Donald Trump), don't just influence politics, but become politics, does that mean we've hit the cancer stage of a political process that was created by the Supreme Court with this ideology that free markets are always the best?

I think so, frankly.

[End Thom Hartmann Rant]

Yeah, I think so too. Which is why the best economic system would be a mixed one, IMO. A mix of highly regulated capitalism, strong campaign finance laws, high taxation on obscene wealth and a strong social safety net (more socialism).

This is the only way to create a large Middle Class and eliminate (or greatly reduce) poverty. And isn't that what the great majority of us want? Excepting our oligarchic lords and their lackeys and worshippers, of course.

See Also
[1] Billionaires Kill: Volume 1 (SWTD #216, 11/5/2013).
[2] The wealth-worshipper Willis Hart pontificates "on the concept of orchestrating the U.S. economy from a bureaucratic and economically illiterate perch (the Elizabeth Warrens and Paul Krugmans of the World) and sez "we have a 4,000 year recorded history of this type of nonsense not working, of entire nation states crumbling as the result of it"... yet gives ZERO examples. Yet I can give a number of examples where the economic system he favors (the so-called "free market" rulz) crashed economies... the bush recession being the most recent one. The Great depression being another (Harding/Coolidge dropping the tax rates sparked a real estate and stock market bubble that crashed). But the true believing Willis thinx the roaring 20s were the shiznit. LOL. And a Nobel-prize-winning economist and professor of economics is "economically illiterate"? Of course.

SWTD Tags: Class Warefare, Libertarianism, Thom Hartmann, Wealthy Worship.

DSB #14

Friday, July 24, 2015

On Al Gore Being Elected President In 2000 #1

What follows are a pair of comments I submitted to the Contra O'Reilly blog. This was back before the proprietor, Willis Hart, banned me from further comment on 8/30/2012.

These two comments concern the fact that Al Gore was elected president of the United States by the American people following the conclusion of voting in November of 2000. Gore won the popular vote by 543,895 votes (50,999,897 votes for Gore versus 50,456,002 votes for bush).

And, as it turns out, Gore won the popular vote in Florida as well, which would have given him the state (and its electoral college votes). If only the Conservative Supreme Court justices had not violated the Constitution and circumvented the will of the people by stopping the recount and anointing bush (Justice Stevens: Bush v. Gore Decision Violated Constitution).

See 2nd comment below for info concerning Al Gore winning by carrying FL... when the votes were properly counted.

APRIL 21, 2012 AT 6:57 PM

When a complete recount was done it was found that Gore won. Here's a book on the topic:

The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President by Vincent Bugliosi and Gerry Spence.

Bugliosi says, "On December 12th, 2000, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court put an end to the recounting of presidential votes in Florida, thus assuring that George W. Bush would win the election. This action by the Court's majority ... was a "judicial coup d'tat" that stole the election from U.S. citizens and simply handed the presidency over to the Court's guy, a conservative Republican like themselves. It was also treasonous, asserts Bugliosi... the five justices are "criminals in the very truest sense of the word"...

This description of what occurred is one I agree with completely.

APRIL 21, 2012 AT 7:20 PM

Robert Parry, writing for Consortium News said, "Counting fully punched chads and limited marks on optical ballots, Gore won by 115 votes. With any dimple or optical mark, Gore won by 107 votes. With one corner of a chad detached or any optical mark, Gore won by 60 votes. Applying the standards set by each county, Gore won by 171 votes".

SWTD Tags: Al Gore.

DSB #13

Sunday, June 21, 2015

On Fox Nooz And MSNBC

I refer to what Fox does as "nooz" because they do opinion on the news while representing themselves as a news channel. It's right there in the name they gave themselves: Fox NEWS.

MSNBC, on the other hand, does not have the word "news" in the name of their channel. MSNBC "was derived from the most common abbreviations for Microsoft and the National Broadcasting Company" (source). None of the letters stand for news.

Also, if you Google "MSNBC" what you'll find is that (according to how they describe themselves) what they do is provide "news coverage and political opinion". So, "news" isn't in the name of the organization, and that they do opinion is clearly stated.

Whereas, if you Google "Fox" what comes up as the first result is "Fox News".

End of discussion. Case closed. It boggles the mind that there are some dumbasses who try to say they're the same. They both do slanted opinion (and sometimes outright lie) while representing themselves as news organizations (the dumbass will argue).

It's the strategy of making false equivalencies the Right specializes in. But there is a reason they have to say that both sides are equally bad. It is because they know that if they defended the Rightwing side people would know immediately they were spouting BS. So they default to an argument that sounds plausible to the cynic (which a LOT of people are when it comes to politics). And that is that both sides are equally bad.

But they aren't. Those who aren't shilling for Fox Nooz (or minimizing how bad they are with the false equivalency strategy) know that, when it comes to viewers of GOP TV (the original name Roger Ailes came up with), "the more they watch Fox News the less they know".

Fair and Balanced? Something else MSNBC does not have... an obviously bogus catchphrase (and one that is quite laughable at that).

Video Description: Bernie Sanders exposes Fox News as a Rightwing propaganda machine. Excerpted from Robert Greenwald's 2004 documentary Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism by Brave New Films. Published on Youtube 5/27/2015 (1:59). See here for the full documentary (77:08).

SWTD Tags: Fox Nooz.

DSB #12

Thursday, June 11, 2015

"Family Values" Sicko Pervert "Pastor" Mike Huckabee Wants To Shower With Teenage Girls

Former "Pastor" Mike Huckabee thinks Caitlyn Jenner might be pretending to be a woman for reasons of getting into places where he might be able to ogle naked chicks, and Hucky wants in on the action... at least he thinks it's funny to "joke" about such a situation.

Huckabee: [These] ordinances [say] if your 7-year-old daughter - if she goes into the restroom - cannot be offended and you can't be offended if she's greeted there by a 42-year-old man who feels more like a woman than he does a man. Now I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE. I'm pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, "Coach, I think I'd rather shower with the girls today". (Mike Huckabee Says He Would Have Pretended to Be Trans to Shower With Girls in School by Mark Joseph Stern. Slate 6/2/2015).

So, Hucky's "joke" consists of lies concerning transgender men as well as hate. The hate that causes him to joke about an older "man" (Jenner is 65) perving on teenage girls. But note that the "joke" involves - not Jenner doing the perving - but the Huckster himself. Although this fictional perving takes place back when Hucky was back in high school.

Although he didn't think about it until now... what he should have said to his coach, that is. Given the fact that Hucky "missed out", perhaps he would still attempt this? We know, at least, that he has given it some serious consideration.

And he apparently stands by his "joke", given the fact that there was no apology later, as is often the case when Repubs say stupid shit... so I guess he does think sharing his fantasies about raping teenage girls with his eyes is OK. Sicko pervert.

And this guy used to be a pastor? Seriously?

Note: This commentary was adapted from material contained in a 6/5/3915 commentary from my SWTD blog that concerned the Duggar fundy molestation scandal and Mike Huckabee's defense of the guilty son Josh... "If You Ever Find Yourself Deep In A Hole It Might Be A Good Idea To Stop Duggaring".

Video: Caitlyn Jenner's 22-page spread in Vanity Fair inspires Mike Huckabee to make a crude joke about transgender people. Video from Comedy Central's The Nightly Show starring Larry Wilmore posted to YouTube on 6/4/2015 (1:20).

Other Content: Contra O'Reilly Post (7/2/2015) "On Mike Huckabee Purportedly Wishing that it Him Who Had Come Up with this Whole Transgender Thing so He Could Have Showered with Chicks Back in High School".

SWTD Tags: 2016 Election, LGBT, Mike Huckabee.

DSB #11

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Comedian Louis CK On White Privilege & Male Privilege (Comedy Bits)

Comedian Louis CK. I think his material is pretty good. He has a TV program that I don't watch, although I've seen the first season of it after it originally aired and liked it OK. He plays a jerk, I guess, basically. I've heard some people say they don't care for him.

While Googling recently using the search term "White Privilege" and "Male Privilege" (ideas that some people I would call misogynist and racially biased reject) I ran across the following two videos that I think offer some truisms in a humorous format, so I thought I'd share them (likely with nobody, given the fact that nobody reads this blog).

Both are fairly short, so they won't take a lot of time to view. So, I think it's worth the short amount of time to do so.

First, some background information that I pulled off Wikipedia (in case you are unfamiliar with Mr. CK).

Louis Székely (born September 12, 1967 and known professionally as Louis C.K.), is an American comedian, actor, writer, producer, director and editor. He is the creator, star, writer, director, executive producer and primary editor of the acclaimed FX comedy series Louie. CK has won a 2012 Peabody Award and five Emmy awards, as well as numerous awards for The Chris Rock Show and Louie, as well as his stand-up specials.

CK's stage name is an approximate English pronunciation of his Hungarian surname, Székely. (Link).

The first video is labeled "I enjoy being White". Not because White people are better, but because it is better to be White. This is a statement acknowledging the fact that White privilege is real, despite some people dismissing it. In my opinion. Mr. CK does not use the term white privilege but I think we can absolutely agree that is what he is referring to.

The second video is labeled "there is no greater threat to women than men", which is pretty self explanatory. Is this Mr. CK's statement of belief in the notion that Men are privileged in our society? He does not use the term male privilege in his bit, but, YES, I think that's clearly what he's saying (that he agrees with it).

As do I... with both White Privilege and Male Privilege being REAL and societal problem we need to be addressing... as opposed to pretending they don't exist, as some males who are biased against minorities and women, do.

Video1: I enjoy being White (2:29).

Video2: There is no greater threat to women than men (1:43).

SWTD Tags: Male Privilege, White Privilege.

DSB #10

Friday, May 29, 2015

Conservatives Hate Democracy & Desire Oligarchy (Thom Hartmann Rant #3)

The following is an excerpt from the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 5/26/2015, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Thom discusses how Conservatives (including fiscally conservative Libertarians) hate democracy and desire oligarchy.

Thom: Mitch McConnell, back in 2011, when he said "the Constitution must be amended to keep the government in check. We've tried persuasion, we've tried negotiations, we've tried elections. Nothing has worked".

Huh? We've tried elections? Nothing has worked? What Mitch McConnell is complaining about is the same stuff Conservative have been complaining about from the founding of our Republic. Which is that they don't believe in small "d" democracy and a small "r" republic. They believe in oligarchy.

Alexander Hamilton, in the Constitutional convention, suggested that the President should be called "his royal highness" and should be appointed for life. That we should basically have a king. He was laughed out of the assembly. He was so offended, so embarrassed and so angry, he went back to New York city the next day and didn't come back for 2 months. But he proposed it.

This has always been the problem that Conservative have. They genuinely believe the Biblical story that we're all born out of a woman and all evil, as it were, because Eve made that deal with the snake. And therefore democracy is a problem.

This is essentially what [Libertarian] Charles Murray is saying. What he's calling for, or what is generally being called for by Conservatives, is rule by the rich.

We're back to Calvinism. How do we know that someone is actually good? That didn't get that original sin when they came through mom's birth canal? How do we know who the people are who God has blessed? How do we know who the statesmen are versus the politicians, the people you can actually trust are going to do the best thing for the country?

The way you know is that they're rich. This is Calvinism's contribution to American democracy. Basically oligarchy's contribution. This has been the justification for hereditary kingdoms for centuries. Now they want to bring it to the United States, and the Koch Brothers are obliging. They're going to spend 800 million dollars and help decide some elections.

Which they've been doing for the last decade. And it's just not the Koch brothers, of course. As Charles Murray correctly points out, we have a class of billionaires, created as a consequence of the Reagan tax cuts and the Reagan compensation law change, so that CEOs could pay themselves with stock options.

The result of this is the rise of the Billionaire class that now has enough financial power that (to paraphrase Henry Wallace, the vice president of the United States in 1944) can reach out for government power and use the power of the government and the power of the marketplace at the same time to destroy unions and keep the common man in eternal subjection (see "The Danger of American Fascism" Point 11).

[End Thom Hartmann Rant]

Yeah, Libertarians are usually atheist, but they agree with the Religious Right that the rich are a breed apart. This is the basis of Ayn Rand's Objectivism - that wealthy people are superior humans (and conversely poor people are subhuman leeches).

Concerning oligarchy, this is what Conservative and Libertarians desire, but Libertarians foolishly believe that the rich can be prevented from reaching out to control government. Or they believe that they can fool Libertarian adherents into thinking this is possible. Which it is not.

Which is why Libertarianism is such utter bullcrap. The wealthy will ALWAYS attempt to control government. The only way to limit the power of the wealthy is to limit their wealth. This is why democracy degrades when inequality increases.

If we wish to preserve democracy we need to prevent people from becoming uber-wealthy (via economic policy, including high taxation). Frankly I don't buy it that these Libertarians can be so naive as to believe that people can be allowed to siphon unlimited amounts of money out of our economy and the result will not be the corruption of democracy.

Some are that stupid, but I honestly do not believe they all are. The non-stupid know the endgame is a takeover of the State by the oligarchs... and that is exactly what they want.

SWTD Tags: Class Warefare, Libertarianism, Thom Hartmann, Wealthy Worship.

DSB #9

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Virtuous Cycle Created By Raising The Minimum Wage (Thom Hartmann Rant #2)

The following is an excerpt from the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 5/26/2015, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Thom discusses how raising the minimum wage creates a virtuous cycle.

Thom: If you go back and look at the history of the minimum wage, every time the minimum wage is increased, over the next three years... which is about how long it takes for something like that to work it's way through the economy... what you see are, two things... number one, you see consequential significant economic stimulation. Typically the economy will grow at least 2 or 3 percent, after every minimum wage hike.

Because people with minimum wage have more money in their pocket now to spend. That money then goes into the marketplace and creates demand. And the consequence of creating that demand is that it creates more demand for jobs as well. As there is demand for more jobs, because the economy has been stimulated, the competition [between companies for workers] goes up, which means all wages go up.

Whenever the minimum wage goes up... all the midrange wages all increase by roughly the same amount. There is a very simple economic reason for that which I just laid out.

If minimum wage had kept pace with productivity it would be at $17 an hour right now. If it had just kept up with inflation it would be at $12.60 an hour.

[End Thom Hartmann Rant]

Increasing the minimum wage creates a virtuous cycle that reverberates through the economy, which is why we need a minimum wage that is indexed to inflation.

On the other hand, not raising the minimum wage creates a vicious cycle.

The Capitalist's Case for a $15 Minimum Wage: The fundamental law of capitalism is that if workers have no money, businesses have no customers. That's why the extreme, and widening, wealth gap in our economy presents not just a moral challenge, but an economic one, too. In a capitalist system, rising inequality creates a death spiral of falling demand that ultimately takes everyone down.

Low-wage jobs are fast replacing middle-class ones in the U.S. economy. Sixty percent of the jobs lost in the last recession were middle-income, while 59 percent of the new positions during the past two years of recovery were in low-wage industries... By 2020, 48 percent of jobs will be in those service sectors.

Policy makers debate incremental changes for arresting this vicious cycle. But perhaps the most powerful and elegant antidote is sitting right before us: a spike in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. (The Capitalist's Case for a $15 Minimum Wage by Nicolas J Hanauer. Bloomberg Business 6/19/2013).

The plutocrats at the top of the foodchain don't care that they're destroying the American economy. Wealthy people can move anywhere in the world, and there are other markets to exploit. The rest of us, however, are suffering the consequences of their unbridled greed. It is time for us Americans to say NO to the world's oligarchy and do what's necessary to save our economy before it's too late.

Which would be to index the minimum wage to inflation and, more importantly (although these are two very important steps in saving America)... raise tariffs and bring our jobs home. If not we're screwed. America is done.

SWTD Tags: Minimum Wage, Thom Hartmann.

DSB #8

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Proselytizing Lester

This absurd and utterly off base comment from the blogger Dennis Marks in response to a comment from me directed at Lester Nation in which I suggest Lester might consider voting Bernie Sanders for POTUS.

Dennis Marks: There are some who seek validation and satisfaction by completely converting others to the entirety of their views, and do not accept any partial agreement or even a consensus. And watching such, it is less like a rational conversation and more like a proselytization attempt. With one-sided zeal like with a religion. (5/19/2015 AT 10:25:00 AM EDT. Comment from the blog "rAtional nAtion uSA").

Lester agreed, adding a comment that (once again) plays off the lie from Dennis that I "worship Stalin" (follow the link for more info concerning this Dennis idiocy).

Lester Nation: PRECISELY! Those with such mindsets are the type who often, although not always, would be totalitarian if ever in a posistion of authority or power. (5/19/2015 AT 10:39:00am EDT. Comment from the blog "rAtional nAtion uSA").

I say "once again" because Lester keeps making similar comments.

Lester Nation: We respect your right to be a proud totalitarian communist in the vein of Joseph Stalin. We simply exercise our right to think you a bit nuts for doing so. (5/09/2015 AT 9:07pm. Comment from the blog "Sleeping with The Devil").

I consider myself a Democratic Socialist. I believe the United States needs to move in a much more Socialist direction, but we need to do it democratically. So Lester suggesting I "would be totalitarian" is total bullshit. Which I told him the last time he spun this fable. He keeps doing it anyway.

But I have no problem with Lester believing in any ideology he cares to believe in, even one as evil as "Objectivism". I would NEVER try to "proselytize" him. To begin with, it would be a complete waste of time. I know damn well he is not going to change his mind in regards to his admiration of the sociopathic Ayn Rand.

The reason for the remark was because of a number of extremely odd comments I've noticed from him lately. Odd, in that they are completely antithetical to the evil of Objectivism.

First this one from 12/6/2013.

Lester Nation: Medicare as a model for universal healthcare, with some modificartions (improvements to insure long term fiscal viability) may not be such a terribly bad idea. (12/6/2013 11:43:00 AM EST. Comment from the blog "rAtional nAtion uSA").

Then this one from 4/26/2015.

Lester Nation: Many democratic socialist countries have done and are doing just fine. In fact much, as in majority, of their population are quite happy. You really need to seperate totalitarian socialism and democratic socialism fot any meaningful discussion to occur. (4/26/2015 at 2:51 AM. Comment from the blog "Contra O'Reilly").

Lastly, this one from 5/1/2015.

Lester Nation: I am a capitalist. Call me a benevolent capitalist if you like. Something along the lines of a Thomas Paine style capitalist, one who grasps what "the common welfare" (or good) actually meant. Democratic socialism while better than 20th century communism or fascism loses out to benevolent capitalism hands down. Period. (5/1/2015 AT 07:33:00 PM EDT. Comment from the blog "rAtional nAtion uSA").

So, I copied these comments and later asked him (on his blog) why he (as an Ayn Rand admiring Objectivist) was talking positively about things that Ayn Rand would have rejected as encouraging the parasites.

His response to me quoting him?

Lester Nation: make a huge stretch in quoting something I did mot say. But I realize that is just you. Disingenuous, but as long as you are comfortable with it that is fie by me. Frankly I couldn't give a sh*t less. But it is likely why you have been banned from several sites. (5/01/2015 AT 07:33:00 PM EDT. Comment from the blog "rAtional nAtion uSA").

I guess I "misquoted" him by copying and pasting what he wrote (and linking to it in order so anyone could check that it was 100 percent accurate). Yet he did "mot" say it. And yet he did say it. And if he did not remember saying it he could have clicked the link and refreshed his memory.

And I've been banned from several sites (apparently) for this kind of dishonesty... quoting someone and asking what they meant (attempting to engage people in conversation... a ban-able offense in Lester's mind).

Yeah, this guy strikes me as someone who could be proselytized, which is why I made the effort to convert Lester to Socialism. No wait, despite his comments I was (and remain) positive he would not consider for even one second switching ideologies. I asked because I found his statements confusing given his Objectivism.

Me suggesting he should vote for Bernie Sanders was (partially) a joke (and based on the comments I quoted above, which I found odd, given my positivity that he has NOT abandoned Objectivism/Libertarianism). I was, however, also partially serious, in that his choice (Gary Johnson or some moderate democrat) either has no chance or is not running.

But he got extremely offended by my suggestion for some reason that made absolutely no sense. And then he tossed out a non-sequitur suggesting that I'd go all totalitarian if ever in a position of authority or power.

I think I'm going to exercise *my right* to think Lester is more than a bit nuts.

SWTD Tags: Ayn Rand, dmarks delusions, Rational Nation.

7/6/2015 Update: If Lester did abandon Objectivism/Libertarianism/Fiscal Conservatism for Democratic Socialism, this would cause his (former?) buddy Willis Hart (who de-friended Lester on Facebook) to not trust him.

DSB #7