VOTING FOR THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS IS SO TWENTIETH CENTURY

Bernie hasn’t moved the Dembase to the left. He’s revealed a base that is tired of accepting “the lesser of two evils” as an electoral argument.

Loathsome Ted’s Record Before the Supreme(s)

I think I’ve finally figured out why Ted Cruz inspires such loathsomeness among all but his most dedicated followers. The answer is: Time Travel! The thesis is this: Someone has invented a two-seater time machine, traveled back into the past, to either the time of the Spanish Inquisition or the Salem witch trials, and brought forward their chief prosecutor…. It’s called “judicial activism,” or in this case, a variant and precursor thereof. If there is any remaining doubt that that judicial activism, the bete noire of conservatives, is anything but their projection aimed at liberal and progressive politicians, then one need only point to its walking, talking embodiment — Ted Cruz.

Centrally Scrutinized: Again. And Again.

Many of you have realized, at last, that imaginary guitar notes, and imaginary vocals, exist only in the imagination of the imaginer… and ultimately, who gives a fuck, anyway…

NATIONAL LAUGHINGSTOCK

NatLaughing StockThis month’s national laughingstock just happens to be an adult crybaby.

This sorry-assed excuse for a magazine found its way into my personal space yesterday.  Not only was it not funny, but it pissed me off in a way that I have seldom experienced since I stopped abusing certain vile foamy liquids and other assorted borderline ingestibles.

Many of you are too young in this adventure to remember National LAMPOON magazine, let alone one of their most memorable covers, from January 1973.  (See it here.)  But unlike that cover, this parody did not make me feel sorry for the Boner-as-victim of his own groveling attempts to destroy the American government and …  you know what, just forget it.

Forget all the antics of the Republican “party” for a moment.  Just answer this question:  Why is a sniveling crybaby the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States?

Is this really the best creature we can squeeze out of our gene pool?

Apparently it is, so then, go ahead, Repuglican’ts;  do your worst, you catatonic douchebags.

America has it coming.

LIP SERVICE


Yes, she thinks you think she’s speaking extemporaneously; not reading off a teleprompter.

Never hesitate to admit failure. Make no attempt to hide failure under deceptive smiles
and beaming optimism. It sounds well always to claim success, but the end results are appalling.
Such a technique leads directly to the creation of a world of
unreality and to the inevitable crash of ultimate disillusionment.

— The Urantia Book

STILLWATER, MN —  Resplendent in her foxy* deep blue silk jacket and cultured pearls, Michele Bachmann announced she will not seek another term in the United States Congress.

The Tea Party darling’s very long list of denials about why she is not leaving may become more credible, if and when the rumor we are accused of starting turns out to be true:  that she will be joining “Prancersize” inventor Joanna Rohrback‘s firm as its Presidential “Prancer” and Commander-in-Chief horsey:


Another unfortunate example of Camel Toe.  But all is not lost; watch with the volume off.

And speaking of prancing show horseys…  another angry beaver attacked a man on a roadside near Shestakovskoye lake, west of Minsk, Belarus, slicing through an artery in his leg which caused him to bleed to death.  It was the most recent in a string of angry beaver attacks in Belarus, where the beaver population has tripled in the past decade to around 80,000.  Belarusian beavers can weigh up to 65 pounds and stand three feet high.
Experts say the increase in attacks is largely due to springtime aggression in young beavers that are trying to make a name for themselves and stake out their own territory after being forced to leave home by their parents.  Some older beavers can also become disoriented in life and attack out of fear;  others become bitter and vengeful when faced with the inevitable crash of their ultimate disillusionment.
* Foxy  I.e., Fauxy, Republican shemale drag

Medical Repatriation: Bedsores In Paradise

Stephen’s helpful suggestions on how to reduce hospital overcrowding

Stephen Colbert warns us that a hospital is no place to get sick, especially if you are indigent or have fallen into a coma.

If, for instance, you’re an undocumented immigrant, you might find yourself discharged from an Intensive We Don’t Care Unit in Las Vegas and given a one way bus ticket to Los Angeles, with 3 days of meds and instructions to dial 911 when you get there. Same goes for the mentally handicapped.

If you’re really lucky and have fallen into a coma, you could be flown on a private jet for free and deposited in another country altogether.

But there is a darker possibility. You could be shipped off to somewhere that no one ever returns from…a Carnival Cruise vacation.

And That’s the Word.

Because Freedom: Erich Fromm Edition

Because Freedom — Liz Time Machine Liz Cheney sets the way back machine to 1961 to explain the Grand Obstructionist Party’s response to health care reform 

In his NY Times column Monday, Paul Krugman asks a question whose subtext subsumes its substance:

How many Americans will be denied essential health care in the name of freedom?

In case you haven’t noticed, the response to every critical policy issue proffered by the plutocratic funded Teabagger, Libertarian dominated GOP is a non-answer: no can-do, because, you know, freedom.  An easy, bumper sticker slogan that appeals to the low information voter and propagandists alike.

Rational gun safety laws?  Farmer Fred might have to drive 30 miles to town to record a transfer of his shotgun to his grandson. (Maybe he could combine it with one of his regular town trips, or like, when he has to register the transfer of a vehicle.) Financial regulation?  As the banksters are fond of saying: the invisible hand of capitalism is regulator enough, thank you very much. Pollution controls?  That costs jobs and all the freedom that goes with ’em.  Immigration reform?  Employers should be free to hire whomever they want, at whatever pay the market will bear.  That’s the free market, baby.

Krugman drills down on the healthcare issue:

“I’m referring, of course, to the question of how many Republican governors will reject the Medicaid expansion that is a key part of Obamacare. What does that have to do with freedom? In reality, nothing. But when it comes to politics, it’s a different story.

It goes without saying that Republicans oppose any expansion of programs that help the less fortunate — along with tax cuts for the wealthy, such opposition is pretty much what defines modern conservatism. But they seem to be having more trouble than in the past defending their opposition without simply coming across as big meanies.

Specifically, the time-honored practice of attacking beneficiaries of government programs as undeserving malingerers doesn’t play the way it used to. When Ronald Reagan spoke about welfare queens driving Cadillacs, it resonated with many voters. When Mitt Romney was caught on tape sneering at the 47 percent, not so much.

There is, however, an alternative. From the enthusiastic reception American conservatives gave Friedrich Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom,” to Reagan, to the governors now standing in the way of Medicaid expansion, the U.S. right has sought to portray its position not as a matter of comforting the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted, but as a courageous defense of freedom.”

Yup, the Romney Revelation required a reboot— blaming the victim can only take you so far, especially when the victims are so close at hand.  So, time to step into the Cheney time machine to make old things appear new again.

“Conservatives love, for example, to quote from a stirring speech Reagan gave in 1961, in which he warned of a grim future unless patriots took a stand. (Liz Cheney used it in a Wall Street Journal op-ed article just a few days ago.) “If you and I don’t do this,” Reagan declared, “then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.” What you might not guess from the lofty language is that “this” — the heroic act Reagan was calling on his listeners to perform — was a concerted effort to block the enactment of Medicare.”

So, it’s back to the future, where the right wing antediluvians think they can pour old wine into new wine skins.  Their conception of freedom is truncated into the freedom from formulation— freedom from government, which is to say, society as a whole.  The other formulation of freedom, freedom to, was long ago perverted into license— license to do whatever the hell somebody with means wants, ignoring the generations of collective effort that made their self-centered notions of freedom possible.

When but a sophomore in high school, I had the good fortune to encounter the writings of the noted psychologist, Erich Fromm, who made clear to me the nuanced differences between freedom from and freedom to. (As a horny teenager, I picked up his classic The Art of Loving, thinking it was a sex manual of some sort, but got hooked instead on his philosophical approach to life.) As long as we are doing a little time traveling, let’s go back another twenty years, to the publication of Fromm’s Escape From Freedom  in 1941 (during the height of The Third Reich). From the WikiP entry:

Fromm distinguishes between ‘freedom from’ (negative freedom) and ‘freedom to’ (positive freedom). The former refers to emancipation from restrictions such as social conventions placed on individuals by other people or institutions. This is the kind of freedom typified by the Existentialism of Sartre, and has often been fought for historically, but according to Fromm, on its own it can be a destructive force unless accompanied by a creative element, ‘freedom to’ the use of freedom to employ spontaneously the total integrated personality in creative acts. This, he argues, necessarily implies a true connectedness with others that goes beyond the superficial bonds of conventional social intercourse: “…in the spontaneous realization of the self, man unites himself anew with the world…”

A world unobtainable to the selfish and the cruel. What else explains their desire to destroy a society which they reject, from which they have chosen to ex-communicate themselves? Better its destruction than a constant reminder of their own dysfunction.

WikiP concludes its review with this (italic emphasis mine):

Fromm examines democracy and freedom. Modern democracy and the industrialised nation are models he praises but it is stressed that the kind of external freedom provided by this kind of society can never be utilised to the full without an equivalent inner freedom. Fromm suggests that though we are free from obvious authoritarian influence, we are still dominated in our thinking and behaviour by ideas of ‘common sense’, the advice of experts and the influence of advertising. The way to become truly free in an individual sense is to become spontaneous in our self-expression and behaviour and respond truthfully to our genuine feelings. This is crystallised in his existential statement “there is only one meaning of life: the act of living it“. Fromm counters suggestions that this might lead to social chaos by claiming that being truly in touch with our humanity is to be truly in touch with the needs of those with whom we share the world. This is the meaning of a truly social democracy and the realisation of the positive ‘freedom to’ that arises when people escape the malign influence of totalising political orders.

I heard Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) play the “common sense” card yesterday, trying to explain his support for the watered down gun safety agreement he reached with his Democratic counterpart, Joe Manchin (D-W.VA). “Common sense” is the mantra conservatives are using these days to oppose government regulation of any sort.  “The advice of experts” is what fuels the whole deferential beltway pundit mentality.   And the advertising industry is exactly the foundation of the modern day political propaganda machine.

The more things change the more they stay the same.