Exceptional American Doucherism

 Posted by on December 10, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Dec 102012
 

 Rethugs vote to throw the world’s disabled over the cliff

The most common foreign policy refrain we hear from the Rethugs is a loud, chest thumping  rendition of “American Exceptionalism” (ironically, a term coined by the American Communist Party in the 1920s during their factional disputes). Like its predecessor, “Manifest Destiny” the message is straightforward: Because of our superior values, based on liberty and democracy and embodied in our very governmental structure, God chose America to lead humanity to a better world.

Anyone making such a claim would be expected to walk the talk, to lead by example. The US Senate had a perfect opportunity to do just that last week by ratifying The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities.  The Convention, negotiated by George H.W. Bush and signed by Bush the Lesser, is modeled on the Americans with Disabilities Act and would provide the world’s disabled the same freedom of mobility that US citizens enjoy today.

In a dramatic attempt to impress upon the Senators the moral and historical importance of the issue, former senator, presidential candidate, and crippled war veteran, Bob Dole, was wheeled onto the Senate floor from a D.C. hospital.  Frail but willing to fight one last battle on behalf of a cause he spent over six decades championing, he was positioned on the Senate floor in such way that each GOP senator had to pass by him on the way to their seats.  They were all glad to see him, shaking his only functioning hand, smiling as he implored them for their votes.  When the last senator had filed by, his wife, Liddy, also a former senator and one-time head of the Red Cross, wheeled him off the floor before the formal debate and vote began.

As for what  happened next, cue The Temptations singing Smiling Faces Sometimes:

Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof
Beware, beware of the handshake
That hides the snake
I’m telling you beware
Beware of the pat on the back
It just might hold you back

When the votes were tallied, all the Democratic senators voted aye, while only 8 GOPers (including John McCain) did.  Meaning 38 found it in their cold, cold hearts to vote nay.  Because treaties require 67 votes, it died right there on the Senate floor.

CBS News tries to explain why:

Among the opponents of the treaty were former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. Lee led opposition among conservative senators to the treaty, which he suggested posed a threat to American sovereignty. Santorum argued that the treaty could change U.S. law or be used as a standard in court cases, despite the fact that only U.S. law can be the basis for litigation in American courtrooms.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., voted against the treaty because he said he opposes “cumbersome regulations and potentially overzealous international organizations with anti-American biases that infringe upon American society,” the Associated Press reported. Critics suggested the treaty could prevent home-schooling parents from making their own decisions concerning disabled children and that it could increase abortions worldwide.

Gail Collins zooms in on the bogus home schooling angle and other inanities:

The theory about the treaty on the disabled is that the bit about “best interests of the child” could be translated into laws prohibiting disabled children from being home-schooled. At his press conference, Santorum acknowledged that wasn’t in the cards. But he theorized that someone might use the treaty in a lawsuit “and through the court system begin to deny parents the right to raise their children in conformity with what they believe.”

[...]

Or a boilerplate mention in the treaty of economic, social and cultural rights that Senator Mike Lee of Utah claimed was “part of a march toward socialism.”

Uh, what?  Would someone see if any of that makes sense in any of the languages spoken by the 126 countries who have already ratified, and have actually read, the treaty?  I mean, who’d a thunk that the home school movement had accrued so much power as to sink international treaties.

Gail concludes with these observations on the cancer that is consuming the GOP:

There would almost certainly have been plenty of votes to approve the treaty if the Republicans had felt free to think for themselves. The “no” votes included a senator who had voted for the treaty in committee, a senator who had sent out a press release supporting the treaty and a senator who actually voted “aye” and then switched when it was clear the treaty was going down anyway. Not to mention a lot of really depressed-looking legislators.

The big worry was, of course, offending the Tea Party. The same Tea Party that pounded Mitt Romney into the presidential candidate we came to know and reject over the past election season. The same Tea Party that keeps threatening to wage primaries against incumbents who don’t do what they’re told. The Tea Party who made those threats work so well in the last election that Indiana now has a totally unforeseen Democratic senator.

The threat the Republicans need to worry about isn’t in the United Nations.

IOW, the inmates are still very much in control of the asylum.

[Image found here.]

Is It Over For Grover?

 Posted by on November 20, 2012 at 8:33 PM
Nov 202012
 

In a front page story Tuesday titled For Tax Pledge and Its Author, a Test of Time, the NY Times meditates on the prospects of Grover “Poopy Head” Grover following the decisive defeat of the GOP in the 2012 presidential elections.

The article begins thusly:

Next to the oath of office, it has been perhaps the most important commitment that Republicans in Congress can make. It is called simply “the Pledge,” and its enforcer is such a fixture in the party that he is known simply by his first name, Grover.

But the pledge and its creator, Grover Norquist, a 56-year-old conservative lobbyist, have never before faced a test as they do now. The federal deficit stands at $1 trillion. The social safety net continues to grow — and, in the case of Medicare and Social Security, remains hugely popular. And unless the two parties can agree on a fiscal plan before Jan. 1, hundreds of billions of dollars of tax increases will go into effect automatically, meaning that Congress does not even need to act for taxes to rise.

The combination means that Mr. Norquist, whose long record of success is a rarity in Washington, finds himself in a tricky spot. Some top Republicans, including Speaker John A. Boehner, are saying they now agree with Democrats that the government must collect more tax revenue. Others have gone so far as to break with Mr. Norquist publicly.

By Mr. Norquist’s count, 219 House members — enough for a majority — and 39 senators have committed to the pledge. But some of those members who signed on, many of them years ago, have started to back away, apparently leaving him several votes shy of the majority he would need to block any tax increase.

The last broad-based tax increase the Rethugs supported was 22 years ago, signed into law by George H.W. Bush.  So it may be a bit early to write his political epitaph.

For instance, mid-term elections like the one coming up in 2014 historically favor the losers of the previous presidential election. And Citizens United will continue to pump ungodly amounts of money into GOP campaigns. Presumably, the 43 billionaires who supported Mitt Romney will know better than to naively dump all their money on political hucksters like Karl Rove and Dick Armey.

Nonetheless, exit polls from Nov. 6 show a growing majority of voters supporting tax increases on the rich to help bring the deficit under control and to preserve vital safety net programs for the poor and middle class. While I don’t believe I’ve ever before quoted John McCain clone Lindsey Graham favorably, he did state the obvious when he told the Washington Post:

The demographics race we’re losing badly. We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”

Hear that, Poopy Head?

Mitt Channels the Bushes

 Posted by on September 24, 2012 at 5:17 PM
Sep 242012
 

The embodiment of clueless detachment, W., stares  out his unopenable window as New Orleans drowns in Hurrican Katrina

Unfreaking believable. From the LA Times:

During a Saturday fundraiser in Beverly Hills, Calif., which took in $6 million, Mitt Romney expressed his concerns over Ann Romney’s emergency landing on Friday. The candidate cast doubt on the mechanical design of airplane windows, in a general sense.

“When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous….” he said.

Romney’s idea doesn’t work scientifically, as one blogger on Dailykos explains:

“It’d be like the mile-high club for Seamus, with the added benefit of asphyxiation induced by the low oxygen levels at cruising altitude — assuming that you manage to avoid having the plane rip apart due to the sudden loss of cabin pressure.”

Also, too: Terrarists, How they would love not having to stuff their shoes or underwear with C-4  Just take a window seat, and when the time comes, jimmy it open. Shortly thereafter, seventy virgins will appear.

Ya know, I’d always credited Mittens with an above average IQ, him having graduated from Harvard with a dual law/MBA degree and all. But this story has to make you wonder. Consider this his W.’s Katrina and Poppy Bush’s supermarket scanner moment, all rolled into one.

Rope & Change: The Birth Of A Nation

 Posted by on August 30, 2012 at 9:40 AM
Aug 302012
 

This blatantly racist image, found here, reinvigorates for another generation the most potent and enduring symbol of American racism: The lynched Black Man.

Faced with a failing campaign to make the election a referendum on President Obama‘s handling of the economy (without bothering to offering any concrete policies of his own), the Romney Brain Trust has switched to an attack oriented strategy designed to keep the animal spirits of the Republican base base Republicans aroused.

The He’s a nice guy but he’s in over his head theme has been, to use Romnian phraseology, “retroactively retired.” Here’s how The New York times described the shift last Saturday:

TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney is heading into his nominating convention with his advisers convinced he needs a more combative footing against President Obama in order to appeal to white, working-class voters and to persuade them that he is the best answer to their economic frustrations.

Romney himself initiated the new strategy by tipping his toe into the birther cesspool that same day, making a ‘little joke’ about his own birth certificate:

“No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that I was born and raised.”

You could almost hear The Trumpster guffawing in delight as he vigorously patted himself on the back, accepting Romney’s implicit acknowledgment that he was right all along to keep the Birther issue percolating.

Much has been said about the overt and covert appeals to racism that the Rethugs have resorted to, now and in past campaigns. One need only go back as far as Ronald Reagan’s campaign in 1976, with his Cadillac driving “welfare queen” from Chicago’s South Side— read black woman— to see the pattern. In 1988, Poppy Bush played the black rapist/brute stereotype card against Michael Dukakis in the infamous Willie Horton ad. During the 2000 GOP primary, Karl Rove launched a whisper campaign against John McCain alleging that he had fathered a black child out of wedlock.  And in the current campaign, a right wing billionaire’s plan to spend $10 million smearing President Obama over his pastoral relationship with the  Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was ditched at the last moment when The New York Times blew the whistle.

One expects occasional  displays of overt racism from rank and file Republicans, such as was reported by David Shuster from the GOP national convention in Tampa Tuesday where  “two attendees…were ejected after throwing nuts at a black CNN camerawoman and saying, “This is how we feed the animals.” But to see it infecting the very top echelons of the party, especially during presidential campaigns, is all the more disturbing.

Speaking of the GOP convention, it really should come as no surprise that its entire theme is built on a tripod of lies. The first is the “We Built THAT” canard, based on a single Obama utterance twisted out of all context in which the referent  “that” clearly applied to the subject in his previous sentence, i.e. the role government plays in providing the crucial infrastructure that makes private enterprise possible— roads, bridges, electrical power transmission, sewers, airports, police and fire protection, the internet, etc., etc. , and not to small business in general. Need we point out the irony that it was government that provided some $139 million to build the very convention center housing the present GOPer convention? Don’t expect any acknowledgment of that rather inconvenient truth.

The second lie concerns Paul Ryan‘s mercurial plans for Medicare, which initially called for privatizing it, and then for “saving”it through an ill-defined voucher/coupon scheme. If the Rovians can succeed in portraying Ryan and the Republicans as the saviors of Medicare when they have historically been its most vociferous foes then we will have surely fallen into an Orwellian universe where up is down and war is peace.

But it is the third lie that concerns us here: the proven lie that Obama is gutting the Clinton era welfare to work program.  As the Rovian narrative goes, all those lazy, shiftless unemployed, disabled, and disadvantaged individuals and families owe their unworthy existence to the safety net of government assistance programs. In the social Darwinist world of Ryan/Randian economics, we need no longer endure these demon spawn of Reagan’s universally despised black welfare queen. For them, it’s sink or swim. After all, why should hard working middle class taxpayers be forced to foot the bill for the greatest inequity in societal wealth since the last Gilded Age? Meanwhile, their uber rich political compatriots are living large off their tax free foreign accounts, at a level that would make the Robber Barons of yesteryear blush.

The GOP propaganda meisters are well aware that cultivating a sense of resentment and victimhood among the working class is much easier to accomplish during the kind of hard economic times that prevail today (brought to you courtesy of the previous Republican dominated government that took a Clinton government surplus and turned it into a crushing trillion dollar deficit). The fact that blue collar white men are an essential GOP constituency explains their dogged determination to press the work to welfare lie, despite it being debunked by every neutral fact checker out there, including the Republican co-author [Ron Haskins] of the original bill.

Other current racist stereotypes include the characterization of Obama as “exotic” and “foreign,” an “anti-colonialist” obsessed with importing and imposing “European style socialism” on independent, freedom loving Americans. Obama’s nefarious goal?  To secure even more dole dependent minority voters who can be expected to vote uncritically for the Democratic Party.

Then there’s The Angry Black Man stereotype, enshrined in the title of right winger Dinsesh D’Souza‘s 2010 book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage.  Perhaps the most twisted slur of all is the charge that Obama is the real racist, a meme begun by Glenn Beck who characterized him as “a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.

All of which reminds me of the most prominent, racist film in movie history, D.W. Griffith‘s blockbuster 1915 silent film, The Birth of A Nation, hailed by many movie critics as the greatest film of all time. (To be fair, Griffith spent the rest of life apologizing for and trying to atone for  his naive racism after it was brought to his attention.)  One can find the roots of many contemporary GOP racist propaganda ploys in this meticulously crafted paen to American exceptionalism, which among other things, casts the Klu Klux Klan as the saviors of American virtue.

Reminiscent of Obama’s mixed racial heritage, one of the film’s antagonists is an ambitious half-white, half-black politician by the name of  Silas Lynch. Scenes with contemporary resonance include those that embody social issues like mixed-race marriages; and political issues like voter suppression, but with a twist: Continue reading »

Fiscal Cliff Hanger

 Posted by on August 2, 2012 at 10:23 AM
Aug 022012
 

Stephen describes the Terror of The Norquist

Failure to pass a deficit reduction plan by the end of the year means that the existing placeholder law enacted in 2011 will turn into a trillion dollar sequestration pumpkin, with half the cuts coming out of defense and the other half out of social programs (excluding Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and a few others).

In addition, the extension of the Bush tax cuts will also expire at the same time, giving rise to the metaphor of “the fiscal cliff.”

Taken together, these fiscal monuments to The Grand Obstructionist Party will most likely precipitate another recession, with less cash in consumers’ pockets and more people hitting the unemployment roles, especially from the defense industry.  The  upside is that it will take a big whack out of the deficit.

What’s different this time is that the Democrats have grown a pair and have crafted a strategy to free the Rethugs from their never raise taxes “blood oath” to the dreaded Norquist beast, as Stephen explains above.  (So shocked was Stephen that the Senate Dems managed to pass their own tax bill that he spun his Inception totem to make sure he wasn’t dreaming.)

As a Sixty Minutes segment put it recently: “Grover Norquist is not interested in compromise.  He likes things ugly and takes no prisoners.”  This caused Pappy Bush to ask, Who the hell is Grover Norquist?  (To which The Norquist responded by possessing Barbara.)

But Stephen mentioned The Norquist’s name one times too many and was about to be consumed by a demon mist when he substituted the cutest man child sacrificial baby you’ll ever see. Not to be missed!

Making My Super Bowl Day

 Posted by on February 6, 2012 at 6:54 PM
Feb 062012
 

Clint Eastwood tells it like it is

Yesterday’s Super Bowl was the most viewed telvision event ever, with a world wide audience estimated at 111 million plus. Yeah, it was an exciting game, down to the last second failed Hail Mary pass in the dead end zone by the New England PatriotsTom Brady. But it was the half time interregnum that has the advertising, entertainment, and political worlds all abuzz.

For the advertising industry, the Super Bowl is, well, the Super Bowl of advertising. Entire  prime network television time shows are dedicated to airing the classics from Super Bowls past. Yesterday, a 30 second spot set a company’s advertising budget back a cool $3.5 mil.

For the entertainment industry, the half time show has featured nearly a half century of the world’s greatest performers including Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Dianna Ross, James Brown, Paul McCartney, Prince, Tom Petty, The Who, The Black Eyed Peas, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, U2, Boyz To Men, Stevie Wonder, and Phil Collins.

Last night featured a blow out performance by a remarkably retrained Madonna. It’s theme of  ”World Peace” played out against a backdrop of  Egyptian, Spartan, cheerleading, and gospel singing motifs. It climaxed with Madoona disappearing in a cloud of smoke, singing: ”Just like a prayer…Life is a mystery…I hear you call my name, and it feels like home.” The final shot is an overhead of the audience, the words “World Peace” illuminated  in the darkness. (For a more cynical critique, see Spencer Kornhaber‘s review in the Atlantic.)

 Madonna’s pop homage to World Peace

That leaves the political domain, something that Bowl sponsoring networks try to avoid like the plague. Overt (and increasingly negative) political commercials that innundate televison markets during national elections are routinely refused broadcast, buzz kills to what is otherwise a communal celebration of some the best athletes (and entertainers)  in the world. Into the breach comes a 2 minute ad by Chrysler titled “It’s Halftime in America” , narrated by conservative icon Clint Eastwood (believed to have been on the short list of vice-presidential candidates for George H.W. Bush).

The ad is dominating  post-Super Bowl commentary today on radio, television, and the internet.  One camp has it that is is a non-political, feel good message about the resiliency of the American worker in the face of overwhelming economic odds. The other camp is composed almost entirely of Rethugs and their sympathizers, who see  it as pro-Obama, Democratic party propaganda.

I was frankly offended by it” Rove whined to Fux News today.

Celebrating the triumph of  unionized American workers working in cooperation with management during some of the darkest days in American economic history is not something Rove and his ilk can easily abide. Especially given President Obama’s crucial leadership in helping put the auto industry back on its feet, saving over a million jobs, not to mention a critical component of US manufacturing strength (vital to it’s national security as well).

It is also a devastating contrast to the philosophy of with Rove’s anointed candidate, Willard Mitt Romney, who in late ’08  penned a NY Times editorial titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” Goes to show just how desperate the Rethug establishment is becoming as they watch their brand implode from internecine warfare over who should bear the party’s presidential standard against President Obama this fall.

Meanwhile, Obama’s approval rating has once again reached 50%, a level not seen since last May when he succeeded in having UBL located and terminated. And the most recent national poll from WAPO/ABC shows him from moving from a tie with Romney just a couple of weeks ago to a 6 point lead today, concomitant with a significant rise in Romney’s negatives. (Thank you for your endorsement of his candidacy last week, Donald Trump!) No wonder Rove is “offended.”

And yeah, Clint. We all have heard “the roar of American engines” signalling that America is back, despite the best efforts of the Rethugs to keep it down pursuant to their schemes to regain the White House.

To quote  their hero Ronnie Reagan: “Go ahead. Make my decade.”

The Cult Of Grover: What Rot He’s Wrought

 Posted by on November 27, 2011 at 10:40 AM
Nov 272011
 

Guru Norquist’s quest  to drown the 99%  in a bathtub

It would be nice to think that with this week’s collapse of The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, the Democrats had finally tired of being buggered by the mythical unicorn of bipartisanship. That adopting President Obama’s penchant for shoving half his chips across the table to the Rethugs before the first card is dealt, that negotiating with themselves on issues like the budget deficit,  are not winning strategies.

But that would be giving the Dems more credit than they’re due. As the supposedly transparent  Stupor Super Committee  meetings dragged on, it was soon apparent that they were all too eager to abandon their traditional role as the protector of the middle class and the broader social safety net.  Some reports had them expanding the ratio of spending cuts to taxes by factor of 10, over ten years. (By contrast, Simpson-Bowles fixed the ratio at 3:1, while the first Clinton budget called for a 1:1 ratio spread over four years, including an increase in marginal tax rates for America’s wealthiest from 31% to 36% )

Fortunately for the Dems and their political brand as protector of the middle class and the social safety net,  they were saved by the Grand Obstruction Party’s absolute refusal to take “yes” for an answer. The latter’s position is dictated by their total dependence on Teabagger funding billionaires willing to issue the political death penalty to anyone who would even think of raising taxes on them  for any reason whatsoever. Really, that says all you need to know about “Washington gridlock.”

The Rethugs’  Chief Executioner, Grover Norquist, is the cult leader of  Americans For Tax Reform. He is also an influential member of the legislation churn out factory known  as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Grover used to be a behind the scenes influence peddler, but recently he’s been all over my teevee, including last week on 60 Minutes, smirking his way through various interviews.

Norquist’s claim to fame has been his success in getting 95% of Congressional Rethugs to drink the One Percenter Koolaid, forcing them to shift their fealty from upholding the US Constitution to his infamous no-tax pledge. The consequences of his goal to “starve the beast” of government;  to “…to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub”  are outlined by the ThinkProgress War Room in a post titled:

The GOP’s Oath To The One Percent

One Oath to Rule Them All

What It Means: An Oath Of, By, and For the 1 Percent

The GOP’s oath to Grover Norquist has serious practical consequences — consequences that are bad for our country. Here’s just a few examples of what Republicans oppose en masse as a result of the oath they apparently hold most dear:

• Republicans oppose making the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share
• Republicans oppose making huge corporations pay their fair share (or even any taxes at all in some cases)
• Republicans oppose ending unfair tax loopholes that allow millionaires and billionaires to pay a lower tax      rate than middle class Americans
• Republicans oppose ending unfair handouts to hedge fund billionaires
• Republicans oppose ending tens of billions of dollars in handouts to Big Oil
• Republicans oppose ending unfair tax loopholes that pay companies to ship jobs overseas
• Republicans oppose ending unfair tax loopholes for vacation homes and yachts
• Republicans oppose ending unfair and ridiculous tax loopholes for things like wealthy horse breeders or  corporate jets

And in these deficit-obsessed times, we know that unfair government handouts to millionaires, oil companies, and giant corporations have to be made up by cutting spending elsewhere in the budget. So refusing to make everyone pay their fair share means programs that benefit the other 99 Percent each and every day get cut deeper as a result of the taxpayer-funded handouts going to the top 1 Percent.

IN ONE SENTENCE: The only oath our elected leaders should take is to the Constitution, not one to a Republican lobbyist who embodies an unfair system rigged to benefit the top 1 Percent.

Last summer as the battle over the debt ceiling was raging, The NY Times wrote an editorial titled Signing Away the Right to Govern that expanded on the theme of patriotism versus self-interest, noting along the way that both George H.W. Bush and the patron saint of the GOP, Ronald Reagan, proactively raised taxes when circumstances dictated:

It used to be that a sworn oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution was the only promise required to become president. But that no longer seems to be enough for a growing number of Republican interest groups, who are demanding that presidential candidates sign pledges shackling them to the corners of conservative ideology. Many candidates are going along, and each pledge they sign undermines the basic principle of democratic government built on compromise and negotiation.

…Washington, the ideologues decided, corrupted true conservatives into moderates.

More was needed to keep them in line, which gave birth to the signed pledge — no more enforceable than a spoken promise, but a politician’s actual signature was seen as more binding. The oldest and most pernicious of these modern oaths was dreamed up by Grover Norquist, the leader of Americans for Tax Reform, who has managed to get 95 percent of all Republicans in Congress to pledge never to raise taxes for any reason. If they end tax deductions, Mr. Norquist’s pledge-takers say they will match the increase in revenue with further tax cuts. That pledge is the single biggest reason the federal government is now on the edge of default. Its signers will not allow revenues in a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

When Standard and Poor downgraded US Treasuries for the first time in history, they specifically cited the political paralysis evident in this summer’s manufactured debt ceiling crisis and how the resultant higher interest rates would increase the deficit.

Bloomberg News @ 8/6/11:

Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S.’s AAA credit rating for the first time, slamming the nation’s political process and criticizing lawmakers for failing to cut spending or raise revenue enough to reduce record budget deficits.

S&P lowered the U.S. one level to AA+ while keeping the outlook at “negative” as it becomes less confident Congress will end Bush-era tax cuts or tackle entitlements. The rating may be cut to AA within two years if spending reductions are lower than agreed to, interest rates rise or “new fiscal pressures” result in higher general government debt, the New York-based firm said yesterday.

What historically made the USA great was its guarantee of equal opportunity to all and help for those who, through no fault of their own, fell short of the traditional American Dream.  But the foundations of American egalitarianism are being undermined by the destructive fungus among us– multi-millionaire and billionaire proponents of a new social Darwinism characterized by a survival of the meanest mentality that concentrates wealth in richest 1 and 1/10  percent, with little concern for how it is obtained.

In a post I wrote last May titled Moral Insanity: Psychopaths & Sociopaths, I cited an essay that quoted the father of modern psycopathological research, Dr. Robert Hare (emphasis added):

[V]iolent criminals are just a tiny fraction of the psychopaths around us. Hare estimates that 1 percent of the population — 300,000 people in Canada — are psychopaths.

He calls them “subclinical” psychopaths. They’re the charming predators who, unable to form real emotional bonds, find and use vulnerable women for sex and money (and inevitably abandon them). They’re the con men like Christophe Rocancourt, and they’re the stockbrokers and promoters who caused Forbes magazine to call the Vancouver Stock Exchange (now part of the Canadian Venture Exchange) the scam capital of the world. (Hare has said that if he couldn’t study psychopaths in prisons, the Vancouver Stock Exchange would have been his second choice.)

Since then, another study of psychopaths confirmed Dr. Hare’s last comment, as reported by MSNBC’s Marisa Taylor on MSNBC.com  on September 27:
Continue reading »