Thoughtful commentary on the ideas, events, people and policies shaping our world
“Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. The prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom.
“All of the things are about sexual freedom, and they hate to be called on them. They try to somehow or other tie this to the Founding Father’s vision of liberty, which is bizarre. It’s ridiculous.”
This list is a sampling of Republican political figures involved in sex scandals of various kinds.
What about Democrats Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner and so on?
There is this significant difference. No Democratic presidential candidate — or other Democratic candidates, for that matter — is going around casting out first stones, sliming the Republican Party as the party of fornication, adultery, communicating with minors for immoral purposes and so on.
Don’t expect sanctimonious Santorum to criticize the moral lapses surrounding him in Republican ranks because wrong is wrong no matter who’s doing it. No, what sanctimonious Santorum is about is bringing in the fundamentalist Christian sheeps’ money and votes. He does that in part by demonizing the opposition and by giving the more gullible among the religious right reason to join him in feeling superior.
That makes sanctimonious Santorum a con man, a prize hypocrite and a disgusting piece of political work.
“It adds further instability to our system, more uncertainty and it punishes job creation and those people who create jobs. Class warfare may make for good politics but it makes for rotten economics.”
Look who’s talking: It’s hardly surprising that Ryan, a radical-conservative Republican and economic Darwinist, would jump at the chance to charge class warfare. With a net worth said to be around $2.4 million, Ryan has a glaring conflict of interest. Not that he will admit to having a conflict of interest or abstain from voting on tax increases for the rich because of it.
Ryan provides the latest example of a standard GOP tactic: project on to others what you and your party say and do.
Republicans have been waging class warfare for more than three decades on everyone in the country who’s not wealthy and well connected. The results are in and poor, working-class and middle-class Americans are losing on all fronts.
[stextbox id=”custom” caption=”Class warfare facts:” float=”true” align=”center” width=”460″ mleft=”6″ mright=”0″ mtop=”12″ mbottom=”12″]”The nation’s official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009 — the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate. There were 46.2 million people in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009 — the fourth consecutive annual increase and the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.
—U.S. Census Bureau poverty report[/stextbox]
Paul Krugman looks at where stimulus funds went with a critical eye and finds an answer to the question, “Why didn’t all that money result in more job creation?”
Economic Darwinists of the right are quick to charge the Keynesian approach to pulling up an economy on its knees failed, but Krugman makes the case it was never really tried.
And, as usual, Krugman is correct.
Something to think about: Do you suppose a young college dropout with some coding ability and a passion for computing could land a job at Microsoft today?
Bill Gates is among the richest men on Earth, having engineered Microsoft’s spectacular rise from a two-man partnership to become the 800-pound gorilla of the software world. But when it all began, Gates was that young college dropout.
Similarly, do you suppose a young Henry Ford could get a job in management at Ford Motor Co. today?
Anything is possible. But we suspect both these hugely successful men, if they were starting their careers today, would probably be screened out by a human resources person holding out for more and better credentials — an engineering degree or M.B.A.
Gordon Gekko is ubiquitous: Speaking of M.B.A.’s, there’s surely more of them managing businesses large and small today than at any time in history. Follow business headlines and you’ll see a relentless succession of ripoffs, scandals and screw-ups on the part of business executives.
This leads us to wonder about the education M.B.A. types get. Is it possible it’s not only deficient at teaching ethics, the golden rule and responsibility to American society and the country as a whole, but actually inculcates the notion “greed, for lack of a better word, is good”?
Results of a McClatchy-Marist College opinion poll should be titled “Not So Fast” because they show Republican and tea partyer claims of an election mandate to be groundless self-promotion.
For example, repealing health care reform doesn’t fly with a majority of the 1,020 adults surveyed nationwide Nov. 15-18 by land line and cell phone.
Fifty-one percent of registered voters say keep the law as is or make it do more, while 44 percent want it diminished or repealed.
But that’s not all. Most respondents also want to keep the Bush tax cuts only for those making less than $250,000 a year.
As Congress prepares to debate whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, the poll showed that 51 percent want to extend the tax cuts only for households making less than $250,000 a year, and 45 percent want to extend the tax cuts for all.
Those who support tax cuts only for those making less than $250,000 a year include minorities, Democrats, liberals and moderates, women, college graduates, Midwesterners and Northeasterners.
Those who want to extend all of the tax cuts, including for the wealthy, include Republicans, tea party supporters, conservatives, Southerners and Westerners,
Independents were closely divided, with 49 percent for extending only the “middle class” tax cuts, and 48 percent for extending all of them.
These results are remarkable and all the more meaningful in light of the hundreds of millions health insurers and other financial industry and corporate interests spent on sliming health care reform, President Obama and Democrats, beginning in the early spring of 2009.
One thing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving is that all that expensive well poisoning apparently registered with fewer gullible Americans than did the unforgivable denigration of Sen. John Kerry in 2004. Maybe more Americans are catching on to those who have — and are — profiting so greatly, financially and politically, from lying to them.
To hear conservative Republicans tell it, business is the vital, job-creating, wealth-building, and therefore virtuous, backbone of American prosperity and democracy, while government is a meddlesome, bungling and costly drag on freedom and prosperity.
Or, as the icon of conservative Republicans put it:
Oh really? We’ve done a little scorekeeping just over the past week or so, to see how corporate America is doing at being our virtuous backbone.
TRENTON, N.J. – With Johnson & Johnson’s once-golden reputation tarnished by 11 recalls of medicines, contact lenses and hip implants in as many months, its chief executive says he knows the company let consumers down.
. . .The maker of trusted brands including Johnson’s No More Tears baby shampoo, Tylenol pain reliever and Neosporin antibiotic ointment, has announced repeated recalls. Nine involved nonprescription medicines – from Children’s Benadryl to Tylenol Arthritis – made by its McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit.
The biggest was an astounding April 30 recall of 136 million bottles of children’s and infants’ liquid medicines that might have contained tiny metal particles or have too much active ingredient.
. . .Last week was particularly bad for the world’s biggest health-products maker. J&J received a warning from the Food and Drug Administration about illegal marketing of some hip and knee implants and two more recalls: one involving two other hip implant products and one involving contact lenses sold in Asia and Europe that stung some users’ eyes.
Eleven recalls in 11 months! The story also says that at one plant, when production of a medication had to be interrupted, workers didn’t bother to recalibrate the machinery to ensure doses were accurate.
Mind you, this isn’t some small, off-the wall outfit operating on a shoestring, but the “world’s biggest health-products maker.”
If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times, in House and Senate floor speeches, Republican campaign speeches, TV interviews and on talk radio — and Thursday night, there it was again.
The setting was a House Energy and Commerce Committee markup session for its health reform legislation, carried on C-SPAN. We think ranking member Joe Barton, R-Texas, said it, but we were busy doing PC housekeeping, so it could’ve been another Republican.
In this instance, it was used as an indictment of President Obama, for wanting a public-option plan and thereby interfering with business, with the sacrosanct private sector.
This is a paraphrase, albeit a close one, of remarks delivered using the Republicans’ patented formula for arrogant, dismissive resentfulness.
” . . . from someone who has never operated a business and has never had to meet a payroll!”
We ached to hear a Democrat on that committee come back with the riposte that just might put this inane meme away for good.
Mr. Chairman, I always find it interesting when our Republican colleagues question someone’s leadership, condemn their decisions, because they never ran a business or had to meet a payroll.
If I’m not mistaken, Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan never operated a business or met a payroll. If that is to be the benchmark for sound leadership, would our Republican friends want to include those presidents in their condemnation?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I yield back the balance of my time.
That comeback could include a reminder that one-term President George H.W. Bush and his son, George W., did run businesses and meet payrolls. And so, would Republicans care to hold them up as models of superior leadership and results?