Stuff to Read

This is important, and it relates to the recent post “Failure Is the GOP’s Only Option.” Please read:

Steve Benen, “None Dare Call It Sabotage.”

Kevn Drum, “The Liberal Noise Machine.”

Brad DeLong, “Paul Krugman on the Axis of Depression.”

BooMan, “Cynical or Crazy?

Among other things, BooMan, says,

So, Benen is correct. If you wanted to design a party to destroy America’s economy, you couldn’t do much better than the current GOP. But, are they going to do it for purely cynical reasons or because they’re crazy? The answer is: a little of each. The top echelon…the movers and shakers…have never been social conservatives and the only ideology they’re wedded to is keeping as much cash for themselves as possible. They probably don’t want the U.S. economy to suck for the next two years, although most of them are smart enough to win at the casino either way. But the lower level Republicans, including a good percentage of their caucuses? They’re going to fuck everything up because they’re crazy.

Yeah, pretty much.

29 thoughts on “Stuff to Read

  1. Please follow the link and read this great article (it’s not very long): “Two Santa Clauses or How The Republican Party Has Conned America for Thirty Years.”
    by Thom Hartmann

    In it, the great Thom Harmann (and why isn’t HE among the people Obama and the Democrats listens to?), explains how the Republicans Party has turned economics on its head in the last 35+ years, how we got into this mess, and how they will continue to get us into economic disasters, and still get elected. You’re all familiar with St. Reagan, the 2 Bush’s, and maybe Laffer (of the curve), but you probably don’t know who the evil genious was behind it all: Jude Wanniski, who I’m sure if there’s a Hell, Satan is wining and dining him for being one of the great evil minds of the latter part of the 20th Century.
    So, to answer the question about whether this is willful economic sabotage, the answer is, “YES!” But, not sabotage for its own sake. It’s part of a plan, and not a recent one at that.
    So, kick back and relax and read the article. I can’t do justice to what Hartmann has written. You’ll see how after 12 years of Reagan/Bush, Clinton was left to pick up the pieces and how that led to “Little Boots” Bush. And how, now with Obama left to pick up those pieces, the ’10 election results were inevitable (and maybe not as bad as it could have been), as is the continuing Republican wave in ’12 – unless everyone starts pointing out that the Republicans follow this ‘Two Santa’s” theory. And how, not only are there NOT two, there’s not even ONE Santa.

    Note to Obama: DON’T TOUCH SS! You’re only playing into their hands. Baarack, if you love bipartisanship so much, don’t do it. It will end bipartisanship because the Republican Party will have no one else to be bipartisan with.

  2. Well, I heard loud and clear from Mitch McConnell what the GOP intentions are..I’m just hoping that Obama got the message and kicks into high gear with the only tool available to him that will be effective to combat the efforts to take him down. Obama should reflect on his election victory and analyze the key element that delivered that victory…therein lies his salvation. If you’re going might as well go down speaking what has to be done outside your power rather than speaking what can be done within your power.

  3. Yeah, pretty much indeed.
    In today’s news, Army PFC Kyle M. Holder of Conroe, Tx. died at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan of non-combat injuries. Kyle was 18 yrs old.
    Army PFC Christian M. Warringer of Mills River, N.C. died in Afghanistan, cause not disclosed. Christian was 19.
    Behold the “Children’s Crusade”.

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  5. @cundgulag — Read the article you recommended. It is a comprehensive theory of everything, except that it seems to be history rather than a theory. Thanks for the link.
    With eldercare responsibilities keeping me away from the computer for a few days, I was reduced to second-teir cable and noticed how much Faux there is and how little otherwise except for MSNBC. No wonder the R’s are ahead. Why would anyone watch Keith or Rachel or Lawrence when Glee and Biggest Loser are on?

    The failure to communicate facts and a coherent view of what is happening and why puzzles me. The Democrats spent quite a bit of money on the last election, some of it mine. It did no good. There was no coherent, consistent message.

    Low-information voters and low-committment voters new to the process have to be dragged into action. They need something in the way of clear phrasing like the R’s have. Why doesn’t that happen? What does the Democratic leadership have against winning?

    A shocking statement, such as “Reagan was a lie” would get some attention and lead to an explanation that would undercut the R’s, but nobody did it. And the media utterly fail to examine the claims for the R’s.

    How will it all get pulled together? Or will it? There is still time to strangle ourselves with bipartisanshit, I suppose. I’m bookmarking this article and printing a few copies to hand out. Hope springs eternal!

    @ Maha–I read them all. They would be enough, in a just world, to change things. This is not that world, is it? Even so, well worth the time.

  6. I’m confused – again! Before venturing a comment on this distinguished blog I read carefully the, shall we say, comprehensive Comment Policy which included this:

    Any claims that are unsupported by fact (or “facts” that are not, in fact, factual) may be deleted if I don’t have the time and energy to write a rebuttal. I don’t allow The Mahablog to be a conduit of unchallenged misinformation.

    Crikey! I thought, better be careful on this one. But then I read the following remarks in the post itself quoted with approval:

    But the lower level Republicans, including a good percentage of their caucuses? They’re going to fuck everything up because they’re crazy.

    Where are the facts to support that assertion? The “lover level Republicans” are by definition unlikely to be rich so a desire on their part to, er, “fuck everything up” seems unlikely. And whilst it is statistically probable that a tiny minority of them might be “crazy” the writer is describing roughly half the population. Of course, ‘over here’ there are a plethora of Europeans constantly telling us that all Americans are “crazy” but personally I don’t listen to them very much. I find that people who shriek repetitive rubbish are frequently, er, crazy!

    • Where are the facts to support that assertion?

      Some things are so self-evident (air, water, the moon in the sky) that factual supporting evidence isn’t required. But since you’re a tad oblivious, you can start with Paul Krugman’s column today:

      There Will Be Blood

  7. We’re being short-sighted here. The Republican game plan requires that they be in control of the levers of power when the economic house-of-cards constructed over the last 30 years collapses. Obama is just the immediate obstacle.

  8. If you want to build up to a fine murderous rage (it’s a bit off topic because it relates to forclosures in FL), please read Matt Taibbi’s excellent new piece in RS:

    May I suggest something to nosh on while you’re reading it? I’d recommend a handful of nice Thorazine or Vallium, gobbled like you would peanuts, and washed down with a triple vodka or bourbon of your choice.
    Bon Appetit’!!!

  9. I’d argue that the rank and file Republicans aren’t exactly crazy. It’s just, if enough Very Serious People say something Very Seriously, and long enough, and no one skewers them, it’s accepted as either fact, or, at the very least, debatable.

    Tax cuts pay for themselves? Sure – see? It’s been said so often; if they were lying, surely someone would have called them out!

    The deficit is a bigger threat than 10% unemployment? Of course it is! Very Serious People tell us so, and only those dishonest, thieving LIEberals say otherwise!

    We’re facing an existential threat from Al Qaeda? Of course; everyone can see that! 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, and 9/11 – and did I mention that Very Serious People talk about 9/11?

  10. David Duff … Not to be anal!… But the assertion you question is not found in the comments section which governs that statement…it’s in the main body, so technically you’re presenting a moot point. If your desire is to truly understand if lower level republicans are crazy…You’d be safe to embrace that assumption. Here in the States crazy can be used as a synonym for dense, ignorant, fool hearty, bone headed, or possibly a thousand other words to describe the fact that they just don’t get it. And that applies to all of us—not just the Repugs.

  11. Swami, I can hardly express my relief and thanks that you decided not to become anal!

    The fact that the assertion was not in fact a comment I made clear by the words “the following remarks in the post itself“.

    Whatever your definition, I still cling to the improbability that half the American population is “crazy“. I am even more convinced of this by the fact that some members of the half in question refer to the other half, that is, er, you and yours, as “crazy“, too. Asking me to accept that virtually all Americans are crazy is too much to ask. After all, I’ve met one or two of you from time to time and whilst you have your peculiarities, like dining at 6.00pm, and playing rounders, by and large, you’re fairly normal. In fact, very normal in comparison with some of the loopy-loos in my country!

    • I still cling to the improbability that half the American population is “crazy“

      “Crazy” is a terribly imprecise word, I admit. I don’t think half of the American population is psychotic, no. However, I do think half — nay, more than half — are ill informed, often irrational, and couldn’t critically think their way out of a wet paper bag.

      Asking me to accept that virtually all Americans are crazy is too much to ask.

      I wouldn’t have said “all,” but there are enough. Wait until our native whackjobs send human civilization back to the Stone Age, and then maybe you’ll get a clue.

      Really, if you don’t have anything useful to contribute to the conversation beside demonstrating you have no idea what’s going on over here, please go away. Thanks much.

  12. Oh dear, I do hope I haven’t upset you, I was trying my best to be polite, er, in line with your Comment Policy.

    Anyway, happily we have established that when Mr. ‘Booman’ writes “crazy” he doesn’t really mean ‘crazy’, he means ill-informed, irrational and lacking the ability to think critically. Such confusion goes to show that whilst political invective has its minor place in political discourse you need to use it with care and, better still, with wit and accuracy. Jumping up and down and, in the immortal words of the famous Flanders & Swann song, shouting “Wee, po, belly, bum, drawers” really doesn’t take you very far. Also, I might add, sitting around in a circle all nodding in agreement is equally fatuous and makes for a very poor conversation.

    However, thank goodness you have clarified his description which now, of course, fits most of the American electorate and the electorates of any democracy anywhere in the world. Most people have little time to spare for politics because earning a crust, keeping a family going and all that sort of thing takes up most of their time, so the doubtful pleasures of philosophical techniques like critical thinking are rarely indulged. Mind you, reading, as I do, the results of those high-minded chaps and chapettes who do indulge and who are pleased to bless us all with their conclusions does not seem to succeed in producing anything useful because they all contradict each other. Indeed, even the ones on, roughly, the same side appear to harbour grave doubts concerning the sanity of those who vote the same ticket but whose, er, critical thinking has led them to slightly different conclusions.

    However, one thing non-critical thinkers are able to judge with some degree of accuracy is the state of their (and their neighbours’) wallets and job prospects. Earlier this month, having inspected their wallets and jobs after two years of this Democrat administration, they went into the ballot box and slaughtered Democrats wholesale!

    You asked me for a useful point to insert into this conversation, so here it is: I suggest the Democrat party goes in for some serious critical thinking! There – how was that?

  13. There – how was that?

    I suggest you to go to a quiet place and sincerely reflect upon the deeper meaning of the phrase, “fatuous dickhead.” There’s a lad. Good bye.

  14. David Duff,
    Where you even talking to anybody?
    I thought it was an excersize to see of you could make your comment read like a cross between Tucker Carlson, David Brooks, George Will, and Pee Wee Herman – if you were to read them years from now as they slip even further into senile dementia (though some of them have had a nice starte despite a young age – lookin’ at you, Tucker).
    As for ‘critical thinking,’ “I do not think it means what you think it means…”
    “Oh, has this conversation been terminated?”
    Not at all, you’re free to continue to type into the ether as long as you please. You’re also free to insert some useful point, not, however, into any conversation, but into your 2nd to last of the immortal words of the famous Flanders & Swann song (which I’ve never even heard of) ‘Wee, po, belly, bum, drawers.”
    Whether you chose to jump up and down depends on the level of pleasure you get from that excersize, or the degree of difficulty you have extricating yourself from it.

  15. Apologies, I am mortified, it should have been “Pee, po, belly, bum, drawers” but by way of recompense you can go hear to listen and enjoy a good giggle because somehow, you know, I feel that you all need cheering up, especially after Nov 2n massacre.

    I take it no-one wants to converse on the subject of the, er, critical thinking required by the Democrat party? You’d all prefer just to shout at Republicans, I assume. Jolly good show, that’ll teach ’em – and those ignoramuses who make up the American electorate!

    • take it no-one wants to converse on the subject of the, er, critical thinking required by the Democrat party?

      You just gave yourself away, dude. “Democrat party”? You turn out to be a troll after all. If I cared, I’d take bets you’re an expat wingnut, not a Brit.

      Now the conversation, if it could be called that, is over.

  16. Dear Duffo,
    You might be interested (though I would doubt it), since you are new here, to read the archives, where all of the regulars here have had many, many critical thoughts and conversations about how Democrats have, do, and should, as opposed to, will, deal with issues and politics.
    You jump into one or two posts and assume that’s that is the extent of what goes on here. Well, as they say, ‘You could look it up!” Or, you can continue on, lying on your ‘belly,’ blowing noxious gases out of your ‘po’ ‘bum,’ and ‘pee’ in your ‘drawers,’ while furiously hammering away at your keyboard, wasting electrons and precious bandwidth. And that’s such a waste of time for a man of your obvious talents. You could be putting better use of your time. I understand there’s a remake of the Masterpiece Theatre classic, “Upstairs/Downstairs.” May I suggest you audition for one of the wooden posts supporting the handrails? It would allow you to showcase your intellectual gifts and ‘polish.’
    So, ‘Pip, Pip, Jolly Good Show, Cheerio, and all that sort of rot!’ there Duffo!
    Do come again if you have something worth hearing. Until then, what’s the British term for “Buzz off!”???

  17. “Democrat party”… “Democrat administration”?

    Empty talking points much?

    Nothing sadder than a smug dimwit who believes with all his heart that he’s witty, but for all that he’s still just smug and dim.

  18. I’d take bets you’re an expat wingnut, not a Brit.

    I was thinking the same thing; Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins was more believable.

  19. Hey, I don’t want to come off as a Rand Paul supporter kicking someone while their down….But… David’s comment about the need for critical thinking wasn’t too critically thought out.

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