Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Entity will be called "Sturch" by Santorum: Andy Borowitz

Oh, how i love andy borowitz! 

February 28, 2012

Santorum Proposes Replacing Church, State with New Entity Called ‘Sturch’

Would Offer Salvation, Motor Vehicle Renewals on Sunday

LANSING (The Borowitz Report) – Telling a crowd of supporters that the separation of church and state “makes me want to throw up,” GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum today proposed replacing church and state with a new entity he called “sturch.”

“Merging church and state into sturch will benefit all Americans,” he said.  “Except maybe Jews.”

Mr. Santorum said that the combined entity would offer greater convenience to the American people than the separation of church and state currently does, since Americans would be able to get salvation and motor vehicle renewals at the same place every Sunday.

Turning to another campaign theme, Mr. Santorum told the crowd, “I support the rights of the unborn child until it is born and wants an education."

He contrasted himself with President Obama on the education issue, stating, “Barack Obama speaks in complete sentences.  What a snob.”

In other campaign news, singer Kid Rock endorsed Mitt Romney, which means that his music is no longer the worst thing about Kid Rock.

An upbeat Mr. Romney visited the Daytona 500, where he told a reporter, “I love this stuff.  I’ve always been a big NASDAQ fan.”


6 Essential, Timeless Tips for Building Self Confidence -- an excellent online site

From the Positivity Blog at:

How to Build Self Confidence: 6 Essential and Timeless Tips

by Henrik Edberg

Image by
*Zara (license).

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the face.”
Helen Keller

“Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Brian Tracy

“Confidence is courage at ease.”
Daniel Maher

I believe that one of the most common wishes is simply to feel more confident in various situations in life.

But how?

Confident friends may say: “Well, just be confident, man!”. However, to a person that doesn’t feel that confident this piece of advice may not be very helpful. At all.

There are however some time-tested and timeless advice. And in this article I’ll explore some of those tips. You can learn much more about becoming more sure of yourself and building your inner strength and assertiveness in my 12-week Self-Esteem Course.

Now, I hope you will find something useful in this article to help you improve and maintain your own levels of confidence.

1. Take action. Get it done.

“Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs of tedium and distaste. The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labor is immense.”
Thomas A. Bennett

“Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.”
Thomas Carlyle

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
Dale Carnegie

The most important step in building self confidence is simply to take action. Working on something and getting it done. Sitting at home and thinking about it will just make you feel worse. Simple. But not always easy to do. To make it a bit easier, here are a three of my favorite ways to make it easier to take action:

  • Be present. This will help you snap out of over thinking and just go and do whatever you want to get done. This is probably the best tip I have found so far for taking more action since it puts you in a state where you feel little emotional resistance to the work you’ll do. And it puts you in state where the right actions often just seem to flow out of you in a focused but relaxed way and without much effort. One of the simplest ways to connect with the present moment is just to keep your focus on your breathing for a minute or two.
  • Lighten up. One way to dissuade yourself from taking action is to take whatever you are about to do too seriously. That makes it feel too big, too difficult and too scary. If you on the other hand relax a bit and lighten up you often realize that those problems and negative feelings are just something you are creating in your own mind. With a lighter state of mind your tasks seems lighter and become easier to get started with. Have a look at Lighten Up! for more on this.
  • Really, really want it. Then taking action isn’t something you have to force. Taking action becomes a very natural thing. It’s something you can’t wait to do.

2. Face your fear.

“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear.”
William Jennings Bryan

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Look, I could tell you to do affirmations or other exercises for months in front of your mirror. It may have a positive effect. Just like preparing yourself it may help you to take action with more confidence.

But to be frank, if you don’t listen to the quotes above and face your fears you won’t experience any better self confidence on a deeper and more fundamental level. Having experiences where you face your fear is what really builds self confidence. There is no way around it.

However, there are ways to face your fears that do not include that much shaking of the knees. There are ways to make it easier for yourself.

  • Be curious. When you are stuck in fear you are closed up. You tend to create division in your world and mind. You create barriers between you and other things/people. When you shift to being curious your perceptions go SWOOSH! and the world just opens up. Curiosity is filled with anticipation and enthusiasm. It opens you up. And when you are open and enthusiastic then you have more fun things to think about than focusing on your fear. How do you become more curious? One way is to remember how life has become more fun in the past thanks to your curiosity and to remember all the cool things it helped you to discover and experience.
  • Realize that fear is often based on unhelpful interpretation. As humans we like to look for patterns. The problem is just that we often find negative and not so helpful patterns in our lives based on just one or two experiences. Or by misjudging situations. Or through some silly miscommunication. When you get too identified with your thoughts you’ll believe anything they tell you. A more helpful practise may be to not take your thoughts too seriously. A lot of the time they and your memory are pretty inaccurate.

Image by
*Zara (license).

3. Understand in what order things happen.

One of my favorite snippets of movie-dialogue is this one from the 1999 film “Three Kings”.

In this scene Major Archie Gates (George Clooney) wants the small team to save a fellow soldier and steal Saddam’s gold just after the first Gulf War has ended.

The young soldier Conrad Vig (Spike Jonze) has his doubts about the plan:

Archie Gates: You’re scared, right?
Conrad Vig: Maybe.
Archie Gates: The way it works is, you do the thing you’re scared shitless of, and you get the courage AFTER you do it, not before you do it.
Conrad Vig: That’s a dumbass way to work. It should be the other way around.
Archie Gates: I know. That’s the way it works.

Great movie. Great little piece of dialogue. Even though it may not be what people want to hear.

The thing is, when you do things you don’t just build confidence in your ability to handle different situations. You also experience progressive desensitization. What that means is that situations – like for example public speaking or maybe just showing your latest blogpost to an audience out there – that made you feel all shaky become more and more normal in your life. It is not longer something you psyche yourself up to do. It just becomes normal. Like tying your shoes, hanging out with your friends or taking a shower.

It may seem scary now. But after having done whatever you fear a few to a dozen times or so you may think: “Is that it?”. You almost feel disappointed of how anticlimactic it has become. You may even get a bit angry with yourself and wonder why you avoided doing it for so long.

4. Prepare.

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self- confidence is preparation.”
Arthur Ashe

When you know nothing of what you are about to do it’s very easy to get lost in vague, foggy fear and start building big horror scenarios in your mind of what may happen if you give it a try.

Preparing yourself and educating yourself can be a big help here. By for example rehearsing and rewriting your speech over and over you can pretty much learn it by heart. By doing research you can find breathing techniques that can quickly make your calmer and present. Or simple visualization techniques that make you feel more confident and positive as you step out on the stage.

This is obviously more work than not doing anything about the speech at all before you start giving it. But it can make a huge difference in your confidence levels if you take the time to prepare yourself. And of course, the speech and the delivery of it will most likely be a lot better too.

So prepare and you will feel more comfortable and confident. Just don’t make the mistake of getting stuck in the preparation phase and using it as a way to avoid taking action and the possible pain that it may result in.

5. Realize that failure or being wrong will not kill you.

“Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.”
Peter T. Mcintyre

“I quit being afraid when my first venture failed and the sky didn’t fall down.”
Allen H. Neuharth

Again, you have to face your fear. Because it is only then that you discover the thing that billions of people throughout history have discovered before you. Failure won’t kill you. Nor will being wrong. The sky will not fall down. That’s just what people that haven’t faced their fear yet think.

The thing is to reframe failure from being something that makes your legs shake to something useful and important for the growth of your self confidence and your overall growth as a human being. Here are four ways that failure can help you out:

  • You learn. Instead of seeing failure as something horrible you can start to view it more as a learning experience. When standing in the middle of a failure, you can ask yourself questions like: What’s awesome about this situation? What can I learn from this situation?
  • You gain experiences you could not get any other way.  Ideally, you probably want to learn from other people’s mistakes and failures. That’s not always easy to do though. Sometimes you just have to fail on your own to learn a lesson and to gain an experience no one can relate to you in mere words.
  • You become stronger. Every time you fail you become more accustomed to it. You realize more and more that it’s not the end of the world. And, again, you get desensitized. You can handle things that would have been very hard to handle a few years back. Failing can also a have an exhilarating component because even though you failed you at least took a chance. You didn’t just sit on you hands doing nothing. And that took quite a bit of courage and determination.
  • Your chances of succeeding increases. Every time you fail you can learn and increase your inner strength. So every failure can make you more and more likely to succeed.

And remember, the world doesn’t revolve around you. You may like to think so. But it doesn’t. People really don’t care that much about what you do. They have their own life, problems and worries that the world revolves around them to focus on. They don’t think that much about you or are constantly monitoring what you do wrong or when you fail.

Maybe a disappointing thought. But a liberating and relieving one too because now you can let go of that worry that everyone is watching you.

Image by
Son of Groucho (license).

6. Get to know who you are and what you want out of life.

“The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.”
Napoleon Hill

“Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind, you’ll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.”
Douglas Bader

To build and find more confidence in yourself you have to get to know yourself better. Go exploring. Face some of your fears. Fail over and over and understand that it isn’t really that big of a deal. Grow stronger through such experiences and also become more internally relaxed. Figure out what really excites you by simply trying a whole bunch of stuff out.

When you know more about who you are and what you want out of life – not what other people say you want – you will have more confidence in yourself and what you can do.

What other people say or think will have less of an impact than it used to because you know who you are better than they do. And since you have had all these experiences, since you have taken time to really get to know yourself and stretch yourself you will trust your own opinion and ability more than anything outside of you. You become stable and centred in yourself.

This will of course take time. It may be something that never really ends. So you might as well get started now.


Great quote about education

Unless one is fortunate enough to have that rare teacher who says, as did the poet Robert Frost, "I am not a teacher, but an awakener,"  the following quote by Doris Lessing holds true for our time:

“Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgments. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being molded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.”
Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook


Obliviously On They Sail...



Yeah -- the Republican ticket.




GOP Greek Tragedy by Maureen Dowd

Rick should scat.

Mitt Romney needs to be left alone to limp across the finish line, so he can devote his full time and attention to losing to President Obama.

With Sanctorum and Robo-Romney in a race to the bottom, the once ruthless Republican Party seems to have pretty much decided to cave on 2012 and start planning for a post-Obama world.

Not even because Obama is so strong; simply because their field is so ridiculously weak and wacky.

John McCain has Aeschylated it to “a Greek tragedy.” And he should know from Greek tragedy.

“It’s the negative campaigning and the increasingly personal attacks,” he told The Boston Herald, adding, “the likes of which we have never seen.” When a man who was accused of having an illegitimate black child in the 2000 South Carolina primary thinks this is the worst ever, the G.O.P. is really in trouble.

The Arizona senator, who’s supporting Romney, grimly noted: “I know he’s going to be the nominee, but I also worry about how much damage has been done.”

As they battled for Michigan, Arizona and beyond, Romney called Rick Santorum an “economic lightweight,” and Santorum called Romney “a lightweight on conservative accomplishments,” “uniquely unqualified” and “a bully.”

In the old days, the Republican ego had control of the party’s id. The id, sometimes described as a galloping horse or crying baby, “the dark, inaccessible part of our personality ... chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations,” as Freud called it, was whipped up obliquely by candidates. Nixon had his Southern strategy of using race as a wedge, Bush Senior and Lee Atwater used the Willie Horton attack, and W. and Karl Rove conjured the gay marriage bogyman.

Once elected, those presidents curbed the id with the ego, common sense and reason. But now the G.O.P.’s id is unbridled. The horse has thrown the rider; the dark forces are bubbling. Moderates, women, gays, Hispanics and blacks — even the president — are being hunted in this most dangerous game.

Asked in Michigan why he couldn’t excite the base, Romney said he is not willing to make “incendiary comments” or “light my hair on fire.”

In the latest sign that moderate Republicans feel passé, Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine shockingly announced her retirement, decrying “ ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies” and a vanishing political center.

The apogee of apathy for Romney was on Friday, when the man who says he’s an expert manager spoke to a mostly empty football stadium in Detroit. Stephen Colbert defended Romney, saying he connected with the sea of empty chairs because they, too, were “plastic and uncomfortable.”

Some Republicans at the annual winter governors’ meeting here murmured that it was over for Mittens even before he cited his wife’s two Caddies and his Nascar team-owner pals, and awkwardly mocked the plastic ponchos of Daytona racing fans: “I like those fancy raincoats you bought. Really sprung for the big bucks.”

They said Mitt was damaged as a contender against Obama when he was forced to admit that he had a 15-percent tax rate (given, as The Huffington Post points out, that Romney averaged $6,400 an hour at Bain Capital while creating lots of jobs with paltry wages).

Romney defended himself in an interview to Fox News on Tuesday, sitting in front of a poster of his dad with the slogan: “Romney Great in ’68.” Romney père lost his dream of becoming president when he claimed he was brainwashed on Vietnam.

Now Santorum should forfeit his chance after making a far dumber remark: Kids should beware of college because they’ll get brainwashed.

Pandering to Tea Partiers, Santorum, who has a B.A., M.B.A. and J.D., and who supported higher education in his 2006 senatorial campaign, absurdly turned the American dream inside-out and into sauerkraut.

He called the president “a snob” for encouraging people to get more educated and asserted that Obama only wants Americans to go to college so they can be remade in his image, while being indoctrinated by liberal college professors.

Does he think that defining ambition down and asking kids to give up hope is a good mantra? Even Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, who was trying to mandate that women seeking abortions be shamed with vaginal ultrasounds that Democrats dubbed “legal rape,” thought Santorum went too far.

As Mitt’s remarks get curiouser, Rick’s get creepier.

In an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos, Santorum offended the Catholics he’s courting by saying that the J.F.K. speech ratifying the separation of church and state made him want “to throw up” because Kennedy had thrown “his faith under the bus.”

“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state are absolute,” Sanctorum said.

If he is willing to cross that line, the only two possibilities are that he doesn’t understand the nature of the United States or that he wants to do damage to the United States. Neither is acceptable.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012


This (see attachment) really is worth the effort to view!  Puts our lives and Earth into perspective.
Blessings on the person who put this cosmic show together.  English is not their native language,
which is obvious from grammar errors and misspellings.  But none of that matters when you view the
images and are given an ever-expanding, thrillingly beautiful view of our world and the universe.

Now, click on the attachment and prepare to have your breath taken away!  ENJOY!


Supreme Court Corporate Decision Coming Up

Seems the Republican appointed judges would like to have it both ways. Corporations are real people who can give tons of money to presidential candidates -- but when it comes to liability for human rights violations, well, guess they're not "people" then. Sure smacks of hypocrisy. Could it be the GOP-appointed justices are receiving money for their votes that always favor the corporations?  Hmmmm??? (Do bears like honey?)

On Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument on whether corporations, like real people, can be held liable in American courts for international human rights violations.

The issue has divided four appeals courts over the past year and a half, as Democrat-appointed judges have uniformly voted for corporate liability while all but one Republican-appointed judge has come down for corporate immunity.

If that pattern holds in the Supreme Court, then the five justices appointed by Republican presidents will surely be hit with more accusations of pro-business bias: Having all voted in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to extend to corporations the First Amendment right of actual people to independently spend unlimited sums in this country's elections, they will in the current case have refused to hold corporations responsible, as real people are, for their roles in atrocities abroad.

That kind of application of corporate personhood would be enough to make a casual observer's head explode.   Indeed!  Seems like anything the GOP serves up these days tends to do that to the rest of us.


Monday, February 27, 2012

I don't think we needed a research study to tell us this

Rich People Are the Most Unethical.     Duh.  Just look at the ones running for President on the GOP ticket.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Among the multitude of lies Santorum tells, this one stands out

Conservative voters are driven by fear -- and Santorum dishes it out in huge daily doses, liberally (oops--shouldn't use that word) filled with lies.

By Stephen Pizzo

And why aren't they -- on fire? The media picks up and runs with such trivia these days. But when a candidate for the highest office in the land drops a two-ton turd right on their doorsteps, it can't be found on the front page of any American newspapers. (Though this one is making big headlines in the Netherlands.)

I thought my head was going to explode last night when I saw this on Rachel Maddow's show. (Kudos Ms. R.)   So I want to share and hope you will share it as well.

So here we go. BTW... NOT A WORD OF WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ IS TRUE.  NOT ONE WORD OF IT.  All easily verified. But you wouldn't even know it happened if your only source of news is your morning paper.  Okay .. first what Father Rick Santorum said:

"In the Netherlands, people wear different bracelets if they are elderly. And the bracelet is: 'Do not euthanize me.' Because they have voluntary euthanasia in the Netherlands but half of the people who are euthanized - ten percent of all deaths in the Netherlands - half of those people are enthanized involuntarily at hospitals because they are older and sick. And so elderly people in the Netherlands don't go to the hospital. They go to another country, because they are afraid, because of budget purposes, they will not come out of that hospital if they go in there with sickness."
-- Former senator Rick Santorum, at the American Heartland Forum in Columbia, Missouri, Feb. 3, 2012

Needless to say, folks in the Netherlands are appalled that the person saying it wants to run the biggest country on the planet. And finally, that no one over here seems to care.

And, here is the video, readily available on YouTube for any curious reporter who might want to follow up on this. (At the risk, of course, of being accused of being a foot-soldier in the "war on religion.") See video at:


Saturday, February 25, 2012

The GOP Is Tearing Itself Apart

By John Heilemann

EXCERPT: The transfiguration of the GOP isn’t only about ideology. It is also about demography and temperament, as the party has grown whiter, less well schooled, more blue-collar, and more hair-curlingly populist. The result has been a party divided along the lines of culture and class: Establishment versus grassroots, secular versus religious, upscale versus downscale, highfalutin versus hoi polloi.

That Mitt Romney finds himself so imperiled by Rick Santorum—Rick Santorum!—is just the latest in a series of jaw-dropping developments in what has been the most volatile, unpredictable, and just plain wackadoodle Republican-nomination contest ever.

The Most Profound Four-Minute Video Clip I've Ever Seen

This was sent to me by a friend -- I watched the 4-minute clip and then decided to watch the full video. Wow!  It is truly heart-touching to see high school kids change -- reaching out to each other, revealing themselves and their innermost feelings...and to see how their openness affects others and inspires them to do the same.  This is a really wonderful video -- I believe the whole world could change from open sharings like this. I think most people would not be able to watch this without getting tears in their eyes and a feeling of love in their heart.

You won't be sorry if you take the time to watch this video about Project Challenge. It ought to be shown in every school in the country--and a Challenge Day scheduled for each school.  This is the way the world can change, with our young people coming to understand that every word and every action has the power to hurt -- or to help.  It would have been wonderful to have a program like this when I was a junior high or high school kid -- or when my own children were in those grades.  What a difference it could have made in our lives! But it's not too late for my grandkids.  Highly recommended viewing for kids and their parents!  It would be a good presentation for PTAs around the country to show, and to sponsor a Challenge Day in their schools.  The video shows that this is a way the world can change -- one by one by one.

The Most Profound Four-Minute Video Clip I've Ever Seen    I hope you take the time to check out the 4 minute video is so powerful to watch these young people change!

Dear friends,
The short, profound video below is easily the most inspiring video clip I have ever seen. This four-minute clip presents key excerpts from an Emmy-award-winning documentary which features the amazing Challenge Day story. Challenge Day has profoundly transformed the lives of countless teenagers and even entire schools across North America. Thousands of testimonials every year describe in glowing words how this one-day program dramatically changes lives for the better.
Challenge Day so inspired me that shortly after I learned about it, I volunteered for one of their day-long programs. I was astounded at how deeply I was affected and how everyone's eyes were opened to the fact that we are all much more alike than we might ever imagine.
Challenge Day is a one-day program offered in hundreds of high schools every year which opens students to seeing their common humanity in a way that is simply miraculous. It is not uncommon by the end of the day to find rival gang members hugging each other and saying I'm sorry, even with tears in their eyes. Watch the powerful clip of this profound video at the link below and see if you aren't moved and inspired by this life-changing program.
If you find the four-minute clip to be anywhere near as inspiring as I do, you will likely want to watch one of the longer versions, which are available in links just below the video. The full, Emmy-award-winning documentary is 90 minutes long and well worth watching. It rocked my world.
For more on this empowering work which continues to spread inspiration and transformation every day, explore the engaging Challenge Day website. This is a shining example of the many thousands of exciting movements now working to transform our world in wonderful ways. Take care, and may the inspiration of Challenge Day encourage us all to open more to the beauty in every one of us.
With very best wishes for profound transformation,
Fred Burks for PEERS and the Team
P.S. For a highly praised, free online course which features Challenge Day in lesson one, click here.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Perceptive essay by Matt Taibbi

The headlines today are shouting Rick Santorum Rips into Romney -- Calls him a 'Liberal'  -- The Rolling Stone magazine's ever-observant Matt Taibbi points to the truth about the conservatives in the following essay:

Conservative Chickens Come Home to Roost
By Matt Taibbi,  Rolling Stone Magazine

David Frum: We Republicans Have Lost Touch with Reality

I read David Frum's very interesting article in New York Magazine and thought, "Holy smokes, here is a Republican who actually sees straight! I wonder if there are any more like him?  I sure hope so!"  David Frum is a prominent lifelong Republican who wrote speeches in George W. Bush's administration.  He's been around a long time and was often asked to appear on Fox as an honored commentator--until he began to speak up about the craziness that was taking over the GOP and pointed out to his Republican pals that the rantings of Rush Limbaugh were beginning to sound illogical, to say the least.  Suddenly, he became persona non grata in the right wing, and Fox News wants nothing to do with him anymore.  His essay should be read by all Republicans -- at least by those who still are able to think clearly--or even just think, period.  Although I don't agree with everything Frum has to say, he is eminently sensible and perceptive about what he sees taking place in his party.  He has also spoken about this on NPR. That interview can be heard at:

His full essay, entitled When Did the GOP Lose Touch with Reality? can be read at:

The following review of his essay is from The Business Insider:

Republican commentator David Frum, who recently mortified many members of his party by suggesting that Paul Krugman might be right about the US economy, is back with a long essay in New York magazine.

This time, Frum expresses dismay about how the Republican party has lost touch with reality.

In the space of only a decade, Frum observes, the GOP has gone from being a party dominated by reasonable right-of-center pragmatists to being hijacked by right-wing extremists.

A lifelong Republican, Frum sums up his views this way:

I’ve been a Republican all my adult life. I have worked on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, at Forbes magazine, at the Manhattan and American Enterprise Institutes, as a speechwriter in the George W. Bush administration. I believe in free markets, low taxes, reasonable regulation, and limited government. I voted for John ­McCain in 2008, and I have strongly criticized the major policy decisions of the Obama administration.

And then he looks at the views one has to have to be a loyal member of today's Republican party, and he's appalled by what he sees:

America desperately needs a responsible and compassionate alternative to the Obama administration’s path of bigger government at higher cost. And yet: This past summer, the GOP nearly forced America to the verge of default just to score a point in a budget debate. In the throes of the worst economic crisis since the Depression, Republican politicians demand massive budget cuts and shrug off the concerns of the unemployed. In the face of evidence of dwindling upward mobility and long-stagnating middle-class wages, my party’s economic ideas sometimes seem to have shrunk to just one: more tax cuts for the very highest earners. When I entered Republican politics, during an earlier period of malaise, in the late seventies and early eighties, the movement got most of the big questions—crime, inflation, the Cold War—right. This time, the party is getting the big questions disastrously wrong.


It was not so long ago that Texas governor Bush denounced attempts to cut the earned-income tax credit as “balancing the budget on the backs of the poor.” By 2011, Republican commentators were noisily complaining that the poorer half of society are “lucky duckies” because the EITC offsets their federal tax obligations—or because the recession had left them with such meager incomes that they had no tax to pay in the first place.

In 2000, candidate Bush routinely invoked “churches, synagogues, and mosques.” By 2010, prominent Republicans were denouncing the construction of a mosque in lower Manhattan as an outrageous insult.

In 2003, President Bush and a Republican majority in Congress enacted a new ­prescription-drug program in Medicare. By 2011, all but four Republicans in the House and five in the Senate were voting to withdraw the Medicare guarantee from everybody under age 55.

Today, the Fed’s pushing down interest rates in hopes of igniting economic growth is close to treason, according to Governor Rick Perry, coyly seconded by TheWall Street Journal. In 2000, the same policy qualified Alan Greenspan as the “greatest central banker in the history of the world,” according to Perry’s mentor, Senator Phil Gramm.

Today, health reform that combines regulation of private insurance, individual mandates, and subsidies for those who need them is considered unconstitutional and an open invitation to “death panels.” A dozen years ago, a very similar reform was the Senate Republican alternative to Hillarycare.

Today, stimulative fiscal policy that includes tax cuts for almost every American is “socialism.” In 2001, stimulative fiscal policy that included tax cuts for rather fewer Americans was an economic­-recovery program.

Frum's observations are far from radical. A couple of weeks ago, we noted that the Great Hero of the Republican party, Ronald Reagan, would not likely be able to get elected today, because of, among other things, his willingness to raise taxes when he needed to.

Frum attributes the GOP's drift to the extremes to the influence of talk radio and FOX News, ethnic competition, and the pain of economic stagnation. He observes that, once he raised his views on FOX News, he was immediately banned as a commentator.

The America championed by the current Republican party would be a brutal country with even more extreme wealth inequality and poverty and an even more powerful and richer ruling class. And, unfortunately, the extreme views of today's party will alienate many of the more moderate Republican ideas --or, worse, cause them to have to get extreme or risk getting excommunicated.

One hopes that, by bravely speaking out on these issues, David Frum will galvanize what might be called the Great Silent Majority of Republicans to take back their party. Because the sooner America returns to having two reasonable alternatives, the better.

SEE ALSO: DAVID FRUM: It's Time We Republicans Admitted That Paul Krugman Might Be Right


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Damn it, America! Get control of your women!

This author says it loud and clear -- the conservatives haven't gone far enough. I mean, my God, women still have the vote, for Chrissakes! Stop draggin' your feet, you Tea Party men, if you can call yourself men! Put Santorum in the White House! Then take the vote away from the ladies and you won't have to worry anymore about how to control them.
Jesus Christ, America! Get control of your women folk already, would ya'?

By David Michael Green

Regular readers of this column know how much I despise conservatives. But they may not know why.

It’s because they’re such pussies.

Stupid conservatives applauded when that pansy Bush merely invaded Iraq. I say we should’ve instead just gone ahead and incinerated all one billion Muslims on the planet (and then grabbed our oil from underneath their ashes, while we’re there). Why weenie-out and just wreck a single country when you can clobber them all? What’s the point of sitting on five or six thousand nukes if you’re never gonna use them? They’re all terrorists, anyhow.

Likewise, I’m sickened by the whole approach of so-called conservatives to economic issues in this country. Working class people in America make way too much money, and the rich aren’t nearly rich enough. Sure, conservatives have done some good work on this front, such as transferring taxes onto the poor, exporting jobs and crushing unions, but it’s not enough! And I’m sick of everyone talking about slavery like it was such a bad thing. I say let’s have the ninety-nine percent start earning their keep around here. From now on they should have to spend at least one weekend per month ‘volunteering’ on wealthy people’s estates and plantations.

And how about that whole women’s rights thing, eh? I’ll tell you what, for nearly a century now, this country has been drowning under the weight of obscenities like autonomy, equality and freedom for women. Have we absolutely lost our minds?!?! This is completely out of hand.

These women – these people with their va... va... vaginas – they’ve taken over our jobs, and now they want more! Nowadays women can work as much as they want to. Instead of being at home, where we can control them, we’ve let them invade the workplace and do anything they want. Now they’re all over the Supreme Court, the State Department, and a couple of years ago we almost sent one to the White House. She wasn’t even an idiot-babe like Sarah, either.

It’s gettin’ worse too. Far more college students are girls these days than men. In grandpa’s day, there was no reason for the little ladies to have a higher education. You don’t need to study macro economics to figure out home economics, my friend. You don’t need a masters degree in psychology to keep ten or twelve kids properly fed and disciplined. What kind of future are we creating for ourselves arming all these women with ideas, facts and theories? You know they’re only gonna use that knowledge to give us grief.

At least now we’re getting our priorities back in order and we’re finally talking about birth control again. What idiot ever let that situation get so out of hand, anyhow? How can we ever expect to control our women if they can control their own ovaries? Of course they’re out there working and going to school and doing anything they want, just willy-nilly. What would you expect? They aren’t tied to a flock of little squirts anymore. I guess we just forgot the wisdom of our forefathers, that If you keep ‘em more or less constantly pregnant from 16 to 46, you don’t have to worry about them getting all up in your face whenever they want. They’re too damn busy with the kids!

Plus, they’re totally dependent on you as the breadwinner for the family. And you know what having a dependent women means, brother!

The Bible is completely clear on who is supposed to have authority in the household, and who is supposed to submit. We blaspheme God himself if we let the ladies have any power over us, and you know that woman power is what follows directly from birth control.

That’s why I’m so grateful that Rick Santorum and others are finally speaking up on this issue. It’s great that he’s not afraid to come down on birth control, which, as he points out, only encourages people to do what they want with their bodies. Like having sex, just for the fun of it. How sick is that? I appreciate his hard line on abortion, too, like when he recently described pregnancies caused by rape as “a blessing”. Damn straight! I hope that one day maybe he’ll even be brave enough to come out against these ridiculous feminazi anti-rape laws, too. We men have powerful needs, and we shouldn’t have to beg for it!

Even that Liz Trotta gal on Fox News understands this. I appreciate her courage in speaking against the government trying to prevent rape in the military (though it would be even better if she got her husband to speak for her). As she correctly pointed out, women in uniform should “expect” to be raped. Damn right! Serving our country patriotically means servicing our servicemen who bravely protect our freedoms. What is it about this that liberals don’t get? Maybe if they’d actually been in battle, like Bush and Cheney and almost everyone else in that administration, they’d understand.

Speaking of rape and conservatives, by the way, what a great idea the Republicans have in Virginia. Their brand-new law will require any woman seeking an abortion to have her woo-woo penetrated by an ultrasound probe first, for no medical purpose whatsoever. That’ll show those sluts who’s actually in charge of their bodies, won’t it?

That was really something, too, when Republicans in Congress recently held a hearing on Obama’s health care disaster, and how it forces churches to pay for birth control, even though (don’t tell anyone) it actually doesn’t. The freakin’ Democrat crybabies were up to their usual tricks, of course. Big deal if the entire panel of witnesses testifying on women’s health were all men. What exactly is wrong with that?

I have to say, I kinda like the Catholic church these days, too, even if they are Catholics. I used to hate Catholics and Jews, but now it’s pretty much just the Jews. (Though don’t get me wrong, of course: Israel can do no wrong. But that’s different – those are your foreigner Jews, not the regular kind.) I like how the Catholics don’t take any crap from anyone. So what if their priests have been ‘mass’ raping children in the flock they were supposed to be protecting for decades, if not centuries, ya know? The popes and bishops an’ all are like, “Hey, screw you if you can’t take a joke!” So what if the Church hierarchy actively covered it up for all that time? So what if they then used legal tricks like bankruptcies and running out the statute of limitations clock to avoid paying damages to the crybabies they diddled? So what if one of their big muckety-mucks-in-funny-hats-and-robes just took back the apology he made ten years ago for all these assaults? Really, what’s all the whining about? These guys should be admired for policing America’s sexuality so well. Think how out of hand it would all be if they weren’t doing this good work.

Rick Santorum is an especially good role model for the morality this country needs. He and his wife have had eight children, and she’s at home raising seven of them right now. The latest was born when the little missus was 48 years old (cool, eh?), and the little girl has a disease so severe that she was given a ten percent chance of living past age one. She could die any day now, but Papa Rick has nevertheless spent the entire last year driving around Iowa and New Hampshire and such, furthering his political ambitions. I tell ya, this is just the kind of family values we need in the White House today!

And while we’re at it, thanks also to the good Republican folks at the Komen Foundation for standing up against loose women in America and all the damage they do to our culture. I’m glad they yanked their funding for breast exams at Planned Parenthood. You wanna have your abortions, ladies? Fine. Then you can just take care of your own breasts! Or just let us fellas do it for you. We’ll be more than happy to examine them for you, and we’ll do a fine job if it too. Damn straight.

Finally some good people are standing up for the America we all love and remember. An America of high morality, that good old-time religion, and women who knew their place.

It’s about time. Things have been getting way out of hand here in the fourteenth century.

I liked the last one a whole lot better.

Bill Maher: Republican Debate Review

The Republicans sure have the right symbol with the elephant. Republican debates are nothing but elephants in the room.

The biggest of which must be: to someone out there who's hurting, they spend the whole two hours yammering away about earmarks and illegal immigrants and contraception and every other peripheral, wish-I-had-the-time-to-worry-about-it issue they can think of.

Then there is the elephant of how they all -- with the sometime exception of Ron Paul -- nod along to insane statements just because they don't want to ever look like they're to the left of anybody, on anything, especially the evilness of Barack Obama. So Wednesday night when Newt said the president of the United States had a history of practicing infanticide... yep, yep, yessir, that's what he does all right. Clubs infants like baby seals in his spare time. Ike played golf, Kennedy liked boating...

Ron Paul said foreign aid just helps our enemies. Which, I believe, would make Israel and Egypt our two biggest enemies. Yup, yup, hate foreign aid. A meaningless percentage of the budget, btw.

Newt said where government becomes the central provider of services, it's a move towards tyranny -- yeah, except in all the countries where it isn't, like all of Scandanavia and much of Europe. Today a barium enema paid for by medicare, tomorrow Poland.

And isn't a highlight of every debate when Mitt Romney takes umbrage at being accused of the best thing he ever did in his life -- Romneycare? Something he should be proud of? Last night he took out his dueling glove and declared that when he was governor, he made sure there was NO requirement from the church to provide morning after pills for rape victims. They will be punished with a baby, as Jesus would want. Mitt's attitude is always, "How dare you accuse me of helping people or being compassionate! Why, I'll have you know I'm every bit as much of a cold hearted bastard as any of these other pricks up here with me!"

"But Mitt, we have a picture of you giving money to a homeless person."

"I did NOT give a bum money! I was paying him to blow me!"

This Republican field over the last year has been such a comedy gold mine -- which I have compacted into a stand-up special I'm doing Thursday night, February 23, called #CrazyStupidPolitics -- it's free, and it's live-streamed on Yahoo! 10:30 Eastern (with a mindblowing announcement at the end). I apologize for the shameful plug, but I just want you to have a good laugh!

The biggest elephant in the room tonight for me was Satan. All day, TV news was talking about Satan because of Rick Santorum's dug-up (but, no doubt still accurate) comments about Satan from 2008. It just shows you how when someone is a nobody politically speaking -- as Santorum was in 2008 -- you can say any kind of crazy shit and it's not newsworthy. But when you are seeking the highest office in the land... in the world -- it really worries me that you believe in demons and a personified creature named Satan.

People get mad at me for using the phrase "this stupid country", which I sometimes do -- but, I'm sorry -- Satan? In 2012? This elephant is not only in the room at the debates, but everywhere on TV today where people were talking about this and not breaking down in the middle and screaming, Wait a minute -- We're modern people, surely we don't give any credence to this comic book character that was created in the bronze age!! It's barely worthy of a children's story, and people take it to the Oval Office -- Bush did -- and it affects their thinking and our lives. Why is Santorum so against contraception? Because there's a line in Genesis about not spilling your seed. A random brainfart from some desert dweller 3,000 years ago, before people knew about germs or atoms or round planets, and it gets written down and passed down and in 2012 people like Rick Santorum are still too R-word to see that, and that's why some woman in Akron, Ohio might not get birth control.

And as far as Rick's claim tonight that even though he holds these beliefs, he wouldn't legislate them? Bullshit -- he said states absolutely had the right to outlaw contraception. That's the same thing -- as an officer of the government, he should take the opposite position. Ron Paul would.

My favorite moment of the debate was the last question, when they all were asked to summarize themselves in one word: Ron Paul said "consistency," and you know what? I have no argument with that. It's true, and he's earned it.

The other ones however, I think I could find a more honest word. Mitt Romney said "resolute." I would have gone with "shapeshifter." Or perhaps "irresolute." Rick Santorum said "courage" , whereas I would have said "Bellevue." And Newt Gingrich said "cheerful." I was thinking "pus."

One other thing: in the overtime, I heard Ron Paul make the point to John King that his foreign policy was similar to Eisenhower's, how Ike avoided getting militarily involved in Vietnam or the Suez Canal and got out of Korea. Because he was a military man. Ron Paul served, also -- the other three not so much. I know it will never become law, because it would require a constitutional amendment, but I don't think it would be such a bad thing if you had to have served in the military if you wanted to be president. Kennedy also avoided war where many would not have. After him, though, we got into the era of non-servers and draft-dodgers, and used the military like a toy. Ex-soldiers understand it's not. And the president is Commander-in-Chief -- shouldn't you have served some time in an organization you're the head of?

I hope this was the last Republican debate. Well, I say that, but I'll need the material after I use up an hour of good jokes tomorrow night, so, fuck it, keep going.

Last bullshit call: In his closing statement, Rick Santorum said that in the race against the Evil One (no, not that Evil One, he was talking about Obama), the president would have the media in his pocket (yeah, except Fox News, lots of newspapers, all of radio... ), and way more money. Huh? Sheldon Adelson this week said he might give $100 million to Newt Gingrich! If he'd give that to Newt who has no chance, he might give more to Romney. And he's just one old cranky billionaire who hates Obama, there's a whole gaggle of them.

And Sheldon, if you want to blow money so bad, just walk into one of your hotels in Vegas and go to the Roulette table.