The Party of the Confederacy
The Party of Lincoln has become the Party of the Confederacy. The Republicans have been working hard to become a regional party, and we should do everything we can to reinforce this trend. The entire Republican leadership is from the South. Their policies are "states rights" and anti-"big-city". They are shifting the government's spending to the South. They talk about "the heartland" and they mean southern former-Confederate states. I can go on but I'll pause here so you can envision more examples.

There is a political opportunity here for Northern Democrats. Republican candidates should be asked why they are running for office in the North under the banner of the Party of the Confederacy. They should be asked if they're trying to bring the South to Vermont or Wisconsin or New York.
Go take a look at Bush Impeachment Countdown and today's quiz!
Bush Gave Corporate Lawbreakers Green Light

Bush is on TV giving a speech saying corporate lawbreakers will be punished. He shouldn't be allowed to get away with this two-faced lying crap, acting like the big hero, after what he did when he took office. I wrote about this a few days back. When Bush got into office he repealed Clinton administration rules that blocked companies that repeatedly broke the law from getting government contracts.

He gave companies the green light to feel free to break the law! Now he is saying those same lawbreaking companies should be punished.


Saying it a Different Way

An article in The American Prospect has better words for what I said below, "Never in modern American history has a party so failed its core constituents as the Democratic Party has during this period."
People vs Powerful
The press is playing up a Gore vs Lieberman debate over whether the Democratic Party should stand for "The People vs the Powerful," as Gore worded it, or follow Lieberman's position: "The people versus the powerful unfortunately left that track and gave a different message, which may have been caused by the pressure that the Nader campaign was giving us," Mr. Lieberman said, referring to Ralph Nader, the Green Party candidate. "But I think it was not the New Democratic approach."

I think Lieberman hit the nail on the head, but completely missed the point. There IS pressure from the Greens and it is there for a reason - too many people feel that the Democratic Party has stopped supporting their interests. If the Democratic Party isn't going to stand up for the people vs. the powerful, then the Green Party is going to get the votes. It's called "losing your base". Look what happened in 2000 - enough of the left of the Democratic Party voted Green instead of Democrat.

If you want to be Republicans, than just BE a Republican, but don't try to tell Democrats they shouldn't stand up for "The People vs The Powerful."


Seeing the Forest III

Yesterday I wrote about Time Magazine's big story describing how the Clinton Adminisration handed Bush a plan to get rid of al-Queda, the Bush people sat on it, and then after 9/11 attempted to blame Clinton for the attack while taking credit for the Clinton plan as their own. These are trees. See the forest.

Take a look at this story from February, "PR CAMPAIGN BLAMES CLINTON FOR SEPT. 11 ATTACKS." Now, take a look at who is behind the group launching that PR campaign and the increadible amounts of money put into just this one right-wing attack group (there are so many). It's funded by the Scaife Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, etc. - the usual suspects you see funding all of these Republican attack groups.

Here's the forest: THIS IS WHAT THEY DO! If you try to argue the individual points that Republicans put out, you will go crazy. Those are the trees. You can argue about whether Clinton is to blame. You can argue about whether tax cuts cause tax revenue to increase. You can argue about whether Bush and Cheney knew their companies were about to tank when they make fortunes selling their stock to unsuspecting buyers. These are just trees. See the forest.

See the bigger picture. Look at what they do and who is doing it, not at what they say. When you see the signs of a coordinated PR campaign coming from the right, IT MEANS THEY ARE UP TO SOMETHING! Don't look at what they are saying, look at the pattern, look at what they are doing. I'll go so far as to say this, When you see them spreading a story about Democratic or "liberal" wrongdoing it often means it's really about something THEY have been doing and they are "innoculating" themselves by accusing the other side before the real story can start coming out.

When you see the signs of a coordinated right-wing propaganda attack, get on Google, look up the names of the spokespersons or organizations spreading the story, see what else they have been doing and saying, see if you can track down who funds them. Guess what you're going to find? In every single instance you are going to find one of these right-wing attack groups, and they are going to be funded by the Bradley Foundation or Scaife or one of the others, and the spokesperson is going to have published pro-tobacco and/or anti-environmentalist articles. And one other thing - you're going to hear the smear story on Rush Limbaugh and Fox News and O'Reilly or Hannity, and you'll se it in the Washington Times, etc., etc. and pretty soon it will seem like you are hearing everyone in the media saying exactly the same things!

In this instance the Republicans got caught with their pants down, letting the country get attacked on 9/11. So they immediately started the usual response. A coordinated campaign to smear the opposition - in this case blaming Clinton for letting it happen (as well as other efforts, like blaming multiculturism, etc.) - combined with a coordinated campaign to make Bush look like the hero, saving us from the mess Clinton got us into. Ignore what they say and look at what they do. See the forest. It works every time.

Update - the PR CAMPAIGN article mentioned above can still be found here.


WTF - I already link to WTF Is It Now?? in my links section, but I'm mentioning it again because just love reading it.
Funny cartoons here.
Whoosh, Bye! Please!
Looking at the bad news and opposing forces moving in -- the economy might be tanking, stock market diving, Time Magazine's major piece on Bush screw-ups leading to 9/11, Gore's great, great piece in today's NY Times, the polls starting to show that the Democrats could do very well in the upcoming election -- it strikes me that this is the point in corporate life where the top executives sell all their stock to the unsuspecting public and bail just before things fall apart, flying away to the Cayman Islands in their private jets. Whoosh, bye!

Maybe Bush, Cheney and the rest of that crowd will stick to their previous instincts and do what they did at Harken and Halibutron and Enron and the rest of the companies these guys and their cronies looted, and skip town one of these nights. Wish they would.
Now We Know
Now we know why the Bush administration has been fighting tooth and nail to prevent an independent look at intelligence failures leading up to 9/11. Time Magazine has a story about an extensive Clinton plan to attack al-Queda, developed after the Cole bombing. Leaving office, they handed the plan to the incoming Bush administration, who did nothing with it because they didn't see al-Queda as an important enough problem.

The plan is an outline of the very same extensive anti-terrorist activities that the Bush administration is getting so much credit for.

After blaming the Clinton administration for 9/11, claiming Clinton did nothing and taking full political credit for "their" plan to attack al-Queda, we now see why they fought so hard to keep the truth from coming out.


Bush Gave Go-Ahead to Corporate Lawbreakers
Buzzflash picked up on my previous blog piece pointing out that Bush gave corporate lawbreakers the go-ahead back in March, 2001. (Had to write to them a few times, though.) Back then Bush reversed a Clinton rule prohibiting corporate lawbreakers from getting government contracts. Now Bush gives speeches about how corporate lawbreakers need to be punished.

Bush puts lax regulators in the EPA and his crony corporations know they are free to pollute. He puts lax regulators on the FERC, and his crony corporations cause power blackouts in California so they can jack prices through the roof. He puts lax regulators on the SEC because his crony corporations have been complaining that they're getting flack for doing what Bush and Cheney did. (I think I could develop quite a long list of how many oversight boards and commissions Bush has gutted. Labor, removing the Bar Assoc. from approving judges, civil rights...)

And then he says if somehow you get convicted of CRIMES, the government is going to GIVE THEM CONTRACTS!!!

A while ago I wrote, "Republicans delegitimized government, and act surprised when corporate executives act as if government were not legitimate."


Tax Cuts Don't Raise Revenue
I’m so tired of hearing Republicans claim that cutting taxes increases tax revenues and that Reagan's cut taxes caused revenue to double by the end of his term.

Here’s the numbers. In 1981 the on-budget (not from Social Security) tax receipts were $469 billion which was a 16% increase over the prior year. Then the Reagan tax cuts started. 1982 tax receipts were $474.3 billion, 1.1% over 1981, and the on-budget deficit shot up to $120 billion, an increase of 62% in a single year!. 1983 receipts were $453.2 billion, a DROP of 4.4% creating a deficit of $208 BILLION, an increase of 73%!

Tax Increases - Revenues Went Up (Duh!) This huge jump in deficits panicked Congress enough to pass the 1984 Deficit Reduction Act, the largest tax increase in our history. Tax receipts climbed to $500.3 billion, a 10.4% increase, and the deficit shrank almost 11% to $185.6 billion.

In 1985 Congress passed the Gramm-Rudmann-Hollings Anti-Deficit Act. In 1985 tax receipts were $548 billion, a 9.5% increase. But now the huge military spending increases AND the debt interest were kicking in and the deficit rose to $221 billion, and increase of 19%. That's another story - the TAX RECEIPTS were climbing again, leading to the doubling Republicans claim was brought about by cutting taxes, conveniently leaving out that the largest tax increase in the history of the world occurred in between.

An Aside. Also during this time Congress passed the huge Social Security tax increase, dramatically increasing a tax ONLY paid by poor and middle class working people. This is the largest tax item in most people's paychecks and is not counted when we're told that the rich pay a large share of taxes. In 1984 and 1985 Social Security tax receipts jumped 12%!, and continued to increase through the 80’s, generating huge surpluses which were used to make the huge deficits look lower. This money collected from the poor and middle class workers went out to pay for Reagans's tax cuts for the rich. (And now it is being used to pay for Bush's huge tax cuts for the rich.)

See for Yourself. You can look at the numbers here. It's table 1.1, in Excel file format, so I'm not linking directly to it.

So when they say that Reagan's tax cuts led to tax revenue doubling, IT'S A TRICK! Why they constantly use tricks to get support for their policies is a good topic for another piece.