Tag Archives: politics

Ted Cruz Takedown

From the Something Awful Forums, member JonathonSpectre, quoted on Metafilter:

“One of the most loathsome people to ever fucking live on this planet, Ted Cruz, backstabbed and fucked over every person he came in contact with for the past four years, forced his party into a bunch of no-win scenarios that made them look stupid and clueless, and generally called out everyone in his entire party as a bunch of commiesymp Islamolibs who want to dress up as a gay-married woman and fuck a child in a public bathroom. He did all of these things knowingly, burning every bridge he’s ever crossed, mauling every hand that’s ever fed him, all in service of one dream: He would become the Republican nominee in 2016 and win the Presidency and then the trail of blood and nightmares he left behind wouldn’t matter because fuck you I’m POTUS that’s why.

“He sacrificed everything to this goal, and he’s going to lose by a small number of delegates to the political equivalent of the Fukushima meltdown. His strategy would (probably) have worked! It’s pretty clear that the JEB! never stood a chance regardless of how much money he raised because he’s a fucking walking Ambien who conservatives thoroughly despise, Scott Walker couldn’t even figure out how to hire someone who understood things like “a budget,” Ben Carson looks like an attractive candidate up until he has to speak in anything other than meaningless fortune-cookie platitudes, etc. All that work, all that planning, all that treachery, all that time.

“ALL FOR FUCKING NOTHING AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

He’s been reaching for this brass ring his entire life, leaning farther and farther out from his carousel horse. What would he lose first, his balance, or his nerve? But he never flinched, leaning out further and further with each turn of the carousel, and then just before, just before his fingertip brushed it an orange hand came out of nowhere and took that bitch right away from him, right in front of him, and there was never anything he could do to stop it. Now all that’s left is the fall.

“There aren’t words in any language to describe the joy it brings me to see such a heinous, hateful motherfucker destroyed in such a gut-wrenching, miserable way. Tonight was the beginning of Ted Cruz’s descent to a talk radio host saying things like, “Well, when *I* was in the United States Senate, let me tell you…”

“Ted is a mess.
“Ted is a waste.”

Post in context.

Inside Illinois’s Budget Collapse

A Metafilter member rants about the budget crisis in Illinois:

Would you like to know if I have opinions? I HAVE A LOT OF OPINIONS.

Actually I’m kind-of rage-choking on them. The basic situation is, the governor has now passed TWO constitutionally-mandated budget deadlines without bothering to present a budget for the legislature to vote on (which he is required to do). He will not present one until the Democratic supermajority legislature agrees to bust unions statewide. That won’t ever happen. Some commentators think we could just go four solid years with no budget.

It is dire. Several companies have already informed the state they won’t relocate here or open facilities here. Some downstate power co-ops have cut off the state for non-payment of bills, so there are rural traffic lights that are just TURNED OFF. The absolutely killer thing is, the last governor PASSED AN INCOME TAX HIKE THAT CLOSED OUR BUDGET HOLE and would slowly dig us out of our catastrophic pension crisis (which comes from 30 years of legislators and governors from both parties kicking the can down the road and not paying into the pension fund; there’s plenty of blame to go around but something like SIX lawsuits that have gone to the state supreme court have all come back as “no, you seriously still have to pay it”). The new Republican governor demanded the tax hike be allowed to expire — the Democratic legislature let it expire — and now we’re in almost-Puerto-Rico levels of debt and it’s getting worse every day.

And the TOTAL IGNORANCE of this governor’s administration is AMAZING. Like, he did not know — and apparently no one on his staff knew either (a lot of his people are imports from Indiana) — that it’s unconstitutional in Illinois to present multi-topic bills. One topic per bill. So the first thing he did was present illegal bills attempting to bundle union busting with other things. They are forfeiting federal funds and federal matching funds because either they think it “looks bad” if we can keep funding things that federal money is paying for and they’d rather shut it down to increase the pain, or they don’t realize that there’s a federal match. Millions of dollars here, millions of dollars there, down the drain. The Illinois State Museum was closed for the first time in history IT REMAINED OPEN THROUGH MULTIPLE FUCKING WARS, and CLOSING IT COST MORE MONEY THAN OPERATING IT COST. (Because it turns out it is a federal crime to fail to properly maintain custody of Native American artifacts, among other expensive issues that came with closure, but his people didn’t know that either because they have no idea about anything but GOP talking points and do not operate in a fact-based reality.) Didn’t matter, was a gesture for the governor about the wastefulness of government spending in running museums. The real numbers mean nothing to him or his people as long as he gets to make his grandstanding points.

“Now he’s trying to bankrupt and/or take over Chicago Public Schools, for no real apparent reason, certainly not one that benefits the state at large in any way.

“Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities have not been paid and run the vast bulk of the state’s foster care and elder care programs and are in danger of having to start shutting those down. The governor’s answer was that religious people should just donate more to avoid having to shut the down, not that the state should pay the $16 and $25 fucking million it owes them, respectively.

“My city is not plowing or salting 90% of city roads this winter because — I am not even kidding — state funding for roads is so spotty they have to save cash for spring pothole repairs so the roads can be fucking used as ROADS. If it’s less than two inches of snow they’re just not sending out plows or salting trucks, and when it’s more they’re only doing the biggest arterials. IT IS MADNESS.

“PLEASE RAISE MY STATE INCOME TAX BACK TO 5% KTHX.”

Discussions in context.

LA Times on GOP vs Trump: The Only Guarantee is Chaos

Doyle McManus in the LA Times:

Sorry, GOP: You waited way too long to build an anti-Trump majority. Unless a miracle happens, you’re about to get knocked out by an anti-establishment wave — a wave you mistakenly encouraged in the first place.

By comparison, Trump’s strategy is pretty coherent. He’s already built a coalition of white working class voters, disgruntled moderates and “soft” evangelicals (the ones who don’t care how many times the candidate has been married). .. Establishment strategists figure the remaining primaries will be harder for Trump, since they’re open only to registered Republicans (unlike, say, New Hampshire, where independents can join in).

But even their best-case scenario concedes that Trump is likely to arrive in Cleveland with more delegates than anyone else. At that point, someone, somehow, will try to arrange a deal — among delegates pledged to candidates as varied as Cruz and Kasich, remember — to create a majority around a single anti-Trump figure. At which point that huge bloc of Trump delegates does what, exactly?

The only guarantee is chaos.

A divided GOP doesn’t have a prayer

Chris Hedges on the Rise of American Fascism

This essay from Chris Hedges is searing. Nearly every sentence is a grenade.

“College-educated elites, on behalf of corporations, carried out the savage neoliberal assault on the working poor. Now they are being made to pay. Their duplicity—embodied in politicians such as Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama—succeeded for decades. These elites, many from East Coast Ivy League schools, spoke the language of values—civility, inclusivity, a condemnation of overt racism and bigotry, a concern for the middle class—while thrusting a knife into the back of the underclass for their corporate masters. This game has ended.

“These Americans want a kind of freedom—a freedom to hate. … They want the freedom to ridicule and dismiss intellectuals, ideas, science and culture. They want the freedom to silence those who have been telling them how to behave. And they want the freedom to revel in hypermasculinity, racism, sexism and white patriarchy. These are the core sentiments of fascism. These sentiments are engendered by the collapse of the liberal state.

“The Democrats are playing a very dangerous game by anointing Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate. She epitomizes the double-dealing of the college-educated elites, those who speak the feel-your-pain language of ordinary men and women, who hold up the bible of political correctness, while selling out the poor and the working class to corporate power.”

Just read the whole thing: The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism

What Trump Reveals

From Metafilter:

“Donald Trump is playing the role of a megalomaniacal, sociopathic fascist demagogue, and whether he is genuine or simply pandering is beside the point. The point is that in winning, he has finally revealed the true darkness at the heart of the modern American Republican to such an undeniable extent that even the Republican party leaders and professional mouthpieces are forced to beg for mercy.

“Frankly, we need Trump, because we need this fight, out in the open, ugliness incarnate. The Republicans need to be represented by the braying tumor that best reflects the cancer in their souls, and the rest of the nation needs to rise up at the polls in fear and desperation and beat them so soundly that the Republican party is finally forced to give up pandering to their worst populist elements and design a new winning political strategy that includes governing for all of the people.

“We have to let the market decide. But then we have to BE the market. And we have to decide SO resoundingly that we wash the stink of this madness clean. Forever.

“Not sure if trump is really a demon, or if he just plays one on TV, but the Republic is clearly possessed. It’s time for an old-fashioned exorcism, and don’t spare the pea soup. Just wash it away.”

Discussion in context.

The Ugly Side of Populism

Commenter on a Metafilter discussion about Trump’s candidacy and electability.

“I think this is something the Left really misses. There seems to be this idea that the People are angry, and if we just awaken and empower the People, then we’ll get social justice and progress. What’s being forgotten is the ugly side of populism. An angry population may also go the other route, and embrace bigotry and hatred and control, and I think it’s already happening. People like Trump are the harbingers. Sure people are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, but that might mean they lash out at the poor and non-white and non-straight and let people who say they have a plan to fix it all rule over them.”

Context and discussion: Donald Trump, possibly upsetting Fox News’ role in Republican politics

Illustration by Victor Juhasz from Matt Taibbi’s article in Rolling Stone

The Enemy of The Extremist Is The Moderate

Commenter on Metafilter:

“The enemy of the extremist isn’t the opposite extremist, it’s the moderate. This sort of thing is done to provoke an extreme reaction to move the moderates to the extreme. These guys *actively want* war, but they’re not going to get it with “Great Satan” talk. They are banking on an overreaction, which will drive more Islamic moderates towards the extremist position, and more French moderates to the “Islam is Evil Must Destroy” extreme. When everybody’s an extremist, then you can start really fighting. The right answer is to handle this as a police matter. The wrong answer is to handle it as a military matter and create ISIS mark II.”

Full discussion http://www.metafilter.com/145914/French-left-wing-satirical-magazine-Charlie-Hebdo-attacked-by-extremists#5882702

image from http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/01/charlie-hebdos-defiance-paris-attack/384286/

How ‘The Interview’ Plays Right Into Kim Jong-un’s Strategy

A Korean redditor writes:

“What makes me angry is that by mocking North Korea, the mockers are reinforcing the DPRK’s state propaganda. If you think the North Korean government is stupid or you see them as toothless cartoon villains, then you’ve already been indoctrinated by them.

“A large part of why North Korea endures is because they’ve carefully engineered how they want to appear to the West. Horrific things are happening there right now. Some of my friends have been sent to juvenile concentration camps where kids were beaten and raped by the guards. Camps where kids had their feet cut off for attempting to escape. Friends who saw a fresh corpse on the street every day they walked home from school, left to starve to death on the sidewalk because of the Great Famine. Friends who were forced to eat bark to survive, friends who witnessed cannibalism.

“There is so much information out there about how horrible and dangerous North Korea is but the international community doesn’t receive pressure from their constituents to do anything about it because everyone views North Korea as a joke. That is a very intentional, calculated move by the DPRK government. They are fully aware of how ridiculous and empty their threats sound. Those statements are nothing but propaganda fed to the West. …

“They know they can’t possibly withstand a military invasion from a first world power, but at the same time, they can’t risk a policy of close contact because it would compromise the internal propaganda they minister to their citizens.

“So they make ridiculous threats they can’t possibly carry out. They get angry about comedy movies. They play the role of the tiny man with a huge chip on his shoulder, and the international community responds accordingly. The unspeakable atrocities North Korea is committing against its citizens is overshadowed by the global public perceiving North Korea as a cartoon villain.  …

“Any discussions about the concentration camps or human rights abuses are completely drowned out by stupid memes, stupid memes which exist because North Korea presented itself as an evil empire out of a sci-fi book and the West ate it up. North Korea is already associated with vapid memes in the eyes of young westerners.

So the fact that the world is congratulating itself for being so witty and edgy for mocking North Korea is what made me angry this week. I’ve seen more outrage against North Korea for bullying Sony into pulling this movie than I have when the UN released its report on North Korean concentration camps.

“If the world was able to see North Korea soberly as the most brutal dictatorship in the world, it wouldn’t be such a pain in the ass convincing people to get involved. That’s harder to do now that everyone is lapping up the DPRK’s Kool Aid without realizing.”

Full comment and discussion http://np.reddit.com/r/asianamerican/comments/2q4ofq/sony_the_interview_whats_your_take/cn2x3j7

Image from this Reuters article.

If Gandalf Had Taken The Ring

A commenter on Reddit plays out the scenario if Gandalf kept the ring:

“Gandalf would be more like Mao, I think. He comes onto the scene as a conquering hero, overthrowing the Shadow in the East and promising a return to peace and prosperity. For a time, it works. He sets about showing the world how to order itself without the threat of a Dark Lord to rule it. A cult of personality springs up, and Gandalf is worshiped as the great savior of Middle-earth. His wisdom spreads throughout the land in the form of a Red Book, composed by his closest friends, the Halflings. He continues to go by names others have created for him, a sign of his humility, and so he is known still as Mithrandir, or Gandalf, or Incanus, or Tharkun.

“He finds the task difficult. Early on, he sticks to the restrictions of the Istari, trying to lead by example and persuasion, rather than by force or command. But over time, the ordering of his great realm, stretching from the Tower Hills to Harad, proves too much. Shadowfax grows lean and rebellious as Gandalf rides him too hard, for too long, responding to small crises all over the continent. Wherever Gandalf turns his attention, though, things prosper. Projects are streamlined, the poor are fed, fields are planted and harvested to unheard-of bounty.

“But he cannot be everywhere at once. After a time, Gandalf convinces several of the Fellowship to go to different parts of the continent, to rule there in his name. After all, they knew him best, and can carry the wisdom he has to the furthest reaches. He sends with each of them a palantir. It grieves him to separate old friends like Frodo and Sam, and they feel totally under-prepared for the tasks before them, but with Gandalf a mere palantir-communion away, they go. And after all, how can they deny Gandalf? Just being in his presence, they feel compelled to follow his requests. They are, after all, perfectly reasonable ideas, and only the Fellowship can be trusted to implement them.”

Read the rest http://np.reddit.com/r/tolkienfans/comments/2qgw03/was_gandalf_able_to_be_corrupted_by_the_ring_if/cn657zi

Why Hitler Was Worse Than Stalin

From another Reddit discussion:

“What would each leader have done, had they the unfettered means to do so? Stalin would have liked to simply rule unopposed. His actions were about the elimination of opposition to engender dominance and power over a homogeneous populus by any means necessary, and without targeting specific groups for persecution (arguably). Partly this was a deterrent; one the one hand, to prevent his people from opposing him, and on the other hand, to terrify other nations, by showing them how savagely he treated his own, and therefore inviting them to imagine how he’d treat his enemies. It was political, not racial.

“In the case of Hitler, it wasn’t a matter of opposition. While political dissidents didn’t have it easy, the major proportion of deaths were fuelled by the belief that Aryans were innately, inherently better than all the others, and that legitimised the systematic persecution, oppression torture and eventual destruction of others, be they handicapped, the gypsies, LGBT, or Jews. Therefore, had he had his druthers, it all would have ended with this world being utterly wiped clean of those people he regarded as “racial chaff”, irrespective of whether or not anyone opposed him. It was the calculated removal of an entire ethnic group or race, otherwise known as genocide. And while mass murder is obviously heinous and evil, there is something far more grievous and disgusting about attempting to obliterate an entire group of people purely because you think you’re better than all of them because blue eyes and blonde hair, and despite the fact that Jesse Owens ran faster than all your Aryan athletes at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

“Also, while Stalin killed lots of people, Hitler killed about 2/3 of the Jews living in Europe . And considering he never had a chance to obliterate the English Jewry, that’s an incredibly effective genocide of the Continental European Jewry.

“So, why do we react so badly to one and not the other? Because in order to decide to kill every Jew in Europe, or enslave every African in the US, you need to deny their humanity. You need to, somewhere in your mind, decide they are animals, vermin, insects, and that you have a right to treat them this way. Political murder is a means to an end, which is evil, but does not imply the same perversion of humanity. Whereas genocide is rooted in a fundamentally morally sick and evil belief that some imagined narrative actually gives you the right to obliterate others en masse, and is not the means, but the end.”

Full thread http://reddit.com/r/AskHistory/comments/2lj87n/why_is_hitler_always_regarded_as_the_worst/clvkn27

Image from http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/lloyd-billingsley/the-stalin-hitler-pact-turns-75/