Thursday, March 24, 2011

Swinging to the right

"The trouble is, swinging to the right is always dangerous. We end up losing so much in the rush to conservatism. But even Obama has fallen down that hole. He’s pushing a conservative agenda.

We have 700 military bases around the world. What do you think it costs to keep that war machine running? It’s not working. I thought Obama would be for peace, but he’s not. There are no peacemakers left. There’s no antiwar movement to speak of. America just keeps going, keeps fighting, keeps spending."
--excerpted from Playboy's interview with controversial former White House press corps member Helen Thomas.

And you can bet that quote came out of her mouth before the missiles began raining down on Libya. I recommend the entire interview. It is simply fascinating.

* * *


Anonymous said...

It's just bloody common sense. I seriously don't wanna hear any more shit from politicians talking about how we're broke. We're broke because of our military, not our fucking teachers. The end. Until an administration has the balls to actually stop all this crap, there's no need to harp about why we're broke. I'm so fucking disgusted with this country, I can't begin to tell you. Well, you know.

(Word verification: "herpesc"

Erin O'Brien said...

I agree, Alex, but would add that the other 800 lb gorilla in the room is our utterly dysfunctional health care system.Physicians focus on quantity of life instead of quality. We pay more for less. We're fat and getting fatter (and sicker).

The reform bill gave me hope that this country was still governable. As flawed as that bill was, at least it lifted the goddamn denial cloak for one minute.

Let 'em repeal it. This country is already more than 25 percent single payer. That number will only grow.

The conservative contingent won't stop until this country is no more than a wisp of smoke. Dubya tried hard and almost succeeded in Oct. 2008. And the current righties are doing all they can to send us sliding right back down into hell.

Righties: War War War! Cut Taxes! Cut services! Have some guns! No abortions!

I give up. They win. Let 'em sink the ship the rest of the way.

Judy said...

...and what about the war on the middle class...we'll soon be gone completely with only the haves and have nots...

Erin O'Brien said...

So true, Judy. Do I get out my burqa or my peasant rags? Dunno.

Leslie Morgan said...

Well, hell. I got up ready to have my happy day and you've all sent me to the shit pile. Swine is dead-on. You're on it, Erin - the Helen Thomas interview is remarkable. What a beautiful woman, I might add. And at the risk of repeating the obvious, "No freaking shit we're broke. Let's take on another war." I'm pulling up a world map to see if there is any place left to go.

Erin O'Brien said...

I just put up a fresh pot o' joe, Leslie, so come on over here.

Don't worry. You'll get your laugh when the righties show up with all their indignant "American Exceptionalism" talk.

Bill said...

Gee! Some of Helen's best friends are Jews!

Swine, Erin, Judy, Leslie, you guys are going to make twinklysparkles real sad today.

I just received an IRS notice that I owe another $3,200. Now that's something to be pissed about.

Leslie Morgan said...

All right - busting out a favorite phrase I rarely use in public: "Fuck me to tears!" Erin, keep that joe on the burner. I'm on the way. When my (union) pension dollars run out, I'll rely on my "cute" factor to get me there. god dammit! I am tired of flailing at the same old shit. I've done it for the 40+ years, and what about all the promises I delivered to my very-late-arriving daughter? "Sorry, Skippy, I told it the way it FELT, not the way it WAS"?

goddammit, Skippy, do what's RIGHT. You know what to do, Babe!

Tony Rugare said...

The problem is that our democracy has become a perpetual presidential campaign. There is no time to govern or legislate. It's all about win, win, win at any cost.

Erin O'Brien said...

Leslie, Leslie, Leslie. Calm down! The Donald (I sorta like "the Trumpster" better) or Missy Palin might run for Prez and make it aaaallll better.

It's hard to believe the whole juggernaut is going to shit before our very eyes, isn't it?

I thought we had a chance with Obama. Guess I was wrong. Goddamn.


Erin O'Brien said...

Wait a second--did Bill say something?

Bill said...

Erin: What was it about Obama that gave you hope? Was it his impressive international experience? His impressive political career? His impressieve community organizing in Chicago? His impressive group of friends (Ayers, Wright)? His bold stand on abortion? Or, did you just get a tingle when you saw or heard him?

Erin O'Brien said...

Why Bill, I'm glad you asked. Permit me to quote a column I wrote for Scene in Oct. 2008:

"A walk along the presidential campaign route is not unusual for men such as John McCain or Joe Biden. They've been groomed their whole lives. As for Sarah Palin, she was plucked from Alaska and plopped upon this path in a fabricated, unnatural move that is evidenced by her campaign's floundering. But Barack Obama is poised to be the next president of the United States for reasons I truly understand. If a tiny flame kept me going, the fire in Obama's belly must be very powerful indeed. I believe in it."

That's how I felt about Obama when I cast my vote for him. I thought he had conviction. I thought he would stand on the world stage and inspire respect for America that Dubya so foolishly squandered.

Instead we've got Iraq Afghanistan and now Libya. Jesus Christ awmighty. Like Thomas said in today's quote, "Obama has fallen down that hole." It's the conservative hole and if it can suck down a man like Obama, maybe there is no hope.

We. Are. Screwed.

VideoDude said...

I too, had hope for Obama. I will vote for him again. in 2012. Because the right has no answers only lies and criticism. Nov. 2, 2010, according to the Teapublicans, the election was about Jobs. November 3, 2010, it was all about Tax Cuts for the rich. I didn't expect the Teapubs to create jobs immediately (actually ever), but they could, at least, pretend!

Bill said...

It seems that Obama really doesn't believe in anything. He's sort of a pop culture kinda guy. Gives any audience what they want, to make them feel good. Eventually his shallowness is exposed. (like now) Other than that, Mrs Lincloln, how did you like the play?"

Bill said...

Helen Thomas would vote for David Duke if he would cut off funds to Israel. But she really likes Jews. Really!

Leslie Morgan said...

Well, Erin, in my opinion, Bill rarely says ANYTHING (Love you, Bill <3 <3) but I wonder whom our other choices might have been in that election. Stupido again? No. Puts another whole spin on "up your butt with a Pizza Hut", doesn't it?

I don't know WHAT to tell my 21-year-old daughter, and I've always felt so secure!

Erin O'Brien said...


If only McPalin had been elected--gas would be $1.50 a gallon, God wouldn't punish the Japanese with earthquakes, and Jared Loughner would be Homecoming King!

Erin O'Brien said...

Bill, if you'd like to pick a fight over Judaism, stop wasting your time here. No one's taking your bait.

Instead, go help Sarah Palin. She needs all the help she can get.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Say, I wonder if Obama's updated his NCAA brackets?


Joe said...

"We're broke because of our military, not our fucking teachers."

Teachers are paid from State and local budgets. The military has not made our States broke, and teachers have not put the Country into debt.

The military costs us $663.7 Billion in the 2010 budget (the last one done -- Congress punted on doing a budget last year). It should and needs to be cut.

Social Security/Medicade/Medicare cost $1.438 Trillion -- more than twice the military. All other Governemnt (discrecionary/ interest/ etc. cost the taxpayers $1,450.3 trillion.

We should at least have the facts right.

In fact the President's stimulus costs more than we spent on Defense -- more than all of Bush's wars combined.

We need to increase taxes on EVERYBODY and cut spending across the board.

We need to elect politicians willing to do what is right -- not voting to keep getting elected.

Bill said...

Erin: Practically the entire Helen Thomas interview was about Judaism. She's totally hung up on the topic as are so many other liberals. I wasn't picking a fight. I'm glad you posted that interview and I read it.

Also, have you lost your senses? Bush caused the Japanese earthquake, was responsible for the nuclear problems, and inspired Jared Loughner.

Leslie; are you sure you're not my wife?

Anonymous said...

As a token Conservative, messing with Libya was beyond stupid. I have no idea other than rumors who pushed the President to make that decision but he might want to think about who has his ear because they are not doing him any favors. As for the rest of congress, a room full of K-4 students would be more intelligent. The sad fact is there is not one person in any party that excites me about the next Presidential popularity home come king contest.

James Old Guy

Leslie Morgan said...

Bill, I am not anyone's wife, hallelujah. I look OK enough for one of my age. I come with a lovely monthly pension for life, courtesy of my decades of work for a large, powerful labor union. I come with a brain and a voice. How sexy it that?

Bill said...

Leslie: It's totally sexy! Not the pension and labor union stuff but the brain and the voice? Yes! Even if it spews liberal crap. Smart and opinionated is sexy.

Erin O'Brien said...

Hi Al. Hi James.

Joe: "We need to increase taxes on EVERYBODY and cut spending across the board." Absolutely true. The cuts need to start with Medicare and the military. Defunding NPR is a joke.

From your link:

"The U.S. defense budget (excluding spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Homeland Security, and Veteran's Affairs) is around 4% of GDP. Adding these other costs places defense and homeland security spending between 5% and 6% of GDP. The DoD baseline budget, excluding supplemental funding for the wars, has grown from $297 billion in FY2001 to a budgeted $534 billion for FY2010, an 81% increase."

Granted, Wiki is Wiki, but I do know they do funny things with the defense budget by "exluding" this and that (like the Iraq and Afghanistan wars). I don't think VA costs are ever included in DoD spending, but I don't have a verifying link.

Is it just me or is Leslie a total fox?

Dudesworthy said...

Joe, excellent points, but I'm not convinced that just electing the right politicians is enough. I think the whole system of governance needs to be reformed, and the link between money and politics has to be broken, everything has to start with electoral and campaign reform.

A cap on Presidential campaign funds is the place to begin.

Word Verification: 'exych'
Meaning: that subtle disappointment that inevitably follows occasions when you wake in bed alone but, in your muddled and sleepy state, imagining that your ex is still around, even though it's been months.

alphadog said...

Tony has part of it right. The fact is, all of the power brokers in D.C. will do whatever it takes to maintain their position. I offer Arlen Specter's switching parties (how'd that work out for ya pal?). The Repubs targeting NPR and the Nat'l Endowment for the Arts for budget cuts, hoping for a big pat on the back from those not too politically astute on the right.
Barack Obama has seemingly moved to the right to court votes. He's pushed through a goodly part of his agenda and pissed off many independents in the process. Whether or not some of you want to admit it, America tends center right. Obama is an incumbent. He will retain his base (see VidDude's comment). The Repubs have no viable contender as yet. If Obama can sway the swing, we have four more (unbearable) years.
The answer to this D.C. arrogance is a return to States rights. Read the Tenth: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Simple. Now think about how much autonomy the Federal government has usurped from your state, how many state dollars the Feds collect for redistribution. The Seventeenth Amendment was the biggest single power grab by the Feds to date, the Civil War notwithstanding. If this is all foreign to you, thank the NEA, (Nat'l Education Association in this case). What may be right for New Jersey is not necessarily right for Idaho. Or Vermont or New Mexico or Ohio. Our country is too large and diversified for a small enclave in D.C. to dictate.
I find fault with the left not because they desire a better country, but because they believe the pablum that they are continually spoon fed and then so disappointed when the reality is made clear.

Erin O'Brien said...


Dudesworthy said...

Now that's a nice word...

(I had to look it up!)

DogsDontPurr said...

Every time there's a new war or a new election, I think of the movie "Wag the Dog." (Go watch it again, it's still relevant.) Also, "Groundhog Day" comes to mind.

Erin O'Brien said...

I find fault with the left not because they desire a better country, but because they believe the pablum that they are continually spoon fed and then so disappointed when the reality is made clear.

COME ON, Alph. As if the "left" has sole rights on that. There's plenty of naivete (as well as savvy) on both sides of the aisle.

You want Pablum? See (AHEM) Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, or Anne Coulter.

I daresay Sarah Palin and the "It's morning in America" crowd fit somewhere on the fringes of that movement, although neither of those really count as the pseudo "intelligentsia."

As for your libertarian set. They want small gov until they need big gov. Then they want big gov RIGHT NOW.

Now then, thank you for your continued support and kiss my ass.



Leslie Morgan said...

Wow. I'm stunned and have had to ruminate for a couple of hours. I am not a total fox, probably, to anyone. I am probably not a total anything to anyone, though I'd characterize myself as cat-like, in animal terms. So, my liberal crap-spewing brain and voice are sexy (to some), but not that money (monthly pension) earned by liberal proselytizing. Man, that's unsexy. Unsexy money that enables an old bag to support herself and not be a drain on any person or organization. Pays her taxes to support the next war she doesn't believe in. Minds her own business and participates in a meaningful way for the things she DOES believe in.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad ya'll took care of this while I was away. Good work.

I'm hot for Leslie though. I bet if she said something like "Social Justice" sorta in a little purring voice I'd...well, never mind.


alphadog said...

Dear Erin,
You apparently chose to overlook the example I made of the Repubs token budget cuts when you took me to task for suggesting that the left were the only ones sucked in by big gov bullshit, guess that pablum word got y'all sideways.
As far as my Libertarian set, an example please.
My continued support is contingent upon your continued quality and as far as my kissing your ass, right cheek only.

alphadog said...

On a side note, all of you lefty environmentalists that are still calling for BP's head, back off.

Leslie Morgan said...

Look, for the effects of pablum, one wants to gird one's loins and then visit

I warned you!

RJ - As a cat, I can and do purr, I do head-butt and beg for petting. [Back true story: my mother, daughter and I are said to have mesmerizing voices, but so what?!] But stick me on the lap of a rightie and I'm going to hiss and scratch. Sorry. Now what? ;~}

Erin O'Brien said...

Holy shit, peeps. The graphic in Leslie's link is not a bad album covers, It's really the Huckster and co.

Erin O'Brien said...

I talked about this here, alph.

Now then, if you want to see a situation where you need really big gov right this second, go to Japan.

Um, Katrina, anyone?

We handled that aftermath so well. The richest country in the world and it was one horrific botch followed by poor execution, waste and graft.

If one of the main functions of the gov is to keep us safe, the programs have to be in place (ahem) before the trouble.

And yes, I did read your entire comment.

Hi RJ.

alphadog said...

One comment on Katrina.
I had occasion to be in Mobile AL for a project about 8 months after Katrina. I took a day and drove west on I-10 to see what might still be seen of Katrina's wrath.
While NOLA was still waiting for somebody to do something, the Mississippi gulf region had taken it upon themselves to do for themselves and everything was very much on its way back to normal. Just sayin'.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

I'll bet Obama is soiling himself right now behind the resolute desk. Duke lost, Wisconsin lost, and Butler and Arizona are in. He'll probably call a cabinet meeting to discuss changes to his NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Bracket. But, only after getting a UN Security Council Resolution to do so, of course.


Al The Retired Army Guy said...

BTW, I read the entire interview. Based on what she said, I think she's anti-semitic. She says she's not anti-Jew, but anti-Zionist. Her suggestion is that the Jews in Israel now go back to where they came from. OK, I'll bite - what about the people who were born there, and whose parents didn't come from somewhere else? Where do they go? Madagascar? You know, the same place the Nazis considered sending Jews before they began systematically exterminating them?

Note to Helen - keep on doing that Wicked Witch of the West imitation. It's convincing.