Facing South explores similarities and one glaring difference between Teabaggery and the Southern Populist movements at the end of the 19th Century. A nugget:

The dilemma in American politics is that Wall Street is amoral, self-interested, and in today’s global economy incapable of allegiance to any nation. “Deep down, all of them know that they do not really care — that their own enrichment matters much more than any collective purpose or common vision,” Phillips-Fein writes.

Tea Partyers know this, but much of their anger is misdirected. Unlike the Populists of the 1890s, they despise organized labor. Their benefactors — the Koch brothers and the Club for Growth — would have it no other way. The old Populists wanted government to serve the people. The Tea Partyers want government to go away.

Share

The Vagabond Scholar explains how faux civility stifles discourse. A nugget:

. . . in our national political discourse, the actual practice is that saying something that sounds harsh – even if it is factually, demonstrably true – is typically denounced as uncivil or otherwise rude, a breach of decorum. Newt Gingrich may be lying shamelessly, but the rules of the Beltway pundit game entail that calling him out as a liar is the true sin, not the lie itself. Rather than the hosts limiting the discourse to honest, sane, reasonably intelligent people (which necessitates qualitative judgment somewhere along the way), equal time – or rather, disproportionate time – is given to guests arguing in bad faith and/or with little to no expertise in the subject at hand. Consequently, civility as enforced usually does the audience a disservice.

Share

As Republicans stick their fingers in their ears and go “la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la.”

Update:

I don’t know what happened to it either. It was there when I wrote the post.

Share

In a longer post about Tim Draper’s plan to separate California into six states (George Smith delivers a scathing take-down of that exercise in narcissism at his place), Tom Hilton highlights the one of the (many) logical fallacies inherent in Libertarianism:

The whole thing is an object lesson in the poverty of libertarianism. Libertarians think governing is easy. They think it’s easy because they don’t really care about the details, and they don’t really care about the details because they think it’s easy. (And of course they think it’s easy because at heart they’re fundamentally anti-democratic, fetishizing the dictatorial rule of all-powerful CEOs as their model for governance.)

And because they think governing is easy, because they don’t care about the details, whenever by some hideous mischance one of them is given a position of responsibility, they invariably prove spectacularly inept at governing.

Share

Via Raw Story.

Watch it. If you don’t have time to watch it now, bookmark and watch it later, but watch it.

Share

Political scientists Kyle Dropp, Joshua D. Kertzer. and Thomas Zeitzoff asked the question. The results were distressing (emphasis added).

On March 28-31, 2014, we asked a national sample of 2,066 Americans (fielded via Survey Sampling International Inc. (SSI), what action they wanted the U.S. to take in Ukraine, but with a twist: . . . we also asked our survey respondents to locate Ukraine on a map as part of a larger, ongoing project to study foreign policy knowledge. We wanted to see where Americans think Ukraine is and to learn if this knowledge (or lack thereof) is related to their foreign policy views. We found that only one out of six Americans can find Ukraine on a map, and that this lack of knowledge is related to preferences: The farther their guesses were from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene with military force.

A number of persons located Ukraine in the Americas.

Map showing where Americans think Ukraine is located.


Click for a larger image.

We are a society awash in stupid.

Via Juanita Jean.

Share
20 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Jonathan Martin wants persons to say what they mean when they say stuff.

Interviewing Congressional candidates over the past two weeks, The Seattle Times editorial board kept a tally of vague but repetitive phrases. Top of the list: “secure the border first.”

I asked candidate after candidate to define “secure,” and got more vacuous rhetoric. Why is that so hard?

Find out his theory at the link.

    Share
20 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Ruminating about a novel he read that included scenes from the War in Viet Nam, Dan Simpson concludes that the United States of America seems incapable of learning. A nugget:

Mr. Just (Ward Just, the author of the novel–ed.), by no means a severe critic of the United States, put it well: “American delusions, mostly of grandeur, often of the evangelical variety, the Good News of democracy … frightened people.” Worse, he also suggests that we can’t help ourselves: “ … [N]ationality is destiny,” he maintains, talking with two Germans. He considers Washington — “a greenhouse with the usual suffocating gases” — the nexus of the problem.

(snip)

We should have learned a lot from the Vietnam War. It showed how ill-suited we are to engineer “regime change.” We signed on with a very corrupt, French-speaking Catholic minority government. When we tried to change horses to a series of generals, things got worse, not better. Vietnam also made it clear that pouring U.S. troops into a place like that doesn’t change the situation on the ground, and it eventually fractured our own society and wore out our own military.

Share
19 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Reg Henry considers the current state of American political discourse. His observations worth a read, though they are flawed by a gesture towards “both sides do it.”

Volume matters. Comparing a roar from one side to a whisper from the other is blatant false equivalence. When what is mainstream on one side is rare and isolated on the other, both sides are not doing it.

A nugget:

No wonder the nation is in such a ridiculous state, when people on each side think those who disagree with them are psychologically disturbed. Worse yet, this view has been encouraged from on high in the culture.

How many times are we told that “liberalism is a mental disorder”? The ones who email me this clearly think they are being so darned witty. Of course, they would never have come up with this, if talk show host Michael Savage hadn’t written a book with the same name as his contribution to the debasement of humanity.

Share
18 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Zandar explains how to spot a terrorist.

Share
18 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

PoliticalProf. Read it.

Share
17 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Warning: Tasteless, just like the original.

More »

Share
17 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Share
15 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Steven M. captures the wingnut belief system. Read it.

Share
14 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Children fleeing burning societies to the USA.  Republican pointing toward flames yelling,

Via Job’s Anger.

Share
14 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Via C&L.

Share
11 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

This should be interesting.

A judge threw out Florida’s congressional redistricting map Thursday, ruling that the Legislature allowed for a “secret, organized campaign” by partisan operatives to subvert the redistricting process in violation of the state Constitution.

Leon County Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis ruled that two of the state’s 27 districts are invalid and must be redrawn, along with any other districts affected by them, to bring the map into compliance with the state’s new Fair District amendments.

Much more at the link. You can read the ruling, including the judge’s reasoning, here (PDF).

More »

Share

DIY

11 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Via Juanita Jean, who’s on a roll this week.

Share
10 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Juanita Jean explains why the Republican Party chose to convene in Cleveland, rather than Dallas. A nugget:

Seriously, think about it. Texas Republicans are so flatass crazy that other Republicans don’t want to be seen around them.

(snip)

7. Ted Cruz wants to declare war against Mexico, and just to be safe, New Mexico.

8. Sarah Palin once described Texas as, “where the dumb people live.”

Follow the link for her other examples. You’ll be glad you did.

Share
10 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre, Too Stupid for Words

Really, now, that’s all it is.

Share