Kermit Gosnell, Eleventh Dimensional Chess, Michelle Rhee, Rand Paul and Other Bullshit that Pissed Me Off This Week 5

Sigh, the right wing media is having a major melt down about Kermit Gosnell, complaining on and on ad-infinitum that the Main Stream Media is not covering the Gosnell story. Of course this is absolute BS, since I first starting hearing about Gosnell in 2011. The question must be asked, where was the right wing media in 2011 when it came to Kermit Gosnell, serial abuser of women in need? Oh right, it didn’t suit their purpose back then to talk about this at all, in fact it was a non-story to them. Why? Let’s review the work that was done in 2011 about Gosnell and his arrest in January of 2011:

http://www.myfoxphilly.com/story/17533017/doctor-allegedly-killed-babies-with-scissors

http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/03/02/pennsylvania.abortion.doctor/index.html

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Abortion-Doctor-Charged-With-Murder-114205094.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/us/23doctor.html?_r=0

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/the-feed/item/11662-21tmmayor

http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20110128/NEWS01/101280337/AG-Beau-Biden-launches-probe-into-abortion-doctor-s-work-in-Delaware?nclick_check=1

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/23/kermit-gosnell-abortion-c_n_812702.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/01/19/national/main7261741.shtml

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1354889/Kermit-Gosnell-House-horrors-abortionist-1-8m-year.html

http://rhrealitycheck.org/tag/dr-kermit-gosnell/

There were just so many reports at the time of his arrest all about his clinic of horror. What we know is, that facility was not inspected by the state of Pennsylvania for 17 years. Of course the excuse wingers are using that the place wasn’t inspected in 17 damn years was because of a pro-choice policy, which is utter bullshit.  The Business Insider article does say that it was Governor Tom Ridge, Republican who ordered the Dept of Health to stop inspecting abortion clinics, and that isn’t because of  a pro-choice policy that is a direct result of conservatives not believing that the health of women is important. Let’s be clear, it seems Dr. Gosnell would have used hangers to give women abortions if he could have gotten away with it, the state of Pennsylvania was complicit. It’s disgusting but it has nothing to do with being pro-choice, it has everything to do with not believing women health is important. And now a bunch of men are enraged because they think the story isn’t being covered… more utter bullshit, and they don’t care one bit about the health of women, they care 100% about using this case to politicize the health of women. It certainly isn’t shocking.

Then we get to the 11th Dimensional Chess Meme, smh, really? The  I just hate the meme, it’s lame. Everyone who is using this term as though it has meaning, stop it, you sound stupid when you type it out day after day after day. Sheesh!

Michelle Rhee’s reign of error in the DC schools is finally coming under some intense scrutiny, in light of the big testing scandal in Georgia. See the test scores of those kids in DC took a sudden rise, and it just seemed highly unusual for this to happen.  Cheating on standardized tests is at the core of this scandal and Rhee selling her so-called methods to other school systems is on the periphery.  There is plenty of evidence that Rhee’s policies encouraged teachers to cheat. Here is some evidence from a Frontline Investigation:

The DC-CAS scores at Noyes, where 81% of classrooms were flagged for high erasures, are themselves circumstantial evidence that supports Cothorne’s allegation. Below are the Noyes DC-CAS scores over five years; 2011 represents the year that security was tightened.

  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Reading 44.14% 61.53 84.21 61.36 32.40
Math 34.24% 57.69 62.79 53.64 28.17

 
That represents a drop of nearly 50 points in reading between 2009 and 2011, and a drop of roughly 34 points in math. Note also that in 2011 Noyes students were scoring below their pre-Rhee level.

In all, data are available for 16 schools with erasure rates of at least 50%. DC-CAS reading scores rose in only two schools after security was tightened. Math scores rose in just 4 schools and declined in 12.

Rhee is the epitome of an educated grifter. It pisses me off that people seem to believe that improving scores always equals firing teachers. It isn’t that easy people, and for the most part teachers are very dedicated to helping children learn. I’m sick of people like Rhee who present easy solutions to improving education for the underprivileged, Guess what it isn’t easy. There are no quick solutions, we have to have community based solutions that include a change in how we view education. Where all children are not hungry when they begin class, where families have access to help, want to better education children, well the community must come together, and that has little to do with test scores. Melissa Harris Perry has the right idea, but of course she is attacked for it. But I know one thing for sure, Rhee took advantage of the DC system and helped no child learn.

Oh Rand Paul, sure thing black people need to know just how great Republicans are beginning with Lincoln, because they would never know what he did or anything really, unless a white person tells them.  What a great way to recruit people to your party, condescend to them repeatedly!

Yes it makes me mad that people are attacking Melissa Harris Perry for saying the raising children is a community responsibility, it is, how is that so wrong? Oh conservatives on the one hand you always insist how great thigns were in the past, when you would get in trouble at home after getting in trouble with a neighbor for being a pinhead, but if a liberal suggests that is important to raising children suddenly it is communism, socialism, social engineering and all wrong. Idiots.

There are many more things that piss me off on an on-going basis, but we can’t go over them here, this would be a never ending blog. Have a good Sunday my tens of readers!

“Why?” is the wrong question. 1

To go a bit deeper into one aspect of the responses to the Connecticut mass murder yesterday: When something like this happens, the very first thing most people ask is usually “Why?” – and that’s the wrong question.

Why is irrelevant. It’s only useful in retrospect. There’s a different “why” for each one of these grotesque incidents, and there’s no way we can ever hope to anticipate every last one of them.

What we can do, the one thing that can make a real difference, is to change the easy access to the another aspect of such things, the how.

There are simply too damn many guns out there, and too many people who think that it’s the single most important part of life. Or they come up with some weak-sauce rationalization of defending themselves, or their property.

Unless you hunt to provide food, or you’re in law enforcement or the military, you have very little reason to own a firearm. If you feel you need to defend yourself badly enough to have to carry one on you regularly, maybe it’s time to ask yourself what you’re doing in such situations that often. Or look even deeper into yourself and see where so much fear is coming from.

If that guy’s mother had not LEGALLY purchased the three weapons he used, she and 20+ other people would be alive today. How safe does she feel right now?

Oh, that’s right. She can’t feel anything. She’s dead, killed with one of the guns she brought home.

Your first challenge, America, is to stop making it so easy for the deranged, and for the common criminal lowlife, to take the lives of others.

Everyone calls out for President Obama to call for more control measures. That’s fine, let’s see them get through Congress and pass a Supreme Court test when that bench has a “bend-over” majority for such right wing shibboleths as “Castle doctrines” and “Stand Your Ground” laws.

Was Trayvon Martin not also standing his ground when George Zimmerman murdered him? What’s the differential there?

Your second, harder challenge is to stop feeling that guns are the solution. If that’s your real worldview you have a problem.

That problem is fear.

Your fear of others. Your fear that you can’t quite cope with life without the ability to take someone else’s at a moment’s notice.

Grow up, America. It’s long past time.

 

Edited to add: I don’t owe you anything, least of all tolerating obnoxious commenters.  Get inflammatory and you’ll get gone.

2012 — Year of the Republican Legislative Assault on Women & Privacy 4

It is only March of 2012 and already this is turning out to be the year Republicans took their war on women to entirely new heights.

It might seem like it all began when the powers that be at the Komen Fund decided it was time to get into the game of shutting down Planned Parenthood. Shutting down Planned Parenthood has been a goal of the right since the abortion wars began. Controlling the type of healthcare available to women, effectively renders us children to the state, it’s right out of A Handmaid’s Tale, it is scary how far some of the foes of reproductive health will go. They do no only employ intimidation through threats of bodily harm, they have coupled that with enacting legislation effectively curtailing the rights of women to be full and total citizens of this country.  It’s shameful.

The quest for full citizenship for women has been ongoing since the founding of our nation, certainly the 19th amendment were the efforts of a very long struggle. We had to wait a longer time to gain control over our bodies. We are now losing that fight.

In 1965 women began to gain our own right to privacy over our own bodies, men somehow were born with that right, we had to fight to gain those rights. Griswold V Connecticut, established that a  couples had the legal right to make family planning decisions, it established individuals have a fundamental right to privacy.  This is why Griswold is so important and this is why Republicans attack Griswold, it wasn’t Roe V Wade that established the right to privacy, it was Griswold V. Connecticut and if they can successfully neuter Griswold state by state Roe v Wade can be effectively overturned.

William O. Douglas argued in the majority opinion that marriage is defined as an “association” and argues that because the Supreme Court had already found a right to privacy in associations, marriage was likewise protected. But it wasn’t on those grounds alone, Douglas also noted that the Third Amendment’s prohibition against forced quartering of soldiers, the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the Fifth Amendment’s self-incrimination clause, and the Ninth Amendment’s provision that rights not specifically named are reserved to the people combine to create a broad constitutional right to privacy.

In 1972 those rights were extended to unmarried couples Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972) extended Griswold to unmarried couples. If married couples had a  “right of privacy” then unmarried couples and individuals have the same right under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Justice Brennan writing for the majority, ” If the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision to whether to bear or beget a child.”

Then came the 1973 Roe V Wade decision. What is particularly telling about this decision is that the Justices knew that this would cause a firestorm of criticism. Let’s look at what Justice Blackmum wrote for the majority:

We forthwith acknowledge our awareness of the sensitive and emotional nature of the abortion controversy, of the vigorous opposing views, even among physicians, and of the deep and seemingly absolute convictions that the subject inspires. One’s philosophy, one’s experiences, one’s exposure to the raw edges of human existence, one’s religious training, one’s attitudes toward life and family and their values, and the moral standards one establishes and seeks to observe, are all likely to influence and to color one’s thinking and conclusions about abortion.

The decision itself is a highly technical decision siting decisions that went as far back at 1891 in establishing an individuals right to privacy as an implied requirement of the constitution as it is not explicitly stated.

Part VIII of the decision begins this way:

The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however, going back perhaps as far as Union Pacific R. Co. v. Botsford, 141 U.S. 250, 251 (1891), the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution. In varying contexts, the Court or individual Justices have, indeed, found at least the roots of that right in the First Amendment, Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 557, 564 (1969); in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 8-9 (1968), Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 350 (1967), Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616 (1886), see Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 478 (1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting); in the penumbras of the Bill of Rights, Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. at 484-485; in the Ninth Amendment, id. at 486 (Goldberg, J., concurring); or in the concept of liberty guaranteed by the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, see Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 399 (1923). These decisions make it clear that only personal rights that can be deemed “fundamental” or “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319, 325 (1937), are included in this guarantee of personal privacy. They also make it clear that the right has some extension to activities relating to marriage, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967); procreation, Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541-542 (1942); contraception, Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. at 453-454; id. at 460, 463-465 (WHITE, J., concurring in result); family relationships, Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 166 (1944); and childrearing and education, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 535 (1925), Meyer v. Nebraska, supra.

They went further to state the the right to privacy is not absolute and site other cases as to why it is no absolute and then go on:

We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified, and must be considered against important state interests in regulation.

Their summary reviews their decision defines viability as the first trimester and sites the fundamental individual right to privacy.

And then all hell broke loose and ever since there has been a drumbeat to take reverse Roe V Wade.  Roe was decided at a time when legislatures and courts around the world were showing increasing respect for women’s right to self-determination in all aspects of life, including in deciding whether or not to bear children. Slowly the right wing has been winning the fight to restrict our fundamental right to privacy and control of our bodies by attempting to chip away at that right state by state.

Webster V Reproductive Health Services (1989) was the first Supreme Court decision that began to curtail Roe V Wade and chip away at the individual right to privacy. The Webster v. Reproductive Health Services ruled to what extent any state can impose restrictions on abortion by, for example, specifying at what stage in the life of an unborn fetus abortions might be obtained or whether government funds or facilities could be used to perform abortions. They did this under the watchful eye of Sandra Day O’Connor, she was the cover the Rehnquist Court needed and she willingly participated in the War on Women. Although she would never let them touch Roe V Wade, she did in this case allow a conservative supreme court to begin chip away at the edges of Roe V Wade.

It’s been downhill ever since. Think Progress has this great interactive map of current legislation in state legislatures to curtail women’s reproductive rights.

Let’s look at this map:

Legislation 2009 – Present

(incomplete I am sure)

Alabama SB 20: This bill would be known as the Abortion Coverage Prohibition Act.
SB 5:  This bill would define the term “persons” to include all humans from the moment of fertilization and implantation into the womb.
SB 12:  This bill would require a physician to perform an ultrasound, provide verbal explanation of the ultrasound, and display the images to the pregnant woman before performing an abortion.
HB 18: Abortion, prohibited on or after 20 weeks post-fertilization, exceptions for health of mother, Legislative findings regarding pain felt by unborn child, reports to Office of Vital Statistics, civil and criminal penalties, Alabama Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
Alabama has not repealed its ban on abortion, enacted in 1852, last amended in 1975.

Alaska: SB191  An Act requiring an ultrasound before an abortion

Arizona: HB 2865 A bill to restrict women’s access to birth control and abortion care.
HB 2036 Prohibiting abortion after twenty weeks
HB 2625 Allows businesses to refuse to cover contraceptive coverage
HB 2800 calls for a defunding of Planned Parenthood

Arkansas HB1113: “Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act”

Connecticut: HB 5635  Intended to restrict the practices of crisis pregnancy centers, which often attract women by offering free ultrasounds. The law prohibits anyone from performing an obstetric ultrasound unless it has been ordered by “a licensed health care provider” and is for a “medical or diagnostic purpose.”
HB 6247 An act requiring the administration of an ultrasound procedure prior to the termination of  a pregnancy.
HB 5099 Also requires the administration of an ultrasound procedure prior to termination of a pregnancy.

Florida HB 277: 20 week ban
HB 839 20 week ban, no exceptions
SB 290 20 week ban
HB 1327 would require a physician to sign an affidavit stating that she/he is not performing an abortion because of the potential race or sex of a fetus or because of the pregnant woman’s race.

Georgia: HB 954: Fetal Pain bill, seeks to ban abortions after 20 weeks. McKillip argues that this is the point when a fetus can feel pain.

Idaho: SB 1349 Mandatory Ultrasound prior to abortion
HJMO 10 Employers right  to refuse to cover contraception

Illinois: HB 4085Forced ultrasound
HB 4117  targets facilities in which abortions are performed for excessive and unnecessary regulation in an effort to shut down women’s health care in Illinois.

Iowa: HF 2298 An Act relating to the prohibition of terminations of pregnancy and abortions, providing penalties, and including effective date provisions. (This Act attempts to ban any and all abortions, and is meant to challenge Roe V Wade)
HF 2033 a bill for an act establishing prerequisites to the performance of an abortion.

Kansas: SB 238 Pre-Abortion Notification Requirement
HB 2598 no health care services provided by any state agency, or any employee of a state agency while acting within the scope of such employee’s employment, shall include abortion.

Louisiana: SCR 101 & 102: Urges congress to reject a “Freedom of Choice Act” (an act that has never passed)

Michigan: HB 5343 20 week ban/fetal pain act
SB 150 Ultrasound requirement prior to abortion

Missouri: SB 749 Provides protections for religious beliefs as to the imposition of certain health care services such as abortion, contraception, or sterilization
HR 294 Urges the United States Congress to summarily reject the enactment of the federal Freedom of Choice Act.

Mississippi:HB 857 Unborn Child Protection Act 20 week ban
HC 61 Constitution; amend to provide that the right to life is a fundamental right and “person” applies to all humans from conception.
SC 555 Legislation to protect the life of an unborn child and to prohibit the use of public funds to pay for an abortion, except to save the life of the mother.
HB 1107 Forced Ultrasound prior to abortion.

Nebraska:LB 540 the bill which prohibits funding under this bill from going to “any entity that performs or promotes elective abortion services or with any entity that affiliates with any entity that performs or promotes elective abortion services.”
LB 675 Requiring ultrasound prior to abortion

New Hampshire: HB 1653 It is the purpose of this act to protect as a basic civil right the right of all health care providers and/or institutions, to decline to counsel, advise, pay for, provide, perform, assist, or participate in providing or performing health care services that violate their consciences. Such health care services may include, but are not limited to, abortion, artificial birth control, artificial insemination, assisted reproduction, human cloning, euthanasia, human embryonic stem-cell research, fetal experimentation, physician-assisted suicide, and sterilization.

New Jersey: AB 848 Requires physicians to provide patients opportunity to undergo obstetrical ultrasound or sonogram within 48 hours of performing abortion.

Nevada: Initiative — Personhood

North Dakota: HB 1371 limitations on the performance of abortion and abortion reporting requirements.
HB 1445 A bill that requires abortion-performing doctors to inform their patients that the abortion will end the life of a “whole, separate, unique, living human being.”
HCR 3015 A concurrent resolution urging Congress to reject the bill known as the Freedom of Choice Act, which would invalidate virtually every abortion-related regulation enacted by the people of North Dakota through their elected officials.
SB 2394 Bill prohibiting pregnant minors from consenting to their own prenatal care except in limited circumstances.

Oklahoma: HB 1595 The measure requires physicians to provide detailed information to the Oklahoma State Department of Health about the abortions they perform.
SB 1433 a statutory measure asserting that human life begins at conception.
SB 1274 the Heartbeat Informed Consent Act.

Pennsylvania: HB 1077 An Act providing for ultrasound test requirements to determine gestational ages of unborn children.

South Carolina: S 98 20 week ban, fetal pain bill
H 3406 Prohibits insurance plans offered through a health care exchange from covering abortion except in cases of life endangerment; prohibits private insurance plans from covering abortions except through “abortion riders” paid for with a separate premium.
H3026 Mandates a 24 hour waiting period after having an ultrasound prior to an abortion.
H3408 Allows healthcare providers and employees and health insurance providers the right to refuse to perform, counsel, make referrals for legal medical procedures or prescribe or administer drugs based on conscience objections. Amended to include insurance ban described above.
S.102 Prohibits insurance plans offered through a health care exchange from covering abortion except in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
S.165, S.245, and S.616 Establishes full legal personhood at the moment of fertilization, threatening access to legal abortion, contraception, and in vitro fertilization.

Tennessee: Amending the state constitution to restrict access to abortion.

Texas: 2011 Texas Legislature votes to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood leaving poor women. Some 130,000 low-income Texas women who get free exams and contraceptives through Medicaid could lose those benefits as a result of the dispute.
Mandatory Ultrasound Law: The impact of a controversial new Texas law that requires women to have a sonogram – and listen to a description of the fetus as well as its heartbeat – at least 24 hours before they can get an abortion is far from clear. Texas has at least 36 different pieces of legislation currently that will limit a what kind of health care a woman can receive in Texas.

Utah: HB 90 This bill amends the Utah Criminal Code by enacting the second degree felony of “criminal homicide abortion.”
HB 114 Mandates funding to defend HB 90 if challenged.
HB 222 requires that at least 24 hours before a physician performs an abortion of an unborn child who is at least 20 weeks gestational age, the woman on whom the abortion is performed shall be informed of any anesthetic or analgesic that would eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child and any medical risks associated with the anesthetic or analgesic.

Virginia: SB 817 Choose Life License Plate Proceeds from these plates are directed to pregnancy resource centers
HB 1285 Virginia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; penalty prohibits an abortion after 20 weeks gestation unless, in reasonable medical judgment, the mother has a condition that so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion to avert her death or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function. The prohibition is predicated on the assertion that a fetus is capable of feeling pain at 20 weeks.
HB 1 Provides that unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth, subject only to the laws and constitutions of Virginia and the United States, precedents of the United States Supreme Court, and provisions to the contrary in the statutes of the Commonwealth.
HB 462 Requires that, as a component of informed consent to an abortion, to determine gestational age, every pregnant female shall undergo transabdominal ultrasound imaging and be given an opportunity to view the ultrasound image of her fetus prior to the abortion. Virginia’s governor signed this legislation on Wednesday March, 7, 2012.

This is a round up of some of the current assaults on reproductive health in state legislatures around the country. This is an indication of an all out war on the reproductive rights of women, including in some cases a war on contraception. Republicans all over the country should be forced to defend their party’s platform and what elected Republicans around the country are doing to curtail women’s reproductive rights. This is an assault on the constitutionally protected right to privacy. If we allow them to continue to chip away not-so-slowly at Roe v Wade it may be decades of legislative battles to to reassert those rights.

*The image above comes via the Guttmacher Institute.

Chris Matthews to Joe Walsh (R) Il, “He’s Your President Too.” 5

Let’s get this out there, Rep. Joe Walsh is discrediting a good name. The Joe Walsh I remember, played guitar had his own band and sang songs like All Night Laundromat Blues.. this guy, well he just doesn’t seem like he is that much fun and he is trashing what is otherwise a very good name! I know I almost voted for the real Joe Walsh in 1980, the best part was I saw him in concert twice that year, man that was a great Eagles tour. Oh, I digress, because this Joe Walsh is definitely not that Joe Walsh.

May I present you with the video, Chris Matthews versus Rep. Joe Walsh, Illinois 8th district, dufus.

Crossposted at DAGBlog

The Spike Seen Round the World Reply

On snap, Wendy Deng has some great reflexes! She spikes a shaving cream pie, intended for her husband back into the attackers face! I mean this is actually some pretty good stuff! Who knew there was something to be admired about Murdoch… that is right, his wife. This happened about 10 minutes ago.

I thought today would be a good day to record some hearings! However I didn’t realize I would get to see this:

Unknown Object

I can’t add anything more.

Crossposted at DAGBlog

Our Big Mistake 4

“Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile, I caught hell for.”

~Earl Warren

That sounds like a Lyle Lovett song, Our Big Mistake; we are repeating it over and over and over again, from the 1968 election to the present. Isn’t it sort of sad, we gave up working from the inside to continue to move government in a more progressive way?

  1. We turn on each other at the drop of a hat
  2. We keep our eye off the prize, remember this is ultimately about so much  more than one guy

Republicans currently seem to have a real death wish for the country! They will basically do anything to make sure this President is unable to function properly as the Chief Executive.  Certainly this demonstrates the power Grover Norquist has over Republican politicians. What is up with that? How is it these guys get away with this behavior. The whole debt ceiling debacle, can you imagine the outrage of the press and others if Democrats had held the entire country hostage like that? No, I don’t think so.  On the other hand the Hamsher, L. Ron Greenwald faux  progressives fight over who could be the leader of Shangri La., a leader for all, the liberal John Galt, the one who always makes good decisions, the man who never fails, the genius who saves us from ourselves. But he never requires we participate in saving ourselves, he does that on his own. So while the Hamsherwalds wait for their more perfect leader and the Republicans follow the Norquist lead, the country trudges on, but we struggle to maintain our optimism. But I am going to put this out there, why aren’t liberals/progressives working together to gain a foothold in government so more progressive legislation can be enacted at the federal level.

The extreme left is making a big mistake constantly making Barack Obama the issue and not Republican policies which are literally ruining the country.  How do we change the balance of power in the government?

There are few people more colorful in modern American history as Harold LeClair Ickes.  A man of America, he loved politics, and in his time he was a member of the Republican Party, the Progressive Party and ultimately became not just a member of the Democratic Party but was the longest serving Secretary of the Interior under Franklin Delano Roosevelt. From his perch he saw the rise and fall of the Progressive Party. His experience should give current progressives pause, because he offers clues to how to be an effective party in his critique of the Progressive Party of 1912.

Ickes was a young man in 1912, born in 1874; he’d begun his political life as a Republican. However, when Teddy Roosevelt changed parties, Harold Ickes changed parties. He was a Roosevelt republican, he believed in reform and he didn’t see W. H. Taft as a reformer. So Ickes promptly moved from the Republican Party to the newly formed Bull Moose Party, also known as the Progressive Party.

And so began a tumultuous time in the history of American politics By framing our ideas correctly we can wrest control of government from conservatives who flood the ranks of federal government.

By 1912, the progressive wing of the Republican Party had completely peeled off and begun their own party. It was ironically called, “A Contract with the People”. Wow who knew Newt Gingrich stole his Contract with/on America from some former disgruntled Republicans! I certainly did not know this.

The Platform:

The social platform is more than interesting, so here is a small excerpt of their platform:

  • A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies.
  • Social Insurance: which would provide for the elderly, the unemployed and the disabled.
  • Limited injunctions in strikes.
  • A minimum wage law for women
  • An eight hour workday
  • A federal securities commission
  • Farm relief.
  •  Workers’ Compensation for work-related injuries.
  • An inheritance tax.
  • A Constitutional Amendment to allow a Federal income tax.

The political reforms proposed included

  • Women’s suffrage.
  • Direct election of Senators.
  •  Primary elections for state and federal nominations.

Sound familiar? Yes it sounds like the New Deal!  Let’s just say the Gilded Aged suffered from many of the same issues America suffers from today, income inequality being a prime source of discontent, and as social nets are whittled down, there will be more discontent in the future. This was a time when Progressive could have had much impact on society and they could today too, but it takes organization and work, not just blogs bitching and moaning about the awfulness of everything.

Progressives didn’t have a big impact until Franklin Delano Roosevelt came into power. The Gilded Age, yes, there are many good comparisons to today. The Gilded Age in the US is marked by having the wealthiest congressional members, just like today.

Progressives today are failing in the same way independent progressive movements failed in the past, Ickes work “Who Killed the Progressive Party” gives us insight into those failures. Ickes point was the failure of the Progressive Party came down to one man, but it was so much more than that, through Ickes work we can see the ultimate failure in these words:

“The Progressive party contained few practical politicians in its ranks. The rank and file did not know how parties were run. They were blindly following Theodore Roosevelt, and they were not concerned about what machinery was necessary or how it was to be used. ” (Ickes, Who Killed the Progressive Party 309) Well our failure as Democrats and people who call themselves Progressives has been the failure to understand how parties and governments are run. It is within our best interest to understand how policies are made and implemented and to participate in order to be heard. Yes people are heard with their votes, but the failure to participate deeply by getting people elected and representing all levels of government is the only way to significantly change government policies.

By 1916, the Progressive Party was essentially dead.  It did not have any initial impact other than to break apart the Republican Party. I would hate to see Democrats, liberals, progressives, go this route.  Some progressive ideals did manifest in the next Roosevelt Administration, because it is here where people like Harold Ickes came to change America, and they did it by working from within the government. These participants were able to change the trajectory of laissez faire policies and help institute policies that benefited the working class of America.  Ickes himself was most successful in advancing progressivism when he was participating in the government as a man off all things to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Ickes held several posts simultaneously in the Roosevelt Administration, most famously of course, as the Secretary of the Interior a position he held from 1933 – 1946.  No doubt nothing like this can ever happen again, but it is an example of how to help craft big policies, and that is to get more progressives into government. My contention is, it should be done on a micro level as well as a macro level, i.e. the PTA and school boards are just as important as county, city, and state government. But I digress, Ickes was not just the Secretary of the Interior, in 1941 President Roosevelt appointed him the Petroleum Coordinator for National Defense (Ickes, Fightin’ Oil vii).  In fact he wrote a book called Fightin’ Oil based on his experience regulating oil companies. According to Ickes the Presidents objectives were stated clearly that his office was to; “make petroleum and petroleum products available, adequately and continuously, in the proper forms at the proper places …. to satisfy military and civilian needs (Ickes, Fightin’ Oil viii). ”

Here is the interesting passage from Ickes introduction:

There were two ways in which I might have approached the job. I could have said to the President: “Mr. President, you have given me a bunch of tough hombres to deal with, and the only way that I can get along with them is for you to give me dictatorial power so that I can tell them what to do, and see that they do it. That would have been Hitler’s way. In fact some people, including, I suspect, a good many oil men themselves, thought that it would be my way, too. But I fooled them. It just so happens, that in spite of contrary opinions here and there, I believe in the American system of free enterprise. It is also the fact that I believe that business can best do its part – in peace as in war – with the least possible direction, and with the least interference, by the Government.” (Ickes, Fightin’ Oil)

The point is, Ickes and progressivism had great impact because he and others like him worked from within the system to implement progressive policies and to defend those policies to the public. Ickes was an equally controversial Secretary of the Interior.

Right now, we, progressive and democrats, are fighting each other, and when we do that, like the former progressives did, we lose. We’ve lost ground for more than 30 years by giving up control of our power within the government, have you spoken to a federal employee lately? Have you heard the things they say  about the federal government…. But they work for the federal government!!!!! Oh man, I do plenty, so don’t we need to be applying for those positions, if you want people to think the government can do great things don’t the people who are employed their need to believe in the system too? Republicans have done a fantastic job of appointing their friends to positions of power in the federal government, in turn they hire more conservative employees, how else could someone like Michelle Bachmann work for the IRS? If we aren’t pro-active an attempt to infiltrate the government, our policies will never be implemented on a large scale.  Changing the system means participating in the system, and every single time we fail to do that, we lose ground to the Norquist crowd and we allow their message to become more powerful.

In short, we have to quit fighting with each other and we need to put our head down and work together. The President is just one guy, and he only serves for a short time, changes come from long term concerted efforts. If people want to see progressive change they must, must participate in the system.

Bibliography

Ickes, Harold L. Fightin’ Oil. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1943.

—. The Autobiography of a Curmudgeon. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1943.

—. “Who Killed the Progressive Party.” The American Historical Review 46.2 (1941): 306-337.

Watkins, T. H. Righteous Pilgrim: The Life and Times of Harold L. Ickes 1874 – 1952. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1990.

ACA: The Slow Dance of Reform 4

There is positive news about  ACA, and an indication so far things are moving in the right direction. But you won’t hear about it on the front page of any newspaper or on an evening news cast, no it is information you must seek out yourself. Whether you believe in insurance or not, a Public Option was merely an insurance company run by the government, meaning it is fully regulated by the government, in essence this will be no different, when ACA is fully implemented, insurance companies will be heavily regulated by the Federal Government. There is very little difference between this and a program run by the federal government. Each is a middle man who pays health care providers through premiums collected.

There are some positive results happening and they are a direct result of the legislation.

1.  As reported June 6th, in the Washington Post, some health insurance premiums are going down.

“In May, insurer Aetna received approval from Connecticut regulators of its request to reduce premiums on individual policies by an average 10 percent, starting in September. Yes, you read that right: reduce the premium. The decrease, which affects some 15,000 consumers, will save those policyholders $259 annually, on average.”

I think most people know, but maybe not, under the new law, insurers must spend 80% of what they receive in premiums on medical claims or quality improvement efforts. Administrative costs and profits must be 20% or less of a premiums collected.  According to the Post what Aetna did is a preemptive strike, so that they will not be responsible for rebates to consumers, because they’ve already lowered individual premiums.  Effectively, this caps administrative costs. For consumers this is a positive sign.

2. Implementation of a National Prevention Strategy, the goal of the strategy will move us from being a system of sick care to one that is based on wellness and prevention. Preventative care is what the uninsured lack, of course many people who are uninsured eventually end up in an emergency room to treat a problem, but this system lacks  long term care and prevention.

3. 5.5 million seniors have taken advantage of  free preventive services. One aspect of medicare many people who are not on medicare don’t understand, it a yearly check up was not covered before the implementation of ACA, it is currently mandated in the reform. This of course plays right into the National Prevention Strategy

4. Affordable Care Act helps fight unreasonable health insurance premium increases because as of May 19th, the HHS.

HHS has issued a final regulation to ensure that large health insurance premium increases will be thoroughly reviewed, and consumers will have access to clear information about those increases. Combined with other important protections from the Affordable Care Act, these new rules will help lower insurance costs by moderating premium hikes and provide consumers with greater value for their premium dollar. In 2011, this will mean rate increases of 10-percent or more must be reviewed by state or federal officials.

The average premium increases imposed on individual plans were nearly 20%, with no rhyme or reason as reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Patients were essentially left with three Hobson choices: lose coverage altogether, pay the premium increase, or switch to a plan that covered less. None good, each with dire consequences. This is why rate review is so important.  Rate review does has two important goals,  scrutinizing directing some sunlight premium increases. and mandating the insurance companies justify the increases with information and data.

5.  One result has been the California Assembly has voted to crack down on insurance rates. This was a major step taken by the Assembly to overhaul the way health insurance companies are regulated by the state. AB 52 allows the California State Insurance Commissioner to and the California Dept of Managed Care to block any premium increases. and it would require Insurers to get permission to raise rates.

These are all positive achievements of ACA so far. There will be more. Let’s not allow the Republicans and others with an agenda to continue to claim ACA has no benefits for Americans. We can’t allow Republicans to pull grants that will allow many other people to obtain health insurance. It might not be the bill you want, but it is a positive step in the correct direction.

There are some excellent blogs out there that cover this issue. One is a blog called Heath Care Reform Updates. It’s good, take a gander.

Crossposted at DAGblog

The Political Power of Cable TV Shock-Jockery 9

While the exceeding cool members of this nation were celebrating some success, the cable news media was at it again. Let’s review for a moment and be thrilled about the events that took place, leading to the exhilarating events of last night,   Roy McDonald broke with his party, when he told reporters June 15, 2011 this: “F**k it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing.” And with that, the line of demarcation was absolutely shattered. Then other members defected, and with a stroke of a pen Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law. Marriage equality now exists in NY State.  His speech was stirring. I predict he  will run for the Presidency in 2016, and he can win, if we don’t let the very powerful media destroy Democrats one more time. They certainly are attempting to

So, what happened to Rachel Maddow last night? Did she decide to take classes at Beck U, the propaganda arm of the Center for Shock Jockery? Umm humm, I am pretty sure she did make a stop by there to pick up pamphlets, because that BS meme she wants to push, “The President is against what happened today” (last night) is an outright lie. She too has crossed the line, one where she balanced on a thin line separating her from the other cable news shock jocks, and some decently researched stories. What the hell just happened? Did her rating reflect that the more Outrageous the story she can push about the President, the more viewers she gets? I would like to know, it seems to be a relevant question, is there a correlation between  a shocking bumper sticker slogan that says, “The President is against what happened today”, what? Come again? That is your astute analysis even though it is demonstrably wrong if we just take the DADT issue and the decision by the Justice Dept. not to defend DOMA on any grounds.  Geez, what trite, ridiculous drivel. I thought of  Maddow as one of the least offensive cable tv shock jocks, sometimes she even does some in-depth news-like stories.  She joins a list of people at MSNBC who take their shock-jockery seriously, first and foremost, one Chris Matthews, who is outraged on a daily basis, his new obsession is Michelle “wandering eye” Bachmann, “my hero! she is going to go all the way, he exclaimed excitedly to Bill Maher on Real Time June 17, 2011. What is that exactly, it feels like a dude who calls himself a journalist, is trying But the Matthews effect covers a large area at MSNBC, like its Fox nemesis,  outrage is the one and only agenda.  Keep this in mind, when I get to Ralph Nader and the Media.

When 1999 rolled around, scandal was everywhere, the country was eating up the Lewinsky scandal, it was on the News every evening still, we were being enveloped in scandal, the nations news were quickly becoming overblown National Enquirer Fluff.  I am convinced that the most conducted searches on Altavista, Lycos and Infoseek were all about blow jobs, casual khaki suits, Al Gore creating the internet, and Love Story! Al Gore was soon to be biggest feather in the cap of cable shock-jockery, he was a Beta Male, whatever that meant, I didn’t know, and he was certainly too wimpy to be President. While GWBush was quickly becoming the newest shiny object of these people, he was so upstanding they droned on and on about, his morals were exemplary! He was the epitome of what Al Gore was not, he even flew a plane during Vietnam in Alabamstan! He was a man! Al Gore, umm not so much. Rachel Maddow is just one more cable shock jock to pick up the reins of misinformation and run with them! If you don’t think I am right, type in Al Gore i and automatically you see, Al Gore invents the internet as a continuing top internet meme! Wow! It’s still a lie to this day, he never said that, and yet, it survives as one of the biggest lies of the 1990′s.  There has been a rather loud drumbeat by the press as of late to throw another election to yet another nutcase.It’s been happening a good deal lately,to this President too, and just as the wishy-washy lefties of that decade  failed to stand up for Al Gore, the same is happening today with our current President. In part we have to blame the shock-jocks of cable TV whose lives depend on the next manufactured outrage, and they are no better today than yesterday. Rating soar when there is a tinge of scandal or intra-party fight in the air. It is much more fun to discuss so called “moral failings than there were back then and their ratings soar when they can manufacture their next scandal. Name recognition is everything people,  Al Gore most certainly did not say the President has failed on Global Warming, he saves his most poignant criticism for media, notice how each and every one of them left that out! I’ll get back to the HuffPo’s take on Al Gore’s 7000 word essay after some background.

Things were great in 1999, the economy was still on fire, and it literally had nothing to do with deregulation, which as we now know would lead us down a path of returning our country to pre-Depression era nation! But that is another story for that others have covered far better than I.  We all know Republicans are trying to create their Libertopia! Well in the 1990′s the Clinton administration implemented smart policies, that stimulated the economy in a micro way, it was designed to broaden the number of minority businesses that could compete for government contracts, although it was a mere 5% mandated, it did work and stimulated a community minority owned businesses which of course effect their communities in the form of job growth, greater tax base it was part of the reason the economy of the latter 90′s was good, the Clinton administration implemented little policies that assisted job growth using a micro-economic model.  This policy was known as the The 1994 Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act.  Upon entering office, one of the first things the GWB administration did was roll this particular mandate back, using the power of executive order.  But I digress, certainly as so many people analyzed at the time, Al Gore=George Bush. Jokes on you folks! Al Gore was nothing like George Bush.   Al Gore as VP had his own successes to fall primarily his pet project, the Reinventing Government Initiative, which was a huge success, as it introduced modernization of the federal government, with the notable exception of  FBI director, Louis Freeh.    These were just some of the specific policies that Gore tried to run on, but guess what, it didn’t matter, because TV shock-jockery was going to have its way, and its way was to create a situation that allowed trivia to overtake a Presidential election, and that gave us the Presidency of George W Bush. Let’s remember this, the Bush administration was seeking to eliminate all those good programs implemented by the Clinton Administration that benefited our economy, and the media failed utterly to cover the important pieces of the Gore campaign that sought to discuss and explain just these issue, while instead they obsessed over Gore as Beta male and his khaki casual coat???? I still bristle at just the memory of this tomfoolery taking place right before our eyes.

Cable TV shock-jockery pushed the third-party run of Ralph Nader. To this day we often blame him and him alone for Gore’s loss, but I do remember how the cable TV shock-jocks could not get enough of Ralph Nader, they gave him a platform to sew the seeds of discontent among the electorate. They certainly never challenged his assertions that Gore=Bush, and that same meme goes around today among the many people who believe the world is black and white, that Obama=Bush, it isn’t any more creative or any more truthful than it was in 2000. Nor is it a creative analysis of our current political condition, however, the cable TV shock-jocks need more outrage,  for better ratings, and Nader being no different that the current line of go-to guests that parade daily on cable TV, who are most often known for their combative, bombastic personalities, in fact none of these people are any different from the Real Housewives that parade on BravoTV 7 days a week, as they’ve traded nuance for outrage and outrageous behavior. If this weren’t true, would Pat Buchanan still be a TV talking head? I think not! It is time we paid attention to these venues that seem go to for many people on both sides who are politically active, because they continue to sew the seeds of discontent and their intended targets are almost always Democrats. If things were equal, David Vitter would have been drummed out of Office for soliciting prostitutes, it is an illegal activity, yet, there he sits, in Office. My point is, Nader didn’t do anything that the cable TV shock-jocks didn’t continually push, the meme that America needed some drastic change, because things were going much too terribly in terms of our morals, and with that America elected a man, not terribly well suited for the Office of the Presidency.  Our cable TV hero’s saved us, or did they?

So now Rachel is the latest to  dip her toe into the very crowded “Outrage” pool, and you know she did it with some bombast of her own, claiming that the President “Doesn’t like what happened in NY”. This is a lie, an absolute complet lie, but she did it anyway. Why? That is the question. Why do they do it, they do it because it works and attracts a certain kind of angry viewer, one that thinks in terms of black and white, one that refuses to see the gray shades that direct our days and nights. Partly it is because of money, in order to remain on the air, one must stay relevant, and the way to stay relevant is to manufacture outrage to attract the angry believer. There is gobs of money in sharpening ones ability to manufacture Outrage for the sake of ones viewers, ask Rush Limbaugh, who I understand is a very nice dude IRL.  He lives a very comfortable life  because he is a master at manufacturing outrage. The rise and fall of Glenn Beck is the latest example of a dude who is a master at manufacturing outrage and literally selling it to his viewers via faux education programs, but his loyal listeners, viewers and readers have no doubt enriched him even more, by buying into his manufactured outrage, I don’t know what he is like IRL, but you know, no one is that bad, he just knows what works on his audience, well Rachel’s audience is no different are they, they thrive on outrage.

So let’s turn to the 7,000 word essay that Al Gore wrote in the Rolling Stone. My goodness, those on the left that manufacture outrage for a living were on a roll, they made assertions that Al Gore wrote that the President had “Failed”, he failed to lead on climate change, but you know who Al Gore took to task for the failure to educate people about the importance of doing something about climate change, our media, and these are the same people who are making claims that Al  Gore called the President a failure. A Time Magazine blog made claims that Gore “attacked the President for  his failure to lead“. HuffingtonPost never a place to be left behind in leveling attacks against the President made the claim that Gore blasted the President over failing to take the lead on the issue of Climate change. Each of these organizations hid the fact that Al Gore saved his criticism for media organizations, like theirs for failing to educate people on the truth of climate change. Al Gore  specifically indicts the media, corporate leaders, both political parties and by extension voters. To Gore their cumulative inaction on the serious challenges that lie ahead, which are exaserbated by climate change in some ways exonerates the President, because there is little one man can do to  alter the trajectory of our nation, where climate science deniers are granted equal status with the overwhelming evidence that climate change is occurring.

The fact is, Gore did single our the media not the president, in his excellent piece.   Reading the piece, one realizes he takes the media to task for indulgint in “debate” about whether the research indicates that climate change is real and human-made.  Gore goes on to make the point that the science is unanimous. But the serious subject has been changed into nothing more than entertainment. And the media has turned to manufacturing outrage about the subject rather than  devoting themselves to serious reporting on global threats, in search of bigger audiences. He specifically calls out Fox News as a 24/7 purveyor of disinformation and propaganda.  Instead of presenting the facts of Gore’s critique of their  methods,  the media prefers to say Al Gore is fighting with the President. It is just one more piece of evidence that as a whole our modern medias goal is to manufacture Outrage, as it keeps them relevant. And is seems no cable TV shock jock is exempt from the need to drive viewership through Outrage. Rachel, and her media colleagues seem unable to help themselves, and are more than willing to engage in the same tactics of the righties. They are leading us down the same path they did in 2000, they are trying to obfuscate their roll in driving politics, rather than reporting on politics.   If we continue to not call them out on this, we will end up like we did in 2000, with a politician of their choice, because it drives their ratings. We must keep our eye and them and force them to return to reporting facts.  Because at this point, they are merely a part of the problem.

Crossposted at DAGblog

Is Norm Dicks Signaling a Sooner End to Military Action in Afghanistan? 4

On June 11, 2011  Norm Dicks (D)  Washington State’s 6th district told constituents through reporters at his local paper The Kitsap Sun, that it is time for Afghanistan to “take care of herself”.  So the question becomes this, is Norm Dick signaling this administrations willingness to move up the timeline for removing troops from Afghanistan. Norm Dicks is a hawk, he is the senior democratic member of the defense appropriations committee and was Jack Murtha’s right hand man and successor to head up the committee under a Democratic speaker. Norm has been in government a very long time and was a legislative and administrative assistant to Senator Warren G. Magnuson, who was a well-known hawk during Vietnam. Magnuson believed the US should stop the spread of communism. Norm like many others in congress supported military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, although he eventually changed his beliefs, not unlike Magnuson did about Vietnam later on in his career. What I wonder is if Norm Dicks is signaling to the American people, that  this administration has plans to end the conflict in Afghanistan sooner rather than later.

Dicks said in the Kitsap Sun,

“We are cutting a lot of important programs for the people of this country, people who are unemployed,” he said Friday in a telephone interview with the Kitsap Sun. “If I’m going to spend money I’d rather spend it on trying to create jobs for these people through infrastructure expenditures.”

Does this mean the administration is ready to put together a firm timeline to withdraw from Afghanistan and they would be moving up the 2014 time line? Norm Dicks is a good Democrat and a very close ally of the Obama Administration, Leslie Gelb of the Daily beast seems to think so.  American’s have turned against the Afghan war and it isn’t politically tenable to not plan to withdraw from Afghanistan at this point. As we all know the Afghani’s are as tired of us as we are of fighting an endless war there.

On June 9th during a confirmation hearing in the senate he was cautious when describing his views on the Afghan war, but did say that he agreed with the President that troop withdrawal should begin next month and they should be significant withdrawals, although he added that the US should “provide sufficient stability so that the country never again becomes a safe haven for Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda’s militant allies.

Aside from being a hawk at times Dicks is a reliable progressive and votes accordingly.

Record of Norm’s votes

Norm’s Progressive Action Score

I am hoping Dick’s is signaling that the time tables for withdrawing from Afghanistan will be pushed up significantly and that many of our troops will be coming home sooner rather than later.

Cross-posted at DAGblog

Von Mises and Bachmann on a Beach 5

And no, von Mises and Bachmann on a Beach is not a hot new cocktail down at your corner bar, but it could be, maybe Rachel Maddow will work one up just to enjoy this 18 month-long election season.  Stephen Moore, Wall Street Journal douchebag writer sycophant, asked some questions of Michelle Bachmann  in his latest column.  Yes I reluctantly read the WSJ’s opinion guys to punish myself I think, but also to read about these characters from folks who love them, not just from folks like me who wonder WTF? Who elects these lunatics?  Von Mises is a star amongst Paultard libertarians, because they hate, hate, hate government and truly believe there should be no government. I find that ironic, given Ron Paul doesn’t believe in government yet has been in government since the 1850′s or something. So Bachmann is crazy like a fox when mentioning she reads von Mises, whenever his name is mentioned she gets 1,000 more rabid fans, all male, all frustrated by the serious Republicans running to win the Republican primaries, and no Tim Pawlenty is not one of them.

The article isn’t as enlightening so much as it is evidence of a woman preparing to run for the Presidency and is pulling out all the stops to attract every conservative vote out there, including the Libertairn vote. Although I think Paul and Johnson have that vote sewn up, but then again maybe they don’t and maybe Bachamann can use that dog whistle to attract those voters to her side.

According to Bachmann, when she goes to the beach, she brings with her works by Ludwig von Mises, especially the book on Socialism I am sure, but she mentions the book Human Action, too, yikes, really???  As a beach goer myself, even though sometimes it is just the Frenchtown pond I bring towels, sunscreen, and books by John Waters, Norah Ephron and Wil Wheaton and my IPod. Okay that is just me, but von Mises, really, it doesn’t seem like beach reading material, it seems like sleeping material, and sleeping on the beach can get you burned. But I guess reading and following von Mises can get you burned as well.  I think people should pay close attention to Michelle Bachmann as she  begins her campaign for the Presidency tonight in the first Republican Presidential primary debate.

I’ve done a little research on von Mises, although it ended up being pointless research since these are economic theories never used by any nation except maybe Somalia.  Von Mises is the leader of what libertarians and CATO intelligentsia call the Austrian school of Economics. Bachmann claims she loves von Mises. So she is saying she doesn’t believe in the central bank, she doesn’t believe in the government stimulus and most of all taxes are not needed!

Michelle Bachmann is gearing up for her run for the Presidency, and while people are obsessed with Sarah Palin, Bachmann skirts just under the radar, almost unnoticed, but saying all the right things to the Club for Growth crowd. Reading the Moore article gives one the impression that she is telling those hardcore libertarians she is going to dismantle the government if she gets control, she will put the Ryan plan on the table, Medicare, Social Security are ills of socialist Marxism. She will be debating tonight as well, while Gary Johnson another Republican Libertarian candidate was not invited to debate.

Those who follow von Mises are a strident bunch, they believe civilization will not survive unless this untried economic system is followed. They obsess non-stop about the Marxist take over of the US government. So now I understand why end-timers like Bachmann would read von Mises on the beach, they believe the end of the world is near unless we take serious action like no-government or something like that, but I wonder if they’ve been to Somalia?

I have decided I should record the Republican debate tonight even though it risks my sanity, and if Bachmann says anything crazy, and you know she will, this post will be updated with video.

Cross posted at The Angriest Liberal