“The noble art of leaving things undone”

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.  ~Lin Yutang

After a great deal of thought, I’ve decided to move my blog to my own site, Red Headed Femme. WordPress has done a lot for me, but I’ve grown increasingly irritated with its blocking of JavaScript (or any other script, really); I want my sidebars to reflect more of what I read and listen to, and I can’t do that here.

This isn’t to say that WordPress is bad and Blogger is good; but like the tagline to my new site says, whatever floats your boat. Also, as I found out, domain names are cheap!

At any rate, please join me at my new site.

“A conservative is a fellow who thinks a rich man should have a square deal”

“Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear.” ~William E. Gladstone

New definition of conservative, via Balloon Juice:

Bugfuck crazy panty-sniffing Bible humping let’s burn this fucker down dance in the ashes and let the rich rule what’s left destructobot.

Arnold Schwartzeneggar would be proud.

“Think you’re in the middle of a hurricane now? It’s time for a showdown.”

These hombres are mean, vicious and quick with guns. Sure we’ve got a Sheriff; but what we need’s a gun slinger. ~Mad Dog McCree (1990 video game)

Finally, some common sense.

What exactly is wrong with this deal? The fact that there are cuts? If people don’t like that, why in God’s name didn’t they turn out to vote and bring back our Congressional majority? Once these nut jobs were in there, it was inevitable that this crap was going to happen. Whether or not it is advisable to cut spending, what exactly was going to stop this from happening? My experience is that the primary factor in all negotiations are the facts on the ground. The complaints center on a ridiculous notion that if the President had only said “no” harder, that these guys would have caved in.

The only thing that could have stopped the entire fiasco altogether is Obama’s throwing his nuclear bomb of the 14th Amendment in the air and detonating it. Myself, I would have done precisely that. However, then we would no doubt face the prospect of a year and a half of impeachment hearings, with slavering, slobbering Republicans going rabid over the prospect of finally getting rid of this uppity Negro.

Never mind that the Senate would have never voted for it. The process would have made Bill Clinton’s impeachment look tame.

Would we want to put the country through that? That’s a genuine question, not a rhetorical one.

Right now, I don’t have an answer.

“There is no place in a fanatic’s head where reason can enter”

The fanatic is incorruptible: if he kills for an idea, he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case, tyrant or martyr, he is a monster. ~Emil Cioran

Andrew Sullivan takes the Republicans to the woodshed. Every word he’s saying is true, but I’m afraid it’s too late.

It was too late a day after the 2010 elections.

Boehner and McConnell have one goal and it is has nothing to do with the economy. It is destroying this president and this presidency. They are clearly calculating that the economic devastation their vandalism could create will so hurt the economy that it could bring them back to power through the wreckage. And they will use every smear, every lie, every canard possible to advance this goal. The propaganda channel dreamt of by Roger Ailes in the Nixon era will continue to pump poison into the body politic, until they defeat the man whose legitimacy as president they have never truly accepted.

As they say, read the whole thing. And weep.

“Instead of trying to cover the whole world with leather, put on some sandals”

“That’s why pragmatism is such a central ingredient of an effective presidency. If you’re not pragmatic, not responsive to changing realities, then you don’t succeed.” ~Robert Dallek

This is the reason I can’t stand unhinged ideological twerps like Jane Hamsher, Glenn Greenwald, John Aravosis, Melissa McEwan, and others.

Well, excuse me for saying this, progressives, these days, are starting to sound an awful lot like their counterparts on the Right: unyielding, unbending, lost in their own narrative, and completely oblivious to the stakes at hand. Last December when progressives recoiled at the agreement Obama reached during the lame-duck to keep the government running, I asked every progressive I knew one simple question: What was your plan B? In lieu of a government shutdown and the specter of a new Congress that was days away from being sworn in, what would you have done differently from Obama that actually would’ve succeeded? The key word here is succeed. The silence was deafening.

Of course they would have allowed the Bush tax cuts to expire, and, of course, they would’ve extended unemployment benefits, and, naturally they would’ve ended “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and passed the 9/11 rescue workers bill. And then of course they would’ve passed a continuing resolution to keep the government running. Of course they would’ve. In their dreams! The simple truth was that Obama, and not them, got most of that through, and for that, he gave in to a two-year extension on the Bush tax cuts. A bitter pill to swallow, sure, but a necessary one in order to achieve the greater good. Once more any sense of pragmatism was missing from the progressive caucus; once more they missed the forest for the trees.

If progressive “purity” means losing the White House and the Senate because progressives think Obama has somehow betrayed them and don’t turn out to vote, then screw progressive purity. No matter how much the four idjits above screech about “Bush III,” the fact remains that if the Repugs win the White House in 2012, the country is down for the count. The resulting slashing-and-burning will make those people long for the Barackian good old days.

The above is from The Pragmatic Progressive, one of my favorite sites. (I love their tagline: “Because there is a time to shout and stomp your feet. But that time is not all the time.”) Please do yourself a favor and read the whole thing. 

 

“Reality is always controlled by the people who are most insane”

“In America, the criminally insane rule and the rest of us, or the vast majority of the rest of us, either do not care, do not know, or are distracted and properly brainwashed into acquiescence.” ~Kurt Nimmo

So. This week I spent more than an hour on the phone and the Internet, moving my IRA and 401(k) to a place where they will hopefully survive the coming apocalypse. Since I work for the Veterans Administration, moving the 401(k) was a snap–I called the toll-free number, discussed which of the options offered would be the safest, went to the website and performed what’s called an Interfund Transfer, right from my computer. I received an e-mail the next day at work informing me the transfer was completed. All my money is now parked in what’s called the “G” fund, meaning government bonds. God knows what’ll happen with those on August 3, but at least I’ll be spared the spectre of the stock market dropping seven hundred points in 2008 when the TARP bailout failed to pass.

Maybe.

The IRA took a little more time. I had to get on the phone to the Wells Fargo investment advisors and figure out which fund to move the money to, grant permission for them to do it, have them reroute my automatic monthly deductions, blah blah blah. (Also, the person I talked to seemingly could not grasp what I wanted–she kept talking about “leaving the money in the C fund for several years.” I’m not going to DO that, you twit. I just want to stash it in the safest place possible until the debt ceiling is either raised or the catastrophe from not raising it shakes out. If it ever does. Then I’ll move it back.) I finally ended up selecting what’s called a World Bond Fund, using bonds from several different countries. Of course, bonds may go belly-up too, I suppose, but I hope the damage won’t be as bad as a plunging stock market.

In any case, that’s the best I can do, short of withdrawing the money altogether and stuffing it under my mattress. But I’m mad as hell, because I shouldn’t have had to do all this in the first place.

In this country, it’s very hard for people to comprehend the fact that one political party (and it’s sure as hell not the Democrats) is actively working for everyone’s destruction.

Unfortunately, that’s what we’ve come to. The thirty-year endgame, started by Saint Ronnie. The Republican party, along with their Teabagger overlords, are nothing more than Norquistian cultists, held in thrall by the Holy Writ of Non-Taxation. (No doubt they all believe in Young-Earth Creationism, the Roswell alien landings, and the Tooth Fairy as well.) They must deny revenue to the government, even if millions of hard-working people like me don’t get paid and lose their retirement money. They must slash Social Security and Medicare, even if elderly people like my mother eat catfood and die. They must worship at the feet of the corporations who pay no income taxes, protect them at all costs, and transform this country into an unrecognizable oligarchy. They must resist raising the debt ceiling, even if the United States and the world is destroyed as a result.

Folks, these are not the actions of a sane person. They are certainly not the actions of a political party who loves their country.

I’ve been reading John Dean’s terrific books recounting the Republicans’ evisceration of government–Conservatives Without Conscience and now Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches. These should be required reading for anyone running for office, as an abject example of how not to act. (In fact, I wish we could pass a constitutional amendment declaring that anyone who believes government is the problem and not the solution, and tax cuts generate revenue, not be allowed to run for office, period.) The descriptions Dean gives of the modern Republican party (and the Tea Party is even worse) should scare the pee-waddling out of every one of us.

Once elected, Republicans are extremely inclined towards opposing Democratic programs, not only because their philosophy is inherently antigovernment but because they are instinctively contrarian to anything and everything liberal or progressive. When campaigning or when  opposing Democrats, Republicans are unmatched in modern politics for their willingness to play dirty, to go negative and nasty, and to play hardball, a ruthlessness well matched to their uncompromising competitiveness. 

The negativity towards government in contemporary conservative thinking raises the question of why these people even enter public service at the national level, other than to dismantle the federal government by lowering taxes and abolishing programs and agencies. It should come as no surprise that Republicans have twisted and distorted government processes to their breaking point, given this mind-set. Of course, Republicans proudly proclaim that they love their country; they love their flag; they love their automatic weapons; they love their Constitution; and they love their democracy, given the alternatives. But where the federal government is concerned: It is too big, too powerful, too expensive, too lax in demanding morality, and too invasive with all its health and safety requirements to be able to run a really profitable business.

And these are the kind of people we let anywhere near Congress? Ronald Reagan would hang his head in shame. Barry Goldwater, old-style Republican that he was, would disown these sons-of-bitches.

In the meantime, I’ve done what I can to protect myself. I highly doubt the debt ceiling will get raised in time, unless Obama whips out the 14th Amendment at the last minute, impeachment be damned. I hope he does. The Senate won’t vote to impeach him anyway, and it would be extremely satisfying to see the look on Eric Cantor’s face if Obama should call a press conference and announce, “Pursuant to the requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment, I have instructed Treasury Secretary Geithner not to let the United States of America go into default, and new borrowing has already commenced. We will pay our bills, as the Founding Fathers intended that we do.”

Yeah, if I was President and dealing with these slimeballs, I would do that in a heartbeat.

We’ll have to see how it plays out. But I would encourage people to take steps to protect themselves. Remember, we’re dealing with a bunch of Looney Tunes who think it’s right and proper to bring the country down, and they’re going to have fun doing it.

Liberty, Incorporated

“I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery” ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau

TSA forced woman, 95, to remove adult diaper for pat down, daughter says

You know, there are probably a lot of Americans–and I count myself among them–who would be quite willing to feel a little less “safe” and get all of our rights back.

If the issue of “safety” is even the case, nowadays. I don’t think it is. Osama bin Laden is dead, al-Queda is in disarray–I don’t think the TSA’s ridiculous procedures are even necessary anymore. Focus on scanning and/or searching the cargo instead of the passengers, give me a disclaimer to sign if the airlines feel like they have to protect themselves against lawsuits–hell yeah, I’ll sign it.

As Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

I know which one I want.