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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
Number of posts: 53,475

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I know whose side I'm on.

This guy is advocating impeachment, provides reasons, and I agree!

Most of us have been conditioned ...

Big ($2,800) COLA adjustment coming January 1st!!!!!

NYT Sunday Book Review: "The Invisible Bridge"


Next to the more apocalyptic spells of American history, the dismal span of 1973 to 1976 would seem a relative blip of national dyspepsia. A period that yielded the blandest of modern presidents, Gerald Ford — “a Ford, not a Lincoln,” as he circumspectly described himself — is not to be confused with cataclysmic eras like the Civil War, the Great Depression and the Vietnam ‘60s. The major mid-70s disruptions — the Watergate hearings and Richard Nixon’s abdication, Roe v. Wade, the frantic American evacuation of Saigon, stagflation, the dawn of the “energy crisis” (then a newly minted term) — were adulterated with a steady stream of manufactured crises and cheesy cultural phenomena. Americans suffered through the threat of killer bees, “Deep Throat,” the Symbionese Liberation Army, a national meat boycott, “The Exorcist,” Moonies and the punishing self-help racket est, to which a hustler named Werner Erhard (né Jack Rosenberg) attracted followers as diverse as the Yippie Jerry Rubin and the Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Even the hapless would-be presidential assassins of the Ford years, Lynette (Squeaky) Fromme and Sara Jane Moore, were B-list villains by our national standards of infamy.


What’s particularly striking in the new book, though, is the cluelessness of the stalwart Republican grandees of the Ford presidential campaign, who were both blindsided and baffled by Reagan’s guerrilla victories in their own midst. A panicked internal Ford camp memo struggles to parse the “unexpected Reagan success in certain caucus states,” where the voters who turned out in shockingly large numbers were “unknown and have not been involved in the Republican political system before” and were “alienated from both parties.” As if describing an Indian ambush in the Old West, the memo goes on to exclaim that “we are in real danger of being out-organized by a small number of highly motivated right-wing nuts.” Among those shocked was the canny Texas political operator James Baker, the George H. W. Bush paladin, who couldn’t get over how “absolutely ruthless” these uppity Reagan shock troops were. “Our people just aren’t used to this uncompromising hardball stuff,” he told Time.

Baker’s people should not have been caught napping any more than his 21st-century descendants were by the Tea Party. As Perlstein writes, the failed Goldwater campaign of a dozen years earlier “ingathered an army” that “could lose a battle, suck it up and then regroup to fight a thousand battles more.” That army was now busy exploiting a loophole in the post-Watergate 1974 Campaign Finance Reform Act allowing independent political groups to raise unlimited cash as long as they didn’t “coordinate” with any candidate’s campaign. Its swelling ranks included mail-order wizards like Richard Viguerie, ambitious new firebrands like Jesse Helms of North Carolina, independent right-wing organizations (the American Conservative Union), new activist think tanks (the Heritage Foundation) and an emergent religious right invisible to the mainline Christians reading the still liberal Christianity Today. So out of touch was the Republican hierarchy with its own grass roots that in 1975 the White House didn’t bother to send a representative to the second annual Conservative Political Action Conference at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. There the movement faithful vilified Ford even though he was, as Perlstein writes, “the most conservative president, in many respects, since Harding.” A Newsweek correspondent in attendance was startled to discover that “the right’s idea of broadening the party” is “purifying it.”


Once Nixon did make way for Ford, the bipartisan rapture in Washington was off the charts. Of 81 articles in The Times on the day Ford was sworn in, Perlstein writes, two-thirds “resounded with the very same theme: The resignation proved no American was above the law, that the system worked, that the nation was united and at peace with itself.” The new president was hailed universally as “dependable, solid, uncontroversial — just like the cars Ford built.” But as Perlstein adds, “wasn’t it also the case to partisans of Chevrolets, Fords were controversial indeed? And that Americans, being Americans, had always found things to passionately disagree about, to the point of violent rage — and that when American elites reached most insistently for talismans of national unity, it usually portended further civil wars?” So it was with the euphoric celebration of national unity that greeted Ford’s swearing in: The moment he pardoned Nixon a month later, the country’s civil war resumed just where it had left off. Even the false honeymoon of reconciliation that greeted the election of America’s first black president lasted a little longer than that.

Bertrand Russell, A Liberal Decalogue (1951)


1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.


3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.


5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.


8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. ~ Bertrand Russell

Ron Johnson: Outsourcing "Quite Beneficial to America"


The Global Economic Intersection estimates that over the last the last couple of decades the United States has lost over 30 million manufacturing jobs due to our enoromous trade imbalance-- we buy much more from foreign countries than we sell to them. Using the GEI's conservative estimate of jobs exported, if those jobs had not been exported, we would have "unemployment of 4.4% and we would be complaining of labor shortages."

Warren Buffett has sounded similar alarms about the trade deficit, saying it is "selling the nation out from under us" and that if we balanced our trade deficit the trend of diminishing manufacturing jobs would be reversed and the number of manufacturing jobs would grow.

Senator Ron Johnson, however, has a different view. He thinks that outsourcing of our manufacturing plants is "quite beneficial to America" and claims that for every one job that is outsourced, two are created back home:

Hey, RoJo, where are those two jobs?

Paul Ryan's Tour of the "Inner City"

The oil companies are paying a fair price to rent public land, right?

Uh, that would be a "no".

Johnny Depp has a simple plan.

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