The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

Posts Tagged ‘republicans’

By Republican standards, the program was a success!

Posted by That Other Mike on 19/04/2012

John Cole blogs about the Florida drug test law which targets welfare recipients, and as usual, gets right to the heart of what really counts:

This was never about money. This was about shaming people, humiliating people, making being poor worse than it already was, and giving the soulless goons like the types I mentioned above an opportunity to feel smug and good about themselves at the expense of others.

And not to mention that the program was a resounding waste of money and arguably a massive failure; during the four months that the drug testing was in place, only

[…] 2.6 percent of the state’s cash assistance applicants failed the drug test, or 108 of 4,086, according to the figures from the state obtained by the group. The most common reason was marijuana use. An additional 40 people canceled the tests without taking them.

Even if we allow that the 40 who cancelled did so because they were using drugs, rather than for principle or cost reasons, that still only puts the figure up to 3.6%, and as John rightly points out, by the Federal govt’s estimate, only 8% and 10.2% of full- and part-time workers respectively test positive for illegal drug use; in short, welfare recipients are at least only half as likely to use illegal drugs.

To someone who actually thought about this reasonably and rationally, rather than through the filter of political ideology, this only makes sense: people applying for welfare don’t tend to have a bunch of extra cash lying around to blow on drugs; to the modern Republican Party, however, the only people who apply for welfare are lazy cheats who don’t want to work, because if they did want to work, they’d already have bootstrapped themselves into high paying jobs.

Let’s just not talk about how poverty tends to be intergenerational, or how these noble bootstrappers took advantage of the same government-provided privileges and opportunities that they’re trying to take away from the modern poor, or how these same self-made men and women just happened to have parents who gave them a leg up.

There will be some people who still insist this is about saving money; they can’t still very well insist that welfare recipients are all druggies now, or at least not with a straight face. This can be swiftly despatched with the following facts:

Because the Florida law requires that applicants who pass the test be reimbursed for the cost, an average of $30, the cost to the state was $118,140. This is more than would have been paid out in benefits to the people who failed the test

Let’s not kid ourselves here, folks. This whole thing was about class warfare and punishing the poor, because the Republican Party is now the official party of the 1%, because the poor vote for Democrats; it’s fruit from the same poisonous tree that leads to voter ID laws, and just another example of how Republicans are no longer interested in governing, only in being in power.

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Sometimes, I just want to give John Cole a big piece of cake…

Posted by That Other Mike on 01/02/2012

…because he brightens my day with an awesome rant like this.

Nice one, John – you should take your righteous anger out for a walk more often.

ETA: As the missus pointed out to me, the thing at the end about being antagonistic is a little ill-considered, but that’s just our JC.

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Post-Truth Politics, or How Republicans Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Posted by That Other Mike on 23/12/2011

The Post-Truth Campaign –

Over all, Mr. Obama’s positions on economic policy resemble those that moderate Republicans used to espouse. Yet Mr. Romney portrays the president as the second coming of Fidel Castro and seems confident that he will pay no price for making stuff up.

Welcome to post-truth politics.

Why does Mr. Romney think he can get away with this kind of thing? Well, he has already gotten away with a series of equally fraudulent attacks. In fact, he has based pretty much his whole campaign around a strategy of attacking Mr. Obama for doing things that the president hasn’t done and believing things he doesn’t believe.

Krugman nails it again — while Mitt is the most obvious offender by dint of being the Republican front-runner and likely eventual nominee, they all lie and dissemble constantly, and the media just lets them get away with it over and over again without a word on how a significant fraction of the national political landscape has become the province of narcissistic truth-dodgers.

As much as I would love to see a lefty in the White House in this country, it won’t happen, and for anyone at all to pretend that President Obama is some kind of crypto-socialist and wannabe dictator is beyond ridiculous; the man is a centrist generally, and a consensus politician. In the European context, he’d be a fine liberal member of, say, the CDU, or a One Nation Tory, for example, but he is by no means a leftist of any kind, and to pretend otherwise is dishonest at best, and leads us to the following question; regardless of whether his policies would be good or bad (and they would almost certainly be disastrous for the country as a whole), do we really want someone as truth-impaired as Mitt Romney anywhere near the White House?


ETA: Appropriately, the Manics:

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Dan Blatt: “Give it to me harder and deeper, Boss!”

Posted by That Other Mike on 03/04/2011

Shorter Dan Blatt, GayPatriot, "Well, in recent days, Log Cabin had started sounding like Republicans"
You know, it’s totally not cool for Big Gubmint to tell businesses that they have to treat me like a human being just because I’m gay! As a Republican, I find the idea of treating minorities with respect and dignity to be totally offensive!


I try to avoid regularly reading Dan Blatt’s blog over GayPatriot; mainly because I value my IQ and even going there seems to shave a couple of points off for every second you stay. I also find it to be grossly, grossly stupid in many other ways (it’s a right-wing blog, after all), and also not a little squalid; the spectacle of someone claiming to be gay while defending the same Republican policies which would render him at best an outsider and at worst a non-person is just appalling. It’s like seeing a child trying to make his bullies like him; like seeing someone feign delight at being smacked in the face while an ignorant thug chants “Stop hitting yourself!” over and over.

The level of anti-gay bigotry in the Republican Party is bad enough on any given day for me to find it utterly distasteful (and yes, Dan, forcing inequality before the law to remain in place as a keystone policy issue is bigotry), but the abhorrent, squalid exhibition of a gay man not only taking it but cheerleading it? That, readers, is sickening, and that is why Dan’s blog is such a cesspit.

ETA: Oh, lovely. Check the comments – Dan equates ENDA and similar legislation with Jim Crow laws. Classy.

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DADT to go?

Posted by That Other Mike on 29/05/2010

HuffPo: House Passes ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal Amendment, Senate Bill Advances

WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday delivered a victory to President Barack Obama and gay rights groups by approving a proposal to repeal the law that allows gays to serve in the military only if they don’t disclose their sexual orientation.

The 234-194 vote to overturn the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy reflected a view among many in Congress that America was ready for a military in which gays and straights can stand side by side in the trenches.

Long overdue!

Predictably, the Republican caucus in general voted against, with five Rs voting for. The general response of the Republicans can be summed up as “We’re going to squeeze every last ounce of political juice out of the soldiers we claim to best represent”. The Demoratic caucus voted overwhelmingly in favour, although 26 voted against; while I make no comment on the culture surrounding them, of those 26, 14 are from Southern districts.

Top ironic moment from the article: Rep. Howard McKeon of California made the following statement:

Congress going first “is the equivalent to turning to our men and women in uniform and their families and saying, ‘Your opinion, your view, do not count,'” said Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon of California, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee.

which was followed by this statement by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), who, unlike “Buck” McKeon, actually served in the armed forces:

“[In Iraq] my teams did not care whether a fellow soldier was straight or gay if they could fire their assault rifle or run a convoy down ambush alley and do their job so everyone would come home safely.”

Hmmm. I wonder whose opinion might carry a little more weight here?

This is rather reflective of the Republicans’ whole attitude at the moment – one of total disconnection from reality, which in part stems from their obsessive desire to pander to the homophobic, socially-reactionary wing of the Republican Party, as so accurately exemplified by the Teabaggers. John McCain has, in a stunning burst of maverickiness, decided to side with the burgeoning lunatic Republican establishment. Go mavericks!

DADT promotes a culture of secrecy and blame, loses valuable personnel, and provides a means for the dishonest to get out of the military service they volunteered for. And more to the point, the rationale provided for it it, that open service of gay soldiers negatively affects morale, does not hold up: on the international stage, at least 30 countries allow openly gay soldiers to serve, some of them for only a short while, and some for decades, yet none of them report it as an issue; to add to that, two of the best trained fighting forces in the entire world, namely the British Army and the Israeli Defense Force, are on that list.

Closer to home, soldiers polled on the subject are either indifferent to or overwhelmingly in favour of allowing openly gay soldiers to serve; this view is shared by General John Shalikashvili, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former Defense Secretary William Cohen, Colin Powell, and even the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has cautiously supported repeal.

What reason can there be for continuing with the law as it stands? It is discriminatory, unfair, and based in unsound reasoning; time for it to go.

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School Vouchers: The Christian Right, Social Conservatism and Dismantling the State

Posted by That Other Mike on 05/01/2009

This was intended to be Part One of a two-part series; instead, I’ve decided to meld the articles together because the second part flows so easily from the first.

It’s no secret that the Republican Party has become a little eccentric over the past thirty years or so. It seems more and more that the party which was initially against Federal government intrusion into areas of State politics has become the party against government of any kind, at least in a lot of its rhetoric.

While this is applied in varying degrees, it seems generally that in the following areas, the Republicans have remained consistent with their stated intent to dismantle the state: social and business policy.

We all know that massive deregulation of business, the monetarist experiment whose crows have just recently come home to roost, has been something of a failure, and hopefully the incoming Administration and Democratic majority will do something about putting appropriate regulatory measures back into place in this regard. While markets can and do spark innovation and growth, the unregulated market is not free, but lawless, and the only people who win are the robber barons. Read the rest of this entry »

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No interviews for you!

Posted by That Other Mike on 06/09/2008

It’s come to my attention that Sarah Palin won’t shut up when she’s behind a podium and has nothing to say when she’s in front of it.

What I mean by this is that she is refusing to give interviews to the press. This is deeply worrying in a candidate for national office, especially one running for VP, an office which is traditionally used as an outrider for the more outrageous or unsure ideas floated by the President or as a lightning rod for criticism.

It’s worrying on many different levels – the decision was clearly not taken by Palin herself, but rather McCain or his campaign manager. Either way, it shows an astonishing amount of contempt; either for the press or for the candidate herself.

If it’s the candidate, that speaks to poor judgment on McCain’s part; in that case, he picked a candidate for whom he has no respect or trust to serve as his potential replacement in the event of death or disaster. If this is the case, it shows contempt for Palin personally, relegating her to little more than a token candidate chosen to blunt the old familiar sting of the anti-woman policies espoused by the Republican Party. If she is nothing but a cipher to draw in the base and strengthen McCain’s credentials amongst the hardline religious right, what good would she be to the US in the event of McCain’s death or inability to fulfil the duties of his office? She would be about as welcome as a spare prick at a wedding; less, even. A spare prick at a Jewish wedding whose owner was eating a ham sandwich would be more use.

If, however, McCain does respect her for her wealth of policy experience… no, wait. Foreign policy knowledge? No, wait, Alaska being next to Russia doesn’t translate to that. Economic experience? I guess she does have experience in fucking up an economy; ask Wasilla about its $19,000,000 of long term debt. Her experience in executive positions? Wait, no, she had to hire a city manager while she was governor due to her own incompetence. Her grasp of history is impressive, though, right? Oh, wait, no, it isn’t.

Anyway, let’s suppose that McCain respects Palin as a candidate despite her creationism, inability to govern and general stupidity. That leaves us with contempt for the press, which is even more worrying.

There’s a reason why we call the press the fourth estate: it is the unofficial fourth arm of government, a check on the other three, the most directly-accessibly to the people. In this day of the press being open to so many via the internet and new media, a refusal to speak to the press translates to a refusal to speak to the people.

It shows open and naked contempt towards the people while still begging for their votes! It’s not that surprising, though; disdain and viciousness towards the people have been something of a theme with Republicans over the past few years.

There’s also the matter of the fact that the lead up to the election is as important as the election itself in many ways – it is the candidates’ chance to connect with voters and really make themselves known, to showcase their political skills and make plain their manifestos and plans for the future. As such, it’s something like a job interview taken over several months, with the election being the final decision. If you don’t convince people that you’re fit for the job, you don’t get the job, and the way that you convince people to elect you is by connecting with them and, you know, actually doing some campaigning.

Not doing so spits in the face of the whole enterprise; it gives the impression that you feel like you should be given the office, not that you have to earn it with blood, sweat and tears. Every hand shaken, every baby kissed and every townhall meeting is part of the process of earning the right to hold high office; you don’t get it just handed to you. That process includes being roasted by the press. If you can’t handle Fox News, what will you do if you ever have to deal with a hostile foreign power? Will you refuse to engage because you don’t feel ready? Sorry, no dice. You either engage with the people and their representatives in the press, or you go back to being mayor of Buttfuck Wasilla, AK.

Mind you, not wanting to go through the hassle of actually having to earn elected office has become a trend for the GOP in recent years.

The Vice-Presidency is not a legacy, it’s not a prize you get for waiting during that inconvenient election period. It’s something you have to earn, and you certainly won’t earn it by showing to contempt to everyone not sitting next to you in your campaign bunker.

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Frige’s-Day Round Up

Posted by That Other Mike on 13/06/2008

After Dunar’s recent unreasonable behaviour, which included throwing lightning bolts around like a mad bastard, this week’s round up is dedicated to the goddess Frige, who is much more reasonable and sweet-tempered than Dunar.

Lottie has a question or two about Clinton supporters who’ve said they’ll vote for McCain… The general idea is “What the hell are you thinking?!”, and it’s one that I can get behind; McCain promises to be not more of the same, but more and worse. Thought the Iraq war was bad now? Wait till your great grandkids have to go and fight under the McCain plan!

Kalliope over at Missing Mojo has a deconstruction of the flak being thrown around over the Sex and the City movie. It’s pretty clever and insightful.

Gary takes celebrities who whine about privacy to task, especially those who do so in public interviews. If you want to be private, try going away and leading a private life! He also adds the most recent update for Idiosyncratica. is keeping an eye on the media for the inevitable racism and misogyny directed towards Michelle Obama that will follow Barack Obama’s (presumptive) nomination (via Ms Andrist).

This discussion on feminist sex at Feministe has turned pretty interesting; while it was initially of mild interest, the comments have made it worth a read.

And finally, congratulations to Anxious Mofo, who’s been linked to by Conservapedia. I’m sure he’s honoured and inspired by their linkage; he shows his appreciation by deconstructing their feeble article on Atheism. Well worth a read.

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