As the Economic Carnage Piles Up the Left Worries about the Tea Party and Michelle Bachman

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 14th, 2011

Liberal Pollsters have been Known to Over Sample Democrats and Under Sample Republicans

You have to be wary of pollsters these days.  Often times their numbers seem to be as partisan as the politicians (see Tea Party’s heyday may be coming to an end, say political experts by Alexander Bolton posted 8/14/2011 on The Hill).

Two national polls released this month by CNN and The New York Times in conjunction with CBS News showed the Tea Party’s unfavorable rating at an all-time high.

Political scientists say the data shows a backlash of independent voters against conservative lawmakers who have taken a hard line against bipartisan compromise in Washington.

Funny how only the Republicans are hard line.  Government spending is growing unsustainable.  S&P warned that this could not continue.  They wanted to see $4 trillion in spending cuts in the next decade.  And a serious response to the explosion in future health care spending (Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare).  The Democrats were so hard line that they said any cuts in these programs was not an option.  Period.  So the one thing they absolutely had to do they refused categorically to do.  You can’t get more hard line than that.

They included no links to the polls cited.  And it’s no secret that CNN, The New York Times and CBS have a liberal bias.  They’ve be known to over sample Democrats and under sample Republicans in their polls.  Not saying that they did that here.  But without the date available for review, anything is possible.

Michelle Bachman gets the Sarah Palin Treatment on CNN

And if the Tea Party was falling in such disfavor, would a Tea Party favorite win the Ames straw pollMichelle Bachman won in Ames.  So one has to be wary of media reports trying to disparage the Tea Party.  Because the Tea Party is a huge grassroots movement.  That doesn’t like government as usual.  So the mainstream media takes every opportunity to belittle them.  And their candidates (see Bachmann downplays Perry’s bid, says she can win over independents in 2012 by Meghashyam Mali posted 8/14/2011 on The Hill).

CNN host Candy Crowley called on Bachmann to address concerns about her experience by naming her greatest legislative achievement.

I can think of a previous candidate for president who had far less experience that CNN never treated like this.  Then Senator Barack Obama.  Perhaps the most inexperienced candidate of all time.  But they never pressed him on his lack of experience.  Instead, they teamed him up with an old guy.  Joe Biden.  Who looked like he had enough experience for the both of them.  So Obama got a pass.  While the Republican vice president candidate, Sarah Palin, who had more experience than Barack Obama, got the Michelle Bachman treatment.  (Or, rather, Michelle Bachman got the Sarah Palin treatment.)

The Obama Recession Succeeds, Americans are using Less Oil

And how is the Inexperienced One doing on the economy?  Not good.  But Obama is achieving his green policy agenda with every further drop in GDP.  And uptick in the unemployment rate (see Analysis:Recession could tip U.S. oil use into permanent decline by Joshua Schneyer posted 8/14/2011 on Reuters).

Until recently, most analysts believed a healthier economy would push U.S. oil use higher this year and next, before tighter environmental regulations, increased use of biofuels, and tougher fuel-efficiency standards kick in later this decade to lower demand permanently.

Instead, a sour economy may turn last year’s demand growth into a one-off. With U.S. manufacturing and service sectors slowing, a recent S&P downgrade on U.S. debt, and a series of stock market falls that have rattled consumer confidence, the odds are tilting toward short-term declines as well.

Now it has been the agenda of the Obama administration for Americans to use less oil.  And here he has been successful.  For his economic policies have done nothing to alleviate this insufferable recession.  And as oil is the lifeblood of a healthy economy, a sick economy is one that uses less oil.  So here’s one for the win column for the president.  And the price to achieve this green energy goal?

Higher unemployment since 2007 has cut U.S. vehicle miles traveled by about 2 percent, said James Coan at Rice University’s Baker Institute in Houston. Americans without jobs drive about 55 percent less, Coan said.

Make as many Americans as miserable as possible.  Work less.  Buy less.  Drive less.  Enjoy life less.  Yeah, it sucks, but it’s for a good cause.  You’re saving the environment.  And, yes, it’s bad now.  But look at the bright side.  At least it can’t get any worse.

Save the Planet, Screw the People

Oh, yes, but it can.  Because we are using less oil and driving more fuel efficient cars, gasoline taxes are down.  So now they want to put a device in our cars to track us.  And charge for every mile we drive (see More states considering pay-by-the-mile car taxes by Chris Woodyard posted 8/14/2011 on USA Today).

Mileage fees would take the place of gasoline taxes, which will decrease as more fuel-efficient and electric cars are introduced. The Detroit Bureau says the typical American motorist getting a combined 25 mpg today pays just under 2 cents a mile in gas taxes.

So on top of all the misery we have to pay more to drive.  It’s because of those damn electric cars.  It’s one of those unintended consequences.  We’ll save the planet.  Reduce our consumption of foreign oil.  “Um, sir, if no one buys any gasoline we won’t collect any gas taxes.”  “What?  Oh, yeah.  Didn’t think about that.  Well we’ll just have to figure out another more costly and more intrusive way to get our money then, won’t we?”

Save the planet.  Screw the people.

The Left  was going to unleash an Economic Explosion with Higher Taxes and more Regulations

The Tea Party appears to still be ascendant.  Michelle Bachman won the Ames straw poll.  People finally got their representatives to stand up against government as usual during the debt ceiling debate.  Those on the Left are stepping up their attacks on one of the few forces that dare to oppose them.  All while the economy is swirling like a flushed toilet.

This isn’t how it was supposed to be.  When the Left won the White House in 2008 after winning the House and Senate in 2006, everything was supposed to be swell.  They were going to unleash an explosion of economic activity with higher taxes and more regulations.  To finally put the ‘myth’ of Reaganomics down for good.  But their policies haven’t worked.  And they can’t understand why.

Of course, they’ll never consider that they were wrong.  Instead they’ll say to just give it more time.  And that apparently George W. Bush made things worse than even they ever had imagined possible.

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Bachman and Paul do Well in Iowa, Obama goes on Bus Tour

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 13th, 2011

Bachman wins Iowa Straw Poll with Ron Paul a very Close Second

All eyes were on Iowa.  At least the eyes that were interested in the Ames straw poll.  For after great mirth, merriment, food and entertainment, we have a winner (see Bachmann wins Ames straw poll; Ron Paul takes second place by Michael O’Brien and Cameron Joseph posted 8/13/2011 on The Hill).

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) emerged victorious Saturday in an influential straw poll of Republican voters in Ames, Iowa, cementing her status as the early frontrunner for February’s caucuses in the state…

A House member has never finished in the top two at Ames; extraordinarily, two House lawmakers finished nearly neck-and-neck toward the top. Bachmann is the first woman to ever win the straw poll.

And here’s how the other candidates did.  Note that those marked with an asterisk did not participate in the straw poll.  Still they garnered some write-in votes.

  1. Michele Bachmann (4,823 votes)
  2. Ron Paul (4,671 votes)
  3. Tim Pawlenty (2,293 votes)
  4. Rick Santorum (1,689 votes)
  5. Herman Cain (1,520 votes)
  6. Thaddeus McCotter (35 votes)
  7. Rick Perry* (718 votes)
  8. Mitt Romney* (567 votes)
  9. Newt Gingrich* (385 votes)
  10. Jon Huntsman* (69 votes)

Michelle Bachman won.  But Ron Paul was a close second.  One is a Reagan conservative.  The other is a libertarian.  There are similarities between these positions.  Both believe in a solid, anti-Keynesian monetary policy.  And there are differences.  Such as the use of military power.  Paul is okay with Iran getting nuclear weapons and wouldn’t use the military to prevent this from happening.  Bachman is not and would use the military.  With Iran being one of the major sponsors of terrorism, the people may side with Bachman on this one as the primaries unfold.  It will be interesting to watch how this develops.

History has Shown the Iowa Straw Poll is not the Strongest of Indicators

So is Bachman now the Republican frontrunner?  Perhaps in Iowa.  But history has shown the Iowa straw poll is not the strongest of indicators (see Bachmann triumphs at Iowa straw poll as Perry joins Republican presidential race by Mike Glover and Philip Elliott, Associated Press, posted 8/13/2011 on the Toronto Star).

The straw poll has a mixed record of predicting the outcome of the precinct caucuses.

In 2008, Romney won the straw poll, but the big news was the surprising second-place showing of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses, but dropped from the race soon after. Sen. John McCain, who eventually won the nomination, didn’t compete in the straw poll and finished in 10th place.

So the straw poll probably doesn’t mean a whole lot. Other than who had the best food and entertainment in their tents.  Perhaps this is why Romney didn’t participate this year.  Because winning didn’t help him last time.

Maureen Dowd apparently doesn’t like Mitt Romney or Corporations

And speaking of Mitt Romney, Maureen Dowd wrote a slam piece on him in today’s New York Times (see Power to the Corporation! By Maureen Dowd posted 8/13/2011 on The New York Times).

At the fair, Romney — whose net worth is between $190 million and $250 million — once again went manly by flipping a pork chop on a grill and facing down hecklers worried about cuts in Social Security. When a man in the audience yelled that corporations should be taxed more, Romney replied, “Corporations are people, my friend…”

Of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation. We the corporation. Corporations who need corporations are the luckiest corporations in the world. Power to the corporation!

Interesting this hostility to corporations.  For she works for a corporation.  The New York Times Company.  In fact she’s one of those ‘people’ Romney referred to.  Those are people who work for corporations.  Those are people who manage corporations.  Those are people who own the stocks of corporation.  And corporations make things for the people.  Like The New York Times publishes a newspaper for the people.  I mean, without corporations, there’d be a lot less stuff in the world.  A whole lot fewer jobs.  And a lot less pay for Maureen Dowd.  Guess she just doesn’t understand how business works.

Obama takes a Page from the Sarah Palin Handbook and goes on his own Bus Tour

And here’s someone else who doesn’t know how business works.  President Obama.  After some two and a half years in the White House he doesn’t have much to show after making jobs job one.  Remember that laser-like focus on jobs?  Well he failed miserably.  The economy is in the toilet.  So he is going on a bus tour (ala Sarah Palin) of states important for his reelection.  Where he is losing popularity.  From Independents.  And even from those on the Left (see Obama sets sights on rural America to talk jobs by Ken Thomas, Associated Press, posted 8/13/2011 on The Washington Times).

Yet Obama also finds himself under pressure from the left to generate jobs and raise taxes on the wealthy.

Most Democrats, said MoveOn.org’s Justin Ruben, “have not been offering a clear prescription for actually getting the economy moving.”

Obama told workers in Michigan that he plans to roll out more economic plans “that will help businesses hire and put people back to work.” That’s an approach Democrats hope will set the tone for next year’s election in the Midwest and beyond.

More economic plans?  You mean like all you did these past two and half years, Mr. President?  Shutting down the oil industry and pouring money into green energy?  To subsidize cars people don’t want to buy and aren’t buying?  More stimulus for ‘shovel ready’ jobs?  When that last stimulus was approximately 88% pork and earmarks?  And your signature accomplishment?  Obamacare?  That pushed spending in the next decade so high that S&P downgraded our credit rating?  Gee, thanks but no thanks.  We’d rather weather this without any more help from you thank you very much.

The Only Thing Important now is the 2012 Election

Everyone is focused on the 2012 election.  The Republican presidential candidates.  And the president.  Who has apparently fixed all of the nation’s problems that he can take a leisurely bus ride through the Midwest.  And why not?  It’s not like there’s any pressing business back in Washington.

No, everything is super fine.  The only thing important now is the 2012 election.  So it’s time to go out there and get some pats on the back.  And tell everyone how he’s going to make things even better.  The best is yet to come.  And you don’t want to miss the second act.  So remember to vote for me.  Especially if you want more of the same.  Oh, and anything you’re not happy with?  It’s George W. Bush‘s fault.

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Mass Murder and a Fallen Democrat Provide an Opportunity to Reenact the Fairness Doctrine

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 10th, 2011

The Left wants a Fairness Doctrine to Stifle Political Dissent

And here it is.  The big one.  What the Left really wants.  The ability to censor the opposing viewpoint so they can easily advance their agenda without political dissent.  You know what it is.  It’s called the Fairness Doctrine.  To stifle that vitriol we call free speech.  Our First Amendment right.  Which some are saying caused the Arizona Shooting rampage (see Clyburn: Words can be danger by Yvonne Wenger posted 1/10/2011 on The Post and Courier).

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in Congress, said Sunday the deadly shooting in Arizona should get the country thinking about what’s acceptable to say publicly and when people should keep their mouths shut.

Clyburn said he thinks vitriol in public discourse led to a 22-year-old suspect opening fire Saturday at an event Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords held for her constituents in Tucson, Ariz. Six people were killed and 14 others were injured, including Giffords.

Clyburn thinks wrong.  From what we’re learning, it sounds like the shooter wasn’t even aware of reality let alone the public discourse.  Of course, you wouldn’t know this if you rush to some kind of judgment.  Or are just using the tragedy to advance a stalled agenda.

The shooting is cause for the country to rethink parameters on free speech, Clyburn said from his office, just blocks from the South Carolina Statehouse. He wants standards put in place to guarantee balanced media coverage with a reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, in addition to calling on elected officials and media pundits to use ‘better judgment.’

The Fairness Doctrine.  Statutory censorship.  You see, back then there were only three networks and PBS.  And the Fairness Doctrine was to keep them fair and balanced.  If they aired a story favoring one viewpoint, they then had to give time for the opposing viewpoint.  Or face a fine.  Sounds fair, doesn’t it?  But it’s just a fancy way to enact state censorship.

Here’s how.  Who’s to determine what programming meets the balancing requirement of the Fairness Doctrine?  The FCC.  Which is part of the executive branch of the government.  So the president had the power to determine what was appropriate speech.  And what wasn’t.  That’s a lot of power.  And JFK and LBJ put that power to good uses.  They used it to harass their political enemies.  Made it so costly to air a point of view opposing theirs that stations would refuse to air them.  It really stifled political dissent.  And made it a lot easier to pass the Great Society legislation.

Ah, yes, those were the good old days.  When you didn’t have all that messiness we call free speech.  The 1960s and 1970s were Big Government decades.  Times were good for the liberal left.  That is until Ronald Reagan came along to spoil everything.  For it was Reagan who repealed the Fairness Doctrine.  And ever since the Left has wanted it back.

The Left wants a Fairness Doctrine to Hush Rush

The party really ended in the 1980s.  Not only did they lose their beloved doctrine, but there was a new kid on the block.  Talk radio.  It was bad enough not to have ‘fairness’ as they saw fairness, but now there was more than three networks and PBS.  There was content all over the place that they couldn’t control.  And it really pissed them off.  Especially a guy by the name of Rush Limbaugh.  He was such a thorn in Bill Clinton’s side that some called the Fairness Doctrine the ‘Hush Rush’ bill. 

You have to remember how Bill Clinton won the election.  He won with one of the lowest percentages of the popular vote.  Ross Perot was a third-party candidate that drained votes away from both candidates.  But, more importantly, he turned the election into a media circus.  Everyone was following what wacky thing he would say or do next that few paid attention to Clinton’s less than spotless past.  And people were spitting mad about George H.W. Bush‘s broken pledge not to raise taxes.  You take these two things away and Bush the elder would have been a two-term president.  So Clinton wasn’t very popular with the people to begin with. 

During the Nineties, some 20 million people a week were tuning in to listen to Rush.  Why was he so popular?  For the simple reason that he held the same views as some 20 million people in the country.  And these people were tired of the media bias.  For them Rush was a breath of fresh air.  His radio show was the only place this huge mass of people could go and not hear the Democrat spin on everything.  And this was a real threat to the Left.  They blamed him for their failure to nationalize health care.  And the Left blamed Rush for Whitewater, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, the blue dress, etc.  Hillary Clinton called the Lewinsky affair a vast right-wing conspiracy.  And if it wasn’t for Rush and talk radio, those things would have remained hidden. So you can see why they hated him.

The Shooting of a Democrat Allows the Left to Attack Conservatives

It was bad for Bill Clinton.  But President Obama has it even worse.  The FOX News channel has blown away the cable competition.  The Internet has come of age.  There’s more content out there than ever before.  And the old guard (the three networks, PBS and the liberal newspapers) are losing more and more of their influence.  In other words, they need the Fairness Doctrine like never before.  Because there is way too much free speech for their liking.  It’s just not a good time if you’re trying to be devious.

So when a mass murder comes along and a Democrat is shot in the head, they pounce.  Representative Clyburn uses this tragedy to advance the Fairness Doctrine.  Even though he knew little at the time.  But that didn’t stop him.  They have no evidence, but the Left has blamed the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, FOX News, and anyone else who has ever held a contrary viewpoint.

So, what, then, motivated this killer in Arizona? 

Who is Jared Loughner

Well, let’s hear what a close friend of the shooter, Jared Loughner, says.  Bryce Tierney knew him since high school.  Even went to college with him.  And from what he says, Loughner doesn’t sound like he was influenced by anyone on the right (see Exclusive: Loughner Friend Explains Alleged Gunman’s Grudge Against Giffords by Nick Baumann posted 1/10/2011 on Mother Jones).

Tierney tells Mother Jones in an exclusive interview that Loughner held a years-long grudge against Giffords and had repeatedly derided her as a “fake.” Loughner’s animus toward Giffords intensified after he attended one of her campaign events and she did not, in his view, sufficiently answer a question he had posed, Tierney says. He also describes Loughner as being obsessed with “lucid dreaming”—that is, the idea that conscious dreams are an alternative reality that a person can inhabit and control—and says Loughner became “more interested in this world than our reality.” Tierney adds, “I saw his dream journal once. That’s the golden piece of evidence. You want to know what goes on in Jared Loughner’s mind, there’s a dream journal that will tell you everything…”

But the thing I remember most is just that question. I don’t remember him stalking her or anything.” Tierney notes that Loughner did not display any specific political or ideological bent: “It wasn’t like he was in a certain party or went to rallies…It’s not like he’d go on political rants.”  But Loughner did, according to Tierney, believe that government is “fucking us over.” He never heard Loughner vent about the perils of “currency,” as Loughner did on one YouTube video he created… 

Once, Tierney recalls, Loughner told him, “I’m pretty sure I’ve come to the conclusion that words mean nothing.” Loughner would also tell Tierney and his friends that life “means nothing…”

Tierney believes that Loughner was very interested in pushing people’s buttons—and that may have been why he listed Hitler’s Mein Kampf as one of his favorite books on his YouTube page. (Loughner’s mom is Jewish, according to Tierney.) Loughner sometimes approached strangers and would say “weird” things, Tierney recalls. “He would do it because he thought people were below him and he knew they wouldn’t know what he was talking about.”

In college, Loughner became increasingly intrigued with “lucid dreaming,” and he grew convinced that he could control his dreams, according to Tierney. In a series of rambling videos posted to his YouTube page, dreams are a frequent topic. In a video posted on December 15, Loughner writes, “My favorite activity is conscience dreaming: the greatest inspiration for my political business information. Some of you don’t dream—sadly.” In another video, he writes, “The population of dreamers in the United States of America is less than 5%!” Later in the same video he says,  “I’m a sleepwalker—who turns off the alarm clock.”

Loughner believed that dreams could be a sort of alternative, Matrix-style reality, and “that when you realize you’re dreaming, you can do anything, you can create anything,” Tierney says. Loughner started his “dream journal” in an attempt to take more control of his dreams, his friend notes, and he kept this journal for over a year…

After Loughner apparently gave up drugs and booze, “his theories got worse,” Tierney says. “After he quit, he was just off the wall.” And Loughner started to drift away from his group of friends about a year ago. By early 2010, dreaming had become Loughner’s “waking life, his reality,” Tierney says. “He sort of drifted off, didn’t really care about hanging out with friends. He’d be sleeping a lot.” Loughner’s alternate reality was attractive, Tierney says. “He figured out he could fly.” Loughner, according to Tierney, told his friends, “I’m so into it because I can create things and fly. I’m everything I’m not in this world.”

But in this world, Loughner seemed ticked off by what he believed to be a pervasive authoritarianism. “The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar,” he wrote in one YouTube video. In another, Loughner complains that when he tried to join the military, he was handed a “mini-Bible.” That upset him: “I didn’t write a belief on my Army application and the recruiter wrote on the application: None,” he wrote on YouTube. In messages on MySpace last month, Loughner declared, “I’ll see you on National T.v.! This is foreshadow.” He also noted on the website, “I don’t feel good: I’m ready to kill a police officer! I can say it…”

Since hearing of the rampage, Tierney has been trying to figure out why Loughner did what he allegedly did. “More chaos, maybe,” he says. “I think the reason he did it was mainly to just promote chaos. He wanted the media to freak out about this whole thing. He wanted exactly what’s happening. He wants all of that.” Tierney thinks that Loughner’s mindset was like the Joker in the most recent Batman movie: “He fucks things up to fuck shit up, there’s no rhyme or reason, he wants to watch the world burn. He probably wanted to take everyone out of their monotonous lives: ‘Another Saturday, going to go get groceries’—to take people out of these norms that he thought society had trapped us in.”

It wasn’t Vitriol, it was Insanity

Well, he doesn’t sound like a Tea Party guy.  Or a fan of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman or FOX News.  He doesn’t sound like a religious guy.  He may have been anti-Semitic.  He felt superior to those around him.  He liked to dream and spend a lot of time in his imagination.  He may have liked the movie The Matrix.  Maybe even thought he was in a ‘Matrix‘ fantasyland.  He did drugs and drank at one time.  When he went sober, though, he seemed to go deeper into his imagination.  He was pretty certain that the government was controlling people with an insidious form of grammar.  And he wasn’t a fan of authority figures and thought killing a cop would cheer him up.

I don’t know, maybe it’s me, but I wouldn’t call this guy a conservative.  And I don’t think there was any vitriol egging him on.  I doubt any vitriol could compete with what was going on in his imagination.  This guy had serious mental issues.  He was unstable.  And dangerous.  And the only reason why he shot Representative Giffords is because she had the misfortune of being his representative.

So Representative Clyburn, and the far left, are wrong.  No one on the right is responsible for this tragedy in Arizona.  The shooter was just a nutcase.  Little solace for the victims’ families.  But it does say that we don’t need a Fairness Doctrine.  For it would NOT have altered what happened in Tucson, Arizona, this past Saturday.

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