fr_defenestrato: (dissenters hate freedom)
'If you are for lower taxes and less spending, opposed to abortion, illegal immigration, homosexual marriage, a returning veteran from Iraq, and a host of other issues, your government considers you a potentional terrorist.' —Donald Wildmon

(I myself am a host of other issues, in the biblicional sense; e.g., I recently hosted the issue of a few scores of humans for the weekend. So I must be a potentional terrorist. Or perhaps a territorial potentate. Or a terror peddler. Oh, wait: position filled. Thanks, Don.)
fr_defenestrato: (j'accuse)
I was somewhat agog to see some expressions of 'teabagging' sentiment (although toned-way-the-fuck-down and without the usual misspellings and whatnot) from close personal friends here on LJ. As should be clear by now, I don't have the slightest inclination to give the Obama administration a free pass on anything, but... well, I also don't care to criticize it for make-believe stuff. It hardly needs saying that the teabagging brouhaha was/is, by and large, an absurdity: truly malignant people feeding truly stupid people horseshit about Obama's socialist plans to tax them to death, and the latter believed every duplicitous word.

Say what you will about Obama and taxation and the federal budget and the economy in general, the economic downturn cannot by any stretch of the imagination be said to be the result of his administration's actions; and he has, to all appearances, behaved in a fairly Republican way on the issue of tax cuts and budgets. Yet there are poor and middle-class folks out there absolutely ready to shoot the bastard on sight for raising their taxes. Which he has not done and has no stated intention to do.

Of course the media (and yes, especially the liberal media) show us the most egregious examples of idiocy amongst the teabag brigade, and we eat it up with a spoon. It's in our nature to point at stupid humans and cluck and tut and say 'Poor inbred fuckers, bless their congenitally weak hearts'. But. Even smart people are jumping on the 'Obama is the Tax Devil' bandwagon. And I cannae figure out why or on what possible grounds.

So.

I'd love to hear any sort of meaningful conservative critique of Mr. Obama's plans and goals w/r/t taxation vis-à-vis Mr. Bush's record... even on back to Mr. Reagan. I look in vain for meaningful evidence that conservatives out there are doing something more than gainsaying a leftist (well, left-ER... well, the other party) administration for doing exactly what W did. I'm not convinced cutting $282 billion in taxes was a good thing, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what conservatives are complaining about w/r/t taxation.

I'm pretty skeptical about the supposed value of tax cuts to begin with. I have never seen a case laid out with compelling numbers to show that cutting taxes increases tax revenue or stimulates a flagging economy in a substantial way. It seems to be a mythology, an abstract model devised mid-20th century and adopted wholesale and without evidence of its efficacy by the Reagan crowd; thereafter all mounting evidence of its inefficacy seems to have been forcibly construed as evidence of its efficacy. Slavery is freedom, after all.

And I'm downright flabbergasted by the increasing obliviousness of the fedgov, in the last 35 years—with the exception of Mr. Clinton—toward deficit spending. I cannot help but think we are selling ourselves to the rest of the world with the idea that, when the world comes to collect, we'll pull out a big gun and tell them to fuck off. If the conservatives are trying to claim that Obama's spending is somehow out of control and that Mr. Bush was a paragon of fiscal prudence for 8 years, well... golly, you go right out and dump that tea, kids. Bless your hearts.

Lastly, does anybody know a handy intrawebs reference for the history of tax rates and the laws that have changed them? I've seen figures (strange figgas... weird figgas) that state that the Obama tax increase on the richest Americans will bring that rate back up to 70 percent of what it was under Ronald Reagan; but I need sourcing.
fr_defenestrato: (Cheney)
I've long quoted and linked to the Rude Pundit's columns and cheered his dissing of the fuckheads at the top of the Federal Government, which of course were Republican fuckheads for eight years under, to my way of thinking, the most appalling criminal ever to run this country, Dick Cheney. Oh, and his sock puppet, the president, what was his name.

So I've been waiting for the Rude One to start picking on Pres. Obama and his administration in the same sort of fashion... or, well, at all... and as of today I finally have evidence of 'at all'. This seems to me a singularly cogent and disinterested view of Obama's young presidency: 'While people trust Obama in an almost surreal way, the President's got to offer a controlling concept to his plans. If he has one beyond, "Holy fuck, we gotta do something," he has yet to articulate it.'

I wonder how long it's going to take the average liberal(ish) citizen to stop being distracted by bells and whistles (like ending torture and jump-starting stem cell research—not that this isn't good stuff in and of itself) and notice that Obama's dealings with the wealth-and-power elite of the country look very much like the status quo. Ok, fine, he made a mean face at the domestic auto industry and smacked a few peepees; but when Europe patently rejects the machinations of the American Great Black Hope because he refuses to tighten oversight of the financial industries whose carnivorous practices created the current global financial crisis... um... is it too early to say 'I told you so'?

Also, something about his 'Oh, we're going to get along just fine!' response to said rejection made me think explicitly of Bush's frequent recourse to utter make-believe.
fr_defenestrato: (dissenters hate freedom)
I have to say, the Rude Pundit has occasionally disappointed me in the run-up to and first mostamonth of Mr. Obama's presidency. At the risk of sounding like the vile racist I unquestionably am, I see no reason not to call a spade a spade (where spade = any political creature rich enough in real and rhetorical capital to get elected CEO of USA Inc.). I've been running the 'never trust the government' message ragged since I first bought that Screaming Man T-shirt in Delaware, what? Twenty years ago? (Help me out, old-timers.) And I frankly saw and see no reason to mitigate that message just because the latest Great Liberal Hope Machine has taken the White House.

Case in point: what the blistering FUCK does it matter that you shut Gitmo down if you're allowing rendition to continue unabated? We'll just put those evil terrorists in little Gitmoids the world over, is what you're saying? So, given the question, 'If these prisoners are so obviously, unquestionably terrorists, why can't you make a court case against them?' you really have nothing to say weighing in, huh? You just want to look like you're changing Bushian policy, so boom goes Gitmo? But all the torture suspects just go to places we can't see and don't know about in other countries? Great, great. Carry on!

Anyway, back to the Rude Pundit: he may have sipped ever so slightly at the Obama Kool-Aid, but he's still just dreamy at what he does best. Viz: yesterday's column:

Here's perhaps the greatest couple of sentences ever written by a conservative: "Liberals are long known for light sentences for child molesters, opposition to child rape and child porn laws, and the speedy expediting of 'freedom of speech' protections to pornographers, pedophiles, and male homosexuals who belong to the group NAMBLA. Slightly less well known but easily documented are the sympathies the left has towards lowering the age of consent laws so that it's not really a crime for adults and children to have sex." [Kevin] McCullough does not provide that easy documentation, and the Rude Pundit's 14 year-old male assistant was too "busy" to look it up.

Also, I am tempted to rename my main LJ page, 'The vacuous, demi-coherent masturbatory fantasies of a particularly adept howler monkey'.

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