An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘GOP’

Liberals are Nazis! And other cheap tricks to get their base to the polls

Remember the good old days, when the increasingly irrelevant Glenn Beck was on the air and he was talking about how the liberals were going to start FEMA death camps and how the socials marxist communists were going to come for your guns and have euthanasia be required?  Well, those sorts of conversations still go on all over the country.  Fox News has been carrying the torch for the “liberals are coming for you” rhetoric.

Of course, the reason why they are using this rhetoric is simple – to get their base to the polls.  George Bush II won the 2004 elections because Karl Rove was a brilliant tactician (along with Kerry not calling Bush out, at all) who used the bigotry of these people as a weapon, by bringing up gay marriage in states that everyone knew weren’t going to pass it.  Much like Prop. 5 here in Anchorage, once you say the word “gay,” the bigots flock to make sure their bigoted opinions are known.

However, there is a problem in the Republican Party.  The base is dying.  They have alienated almost every single group.  Minorities, for the most part, left their bandwagon years ago.  The LGBT community won’t have anything to do with them.  The latest war on women has officially gotten them away from the party too.  So, if you only have middle to senior-aged white men as your base, what do you do?  The answer is easy – subvert democracy by rigging voting.

Voter suppression is nothing new in America, of course.  Back when this country was founded, only the wealthy white men got to vote.  Minorities and women were fresh out of luck there.  And there are plenty of Republicans who are trying to get back to that.  Don’t believe me?  Well, the evidence speaks for itself.

34 states have passed or are working to pass laws that make it so that voters have to show photo IDs.  15 states have passed or are working to pass laws that say you have to have your birth certificate or passport to be able to vote.  16 states have or are working to pass laws would end same-day voter registration. 9 states have passed or are working to pass laws to end early voting.  4 states are working to pass laws to get rid, outright, of absentee voting.  3 states have passed laws that restrict voter registration drives.  All of this work has been done in the last year.

The mission goal is pretty clear – stop people from getting to the polls.  Their tactics are decisive and swift.  This isn’t something that can be debated, because we are seeing it happen now.  Over 21% of Americans don’t have government-issued ID’s.  The bulk of the people who don’t are minorities, the elderly, and college students.  Care to guess where most of them vote?  They generally vote liberal.

It has even been seen on a scale that nobody pays attention to.  Here in Anchorage, Alaska, the latest municipal election was obviously a fraud.  The voting booths ran out of ballots is how it all went down.  However, in spite of this clear violation of the law, there aren’t going to be new elections, or even an outside investigation.  The Assembly simply decided to accept what has happened, and are telling everybody to basically just move on.  This is unacceptable.

However, it is efficient, and in a country where the conservative party is rapidly dying on its feet, this is what it has to do in order to maintain power.  They know that they can’t win this upcoming presidential election on fair terms, because not only will the disheartened liberals like myself side with Obama out of the principle of not having Romney put in office, but the GOP voters at large have no love for Romney, since he has proven that he is a flip-flopping croney capitalist who doesn’t believe in anything.

This is what the future of America is looking like.  Instead of politics being a rational and reasonable discussion of values and what is to happen next, we instead get to listen to rhetoric on one side that liberals are all nazis coming to kill you, and conservatives are…well, actually, the rhetoric about them is true.

They want to subvert democracy to keep themselves in power, and the money flowing into only a few people’s hands.

Peace out,

Lefty

The Poison of Being Republican

It isn’t really all that hard anymore to show how Republican candidates are awful people.  The tragedy of this is that it making the actually moderate Republican voters lose faith in their party.  But if one wants to examine this issue in a serious way, it really doesn’t take more than looking beyond Rush Limbaugh.  His comments about Sandra Fluke made the front page.  45 advertisers and counting have backed away from his show, not wanting their brands to be forever tarnished by him.  Given this, one would naturally conclude that he would back off a little, be more careful.

But this isn’t a perfect world.  In this world, Limbaugh comes back from making incredibly sexist comments, by making more incredibly sexist comments.  He talked in his latest show about the author, Tracie McMillan.  Apparently, according to him –

“What is it with all of these young single white women, overeducated — doesn’t mean intelligent.”

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that Limbaugh doesn’t like women.  That much is clear beyond a doubt.  He didn’t argue with McMillan’s work on its merits, he simply dismissed it because she is a woman.  This man is a sexist.  And his audience is sexist too.  There are women who call into his show, hopping on that bandwagon, but the number is very small.  The fact is that the bulk of his audience is men who are just as hateful of women as he is.  This, of course, leads to the modern problem of the Republican Party – it’s poison to everyone who is a part of it.

Take a look at the presidential campaigns of the Republican candidates and its easy to see what’s wrong – nobody likes ANY of these guys running for the oval office.  The primary voting numbers are beyond dismal.  It’s to the point where Republican candidates are showing up in states are aren’t able to come close to filling up a room for them to speak at.

And it makes perfect sense.  People like Rick Santorum, who wants to get rid of all pornography, all abortion, and all birth control.  Over 90% of women in this country use birth control, either for the sexual aspect, or for the health effects it can have on things like ovarian cysts.  Santorum wants to throw away any and all chance of them being able to get help.

Next up, there’s Newt Gingrich.  It isn’t hard to see why Gingrich isn’t popular.  He’s scum, and the Republican voters know it.  He cheated on and subsequently left one wife while she was dying.  He then ditched that one later.  He is a horrible person.  The voters know it, and they have no interest in him.

Ron Paul still have a very large cult following, but because he doesn’t go for the Republican establishment’s side of things, he is never going to get the nomination.  He talks about issues I don’t agree with, but at least he is consistent, which is something that the one who is looking to be the front runner isn’t.

Mitt Romney, what can you say?  Oh, right – he’s a flip-flopping, pure politics Republican.  He will say anything to get elected.  He tries to come off conservative, but the hardcore conservatives see right through that.  He will try to be moderate, but the moderates just don’t care.  They don’t like this guy, and it shows.

The fact is that it is becoming poisonous to be Republican right now.  The female vote has jumped ship, once and for all (pretty much).  Minorities are barely involved with them, because they have clearly been against them.  The LGBTQ community knows that they are not their friends (though neither are the Democrats, which leaves them high and dry on all sides).  The Republican base now is almost entirely made up of middle-aged and elderly white men.  This isn’t a good number to work with, and it is showing in the polls how little it is helping them.

To put it into context how little faith people have in the Republican Party – Joe Miller, from my state of Alaska.  He ran the most hardcore-conservative race that I have seen in this state (in my lifetime).  He lost to Lisa Murkowski because the Republican voters didn’t find him palatable, and a lot of Democrats that I know voted for her because Scott McAdams was a nobody, and they knew it.  Republicans don’t like these people, because they aren’t moderate.  The Tea Party got rid of their moderates, and now, it is becoming a battle of values, not issues.  That’s not what voters want to hear right now.

So, Limbaugh isn’t that big of a surprise.  He is just a symptom of the overall illness within America’s conservative movement – it’s dying.  The people who make up its base are dying or getting too old to care.  Women aren’t on board.  Minorities are scarcely on board.  The LGBTQ community hates their guts.  It’s poisonous to be a Republican right now.

Peace out,

Lefty

GOP Authorizing Rape Before Abortions

The language in the title may sound excessive, but if you listen to what is said, and you see what is affiliated with it, then really, there can’t be any other way of looking at it.

For those who are unaware, Virginia has recently passed a law that makes is so that a woman has to get an trans-vaginal ultrasound before they get an abortion.  But why call it rape?  For one thing, this totally destroys the Constitution of this country.

It’s been on the block for years.  It’s kind of nice to know that America is finally killing it.  The Patriot Act destroyed the 4th and 1st Amendment.  SOPA and PIPA would have totally obliterated them, but they failed.  Now ACTA is trying to finish them.  Of course, that doesn’t even matter because the government did what SOPA and PIPA would have done anyway, when they took down MegaUpload.

And the Republican delegates of Virginia don’t even care.  Delegate Todd Gillbert basically made the case that a majority of abortions are a matter of “convenience.”  That this is all fun and games for women.  Not only is that an offensive statement, but in lieu of what is happening, it makes this whole affair even worse.

This is what the GOP wants to shove into rape victims

If one has ever seen the probe (featured right) that is involved with trans-vaginal ultrasound, it basically looks like a dildo.  These things are now going to be forced into the uterus’ of women in Virginia.  But the really sad part is that it doesn’t stop there.  In Texas, states all over the Lower 48, and now here in Alaska, similar legislation is being presented.

This is a total violation of the rights of women.  And the reason it is being done is even more insidious.  It is in order the shame these women.  To coerce them into not having this procedure.  Not only is forcing a woman to do something like this beyond humiliating, but it is being done for the express purpose of making them do what the GOP wants.

It is kind of interesting that this “family values” crowd is making such a big reappearance in the last few years.  Groups like the American Family Association have been coming back.  This coincides with the picking up speed that Rick Santorum is getting in the GOP primaries.  The far-right conservative base is making another appearance, and this is what it brings with it.

Legislation that would force invasive procedures onto women who could have been raped.  They were raped once, and now the GOP in Virginia has legislated that they be raped again.  As Americans, we cannot stand idly by and let this happen.  There needs to be some action.  People like elected officials are making the case that abortions are done for “convenience.”  They are shoving devices that look like dildos into women.  This is NOT how a government operates in a civil society.

But the bigger issues is – if this government thinks that this kind of thing is appropriate, does America have a future?  It is getting harder and harder to answer that question, because there doesn’t seem to be as huge outrage.  Granted, that may be because this is new.  A Category-5 Storm of media lambasting and online attack may still come.  And if it does, that’s good.  There needs to be another Komen for the Cure level reaction to this, because these people are not “moral crusaders.”  They are charlatans who wear the clothes of kind people.

This legislation is unconstitutional, it is unethical, and it is un-empathetical.  And above morality, empathy is what is needed.  Clearly, the GOP candidates who backed this in Virginia, and anybody who will back it her in Alaska doesn’t have ANY of that whatsoever.

Peace out,

Lefty

The Universal Health Care Debate

This is an area which I am very firmly on the side of yes, we need universal health care.  However, I am not a completely idealistic man.  This must be a practical application.  This must be done right.  It must be done so that it can maximize efficiency, and minimize problem.  A lot of people seem to be of the mindset that true universal health care is impossible.  They are basically just dismissing it off-hand.  Not only do I believe that universal healthcare in the US is possible, I believe that it can be done fairly easily, and can benefit everyone.

Universal health care is a simple concept.  The idea is that you have a system that is built around having a system that can provide health care coverage to all members of a given society.  Some people seem to believe that this is a totally novel concept.  One of the big problems in modern society here in the US is that people don’t seem to realize that not only has this been done before, it is being done now, and in a lot of places, it is being done very well.

A study was recently published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine that says that the system that England has, NHS, is the most cost-effective and most efficient system on Earth.  And where does the United States rank?  According to an article in The Guardian, which was about the aforementioned study, we are the least cost-effective, and the least efficient.  This is not the first time that this has come up.  Article after article comes out about how the United States spends more on its healthcare than the rest of the industrialized world, and we are the least efficient.  If we were getting more bang for our buck, maybe that would mean more, we aren’t.  Instead, there are millions of Americans uninsured, and we have people in this country who honestly have to ask the question of whether or not they will eat for dinner, or get medicine.

So, what is the solution?  Well, that’s pretty simple – scrap Medicare and Medicaid and simply give people in this country universal health care.  Rather than look at the perks first, let’s take a look at the problems.  The biggest hurdle against this, as it has been very well pointed out, is that this nation’s bureaucratic system is a total mess.  Those who make this argument are not wrong.  The next big argument is when people look at Canada, and make the argument that people have to wait for various services.  Britain has a similar problem.  This is not being argued.

Let’s address the last problem first.  While it is a problem in Britain and Canada, the fact is that, according to over 10 years of surveys, polls, and other forms of research, Canadians and the British are more satisfied, overall, with their healthcare than Americans are.  Only eight percent of Canadians want to trade in their health care system for a privitized one like the US.  According to 2005 Harris poll, 75% of responders believed that we should have a system like they have in Europe.  The numbers are totally stacked against this.

Looking at the bureaucracy problem, one thing that doesn’t get reported is that universal health care would actually aid this problem!  For real, billions of dollars are wasted every single year in the endless stream of paperwork that is required in order to make the system we have work.  Our current system is the ultimate example of the bureaucratic mess that our country is in.  At best, what we have is a patchwork system that leaves some with great health care, while others with none at all.  With a universal health care system, this would get much better.  Because things would be consolidated underneath one banner, the endless amount of mess that our current system has would be removed.  Plus, it would save money, lots of money.  According to studies that were conducted by groups like the General Accounting Office and the Congressional Budget Office, a single-payer system could cover every single person in the country, and still save billions of dollars.

Then there is the Libertarian argument, that this is encroaching on the freedom of the free market, and the socialized medicine is wrong.  Capitalism is a great thing, when a nation is coming into its own, when it is on the rise.  But America isn’t growing anymore.  We have hit a spike, and now we are leveling out.  Japan had the same thing happen to it about 20 years ago.  So, free-market capitalism is no longer palatable for this country.  Socialism, in an economic respect, is useful when growth is longer major, and a group needs to look to the people within it.  A mixed economy, of socialism and capitalism, is the only one that truly works.  And if we want to see the Libertarian argument debunked, it is pretty simple – let’s start with a public option.  Watch as the private insurance companies simply cannot compete.  If the Libertarians want to have a free market, let’s let them have it.  Instead of telling them to go, let’s introduce another player into the mix.  Free market, right?  Well, we introduce another player, and when everybody runs to the public option, and the other companies go belly-up, then we’ll know.

With this nation looking to fix our debt problem, this is an area that could save up to hundreds of billions of dollars, and is not even being looked at.  But the biggest problem to universal health care is something that is almost never talked about.  Of all the argument that I have heard, this is probably the most compelling, and I fully agree that this will be a problem, should a single-payer or public option system be implemented – ethnic medical problems.

Now, when one talks about this, there is going to be somebody who says that they are a racist.  That is not true!  In fact, looking at this is the exact opposite.  It is about realizing that certain ethnic groups are more susceptible to different medical conditions.  This is proven.  Certain groups are more prone to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, you name it.  If we are going to have a universal system, the PC liberals will have to step very far outside of their comfort zone and realize that, while science has proven that there are no different races, there are different ethnic groups who come with a different sets of medical complications.  I am not in way advocating that we deny them coverage, but if we are going to approach this, we have to have informed doctors who know which groups to watch for which conditions.  There is always somebody who will feel that this is a racist thing, but it isn’t.  Ethnobiology, in reference to medicine, means that we have to start holding our doctors to a higher standard.  If a group is more prone to cancer, you watch them for cancer.  And with universal health care, since everybody would be covered, this is definitely something that we would have to take into account.

Not only is universal health care possible, it may just be the only option we have got at this point.  America is in trouble when it comes to health care.  The costs of medicine in this country have outpaced the rise in wages.  More and more people are choosing to ignore their health in place of other crucial services, like food or shelter.  So, if it is so easy, and so simple, why hasn’t it been done?  Well, the answer to that is money.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent over the last few years by different insurance companies to lobby against stuff like this.  Just like how pot was made illegal, it was just good marketing against this that got us to this point.  Misinformation has been the weapon of choice by the conservatives and the Libertarians against univeral health care.  Add to that, that when Obama has a super-majority in the House and the Senate, he was unable to make anything happen, and dropped single-payer and the public option almost the first day, it was doomed before conception.  But this needs to be addressed.  We have to start asking ourselves, both as a nation and a species, how we want to treat one-another, and what kind of future we want.

Peace out,

Eli

Republican Debates: The Latest Round of Conservative Farce

So, there were the GOP debates on CNN.  If anybody didn’t get to see it, you missed a good show.  As my friend John Aronno said on the Shannyn Moore show that he was subbing in on –

If any of you were playing the word game the night of the debates, as I was, and woke up feeling sick the next morning, you are in good company.

Those who were involved were Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Herman Cain.  You couldn’t find a better rogue’s gallery for asking questions.  Even among the progressive community, people are still getting off on the idea of Ron Paul being president.  I will never understand why.  If that man actually, or rather, at least, understood the issues, then perhaps he would be a viable candidate.  But he is just another imbecile who says that he speaks for the Constitution, and people just get all dreamy over him.  Then there is Pawlenty, who looks way too much like a Ken-doll to be human.  There is someething so eerily disturbing about Michele Bachmann.  It is like she is not a real person.  The way her skin looks, it is like something stretched over a metal form.  She is the person that people see in their nightmares.

One of the word games that people could have been drinking to was tax cuts.  Another big term that could have involved drinking was Obamacare.  This goes to a larger point – that all Republicans pretty much sound like broken records.  Some have wondered why Sarah Palin hasn’t thrown her name in for the 2012 election.  Well, that is pretty simple, because she is much happier with her job as a conservative money-grubber who is leeching all the funding she can from every conceivable source.  From her appearances on Fox News, to her big rallies that she is paid over $70,000 a pop to talk at.  It was pretty clear that she doesn’t want to be an actual politician after she quit her job and pretty much told all of Alaska that they could just get lost.  But I am getting away from the debates.

If only a single conservative candidate had even the slightest understanding of how the economy works.  It is such a shame that the bulk of the American population is equally ignorant and stupid, then they might understand how ridiculous phrases like this are from Rick Santorum-

 What we need is an economy that is unshackled.  And what’s happened in this administration is that they’ve passed oppressive policy and oppresive regulation.

One should be very curious – how exactly is the market being oppressed?  It leads a person to think that people are almost slaves in this country these days.  Of course, Healthcare Reform was attacked by Ron Paul, the great zion of ignorance as being against the free market.  It never ceases to amaze how these people believe that bringing down regulation will make things all better.  Let’s ask Reagan how it worked out for him when he was the cause of a recession himself.  Of course, green energy is the enemy.  Oil is the friend of the Republican Party.

The moderator asked a good question – if lowering taxes solves the problem, where are the jobs?  Pawlenty didn’t answer it remotely, but that is no surprise.  It is the magic question that is never answered in a way that makes two bits of sense.  Spending cuts was something else that one could drink to and would have been completely smashed.  One counter that was given that Obama didn’t create the recession, but rather made it worse.  Yeah, except for all that improvement of the economy that happened while Obama has been in office.

Plus, where did this obsession with calling everything Obama-whatever come from?  There’s Obamacare, Obamanomics, Obamneycare.  What exactly does the conservative community hate so much about this guy?  There is always the idiots of the Tea Party who can rampantly accuse the President of being a genocidal maniac (see all the Obama-Hitler signs, anybody?), but that is just bigotry.  That makes sense.  That is a perfectly understandable (not good, mind you, but at least it makes sense) thought process, racist as it is.  But the conservative elements of this country seem just bent on making the President look as villainous as possible.  Maybe I am just wishing that the GOP would mature a little.  That’s a lot to ask, I know, but here’s hoping.

Of course, to justify their farce, the rattled off a bunch of figures about how many people are going to be put out of work because of “Obamacare” and all the legislation that he has ever passed.  Newt Gingrich apparently thinks that Healthcare Reform is some form of fascism.  For real, he believes that if you have the government legislating healthcare, they are suddenly going to start being thought police and controlling everything.  Playing to fear, anyone?

Then there was one guy who actually asked a question of merit – will the candidates not be swayed by the hardcore groups within the Republican Party and the Libertarian Party.  Finally, a decent question.  This is a good one, because Bachmann has sold out her entire political career to the Tea Party.  Rick Santorum didn’t bother answering, but just ego-stroked.  Bachmann defended her Tea Party masters and blame the media.  Cain said he would “surround himself with the right people,” which answered nothing.  This is how the Republican Party does things.  They don’t want to anger the Tea Party because they don’t want to lose the hardcore conservative votes.  But the problem with pandering to the hardcore bigots, as Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell found out, is that the moderates don’t buy your position later on.

The debates were a lot more involved than I could realistically talk about here without dragging on forever, so I’ll end this here.  If you want to see the entire bit, go on YouTube.  A user posted the entire event, from start to finish.  You can hear the entire farce for yourself.  Trust me, you will lost your faith in the Republican Party.  Those of us who think already knew they were garbage, but see for yourself.

Peace out,

Eli

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