The GOP is a junior high school red herring monger

A red herring is a logical fallacy used by people to divert attention away from a real issue in an argument. Usually it is because the real issue can’t be defended or the person diverting the attention doesn’t want to defend the real issue. The Republican Party loves them some red herring. One example was making the 2004 general election about gay marriage instead of a referendum on the Iraq war. They are good at diverting attention, especially when they have the ear of the mainstream media who parrot their talking points. The most recent case concerns Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and when did see know about the torture used during the Bush administration. The reason the GOP brings this up is for the red herring so we might ignore the fact that torture is a war crime.

Basically, the GOP is saying that Nancy Pelosi was briefed on the CIA use of water boarding of detainees back in 2002 while she served on the House Intelligence Committee. They are implying that Pelosi is just as culpable for the war crime as President Bush and VP Dick Cheney for ordering the torture. That is since she knew about it and did nothing about it, that she approved of it then.

Pelosi says she was never told about water boarding specifically.

The villagers (aka the mainstream media) have been beating this horse for a couple of weeks, but they miss the point.

Water boarding is a WAR CRIME!!!!!!

It doesn’t matter who knew what when. Anyone who knew about it and condoned it in the government has “blood” on their hands – Democrat or Republican. There was a severe lack of outrage back in 2002 and 2003 when the torture was revealed and we found out about the abuse of detainees.

As Former Sen. Bob Graham, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee told David Shuster on MSNBC:

David, I think fundamentally what’s happening is there’s an attempt underway to try and shift the discussion away from what’s really important and that is did the US use torture? Was that within the law? Who authorized and what were the consequences of that. Those are the important issues. Whether The Speaker or anybody else knew about it is frankly sort of off on the edges. 

Sen. Bob Graham backs up Pelosi and says he was never briefed on water boarding by the CIA 

It’s a nice play, if it were needed.

Basically the GOP is hoping not only to divert attention away from Bush and Company, but also as threat to the Democrats if they go through with any “truth commissions” or prosecutions over the war crimes, they plan on taking some Dems with them. It is the old junior high game of “He did it too…” which we all know doesn’t absolve you of your wrong doing.

It isn’t needed because I really don’t see the Democrats rushing to prosecute anyone or to make it a front page news for long since they went along with the program back then.

That’s why a special independent prosecutor is needed.

Conservatives must be flipping their minds

It must be awful for some of the more right wing conservatives these days. They lose the White House and the Congress. Arlen Specter switches to the Democrats almost giving them a fillerbuster proof majority. Polls are showing more people accept same sex marriage, believe the country is heading in the correct direction, want torture investigated, and give President Obama almost 70% job approval. And now Obama will get to name a Supreme Court Justice. The 20% who refuse to get on the band wagon are seen as the silly people they are with their teabagging and hysterical buying of guns and ammo.

I guess this is what happens when karma hits you in the ass – the people who support hatred, scapegoating, bigotry, and the irrational were dumped like a hot potato by the voting public.

Of course those on the left side of the political aisle are nervous, wondering when the other shoe will drop, waking us all from some kind of dream,

I just think it is so much better to have smart adults in charge of the government who don’t mind sharing information and the processes used to govern.

The photo op with Air Force One over New York was stupid, but if that is as stupid as it gets then I will be pleased.

The Republicans still haven’t accepted their own fault in their own demise and some like Mitt Romney and Eric Cantor are moving on like the 2008 elections never happened:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney compared the GOP to Americans fighting the British during the Revolutionary War. “We are the party of the revolutionaries, they [Democrats] are the party of the monarchists,” he told the overwhelmingly Republican crowd, saying the Republicans needed to “once again lead the American Revolution.”

Top Republicans kick off campaign to reshape their party’s image

Just really sad with their object denial of their actions the past 8 years.

Don’t they know what it means to Tea Bag someone?

There is this “movement” going around by rich white guys who hate change and drawing on their peons of bigots, religious zealots, and freaky militia types to protest “high taxes” and “run away” spending by the current administration of President Obama. They will be holding tea parties across the country and asking people to “tea bag” Congress – by sending them a tea bag – to harken back to the Boston Tea Party during the American Revolution. Besides being a silly protest, not to mention the funny of using “tea bagging”, it shows how inept the conservatives are and how they can’t even come up with any new ideas.

Fox News – you know the guys who are looking out for the common man – is hyping the tax protests to take place on April 15th.

Today, in our time, we need to make a similar point in the face of arrogant power. And you can, too, on April 15, when millions of Americans will gather in peaceful protest across the country, protesting against the evils of over-taxation and its wicked handmaidens, over-spending and over-regulation.

If you visit the Web site of Tax Day Tea Party, you will find plenty of information on how and where to get connected to a tea party–or how to start your own tea party.

Plenty of big names will be involved, ranging across the country. Glenn Beck will be in Texas and Newt Gingrich will be in New York City. Sean Hannity will be in Atlanta. Neal Cavuto will be in Sacramento. And many, many more–FOX News and FOX Nation folks will be providing full coverage.

Tea Parties: A Great Part of American History–And America’s Future

Of course it is a silly protest.

It is protesting the rise in taxes of those who make more than $250,000 a year. Under Obama’s plan, that segment is the only one who will see their taxes go up. But don’t let the facts get in the way of the thick heads at Fox and their peon fans.

They still think it is cool to claim that there are high taxes or run away spending but I wonder where they were when Bush demolished a budget surplus he got in 2001 and ran up a huge deficit.

Also the people at Fox and their fans still haven’t offered any evidence that “we” pay too much in taxes or that spending is running away. They just don’t like Obama and his plan. It is a simple protest against a Democrat.

What does this say about conservatives when they lose at the ballot box and they talk about “revolution”, “tea parties”, “taking the country back”, “gun ban”, and on and on and on – instead of figuring out why their message failed to gain them votes in 2008. It is a bit childish to me.

No one has proven that taxes are too high, have never offered any comparison, or why anyone should care.

I also like how people’s brains turn off when they think “tax cuts” will solve the economic crisis we are in when they didn’t help in the first place and may have actually led to the crisis in the first place.

They need to grow up and take some ownership of the problem and work on REAL solutions and stop crying in their pillows.

These “protesters” also have a problem with talking about tea bags:

President Obama announces recovery agenda – Jindal and the GOP trapped in time worm hole

Tuesday night President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to announce his agenda for the economic recovery and other issues that have long been put off like health care reform. Meanwhile, the GOP seem to be trapped in the 1990’s. They picked Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana to respond. He proved once again that political Republicans just plain hate America.

President Obama gave a great speech calling for fixing education, health care, and returning the US to leadership in research and development of technology.

My favorite part was:

In other words, we have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election. A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.

Well that day of reckoning has arrived, and the time to take charge of our future is here.

Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery 

and this part:

For history tells a different story. History reminds us that at every moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has responded with bold action and big ideas. In the midst of civil war, we laid railroad tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce and industry. From the turmoil of the Industrial Revolution came a system of public high schools that prepared our citizens for a new age. In the wake of war and depression, the GI Bill sent a generation to college and created the largest middle-class in history. And a twilight struggle for freedom led to a nation of highways, an American on the moon, and an explosion of technology that still shapes our world.

In each case, government didn’t supplant private enterprise; it catalyzed private enterprise. It created the conditions for thousands of entrepreneurs and new businesses to adapt and to thrive. 

and finally:

But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American.

Of course after the speech, the Republicans decided to respond. Unfortunately they picked Governor Bobby Jindal to read the usual talking points that pretty much says “government is the problem”. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if it his remarks didn’t include outright lies.

But Democratic leaders in Congress rejected this approach. Instead of trusting us to make wise decisions with our own money, they passed the largest government spending bill in history – with a price tag of more than $1 trillion with interest. While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a ‘magnetic levitation’ line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called ‘volcano monitoring.’ Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, DC.

Governor Bobby Jindal’s Republican Address

Well there is no specific plan for a train from Las Vegas to Disneyland. Why wouldn’t buying new cars for the government create jobs? Those cars won’t just appear. They have to built by someone right? It is also ironic that Jindal would criticize a program to monitor volcanoes. Wouldn’t it be good to try to know ahead of time if one was about to erupt. That’s like complaining about the money spent for weather radars used to track Hurricanes.

All Jindal had was “tax cuts, tax cuts, more tax cuts and drill baby drill”. YAWN! That was the same platform that helped them win the White House in 2008…. oh yes that’s right they didn’t win. I also loved Jindal complaining about the $1 trillion deficit while ignoring that the GOP helped President Bush squander our surplus from the Clinton years and spend more than that on an unnecessary war in Iraq.

As David Brooks noted during the speech coverage on PBS:

JIM LEHRER: Now that, of course, was Gov. Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, making the Republican response. David, how well do you think he did?

DAVID BROOKS: Uh, not so well. You know, I think Bobby Jindal is a very promising politician, and I oppose the stimulus because I thought it was poorly drafted. But to come up at this moment in history with a stale “government is the problem,” “we can’t trust the federal government” – it’s just a disaster for the Republican Party. The country is in a panic right now. They may not like the way the Democrats have passed the stimulus bill, but that idea that we’re just gonna – that government is going to have no role, the federal government has no role in this, that – In a moment when only the federal government is actually big enough to do stuff, to just ignore all that and just say “government is the problem, corruption, earmarks, wasteful spending,” it’s just a form of nihilism. It’s just not where the country is, it’s not where the future of the country is. There’s an intra-Republican debate. Some people say the Republican Party lost its way because they got too moderate. Some people say they got too weird or too conservative. He thinks they got too moderate, and so he’s making that case. I think it’s insane, and I just think it’s a disaster for the party. I just think it’s unfortunate right now.

No wonder no current Republican in Congress wanted to give the response.

Why do Congressional Republicans hate America?

Well we know from their “leader” and gas bag Rush Limbaugh that he wants President Obama to fail. Now we find out that Congressional Republicans are being jackasses about the proposed stimulus bill. The question is why? It’s because the 2010 elections are coming up and Republicans think they can get elected again if the attempt to save America is defeated or damaged enough not to work. They want President Obama to fail too. I think it is nothing but petty bullshit from a party that has no idea how to help the struggling economy and were in fact responsible for screwing the hooch in the first place.

The Republican playbook is about standing in opposition, knowing full well that the Democratic Congress is going to pass a stimulus package. Their next step is to go home and sell to what’s left of their constituencies the notion that if we had listened to them, things would be far rosier. As a minority, a control group is unlikely to emerge that can disprove false numbers based on false rhetoric. They can go back and campaign in two years whether or not Obama’s plan creates anywhere close to the number he hopes and tell the world, and claim that their plan would have provided double the number.

The minority role in government should be about balancing the need of their constituencies with real ideas that create a stronger way of finding a solution. In the modern era of politics Rush Limbaugh style, it is all about spewing hate and misinformation in the guise of governing for the good of the people. The very people that the Obama plan will help most, are the very same people that are being preached to by the likes of Limbaugh and his puppets in Congress. 

Republicans Clearly Are Willing to Let This Country Collapse if They Think it Will Win Them Elections

And the media – also known as the Villagers – come along for the fire sale because…. well because they are so insulated in their little GOP controlled bubbles, they think spewing discredited GOP talking points is being objective.

The networks like to have the same tired debate format with the same hired analysts debating with “sound and fury” that usually “signifies nothing” to most of America. Last week the media chose to have Republicans like John Boehner, who helped create the situation we’re in, dominate the airwaves, which does nothing but muddy up the discussion on our rapidly failing economy. And which leads Villagers like Chuck Todd to proclaim that Republicans have won the spin wars. It’s a “spending bill” now.

Why is it called a “spending bill”? Because the Villagers have decided that the Republicans have won the PR war over the stimulus package. How does that tired argument help this country in a time of crisis? I know the spin wars play a role when messaging is concerned because Americans get a lot of their news through the TV and the elitists get aroused by all this nonsense, but it’s killing us. Please Stop It. C&L has often documented how the media tries to elect our politicians, (They chose Bush over Gore, How did that work out?) but now they are trying to decide how this very important stimulus package will be dealt with.

Please, where’s the meat? Stop playing games with our lives. Put people on who can explain it coherently. Economics is complicated. Sound bites aren’t enough. Obama was elected to bring change to the economy, not to debate the merits of tax cuts all over again. We had that discussion for 18 months and Obama won. Tax cuts lost. Why is the media ignoring that fact? John McCain ran on tax cuts to save us and he lost. Now he’s telling his supporters that he’s going to vote NO on the stimulus plan and wants them to sign a petition. You lost the election badly. Democrats have solid majorities everywhere you look, but not when it comes to the media that is supposed to inform us and not play “spin wars’ with the country. 

Why aren’t there hundreds of economists on my TV explaining the stimulus package?

So how does that go again – the media has a liberal bias???? Excuse me while I laugh.

The fact is 1 or 2% of the proposed plan might be considered “pork” – that is not directly related to stimulus spending – yet that tiny portion of an 800 billion plus bill is getting 90% of the focus along with more talk about a worse plan like more tax cuts.

At least there is one Democrat with a spine to tell the truth and get airtime at the same time:

In the past few days, I’ve heard criticisms that this [stimulus] plan is somehow wanting, and these criticisms echo the very same failed economic theories that led us into this crisis in the first place, the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems, that we can ignore fundamental challenges like energy independence and the high cost of health care, that we can somehow deal with this in a piecemeal fashion and still expect our economy and our country to thrive.

I reject those theories. And so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change.

President Obama

I know we will have a stimulus bill passed but I fear it might be watered down too much because the Dems missed the PR boat.