You can catch the first part of this post here. Today I will continue to dismantle Republican thought (oxymoron alert) faster than our annual Parkinson’s Jenga match. I will slay the Rovian Dragon, pop the Foxian bubble of non-reality, and still make it back to Hops on Birch for hoppy hour.
Our first issue of round two is the deficit—a topic Republicans claim the higher ground, despite the evidence. Again, I went in reverse chronological order for reasons of interest…and the James Bond theme continues for reasons I can’t quite remember.
2012: A Deficit Odyssey:
The GOP & Fox News: The Right helped identify the problem…er, that they created, yet somehow they weren’t against any of the spending pre the collapse. But that’s not their fault, really, they were watching Fox News. And then none of them supported any viable strategy like Simpson-Bowels in real time to combat said spending—except maybe their hero turned arch villain, Chris Christie. Foodraker?
Like it or not, most of our deficit, minus the stimulus, is linked to Republican policies. We still have the bills. Just like my extensive rap sheet, it’s public record. To tie this into a personal credit card situation, let’s say the GOP buys a Ferrari and a Corvette. They are now essentially blaming Obama for having the audacity to continue the car payments. They still think Obama blew five-trillion on golf. The Man with the Golden Clubs? Hey, let’s get into more unnecessary wars and then vote against raising the debt limit!
Two important charts:
What these “rerun” charts show, courtesy of the Congressional Budget Office, is how one President is trying to stop the bleeding while the other guy…er, is clearing brush somewhere. The GOP does back the Ryan budget, which every credible economist thinks would trigger a depression, but, hey, what doesn’t kill them will only make them wronger. Ask your doctor if Reality is right for you.
As it turns out, nothing the GOP supports has anything to do with our traditional understanding of mathematics or economics. Fact: Keynesian economics helped us avoid the Bush Depression. Do I like this imaginary money plan? No. Was I originally in favor of it? No, but: A). It’s working, albeit slowly, and B). we never would have had to learn about Keynesian economics if those who call themselves fiscal conservatives actually paid for shit! Oh, and the Ferrari just dropped a tranny. Wait, she’s still clinging to the hood! (T.J. Hooker joke omitted).
|No One EVER Cut Taxes During a War, Let Alone Two
|Maybe there was a reason for that…
Zano’s position: I was initially against some of the overspending, such as the Iraq War and No Child Left Behind, then I backed the deficit reduction commission’s recommendations (2009), then I backed a better plan called Simpson-Bowles (2010). We need a 60/40 or 65/35 type revenue to austerity ratio, which I first mentioned many years ago here. Even the 50/50 plan Dems are now proposing might work. Isn’t that always the way, though? The plan I favor will work, the Dems plan might work, and the Republican plan…check please!
Of course anything involving ratios is a meaningless debate to an all-or-none thinking Foxeteer. Check out this article from Eliot Spitzer over on Slate, or this New York Times one on Ryan’s “Fairy Tale Budget.” The GOP remains against every feasible plan. Dr. No?
The GOP’s “strategy” can be summarized as extending all tax cuts and breaks, gutting only critical services for those most in need, blowing up the deficit much higher, and then shifting the last of our profits to the One Percent. This is fiscal conservatism? …well, for the reality impaired.
Marco Rubio’s recent State of the Bubble Address (SUBA) was nonsense. Their whole game plan is to keep repeating lies faster than an OCD/Tourette’s sufferer on methamphetamine. That’s it! They’re making crystal math, which explains why it doesn’t add up and why it feels really good to those already addicted.
In related news, the Tea Party will be known primarily for five things:
1. Forming a “Tea Party” during a period of historic low taxes and backing that ridiculous “Norquist Tax Pledge”. Thankfully many politicians are finally distancing themselves from that nonsense…Never Tax Never Again?
2. Blocking the debt deal in July of 2012 through a delicate combination of all-or-none thinking and ignorance.
3. Related to #2: they were a key component to our 2011 downgraded bond status (Bond, Downgraded Bond). Hey, was Norquist on Her Majesty’s Secret Disservice? Sorry for that one…it’s the vodka martinis talking.
4. Voting in dangerously inept politicians who will not help their states or this country as well as Fox-blocking any chance for meaningful reforms.
5. The picture below that will win the Daily Discord a Pulitzer!
½ a point—Zano.
(I dinged myself ½ a point for not backing the stimulus, which by all accounts avoided a depression, aka, I made the mistake of agreeing with Fox News. Doh! GOPtopussy? Okay, that one was a stretch but no more than their economic policies.
Sept 2009: Obamacare:
The GOP & Fox News’ position: Obamacare will end life as we know it!
½ a point—GOP & Fox News
Zano’s position: Both options suck. Defending our insurance companies is unconscionable, but it’s not the right time for universal healthcare. We’re broke. Republicans fear Obamacare, but won’t even acknowledge the small-business-killing trajectory of healthcare costs. This is really sad when you consider the quality of our healthcare system is plummeting like a certain Norwegian Blue parrot. Pining for the fjords?! Sorry, that’s actually a Monty Python reference, but Pythons are Forever!
But let’s cut the wrong-brigade a break and call it even. We really don’t know if Obamacare is going to work or how much it’s going to cost. If I were a betting man, I’d say it’s going to be too expensive. But if you look at the 15 happiest countries in the world, they all have, support, and love their country’s universal healthcare, here. We just aren’t that exceptional anymore. Damn socialists! Like those happy-go-lucky Israeli Commies!
½ a point—Zano
(I am ultimately for universal healthcare but I do question the timing. We both arrived at similar conclusions. I arrived at mine through reason and logic and they arrived at theirs through fear and propaganda…the usual.)
2009 March: More Stimulus?
The GOP & Fox News’s position: The bailouts didn’t work. Stop the rest of the stimulus now!
No points—GOP & Fox News
Zano’s position: Sure the Stimulus is imaginary money but we are faring far better than countries that went austerity only. I said to watch England here as they were going too heavy on the austerity side. There are a number of European experiments going on now and they are pretty much following a predictable pattern.
½ a point—Zano
2009 January: The Great Recession:
The GOP & Fox News’ position: The recession that we never saw coming will be over in a couple of months (nailed it).
No points—GOP & Fox News
Zano’s position: Capitalism the way we know it just ended (film at 11). Nuff said.
2008: The Lead Up to the Great Recession:
(Remember, we’re going in reverse order)
The GOP & Fox News’ position: The economy is fine, so buy a Hummer NOW. I distinctly remember Fox News was really stressing the importance of buying shit right up until the day of the collapse. I remember this because of how truly stupid it sounded at the time (even by typical Fox standards). Hah, hah, Fox standards. I made a funny.
No points—GOP & Fox News
Zano: I predicted our pending economic demise about six months before it hit and it was mentioned on this site back in 2008 here (as far back as the Discord goes). I knew we couldn’t lower taxes during two wars and fund all those other bullshit Bush programs. We still haven’t paid for his mistakes, yet here’s a check for $250 everybody! Idiot. The economy collapsed right on cue. The stock market has rallied under Obama, but it’s all Monopoly money at this point…maybe it always was.
2009: Enters Obama (Will He Restore The Rule Of Law?):
The GOP & Fox News’ position: Notice those Constitutional savvy Foxeteers never even identified Bush’s executive expansion of power, yet they were immediately uncomfortable with a Democrat wielding such an expansion…um, that never happened. They deserve – 100 for never even recognizing the breakdown of the rule of law in the first place, but I will settle for a zero.
Zano’s position: I predicted Obama would never restore the rule of law (only because no one ever has). My first reference on this subject was an article in 2009, where I said, “I remain skeptical the rule of law will be restored (under Obama).”
Sure Obama is using these expanded powers more competently, which is a nice change, but it’s still deplorable that the executive branch can do whatever the hell it wants now. And, yes, Republicans, blame yourselves. Pre-W we had a Justice Department. You’ve heard me say this before, you couldn’t have an Eric Holder without an Alberto Gonzales. Check out my article on the subject from July of 2010: Funny thing but breaking something called the Justice Department, might just have consequences for…er, justice.
You want those documents on Fast & Furious? …well, I don’t. I want to know how you justify killing an American citizen without any oversight, aka, the Gonzales Special. As for what you want, try investigating who started those programs (hint: his name rhymes with Sick Meaney).
2005: The Surge:
The GOP & Fox News: Fox supported the Surge in Iraq. Military strategists say the decision to send in more troops in 2005 did have some positive effect on securing Iraq. Kudos. (A dry martini, shaken not surged).
One point—GOP & Fox News
Zano: I was against the Surge. I was unaware of the Anbar Awakening and did not realize ethnic cleansing was winding down in key cities. But I do really miss those community genocide bake sales. The Surge’s timing was fortuitous, but Bush only orchestrated it to develop his own exit strategy from the White House. Regardless, I’m happy to be wrong. My Goldeneye has failed me. Sorry, best I could do with that one. Wait…NPR is saying, right now, that Iraq is on the brink again. Hmmm. I said the Surge would not bring any long term stability…oh, heck, let’s give ‘em the point. It’s not like they’ll ever get another one.
The GOP & Fox News: Get those bad guys! Waterboard the bastards! Indefinitely expand executive power. Go through our mail, our email, and wiretap us illegally while suspending habeas corpus indefinitely—even for American citizens—then torture them until they’re mentally ill or dead (aka, Jose Padilla). Please destroy whatever parts of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights you need to keep our sorry asses safe. Hallelujah!
No points—GOP & Fox News
Zano: Thank you Mr. Obama for apologizing for W. and ending torture, but damn you for not bringing those responsible to justice! In any other civilized society people are hung for this shit, yet somehow the argument morphed into, did torture work? Did it keep us safe? Where are the whistleblowers when you need them? (Zero Narc Thirty?) Oh, that’s the only other scandal, what Obama’s doing to whistleblowers.
Could you imagine in Nuremberg some Nazi pleading his defense, “Gestapo’s enhanced interrogation techniques saved countless German lives.” Do you think that guy would have been exonerated? I realize this argument is meaningless to a Foxeteer, like logic and reason itself. Hey, are they followers of Propagandacles? or Agendastotle? Those are lesser known Bond films, like View to a Koch.
“But Zano, we’re not Nazis?!”
Umm, you just use some of the same tactics, is all. Torture has never been an argument. It’s only a testament to the GOP’s hypocrisy and neo-fascist tendencies. You want to know what really leads a country to fascism? (Hint: it has nothing to do with insuring more people). Oh, I remember, right after Germany annexed Poland, Hitler started Adolfcare. The bastard! Actually Hitler used a terrorist attack to suspend Habeas corpus indefinitely and then started something called Homeland Security. Sound familiar? My 2008 take here. No country has ever gone from socialism to Communism, only fascism to Communism. Damn history, with its stuff that already happened and shit.
Experts from every branch of the military have admitted torture doesn’t work. But who cares? The greatest Al-Qaeda recruitment tool in the last decade was Abu Ghraib. Thanks Rummy. Dick. Yeah, let’s thank Dick too. Quantum of Soulless?
2002: The Iraq War:
The GOP & Fox News’ position: Not this shit again! But I’ll say this much, this was NOT just a massive intelligence failure. That’s another big lie. Inspectors were pleading with W. not to start bombing. They were saying, “Wait! There’s nothing here!” But then again, he did pray on the subject, didn’t he? So W. and God were of one mind on this one. Let there be Right! License to Kill?
Zero points—GOP & Fox News
Actually, how about we minus one point for every military and civilian death?
“Next to Vietnam, Iraq will be among the greatest U.S. foreign policy blunders of all time.”
—Mick Zano, 2003.
I ran naked through the streets protesting the war the day it started and then I drank myself silly. Okay, I might have done most of that anyway. Let there be Bud Light! Or to keep with the theme, how about The Living Bud Lights?
Presidents Bush V Obama’s Rankings:
The GOP & Fox News’ position: George W. Bush…hmmm, we don’t remember much about him, but he did pretty well. We can’t think of anything he did wrong, offhand. But that Barack Obama will go down in history as the worst President in U.S. history!
Zero points—GOP & Fox News
Zano’s position: I predicted in 2004 W. would be ranked about the worst in history and on Obama’s Inauguration Day I predicted he would be marked well for his foreign policy and “meh” on the horrid economy he inherited.
After reviewing four of the most recent surveys by scholars and historians, Nate Silver just predicted Obama will be ranked 17th best (between good and average). Meanwhile, W. has only one President ranked below him, James Buchanan, who I believe murdered puppies for fun. And, sorry, you can’t count the guy who died right after his inauguration. And when I was predicting W. would be the worst ever, no one else was, and when right wingers keep saying Obama is the worst ever they’re trying to create reality through something called bullshit. Good luck with that.
The final score, combining both posts, is 11 ½ points for Zano to 2 points for the GOP & Fox News. Have I mentioned I’m a spoof news blogger? I have no business beating ANYONE in the business this badly, let alone EVERYONE. Geesh. Did I mention I’m not that bright?
Oh, and when Iraq completely descends back into chaos, I’m taking that “Surge” point back! I hope to hell it doesn’t happen, but I have to contend with something they don’t, reality.
The GOP will have different key points, of course, because the bubble is a very different and scary place. To address some of them briefly:
FACT: Criminal background checks for gun purchasing was first proposed by Lord Reagan.
FACT: Unemployment numbers will remain high no matter who’s elected. D and R have both been shipping manufacturing jobs overseas for decades as part of Bush’s: Operation Weekday Freedom (old Maher joke).
FACT: We will never get anywhere with Roe V Wade, because both sides can’t or won’t listen to reason on this issue, which makes any meaningful discourse impossible.
FACT: The Right’s entire economic theory is based on Supply Side Economics, aka, Trickle Down Theory, which if you Google it says, “This has never worked in this U.S. or any other country in recorded history. Well, besides the conservative blowback from the mastodon’s neo-Marxist period circa the early Pleistocene.” It really says that.
FACT: As soon as Romney and Ryan would have found Iran on a map, they would have bombed it. These two would have made Sarah Palin look strong on foreign policy.
Let’s not forget the Foxeteers other ‘important’ issues, like birth certificates and Muslims infiltrating the White House. Senator McCarthy would be proud. Oh and, yes, we are amidst a mass extinction on this planet, but as we lose species after species there’s some good news, Republicans may well be one of them.
I should also quickly add two more retractions. Initially, I thought a flat tax sounded logical and showing ID when you voted sounded logical as well. Umm, I should have known better. My assuming-they’re-always-wrong-premise works so much better. A flat tax, though somewhat logical, puts more even more of a burden on the poor at a time when the disparity of wealth typically triggers a revolution. Yes, most Latin American countries at this point have less of a disparity of wealth (see a related Economist article here), or as I’ve said before to our President: “Socialism, you’re doing it wrong.” I do give Obama some credit for trying to save the middle class and I condemn the GOP for not even identifying the problem. Meanwhile, every GOP position supports the “one percent”…totally by coincidence. No conspiracy here.
Subtleties are lost on these peeps. You see, you can be pro 2nd Amendment and still think the NRA head is an asshole; you can be pro-Israel and understand how Netanayhu’s blind recklessness is (see NRA head); you can be pro-choice and understand how Roe V Wade was a strange ruling; you can be pro reducing our deficit without being pro depression; and you can also be pro capitalism but realize some of this shit’s rigged. Chuck Hagel gets it and that’s why they hate him. How many IQ points must he drop before he will be an acceptable Republican? Why not just give him a number?
The Bush years are in the books (the GOP wrong on all counts), and the Obama years will be tallied soon enough (the GOP will be wrong on all counts). Well played.
This is a hell of a statement, but one of the biggest threats we face in the early 21st century remains the ongoing group-think of the GOP. Almost regardless of the issue, they are a hindrance. They are the bull in china shop, the monkey with the gun, the elephant in the room, and if you give me long enough, buy gum, I’ll work in the rest of the animal crackers into this sentence. I am saying the GOP must reform or disband but not for my own agenda, for theirs. They are the worst advocates for capitalism, for free markets, for the 2nd amendment, and they will destroy any and all of their causes by following this delusional false narrative. One Sean Hannity episode and I’m ready to hand over my gun, have an abortion, and divide all my money equally between my coworkers.
“We don’t have a spending problem, we have a Republican problem.”
Nine out of ten things going wrong right now have nothing to do with Barack Obama or his party. And the one major thing going astray on his watch, in this case drone strikes, they can’t even recognize as a problem. The rightward drift of the GOP and their ongoing abandonment of reason is and remains the story within the story of our time. I’m stunned how few seem to know Cheney, or Morris—or, for those non-political peeps—Clark. And I will end this monstrosity of a post with a quote from Christopher Hitchens, in honor of all of my friends on the right side of the aisle:
“What can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
Consider yourselves dismissed.
From Zano with Love