Monday, February 25, 2013

Nihilism And The Republican Party Establishment-- What Would McKinley And His Backers Say?


Let me introduce the essential video above with a tweet from Sen. Bernie Sanders yesterday: "93% of all new income generated between 2009 & 2010 went to the top 1% while the bottom 99% split the remaining 7%. #Sequester

One of the most memorable moments in the History Channel's rabidly pro-capitalist series, The Men Who Built America, came when predatory titans John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie decided to make Republican Party hack William McKinley president and destroy the political career of populist Democrat William Jennings Bryan ("the Great Commoner," his day's version of Bernie Sanders). J.P. Morgan: "We have to buy our own president." Watch the video above; you'll love it. It sums up the real history of the post-Lincoln/pre-Tea Party Republican Party.

Yes, "pre-Tea Party." Today the party of the predator titans has made a dangerous deal with the devil-- the easily manipulated teabaggers, racists, and paranoids that are now the electoral base of the GOP. They have embraced the studied ignorance and nihilism the titans most feared and loathed. Yesterday, the A.P. asserted in a headline that automatic budget cuts find few fans. That's Boehner's Sequestration they're talking about and while Boehner may (or may not) be a fan, plenty in the GOP base-- in DC and back in the lands that get their information primarily from Fox and Hate Talk Radio-- are eager for the pain and suffering Sequestration will bring. In Washington, these are the nihilists-- like Mike Pompeo, Koch Industries very own congressman... and they shouldn't be in Congress. Pompeo famously refers to the pain and suffering inherent in the Sequester as "a home run." Rockefeller, Morgan and Carnegie might be confused. The Kochs, offspring of the John Birch Society, are certainly just as predatory but a far different-- and more dangerous-- breed of titan. Between Rockefeller, Morgan and Carnegie and then the Koch brothers, we had the full flowering of the penultimate post-slavery right-wing economic system: fascism. Republican governors-- even the most weak-minded, like Arizona featherweight Jan Brewer have figured out that the real world trumps ideology when you try to actually run a state, instead of just destroy the opposing political party.
The automatic budget cuts set to take hold this week were roundly condemned Sunday as governors, lawmakers and administration officials hoped for a deal to stave off the $85 billion reduction in government services.

Suggestions intended to instill a spirit of compromise included bringing all sides to the bargaining table, where they could act like "adults, a presidential summit at Camp David and even a field trip to watch Lincoln.

The alternative, as the White House outlined, is a damaging impact on everything from commercial flights to classrooms and meat inspections.

With Friday's deadline nearing, few in the nation's capital were optimistic that a realistic alternative could be found. Instead of dealing with problem at hand, both sides made assigning blame a priority as the clock ticked down.

"Unless the Republicans are willing to compromise and do a balanced approach, I think it will kick in," said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

..."It's senseless and it doesn't need to happen," said Gov. Martin O'Malley, D-Md., during the annual meeting of the National Governors Association this weekend.

"And it's a damn shame, because we've actually had the fastest rate of jobs recovery of any state in our region. And this really threatens to hurt a lot of families in our state and kind of flat line our job growth for the next several months."

Some governors said the impasse was just the latest crisis in Washington that is keeping businesses from hiring and undermining the ability of state leaders to develop their own spending plans.

"I've not given up hope, but we're going to be prepared for whatever comes," said Gov. Brian Sandoval, R-Nev. "There will be consequences for our state."

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy said it is past time for both sides to sit down to help dodge cuts that will hurt all states' budgets.

"Come to the table, everyone. Everybody. Let's work this thing out. Let's be adults," Malloy said.

Obama has not been able to find success for his approach of reducing deficits through a combination of targeted savings and tax increases. House Republicans have said reduced spending needs to be the focus and have rejected the president's demand to include higher taxes as part of a compromise.

...There are fewer signs of urgency among congressional leaders, who have recently indicated their willingness to let the cuts take effect and stay in place for weeks, if not much longer.

"It will kick in, but at a pro rata rate. So, you're not going to see $85 billion all of a sudden shrink from the federal government," Coburn [R-OK] said, suggesting the reality would not turn dire immediately.

The cuts would trim from domestic and defense spending alike, leading to furloughs for hundreds of thousands of workers. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said the cuts would harm the readiness of U.S. fighting forces.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called those defense cuts "unconscionable" and urged Obama to call lawmakers to the White House or the presidential retreat of Camp David for a last-minute budget summit.

"I won't put all the blame all on the president of the United States. But the president leads. The president should be calling us over somewhere-- Camp David, the White House, somewhere-- and us sitting down and trying to avert these cuts," McCain said.
Both sides created the sequester problem. Obama gave in to right-wing blackmail over the national debt and went along with the idiotic scheme in which Boehner bragged he had gotten 98% of what he wanted. And now only one side wants to solve it, even if the GOP Establishment understands the danger. Senate Democrats offered a temporary plan that heads it off with spending cuts and increased revenues but the Republicans insist on more and deeper cuts and only cuts and that they double-dare the Democrats to let the economy go down the shitter. Last night, the White House released a detailed look at how Boehner's Sequester will impact each state. Here, in part is what will happen in his own state, Ohio:
Our economy is continuing to strengthen but we cannot afford a self-inflicted wound from Washington. Republicans should compromise and meet the President in the middle. We cannot simply cut our way to prosperity, and if Republicans continue to insist on an unreasonable, cuts-only approach, Ohio risks paying the price.

If sequestration were to take effect, some examples of the impacts on Ohio this year alone are:

Teachers and Schools: Ohio will lose approximately $25.1 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 350 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 34,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 100 fewer schools would receive funding.
* Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Ohio will lose approximately $22 million in funds for about 270 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
Work-Study Jobs: Around 3,320 fewer low income students in Ohio would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 1,450 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.

Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 2,500 children in Ohio, reducing access to critical early education.

Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Ohio would lose about $6,865,000 in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Ohio could lose another $981,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.

Military Readiness: In Ohio, approximately 26,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $161.4 million in total.
* Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $1.9 million in Ohio.

* Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Ohio would be cut by about $3 million.
Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Ohio will lose about $455,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.

Job Search Assistance to Help those in Ohio find Employment and Training: Ohio will lose about $1,786,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 57,100 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.

Child Care: Up to 800 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.

Vaccines for Children: In Ohio around 5,040 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $344,000.

Public Health: Ohio will lose approximately $1,102,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Ohio will lose about $3,310,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 4200 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Ohio State Department of Health will lose about $302,000 resulting in around 7,600 fewer HIV tests.

STOP Violence Against Women Program: Ohio could lose up to $245,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 900 fewer victims being served.

Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Ohio would lose approximately $823,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.
That's just Boehner's home state-- and McKinley's. Watch the first 10-15 minutes of the video up top again.

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At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironically those top 1% had enough capital to: create oil pipelines for the first time, use gasoline in industry for the first time, create the largest power company (GE) over night, etc.
What's funny is this type of wealth would be needed for the "green" industry (if it was viable), but capitalist with this much money no longer exist.

At 2:20 AM, Anonymous beb said...

I won't read your entire piece but suffice to say that your hero is the guy that tried to convict a guy for teaching evolution. Nice.

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finance and fossil fuel industries exist only because of government subsidies and regulations that encourage monopolies and wealth stratification. Glorifying psychopathy only entrenches poverty and violence.

At 7:40 AM, Anonymous Bugboy said...

Once slavery was outlawed only outlaws had slaves?

We are entering an era of legitimized slavery. Productivity is up, wages are down. Machines have replaced labor in the name of efficiency so we can be unemployed? We have all bought into a sucker's game. It's called the American Dream, which as George Carlin said, "you need to be asleep to believe it".

The Koch brothers will go on selling toilet paper, because they can. Grandpa made his riches building railroads for Stalin, because he could.


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