Archive for January 2011

The Senate, Education, and Lies

Well the Senate showed us just how out of touch they are when they dropped any effort to reform the filibuster.  What that means very simply is that the minority Republicans control the agenda.  When will the Democrats understand that they are undermining democracy by making a farce out of winning an election and then being unable to move legislation?  When will majority rule really mean something, and if you are going to filibuster, shouldn’t you have to stand up and make your case?  Not in this day and age and not with Democrats who have their heads up their ass.

Ah, education, the word of the day.  Here is a direct quote from the Huffington Post about the Economic conference in Davos and a seminar titled Education is a failing industry:  ” Looking at the mismatch between demand for skilled workers and education supply, Jeffrey Joerres, the CEO of Manpower Inc., made the case that the education system needs to change, because it isn’t filling the needs of employers.”  Oh really.  Welcome to Brave New World where the only thing education is for is providing drones for industry.  I am sorry, but education is about giving you the ability to stretch your mind for life and think critically.  All the rest falls in place.  But these market place clowns thinks small and is why we should never turn education over to them.

One more thing on education.  I hear the morons almost spit as they blame problems in education on teacher tenure.  They think it is some kind life time job guarantee.  It is not.  It just says the administration can not fire you on the spot once you gain it, and they have to go through a formal process of warning you, providing help, and if that doesn’t work removing you.  Kind of like the rest of the world.  What has failed are administrators who fail to remove failing teachers (if we can decide who is good and who isn’t).  Maybe it is because most people go into education to help, and being a hard ass isn’t part of the profile.

Lies:  Factcheck.org did a piece on the Republican rebuttals of the State of the Union:

  • In the official response, Rep. Paul Ryan said that “trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high.” He’s wrong on both counts. Trust has been lower, and government has been larger, in the past.
  • In her own rebuttal to Obama, Rep. Michele Bachmann said that the bailout cost “$700 billion.” The net cost actually is estimated to be much less — $25 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
  • The two Republicans repeated several false and misleading charges such as claims that the stimulus didn’t create jobs (it did), that the health care law hurts job growth (experts say the impact will be small), and that “16,500 IRS agents” will enforce that law (that’s based on a flawed, partisan analysis)

You have to wonder if they believe their own lies.  Our to quote another bubble head, WTF.

State of the Union

Well I hate to be a curmudgeon, but I didn’t think there was any there, there.  We are the world….  He was walking a fine line between Democrats and Republicans and so everything was qualified.  It was carefully crafted to mean two things.  He is not going to slash social security or medicare, but does that mean he will cut it some?  We need to invest in tomorrow, but we need to cut spending.

He is against earmarks and I still wonder why since this is simply a talking point from the right.  One more time:  Earmarks don’t spend more money, they just redirect already appropriated funds.  This is the way our representatives can further our interests in our states instead of some formula for where money goes in a government office.  The only issue here is complete transparency so if they are going to some wasteful project, the voters can throw the bum out.

Then he is against the extension of tax cuts for the wealthy, but that is what he said before, and there was no commitment to veto an extension if it came up.  He talked about thinking big and our sputnik moment, and then talks about cutting government.  But I think the biggest problem in the speech was no there, there.  It was a list of values we can all agree on, but no specific policies to get us there.  Once again he is leaving it up to Congress to work out the details, so I have no idea what he really proposed.

This whole talk about the corporate tax rate is a red herring.  The big guys, and where all the money is, don’t pay taxes.  So the real issue is a total overhaul of corporate tax loop holes.  Yes, he mentioned it, but what is the plan?  The other red herring is the medical malpractice tort reform.  It is estimated that this accounts for less than 10% of our medical costs.  So you can attack it, but it is not the real driver of growth of medical costs.

So I don’t know where we are going.  Ryan’s rebuttal speech told you to be afraid and cut everything.  That we are spending our way oblivion.  Actually that spending is mostly tax cuts to the wealthy which he was for.  This is moronic.  Everybody is afraid of China and we don’t think their government is a major player in their economy?  So we had hand holding and musical chairs, but the underlying difference, the role of government in our lives is still the issue.  Ryan and Bachmann want to take us back to the 19th century and forget about all the problems or the fact that the government subsidized the rail system (provided the land) or the land grant colleges and it goes on and on.

Sure we need to innovate, but improving the competitive environment for the big guys who already off shore everything will not improve the life of our middle class, just corporation’s bottom line.  What I didn’t hear was a commitment to start fighting for the middle class, any recognition that what is good for Wall Street is not necessary good for our economy, or any real plans for a Sputnik moment.  Just the same old management style of turning things over to Congress to see if they come up with any good ideas.  That has not worked out well.

One last thought:  American Exceptionalism.  We aren’t any more.  Other countries have better infrastructure, they have better health care, they take better care of their less fortunate citizens, have stronger economies, and are innovating where we are leaving the field like alternate energy.  It is nice to psych up the crowd, but the crowd doesn’t understand how far we have fallen.  Exceptionalism is not something we were born with, we have to earn it.  The Republicans want to do nothing and be exceptional.  Exceptionalism requires dreaming the big dreams, willing to take risks, and investing in our future.  Cutting taxes and government is not going to get us there.  We would have been better served by a reality check, not a continuation of our fantasy life.

Update:

Oh, I forgot.  Clean coal.  There is no such thing.  It is an environmental nightmare, not to mention health hazard to mine it.  Then if you can burn it and remove the C02, you have to do something with the C02.  We need to be focusing on alternate energy that doesn’t produce c02 in the first place, not trying to keep an old antiquated coal industry raking in the dough.

Those Crazy Republicans

I think people are starting to get the picture.  It was really fun to attack the Democrats and their plans to reinvigorate the economy or just about anything else, but now it is put up time and it is becoming evident they have nothing to put up.  Cutting government and taxes has probably run its course when people start to figure out that the benefits from those policies are focused on the few and the rich.

I just love it when people make the asinine statement that they would just wish the two parties would work together to solve problems.  One Party has no ideas and wants to take a sledge hammer to government for the benefit of corporations who make their money outsourcing work, and the other one wants to spend the public’s money on investing in tomorrow.  Excuse me, but where exactly is the middle ground?  There isn’t any.  So if you want to get things done, better pick a side and make sure they have 60 votes in the Senate.

Ah, but it gets better.  It would appear that the legislation Republicans want to introduce is to repeal what has been done.  But even better, they want to make abortion a hot button issue again.  Just how is outlawing abortions job creating?  Oh yeah, for those who can travel, the jobs will go over seas and for those who can’t, bring back the back alley professionals.  This is policy?  This is improving our country and focusing on our future?  It is tyranny of a religious belief forced on the rest of us by people who say they want government out of our lives. Starting to get the picture that they are not making sense?

It would be funny if there weren’t so many Americans who vote for these morons while clutching their guns to their breasts.  Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.  What a joke and failure of critical thinking.  What other country in the world (not at war) kills an average of 34 people a day with guns.  If you look at other countries that don’t have near this problem, there is one major difference.  They don’t have ready access to guns.  Could there be a link?  Not with this brain dead bunch.

I simply can’t wait for the State of the Union speech and then Paul Ryan’s rebuttal, followed by Michele Bachmann’s rebuttal of his rebuttal.  And in all their cutting and slashing and turning things over to the market place, the reality of where we have been simply won’t dawn on them.  This is a party of the selfish, by the selfish, and for the selfish.  It wants to keep things just the way they are and make the rich, richer.  It is time to wake up and watch what many Americans brought to power by voting in ignorance.  Now I understand why they hate intellectualism.  It confuses them.  You know, confronting opinions with facts.  Well actually the corporations are pretty smart, they have these people carrying their water and keeping them rolling in the dough at the expense of everyone else.

We will Miss You Keith

I was shocked to hear Keith Olbermann’s last show was Friday.  He has played such an important role in bringing back some balance, challenging guests and the media’s conventional wisdom, and not selling out to get access.  His special comments were usually right on the mark and gave a platform for what all of us were thinking and the rest of the media was too timid to address.  Sure Keith could be over the top sometimes, but he wasn’t mean and he did not lie or mislead.  If he made a mistake, he corrected it.  He brought a semblance of balance back to the news and showed amazing courage in the face of an environment of pandering to the right by the media.

If you exam how we went to war in Iraq you really start to understand how most news outlets were co-opt by power, and still are.  They are owned and managed by conservative corporations and Keith was always swimming upstream.   And let’s not forget that Keith brought us Rachel Maddow and a show where most conservatives won’t show up, not because she will be rude or overbearing, just the opposite, but she will hold them accountable to the facts.    We will sorely miss Keith Olbermann and in my mind he is a giant.  He really did look evil in the eyes and he did not blink.

One last thought.  Keith Olbermann was never uncivil.  Worst Person’s in the World was humor, and mild compared to what John Stewart does and no one has accused him of being uncivil.  Passionate for the truth and pointing out when some one lies is not uncivil.  We used to think that was what the media did until they were captured by the conservative noise machine and corporations bent on entertainment.  And if you think we have a liberal press, think again.  See anybody at Fox News fired for being passionate.  Good God people, they have Glen Beck.  Keith, if you ever get this way, I will open up my best bottle of wine. and maybe a nice leg of lamb.  It is the least I can do.  We owe you so much over the years.  Thank you.

Obama’s Approval Rating

President Obama’s approval rating has improved as those who disapprove of his performance fell from 48% in November to 41% today. Now that people see what they elected in 2010 and that just saying no displays that they are bereft of ideas, President Obama doesn’t look so bad any more. No S@%t Sherlock. Governing is a whole other ball of wax than criticizing. Usually blowing something up doesn’t really improve its operation much.

Pragmatism

USA Today (yes I am traveling again) ran a front page story yesterday, Who Is Obama?, raising the issue that his pragmatism in this political climate confuses everyone about his core values.  Actually I think the confusion is over the word pragmatism.  I think President Obama is confused about the word pragmatism.  I think President Obama has core progressive values, but sees the political landscape and he defines progress and success by what he can achieve or perceives he can achieve in that environment.  Most of us in our lives define pragmatism the same way.  I would really like to buy that house in Rich Acres, but reality intrudes and I realize that I can’t afford to heat it, even if I could afford to buy it.  So we live within our means.  It is a prized character trait.

President Obama applied this in everything he has done and he is admired for it at least in media circles.  Look at the Stimulus Bill.  It was a pragmatic approach to what they thought they could get through.  Same with health care.  Same with financial reform.  Same with the Tax Cut Extension Bill.  And what you perceive as what you can get done is right of center.  The right will always hate him, and the left (me) thinks he sold out.  Well, he did not sell out.  In his rational mind he got the best deal for now and thinks he has move the nation closer to the middle or left in our long road to change.

But that is where the definition of pragmatic becomes a point of contention.  Certainly what he did was politically pragmatic.  But here is the rub as Shakespeare would say:  Sometimes what is politically achievable will not fix a problem.  The Stimulus bill was too small and the result was the 2010 elections.  The health care bill did not address the real problem, rising health care costs and a profit motive for health insurance.  The financial reform bill did not address the root systemic problem of too big to fail.  And I could go on and on.  So is it pragmatic to find a solution everyone will go along with if that solution is ineffective?  I don’t think so.  I think that is his fatal flaw.

The problems we are facing have been building for many years and the near failure of the banking system was a symptom of the disease, not the disease itself.  Our economy has been fueled by bubbles, not sustained real growth.  Over the years wealth has been transferred from many to the few, leaving a middle class without enough good jobs and income to sustain our economy.  Power and money have seized the reins of government and tilted the playing field toward corporations, not people.  The end result is that the well being of our citizens, except for the top 5% or so, is no longer reflected by a strong wall street or thriving businesses.  Businesses grow, manufacture, hire, and sell over seas.  There is no flow down except for the owners.  So being pragmatic with this system is to win a battle and lose the war if you are fighting for the well being of all Americans.

So President Obama is truly a pragmatic president in that he is getting what he can in this environment and making life a little easier (reduced the impact of the crash, brought more people into health care, etc.) for most of us.  But the analogy that we want to think about is improving service and passenger comfort on the Titanic, while increasing the speed and efficiency of the engines.  We will just hit that iceberg that much harder, but we will be more comfortable when we hit it.  No, I don’t think he is being pragmatic in the larger sense and he needs to understand that.  Whatever happened to reaching for the unreachable  star, to be better than you are?  What could we have accomplished if instead of assuming what is practical, we start demanding what is necessary.  If we don’t start doing that soon, pragmatism will just leave us adrift in our economic decline.  Fade to Music…….

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

So We Need to Deregulate?

Obama pens an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (I wonder who his audience was?) about regulation hindering business and we are all going WTF.  We are fighting the dragon of deregulation that has done more damage to our country than any “job killing” regulations, and the President lends credibility to the Republicans’ “Government is Bad”.  The question one has to ask is does this man understand politics.  Well actually there are two questions, does he understand politics, and what is his goal?

Some commentators have opined that this is an attempt to gain support in 2012.  But why would you undercut what you are trying to do with health care (that is regulation), regulating the financial markets, and just about everything else by taking up a Republican talking point which reinforces that Government is bad?  Of course some regulations are over bearing or might be counterproductive.  Would that be the Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA regulation of carbon dioxide, regulation of food safety, and toys from China?  Sure these hurt business, but they save lives and we have seen, if we care to peruse our history, massive damage done by unregulated business.

What is he thinking?  He comes off one of his greatest moments uniting the country, and then divides it again?  The answer to that question is what many of us so admire about him, but is also his Achilles’ heel.  He is totally rational and he thinks every one else is if just given the right facts.  Look at his address in Tucson.  He knew that many of the facts about what caused the shooting were at best murky, so to unite the country in seeing that we need to act like adults, he used a child’s innocent respect for us as a tool to get people to think about their actions.  It was a great act of finding the common denominator in that charged environment to make us think.

But that same belief that by being rational, you can reach out and bring the other camp into your fold is a failure to recognize that rational thought is not the final arbitrator for many people (see: Honest Debate, Really).  Clearly there are regulations that have unintended consequences and some do more harm than good.  A rational person would understand that, but would not extend it to all regulations are bad which is where the conservative right is.  President Obama, believing he is showing his reasonableness and willingness to find good ideas across the aisle, has fallen once again into the trap that he thinks the other side will respond rationally.  His fatal flaw for which we also admire him is he expects the other side to be honest and rational.  They are not.

So they will simply use his words to shout out that even President Obama understands that Government hinders our good life and the detail of what regulations are worthwhile and what minor adjustments to others are necessary will get lost in the fight for the middle’s political soul, and it is a tactile blunder if you really want to start fixing this country.  On the other hand, if your goal is to get re-elected in 2012 and damn the country, it is brilliant.  Sadly the man does not understand the psychological battle he is in.  It is not about the facts.  It is about what you want to believe are the facts.

Oh Sarah, We are Going to Miss You

I watched Sarah Palin’s interview and was it just me or did her answers seem to ramble into nonsensical? There was a level of paranoia about “them” out to get us. To think she could have been one heart beat away from the Presidency. Might make you want to stop and think about other Tea Party candidates and their policies. Of course using thinking and Tea Party in the same sentence is an oxymoron.  Maybe being mad is not such a good basis for a political philosophy/party.

Honest Debate, Really?

Well we are going to tamp down the partisan rhetoric and have civil, honest debates on the issues.  Righty-o.  The real question is that if we assume that we had real debate without one side talking over the other side, would it make any difference?  Well it might with the middle independents.  That’s why it won’t happen.  The Republicans have been very successful at controlling the framing and the debate.  So when the megaphone keeps repeating the same alleged facts, without any real counter, these alleged facts become the conventional wisdom.  So strike one is that the right cannot afford real civil, honest debates because that would give both sides equal use of the megaphone.

Clearly there is this segment of our society, independents, that could be swayed by facts and they do control elections (primaries excepted).  But sadly, and the real problem, is that there is a whole segment of our society who are not interested in the facts.  Remember that rhetorical question, “Whose facts?”  That tells the whole story.  Sadly it is not muddled thinking or confusion, as our President likes to believe.  It is a religious fervor based deep in our psyche that really drives the political divide today.  Our Founding Fathers believed deeply in honest debate.  But honesty doesn’t exist any more because it is inconvenient.

Iif we examine both parties, assuming you are open to “honest debate”.  Which one is in denial?  I’ll give you a hint:  Global warming doesn’t exist; Freddie and Fannie caused the whole banking crisis; We are fighting the war in Afghanistan to defeat Al Qaeda; Cutting taxes doesn’t impact the deficit; The market place solves all problems; Evolution is a lie; Unemployment insurance just keeps people from taking jobs; Government just screws everything up; All our budget woes can just be solved by getting the waste and incompetence out of government; We have the best health care system in the world; and Guns don’t kill, people do.  Each one of these can be demonstrated to be false or mostly false, and yet no set of facts will shake these beliefs.  The GAO, an nonpartisan government agency designed to give realistic evaluations to Congress said the health care bill will save us money.  So the Republicans quickly discounted them.  Whose truth?  Who is the honest broker?  Certainly not our media.

So what about the other side, progressives?  Well, what about them?  Give me a list of their core beliefs that is false.  Well, I will give you one:  Government can solve all problems.  Actually they don’t believe that, but that is how the right likes to portray them these days.  Progressives are children of the enlightenment.  If the other side were making sense, and their policies worked to improve the conditions for everyone, they would adopt them.  But in that statement is the real issue.  They don’t care about everyone.  For the right it is a strange brew of core beliefs that stokes their psychological being.

Strangely it boils down to this:  Control.  I think the basic human struggle is trying to make sense and order out of chaos we call life.  Rarely in our structured civilization are we faced with this deep seated fear of being adrift and out of control.  Usually some catastrophic event shakes us out of our denial and makes us realize how fragile we are.  When bad things happen to good people you see this struggle.  Religion is one balm that works for many.  “Trust in God.”  “He is guiding our lives.”  This is one example of how people make sense out of the seeming chaos of life.

All of us, deep in our psyche, need some way to give us a sense of control and order over our lives.  Think about reading about some horrible thing that happened to somebody and how our mind tries to rationalize how our own actions in those circumstances would have protected us.  Blame the raped girl for her provocative dress or the mugged for being on a bad street.  It is a force that should not be underestimated although rarely at the conscious level.

Progressives have one way of dealing with this.  First you have to understand that they are empathetic.  “There for the grace of God (see there it is again), go I.  Bad things happen to good people and we must stick together to solve our problems.”  They truly believe that we are all in this together, hence they want to use government to help solve the problems of the many, like health care, education, and poverty.  This position has evolved over time to include personnel responsibility and a strong support for a regulated (protecting us all) market place.  It’s a nurturing approach to our state of being.

Conservatives take an entirely different approach.  Again, I am not talking about some rational decision making, this is deep in the psyche.  Conservatives are not empathetic, they are authoritarian, paternalistic really. It is all about the rules.  If you follow the rules, if you live a disciplined life, if you believe the right things, you will thrive.  That is their control.  If you don’t, well, you get what you deserve.  Notice how they like to blame the victim because in their mind they deserve it.  “There for the grace of God, do not go I, because I have lived by the rules and worked hard.”  Poor people are poor because they didn’t work hard and follow the rules.

To upset this balance is to release havoc and chaos in the world.  People who don’t have health care are lazy, didn’t follow the rules, or in some other way, deserve their fate.  That is why they hate government.  Government upsets the natural order of things and gives people who don’t (in their minds) deserve help, help, creating more chaos.  That is why they love the unregulated market place.  The righteous thrive and the invisible hand it is the final arbitrator of righteous if the government doesn’t interfere (I always thought bankers were righteous). That’s why they hate taxes.  It just gives the government their well deserved cash to spend on those that don’t deserve it.

So what happens when these beliefs are contradicted by reality?  Progressives have found that some people abuse help so they have modified their beliefs to include more responsibility.   Progressives have agreed that some taxes are hurtful to business.  Progressives have agreed that for many things, the market place does a better job of providing, albeit a regulated market place.  So what do Conservatives do?

They carefully mine data to support their world view.  Why deny Global Warming unless you are terrified that it will require government intervention?  Why admit we have the world’s most expensive health care system with a ranking of 27th on outcomes, unless you are terrified that government will help those who don’t deserve it?  Hell, then they will multiply.  Why blame the financial meltdown on Freddie and Frannie when even Allan Greenspan pointed out they were just late players, unless you are terrified of a regulated market place.  The inaccuracies, no out right lies, that are put forward by mainstream Republicans is astonishing unless you understand this dynamic.  The very basis of their stable world is being threatened.  This is not about rational debate, it is about preventing a psychic earthquake of magnitude 10.

If you, and hopefully our President, finally figures out this dynamic, then understand that the discussion between the right and the left is never going to be honest.  It is about a shouting contest to see who can reach the middle the most.  So far the conservatives have won with a whole lot of help from the media who has not been an honest broker of what is factual and what are allegations.  The right has spent years establishing think tanks to mine data and carefully siphon off what supports their view, framing the message, while ignoring the rest.

But here is the other big difference.  The left does not control Democrats.  Generally speaking they usually come along.  But the far right controls the Republican Party.  See Election 2010.  Moderates, people who might actually still have some functioning brain cells, were more or less thrown out.  So we now have one party controlled by people who live in brain freeze land.  Facts and science are their enemy when it contradicts their political philosophy.  There is only one reason to debate with these people because you are not going to change their minds.  That reason is to reach the middle out there that can still be swayed.

This is where we have lost in the past, and we must learn from our mistakes.  Democrats, if they want to move this nation forward, must hold both the media and Republicans responsible when they lie or mislead.  That means meeting fire with fire.  The debate will never be honest from their point of view.  The good news is, ours can be, but it must meet them on battlefield. It can be civil and not personal, but it has to be firm.   It cannot allow calls for civility to result in failing to show up for battle.  But when we fight, take the higher ground.  The difference will be obvious.

Continuing the Confusion

I listened once again today to the media talking about the upcoming debate on the House Republican’s proposal to repeal the health care bill and characterizing it as a chance to see if  more civil discourse will break out.   I am not sure what that means.  Does that mean Republicans will say in a nice courteous voice that Obama’s health care plan will bankrupt the country when the non-partisan OMB says that it will reduce the deficit?  Does it mean they will quit making up their own facts or does it mean they will just be gentle when they lie?  Does it mean that they will present a real alternative other than just leaving the nation adrift?

Does more civil debate mean some kind of bipartisan compromise?  There really is no middle ground and the media seems to completely miss this point.  We have two diametrically opposed views of the role of government.  Paul Krugman today in the New York Times described it best (A tale of Two Moralities):

One side of American politics considers the modern welfare state — a private-enterprise economy, but one in which society’s winners are taxed to pay for a social safety net — morally superior to the capitalism red in tooth and claw we had before the New Deal. It’s only right, this side believes, for the affluent to help the less fortunate.

The other side believes that people have a right to keep what they earn, and that taxing them to support others, no matter how needy, amounts to theft. That’s what lies behind the modern right’s fondness for violent rhetoric: many activists on the right really do see taxes and regulation as tyrannical impositions on their liberty.”

He left out one thing here.  The side that thinks they have a right to keep what they earn feel they deserved their good fortune, and those that need help somehow deserve their fate.  Middle ground, as he pointed out, was the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan, and we could find some.  Today what elects Republicans is the radical right and Republicans are terrified of them, because without them, they are out of work.  See Elections 2010.  So this party allows no middle ground.  The media has been slow to point this out as Democrats again and again compromise and the Republicans give nothing.  See Tax Cut Extension “compromise”.  When you finally understand this dynamic, you understand that except in very few instances, like guns (Democrats are cowards on this issue and have become Republicans), there will be no bipartisan solutions.  What we have are two totally opposite views of how to proceed, and oh by the way, the conservative approach has already provenly failed.

So what is this more civil dialogue?  Well we can take guns and threats out of the equation, but the Republicans have demonized government and need to to maintain their base.  When you make government the problem, not the solution, you are trapped in a dialogue about tearing down “a more perfect union”.  You can’t talk about using government to fix our problems because it is the enemy.  Hence we are where we are with a large segment of our population thinking they owe nothing to government. There aren’t any solutions but lower taxes and laissez faire government.   In this environment, there will be no civil dialogue, because we are all not in this together.  They are in the life raft prying your fingers off the side while you try to climb in because then they would have to share their space, water, and food.

One last thought.  Chris Mathews from MSNBC, likes to say that the other side is not evil and that view causes many of our problems.  I am not so sure.  What is it when their side promulgates lies to support their position (See Fox News).  What is it when their selfishness leaves mentally dangerous people on the street, allows people to die because we don’t want to pay for their transplants, forces the majority of working class to slowly loose their standard of living, and tilts the playing field in their favor.

How do you separate evil outcomes from the people who promulgate the policies that result in these outcomes especially if their politics are scorched earth politics.  The conventional wisdom is that the facts will inform and our President believes that.  I think they can’t afford to be informed and their rejection of reality and their fellow man is evil.  Does that make them evil? Do I think my conservative friends are evil?  No, but the outcome of their policies they promote certainly increase the evil in the world.  So I am conflicted.  Many are good people, but they are causing a lot of damage.