Sanity and Insanity in American Politics (Bachmann, Sessions, Romney, and Chicken)

Sanity: Former US officials and academics (including me) call on the Congressional leadership to remove dangerous conspiracy theorist Michele Bachmann from the House Intelligence Committee. Bachmann has not only embarrassed herself and Congress by saying that the federal government is riddled with “Muslim Brotherhood moles,” but her crackpot ideas have hurt US diplomacy in Egypt. Moreover, she is openly linked to the MEK terrorist organization. She shouldn’t be privy to intelligence or making intelligence policy!

Insanity: Michele Bachmann is a sitting representative in the US Congress!

Sanity: France has passed a tax on financial transactions. Since the finance sector has clearly become corrupt and a big casino in which our futures are gambled, this measure might rein in the irrational exuberance, and it is an obvious place to go in a recession for governmental resources for the public good.

Insanity Mitt Romney’s tax plan would cut taxes on the rich and increase them for you and me! He is campaigning on this plan and openly telling you that is what he is going to do. And no one thinks that is weird. Are we serfs, and he’s the candidate of the House of Lords?

Sanity: Today, 47 million women are now eligible for preventive care services, including prescription contraception, as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

Insanity: Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) compared birth control to Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

Sanity: The campus policeman who pepper-sprayed student protesters last winter no longer works for the university.

Insanity: The government has found a way around Posse Comitatus, the law that prevents the US military from arresting people on US soil. They have just turned local police forces like that in Anaheim into special forces operatives with full battle gear.

Sanity: Over 60 percent of Californians continue to favor the state’s greenhouse gas reductions program, and Californians say that the candidate’s position on climate change will affect how they vote in the presidential election.

Insanity Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, when told by Barbara Boxer that 98% of scientists reject his contrarian position on climate change, said he was “offended by that…” We’re offended that you’re playing Russian roulette with the lives of our children and grandchildren, senator. Plus, have you been back to Alabama this summer?

Sanity: KFC says it supports gay marriage rights.

Insanity: Evangelicals are lining up at Chick-a-Fill fast food joints to show support for the bigotry of the chain’s owner.

The gay chicken wars have come to America.

20 Responses

  1. There’s no way Romney’s proposals would get through the House of Lords as presently constituted; it’s modally to the left of the Cameron government because it contains a leavening of people who were put there because they have intelligent things to say about stuff.

    What he actually illustrates is the truth of the old saw about poor Americans not seeing themselves as working class but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires. And what you can do about that I have no idea.

  2. How does a political party expressing concerns about possible security leaks in the White House reconcile such concerns with assigning a House member linked to a terrorist organization to the Intelligence Committee? Who is responsible for assigning someone with terrorist ties to a sensitive committee position?

  3. I too had held a conspiracy theory that I must now abandon. For years I thought that Turkey and Iran were secretly cooperating to reshape the middle east. The conflict in Syria now makes it impossible for mje to continue to hold on to this phantasie. If I was wrong about that what else could I have been wrong about?
    Oh well at least I did not shoot anyone because I thought that they were part of a conspiracy that did not exsist.

  4. These evangelicals eating these greasy, unhealthy chicken sandwiches in support of the Chick-Fil-A army should be more worried about protecting the health of their bodies, as in their Bible they are told to treat their bodies like temples. Oh wait, fighting against gay marriage that won’t affect them (however, chances are they’re projecting) is way more important.

    Additionally, I wish Budweiser came out against gay marriage; these evangelicals would be ten times funnier than during these chicken wars.

  5. “Insanity: Evangelicals are lining up at Chick-a-Fill fast food joints to show support for the bigotry of the chain’s owner.”

    I think it’s more than just “Evangelicals.” I, personally, support the rights of gays to marry, but I don’t think the opposing opinion is limited to Evangelicals.

  6. Sanity: Humankind is literally one family, there is one species walking around planet earth, which to date seems to be less important than various types of tribal or national identity. There are humans on planet earth. All are brothers and sisters. Regardless of nation or race or religion.

    Insanity: Tribal and nationalistic groups attempt to dominate others groups at the expense of the greater good and the potential survival of our global human species.

    Sanity: Everybody, the entire human population, awakens to our global responsibility for planetary well being creating a culture of cooperation and tolerance and peace, based on the universal assumption of the prior unity of all humankind.

    Insanity: Various tribal, financial, corporate, religious, and nationalistic interests maintain the status of quo of everyone’s separate identity and the global disaster in progress continues along the lines of utter insanity.

    Sanity: Oneness. Unity. No-difference. Global cooperation and tolerance. Humankind as literally one family. Compassion. Universal religious tolerance and religion as a means for extended universal love and compassion to all beings.

    Insanity: Tribalism. Competition. Separateness. Nationalisms. Anti-peace. War. Difference. Humankind as a bunch of various “us versus them”. Religious bigotry, war, division, hatred, and religion as means for tribal war.

    Sanity: egolessness

    Insanity: ego

  7. Ugh. Please avoid writing about military matters, Professor.

    Dressing up an Anaheim Police Officer in camo and giving him a tear gas gun does not turn him into a Special Forces operative with full battle gear.

    • Joe—What’s your point? Juan is talking about the alarming and accelerating militarization of police departments across the country, not showing off his knowledge of military tactical gear. That being said, review the photos on this page: link to co-ironwill.blogspot.com and you might forgive naifs like Juan, myself, and the beseiged citizens of Anaheim and elsewhere for thinking that the police are in full combat gear.

      • I just realized that the photos of police in tactical gear that I linked to are on a resistor/gun nut blog. While it doesn’t affect my point, I am not affiliated with such groups, nor do I support/condone that brand of wackiness either. It is alarming to realize that, as police become effectively indistinguishable from the federal military, resistor groups will become more paranoid and more likely to act.

        • Not “tactical gear,” Jared. Tactical dress. Gear refers to equipment, the weaponry and tools carried by the personnel. That is a page discussing what the officers are wearing. That is, their clothing.

          Another demonstration of the problem I’m talking about.

      • My point is that the claim is factually false. That should be enough for you to consider my complaint perfectly legitimate, but I’ve got more.

        My point is that overly-dramatic, factually-deficient, panicky rhetoric doesn’t help; it undermines the argument you want to make.

        I doubt you have trouble understanding this when the panic button being pounded says “terrorist.”

        not showing off his knowledge of military tactical gear

        Then don’t use specific language (“special forces operative,” “full battle gear”) intended to foster that impression.

        and you might forgive naifs like Juan, myself, and the beseiged citizens of Anaheim and elsewhere for thinking that the police are in full combat gear

        And you might forgive me for not wanting my side of the debate to be lead by naifs like you, because naifs get the asses kicked in political debates.

  8. A financial transaction tax is almost certainly revenue negative. Sweden was highly critical of the proposal as they had a similar tax in the past, the result was between 90% and 99% of the market moved to London to escape the tax. The loss of the income tax on dealer’s bonuses is likely to substantially exceed the revenue raised by the FTT.

    • Good.

      Wherever the transactions flee to, will be the next country to get raped by the transactors. It’s called bubble economics. Once every country has been raped, they will all realize they need to stop the insanity, and all pass the tax, thus leaving the pimps with no place to go but the
      Fourth World unless they want to pay the tax.

      • It can be done. In 1963 JFK imposed a tax Americans buying foreign stocks from foreigners. Until that point the US had been making substantial profits lending to overseas businesses and other countries. The tax, introduced for populist reasons, effectively cut this off. The result was that London, which since the second world war had been a bit of a backwater, became the centre of the Eurodollar market. Britain had various restrictive regulations however it was possible to work around them to offer loans to foreign customers and this attracted a lot of business to London. It is relatively easy to move business to an established financial centre and as the UK has absolutely no intention of imposing a Tobin Tax it is likely to end up in London. It is a bit harder to set up a new centre but not all that hard.

      • Well then I guess the bastards will pay the tax, which means they won’t be so keen to keep inventing bullshit new derivatives. Folks, the problem is the rate of useless speculation. We didn’t have these problems under Glass-Steagall regulations, and we had plenty of economic growth in 1933-2000. Since it was repealed, what do we have to show for the insane speculation that was unleashed?

    • My perception is that the major advantage Juan sees of the transaction tax is to slow the rate of looting the economy by speculators. (And I recognize that Brett is saying not to count on the money rather than not to add the tax.) To know whether it would be a revenue gain or loss if it drives most of the speculators elsewhere, one would have to know how much they are paying in taxes now. My suspicion is that they were paying a rather higher rate in Sweden than they are here.
      I would consider it desirable (but probably unattainable) to drive the speculators out of the country; it would remove a major source of corruption. But it won’t be done by politicians who profit from the present system.

  9. I like Chick-Fil-A. I also liked the Flames, the Omni, and that nice Stew who lived above me. Bygone era, I guess, but is it allowed to eat there because you like the food?

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