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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 23,002

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It's worth remembering we've been through this before:

Do Mitt, Rick Santorum, and Peter King think Thomas Nast was right?

* Title: Religious liberty is guaranteed : but can we allow foreign reptiles to crawl all over us?
* Creator(s): Nast, Thomas, 1840-1902, artist
* Date Created/Published:
* Medium: 1 drawing : pen and ink.
* Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-50658 (b&w film copy neg.)
* Rights Advisory: Publication may be restricted. For information see "Cabinet of American Illustration,"(http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/111_cai.htmlAZ)
* Access Advisory: Restricted access: Materials in this collection are often extremely fragile; most originals cannot be served.
* Call Number: CAI - Nast, no. 54 (C size)
* Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
* Notes:
o No publication information.
o (DLC/PP-1980:0080.7).
o Forms part of: Cabinet of American illustration (Library of Congress).
o Exhibit loan 4207-L.
* Subjects:
o Catholics.
o Mormans.
o Domes.
o Freedom of religion.
o Religious groups.
o Reptiles.
* Format:
o Cartoons (Commentary)
o Drawings.
* Collections:
o Cabinet of American Illustration
* Part of: Cabinet of American illustration (Library of Congress)
* Bookmark This Record:

“The American River Ganges”

May 8, 1875
Thomas Nast
“The American River Ganges”

Children; Education, Public Schools; New York City, Education; Religion, Roman Catholic Church; Symbols, Columbia; Women, Symbolic;

This cartoon is one of Thomas Nast's most famous. It depicts Roman Catholic clergy as crocodiles invading America's shore to devour the nation's schoolchildren--white, black, American Indian, and Chinese. (The white children are prominent in front, the rest are in the background.) The public school building stands as a fortress against the threat of theocracy, but it has been bombarded and flies Old Glory upside down to signal distress.

Education in nineteenth-century America was provided by a variety of private, charitable, public, and combined public-private institutions, with the public school movement gaining strength over the decades. A major political issue during the 1870s was whether state and municipal governments should allocate funds for religiously affiliated schools, many of which were Roman Catholic. In most public schools, the Protestant version of the Bible was read, Protestant prayers were uttered, and Protestant teachers taught Protestant moral lessons. (Notice the boy in the cartoon who protects the younger students from the Catholic onslaught carries a Bible in his coat.) Catholic (and some Protestant) leaders asked that parochial schools receive their fair share of public funds. Protestant defenders of public schools erroneously considered that request to be an attempt by Catholics to destroy the spreading public school system.
The publishers and staff of Harper’s Weekly, including cartoonist Thomas Nast, were mainly Protestant or secular liberals. Like most such Americans, they believed that the Roman Catholic Church was an antiquated, authoritarian institution that stood against the “Modernism” of a progressive society and democratic political institutions. Irish-Catholics in particular were suspected of being loyal primarily to the Vatican, rather than to the United States, and of not being capable of assimilation by nature or stubborn will. Furthermore, Irish-Catholics were overwhelmingly aligned with the Democratic Party, and more politically involved than other ethnic groups. The Republican newspaper was vehemently opposed to what it believed was the growing political and social influence of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States.
(more at link)

As a complement to that, a look at where those burdens lay:

Below is a chart I made showing CPI inflation-adjusted tax bracket thresholds based on numbers from the Federal Individual Income Tax Rates History of The Tax Foundation (http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/151.html).

This chart just shows the taxable-income levels where one rate changed to the next. (Perhaps someone with better graphic presentation skills can get a better version). It doesn't show the rates themselves (go to the link above for the charts).

What I mainly wanted to show when I made this is how we treated income levels in the tax system in the past, which is a separate issue from what the rates actually were. For instance, during Obama's presidency there have been lots of arguments about raising taxes on income over $250,000 (often framed as "is $250 thousand/year 'rich'?"). In comparison, in 1955 there were 24 tax brackets (4 times as many as now). 16 of them, two-thirds of that number, affected taxable incomes over the equivalent of $250K. The highest bracket (the 91% one) affected income over ~$1.6million. OMG, Class Warfare! Socialism! Marxism!

And we know what sort of people were calling the president 'communist' back then. Birchers and other ranting cranks.

Romney debate strategy in one short video...

Just remember, Mitt uses horseshit instead of foam.

The ghosts of Zingers past. And some of them backfire

Investigative journalist Robert Parry writes yesterday of researching in the National Archives and finding some four pages of prepared "zingers" for Pres. George H.W. Bush in preparation for their Oct. 11, 1992 debate. Parry also goes into many of the early RW smears about Clinton that these played on. Most of these smears were ginned up by the Bush campaign itself, seeking to paint Clinton (the 'pro-business' "New Democrat" who made a point of not being beholden to traditional Democratic 'special' interest constituencies) as a some sort of radical (even a closeted communist). Parry goes into the background on some of those smears.

The excerpt below is a demonstration that "zingers" can backfire. When Bush tried to question Clinton's patriotism, he mangled it with his usual word salad, and Clinton had a riposte that hit him right between the eyes and completely derails any further "zinger"-usage by Bush.

When Debate ‘Zingers’ Backfired
October 1, 2012

By Robert Parry


However, the “zinger” ambush was spoiled when Bush clumsily tried to impugn Clinton’s patriotism and encountered a strong counterattack. Early in the debate, Bush raised the loyalty issue in response to a question about character, but the incumbent’s message was lost in a cascade of inarticulate sentence fragments.

“I said something the other day where I was accused of being like Joe McCarthy because I question — I’ll put it this way, I think it’s wrong to demonstrate against your own country or organize demonstrations against your own country in foreign soil,” Bush said.

“I just think it’s wrong. I — that — maybe — they say, ‘well, it was a youthful indiscretion.’ I was 19 or 20 flying off an aircraft carrier and that shaped me to be commander in chief of the armed forces, and — I’m sorry but demonstrating — it’s not a question of patriotism, it’s a question of character and judgment.”

Clinton responded by confronting Bush directly. “You have questioned my patriotism,” the Democrat shot back. Clinton then unloaded his own zinger:

“When Joe McCarthy went around this country attacking people’s patriotism, he was wrong. He was wrong, and a senator from Connecticut stood up to him, named Prescott Bush. Your father was right to stand up to Joe McCarthy. You were wrong to attack my patriotism.”

Is there anyplace that will have a live Zinger-counter?

Preferably with a rating system, so we can get a real-time "like a lead brick" count.

Any sites or apps? Or just a local watch party?

Mitt Romney, The Musical

Courtesy of The Dummies

The whole analogy is based on the rich guy being the guy who really runs the show...

...the whole "engine of the economy" thing.

The financial guys aren't they engine, they're the lube system. When functioning properly, they are the oil and grease that lets all the parts move freely to do what they are supposed to without excessive wear and tear. A really good system also regularly clears away old oil and grease so that it doesn't gunk up, but still, it's not the engine.

What we have is a dysfunctional system that thinks it is successful if collects as much oil and grease as possible in one spot; that's what its incentives are. And to do that, it strips as much as it can from every other place, and is ever more stingy at parceling out any. So all the parts wear more and break down faster.

And the lube system that thinks it's an engine does nothing but complain about how run down the other parts are and they need to work harder if they want any oil & grease.

Blast of crazy from the past: Gulag America

Next time your e-mail-forwarding or Facebook nut-post-liking relative or acquaintance wails about the doom this country faces from Obama's "radical socialist agenda", try asking them how many blue-helmeted Chinese Red Army troops are patrolling their street today.

Behold a sample of some RW tinfoil-hat nuttery from 1997: "Gulag America". I won't link to any of the many copies of it on the Internets (including Teabagger sites), but it's only a Google away. Boldface parts are my emphasis, but kind of random because it's hard to pick the nuttier or more ironic parts. Without further ado:

Now that American soldiers have been used in Kuwait, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo, a precedent has been set to bring the red Chinese troops here. The UN could justify such an action if the Black Muslims instigate a race war. I expect this scenario if the Democrats loose the White House and Congress in the 2000 elections. Comrade Clinton could not be slicker in making himself Commandant of Gulag America.

In 1997, there were already 43 concentrations camps ready to imprison Christians and other patriotic people, who want to be governed by the Constitution. If the Clintons' hatred for Christians and other constitutionalists seems incredible to you, then ask yourself why the White House instructed the FBI this year to regard us as terrorists. Under this guise, Comrade Clinton can raid the homes of innocent saints and patriots, take them away to never be seen again as in Nazi Germany, and the media will make everyone think they were criminals. In 1997, 20 more concentration camps were under construction. Their locations are revealed on the link above, as excerpted from Jim Keith's book, Black Helicopters II:

"If you notice, they often do things on the 13th of the month. Mr. Clinton does a lot of things on the 13th. On September 13, 1993, the brokered Israeli-PLO peace accord was signed. He waited 14 days, until September 13, 1994 to sign the Crime Bill. On June 13, 1995, he stated he'd veto the national debt authorization ceiling. On November 13, he did veto it. On January 13, 1996, he made a speech to Bosnia. "There will be an interim of probably just days from the time they launch the RED List, to the declaration of martial law when they'll start coming after those on the BLUE List. It'll work the same way it did with the Nazis who had a list of people to pick up, on June 30, 1934, before they declared their "mobilization." "It's the same blueprint being used because it's the same spirit leading the Fourth Reich as led the Third Reich. In Germany, they used trains, here it will be helicopters and 747s. "When Hitler was villainizing the Jews, he hired thugs and dressed them in black uniforms. He was building concentration camps and setting up a transport system. In this country, they're now in the process of villainizing Christians, Patriots, Constitutionalists, and outspoken talk-show hosts, etc.

"Who will be doing the actual picking up? Foreign "cops" (United Nations Internal Security Forces). Over 30 foreign military bases under the United Nations flag are already set up in the US., all with the approval of special appointees in high Federal positions. These bases are already manned with over ONE MILLION troops from Russia, Poland, Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Great Britain, Nicaragua, and Asian countries. "Why are they here? Because unlike our own troops--many of which along with the Guard and Reserve of 24 states are being deployed overseas--will have no qualms about firing on U.S. citizens when the time comes. "There are more than 2,000 Russian tanks, military trucks and chemical warfare vehicles just outside Gulfport, Mississippi. They began arriving in January of 1994. "There are 180 foreign troops at Fort Reilly which was confirmed to me by a Brigadier General. There are 300 who came into the Birmingham, Alabama airport on a big white Russian cargo plane on December 13, 1995. "As of 1995, there were 10,000 plus foreign troops at Fort Chafee, Arkansas reportedly making preparations for 20,000 "detainees." "Also in 1995 at Fort Polk, Louisiana (U.S. Army Post), Russian and Eastern European troops were deployed under the U.N. flag. (When questioned about this, the legislative aide of the congressman who resides over Fort Polk, stated, "Yes, they were there undertaking broad, joint training exercises. And, yes, the U.N. flag was flying. There may still be some there today.") "At the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, there are many Russian tanks. One of the NCOs told his father that he'd been maintaining them.

"This is going on all over the country. German troops are known to be at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, and Fort Hood, Texas. Chinese troops are known to be at the Long Beach Naval Station in California. "There's not going to be some future event when the invading troops are going to show up. They're already here! When martial law is implemented, these foreign U.N. troops will be policing our country, carrying out the plans of the New World Order."

Gosh, comrades, I have to dash off and report to my local political officer, and I need to practice my Mandarin for the proper greeting.

Neocon Chickenhawks For Romney 2012

"Our next war for you to fight will go swell! Pinkie promise!"

"Because in the next war our chain of iffy assumptions will work! We're due!"

"War? Chaaaaaarrrrrgggge it!"

"Neocon Chickenhawks: Making half-assed plans for wars other people will fight since 1997!"

Add your own.

Mitt Romney's Neocon War Cabinet

Considering the op-ed in the NYTimes about Bush's negligence in the lead up to 9/11, Good Read-ers may want to look at this article in The Nation from back in May:


Mitt Romney's Neocon War Cabinet
Ari Berman
May 2, 2012 | This article appeared in the May 21, 2012 edition of The Nation.

Romney’s team is notable for including Bush aides tarnished by the Iraq fiasco: Robert Joseph, the National Security Council official who inserted the infamous “sixteen words” in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union message claiming that Iraq had tried to buy enriched uranium from Niger; Dan Senor, former spokesman for the hapless Coalition Provisional Authority under Paul Bremer in Iraq; and Eric Edelman, a top official at the Pentagon under Bush. “I can’t name a single Romney foreign policy adviser who believes the Iraq War was a mistake,” says Cato’s Preble. “Two-thirds of the American people do believe the Iraq War was a mistake. So he has willingly chosen to align himself with that one-third of the population right out of the gate.”

Shortly after McCain’s 2008 defeat, Kagan, Edelman, Senor and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol launched the Foreign Policy Initiative, a neocon successor to PNAC. FPI’s mission has been to keep the Bush doctrine alive in the Obama era—supporting a troop increase in Afghanistan and opposing a 2014 withdrawal; advocating a 20,000-troop residual force in Iraq; backing a military strike and/or regime change in Iran; promoting military intervention in Syria; urging a more confrontational posture toward Russia; and opposing cuts in military spending. Three of FPI’s four board members are advising Romney.

Edelman, having worked for Dick Cheney in both Bush administrations, is Romney’s link to Cheneyworld. (Edelman suggested to Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, the idea of leaking the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame to undermine former ambassador Joe Wilson for his New York Times op-ed detailing the Bush administration’s falsified Iraq-Niger connection.) As ambassador to Turkey in 2003, Edelman failed to persuade Ankara to support the Iraq War. Turkish columnist Ibrahim Karagul called him “probably the least-liked and trusted American ambassador in Turkish history.” Edelman later moved to the Defense Department, where in 2007 he became infamous for scolding Hillary Clinton when she asked how the Pentagon was planning its withdrawal from Iraq. He’s one of nearly a dozen of Romney advisers who have urged that the United States consider an attack Iran.

Senor is best known for his disastrous stint in Iraq under Bremer, when the United States disbanded the Iraqi Army and tried to privatize the economy. In his book on Iraq, Rajiv Chandrasekaran of the Washington Post wrote of Senor, “His efforts to spin failures into successes sometimes reached the point of absurdity.” Senor is particularly close to the Israeli right, co-writing the 2009 book Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, which reads like an extended investment brochure. He now serves as a conduit between Romney and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Mitt-Bibi will be the new Reagan-Thatcher,” Senor tweeted after the New York Times ran a story about the close friendship of the two men, which dates to the late 1970s.
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