Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cruzin' For a Bruzin' . . . .

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It seems like Ted Cruz is quite deadly serious about playing hardball with his fellow GOP 2016 presidential primary opponents based on who he's hiring to be his campaign consultant:

Controversy has defined Roe’s career.
In 2006, he ran TV ads chastising a disabled candidate for working for an adult publication. She actually sold ads for a company that owned that magazine and others.
He connected former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes with “San Francisco values” during her unsuccessful effort to oust Graves.
He’s hired operatives to track opponents with video cameras, leading some to complain of unnecessary provocation and to file complaints with police. His deep research into his opponents’ personal records is legendary. He’s been accused of orchestrating a lawsuit to gain access to a candidate’s personal papers.
In 2014, a Roe mailer Photoshopped a candidate “in the classic Marlon Brando Godfather pose and likened him to a mobster,” according to The Dallas Morning News.

The Gadfly supposes that since ol' Ted has already cemented his reputation among both Democrats as well as many of his fellow Republicans as a sleazy, duplicitous con artist who will say or do anything to bully through his political agenda in Congress, then hiring a professional ratfucker like Jeff Roe to be your oppo-research hitman is par for the course and validation of those views.

Listen -- The Gadfly is not naive about politics.  It is a rough and tumble sport and the bottom line is that there have to be winners as well as losers.  That is all well and good providing that the playing field is level and everyone agrees to play by the same set of established ground rules.

But what has transpired since the Great Clinton Cock Hunt of the 1990's has been the wholesale transformation of American politics wherein candidates on one side would much prefer to talk about issues and policies that have a direct, real world impact on the lives of voters, and those on the other side would prefer to hire thugs like Jeff Roe to employ some of the most vicious forms of attacks to undermine and smear the personal character and reputations of their opposition.

Roe is in heavy demand primarily because the GOP candidates who are hiring guys like him know that their policy positions, if examined in the open light of day, are quite unpopular and not in the general public's best interest and therefore they desperately need somebody like Roe to deflect attention away from the glaring shortcomings of their own candidacy and the obnoxiousness of their own political agenda, as well as their self-serving motives.

Unfortunately for the vast majority of of Americans, it is a strategy that works all too well.  There is no other creditable way to explain how it is that a major league, prevaricating asshole and political guttersnipe like Ted Cruz has risen to the position of power that he has.  Cruz knows all too damn well that when your opponent is constantly on the defensive responding to a blizzard of lies, innuendo, misinformation and unfounded charges, they don't have time to implement their own honorable game plan of having an adult, rational and principled conversation about legitimate issues.

It is a dishearteningly sad commentary on the America political process in general for it highlights the repugnant prospect that a great many of our fellow Americans actually appear to find some measure of redeeming socio political value in their chosen candidates employing the tactics of lying, meanness and character assassination to win their way in to office.

And if anyone can explain coherently to The Gadfly just exactly how such an insidious and soulless form of politics being one of those defining characteristics which form the basis of our uniquely American brand"exceptionalism" is a good thing, The Gadfly is all fucking ears.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

He Suddenly Loves 'Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer'...

Lol ... Ted Cruz is off to an awesome, idiotic start.......
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) says his music tastes completely changed after the September 11th terrorist attacks. 
In a Tuesday morning interview, the newly minted presidential candidate said he used to be a classic rock fan but was disappointed in how the genre responded to the terrorist attack. 
"Music is interesting. I grew up listening to classic rock. And I'll tell you sort of an odd story: My music tastes changed on 9/11. I actually intellectually find this very curious, but on 9/11, I didn't like how rock music responded," Cruz said on CBS's "This Morning" when asked about his music tastes.

Yeah -- no shit.  What kind of person who watched 9/11 happen (like moi -- The Gadfly), then sits around and re-analyzes their music tastes and just overnight decides that they suddenly prefer Toby Keith's beer guzzlin, flag wavin' crap to this:

9/11 instantly made Ted Cruz change his musical tastes from classic rock to country music huh?

Lol.  What a steaming load of horse shit.

Perhaps ol' Ted also stopped eating french fries from his favorite hamburger outlet after 9/11 and instead began feasting on "freedom fries".   Interesting to note btw that the Republican guy who was responsible for renaming the congressional menu with the term "freedom fries" after 9/11 was sent to prison in 2007 for 2 and a half years for public corruption.  Eh -- birds of a feather right?....

It'd be like The Gadfly saying -- um yeah ... 'I was so disappointed by the reaction of my fellow dirty fucking liberal hippie friends (who all happened to be right) about how the Bush government responded after 9/11 that I stopped smoking hippie sticks and switched to Marlboro cigarettes -- just because you know -- this ...'

Except of course for that pesky little thing called reality -- wherein the life of the infamous Marlboro Man picture above spiraled downhill after coming back from George and Dick's little Iraq adventure and he's now nothing more than just another abandoned tool of some very rotten human beings who never gave a true and honest flying fuck about him in the first place:
Now Miller is a different symbol in a different time. As the war has dragged on, Miller's life has collapsed in the face of post-traumatic stress disorder. He draws a disability pension for his condition and his personal life is a wreck. He suffers from nightmares, panic attacks and survivor's guilt. Despite the immense goodwill of a grateful nation, Miller has slumped into struggle and despair. Last week came the news that he and his childhood sweetheart, Jessica, were getting divorced.
Marlboro Man is no longer an icon for the American warrior ethic. He is a symbol of pain and suffering and the enormous problems endured by veterans returning home. He has become the public face of shell-shock. No longer the victor, Miller has become one of the war's victims.

It's simple dear readers.  Ted Cruz is phonier than a 2 and half dollar bill.  Will that stop the right wing nuts from voting for him?  No -- not at all.  And that is what makes them dangerous --- they'd vote for an incompetent, capricious clown like that out of sheer ideological loyalty even knowing he was entirely unfit for the job.

Seriously though -- what the fuck kind of loser makes up that kind of bullshit just to score some points with the moron crowd?

Ted Cruz is pandering hard to the brain dead, knuckle dragging neanderthals of the party all right --- that is for certain.  Just how many in the gutless, inspid mainstream media and the voting public will buy in to this buffoon's phoniness is still a wager --- just know this though --- when it comes to gullible, dumb ass Americans ---- there is never a dearth of supply.


By George, I Think He's Got It! ........

So fucking deserved:

The Smithsonian Institution will unveil a photo portrait of comedian George Carlin today at The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. 
He was picked by a public vote, as the comedian who "who most influenced American politics, history and culture," according to the New York Times. The choices were Groucho Marx, Ellen DeGeneres and George Carlin. 


This man single-handedly told the United States Supreme Court --- 'I dare you -- convict me of saying a few words in public that offend people.'

And he won.

God, if you're up there and you truly do care about goodness and honesty, bless George Carlin's soul every goddamn day please.  Fucking Thank you.

Here's George in his prime:

And The Gadfly won't even broach the subject of George's prescience on what vampires the rich and the military industrial complex oligarchs have been and are to this day .....

Congrats George --- from one old irascible fucker to another --- luv ya.


Fucking LOL!

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They're scared shitless of the woman:
NEW YORK, March 27 (Reuters) - Big Wall Street banks are so upset with U.S. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren's call for them to be broken up that some have discussed withholding campaign donations to Senate Democrats in symbolic protest, sources familiar with the discussions said.
Representatives from Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, have met to discuss ways to urge Democrats, including Warren and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, to soften their party's tone toward Wall Street, sources familiar with the discussions said this week.

Here's the deal --- Warren used to be a Republican --- until she saw the recklessness and lawlessness that was taking place on Wall Street and in the halls of power of the nation's financial services and banking industries and how, mostly Republicans, were enabling and covering it all up.

Warren knows which closets the unbridled capitalism skeletons are hidden in.

That is why they fear her and why they are lashing out and threatening her.

All fucking good if you ask The Gadfly, for if the scummiest people on the planet are feeling uncomfortable, then the person making them feel that way has to be doing something right.

And it truly is about goddamn time that somebody in our government makes these duplicitous, conniving slimebags sweat a little.

In a just world, every one of the CEO's and corporate officers of the companies listed in the article above would be serving life sentences at hard labor for destroying the world economy in 2008, ruining millions of American's and other people's lives.  And even after that, they then had the unmitigated fucking gall to come strutting, hat in hand to our government, demanding that American taxpayers pony up the cash to rescue them from their criminally negligent, and ruinously failed, gambling sprees.

Fuck them.  Fuck them all in to the deepest, darkest, dankest recesses of hell.

Listen dear readers, The Gadfly is a realist, Elizabeth Warren is not going to run for President in 2016, and even if she did, she would not win -- for reasons of a whole other discussion.  That is why The Gadfly prefers Professor Warren stay right where she is -- in the U.S. Senate, where she can fuck up all kinds of oligarch, military industrial plans.

The only advice The Gadfly would give to the honorable Senator from Massachusetts is -- stay out of small aircraft.


Who Needs ISIS When Our Very Own Taliban are on The Job?? . . . .

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There is a reason why The Gadfly has, on many occasion, voiced the idea that modern day American conservatives and their brethren, the religious right, pose an infinitely greater threat to democracy and the American way of life as we know it, than Al Qaeda, ISIS, Fidel Castro and The Kardashians combined.

A 67-year-old Marietta, Georgia man is accused of planting a backpack containing two pipe bombs in an Atlanta-area public park in order to frighten the public and sow fear of Islamic terrorism.
According to Atlanta’s Channel 2 News, conservative “patriot” Michael Sibley confessed to police that he was trying to educate people that terror strikes can happen anywhere and without warning when he planted the bombs last November.
The backpack contained two partially-constructed pipe bombs, a Koran and a list of “soft targets” for terrorist attacks — i.e., non-military, unguarded structures like hospitals and schools. Among the list of potential targets was an Atlanta Jewish center.
Channel 2 quoted Sibley’s arrest report, which reported that he “(s)tated that he is a ‘patriot’ and he felt no one was paying attention to what was going on the world. Sibley felt if he placed the package in a Roswell park then people would finally get that this type of activity could happen anywhere.”

Sure -- he was only planting pipe bombs in a public place to prove to Americans that it "can happen anywhere."

Anyone care to wager which side of the fence this asshat's politics fall on, or shall we say, which side of the Tea bag??

Next up:

Doh!!  Of course!!  Silly Gadfly! ... What better way to show those tyrannical, freedom hating Islamic extremists just how exceptional America is by making it a law that everyone has to attend church on Sunday.  And lest anyone think this conservative Republican (who else?) nitwit truly meant attendance could be at one's "church of their choice," just ask her if that includes Muslim churches, Jewish churches, the Church of Wicca, other pagan churches, or the church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster, or the Church of Scientology?  As for The Gadfly, he'll stick with his church, the church of reality, and just tell this crazy bitch to go blow it out her ignorant ass.

At a Friday prayer breakfast in Vero Beach, Florida, Duck Dynasty star, Phil Robertson gave a truly bizarre speech where he fantasized aloud about an atheist family being raped, tortured, and murdered. Robertson, the reality TV star turned right-wing folk hero, was trying to expound upon the dangers of atheism at the prayer breakfast. Robertson’s tirade against atheism took a bizarre turn, however, as his speech turned into a gruesome, macabre tale. Robertson told the audience a graphic morality play, as follows:
"I’ll make a bet with you. Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him. And then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot them and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him. And then they can look at him and say, ‘Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, now is it dude?’"
Ok dear readers.  Stop right there.  Now --- if someone sane wanted to make the quite simple point that in their view atheism was an inferior belief system than the belief in Christianity, then what exactly would the point be of manufacturing the most macabre and gruesome analogy that one could possibly cull from the deepest, darkest, most ghoulish recesses of their fervent imagination??  Ehhhh??

Oh!  But it gets better --- observe:
"Then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if this [sic] was something wrong with this? But you’re the one who says there is no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day."

Severed penis dangled in front of the taunted victim.  Lovely.

And this creep is a hero to American right wing conservatives just because he got fucking rich selling a stupid little device that makes the sound of a quacking duck.  He's one of their spokespeople.  He's a representative of their mindset and their core beliefs platform.  Never mind the fact that he's a sick fucking sociopath and a menace to decent society, who in a sane world would be thrashing around in a straight jacket in the rubber room of a mental hospital.

So yeah dear readers, The Gadfly does not find much redeeming social value, in the areas of humanity, love and dignity in these American Taliban assholes -- no, not much at all.  And The Gadfly will honestly tell you all that if he has a breath left in his body at the time of his exit from this earthly existence, it will be teeming with words cursing these sonofabitches well nigh into the nirvana sunset.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Pompous Arrival of the Circus' Main Attraction ....

Sigh . . . . and the 2016 GOP presidential asshole clown car gains another clown, only this one, and his groupies, truly believes he's the one, true chosen clown . . .

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced just after midnight on Monday he'll mount a bid for president of the United States.

Let us not forget that this is the supremely arrogant asshat who pulled this stunt nearly causing the United States of America to default on it's debt for the first time in it's history as he filibustered in vain while tooting his own horn, and costing the country a shitload of money:

Bill Ted Cruz for the $24 billion government shutdown's cost

By Peter S. Cohan, WALL & MAIN

Hurray! The Red Sox are in the World Series again — washing away all but a vague memory of October's 16 day government shutdown. I would be happy to forget about that unpleasantness, except for the $24 billion it cost the American economy and the utterly toxic political system from which it sprang that is sure to rear its ugly head at the beginning of 2014 when the current short-term deal expires.

But I have a modest proposal to make Washington act more like a role model of democracy: Require the person who led the shutdown — Calgary, Alberta-native, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — to pay for the economic damage that his "leadership" helped cause.

How much damage did the shutdown cause? Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said on October 16 that the shutdown reduced fourth-quarter 2013 gross domestic product growth by at least 0.6 percent — taking $24 billion out of the economy.

Should Mr. Cruz write a $24 billion check to the U.S. Treasury to cover the damage that he caused to the U.S. economy? He is under no legal obligation to do so. Nor is he the only person responsible for the shutdown.

But he would be a good person to receive the $24 billion invoice and he could go hat in hand to collect from his fellow travelers. After all, he was the person who filibustered the Senate for 21 hours on September 24 in an effort to defund the Affordable Care Act in exchange for opening up the federal government. That effort was funded by $200 million from Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries, according to the New York Times. 


That's right -- this little needle nosed, ratfucking, narcissistic asshole nearly caused the United States to default on it's full faith and credit for the first time in it's history and also, in the process of his Tea Party grandstanding, obliterated $24 billion from the American economy.  Why?  Well because he's a needle nose, ratfucking, narcissistic asshole.

Anyhow, Cruz and his sugar daddies, the Koch brothers, who you can damn well be sure will be his 2016 campaign sugar daddies as well, have no compunction about stealing $24 billion from America's economy, because to them, the means always justify the end in their twisted world view, and taking from Americans more than they ever give back is how they operate.

But you know what dear readers ---- when it comes to the GOP 2016 presidential clown car, The Gadfly is of the view -- the more assholes, the merrier.  Shit -- all we need now is for Donald Trump to announce he's in to make the GOP clown car as about as clownish as it could ever get ...... oh wait ...
Donald Trump to form exploratory committee for possible 2016 presidential bid
Real estate mogul Donald Trump announced Wednesday he will be forming a presidential exploratory committee ahead of the 2016 election.
“I have a great love for our country, but it is a country that is in serious trouble. We have lost the respect of the entire world. Americans deserve better than what they get from their politicians — who are all talk and no action!” Trump said in a statement.


By all available evidence, the conservative right appears to be determined to offer up the most obnoxious, hateful, vindictive, self-absorbed and supremely unqualified fucksticks for president in 2016 ... which in a sane world would signal the doom of any major political party to ever again have any influence on the national political scene .... but then you have to remember who exactly the base is of the GOP these days .... it's these fucking loons:

Yeah ...

2016 ... gonna be a hoot, and Ted Cruz is gonna be a hootin' and hollerin' to rile up the dumb-ass rubes like the ones in the pic above.

The Gadfly waits with resigned anticipation ....


Where the Art of Misinformation Has a Lifelong Home . . .

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Gee -- what a shocker . . . . . well, actually not . . .:

Former Daily Caller writer, Mickey Kaus joined CNN's Brian Stelter on Reliable Sources to explain in some detail why he quit Carlson's website and why conservatives are afraid to ever criticize Fox News.
KAUS: Well, that's right. I had no problems with them before. But I posted this piece on the web early in the morning Monday morning, very early. I stayed up all night doing it.
And I went to sleep and I got up and it disappeared. There's a note from Tucker saying, "Can't trash FOX on the site. Sorry, I work there." So, I wrote back saying, "Is that really the rule? Because if it is, I have to quit."
You know, he has a right to have a rule like that, but I don't have to -- I don't have to be nice to the people that he has to be nice to. So, he said, "Well, I'm sorry but it's a hard and fast rule." So think about it for a day. I thought about it for a day and then I quit.
Selter asked Tucker for a comment and so far he hasn't responded. Fox News is adamant about not having people on any of their networks if they dare to criticize them. The reason Kaus and Carlson's staff are surprised about this Fox-rule is because they rarely ever clash with Rupert Murdoch on anything since Fox News is the Conservative channel of record. Mickey is an avid opponent of immigration reform as is Laura Ingraham, but you'll never hear her attack Fox News as a whole on this issue.

As has been noted on the pages of this shitty little blog to the point of ad nauseam over the years, Fox "News" is not now, never has been and never intends to be a "fair and balanced" news media organization.

What Kaus is saying by telling us that Carlson's Daily Caller has a "hard and fast rule" about criticizing Fox "News" on his own supposed "news" website is that there are industry and conservative political career repercussions in store for anyone doing so.

Fox "News" in essence is a monolithic, despotic media powerhouse where their notion of "fair and balanced" really means --- don't you ever dare to disagree with or criticize us if you have any intention of using your association with us to advance your political or media career, and in fact you should fear some form of retribution for crossing us.

That method of operating folks is about as far from the idea of democracy and freedom of speech, much less fairness and balance, as one could possibly get, and begs the question as to why anyone would then think that Fox's reporting and journalism could possibly contain any semblance of trustworthiness and integrity.  Quite frankly, it is beyond The Gadfly's ability to even fathom how anyone who values concepts such as truth and fairness in journalism could remotely consider Fox "News" a credible and legitimate news reporting organization in the least sense.

We should be thankful to writer Mickey Kaus for sharing his experience, just as former Fox host Eric Burns did when he called Fox's audience a cult recently, and validating the reality of what Fox "News" truly is all about --- something for which many of us have known for a very, very long time only because it is so glaringly fucking obvious.


Hey -- Beats Getting a Package With Anthrax in It . . .

Awesomely LOL!

Following the wild success of Ship Your Enemies Glitter, an enterprising individual has set up a website offering customers  the chance to anonymously ship anyone a bag of edible dicks.
"In only a few minutes you can send a literal Bag of Dicks to that special asshole in your life," the Dicks By Mail website reads.
"We have a long history of sending dicks to people. Starting in middle school with those folded notes, that unfold to a big veiny c*ck. Moving to texting '8===D' to random people in high school all the way to snapchatting below the belt pics to ladies from the bar/church. But now it's on to bigger and better things; now it's on to Dicks by Mail.
Once $15 shipping is paid and the order is processed, an anonymous package will be sent to your target containing 2 things - A 5oz bag of gummy candy penises and a note exclaiming 'EAT A BAG OF DICKS'.

The Gadfly is gleefully composing his list of lucky recipients already.... and it should come as no considerable surprise that they all have the letter (R) after their names . . . .

Ya' gotta love good ol' fashioned, American dickitude.


America's Own Exceptional Illness . . .

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So 2016 Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was at a gathering of conservatives this past week and some loony old tea party lady asked him in reference to President Obama:
"Why is the Congress rolling over and letting this Communist dictator destroy my country? Y'all know what he is and I know what he is. I want him out of the White House; he's not a citizen; he could have been removed a long time ago...Ted [Cruz?] told me I've got to wait for the next election. I don't think the country will be around for the next election. Obama tried to blow up a nuke in Charleston a few months ago! And the three admirals, and generals. He has totally destroyed our military. He's fired all the generals and all the admirals that said they wouldn't fire on the American people."
And how dear readers do you think that someone who has aspirations of being the leader of this great nation responded to such a dump truck load of bug-eyed dementia?

Santorum's response was:
"I'm not a sitting member of the Senate, so I'm not taking blame for any of that stuff."

Just fucking WOW!!  Not one single word negating the old loon's ridiculous charges or questioning her sanity.  What a breathtakingly gutless reply to a truly horrific set of claims against our president.  It is simply incomprehensible to the nth degree in The Gadfly's view.

Charlie Pierce over at Esquire online has truly had enough of these fellow citizen jackasses as well and lately has been utilizing the valuable space on his Esquire blog to openly acknowledge the reality of just how deeply unhinged the modern day, conservative movement, and by proxy, the Republican party has become  -- and it just so happens to be the exact same observation that The Gadfly has been screaming from the rooftops for years:

This is the party that modern conservatism has built, brick by brick, one indulged lunatic at a time, over the past 60 years. I leave the details to Rick Perlstein, but there is no question that this was a conscious choice made over time by one of the only two political parties that we have allowed ourselves. It began with the decision to side with the remnants of American apartheid. It continued with the decision to ally itself with the most virulently retrograde elements of American Protestantism. It was energized by the tragic historical truth that this stuff is an effective means of gaining political power. The thinking became more and more magical. The rhetoric became more and more unhinged. The willingness of the Republican party to tolerate an almost limitless amount of sheer public lunacy has led us to this moment, where the only answer Santorum dares give to a woman who believes the president intended to nuke an American city was to say that he wasn't in Washington at the time.
There is no Republican middle any more. Pundits go searching for it and never return. Their bleached bones are found two years later in a ditch surrounding an Iowa cornfield, or their entrails are discovered hanging from a pine tree in northern New Hampshire as a warning to anyone else who dares undertake the quest. Just over the past few days, we have seen two alleged Republican "moderates" take positions that, a decade ago, would have marked them as fringe nuisances.
Centuries from now, historians, probably working on houseboats floating above what used to be Delaware, are going to look back at this period in our history and wonder how we tolerated a political party gone so completely mad, much less how we continued to empower it, election after election. They are going to marvel at how all the institutions designed to check the spread of the madness refused to look at it and call it what it is. These people are going to think American democracy was some sort of weird contagion that overcame the country, like ergot infecting the nation's wheatfields. They're going to believe we all just went crazy and ate ourselves.

One can mosey on back through the archives of The Gadfly's blogging history, going back a decade now, and you will find posts very similar to Mr. Pierce's post above.

The conservative movement was not always this batshit fucking insane.  They did have at one time some thoughtful, intellectual, and respectable voices in their ranks -- and they were people that you could very easily have a rational discussion with and even if you ultimately disagreed with their viewpoint, you walked away from the engagement knowing full well that you had participated in a legitimate, sensible and fair debate.

Not anymore.  And especially not so since the Kenyan, Muslim, Communist, Socialist, terrorist appeasing, gun confiscating, vote stealing, power usurping negro dictator became a squatter in the people's "white" house.

The lunatics have overrun the GOP asylum and their mass psychosis/mental illness is the chief obstacle to this country realizing the full potential of it's capability to be the most powerful force for human goodness and advancement in the world -- 'nuff said.

And it goes without saying that it has become abundantly clear that the only kind of debate which the right wing is interested in having is the one between themselves and the creepy, fear-mongering, cynical and pious voices rattling around in the dark recesses their own heads.

Seriously -- how else is one to judge the mental capacity of people who believe all of the following:

>> Obama is a Muslim plant who wants to impose Sharia Law on all America.
>> Obama engineered the Sandy Hook school massacre as a false flag operation to used as an excuse to confiscate all guns from conservatives, round them up and put them in FEMA re-education camps.
>> Sandy Hook was a hoax - it never happened, it was just a bunch of Obama paid actors on television.
>> Obama is the Anti-Christ.
>> Obama planning to murder tens of millions Americans so he can name himself dictator for life.
>> Obama planned to set off a nuclear device in Charleston, SC - for some reason or another (see above).

And don't even get The Gadfly started on the Bill and Hillary Clinton conspiracies.

It used to be that the people who had beliefs in such idiocy as that outlined above would be shuffled off to the fringes of society, and treated not very unlike the demented old family uncle living in a shack on the outskirts of town. Nowadays they are known as "the base" of the Republican party and given carte blanche access to the public discourse arena.  Worse still - the lily-livered, contemptible mainstream media is extremely terrified to publicly acknowledge just how fucking insane they are and how much of a danger they pose to the future of our representative democracy, much less the ability for the nation to confront the myriad of real world issues affecting all of our lives.

The Gadfly has stated it on many a prior occasion -- The Gadfly fears these psychotic, right wing, American nut jobs infinitely more than he does a handful of Islamic militants scurrying from cave to cave in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

And that is why The Gadfly writes about them and speakss the god-honest truth about them.  It's dirty fucking job, but somebody has to do it.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Obama Derangement Syndrome and The Right's Descent in to The Sewer of Senseless Hatred...

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Charlie Pierce over at Esquire online wonders about something, and it's a subject which equally perturbs The Gadfly to no end:

The initial reaction to the questions raised about the president's Christianity by the longtime white-supremacist journal National Review is to wonder where in the fk these people get off even raising the question. The more thoughtful reaction is to refer the author to the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew and then move right along, all the while prayerfully wondering where in the fk these people get off.
To my knowledge, the last time this question was raised concerning a sitting president was back when John F. Kennedy was digging the secret gun-running tunnel between Washington and the Vatican. Of course, the same people who worried about a Catholic president were worried about black people generally. Most of them have made peace with us crossbacks. Black folks, alas, not so much.

Now, first off -- let's all agree that there is a whole lot to criticize Obama for when it comes to his politics, his governing policies, his maddening penchant for wanting to be the nicest guy in the room, and of course, his even more maddening view that modern day American conservatives can be reasoned with or can be trusted to be fair and honorable adversaries.

But what the right has done since Obama became President, and escalated since he was re-elected, truly has to be one of the most insidious turns in the manner in which American politics is practiced, and shines a bright hot spotlight on just how deep and visceral the right's hatred for Barack Obama is.

And what The Gadfly is referring to is the form of intimate demonization by conservatives wherein the most personal and private attributes which are at the core of a specific individual's personality, upbringing and educational background, and of course, one's religious leanings, are not only considered fair game for assault, but form the entirety of their opposition to the man.

The right has has been openly attacking all of those distinguishing characteristics of Obama, which make him the individual that he is, from day one of his presidency.  They have questioned his birthright status.  They have questioned his educational background.  They have questioned the morality and character of his birth parents.  They have questioned his patriotism to no end.  And as Charlie Pierce is denoting here, they are now openly question the veracity and sincerity of his personal religious views.

Here is why this unnerves The Gadfly to such a rage inducing extent.  Imagine if you will, back when George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were waging their war of choice in Iraq, torturing prisoners, and lying the whole time to the American people as to why we were expending national treasure and youthful lives in those misadventures -- imagine if the liberals, at the time, had been publicly questioning the Christianity of Bush and his people and questioning the veracity of their religious beliefs?  Can you imagine the howls of "traitors" and "America haters" had that occurred? (well - for the record, it actually did occur, but not for questioning Bush's religion, but for questioning his honesty and motives for invading Iraq).

But you know dear readers --- if The Gadfly recalls his childhood Sunday school teachings and his readings about Jesus Christ and his philosophy of love and forgiveness and turning the other cheek and all of that liberal theology stuff -- it would have been entirely appropriate to question whether the Bush people's version of Christianity had a goddamn (pun intended) ounce of legitimacy considering that they were raining down bombs and destruction and death on a country and hundreds of thousands of innocent people whom they had lied to the American people about so far as their involvement with the 9/11 attacks.  Mkay?

So yeah -- it's pretty fucking brazenly ballsy for these conservative assholes to be publicly questioning Obama's religious views and the level of his personal commitment to his chosen religion.

All of it though is just simply additional evidence in The Gadfly's eyes that the right in this country is incapable of dealing with Obama on a normal, intellectual, human, man-to-man level.  The fact that they have to resort to incessant attacks on his birthright, his education, his religious views and even attacks on his wife and children, are prima facie evidence, as The Gadfly sees it, that they know full well just how inferior their own political solutions, vision, and ideas and policies are for addressing America's very real and life impacting issues, and so they have nothing left other than the viciousness of the politics of personal destruction .. a very dark and dirty art form for which they truly have become masters of.  Unfortunately, for the good of the country as a whole, it is the only thing that the conservative right has become proficient at.


The Slow, Agonizing Death Throes of The Fourth Estate . . . A Tragicomedy In Motion...

This is a textbook example (and no - it's not from Fox "News" believe it or not) demonstrating why it is that The Gadfly has absolutely no faith in this country's mainstream media to perform any useful role in our society at this point other than that as class clowns.


MARCH 12, 2015, 10:22 AM EDT
CNN host Don Lemon's Wednesday night interview with a Ku Klux Klan leader was intended to get the white supremacist's take on the viral video of frat members at the University of Oklahoma singing a racist chant.
But the interview quickly devolved as the KKK leader lobbed racial and anti-Semitic remarks at Lemon.

Yes - of course, because lord knows that on the subject of racial divide and tension in American society, the first people The Gadfly would turn to for a serious, nationally televised discussion on the matter would be the fucking Klu Klux Klan!  Apparently CNN couldn't book an Aryan Nations leader on short notice.  Can we say Mega Derp?!!!

Jeebus fucking kripes on a toasty stick!! -- this is how far CNN has fallen since it's heyday as an genuine, legitimate, news reporting organization back in the early 1980's when it first began broadcasting.  At this point, they have basically adopted the Rupert Murdoch playbook of profit over integrity and programming geared towards the lowest common denominator intellects in the country, while wholesale abandoning any pretense of their organization being in the actual business of gathering and reporting straight up news that is having a real life impact on the lives of real world people.

All the more reason to cherish the internet dear readers - while you still can that is - for at least on the web there are alternatives sources of news and information where important national and world events are not just all about  live car chase porn, missing white women, black holes that swallow airliners, and unreliable, politically tainted content, masquerading as "news," which serves solely to divide Americans and further the agenda of the corporate/investor class and the military industrial complex oligarchs.

As The Gadfly has exhorted you dear readers on many occasion over the years -- for the love of everything decent and sacred -- turn off all of the television news.  Seek out alternative sources.  You will find yourself becoming much more well informed and intelligent by doing so.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

None Dare Call It What It Is . . . But The Gadfly Will . . . .

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Charlie Pierce over at Esquire Magazine Politics Blog on-line, like The Gadfly, has pretty much reached the end of his rope as well when it comes to the good faith efforts at attempting to talk reason and make nice with these modern day, right wing conservatives:

The modern Republican party has become an authentic mechanism for political subversion, and it's not just unknown crazy people from Texas who are driving the train. A rookie meathead submarines the president's foreign policy. Rick Perry is currently running for president on a platform more suited to a campaign conducted under the Articles of Confederation. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader of the United States Senate, has suggested that governors out in the several states ignore the Environmental Protection Agency. At every conservative gathering, from CPAC on down, there at least is one panel touting the benefits of nullification and old-school states rights politics. Yes, a lot of it is about how states rights got whipped over civil rights in the 1960's, but it's not all about race. It's about a deliberate, calculated attempt by one of the only two political parties we allow ourselves to dismantle the federal union. They want the country to come apart so they can sell off the pieces to the people who run their campaigns. They are free to prove to me that I'm wrong.
That is not only subversion, but history tells us that it always has been the most fundamental heresy against the constitutional order, from the Articles to the tariff crises under Andrew Jackson, all the way through the Civil War and Reconstruction, right up to the day that John Lewis got his head busted by the side of an Alabama road. (And, yes, even the morally laudable efforts of abolitionists to "nullify" the Fugitive Slave Act subverted the constitutional order of the time. It's hard to look at the Civil War and think otherwise.) This heresy, which should have died at Gettysburg, is part and parcel of the modern conservative movement, which was born out of the flotsam left behind by the (partial) fall of American apartheid. For years, Republican politicians have accepted the money, and the support, and the cheers of nullification subversives from the League of the South and the Council of Conservative Citizens to the Wise Use people and the militia people out west, to the claque of subversives who set up camp at the Bundy Ranch. Without the support of people engaged in polite -- and, occasionally, not very polite -- sedition, the Republican party would be a bunch of rich old white guys pissing themselves in the grill room of a restricted country club.
I believe they mean it. I believe they want to carry us back not just to the Gilded Age, but to the golden era in the 1780's when you needed a passport to go from Connecticut to New Jersey. I believe that is the basis for the efforts of people like Perry and Governor Bat Boy down in Florida to poach industries from other states and to hell with the national interest. I believe that is what animates ALEC in its campaign to create little hell-states individually across the map and its larger campaign to keep the federal government from doing anything about it. I don't think the modern Republican party believes in anything called "the national interest."

Jeebus Charlie - tell us how you really feel!

Actually - the point that Pierce is making here is a subject near and dear to The Gadfly's dirty old fucking liberal hippie heart, if for no other reason than that The Gadfly has been talking about the subject of creeping right-wing treason for years (just scan through The Gadfly's archives).

The fact that this subject is finally beginning to get some attention, even if only whispered about in polite conversation at cocktail parties or on the pages of an online magazine's political blog, is certainly a positive development, and Charlie Pierce's credentials as a legitimate, credentialed journalist only enhance that positive turn.

This past week's actions where 47 Republican senators, in an unprecedented action, took it upon themselves to bully their way into sensitive negotiations between the U.S. executive branch and it's allies and Iran over the issue of curbing Iran's nuclear programs, should send a chill down the spine of any sane American who is not pining for yet another war in the Middle East where American taxpayers are the unwitting financiers and America's youth are the never-ending supply of cannon fodder.

As The Gadfly talked about in his previous post, the military-industrial-complex has been realizing record profits these days with all of these mid-east conflicts going on.  Those profits are the payoff for American defense contractors being the world's one-stop-shopping mall for wmd's -- for all it takes for a nation state to arm it's military to the teeth are a few $billion$ and carte blanche support of our CIA spooks whenever it is asked for.  The U.S. defense industry is basically the equivalent of the neighborhood crack dealer to all of these fucked up mid-east countries, several of whom our government cynically refers to as our "friends" -- you know -- like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Egypt, etc.  Never mind that these are all oppressive and brutal regimes, who if it weren't for the fact that they hate the same religious extremists that we do, we'd probably be bombing and invading their countries too.

But setting aside the sick irony of all of that, the bottom line is that there is a faction of our government -- mostly Republicans, and to a lesser extent a handful of venal Democrats, who are beholden, if not bought and paid for agents, of the oligarchs.  And none of these people see any interest whatsoever in working towards peaceful, non-military solutions to the world's myriad of conflicts.  Diplomacy and dialogue are dirty words to these simply because those words are a direct threat to their spigot of power, influence and monetary profit that is the byproduct of their investment in all of these wars.

Having said all of that however, the bottom line is that none of it would be possible without the compliant apathy of the American people.  We sit back in our Lazy-Boy loungers, immersed in our little worlds of Game of Thrones, bacon-wrapped pizza, IPads, and Facebook -- all of which, when you really think about it, is the equivalent of a petulant child sticking his fingers in his ears and chanting NAH! NAH! NAH!.....incessantly to drown out the voices of those trying to communicate and reason with him.

But The Gadfly digresses -- the all too serious point that Charles Pierce is trying to make here is that we have a major political party in this country who collectively, by all available evidence, has gone off the rails on the fucking cuckoo for cocoa puffs crazy train -- and their dangerous, bordering on treasonous actions, in the service of the oligarchy and military-industrial-complex, if perpetuated, imperils the future life, liberty and prosperity of every single one of us.

There comes a time when people need to get off the fucking proverbial fence and choose which side they are on.  That's the easy part.  Once you make that decision, then comes the admittedly difficult task of using the tools you have -- your voice and opinion, your ability to network and ally with others who are on your side, and your choices at the ballot box to support your decision.  The Gadfly his self -- well, he's been doing all of that to the extent he is able to for years.  At this point, there's not much more he can do other than employ the pages of this shitty little blog to bring this stuff to your attention.  It's up to you dear readers to decide what, if anything, you wish to do about it.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

We Have Met the Enemy, and He is Us . . . .

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American Exceptionalism personified:

U.S. weapons exporters lead the world in profits from the booming military arms and equipment business, driven by rising tensions and conflict around the world, according to a new report from London-based analysts.
The annual study by IHS Inc.—which looks at military markets in 65 nations, excluding small arms, munitions, and surveillance programs—finds that the United States is behind one-third of all equipment and weapons exports world-wide.
This is no small amount: in 2014, global "defense" trade surpassed $64.4 billion, the report finds.
"Defense trade rose by a landmark 13.4 percent over the past year," said Ben Moores, senior defense analyst at IHS Aerospace, Defense and Security, in a press statement. "This record figure has been driven by unparalleled demand from the emerging economies for military aircraft and an escalation of regional tensions in the Middle East and Asia Pacific."
The U.S., further, is the top profiteer from rising conflict across the Middle East, accounting for $8.4 billion in exports to this region in 2014, compared to $6 billion the previous year.
Meanwhile, U.S. allies in the expanding war against ISIS are boosting their weapons imports significantly.
Saudi Arabia blew past India to become the number one weapons importer in the world. Analysts predict that, in 2015, Saudi Arabia will account for one of every seven dollars spent on such imports.

We're #1!
We're #1!!

Well -- perhaps not in areas that have much of anything to do with bettering the human condition it appears.

We sure as shit can't make a television or any other electronics or major appliance worth a fuck any more.  Our automobiles get recalled more often than an old man's fond memories of his first piece of ass.  Most of our once thriving manufacturing industries have all been boarded up and the work farmed out to dollar a day slave laborers in Mexico, the Philippines and Asia.  Our national infrastructure is crumbling right before our eyes.  The middle class and unions, the very same Americans who rebuilt this country after WWII in to the most prosperous economy on the planet, are slowly being decimated by good old fashioned corporate greed and right wing fascism.

But meh -- who cares right?  'Cuz we sure do know how to make us a shitload of bombs and missiles and guns and tanks and drones and other such toys of mass destruction don't we?  Hell yeah!!  Oh - and we're not selfish when it comes to playtime with those toys either.  We share them some of our special "friends," you know - like Saudi Arabia, that wonderful country where 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers came from.

Yessirree -- when conservatives talk about American exceptionalism, you really do have to give them credit where credit is due.  For, if anything, in the past 5 decades at least, we certainly are unquestioningly exceptional when it comes to the business of dealing in the trades of death and wanton destruction around the world -- the results of our proxy wars and even our own wars of choice.

One of American history's greatest military leaders who later went to to be a two-term Republican president tried vainly to warn the country about the rise in power and influence of the military-industrial complex in his presidential farewell speech of 1961.  In that speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower recognized the need for a strong national defense, but he also foresaw the danger to and the damage that so much power in the hands of people who profit off of war could inflict on the country when he observed:

"...we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex... the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist ... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together..."

As Eisenhower poignantly noted, "only and alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals," meaning basically that the only thing standing between a healthy, equitable and strong democracy and fascist tyranny was a populace of well-informed and vigilant citizens.

And that is all the more reason that The Gadfly puts as much effort as he does in to exposing the litany of misinformation and lying bullshit that is constantly being churned out by phony "news" organizations like Fox "News" as well as the ethically compromised (due to their corporate parenthood) news organizations like the majority of the remaining mainstream media outlets (yes, that includes CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.) in this country.

The oligarchs and plutocrats and the CEO's of these ginormous defense industry corporations do not view a well-informed, alert citizenry as being something that is in their best interests, that is just the simple truth.  The dumber, more misinformed, more confused and more gullible that society is, the much easier is their task of co-opting the national treasury as their own piggy bank and using their ill-gotten wealth and blood-money to buy the politicians, government and media that they know will serve them unflaggingly, and do their bidding quite loyally.

Fox "News" especially, and to a lesser extent, the rest of the mainstream media news organizations have become very useful tools of the military-industrial-complex and the overlords who control it -- tools that they have used with great skill at dividing Americans into tribal camps snarling like dogs at each other and fighting over the economic table scraps that the fattened oligarchs deem fit to toss on the floor for us whenever it suits their fancy.  The sooner Americans wake up to that reality and accept it for the palpable threat that it is to their's and their children's freedom, the sooner "we the people" can get this country back on the noble, and truly exceptional path that our forefathers originally started it on.

Lastly, in regard to our corporate media, The Gadfly would like to share with you dear readers an infamous quote by quite an infamous historical figure who was frighteningly knowledgeable on the subject of media messaging -- messaging with the ultimate goal of manipulating and controlling the attitude and emotions of a misled civilian population:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

One can interchange the word "State" in that quote with the phrase military-industrial-complex or oligarchy and it would still be 100% spot on.

The Gadfly will leave it up to you dear readers to research on your own that quote to find out who it came from, and in what historical context it was used in.  Just don't act surprised when you discover the answer.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Abject Failure or Proven Success . . . . .Hmmmm . . . . . Decisions, Decisions...

Conservative politicians have been peddling the snake oil of trickle-down economics for the better part of 35 years now, or precisely since the appearance on the national political stage of a former Hollywood "B" actor by the name of  Ronald Reagan.  Reagan, who has since been elevated to sainthood status by American conservatives, proffered the trickle-down theory as the showcase piece of his conservative economic platform to the country during his 1980 presidential race.  And unfortunately, as one anonymous con-man and admirer of the infamous showman PT Barnum, once studiously observed, "there's a sucker born every minute."  However, if The Gadfly had his druthers, he would amend that notorious phrase to instead say, "there's a sucker born every minute, and conservatives sure do loves them some suckers."  And in 1980, a sufficient number of American suckers voted Reagan in to office and in the process triggered the death spiral of the middle class, along with any hopes for millions of decent, hard working Americans of ever achieving anything remotely resembling "The American Dream."

So - the whole premise of trickle-down economic theory was that if you put more money in to the hands of the corporations and big business owners and the wealthy elites by slashing their tax rates, giving them more tax loopholes, subsidizing their businesses through no interest, taxpayer funded loans, and lax business regulation then they all in turn, out the goodness of their virtuous hearts, would trickle a fair portion of their enhanced earnings down to the middle class and the working poor in the form of more jobs, better paying jobs, better benefits, strengthened pensions, etc...

Well ..there's no sense in beating around the proverbial bush here.  Not only has trickle-down economics failed miserably to live up to it's pie-in-the-sky promises of shared prosperity between big corporations and the wealthy elites and we the commoners, it in fact has had the exact opposite effect - namely the wholesale destruction of a once thriving middle class, compounded wage stagnation and poverty of the working poor, slashed benefits and vanishing pensions, all occurring while simultaneously seeing the income and profits of the big corporations and the moneyed elites soar to meteoric, record levels, even after the 2008 world-wide financial crisis which decimated the wealth of millions of Americans, but not for those at the top of the wealth ladder.

Corporations are reporting record profits and cash reserves, Wall Street's stock market is at all-time highs, and more insidiously, the nation's wealthiest 1% have seen their share of the American economic pie grow to an ever larger and more fruitful portion.

Here are a few visuals to help you dear reader understand this malevolent issue a bit clearer:

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The Gadfly is broaching this subject with you dear readers, because yet more evidence has come to light demonstrating incontrovertibly just how big of a crock of shit that trickle-down economics is, always has been and always will be -- in addition to showing just how fucking dishonest and deceitful that conservatives have been on the subject of economic growth as it relates to taxation of the wealthy and corporations.

Observe this contemporary story:
Wisconsin and Minnesota: A One-Sided Political Competition
03/05/15 01:59 PM—UPDATED 03/06/15 09:36 AM
By Steve Benen
Wisconsin and Minnesota have long made fascinating bookends. As longtime readers may recall, the two neighboring states have similar sizes, similar populations, similar demographics, and even similar climates. But they don’t necessarily have similar politics, at least not lately.
In the 2010 elections, the Badger State elected Scott Walker (R) governor and gave control of the legislature to Republicans, while the Gopher State made Mark Dayton (D) governor and, in 2012, elected a Democratic legislature*. The former got to work targeting collective bargaining and approving tax cuts, while the latter raised taxes on the wealthy and boosted in-state investments.
Nearly five years later, one of these two states is doing quite well. Policy.mic had an interesting report this week:
Since 2011, Minnesota has been doing quite well for itself. The state has created more than 170,000 jobs, according to the Huffington Post. Its unemployment rate stands at 3.6% – the fifth-lowest in the country, and far below the nationwide rate of 5.7% – and the state government boasts a budget surplus of $1 billion. Forbes considers Minnesota one of the top 10 in the country for business.
As Patrick Caldwell recently explained very well, Minnesota’s gains come on the heels of tax increases on Minnesota’s top 2% and higher corporate taxes, both of which state Republicans said would crush Minnesota’s economy. As for their neighbors to the east:
By a number of measures, Wisconsin hasn’t fared as well as Minnesota. As the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal reports, Wisconsin’s job growth has been among the worst in the region, and income growth is one of the worst in the country. It has a higher unemployment rate than Minnesota. And the budget is in bad shape.
Back in January, the editorial board of LaCrosse Tribune wrote, “The governors of Wisconsin and Minnesota each presented their versions of new year’s resolutions in various media interviews last week….Which approach is better? As we enter the new year, Minnesota is clearly winning by a long shot.”

And lest anyone attempt to claim that Wisconsin's trickle-down economic woes are just an anomaly, don't look now, but the exact same events are occurring in another Tea Party governor run state - Kansas:
In 2012, when Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback first pitched his plan to drastically slash the state's income taxes, he promised "a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy." Brownback brought in Arthur Laffer, Ronald Reagan's trickle-down economics guru, to help sell the idea that the cuts—which zeroed out taxes for 200,000 businesses and slashed rates for top earners—were guaranteed to boost the state's fortunes, prop up the economy, and bring in countless new jobs as businesses and individuals flocked to Kansas to escape the tyrannies of higher-tax states.
Two years later, those rosy predictions have turned to doom and gloom. Next week, when the state legislature kicks off its new session, lawmakers will face a daunting budget deficit that will require either overturning Brownback's tax cuts or shaving hundreds of millions from the state's budget.

So in a nutshell - these trickle-down economics conservatives have been devastatingly wrong on economic policies for 35 years.  They have no accomplishments borne of their trickle-down theories for which they can point to and say, "see - we were right!"  None.  Nada.  Zilch.  Nothing but an unprecedented, 35 year track record of failure - and that failure has directly contributed to a great amount of economic misery for many Americans and unflagging, stifled economic growth opportunity for just as many millions more.

All of which prompts The Gadfly to sigh heavily and ask for the umpteenth fucking time the question -- how often do we dirty fucking hippie liberals have to be right about shit like this before enough of the American people catch on to the reality that they are nothing more than marks for the grifting, con-artist, PT Barnum conservative political movement and their sugar daddy oligarchs and plutocrats?  Will it take another 35 years of these people being wrong and failing the country miserably before people realize that by continuously voting these Koch Brothers funded, Teabagging jackals in to office they are plainly voting against their own, and their family's own best economic interests and by virtue of such, taking on the role of useful idiots for the oligarchs in their endeavor to widen ever further the wealth/income gap in America, and by proxy relegate the economic status of average working Americans and their children to that of permanent indentured servants?

Wake up before it's too late folks.  There is still time and opportunities to set this shit straight but it requires national and unified resolve to do so -- and it all starts with getting involved, speaking out and making your voice heard at the ballot box.