American Times

by Erik Kain

Posts from the “Politics” Category

Why the conservative movement chooses to lose

Posted on October 9th, 2013

A theory: the rise of the “conservative movement” has, at least for the past couple decades, not been about winning at the national level at all. It’s been about losing effectively. If the GOP can be an effective obstructionist party at the national level, while pushing coordinated, but still piecemeal, legislation at the state level across the country, they can achieve two things: First, they can push their agenda from the ground up rather from the top down while stymieing the agenda of their opponents. Second, they can maintain the facade of being the aggrieved minority, standing up against the tyranny of the Democratic majority and president Obama. The winner here is, of course, the conservative media machine. They make money and gain viewers…

Herman Cain’s ‘This is the economy on stimulus’ ad

Posted on March 2nd, 2012

So, I guess the economy not on stimulus is just a fish lying in the dirt with no water at all? Can we make a video where we get a fishbowl and drop the fish in it and say “This is the economy on a bigger stimulus suited to the actual size and magnitude of the crisis?” The thing is, we haven’t really seen any stimulus in quite a long time now. So if you’re still sick of stimulus, you might want to find something more, uhm, stimulating to fixate on. Like Rick Santorum’s odd obsession with gay people. It reminds me of LBJ’s ‘Daisy’ ad a bit: Maybe Cain’s next ad can have a nuclear bomb eviscerate the goldfish. This is your economy on Herman…

Is Ron Paul secretly working for the Mitt Romney campaign?

Posted on March 1st, 2012

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and the likeliest explanation is usually the most straightforward and least complex. So when rumors started surfacing last month that Newt Gingrich’s Super PAC sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson was supporting Newt Gingrich in order to hurt Rick Santorum and help Mitt Romney it all sounded like too much 3-dimensional chess to me. Wouldn’t it just make more sense to back Romney? Why risk hurting Romney with negative ads – something that really did happen thanks to Gingrich’s rough-and-tumble South Carolina campaign – when you could use your money to prop up Romney’s campaign? It doesn’t make sense. But it’s just one billionaire with an agenda. That doesn’t make him a brilliant political strategist. It’s…

Real life neo-Nazi runs for Congress in Illinois

Posted on February 29th, 2012

Art Jones wants to go to Washington D.C. but even as crazy as the Republican party has gotten, there’s no way it’s going to happen: “As far as I’m concerned, the Holocaust is nothing more than an international extortion racket by the Jews,” Jones said. “It’s the blackest lie in history. Millions of dollars are being made by Jews telling this tale of woe and misfortune in books, movies, plays and TV. “The more survivors, the more lies that are told.” A member of the Nationalist Socialist Party in his younger days, Jones took part in the Nazis’ march on Chicago’s Marquette Park in 1978. While he doesn’t deny nor repudiate his “past affiliations,” he says he votes Republican “90 percent of the time.” “Philosophically, I’m a National…

A post I never published about rumors of the death of Mitt’s campaign being greatly exaggerated

Posted on February 28th, 2012

So in light of Romney winning in Arizona and Michigan, I just remembered that I’d never published this piece. I wish I had, since I was right. Oh well. If wishes were bagels. I’m a terrible blogger, I guess. Who just doesn’t post something??? Anyways, here it is: According to the latest CBS News poll, Rick Santorum has a slight lead over Mitt Romney nationally. Poll results place Santorum atop the pile with 30 percent of GOP primary voters backing the former Pennsylvania senator. Clocking in at 27 percent, Romney runs a close second. Jamelle Bouie is flabbergasted: As recently as last month, I couldn’t have predicted that Rick Santorum would be leading national polls for the Republican presidential nomination. That’s not to say that I didn’t think about…

Americans don’t actually want to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act even if they say they do

Posted on February 27th, 2012

According to a new Gallup poll Americans are pretty much split evenly on whether or not we should repeal the new healthcare law. But as with any other government program, Americans are only against it in the abstract. Americans hate the mandate, largely because it’s called a mandate, but love parts of the bill that end pre-existing condition clauses. Of course, you can’t really have a system of private insurance that allows anybody to get a plan at any time without a mandate, so we’re stuck with the good and the bad. The healthcare law is a mixed bag. It doesn’t go as far as many wanted it to go – something like single payer, preferably. It changes rather than expands the role of government in providing access to…

Ron Paul wants to divide and conquer

Posted on February 27th, 2012

A new study of the GOP debates finds that Ron Paul has attacked all his Republican rivals save one: Mitt Romney. In no debate so far has Paul attacked Romney, but he’s gone after each of the other candidates. He’s also run ads attacking Romney’s rivals in states where Romney looked shaky. Why is this? I don’t have a definite answer on this, of course, but it seems to me that Paul is attempting to subvert the playing field – divide and conquer by contrasting himself with the Not-Romney candidates rather than with Romney. Perhaps he assumes that people just know he’s 180 degrees the opposite of Romney and he wants voters to understand that in fact the others, like Santorum and Gingrich, are closer…

Rick Santorum hates religion but he hates puppies even more

Posted on February 26th, 2012

What a silly over-the-top thing to say. It’s the sort of rhetoric that is ruining this country, damnit, and this is the greatest country on earth. Why, it’s a little bit like saying that the whole separation of Church and State thing we have baked into our constitution is out-dated, like Rick Santorum said on This Week: I don’t believe in an America where the separation between church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and visions of our country. This is stupid on so many levels. Obviously the church is just one of many special interest groups that really does have some say…

David Cross on the contradictory language of the right

Posted on February 22nd, 2012

A couple people have directed me to this clip (which I would embed if it were allowed.) David Cross says what I was trying to say about the double-speak on the right much better – or at least much funnier – than I do. This is more evidence that while the right is very good at talk radio, the left is much better at humor. Maybe this is why liberals can tackle pop culture better than conservatives. Humor translates into mainstream pop culture better than anger and resentment. But anger and resentment and fear of change are perfect kindling for blustering talk radio or its doppelganger on Fox. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Read my Forbes blog here.

America is one hell of a country, according to Rick Santorum

Posted on February 21st, 2012

“The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.” ~from Paradise Lost “This is not a political war at all,” Rick Santorum told Catholic students at Ave Maria college. “This is not a cultural war. This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age. There is no one else to go after other than the United States and that has been the case now for almost two hundred years, once America’s…

The dumbest traffic sign you’ll see all day

Posted on February 21st, 2012

Via Radley Balko, who titles his post: Future Headline: Motorist Kills Half Dozen Fifth Graders While Trying To Read Speed Limit Sign I guess having the speed limit change from say, 6AM to 9AM and from 2PM to 5PM is just too difficult. Instead motorists have to read very carefully to see whether they should be driving at 25mph or 45mph. Which is, of course, totally insane. One thing I get from reading Balko’s blog and work is that the craziest government of all is local government. With police militarization, crazy local governments are given surplus military equipment so that they can be crazy and well-armed at the same time. But the real burdensome regulations out there tend to be at the local level. Think…

The chicken nugget plot thickens…

Posted on February 17th, 2012

So Mark has updated his post on the chicken nugget scandal that just won’t quit: [UPDATE II: 2/17 – Please see this piece of reporting from Glenn Beck’s site The Blaze. Beck’s reporter, Madeleine Morgenstern, has done what the original stories did not, and put together a reasonably well-sourced story that sheds a lot of actual light on what happened here. The story is not anonymously sourced, contains an actual copy of the letter at issue here, and fills a lot of the holes that the original story had. I admit, after reading Morgenstern’s piece, this story looks really bad, though I have to emphasize that it very much appears to be a function of the particular program at issue here, which is indeed…

Darrell Issa’s all-male contraception panel

Posted on February 16th, 2012

Andrew Sullivan thinks that it’s ”hard to believe that the GOP has become so isolated from the American mainstream that they could not find and would not allow a single woman to testify in the Issa hearings today on contraception and religious freedom.” But is it? Is it really? We’ve all been watching the Republican party deteriorate lo these past five, ten, twenty years. Should anything surprise us anymore? I share Andrew’s flabbergastedness, even though I probably shouldn’t. One would think that after The Daily Show so effectively outed Sean Hannity’s own all-male contraception and religious freedom panel that the GOP leadership would be quick to change course but…well, let’s just say that women’s issues are not really the Republican Party’s forte. Best leave these things to the men. Andrew…

Santorum calls Foster Friess’s Bayer aspirin comment a “bad joke”

Posted on February 16th, 2012

Rosie Gray, writing at BuzzFeed, chatted up Rick Santorum about the unfortunate comments his SuperPAC backer, Foster Friess, made about contraception earlier: Rick Santorum wasn’t very amused by his friend and super PAC backer Foster Friess’ comment today about using aspirin as birth control. Today on MSNBC, Friess said “Back in my days they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives,” adding, “The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.” Asked about the quote outside the Oakland County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner here in Novi, Santorum wasn’t at first aware of the incident — but when it was described to him, he told BuzzFeed “I’m not responsible for every bad joke one of my supporters makes.” Friess will be appearing on…

Santorum benefactor Foster Friess tells women to put an aspirin between their knees to use as contraception

Posted on February 16th, 2012

I don’t know if Foster Friess, the billionaire supporter of Rick Santorum, is representative of all of Santorum’s supporters, but I get the feeling he is. Which is great, because if Santorum wins the nomination, that means that all Barack Obama has to do is role tape of this sort of bad crazy and he’s sure to win: “Here we have millions of our fellow Americans unemployed. We have jihadist camps being set up in Latin America, which Rick has been warning about, and people seem to be so preoccupied with sex. I think it says something about our culture,” Friess said. “We maybe need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are.” He continued: “On this contraceptive…

Contraception is pretty damn important to a woman’s health

Posted on February 15th, 2012

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook   So our healthcare system is all screwed up for innumerable reasons like the fact that we have to get insurance from our employers. We have the whole thing rigged with middle-men and price controls and protectionism. On top of that it’s an unfair system that leaves too many people out in the cold. Maybe part of the problem here is the government getting involved in utterly ridiculous ways over the years – an ad hoc approach that has left a terrible tangle in its wake. The other problem is that too many people think that we can get healthcare to people without government assistance,…

That story about government agents forcing a kid to eat chicken nuggets instead of the lunch her mom packed for her? Yeah, that’s bogus

Posted on February 15th, 2012

Mark Thompson uncovers the truth behind the story about the little girl “forced” by “state agents” to eat chicken nuggets instead of her packed lunch: One problem: the story is a load of bunk at worst, a non-story at best, standing for little more than the proposition that low-income children in NC’s low-income pre-K program whose parents don’t send them to school with enough healthy food will be provided with additional food to supplement what their parents send them to school with. For starters, the context in which all of this occurred was a public school pre-K program run by the state popularly known as “More at Four,” but now called the generic name “NC Pre-K.”  In order to have a child enrolled in…

Our immigration policy is anti-family

Posted on February 15th, 2012

The story of Felipe Montes is horrifying but not an isolated incident. Montes, who had lived in the United States for nine years before being deported, left behind his wife Marie and their three children. Their youngest had just been born a couple months earlier, and Marie had fallen ill. She survived on disability with Felipe gone. And, of course, the story only gets worse from there:  Less than two months after their baby was born, just two weeks after Felipe was loaded onto a plane and deported to Mexico, the Allegheny County child welfare department took the children from Marie and put them in foster care. Allegheny County has already convinced a judge to end family reunification efforts with Marie Montes. She wants…

‘George Romney deserved a better son’

Posted on February 15th, 2012

This exchange between Mitt Romney’s father – then Michigan governor George Romney – and Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee at the time, is fascinating. Actually, it’s especially fascinating given that Ron Paul is in the race against Romney-the-younger this time around, and Paul shares many of Goldwater’s more unfortunate views on the Civil Rights Act. He also has some of the same dubious associations. Don’t get me wrong, I still think Ron Paul comes off as a heck of a lot less crazy than someone like Santorum, and leaps and bounds more honest than Romney, but the Ron Paul newsletters raise many of the same concerns about Paul’s past choices as George Romney raises about some of Goldwater’s associations. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney displays none…