Long Read: The Teahadists’ Constituents

If the next step in the Republican rebellion against the Constitution is going to be an attempt to blackmail President Obama on the debt ceiling, then the MSM must have a stockpile of austerity-bombing excuses at the ready. In the NYTimes, James Stewart tries to present a batch of Steve King’s Iowa voters as almost as stupid and just as mean as the man himself:

I spent much of the week on the phone with voters and business people in Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District, a sprawling, mostly agricultural region that runs from Sioux City, on the Nebraska border, to Mason City, close to Minnesota in the northwest quadrant of the state. I picked the district because its representative in Congress, the Republican Steve King, has been one of the most outspoken advocates for blocking Obamacare, even if that means shutting down the government or defaulting on the national debt.

In this bedrock conservative district, I found that people were fed up with the gridlock in Washington. But while they are beginning to question Mr. King’s tactics, they continue to support his core commitment to cutting the size of government…

Voters in his district told me in telephone interviews that they didn’t take all he says that seriously. “He’s kind of radical in the way he talks about things,” said Stan Feekes, assistant general manager of the Farmer’s Coop Society in Sioux Center. “We wish he’d be a little more gentle. People don’t agree with him on everything, but by and large I’d say he’s been in step with people here.” (Representative King carried Sioux County with 83 percent of the vote.)…

When I reached Brent Geels, co-owner of Geels Glass Inc. in Sioux Center, he’d just finished sending an e-mail to Representative King urging him to, as Mr. Geels put it, “stand firm and not back down.” Like many people there I spoke to, Mr. Geels says he thinks the economic harm attributed to a government shutdown, and even that associated with a federal debt default, is overblown by the media, a tactic to get Republicans to cave in. “Look at the sequester,” he said, referring to the automatic spending cuts that took effect in March. “That was a lot of hype. They went into effect and two months later everyone forgot about them.” Moreover, he feels (as did several other people I interviewed) that there may be a silver lining to the shutdown. “If we can get along without all these nonessential services, then maybe we don’t need them,” he said. So far, he said, the shutdown has had no impact on his glass business, which he started in May.

I was surprised to hear in nearly all my conversations that the issue for people in this part of Iowa is less Obamacare than it is government spending in general. “We have to sacrifice now so our children will not be drowning in our debt,” Mr. Geels said. “Balancing the budget should be a top priority. But Congress can’t even pass a budget. The reason we have these stopgap funding measures is that they’re not planning ahead. No business could run that way.” …

Kathie Obradovich, political columnist for The Des Moines Register, whose brother lives in Sioux Center, said that Iowans had been told by Washington that “the sky is falling, but they don’t see it.” She added: “Until they see the reality that there are consequences, they’re not likely to put much pressure on their representatives in Congress.” But she, too, said she’d been hearing from many voters that “Congress isn’t doing its job. A basic requirement is to pass a budget and keep the government going.” ….

The Washington Post, where its local readers are already feeling the effects of the current shutdown, keeps the spotlight on the responsible party — in this case, Florida’s Rep. Ted Yoho and ‘the tremor before the tsunami:

… “This one is from a 72-year-old lady: ‘Way to go, tiger,’ ” said Yoho (R-Fla.), a freshman congressman. In the middle of the government shutdown that he had helped bring on, Yoho is reading texts off his personal cellphone.

Here’s another. “It just says, ‘Shutdown,’ ” Yoho said. “With a smiley face.”

A year ago, Yoho was a large-animal veterinarian in north Florida who had never held elected office. Today, he is part of one of the most influential voting blocs in the House of Representatives, the hard-line conservatives who pushed their own leadership into a risky showdown over President Obama’s health-care law.

Right now — with national parks closed and workers furloughed and cancer studies shut down — Yoho is supposed to be learning a hard lesson, about being careful what you wish for.

He is not.

Instead, Yoho has felt little pressure to change his mind, either from inside the Capitol or outside it. His leaders are still weak and uneasy. His constituents — or at least the small slice that bothers to write or call him — are mostly supportive. And his defiance has made him far more powerful than a freshman congressman has any right to expect.

So he’s already planning for a bigger act of defiance.

“You’re seeing the tremor before the tsunami here,” Yoho said. “I’m not going to raise the debt ceiling.”…

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248 replies
  1. 1
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Apparently some of these Representatives actually do represent their constituents. And we wonder why they keep getting reelected.

  2. 2
    Anoniminous says:

    Stewart is an idiot. Of course TeaBaggers are going to support TeaBaggering Representatives.

  3. 3
    Tripod says:

    This comment explains it all.:

    …they cannot, they just can’t bring themselves to admit THEY LOST. To do so is to deny the entire structure of the bizarre reality they’ve built around themselves for decades. This shutdown is the Confederate flag emblazoned on the pickup truck of their very souls. Hell, to surrender to Obama at this point would be to cut their Truck Nutz off.

  4. 4
    dmsilev says:

    First comment on that WaPo article:

    If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, that will sure as heck be a moment. “I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets,”

    That’s because you’re a cow doctor, not an economist.

    Yep, pretty much. When did ‘expertise’ become a dirty word to conservatives? Reagan?

  5. 5
    Tommy says:

    I feel sorry for Iowa. I am just a state away in rural Southern Illinois. I like to think us midwest folks are sane.

    The tea party tried to put up a candidate for the House seat in my district. He ran against a Democrat. A former two star general that in his last job ran the Illinois National Guard. That Tea Party guy attacked his patriotism. That Tea Party guy lost big time.

  6. 6
    beltane says:

    @Linda Featheringill: This is a truth that too many on the left are loathe to accept. There is no amount of “messaging” that is going to reach these people, and we ought to respect them enough to realize that they are just nasty people who want bad things for this country. It is only a matter of time before politicians in blue parts of the country begin to capitalize on attacking not just the GOP, but the people who vote for the GOP. Rural white Americans have always been put on a pedestal and handled with kid gloves but there is no reason to assume this will always be the case.

  7. 7
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    I bet some of these districts are also bigger takers of federal loot than payers. So when Rep Teabag doesn’t come home with swag, the teahadis will scream.

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    @dmsilev: Wasn’t it Nixon who attacked “pointy-headed” intellectuals?

  9. 9

    @dmsilev: Dunning-Kruger effect and sociopathy make a toxic combo.

  10. 10
    dmsilev says:

    @beltane:

    It is only a matter of time before politicians in blue parts of the country begin to capitalize on attacking not just the GOP, but the people who vote for the GOP. Rural white Americans have always been put on a pedestal and handled with kid gloves but there is no reason to assume this will always be the case.

    It’d only be fair, since they’ve been attacking city-folk for the last forever and a half. Except when it’s convenient not to (e.g. the immediate aftermath of 9/11).

  11. 11
    Belafon says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: Which is why an actual default will occur.

  12. 12
    sherparick says:

    Basically, this is going to have to end in default. The President can’t give in unless he wants to hold a ceremonial office for the next 3 years. I know Boehner leaked a story about somehow raising the debt ceiling before default, but reading between the lines he is telling the Village media that he expects an Obama/Democratic Senate cave on negotiating. These folks in Iowa are still getting their farm subsidy checks and commodity prices are relatively high. Default will end that nonsense.
    Congressman Yoho and his gang will still get FEMA help through tropical storm/hurricane Karen. However, when the social securty checks stop with default, suddenly the consitutents will understand the consequences of Yoho (although they will continue to blame the Kenyan Socialist Islamic Usurper since that is what they will hear on Faux News, Limbaugh, and Levine).

  13. 13
    Tommy says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: $1.32. That is what my state pays for every dollar we get in federal taxes. At some level I don’t mind, but when I see where that money goes and those states seem to “hate” my somewhat liberal state I want to yell at them.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: Rural Iowa, so probably lots of farm-subsidy money (and oh the screaming that would ensue if someone tried to cut that off). .Florida, so quite possibly lots of elderly folks on SS and Medicare.

    So yep.

  15. 15
    JGabriel says:

    NPR: “‘We don’t know how this is going to emerge,’ [Rep. Steve King (R-IA)] says. ‘We don’t know what kinds of demands we’re going to have.'”

    Shorter GOP: We just shut down government for the hell of it.

  16. 16
    Haydnseek says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: You win that bet. Almost every red state takes more federal money than they contribute. Texas is about 50/50, even though they are going back to unpaved, gravel roads. That’ll show those moochers that used to maintain highways! The red state bagger morons don’t care, let alone scream. As long as the gheys can’t get married, food stamps and unemployment benefits are being cut, and steps are being taken to make it harder for nigrahs to vote, they’re fine with it. They may be poor. Their job may have been sent to China. Their kids may have been sent to heathen muslim countries to fight and die for no reason. They’re fine with that, because they’re the REAL Americans. And thank Jeebus, they’re white, and no one can ever take that away. I do expect a run on curtain rods and sparrows, however. I await the Paula Deen cookbook…….

  17. 17
    Hill Dweller says:

    I was surprised to hear in nearly all my conversations that the issue for people in this part of Iowa is less Obamacare than it is government spending in general. “We have to sacrifice now so our children will not be drowning in our debt,” Mr. Geels said. “Balancing the budget should be a top priority. But Congress can’t even pass a budget. The reason we have these stopgap funding measures is that they’re not planning ahead. No business could run that way.” …

    So much stupid packed into five sentences. Does Mr.Geels know Republicans refused to participate in a budget conference this year? Does Mr. Geels know we had a balanced budget when Clinton left office, but his party quickly wiped it out with ineffective tax cuts, wars of choice, anemic job and economic growth, and a global financial meltdown?

    Bring on the meteor.

  18. 18
    fuckwit says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: rethug projection again. 100% predictabl, can set your clock by it. The people screaming about being sucked dry by taxes are sucking us dry and living off of our taxes.

  19. 19
    beltane says:

    @Haydnseek: It is disappointing that blue state reps do not make enough of an issue of the red states’ moocher status. In reality, red state America is like a cheating, deadbeat husband who sits on the couch drinking beer all day, and who contributes nothing to the household except for the occasional public lice infestation.

  20. 20
    The Dangerman says:

    @Tripod:

    …they just can’t bring themselves to admit THEY LOST. To do so is to deny the entire structure of the bizarre reality they’ve built around themselves for decades.

    Which is why it will get worse before it gets better. How much worse, who knows, my crystal ball is on shutdown…

    …but in terms of the Presidency, the Republicans are stone cold fucked (unless they game the Electoral College or suppress enough votes). In terms of the Senate, as long as they continue to nominate whack jobs, they are also basically fucked, so the House holding things hostage will be their only means of “governing”…

    …and after the eventual cave in the near term (they really can’t be stupid enough to default, can they?), those Republicans that are blamed for the cave will get primaried out of office, only radicalizing the House more.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    I agree. Mr. Geels is a total idiot, and for the good of the country his right to vote should be revoked.

    I cannot stand the rampaging stupid of the teatards. It’s everywhere, it’s all they have. They can’t think ANYTHING through. They deny actual reality with every fucking breath they take.

    They need to be driven back under the rocks from whence they came.

  22. 22
    Tommy says:

    @Hill Dweller: This is the view outside my front door.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/w.....183891407/

    The lady that lives next to me owns that field. Farms it. She will openly tell you the government pays her money to not farm the land.

  23. 23
    scav says:

    Well, those stalwart King-loving Iowans can manage their own October tornados now. Show everyone their bootstraps and their utter lack of needing any dag-num-it support from government thugs.

  24. 24
    Chris says:

    In this bedrock conservative district, I found that people were fed up with the gridlock in Washington. But while they are beginning to question Mr. King’s tactics, they continue to support his core commitment to cutting the size of government…

    Of course they do.

    Conservatives who object to the shutdown come in two forms; 1) people who get paychecks from the government and think it’s not fair. 2) people who agree with them on everything but just think the tactic was uncivil. (But liberals are worse).

  25. 25
    beltane says:

    @Tommy: Your welfare queen neighbor out to be piss tested before she is allowed to collect her fraudulently obtained subsidy checks. I’d throw in a vaginal ultrasound exam for good measure just to see if she has any taxpayer money shoved into her hoo-ha.

  26. 26
    MikeJ says:

    @beltane:

    Wasn’t it Nixon who attacked “pointy-headed” intellectuals?

    Spiro, but close enough.

  27. 27
    Cervantes says:

    @beltane: George Wallace first, as I recall, although Agnew and others used much the same construction later.

  28. 28
    max says:

    @sherparick: Basically, this is going to have to end in default. The President can’t give in unless he wants to hold a ceremonial office for the next 3 years. I know Boehner leaked a story about somehow raising the debt ceiling before default, but reading between the lines he is telling the Village media that he expects an Obama/Democratic Senate cave on negotiating.

    That’s what he’s trying to get NOW. He’s not going to default. I know he’s not going to default. He knows he’s not going to default. The President knows he’s not going to default. Most of the Republican caucus knows he’s not going to force a default.

    The entire feud over shutdown vs. default is that they see default as a more valuable threat that is more intimidating to Democrats. So they wanna threaten to do that.

    At this point it’s not looking so good, so they want a reward for their ‘brave stance’, and they want Democrats to give it to them.

    max
    [‘And the correct response is still ‘Fuck you’.’]

  29. 29
    Tommy says:

    @scav: The first Tuesday of each month my little town does something I bet most folks can’t relate to. We test our tornado sirens.

  30. 30
    scav says:

    @beltane: If she’s eating any steaks, she’ll be in big big trouble.

  31. 31
    Hill Dweller says:

    A bit off topic, but the Twitter machine is telling me HuffPo used a wingnut polling firm(YouGov) to support their both sides are to blame for the shutdown narrative. Good times.

  32. 32
    beltane says:

    @MikeJ: @Cervantes: Thanks. I am 45 years old and I’ve never known the Republicans to be anything other than the Party of Stupid. Reagan merely added senility to the mix.

  33. 33
    Chris says:

    @beltane:

    There is no amount of “messaging” that is going to reach these people, and we ought to respect them enough to realize that they are just nasty people who want bad things for this country.

    The book that taught me the most about the conservative mindset is still To Kill A Mockingbard; specifically, the moment after the trial when Atticus explains to Scout that no one actually believes a word Ewell said and that everyone knows he’s full of shit. … But, they still voted like he wanted, to a man, because he was Their Tribe and the other guy wasn’t.

    Moral of the story: don’t kid yourself that conservative voters are just hapless Whatsamatterwithkansas rubes who have no idea they’re being manipulated by evil geniuses. They know exactly what they’re voting for. If someone’s trying to con them, you can expose the con in front of an entire courtroom and it still won’t make a bit of difference, because they’re guided by something other than logic. Or morality.

  34. 34
    scav says:

    @Tommy: Monthly? Weekly in a lot of towns. I too have managed the flinch when in a town with a different schedule.

  35. 35
    Tommy says:

    @beltane: Funny thing, she is a public school teacher. She is stunned I am a liberal. I will admit I’ve said to her once or twice you live off the “government tit” but you don’t seem to like said government.

  36. 36
    MikeJ says:

    @Tommy: When I was a kid in Memphis they tested them every Saturday at noon, and Memphis was the biggest city in the state.

  37. 37
    shelly says:

    Just heard a program on NPR about Delusional Disorder. Sounds like the Tea Party to a ‘t’. No amount of evidence or facts will convince the person that they’re wrong.

    Does Rep. Yoho ever claimed he worked for the CIA?

  38. 38
    Teddy's Person says:

    My 2 take aways from the phone interviews.

    1. wingnut voter mindset: If it doesn’t affect me personally, it doesn’t exist.
    2. words don’t matter to them

  39. 39
    Chris says:

    @beltane:

    What does “pointyheaded” even mean? I think the first time I heard the word was from Sheriff J. W. Pepper (James Bond, Roger Moore era) and thought it was a racial slur. Learned later that it was applied to intellectuals.

  40. 40
    trollhattan says:

    I hail from Steve King’s Iowa district and have no idea who the hell these people are. The ironic thing, of course, is they’d hate, hate, hate to give up all those ag and ethanol subsidies, but of course that’s not REALLY gummint, is it?

  41. 41
    Rome Again says:

    “Kathie Obradovich, political columnist for The Des Moines Register, whose brother lives in Sioux Center, said that Iowans had been told by Washington that “the sky is falling, but they don’t see it.” She added: “Until they see the reality that there are consequences, they’re not likely to put much pressure on their representatives in Congress.”

    By the time they do see it, it will be TOO FREAKING LATE!

    I want to SCREAM!

  42. 42
    trollhattan says:

    @Chris:
    Was it a Spiro Agnew quip at one time? He was full of those.

  43. 43
    Belafon says:

    @Tommy: We do ours on Wednesday.

  44. 44
    beltane says:

    @Chris: I don’t speak Wingnut so I’m not sure what “pointyheaded” is supposed to refer to. I do know that when I watch Ted Cruz in action all I can think of is Arnold Schwarzenegger railing on about girly-men at the RNC.

  45. 45
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @beltane: So let’s divide the country just like the Republicans are doing. Awesome.

    Listen, there are chucklefucks like Geels and Yoho, and there are plenty of other rural white voters who actually have their higher empathic functions running. 2006 and 2008 wasn’t the Democratic Fairy waving her wand and creating a magical Congressional majority. You don’t need the chucklefucks, you just need enough voters on the edge to either sit on their hands or make the big switch come November. They have to come to their own conclusion on what happens when they keep enabling the Teahadis driving the Republican Party.

    You don’t need Steve King’s district, you just need to make Steve King the minority head of the committee on cranial inversion.

  46. 46
    Steeplejack says:

    @Rome Again:

    The idea that has kept recurring to me all week is that the Republican sympathizers are like homeowners who have been told that their house has termites. But they can’t see any damage, so they won’t do anything until the place starts falling down on their heads—at which time it will be too late, of course.

  47. 47
    Tommy says:

    @MikeJ: The best thing in the world happend in my little town. I went to a town hall meeting and we had just hired a city manger. No elected official in my town works full time.The city manger got a lot of new money, cause we voted to raise our taxes to build parks. He wanted to pay local artist to well create art in our town, in public spaces.

    People said to him no, we won’t do that.

    He then said what I think is the coolest thing ever, “people like nice things, nice things cost money. I am going to spend money.”

    I have artwork in my town. People kind of seem to like it.

  48. 48
    hope says:

    Steve King is my rep, sad to say. And, I am surrounded by morons who don’t understand that the farm economy is all government-dependent, or that medicare is a government, or that the roads they drive are government projects. The last time I called King’s office to bitch, the staffer hung up on me. Douche.

  49. 49
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Tommy: I’ll assume (warily) that the warning system is maintained by the county/state government. But who paid for setting it up? And who pays for the weather research and predictions it depends on? May I hope that it’s the NWS and it’s shutdown now and while the tornado alarms might work, the people turning on those alarms still need the data input from NWS.

  50. 50
    Haydnseek says:

    @Tommy: I lived in the lovely SoCal town of Whittier for decades. Once a month the sirens were tested. The sirens were to be used to warn us of impending nuclear attack by the Soviet Union.

  51. 51
    Chris says:

    @beltane:

    Funny that Ahnuld ended up being a RINO that they loathed as much as they did. I guess he liked the macho image associated with the right wing, but once it came to actually governing a state, found out that there wasn’t a lot of brains behind the posturing.

  52. 52
    grape_crush says:

    @Chris: What does “pointyheaded” even mean?

    Origin may be from Microcephaly, a disorder where the where the face grows normally while the head does not, resulting in a ‘pinhead’ appearance and numerous defects inlcuding as impaired intellectual development.

    Only slightly more kindly, it could also be a reference to ‘Zip the Pinhead‘, a turn-of-the-previous-century circus freakshow performer.

  53. 53
    Another Holocene Human says:

    I emailed the WaPo journalist, not like he cares. What a joke. Every story about my district/region from the Northeast is complete crap, and was even when NYT OWNED the local paper and could have just CALLED THEIR COLLEAGUES. (It’s since been sold.) The best reporting is consistently the Independent Florida Alligator, a student paper that was kicked off campus in the 1970s for printing material about how to get an illegal abortion. They nearly folded a few years ago for taking on the corrupt Student Government at UF, which is a direct pipeline to the crooked Florida legislature. (Look up “Florida Blue Key”, btw, Debra “I knife other Dems in the back to get ahead” Wasserman-Schultz was a member in the 1990s.) They also didn’t see that craigslist thing coming, which was stupid of ’em. I think it’s alligator.org.

  54. 54
    aimai says:

    @beltane: This is actually at the root of one of the reasons the Republicans are so opposed to Obamacare–because they have actually carefully gauged (more or less) just what things their voters are likely to see as affecting them. They cut food stamps with impunity because they know their voters don’t think those affect them. The sequester “didn’t affect us” in Iowa, apparently. But when people have signed up for health care they will have a slightly better idea of how serious it is to defund a program. The right wing has been arguing for a long time that they are against government programs that create “dependency” and, of course, thats just a code word for the welfare state and giving things to black people. But they aren’t wrong to worry that once what the government does for older white people/iowans becomes obvious then the game is up. People vote their pocketbooks and their issues. The GOP has to keep the real labor of government hidden from its voters or they’d be freaking out at how intransigent and useless the GOP is.

  55. 55
    MikeJ says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    And who pays for the weather research and predictions it depends on?

    The goal is all private sector and sponsored. Tornado warnings brought to you by Ajax, the white tornado!

  56. 56
    AxelFoley says:

    @beltane:

    @Linda Featheringill: This is a truth that too many on the left are loathe to accept. There is no amount of “messaging” that is going to reach these people, and we ought to respect them enough to realize that they are just nasty people who want bad things for this country. It is only a matter of time before politicians in blue parts of the country begin to capitalize on attacking not just the GOP, but the people who vote for the GOP. Rural white Americans have always been put on a pedestal and handled with kid gloves but there is no reason to assume this will always be the case.

    This.

  57. 57
    aimai says:

    @shelly: I just heard that piece! I couldn’t agree more.

  58. 58
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @dmsilev: When Yoho’s name first came up, a livestock-owning colleague owned that he was a good large animal vet, but he had no business going into politics.

    Yoho’s a naif’s naif, but that’s what the GOP primary voters wanted.

  59. 59
    gene108 says:

    @dmsilev:

    When did ‘expertise’ become a dirty word to conservatives? Reagan?

    No.

    Bush, Jr’s misadministration.

    The experts said their arguments about Iraq didn’t pass the smell test and they should wait to see what the inspectors on the ground reported.

    They didn’t listen.

    They wanted their own reality.

    Then in 2009, they realized they could either admit they were wrong or fight tooth and nail to prove their way of doing things is right, despite what reality had to say about Iraq, the housing bubble, etc.

  60. 60
    Tommy says:

    @trollhattan: I am sorry you have that dude as your rep. Last week I went to about my favorite event. Corn Day. Held at the 4H center. For $5 you get some chicken and ice tea. Then as much corn as you can eat. There are folks walking around with buckets of corn.

  61. 61
    dmsilev says:

    @MikeJ: I forget which Republican jackass it was (I’d like to say Rick Santorum, but am not completely sure), but a few years ago one of them was pushing legislation that was basically intended to prevent the National Weather Service from “competing” with Accuweather and other such companies. Translated from High Lying Wingnut, it meant that people (and services like Weather Underground) would no longer be able to access NWS reports for free, but instead would have to pay Accuweather or whoever for them.

    And of course the NWS would still have to supply the raw data to Accuweather. Wouldn’t want the vaunted private sector to actually *pay* for collecting all that information, now would we?

  62. 62
    beltane says:

    The man who set fire to himself on the Mall yesterday has just died: http://bbc.in/1936XTM

  63. 63
    Rome Again says:

    @Steeplejack:

    You’re exactly right, and if these folks are the ones who will decide when/how to fix this mess, we are screwed!

  64. 64
    Cassidy says:

    @gene108: They fired the experts.

    I think this ends with “shots fired”. I’m not sure I see how they back away from whipping their base into a frenzy.

  65. 65
    PsiFighter37 says:

    This is going to end in 2 ways: the destruction of the American economy, or the destruction of the Republican Party.

    The more the GOP races towards pushing the button at the edge of the cliff, the more it will end in them blowing everyone up or in them running off the edge. I don’t see two ways around it at this point.

    They’re stoking the fire, but basically at the altar of sacrificing the remnants of the Republican Party as a major national political party, in a last-ditch attempt to try and stick it to the black man in the White House.

  66. 66
    PurpleGirl says:

    I think that “pointyheaded” may come from further back, I seem to remember Adelaid Stevenson being referred to that way. Definitely the early CIA and State Department analysts coming from East Coast Ivy colleges got lambasted for it.

    Spiro Agnew came up with “nattering nabobs of negativity” among other quips.

  67. 67
    gene108 says:

    Mr. Geels said. “Balancing the budget should be a top priority.

    Mr. Geels can go fuck himself.

    Any asshole who voted for Bush & Co. has no right to talk about balancing the budget.

    Those assclown voters had their precious balanced budget 12 years ago and then voted for the AWOL drunk, who burned through it and them probably voted for him again in 2004.

    Fuck them.

    You want to shrink government, stop every fucking farm subsidy this country has. You get too much rain, tough shit. You have a drought, tough shit.

    No other business gets subsidized like this.

    Fuck you.

  68. 68
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @beltane:

    It is only a matter of time before politicians in blue parts of the country begin to capitalize on attacking not just the GOP, but the people who vote for the GOP. Rural white Americans have always been put on a pedestal and handled with kid gloves but there is no reason to assume this will always be the case.

    Your comment is chilling. You seem to want to stoke reactionary fervor. Rural people in general are being screwed by both parties, but rural white supremacists believe at any rate that “their kind” is going to, as you say, treat them with kid gloves, cut “waste” to “those people” and keep what they’ve “earned”. They see the end of white supremacy as a direct hit on their social and economic status. And since globalization, big agra, and other forces have been killing them for years, they’re in a more paranoid and xenophobic mindset than someone who has been doing well all along would be.

    The truth is that the GOP cobbled together a majority using rural people, using churches to reach them (skirting the law), and also using the money of angry billionaires, whereas the Dems never bother because it’s expensive and time consuming and they can rack up such huge numbers in more urbanized areas (which has never stopped being their base but at certain times in history they had big rural constituencies too… they still do have remnants, along the Mississippi river).

    However bad these folks lives are and they’re pretty bad now they believe that it would be worse if they had the status of African Americans and they believe that the equality agenda is a zero sum game and that is where they will be. If you truly believed that it’s a rational if self-serving stance. They’re wrong, but people with their backs against a wall aren’t terribly rational.

    Ya. Keep cutting education, keep cutting rural transit funds, keep shipping factory jobs overseas, keep up with an ag policy that kills small farmers, keep it up and see what kind of yokels you get. They’ll be ugly, angry, and inane. Be proud.

  69. 69
    beltane says:

    @PsiFighter37: David Brooks was very interesting on ATC yesterday. He pretty much begged Obama to destroy the GOP in order to rid it of its teabagger infestation. It reminded me of a case a few years back when a girl was cured of rabies by putting her in a temporary state of brain death.

  70. 70
    Tommy says:

    @PurpleGirl: I honestly don’t know who pays for it? Need to look into that. Tonrados are kind of a rare thing here. But we have a lot of storms, big weather events. When the sirens go off I know shit is about to happen.

  71. 71
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    So they don’t want to be blamed for the shutdown but they do want to be thanked? That seems like a fine line.

  72. 72
    scav says:

    @PurpleGirl: Doesn’t the woo-doo phrenology /physiognomy equate high foreheads with Intelligence? Easy to morph tall heads into pointy ones for caricature.

  73. 73
    gene108 says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Spiro Agnew came up with “nattering nabobs of negativity” among other quips.

    I’ve heard it was Pat Buchanan, who wrote that speech for him, for whatever that’s worth.

  74. 74
    PurpleGirl says:

    @dmsilev: IIRC, it was Santorum. Accuweather< I believe, is headquartered in PA and they were good contributors of his.

  75. 75
    Patrick says:

    I was surprised to hear in nearly all my conversations that the issue for people in this part of Iowa is less Obamacare than it is government spending in general. “We have to sacrifice now so our children will not be drowning in our debt,” Mr. Geels said.

    I take it Mr Geels was strongly opposed to the Iraq war then costing us over a trillion dollars. But I doubt it since his hero Steve King was an adamant supporter of the same war and King won with a vote of 83% in this county.

    When these holier than thou people who are oh so concerned about the federal debt, don’t believe them. They are LYING as shown by Steve King. They want a big government; they want THEIR type of big government.

  76. 76
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    I bet some of these districts are also bigger takers of federal loot than payers. So when Rep Teabag doesn’t come home with swag, the teahadis will scream.

    Yoho’s supporters are the petty bourgeois and big landowner scum who’ve ruled the South since the removal of the Cherokee people.

    The people hurting right now are the huge masses of desperately poor people across his district who’ve never voted, rarely vote, couldn’t get their “papers please” together to vote (oh yeah, white people impacted by this big time–Florida has REALID and it is a disaster for people born into poverty or for survivors of family abuse), or who, when they do vote, have been convinced that the D congressional candidate wants to give out free abortions on the corner, piss on god, and take away their guns because the Rs have the money to do push polls, mailers, tv ads, and they have Fox News backing them up.

    Yet despite all that you do have democratic voters lurking out there in the hinterlands, never mind the masses of D voters in town who know that Planned Parenthood is where you get free gyno exams and scripts for birth control pills so you stop hemorrhaging every month.

  77. 77
    fuckwit says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: This and thank you! We MUST NOT get suckered into this stupid media nutpicking and stereotyping. I’m guilty of it but I fight it every chance I get. Martin has this right: you can reason with ANYONE, up to the point their tribal identity kicks in and resists any further attempts at logic, and you MUST try! Because those seeds get planted and eventually the tribal identity gets threatened by some other life circumstance or event, and they grudgingly accept reality.

    Of course these fucking articles will pick the biggest idiots to quote. It’s stupid masturbation for us to read them, we get to feel superior to those yokels, yuk yuk yuk. Fucking stupid, delusional on our own part, and completely counterproducctive.

    There are ordinary decent people even in these teabagger-infested districts. Hell, there were enough decent people in the racist South, that once the Civil Rights movement started exposing the radical racists, most decent people started backing away slowly from the radical racists, and eventually desegregation happened. It happened because the activists acted with dignity and welcomedf open-minded white people into their ranks, embraced them with unity.

    I’ve been on the phone with red districts before. I’ve walked red districts. There are ALWAYS convincables, there are ALWAYS stands of left-leaning people hanging around, and if you pull them together and let them welcome newcomers, their ranks grow until they have a majority.

    Let’s please remember that many of us, including our esteemed blog host, used to be Republicans. Yeah they piss me off, and their leadership is truly noxious, but there are enough brain cells put together among them to convince at least some of them, eventually. ,

  78. 78
    trollhattan says:

    @Tommy:

    I’m long gone from there, but until my grandma died went back pretty regularly for visits. Interactions I had with the locals left me unprepared for the current political reality–I certainly never met Steve King’s cohort. So very strange.

  79. 79
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @beltane: If the GOP gets split because of this incident, there’s no way it’s coming back – and we’ll have plurality Democratic rule (if not majority rule) for a long time. The portions of the country that are hard-line Teabaggers are never going to compromise – and that’s a substantial portion of the existing GOP base.

    There’s no way the GOP comes out of this any way looking good. Just think about it – what the hell can they do at this point without enraging their base? The best-case scenario for the Republicans is complete capitulation with no strings attached. At worst, we do something that pisses them off even more, like abolish the sequester entirely, and force the GOP to eat a shit sandwich and smile while they’re doing so.

    Maybe I’m being hyperbolic, but I see no way the true believers in the GOP base are going to be okay with how this turns out.

  80. 80
    PurpleGirl says:

    @gene108: I don’t who actually wrote it but it was Agnew who said it.

    ETA: That would make another reason to despise Buchanan.

  81. 81
    MikeBoyScout says:

    I’m very fortunate. I live in a state, WA, which is more progressive than most because of the large population of reasonable voters in King County. On the other side of the state we have the WA-05 formerly represented by Tom Foley and currently represented by Chair of the House Republican Conference, Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

    It blows my little mind that WA-05 could elect such a knuckle head who is supposedly so against Big Gubbermint as the area was a desert turned into a cornucopia by federal reclamation projects (e.g. Grand Coulee Dam) and bushels of farm aid.
    On top of all the federal aid shovelled into eastern Washington, the Libruls of King County shovel state dollars their way.

    These people!

  82. 82
    mclaren says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    This is going to end in 2 ways: the destruction of the American economy, or the destruction of the Republican Party.

    Why not both?

  83. 83
    Violet says:

    Kathie Obradovich, political columnist for The Des Moines Register, whose brother lives in Sioux Center, said that Iowans had been told by Washington that “the sky is falling, but they don’t see it.” She added: “Until they see the reality that there are consequences, they’re not likely to put much pressure on their representatives in Congress.”

    That’s why the shutdown should be shared by everyone. Planes not running because the TSA isn’t working or air traffic controllers aren’t at work? Too fucking bad. Social Security checks not going out? Should have planned ahead and pulled yourself up by your bootstraps. Etc.

    If EVERY service was shut down then everyone would feel it. Right now “essential” parts of the government aren’t shut down–and that’s playing right into the Tea Party narrative: “See! We don’t need the rest of government–just the ‘essential’ parts.”

  84. 84
    beltane says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I live around some of these people and I respect them enough to acknowledge that they are in full command of their faculties and they hate out of their own free will. They hated when times were good and they hate when times are bad. I know many people who would greatly prefer that their teenage daughter got knocked up and that their sons go to jail rather than that any of them go to college where they might become one of those people they hate. Hate is the essence of who they are, and by patronizing them you deprive them of their humanity.

  85. 85
    Sly says:

    I’ve never been a big believer in Hofstadter’s critique of American populism, but if The Paranoid Style of American Politics isn’t the most cogent analysis of this country’s reactionary element and its effect on the body politic as a whole, I don’t know what is.

    I do not share the widespread foreboding among liberals that this form of dissent will grow until it overwhelms our liberties altogether and plunges us into a totalitarian nightmare. Indeed, the idea that it is purely and simply fascist or totalitarian, as we have known these things in recent European history, is to my mind a false conception, based upon the failure to read American developments in terms of our peculiar American constellation of political realities.[…] However, in a populistic culture like ours, which seems to lack a responsible elite with political and moral autonomy, and in which it is possible to exploit the wildest currents of public sentiment for private purposes, it is at least conceivable that a highly organized, vocal, active and well-financed minority could create a political climate in which the rational pursuit of our well-being and safety would become impossible.

  86. 86
    trollhattan says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Was just perusing some Agnew quotes and came up with this, which was aimed at the SDS and the like but would work pretty well describing the Teahadi Taliban.

    Freedom of speech is useless without freedom of thought. And I fear that the politics of protest is shutting out the process of thought, so necessary to rational discussion. We are faced with the Ten Commandments of Protest:Thou Shalt Not Allow Thy Opponent to Speak. Thou Shalt Not Set Forth a Program of Thine Own. Thou Shalt Not Trust Anybody Over Thirty. Thou Shalt Not Honor Thy Father or Thy Mother. Thou Shalt Not Heed the Lessons of History. Thou Shalt Not Write Anything Longer than a Slogan. Thou Shalt Not Present a Negotiable Demand. Thou Shalt Not Accept Any Establishment Idea. Thou Shalt Not Revere Any but Totalitarian Heroes. Thou Shalt Not Ask Forgiveness for Thy Transgressions, Rather Thou Shalt Demand Amnesty for Them.

    The politics of division have been around for a good long while.

  87. 87
    JoeyJoeJoe says:

    Also, regarding King, funny that the reporter picked Sioux Center. Sioux County is consistently the most Republican county by % in just about every election in Iowa. The 4th is not homogenous like the reporter implies. North central Iowa, for one, leans Dem. The rest of the 4th is significantly less Republican than the NW corner, even if most counties there voted for Romney.

  88. 88
    Chris says:

    @gene108:

    Oh, I think it goes back WAY more than that. Even older than Nixon and Agnew – McCarthyism was already predicated in large part on anti-intellectualism (those limp-wristed sissies in Hollywood and the State Department), and the attendant “anti-expert” sentiment.

    I’d recommend “Legacy of Ashes” (about the CIA’s history) for a long and depressing look at the history of right wing figures trying to squash any expert opinion that threatened the positions they wanted to hold. And that’s just recent history. Just like everywhere else, George W. Bush was undoubtedly the worst, but he was just building on a long an established tradition.

  89. 89
    Tommy says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Let me tell you a happy story. I live in a small rural town. Heck the other day we got our first stop light :).

    Three blocks from my house I can get on a bus. Five miles away I have a rail line. Before I moved back here I lived in DC so I was used to not driving. I love public transportation.

    I live in what is called “downstate” Illinois. The folks in Chicago tried to cut funding for our service. Republicans and Democrats in my area banned together and shut down the government in Springfield.

  90. 90
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane:

    a girl was cured of rabies by putting her in a temporary state of brain death.

    With the teatards, who are already in a state of brain death, this may not be effective.

  91. 91
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris:

    What got McCarthy in trouble was going after the “limp-wristed sissies” in the Army.

    That was his undoing. He was preparing the way to go after Eisenhower.

  92. 92
    gene108 says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    You seem to want to stoke reactionary fervor…they’re in zero sum game and that is where they will be.

    Unfortunately this drive to keep cutting government is going to turn it into a zero sum game.

    At some point the New York, California, etc. delegations that represent states that pay more in taxes than they get back from the federal government are not going to have a reason to subsidize the yahoos from rural states, who keep undermining their policy goals.

    Keep pushing too hard and the people you are pushing will push back.

    I think Democrats generally don’t want to do this because of the pain and suffering it will cause, but if there’s a dollar to be had for a Head Start center in Los Angeles versus rural Alabama, why should the CA delegation allow it to go out of CA, since they’re paying for more of the funding than the AL delegation?

    There’s something to be said for unintended consequences and if all you want to do is cut government down, but do not represent areas with the means to pay for government, I can really see the folks in those states with the money to tell the rest of America to take a hike because IGMFY.

  93. 93
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @mclaren: Well the first probably entails the second. Basically, the GOP are on a suicide bomber’s mission at the moment.

  94. 94
    amk says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: egg.sack.lee. rethugs hate the gobinment handouts except the ones that land in their hands.

  95. 95
    Rome Again says:

    @Tripod:

    And not surrendering to Obama will completely take this country down the hole so that we end up in Mad Max territory and their children have no future. Which is more important, Truck Nutz or their children’s future?

  96. 96
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @trollhattan:

    I might add that Freedom of Religion is pointless without Freedom FROM Religion.

    The Christianists (who are, ironically, Protestants) believe the exact opposite, and wish to impose their fucked up religion on everyone else.

  97. 97
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Oh yeah. Actually, the trifecta was the Defense Department, the Eisenhower administration, and the Protestant clergy, which some idiot on his staff accused of having two hundred “card carrying communists.” That’s when all the pressure started building from conservative quarters that “okay, he’s had his fun. Now we want him gone.”

    That’s the really comical thing about McCarthy’s downfall and the thing to remember whenever you hear a conservative tearing up about how that awful Mr. Edward R. Murrow brought down a great American patriot. Murrow didn’t bring down McCarthy. It was his own party that threw him under the bus because they couldn’t control him anymore.

    ETA: but, yeah. My point was, as long as it was just anti-intellectual, these people loved McCarthy. And “anti intellectual” bleeds over into “anti-expert” a lot of the time. (As I recall most of our Vietnam experts got purged from the State Department during the Red Scare era – no way they could’ve come in handy in a few years…)

  98. 98
    fuckwit says:

    Shorter me: the way to fight tribal identity is to create a new tribal identity– a broader one, more inclusive.

    This is what Obama has been doing since his 2004 convention speech, and probably his whole life long. There aren’t two Americas, there is ONE America, there aren’t two parties, there is ONE ountry, we’re all in this together, and our tribal identity needs to be as Americans, not as red/blue states or D’s/R’s or white/black or gay/straight or male/female or 99%/1% or south/north or whatever other tribal identity is less inclusive.

    This also explains why he’s so into American exceptionalism: Obama is trying to replace regional, racial, gender, generational, class, and other tribal identities with AMERICAN tribal identity. He knows going all the way to GLOBAL identity is the next step, but he also knows we have to pass through the first step first (something Putin probably doesn’t quite understand or accept).

  99. 99
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Tommy:

    banned together

    I usually don’t do this but I think you meant banded together.

    (My own posts may not show it all the time but I’ve been a copy editor and proofreader and the habits die hard.)

  100. 100
    beltane says:

    @gene108: The red states have been shielded from the consequences of their behavior by our federal system of government. The alternative would be more of an EU type system that has made the economically stronger regions stronger while causing the rest to wither on the vine.

  101. 101
    Cermet says:

    Most of these people have corporate farms and/or have many types of government payments coming to them. If the debt ceiling was reached every single one of these asswipes would be screaming like a baby that has had its candy removed. These people are as stupid as any human can be – they cash the checks we the taxpayers send them and cry that the government is spending too much money … just on the wrong people. All assholes that would better enrich the earth six feet under rather than walking on it.

  102. 102
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @dmsilev: Florida, so quite possibly lots of elderly folks on SS and Medicare.

    Elderly, my ass. Yoho’s district is in the northern part of Florida, aka the Southron part, and it has an epidemic of CHILD POVERTY.

    Stop picturing greedy seniors living the good life on their NYS pension. They live in South Florida and have remade it in their image. They even send (conserva) Dems to congress.

    Picture dirt poor rural people. Cross Creek. Majorie Kinnan Rawlings, but with less dignity because the jobs are all gone unless you want to work as a cook for minimum wage and have to ask the manager to let you out the fire door for a smoke break. Picture children being fed corn starch because they are crying from hunger, food bank that can’t keep up, jungles of homeless folk living and shitting in the woods, young girl walking to their early am service industry jobs set on and raped, theft so rampant one woman was caught using her two year old’s climbing skills to break into a neighbor’s house, other thieves delivered furniture and came back later with a Uhaul to clean the place out, rich won’t pay their taxes so there aren’t enough officers to do property crime. Picture people selling their plasma to buy groceries. People who walk four miles because they can’t afford a $3 bus ticket. Or who try to ride on the same voucher four days in a row and cuss out the bus driver–rich man, that, his family might be at 110% of poverty level instead of 50%–who takes it away. People who cook outside because their electricity was cut off, but they can’t get any assistance from the oh-so-serious assistance program because they rent. Cook outside in the heat. In the bugs. People who blot out the windows and sit by the screen door because they can’t afford A/C in a place that’s hotter than ever. People whose belongings are stuffed in a shopping cart who walk from place to place because they are too proud to admit they have become homeless. People who sleep in the winter shelter because they have no money for electricity to power an alarm clock so they can get out to work on time.

    Whatever transfer payments the blue states are making to this area, it’s not enough. That’s the point. Those petty bourgeois assholes want it ALL. If government expanded and these people had a chance, the petty bourgeois would have less power. They might actually be richer, but they’d rather be lords of a sty than peers in paradise. Chew on that.

    Marshall Plan for America. Think about THAT. Think about what that would MEAN.

    And just remember–during the Depression the government shied away from direct payments and just built stuff. As soon as the Feds left anything that was built for the Black population was “repatriated” to the white rulers of the place. Direct payments. Land reform would help too but that would require state level changes, like charging fucking rational tax rates so they can’t keep properties vacant forever with wishing prices/rents posted. You know in other states they either have to sell because that tax alligator is coming OR if they choose to take a tax holiday they can lose the property on the courthouse steps. Well, a lot of little people stopped paying taxes and lost their properties but commercial property seems, idk, oddly teflon coated. And Gainesville, this is the biggest joke of all, ended up with a limousine liberal majority who passed into law a regressive property tax increase (with a token carve out for pensioners). The fuckers.

  103. 103
    gene108 says:

    @Chris:

    Anti-intellectualism, as a force in American politics, can easily be traced back to Andrew Jackson.

    I just think Republican Presidents, post-WW2, didn’t so utterly and totally ignore the people with expertise on subjects, like economics, foreign policy, etc., until Bush & Co. got power.

    They maybe flirted with ignoring experts here and there, but never did it in such an openly brazen way and often changed course, when reality set in and and things weren’t working.

    Reagan cut taxes and when that blew up the budget and didn’t end the 1981-1982 recession, he raised taxes.

    There are probably other examples, but in general experts on economics, foreign policy, etc. were still able to have influence, when reality didn’t confirm to ideology.

  104. 104
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @fuckwit: This.
    @fuckwit: And this.

  105. 105
    trollhattan says:

    @PurpleGirl:
    Being banned together would involve forming an alliance with Special Timmeh.

  106. 106
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tommy:

    Funny thing, she is a public school teacher. She is stunned I am a liberal. I will admit I’ve said to her once or twice you live off the “government tit” but you don’t seem to like said government.

    Just a child who screams “I HATE YOU” to a parent while receiving her allowance.

  107. 107
    Walker says:

    @beltane:

    It reminded me of a case a few years back when a girl was cured of rabies by putting her in a temporary state of brain death.

    Unfortunately, the Milwaukee Protocol has been difficult to replicate and has ended in more failures than successes (it has only succeeded one other time).

  108. 108
    Violet says:

    @Rome Again:

    Which is more important, Truck Nutz or their children’s future?

    Truck Nutz. Jesus will take care of their children. Duh.

  109. 109
    gene108 says:

    @beltane:

    Our system of government gives disproportionate representation to small states, but at some point, if Democrats from urban areas got together and demanded government spend within its means, such that no state gets more money back from the Federal government than it remits in taxes, you could see stuff hit the fan.

    I mean no one likes pork barrel projects. No one wants a bridge to nowhere.

    For the sake of balanced budgets, lets tie the hands of politicians to funnel pork barrel spending to their states and districts, by limiting what they can allocate from the federal budget based on what their state remits in taxes.

    It is an idea that can be sold and would stick a knife in the side of many Republicans, who keep saying they do not want to spend money.

  110. 110
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @fuckwit: We’ll need to establish a global identity when we discover the mass relay orbiting Pluto and discover there’s a much bigger universe out there.

    Okay, maybe not the right time to be making Mass Effect jokes, but the situation is so grim. And I see idiots on Facebook who I know are smarter spouting weird, fucked-up glibertarian shit about why the government needs to be shut down. It’s going to get real in a couple weeks.

  111. 111
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Oops, should have checked. Everyone’s chimed in about Accuweather and Santorum.

  112. 112
    Leaving Texas says:

    @Tommy: Turn that bitch in, please. She is the “waste, fraud and abuse” that keeps the rest of us from having nice things. A society that condones cheating gets more cheating, IMO.

  113. 113
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @PurpleGirl: Ole Pat was a speech writer for Nixon and I think has taken credit for that line.

  114. 114
    raven says:

    @trollhattan: They EARNED it.

  115. 115
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @fuckwit: THANK YOU

  116. 116
    sherparick says:

    @Hill Dweller: From Dan Crawford at Angry Bear come the following (and I don’t think he included the ethanol subsidty.) http://angrybearblog.com/2013/.....ation.html

    Talk about moochers.

    4th District Of Iowa (Rep. Steve King) Summary Information

    $9.17 billion in subsidies 1995-2012.
    $8.06 billion in commodity subsidies.
    $897 million in conservation subsidies.
    $211 million in disaster subsidies.
    Iowa ranking: 2 of 50 States
    19 percent of farms in Iowa did not collect subsidy payments – according to USDA.
    Ten percent collected 57 percent of all subsidies in 2006.
    Amounting to $5.18 billion over 18 years.
    Top 10%: $37,371 average per year between 1995 and 2012.
    Bottom 80%: $1,845 average per year between 1995 and 2012.

    USDA subsidies in 4th District of Iowa (Rep. Steve King) totaled $304 million in 2012
    – See more at: http://angrybearblog.com/#sthash.e6elUVij.dpuf

  117. 117
    piratedan says:

    I wish there was a way to deliver to these folks the “kind” of government that they claim to want….

    floods in your county…. guess you shouldn’t have built that place down by the river…. Town leveled by a tornado, sorry just part of the price for living in the midwest. Wow, crop prices fell, well, the free market solves everything I guess you should have planted something more profitable.

    No money left to retire on? You’ve developed cancer? Guess you should have planned for these things shouldn’t you?

  118. 118
    Chris says:

    @gene108:

    Anti-intellectualism, as a force in American politics, can easily be traced back to Andrew Jackson.

    Yep… The funny thing about the nineteenth century being that quite a few times, from Andrew Jackson to W. J. Bryan, anti-intellectualism was mixed in with a good dose of anti-big-business populism (after all, they were both rooted in East Coast elite institutions). That’s something you don’t see a lot of these days.

    I just think Republican Presidents, post-WW2, didn’t so utterly and totally ignore the people with expertise on subjects, like economics, foreign policy, etc., until Bush & Co. got power.

    Well, fair enough. Like I said, it’s been building up and Bush was definitely the worst case of it… But I think it’s been integral to the right wing movement for all that time and it often did bleed over into presidential administrations, even if not to quite the same extent. Bill Casey at CIA supposedly rewrote his own analysts’ conclusions if they didn’t fit what he wanted to think the world was like, so that the intel presented to the national security council in the Reagan years was often simply his ideology.

  119. 119
    becca says:

    @PsiFighter37: one GOP asshole (is there any other kind?) just announced on msnbc the teahadists are planning a murder-suicide on the debt ceiling.

    This is no longer even remotely funny. These nuts have been allowed to normalize insanity in American politics and, well, I haven’t felt like this since I was a little kid during the Cuban Missile Crisis. My dad worked in the nuclear weapons industry via a foundry. He had the station wagon packed to head over the mountains, as Albuquerque would be a target for annihilation.

    The opposition has flat out become the enemy.

  120. 120
    fuckwit says:

    @PsiFighter37: there is something the teabaggers and democrats can agree on. a thurd party!

    maybe 2013 is the republicans’ 1968. this is where they fracture for generations.

  121. 121
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @MikeBoyScout: On top of all the federal aid shovelled into eastern Washington, the Libruls of King County shovel state dollars their way.

    Narcissism writ large.

    But why shouldn’t they? All through the 1980s and 1990s the Congress thought they could defy gravity, spend money while lowering taxes. Sure, you can eat the seed corn for a little while … and the dumbshit constituents believed it. Cities did it first but they went broke, rural areas still think they can get away with it. How’s that for a thesis? Anyone want to falsify?

  122. 122
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @trollhattan:

    Didn’t William Safire come up with a lot of the lines Agnew is credited with? I’m pretty sure “nattering nabobs of negativism” is his, although I’m not sure about “pointy-headed intellectuals.”

  123. 123
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @beltane: And you seem to think your hate-caricature describes every single person in that district, in other words, punish the victims along with the perpetrators because what were they thinking, living in that neighborhood and dressing like that?

  124. 124
    geg6 says:

    @beltane:

    I want to marry this comment.

  125. 125
    TAPX486 says:

    @dmsilev: Also makes him a first class expert in shoveling the bulls**

  126. 126
    Rome Again says:

    @Violet:

    Jesus who? Sorry, I don’t know anyone by that name.

  127. 127
    beltane says:

    Please remind me to avoid GOS. There are way too many people there saying this is all part of Obama’s plan to dismantle Social Security, a plan that is near and dear to his heart.

  128. 128
    Sly says:

    @Rome Again:

    Which is more important, Truck Nutz or their children’s future?

    We’re talking about people who are convinced that slightly higher marginal tax rates will have a massive and deleterious impact on their children’s future, but that an average 5% less income over the course of their working lives will not. I think its fair to say that their inability to effectively evaluate their children’s future is a foregone conclusion whether or not it is compared to decorative automotive genitalia.

  129. 129
    aimai says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Great Post AHH. Do you have a blog to flesh it out some? Your magazine, I would like to subscribe.

  130. 130
    Rome Again says:

    @becca:

    If I could afford to move to New Zealand right now, I’d do it. Instead, I think I’m stuck with defending myself with a pitchfork.

  131. 131
    celticdragonchick says:

    @dmsilev:

    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”

    Isaac Asimov

  132. 132
    beltane says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Most of the people hurt in a war are innocent. Since the teabaggers have declared war, guaranteeing that there will be causalities regardless, I would prefer victory to defeat.

  133. 133
    trollhattan says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Yeah, nattering nabobs was his. He worked for Nixon back when he was veep and before departing this mortal coil was instrumental in pushing the Mohammad Atta meets Iraqi intelligence in Prague ruse.

    Asshole did a lot of damn damage in his time.

  134. 134

    Can someone please explain what the deal is with the WWII memorial? Why are all the pro GOP whores in the media talking about it?

  135. 135
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @aimai: lol, I need a cigarette after that rant and I don’t even smoke. No blog, that’s just been building for years. :D

  136. 136

    Also too, Caturday Cat needs a dingo,stat.

  137. 137
    raven says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Because it was fucking dumb to close an open-air memorial and they are going to jump on ANYTHING they have.

  138. 138
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @beltane: Yes, I want to win too. I believe we were talking about tactics?

    Would it be uncivil to now refer to the USA’s glorious victory in Afghanistan?

  139. 139
    celticdragonchick says:

    @The Dangerman:

    …but in terms of the Presidency, the Republicans are stone cold fucked (unless they game the Electoral College or suppress enough votes).

    Which is why they are trying to get proportional representation in Electoral College votes in blue leaning states while keeping winner takes all in the red states.

    Heads I win, tails you lose…

  140. 140
    TAPX486 says:

    @PurpleGirl: Yes, Spiro was so eloquent, but then he went to jail. Seems he got caught with both hands in the cookie jar.

  141. 141
    beltane says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The talking point is that it is worse than Auschwitz to deny WWII veterans the right to visit the WWII memorial which, after all, is the only reason the fought in WWII.

  142. 142
    Keith G says:

    @beltane:

    This is a truth that too many on the left are loathe to accept. There is no amount of “messaging” that is going to reach these people, and we ought to respect them enough to realize that they are just nasty people who want bad things for this country.

    Nah. This is overly simplistic. Yes there are many who are as you describe, but they are not the majority. Spending time in retail politics in middle America one can see a lot of differences in the multitude of those who are right of center. We can see examples of that in the gay rights movement. There is a point when enough information is obtained to help create a change in opinion and a change in behavior.

    This was one of Obama’s core messages and I believe it. It is one of the things that attracted me to him.

  143. 143
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @raven: It’s simpler than that. Talking about park closures was the plan all along because it trivializes the shutdown and takes the focus off things like:

    No WIC this month.

    Foster grandparent program shut down.

    Sports facilities for autistic kids shut down b/c the building is federally owned.

    Intelligence (translators, etc) furloughed.

    Cops working without pay.

    Half of NOAA shut down, the other half working to save your ass from storms for free.

    I’ve already seen an economic impact due to the government payments being missed because I have a feeler in the low end. It’s a real hit, kind of shocking.

    How soon before Walmart admits they’re in the shit this month?

  144. 144
    celticdragonchick says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Because it is a culture war orgasm for them.

    Kenyan Marxist who hates whites and the military locking WW II veterans out of monument. The only they could possibly add would be mandatory abortions on the steps of the Lincoln monument.

  145. 145
    beltane says:

    @Another Holocene Human: The teabaggers are threatening an economic Pearl Harbor all consequences be damned. I have a family to take care of and they are more important to me than the dumb shits who voted for Steve King.

  146. 146

    Are WWII vets the new “Founding Fathers”?

    ETA: I get it, Obama’s disrespecting the “Greatest Generation” is their meme.

  147. 147
    jenn says:

    @Leaving Texas: um, this is an actual program – she’s not defrauding anyone. It is a fantastically important program, & was put into place during the Depression/Dust Bowl era to (1) reduce the likelihood of pricing crashes, by protecting the commons [once farming moved from horses/oxen that required pasturage to machinery which did not, it became possible for farmers to plow every inch of their arable lands. If one person does this, they can make a lot of money – if everyone does it, they glut the market, and prices drop catastrophically, and people starve.], (2) a side-effect of plowing every inch of land is that you get insane erosion, polluted water (where streams/springs etc havent dried up), and the Dust Bowl. Hence a program to compensate them for not plowing their land, when they could otherwise do so. This also has a side-effect of providing wildlife habitat, and has been instrumental in the conservation of wildlife.

  148. 148
    raven says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I can go for dat.

  149. 149
    Jeremy says:

    The rural areas are dying anyway. A majority of Millennials like myself are living in Metropolitan areas. And I agree that the Democrats should not cater to a bunch of aging white bigots who are not the future, and will never change.

  150. 150
    Cassidy says:

    @Sly: AHH described Yohi’s district perfectly right here@Another Holocene Human; I live in it. The people here are not “true believers”. They’re multiple generations of Facebook and FOX News republicans. They believe what they were taught growing up. It’s a very strange cross section of calling AA’s n******* and hunting with Ol’ Willie their AA next door neighbor. They’re very susceptible to the memes and lies and propaganda, but you also have to remember this is a group of people who accepted at a very young age they will work until the day they die. They will not relax. They will not retire. They’ll never own the big house in Ponte Vedra, who are (ironically) suburban teabagger conservatives mostly. It’s a culture of resentment and no hope. Our neck of the woods is about not being the worst, not being the poorest.

  151. 151
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @becca: Ted Fuckin Yoho (an apt name, since he does seem like a yahoo at the very least) just calls the shutdown a ‘tremor’ before the ‘tsunami’ that is coming from not raising the debt ceiling.

    I feel like some of these clowns are pretty much actively working to see how close to the Rapture they can bring the country.

  152. 152
    trollhattan says:

    @jenn:

    I thought the point was she was being paid to “not plant” a field actually full of corn, unless I misunderstood the post and pic.

  153. 153
    gene108 says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    All through the 1980s and 1990s the Congress thought they could defy gravity, spend money while lowering taxes.

    Congress did not lower taxes in 1990’s. In 1993, the Democrats passed a significant tax increase that helped shore up the budget.

  154. 154
    beltane says:

    @jenn: The outrage here is that the woman was taking money for not growing crops, but was growing crops anyway. This is usually considered fraud.

  155. 155
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Haydnseek:

    There used to be a Nike ABM site up in the Friendly Hills between Whittier and La Puente.

  156. 156
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Jeremy: I think a majority of Americans nowadays live in either the cities or the suburbs. That said, I can easily imagine the younger cohort (like myself) living in the big city nowadays. To me, once you get a taste of the city life – whether it’s something as dense as NYC, or more spread out like an LA – there’s something to be said about living in a mass of humanity. No offense to those who prefer a rural or quieter setting, but I don’t think I could ever bring myself to live in the middle of nowhere…I thoroughly enjoy being connected to the world and everyone else.

  157. 157
    Jeremy says:

    @beltane: I saw a comment on TPM where this guy swore that Obama’s main goal was to gut Social Security and that he would offer it to boehner at the White house meeting a few days ago. When it didn’t happen he had nothing to say.

  158. 158
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @beltane: So you’re scared. My therapist says when you’re anxious, your frontal lobe starts firing all over the place. Which might explain your magical belief that cutting off all transfer payments (uh, a lot of them are already cut off, come down here and feel the pain) will end the threat of GOP forced default.

    When I was a child they said the Russians love their children, too. Well, we know for a fact that these asshats don’t, so why is threatening them (with a good time–remember, the ones that go to Congress are convinced their payments are earned and rational, and other people’s payments are not, and in fact taking away other people’s payments will make them richer) going to accomplish anything?

  159. 159
    Chris says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Even if you’re an introvert like me, the big city offers a lot more choice in terms of the number of libraries and bookstores to lose yourself in :D

  160. 160
    jenn says:

    Ah, thanks, missed that. I’m evidently too used to folks being utterly ignorant of the reasons behind the CRP! (If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard someone laughing derisively (or just plain bitching) about ‘paying someone not to grow crops’, I might not be rich, but I could certainly go out for a pretty damn nice meal.) Report her to the local NRCS office. They’re not too fond of people stealing funds.

  161. 161
    beltane says:

    @Jeremy: Every time Obama fails to sell them out and throw them under the bus, the firebaggers die a little inside.

  162. 162
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Chris: Heck, I’m not a socializer myself, but I think there’s just a lot more of everything when you’re in the big city.

  163. 163
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Always remember Rule Number 1. People are really fucking stupid.

  164. 164
    raven says:

    @celticdragonchick: Used to go plinkin with 22’s up there.

  165. 165
    beltane says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Nah, I’m just not into abusive relationships. The GOP is the boyfriend who takes your money, calls you a whore, and slaps you around. Now he’s got a gun to our heads. It’s too bad he wasn’t raised right by his parents but that’s no reason not to kick his sorry ass out the door.

  166. 166
    raven says:

    @Haydnseek:I should post the picture of my dad and the Cal-High Condor basketball team in 59!

  167. 167
    Jeremy says:

    @PsiFighter37: I’m with you on that. I’ve spent time in rural areas and have nothing against it , but I prefer cities or suburbs. I grew up in CT and went to school in NYC and I don’t see myself leaving New York City anytime in the near future.

  168. 168
    Chris says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    It’s like what they tell you about moving from high school to college; if you didn’t fit in in high school, you will fit in in college. Not because college has more people like you, but because college just has so many more people of all kinds that the odds of you not finding some group somewhere to fit in with are vanishingly small.

  169. 169
    Matt says:

    Fuck these people. Start the budget “balancing” by zeroing out corn subsidies and tornado relief.

  170. 170
    beltane says:

    @Jeremy: I grew up in NYC and live in a rural area now. I wouldn’t mind living in a city again if I had lots of money, but the three years I spent in suburbia were hell for me. I either have to live in a place where I don’t have to drive at all or where I don’t have to drive in traffic. For me, suburbia was all about isolation without the benefit of privacy.

  171. 171
    Jeremy says:

    Also reports show that the majority of the job growth in the country is taking place in Metropolitan areas.

  172. 172
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Apparently some of these Representatives actually do represent their constituents.

    “There are a lot of bigoted and ignorant people. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they, and a little chance?”

  173. 173
    Mike in NC says:

    I had a Navy buddy from Sioux Center. He despised the place and vowed to never go back there (30 years ago). Lives in DC now.

  174. 174
    Steeplejack says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I think “pointy-headed intellectuals” was floating around in the atmosphere, because it is also strongly associated with George Wallace. I can’t find a definitive citation for who said it first. But its first appearance does seem to be in 1968, at least according to my dictionaries.

  175. 175
    Jeremy says:

    @beltane: Yeah I get what you’re saying about the suburbs. It can feel isolated even when you have plenty of neighbors.

    And I agree with the earlier point you made. I really don’t understand why they’re always expecting betrayals from President Obama.

  176. 176
    NotMax says:

    @beltane

    Direct line from Republicans attacking Adlai Stevenson as an “egghead” when Nixon was running as Ike’s V.P.

  177. 177
    Jeremy says:

    @Jeremy: I should clarify that I went to college in NYC.

  178. 178
    Tommy says:

    @beltane: LOL. I now live in a rural area. I used to live in a large city. Folks now will say where I live they hate the traffic. I am like you don’t know traffic. I once lived in a place where it took me like two hours to drive 23 miles to work.

    What makes me sad is my Congress Critter got us a wonderful public trans system. I can walk two blocks from my house and get on a bus. Three miles and rail. When I moved back here I was flying out to NYC. I called and asked if I could leave my car there for a week plus. The lady said, sure, parking is free. We just ask you don’t park up front.

  179. 179
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @beltane: In your analogy you’re letting him drive away with the kids.

  180. 180
    NotMax says:

    @trollhattan

    Also too, the Buchanan/Agnew dog whistle of “effete snobs.”

    @TAPX486Both hands, and both faces.

  181. 181
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @celticdragonchick: There were some in the Simi Hills north of the San Fernando Valley as well as the Santa Monicas. When I was a pre-teen, about once a week we’d hear a loud roar and the ground would start shaking and the windows would rattle. Not an earthquake, it was testing the Saturn V rocket engines.

  182. 182
    beltane says:

    @Tommy: I wish there was a better passenger rail system in this country. It is a pleasure not having to deal with flying or driving.

  183. 183
    Gex says:

    @PsiFighter37: Research has shown that the arguments about “small town America” and “Main Street” started appearing in news papers the very year that the percentage of Americans living in urban areas exceeded the percentage of Americans living in rural areas.

    It is ALL about their fee-fees and being told they are better, special, and more equal than others.

    ETA: Anyhow, these clowns can’t have their “we need more white babies!!!” goals with abstinence only sex ed, bans on birth control and abortion and still expect there to be rural America. Calling for massive populations increases with their policies will obliterate rural America without the help of evil lie-bruls.

  184. 184
    jl says:

    I see a pic on front page to TPM of three inadequate whah GOPer men wanting a mano a mano negotiation with Obama. Looks like Obama is in super evil genius mode right now, so they think that gives them fair odds? If the Bidenator and Reid (Lion of the Senate) joined in, would that make it unfair.

    I guess since these GOPer men can’t get their act together to propose anything that would pass the Senate, they figure if only Obama caves on some stuff, he can dictate what the Senate will do?

    It’s all gotten just too weird. More shades of CA GOP public batshiitery, right before they imploded. Hope that similar result for this mess.

  185. 185
    gene108 says:

    @jenn:

    Ah, thanks, missed that. I’m evidently too used to folks being utterly ignorant of the reasons behind the CRP! (If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard someone laughing derisively (or just plain bitching) about ‘paying someone not to grow crops’, I might not be rich, but I could certainly go out for a pretty damn nice meal.) Report her to the local NRCS office. They’re not too fond of people stealing funds.

    But those fuckers don’t understand that the government is helping them avoid a tragedy of the commons, while denying other people, who have their commons trampled from getting similar type of aid.

    I say fuck ’em.

    If they want the rest of us to be in fight to death for the crumbs of the rich, let them understand what is good for me is good for you.

    Denying me my Obamacare is doing just that. It is solving one of the largest tragedies of our commons, which makes insurance companies and employers only wanting to hire young, fit healthy individuals because of the cost of caring for anyone with a chronic condition.

    Any farmer who is voting for a Republican, who wants to deny me my Obamacare deserves all their subsidies cut.

    Fuck ’em.

  186. 186
    satby says:

    @trollhattan: Nope, you saw the post correctly. And that birch is committing fraud and should be turned in.

  187. 187
    Steeplejack says:

    @trollhattan:

    Exactly. She is growing corn (for profit, presumably) on land that the government is simultaneously paying her not to grow on.

  188. 188
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tommy: You are truly blessed. It’s amazing to me when people complain about the Midwest. I have family there and friends and visit regularly. If you compare the infrastructure and opportunities in the Midwest to the Plantation, ie Florida, there’s no comparison.

    You cannot get from city to city easily in Florida without a car. Greyhound is down to a skeleton. Megabus serves nowhere that Greyhound doesn’t. The GOP killed intercity rail multiple times. Amtrak service has been slashed in half since 1995.

    Now, Putnam County squared that circle and a social worker with eldritch knowledge is pulling down rural transportation funds and medicaid funds to run their residents multiple counties away for jobs and charging them $2. But nobody else is doing that… my county doesn’t even coordinate carpools, it’s like they’ve never heard of the concept and yet the small towns are dying between lack of jobs and gas costing more than rent. Hello, vanpools?!

    The lack of transportation is killing the economy but because strawberries are king in Florida nobody with any pull gives a shit.

    If you want to hurt Florida, stop buying sod, strawberries, and OJ. Ooo, better stop eating beef, too. The rivers will thank you if no-one else will. (The berry pickers will cuss your ass out, probably in Mayan or Quechua though.)

    eta: punctuation, clarity

  189. 189
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    The bit that there is a pack of dolling knuckle draggers willing to take the country over the brink shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all the extreme left that has shown it would love to destroy the country to save it. What is the mystery and surprising why the other 50% of the Right is going along with something so stupid – after all by definition a conservative is someone doesn’t want things to change.

  190. 190
    jl says:

    @Gex:

    ” It is ALL about their [rural] fee-fees and being told they are better, special, and more equal than others. ”

    That’s why they always serve hoecakes, salt pork and cabbage at the annual Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner.

    I was a rural, now am a city. Where is my annual Hamilton-Franklin Day dinner?

    Edit: I was going to say annual Washington-Hamilton Day dinner, since it is more ideologically coherent, but Washington was rural. So was Adams, and Hamilton and Adams hated each others guts in real time. Don’t know what Jefferson actually thought of Jackson. What Jackson thought of Jefferson, I care not, since I care not much for Jackson.

  191. 191
    Cain says:

    @becca:

    Not just them, but also Fox News and CNN. Since even crazy shit is reported as just another valid view point. This is a failure of both news and republican ideology. It’s just too fucking bad that we all have to suffer for this.

    I suppose once all these rich newscasters start losing money they might change their mind and actually report proper shit. But if the debt ceiling is not going to be raised, we are going to be in a world of hurt. I wonder what they Republicans think they will do in this scenario? I think they think they can cut all the social spending and what not. But what they’ll find is that it won’t be enough, they’ll have to cut defense and farm subsidies and all the other stuff as well.

  192. 192
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @beltane: I wish there was a better passenger rail system in this country.

    There is, it’s just not evenly distributed:

    http://www.amtrakcalifornia.com/

    http://www.amtrakcascades.com/

    http://www.amtrakdowneaster.com/

    http://www.amtrak.com/illinois-services-train

  193. 193
    trollhattan says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Something about Iowa attracts a lot of young folks to the Navy. My Iowa father enlisted, and after a few years was rewarded with a free extended Pacific cruise on a CV through the end of the war. Oddly, he went back to Iowa to start a bidnez and family, but later corrected that and took us to Seattle (with considerable encouraging from the mom).

    Whew!

  194. 194
    Tommy says:

    @beltane: It blows my mind. Before I moved back here I lived in DC. A few blocks from Union Station. I got used to using public transportation. Almost nobody uses the darn thing jrtr. I am often the only person on the darn thing. When I talk about it to folks here they look at me like I have a third hand growing out of my forehead. You now what it costs me for a pass for an entire day, seven bucks. How cool is that?

  195. 195
    Cacti says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    ETA: I get it, Obama’s disrespecting the “Greatest Generation” is their meme.

    Old white people are being inconvenienced by the shutdown. That’s not supposed to happen.

    Only unworthy coloreds benefit from government services in GOP world.

  196. 196
    Leaving Texas says:

    @jenn: It’s not that she is participating in the program. The pic was of a planted field owned by a person claiming a subsidy for not planting it. (Or that is my understanding of the post.) That is abuse.

  197. 197
    NotMax says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA

    Always found it interesting that the Saturn V’s first stage used kerosene as its fuel, albeit a highly refined form of kerosene.

  198. 198
    Cain says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    @Tommy: You are truly blessed. It’s amazing to me when people complain about the Midwest. I have family there and friends and visit regularly. If you compare the infrastructure and opportunities in the Midwest to the Plantation, ie Florida, there’s no comparison

    No doubt. In my home town in Indiana, where I just recently visisted they have hybrid electric buses there. They’ve started recycling and what not. Indiana is more progressive than I thought. When I was growing up you didn’t even have a choice of foods, maybe chinese, mexican and american. Now there isa wealth of choices.

  199. 199
    trollhattan says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    I did actually convince the spouse to stop buying tomatoes out of season, because 1. they taste like tennis balls and 2. the horrific Florida growing practices. We live in the California tomato belt and while the majority are industrial-scale operations they use a tiny fraction of the fertilizer and pesticides of the Florida sand farms.

  200. 200
    Tommy says:

    @Another Holocene Human: We are almost done with high speed rail from St. Louis (where I live, IL side) to Chicago. I can’t wait. People IMHO don’t get how large of a state IL is. Would take me 6 plus hours to drive to Chicago. The train will be three hours. I can’t wait to head there, early in the AM, experience the city, and then come back later that night.

  201. 201
    TAPX486 says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: The operative word is ‘little’ as in as little as possible.

    The folks on MSNBC were debating how we got to this point of extreme polarization. They listed a number of reasons that have been discussed to death but there is a larger issue here. I can understand that with the decline of the moderate center in both parties, but more so in the GOP, it is difficult to get agreement. The D’s want more food stamps and less defense and the R’s want just the opposite. The slightly right to slightly left moderates who would provide the needed votes are gone.
    It is just beyond belief that the idea of keeping the government up and running and paying our bills by raising the debt limit is somehow ‘partisan’ or ‘polarizing’. There is nothing wrong with arguing over whither food stamps should be a 60 billion dollar program or an 80 billion dollar program. But once the budget number of 80 billion is decided on and signed into law, then you have to pay for it You might not like the number but it was enacted thru the constitutional process that we have been using for 230 years. The one that the sainted founding fathers designed in 1787. But the system only works if each side accepts the legitimacy of the other.
    And that is the crux of the problem, the hard right does not accept the legitimacy of any one other than themselves. As long as that is their worldview nothing will change and no amount of words, logic, argument , bribery or threat will make a difference. I think for many of these folks it has become almost a religious experience and their place in heaven is dependent on prevailing.

  202. 202
    NotMax says:

    Guess it’s almost obligatory to reference The Music Man.

    Oh, there’s nothing halfway
    About the Iowa way to treat you,
    When we treat you
    Which we may not do at all.
    There’s an Iowa kind of special
    Chip-on-the-shoulder attitude.
    We’ve never been without.
    That we recall.
    We can be cold
    As our falling thermometers in December
    If you ask about our weather in July.
    And we’re so by God stubborn
    We could stand touchin’ noses
    For a week at a time
    And never see eye-to-eye.

  203. 203
    trollhattan says:

    @trollhattan:
    The hell’s up with the edit function?
    “You do not have permission to edit this comment.”
    Oh yeah, says who, buster?

  204. 204
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NotMax:

    “Senator Stevenson, every thinking American is with you”

    “I’ll need more than that to be elected President!”

  205. 205
    Tommy says:

    @Cain: My Congress Critter was a Democrat. I never saw him interviewed on national TV. But he was often ranked as one of the top ten most powerful House members. I kid you not, I live in a town of less then 10,000 folks and I have a billion dollar airport. He got us pork. Lots of it.

  206. 206
    Jeremy says:

    I think at some point as the rural population continues to decline the congressional delegations from more populated areas are going to demand re-distribution of resources. I think gene108 makes a great point.

  207. 207
    jl says:

    @Cain: Problem is that no one knows how bad, and how fast things might or might not, become bad, after a Treasury default.

    Seems like wealthy would notice first, since increasing and unstable interest rates, and probably all Treasuries starting to trade at greater and greater discounts would damage their portfolios first. And big players who run pension funds.

    The system is awash in reserves, the Fed will do everything it can to help out in the name of preserving payment and bank funding system. They been experimenting with doing their various operations with private securities since first debt limit crisis in 2011 (which BTW was the way the Fed was supposed to work, using private securities and Adam Smith’s real bills doctrine to manage credit. Two world wars stuff the system full of Treasureies and changed the whole nature of how Fed did things).

    So, how long unitl FDIC has to pay out insurance for a large bank failure and is constrained? I guess would depend on how massive reduction in govt spending would hurt the real economy.

    A noticeable period of default with no known endpoint is a real unknown. There have been accidental micro defaults due to mistakes, fixed up quickly. So from those we know that Treasuries would have to pay a risk premium for a long time.

    Interest rates already showing patterns consistent with effects of probability of default, but interest rates so low, makes little difference, so far.

    So you have a lot of ignorant and oblivious media people with a lot to lose, and no VSP yelling loud enough with a consistent story.

    I am not too worried…. yet (emphasis on ‘yet’).

    I hope Obama and the Democrats can signal that regular budget negotiations will result in the GOP walking away with something that they can present as a ‘win’, and the GOP can back out of their corner with very little or nothing directly on CR and debt limit.

    But that would require a GOP as smart and disciplined as say, Putin and his staff. Then I gulp and think about how much I should worry when ‘yet’ comes.

  208. 208
    trollhattan says:

    @NotMax:

    Growing up my mom would joke that Iowa towns always made sure there were more churches than taverns. As an adult I would test this by informal count on my trips there, and she was right more often than not.

  209. 209
    LesGS says:

    @trollhattan: My born and raised Iowan father-in-law became an oceanographer at Scripps here in San Diego. (Although, his folks ran a fishing boat livery on Spirit Lake, so his interest in water and fish isn’t surprising.)

  210. 210
    PhilbertDesanex says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: alsr around then was ‘effete corp of impudent snobs’.;

  211. 211
    The Pale Scot says:

    Ya’ll need to read this polling report from Democracy Corps:
    Report on focus groups with Evangelical, Tea Party, and moderate Republicans

    Defines the paranoia of the white evangelicals, the willful economic ignorance of the Tea People, and the befuddlement of the others about what to do them.

    If I won the Powerball I’d set up a Leverage kinda crew to put out the mime that only way to really follow the bible is to abstain from anything that’s not in the bible, Sola Scriptura mother fuckers, get them to go to religious retreats where electricity and and antibiotics is verboten and they spend their short miserable lives surrounded by other pasty faced, willfully ignorant Leviticus lovers.

    Gotta dream.

  212. 212
    trollhattan says:

    @LesGS:

    Hey, how about that? My dad spent a LOT of time fishing Spirit Lake.

  213. 213
    scav says:

    @Gex: What’s more, they expect there be subsidies in order to protect traditional lifestyles (so long as they involve farming) while others lifestyles can go hang, if not be mocked and vilified. Family just sold the 100-year farm within the decade but damn if our particular downstate neighbors couldn’t whine indulgently at length and volume. Town refused to put in a sewer system and went after the Amish moving in on the basis of the wear and tear buggies put on roads. (I just visited — my small town was SoCal and yes they exist w/in 3hrs of the beach. Three room schoolhouse ‘n’ all. Only uphill one way though.)

  214. 214
    becca says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Car-centric cities are in for a rude awakening in the Post-Middle Class Ages.

  215. 215
    NotMax says:

    @Villago Delenda Est

    Some more Stevenson:

    “Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse.”

    “The whole notion of loyalty inquisitions is a national characteristic of the police state, not of democracy. The history of Soviet Russia is a modern example of this ancient practice. I must, in good conscience, protest against any unnecessary suppression of our rights as free men. We must not burn down the house to kill the rats.”

    “Our nation stands at a fork in the political road. In one direction lies a land of slander and scare; the land of sly innuendo, the poison pen, the anonymous phone call and hustling, pushing, shoving; the land of smash and grab and anything to win. This is Nixonland. But I say to you that it is not America.”

    “The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions. But there is also, it seems to me, a moment at which democracy must prove its capacity to act. Every man has a right to be heard; but no man has the right to strangle democracy with a single set of vocal chords.”

    “I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends… that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.”

    “I have said what I meant and meant what I said. I have not done as well as I should like to have done, but I have done my best, frankly and forthrightly; no man can do more, and you are entitled to no less.”

    “There are worse things than losing an election; the worst thing is to lose one’s convictions and not tell the people the truth.”

  216. 216
    Jeremy says:

    @TAPX486: I think the only way we get beyond the polarization and back to normal functioning government is the destruction of the modern day republican party. Winning the majority of elections and marginalizing the party until a new party forms or when they’re forced to change.

  217. 217
    jl says:

    Only consistent thing I hear from VSP about a default is that it might screw up whole world economy. That makes sense, because Eurodollar market probably most vulnerable. IIRC correctly Eurodollar base ‘outside money’ (i.e., what it uses for reserves), are deposits in US banks. Eurodollar market has no direct access to help from the Fed for payment operations. Operates on what are essentially offsetting unsecured time deposits and loans to mange flows of money. Eurodollar market wen haywire in 2007/8 financial panic. Unstable interest rates and US bank deposits, along with large element of confidence in solvency required of partners in Eurodollar market will roil it.

    Should be special place in hell for the GOP if the first effect of a default is more economic mess for people all over the world that have nothing to do with US political kabuki theatre, all because of GOP BS.

  218. 218
    LesGS says:

    @trollhattan: Coulda known the Smiths, then. They ran the livery and lunch room off Big Stoney Point.

  219. 219
    Tripod says:

    @Gex:

    “True” Democrats demand that the party stop running to suburban voters and make it like 1932 again.

    Of course traditional rural Democratic constituencies were farm and extraction industry labor. Those jobs and voters are long gone.

  220. 220
    GregB says:

    @Jeremy:

    Hey, aren’t they in the middle of a rebranding effort now?

  221. 221
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @NotMax: The first stage could use atmospheric oxygen.

  222. 222
    jl says:

    @GregB: This is stage ‘on beyond Z’ of the GOP outreach and rebranding operation?

    Or did that get put on back burner?

    Or was it all PR BS to begin with.

  223. 223
    piratedan says:

    @The Pale Scot: i’d like to federally disenfranchise them… fine, no federal taxes, no IRS, that means….

    – no gasoline because it has all of the federal taxes on it and federal additives to ensure emissions, so you’ll have to make do with these old junkers since you’re not subject to our regs anymore, but I’m sure they’re gonna be okay with that

    – no food unless it’s grown in their district, after all, we can’t waste OUR taxpayers dollars on their safety, wouldn’t be right to everyone else….

    – no disaster relief, no subsidies, no federal dollars for schools and roads and waste water treatment and power supply…. if you have something within your borders, good for you…. have fun maintaining it yourselves.

    – also too… since you’re not getting any federal help, then you won’t be needing that federal Representation, you’re congressional delegation is no longer needed.

    – we’ll protect your borders for you, so your vets can still get served and treated well in regards to their past and current service.

    The rest of it, well anything that is federally regulated for your safety shouldn’t be sold to you since you want no interference in your lives, so we’ll have to work that out with any businesses that choose to make an exception for you, and by the way, all banks that are federally supported and regulated will give you your amounts in cash for you to do as you see fit, because we’ll assume that you’ll forego any protections currently enjoyed by those of us living in this Marxist socialist state.

  224. 224
    WereBear says:

    I love cities, and can certainly understand the attractions.

    Paradoxically, I’m seeing “back to the land” possibilities now that no one needs to feel trapped on the farm. We’ve got all this land being ruined by agra-business, while young people are struggling to make high rents with lousy jobs.

    Move out to some land, run it organically. Raise some goats, learn how to make artisan cheese, bottle your own salad dressing, sell it at the farmer’s market with the wife’s pottery.

    That’s what it’s like around here. Remember, all of you still have to eat :)

  225. 225
    Jeremy says:

    @GregB: Yeah the re-branding effort is really paying off. The republican party has lower approval numbers now than it did prior to the effort.

  226. 226
    PsiFighter37 says:

    So realistically – how do people think this is going to end?

    I honestly have no idea, because peak wingnut has been multiplying at exponential pace this past week.

  227. 227
    mai naem says:

    This is kind of funny. I googled the Brent Geels guy up and the first several google results are of a Brent Geels in Arkansas who was sent to prison for defrauding a bank he worked for out of about $1.5mill. So I googled a Brent Geels in Iowa and apparently there’s a different Brent Geels in Iowa.

  228. 228
    The Pale Scot says:

    @gene108:

    At some point the New York, California, etc. delegations that represent states that pay more in taxes than they get back from the federal government are not going to have a reason to subsidize the yahoos from rural states, who keep undermining their policy goals.

    Simple way start that up, allow state taxes to be deducted from the amount of taxes owed to the feds, there by encouraging larger state expenditures, and restrict corporate taxes to the Feds, leaving the rural takers with some things to figure out.

  229. 229
    fuckwit says:

    @celticdragonchick: i call it “free DUMB”. as in, i’m free to be dumb. ain’t no pointy-haired intellectuals got any right to forcebtheur edumacation on my dumb ass, yer giddamn right!

  230. 230
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @trollhattan:

    Oh yeah, says who, buster?

    The test crash dummy on Mythbusters?

  231. 231
    Redshift says:

    If the next step in the Republican rebellion against the Constitution is going to be an attempt to blackmail President Obama on the debt ceiling…

    It’s not blackmail, it’s extortion. Blackmail involves threatening to reveal embarrassing true information about the other party if you’re not paid off. Extortion is threatening harm. Gotta keep our criminal tactics straight.

    Just yesterday, I thought of referring to the shutdown as “The Shakedown.” If my mind was quicker with clever ideas like that, I could have spawned a meme…

  232. 232
    Suffern ACE says:

    @PsiFighter37: default. Three weeks of increasinly crazy markets. It won’t end until the outcome is known in the Virginia elections.

    Obama won that state. If Democratic voters treat it like a typical off year election and aren’t pissed enough to show the republican candidates the door, I see the Democrats caving rather quickly.

  233. 233
    beltane says:

    Another GOP patriot says they will never cave because it’s no longer about Obamacare, but “Pride” http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....r-of-Pride

    Someone on our team needs to stand on the House floor and tell them to go fuck themselves.

  234. 234
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @beltane: There’s some biblical story about pride, and how that goes before the fall, and how with the GOP being filled with God-fearing Christians, this might have some impact on their thinking…

  235. 235
    Redshift says:

    @TAPX486:

    The folks on MSNBC were debating how we got to this point of extreme polarization. They listed a number of reasons that have been discussed to death but there is a larger issue here. I can understand that with the decline of the moderate center in both parties, but more so in the GOP, it is difficult to get agreement. The D’s want more food stamps and less defense and the R’s want just the opposite. The slightly right to slightly left moderates who would provide the needed votes are gone.

    I agree with the rest of your comment, but I feel you’ve fallen prey to the deadly “both sides do it” fallacy here. It’s not just a matter of “more so in the GOP,” there is no decline of the moderate center in the Democratic Party. The “slightly left moderates” in the Democratic Party are not gone; in fact, slightly left to slightly right moderates all exist among the Democrats. We have a significant number of Democrats who would have been to the right of some Republicans before the GOP galloped to the right and declared moderates persona non grata. You’re allowed to call yourself a moderate in the GOP as long as you understand that you’re never going to be allowed to vote that way.

    Likewise, the policy positions of the two parties are not mirror images. To cite just the example you mentioned, the idea that Democrats broadly want less defense spending is laughable. And while most Republicans consider defense spending sacred, they don’t want the taxes to pay for it, and simultaneously consider deficit spending evil (at least when a Democrat is in the White House.)

    There is no “polarization” in the abstract. The Democrats have not moved to the left, or abandoned moderate positions. There is only one party that has moved radically to the edge of the political spectrum, only one party that considers the very idea of compromise to be objectionable. We do not have a problem with “extreme polarization,” we have a problem with an extremist Republican Party. Acting as though this is the result, even in part, of the Democrats changing in any way is contributing to the problem.

  236. 236
    normal liberal says:

    @Leaving Texas:
    That’s one field out of probably several. The subsidies don’t mean you can’t produce at all.

    I’m also in Illinois, about 150 miles north of Tommy, and equally surrounded by corn, soybeans and even the occasional cow or hog. Farm subsidies are complex.

    And should be drastically scaled back, except that it would result in even more farmland being owned by big AG conglomerates. Locally-owned farms are already a rarity.

  237. 237
    gene108 says:

    @Jeremy:

    I think at some point as the rural population continues to decline the congressional delegations from more populated areas are going to demand re-distribution of resources.

    I think someone else made the point up thread first.

    I’m just sick of rural jack-offs dictating to the rest of the country what gets done.

    America is an urban service oriented economy and society.

    Rural America needs to either understand and accept government investment in them is the only thing that is going to save their bacon or quit sucking money out of cities that could put to help fund their own needs.

    I really think those fools need to understand how dependent on the government they are and how uneconomical it is for the rest us to support their lifestyle; it is not an efficient use of resources.

    Yet the keep saying run government like a business. A business would concentrate on things that make it money, like cities and sell off rural areas to the highest bidder.

    I’m really at the point, where I’m willing to sell Kentucky and Alabama to the Chinese to pay off our crushing debt.

    EDIT: I think India or Indonesia or some other very overpopulated country would be a prime candidate to buy up rural America, if we are selling, and relocate several million people here to ease their population pressure.

  238. 238
    efroh says:

    @dmsilev: Yeah, that “you’re a cow doctor, not an economist” comment is absolutely hilarious. The silver lining of this shut down is that funny people really have been on their game.

  239. 239
    gene108 says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    allow state taxes to be deducted from the amount of taxes owed to the feds, there by encouraging larger state expenditures

    ????

    I can already deduct state income taxes on my federal return. The problem is most people, who do not have a home mortgage interest deduction will not be in a position to itemize and therefore would not get that benefit.

    Maybe extend the state income tax deduction to people, who take a standard deduction, but that’d just start the Treasury.

    It does not address how the funds get allocated.

  240. 240
    Randy P says:

    @gene108: I can already deduct state income taxes on my federal return.

    You can take it off your income, which reduces your taxes by some percentage of your state taxes (whatever your marginal rate is). You take those kind of deductions off your income to get to the income number you look up in the tax table.

    But I read this sentence as saying it’s like a tax credit. Pay $2000 in state taxes, deduct $2000 from your tax bill.

    IANA Tax Accountant or any other kind of accountant, but I noticed that difference between deductions and credits long ago.

  241. 241
    TAPX486 says:

    @Redshift: I plead guilty to having over simplified the left/right divide between the democrats and the GOP. I suspect that even the independent/socialist(?) Bernie Sanders is not as far left as many of the GOP’ers are far right. And there are probably more somewhat right leaning Democrats (those old blue dogs?) who might overlap with the few moderate Republicans who remain than there are Republicans who over lap with moderately left democrats.

    There are times when both sides behave badly but this isn’t one of them and I should have made that more clear

  242. 242
    The Pale Scot says:

    @gene108: Presently you deduct state taxes from your total amount of taxable income, I’m proposing deducting it from your federal tax bill.

    Back in the day in NJ (5%rate) I paid say 2000.00 to NJ and OTOH 5000 to the Feds, I say subtract the 2Gs from the fed bill and keep the money in the state it was made in. This is long time bitch in NJ, when say Amtrack got screwed over so Arizona could get a highway out to those now abandoned developments. Let Jersey keep it’s money for its own needs, and Feds revenue stream comes fro corp taxes removing the ability of Texas to troll around offering breaks to industry. It Federalism done right.

  243. 243
    Original Lee says:

    @Tommy: Where my mother lives, they test the tornado sirens, and then the nuclear plant meltdown sirens, on the first Saturday of the month. It’s a little disconcerting to hear a bunch of sirens at 11:00, and then a different bunch of sirens at 11:30, and then the noon whistles at 12:00. (From my mother’s back porch, she can hear 5 different noon whistles.)

  244. 244
    4jkb4ia says:

    This was a very good column. It was good to see that Steve King’s constituents are smarter than he is, although that was logical to infer.

  245. 245
    Original Lee says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Very powerful and passionate piece, and I agree 100%. Less than five miles from where my sister lives in VA, a very similar situation.

  246. 246
    DissidentFish says:

    @gene108: The problem with “rich states subsidize moocher states” is that it leads to the least progressive response to the problem that blue staters can possibly have. The Tax Foundation study (from 2007) that first made clear the divide between the two types of states is pre-recession so the status of some states have changed, but the results are at wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....g_by_state

    If you look at the “moocher” states on the list, you’ll find that the best predictors of moocher status have to do with poverty and average age of citizens in the states, not politics at all. Simply put the “moochers” are states with less-than-average incomes and corporate profits, but more-than-average populations of people in need of government services – social security, medicare, medicaid, WIC, tribal programs, etc. If one believes that these programs are good, there’s not a path to reducing the amount of funds available that doesn’t turn into the kind of logic that animates Rick Perry when he refuses to accept money to expand medicare in Texas because … well really because it’s from Obama.

    Nope, these people didn’t get to break up the country in the 1800’s and they don’t get to now. Poor Americans are poor Americans and they need a hand no matter where they live.

    {Conceding that due to geography and the Federal presence, Virginia, Maryland and DC are not poor states but are in the “moocher” class. But they’re not “red” states either.}

  247. 247
    agrippa says:

    I expect a default. The GOP wants a default. And, I think that the GOP will get what they want.
    The GOP may not realize that it wants one; but, I do not own that problem.

  248. 248
    No RNC says:

    @dmsilev: Fool, no-one attacks city people, are you 10 years old or just a dumb lefty tool?

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