Because We Love A Good Apology In The Key of Dog Whistle

Bear on a 'BikeThe Oklahoma GOP has apologized for (unfavorably) comparing starving poor children to wild animals:

“Last night, there was a post on our OKGOP Facebook page, and it was misinterpreted by many. I offer my apologies for those who were offended – that was not my intention.

This post was supposed to be an analogy that compared two situations illustrating the cycle of government dependency in America, not humans as animals.

“However I do think that it’s important to have conversations about government welfare programs since our dependency on government is at its highest level ever.”

“Quoting President Reagan, “We should measure welfare’s success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added.”

“As read in our Oklahoma Republican Statement of Principles, we believe that “free market principles are the best to stimulate our economic development rather than government subsidies or programs” and I was doing my best to echo that view.

“Again, I apologize for any misconceptions that were created.”

(OK GOP Facebook Page)

Shorter GOP: Sorry you misunderstood us when we compared starving children to wild animals.

Some Fries With Your Stupid, Sen. Aqua Buddha?

It’s time to open Schrödinger’s box with Schrödinger’s Candidate Rand Paul! Today we get to see his unique perspective on the most sacred of all Libertarian beliefs: property rights.
It doesn’t seem as if Republicans respect personal property of their benefactors, the American Corporation. Whether it is using unlicensed songs for their campaign themes (“Hey, Noot! How’s that Eye of the Tiger thing working for ya,” we asked in 2012), or today’s object-lesson, stealing the copyright, rebranding it as your own, and then reselling it at a higher price point.

“We learned that the Rand Paul campaign had been selling Ray-Ban sunglasses imprinted with the “Rand” logo without our consent,” Jane Lehman, who handles corporate media at Luxottica, Ray-Ban’s public relations firm, wrote in an email to The Hill.

So let me get this right: a sitting US Senator took someone else’s product, stamped his own logo on it, and then sold it on his website?

“One picture on Paul’s website showed President John F. Kennedy wearing the iconic glasses atop his head next to a picture of Paul with a similar pair of glasses.”

“I can hear Senator Bentsen now, ‘I knew Jack Kennedy and you’re no Jack Kennedy,’ ” a caption on the site said. “Well, you and I may not be Jack Kennedy, but Rand likes Raybans and now we can all own Rand branded Raybans.”

“$150 is more than you might normally pay for sunglasses, but these are Raybans and even more, they are indelibly marked with the Rand Brand … and as always, it’s a contribution to the Rand Paul for President campaign,” the site said.”

If you or I did that I think we’d be in the sneezer for piracy. But still seems strange for an Ayn Rand Fanboi to be mooching off of someone else’s work.

More Please

cowboy-carebearI am returning herewith without my approval S. 1, the”Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act.” Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.


The Presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously. But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety, and environment — it has earned my veto.

News That Will Drive You To Drink


Yup, it’s Brownback time: Defiant Sam Brownback vows to move toward zero income tax — and make Kansas even more unequal.

The lede is pretty strong (tons-o-links to back up the assertions):

Here’s what Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s supply side economic experiment has wrought: The Republican’s massive tax cuts for the wealthy and businesses will cost the state a projected $5 billion in revenue over seven years; by this summer, legislators must address a $278 million revenue shortfall, which Brownback is looking to fill in part by slashing vital infrastructure spending and reducing contributions to the state’s already underfunded pension plan. Meanwhile, the tax cuts haven’t delivered the economic “shot of adrenaline” Brownback promised. Kansas’ GDP growth lags behind that of other states in the region, its rate of job growth is slower than that of the nation as a whole, and the state’s per-capita income ranking hasn’t changed since the tax cuts were enacted in 2012. Kansas is ascending the national rankings on one measure, however: Last year, it ranked seventh in the nation among states residents left.

Surely this dismal state of affairs has Brownback considering a major course correction — right?

Fat chance. In his State of the State address last night, the newly reinaugurated governor was at once determined, defiant, and delusional, vowing that he would continue to move the state toward zero income tax, indicating that despite some post-election speculation, Brownback has no intention of reversing course on his signature economic policy.

Kansas has turned into the predictable Randian Paradise, a Liberia on the plains as it were. Congratulations to Gov. Brownback on his recent re-election. As we’ve noted before, Kansans, you gotta dance with them whut brung you.

Paul Ryan Popped Wood You Can See From Space


Congressman Paul Ryan and his fellow selfish SOBs will all be pleased to learn that a previously lost and unpublished Ayn Rand novel has been discovered and will soon be available:

For the first time in more than 50 years, publishers are rolling out a new novel by the godmother of libertarianism, the previously unpublished Ideal. The book tells the story of a movie actress who is accused of murder.

Rand wrote the novel in her late 20s, but never published it, although at one point, she did write a stage adaptation, which will be included in the new edition along with the short novel.

The “objectivist” author’s works — particularly the novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged — have been held up by pro-business, anti-government zealots as exemplars of political fiction. Her acolytes praise her as one of the greatest minds of the 20th century and have made her, essentially, the patron saint of people who don’t tip.

(Raw Story — New ‘lost’ Ayn Rand novel will bring her crimes against literature to new generation of jerks, by David Ferguson, AKA T.Rex

More Flip-Flops Than a Memorial Day Shoe Sale


The Daily Banter is doing yeoman’s work trying to keep up with the 2016 Goat Rodeo’s Schröedinger’s Candidate Rand Paul’s latest changing positions on ISIS:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is a national joke and anyone who thinks he’d make a swell president needs to pay a little more attention to the, you know, news. Yesterday, we reported the freshman senator’s latest in a bottomless cup of flip-flops in which he said, on the record, that he’d intervene militarily against the Islamic State, aka ISIS. Prior to being obviously hawkish, Paul condemned Hillary Clinton for being a hawk on the Middle East. Now he’s backpedaling on his flirtation with intervention. Surprise, surprise…

…Oh, yeah, it’s time for a president like Rand Paul who totally has a strategy — which is to not have any strategies that survive for more than a few minutes. His only consistent strategy is the one in which he says whatever’s necessary to get elected, even if it directly contradicts something he just said.

At this rate, by the weekend, Rand Paul will have taken every imaginable position on ISIS, including condemnations of his own prior positions. Because he has a strategy.

It’s great, good stuff. The Daily Banter is becoming a Daily Read for me.

The Invisible Finger of the Market Place


Any economists out there, or policy wonks want to weigh in on this:

Wallace put the question more directly: “You would allow the Ex-Im Bank to expire in September?”

McCarthy immediately said “Yes. Because it’s something that the private sector can be able to do.”

When I looked up the Export-Import Bank, it sounded like they provide low-interest loan insurance that helps small US manufacturers expand their markets overseas when the big banks won’t take the risk. That they also help the foreign customers to buy the US export also seems like a good thing. From what I can tell, essentially they step in where the banks won’t, and everyone wins.

That it was signed into existence by FDR also tells me that there is probably a real need for this thing, and so to have a pseudo-Ayn Rand Market analysis spouted off by one of the really dim bulbs of Wingnuttia, gives me grounds for instinctively being in favor of the Ex-Im.

Those who do not learn from history…

…are really f***ing stupid:

Example A is Teabagger Marilinda Garcia, who is a candidate for Congress from New Hampshire.

Gosh, you know, as a student of history (OK, it was one of my undergraduate majors), I kinda-sort know that the people of Jamestown did not starve to death because they lacked private property. They starved to death from because they did not grow food.

So why, you ask, did they not grow any food? They were being good little capitalists, and trying make it big in the mercantile economy by growing exotic crops to export to England (and presumably to return as rich as kings); they were not trying to grow subsistence crops.

So, you could say that Capitalism killed the Jamestown Colony, or the Invisible Hand killed them, or even that they all went Galt with greed. But you cannot say that they died from collectivism. That’s just stupid.

Today in Ayn Rand-Land…


We learn that those fiercely proud Capitalists at Walmart have called in the socialized police to protect their bottled water following the brave, Galt-like despoiling of the water in Libertarian paradise of West Virginia.

(Think Progress)

Ayn Rand goes shopping

Bloomberg has a long article on Sears’ implosion that is fascinating on many levels, but it held my attention on one aspect in particular: the CEO Eddie Lampert is a hedge-fund manager and fan of dirty book author Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. He based much of his disastrous decisions on her philosophy:

…Lampert runs Sears like a hedge fund portfolio, with dozens of autonomous businesses competing for his attention and money. An outspoken advocate of free-market economics and fan of the novelist Ayn Rand, he created the model because he expected the invisible hand of the market to drive better results. If the company’s leaders were told to act selfishly, he argued, they would run their divisions in a rational manner, boosting overall performance.

Instead, the divisions turned against each other—and Sears and Kmart, the overarching brands, suffered. Interviews with more than 40 former executives, many of whom sat at the highest levels of the company, paint a picture of a business that’s ravaged by infighting as its divisions battle over fewer resources. (Many declined to go on the record for a variety of reasons, including fear of angering Lampert.) Shaunak Dave, a former executive who left in 2012 and is now at sports marketing agency Revolution, says the model created a “warring tribes” culture. “If you were in a different business unit, we were in two competing companies,” he says. “Cooperation and collaboration aren’t there.”

…Only so far, Lampert’s experiment resembles a different book: The Hunger Games.

So instituting ruthless selfishness didn’t result in manna? Creating 30 separate business units (complete with executive suites, and boards of directors) competing against each other for resources didn’t make the company run better, but instead has them on a deathwatch.

But there is an upside to Lampert’s Darwinistic approach: if Sears Holdings needs to be liquidated, many of the business units could be sold off as stand-alone companies, so he’s got that working for him.

The Bloomberg article is a fascinating look at what happens when Randite philosophy meets the real world of business. We’ve seen how it works in public policy, so is there any wonder that Dorothy Parker gets the last word:

“Atlas Shrugged is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”