mencken’s global relevance persists…

via “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep….

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to safety by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

H. L. Mencken

Source: Los Angeles Times


The deafening silence of the Missouri GOP on one of its members calling for a coup against Obama

via The deafening silence of the Missouri GOP on one of its members calling for a coup against Obama.

SAT OCT 18, 2014

by Christian Dem in NC


The strongest evidence yet that the Republican Party has become a far-right party has come, oddly enough, from something Republicans haven’t said.  Last week, word got out that Debbie Dunnegan, the Republican recorder of deeds in Jefferson County, Missouri–south of St. Louis–asked her military friends on Facebook if they had the right to remove Obama from office since he was a “domestic enemy.”  She tried to calm the firestorm by telling the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she meant “no ill intent,” and it had all been blown out of proportion because it was an election year.  When I wrote about this earlier in the week at Liberal America, I was stunned at the complete lack of condemnation from any Republican in Missouri of these outrageous remarks.

Well, as of Saturday night, that still stands.  Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder?  Nothing.  Senator Roy Blunt?  Silence.  The five Repubs in Missouri’s congressional delegation?  No comment.  Republican state lawmakers?  Bupkis.

Call me naive, but you would think that something this outrageous, even in this climate, would have brought immediate denunciation from all sides of the spectrum.  But are Missouri’s elected GOP officials so worried about being primaried that they aren’t willing to condemn this?  If they are, then it would go a long way toward explaining how Todd Akin could actually feel compelled to take back apologizing for his “legitimate rape” comments.

It’s hard to believe that just a quarter-century ago, when Lee Atwater put out a memo suggesting that Tom Foley was a closet gay, Bob Dole took to the Senate floor to condemn it as garbage.  Sadly, any Republican who took such a stand today would be killed where he stood politically.

There have been calls for Dunnegan’s arrest for sedition.  However, it sounds like she stayed just barely within the lines of protected speech.  If she’d asked her military friends, “When can we get together to make plans to march from St. Louis to Washington and throw out this domestic enemy?” it would be a different ball game.   What is clear beyond all doubt, however, is that she is manifestly unfit for office.  In a sane world, she would have been forced to resign and disendorsed by the GOP.  The fact neither of these things have happened, or that no Republican has risen up to condemn her statements, is more proof the Republican Party is now a far-right party.

Why anyone in the South would continue to vote Republican after seeing this Map defies logic

via Why anyone in the South would continue to vote Republican after seeing this Map defies logic.

SUN OCT 19, 2014

by Lefty Coaster

Why any ostensibly rational person living in Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana who saw this map, and still would think their states’ Republican leaders’ policies were delivering the economic growth their region so sorely needs is beyond comprehension.

                 Where Are the Hardest Places to Live in the U.S.?

The toughest places to live in America

Almost every county in the U.S. has its share of haves and have-nots. But there are some regions where it’s just plain harder for Americans to thrive, places where the poor far outnumber those living in middle-class comfort.

Ten counties in America stand out as the most challenging places to live, based on a survey of six criteria including median household income, disability rate and life expectancy, according to an analysis by The New York Times.

The county with the dubious distinction of being the worst of all is Clay County, Kentucky, where residents can expect to die six years earlier than the average American.

The other four counties ranked at the bottom of the survey include four counties in the rural south: Humphreys County, Mississippi; East Carroll Parish, Louisiana; Jefferson County, Georgia; and Lee County, Arkansas.

The findings highlight an often overlooked issue in the debate about income inequality — the stubbornness of rural poverty. In the U.S., the number of poor rural residents outnumber those in the cities, with 14 percent of rural Americans living below the poverty line, compared with 12 percent in urban areas, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s Rural Poverty Portal.

Of course you’d never get an inkling of any of this from watching Fox Noise. The right’s hired boobs like to characterize America’s urban areas as teeming with desperately poor people.

Of course, Appalachia and the South aren’t the only parts of the country where people struggle, The Times’ study found. Pockets of economic and social hardship extend from Maine to Alaska.

Why the South is the worst place to live in the U.S. — in 10 charts

By Roberto A. Ferdman

Meanwhile, there are a number of states — all of them in the South — you might want to avoid. Mississippi, which scored lower than any other state, barely broke 50. Arkansas and Alabama, which tied for second to last, each scored 51.3. West Virginia, which was fourth to last, scored 52.2. And Tennessee, which was fifth to last, scored 52.9.

The South, which performed the worst of any region in the country, is home to eight of the poorest performing states. Only Virginia was in the top 25. And just barely — it placed 22nd.

The average person’s life is harder in the South and in Appalachia. The economic safety net in these states is bare bones and have gaping gaps that let many their citizens fall through into the economic margins. The South’s and Appalachia’s craven political leaderships that grovel before wealthy interests are the main reason why the region consistently lags behind the other states across a range of measures.