Archive for the politics Category

AMERICA SAVED! (illustrated with antique nudes)

Posted in fashion, history, PHOTOGRAPHY, pinup, politics, Sexy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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We are saved! The dark forces of Republican money, lies and hateful prejudice have been bested again! Yahoo!! Mighty Obama pulled America back from the edge of the yawning abyss. Little children will smile again, women will wear shoes again, Hispanics will no longer self-deport again…

Or something like that – for the next two years. Or maybe just the next two months…

She danced the year my grandpa turned 22 (1910)

Schadenfreude is a wonderful emotion. I’ve been reading a sampling of right wing blogs.  Seems the Republicans lost because they weren’t conservative enough, didn’t attack Obama enough, failed to present their message in a proper way, nominated a “flawed” candidate, failed to get their vote out; were doomed by hurricane Sandy, betrayed by that odious obese New Jersey governor, overwhelmed by the Mainstream Media’s love for Obama, cheated out of victory by massive voter fraud, Hollywood hucksters, and completely done in by the electorate’s ignorance, stupidity, greed or apathy, etc., etc, etc…. Why, they never had a chance!

Traditional American! (circa 1925)

Of course, all these wailing conservatives were, on the day before the election, smugly telling themselves Romney was going to win – big. There was no way he could lose! It was just so obvious! The unskewed polls told them so – their gut feelings told them so – the count of yard signs in Florida told them so. Hannity, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, and all the other brilliant and insightful pundits in the Conservative Echo Chamber, announced the utter impossibly of a Romney defeat. I mean, how could anyone ever doubt for one second the sagacity of Dick Morris!?? When it comes to prognostication his record is perfect. The only debate in the conservative bubble was how big Romney’s margin would be.

History revealed! (circa 1925)

In comment  sections on these anguished blogs anyone who asserted Romney was done in because the party’s positions were too reactionary for the electorate is quickly labeled a “troll” or a RINO.  Moderate, thoughtful voices are drowned by a chorus of, “we just weren’t conservative enough!” It reminds me of  the answer of the indian rain dancer when confronted by the claim there’s no connection between hoofing and water. When his dance produces no rain and you say, “see, I told you it doesn’t work,” he’ll reply no rain came because he didn’t dance the right way. When it rains after his dance he’ll tell you smugly, “see, I told you it works!”

One hoop I’d gladly jump through

Personally, I was scared to death. I thought Obama was the favorite; I wanted to believe Nate – but favorites lose all the time. Some of my fear sprang from nightmare memories of 2000. The thought of a Republican president, house and Senate filled me with dread. I didn’t turn on election coverage until almost nine o’clock when I clicked on MSNBC with trembling lips and fingers. The sight of Rachel’s bright smile brought a tsunami of relief. With ever growing glee I stayed glued to to the television until nearly two in the morning. We won! We won! We won!! AND BIG!

Ballot Basket Guardian Angel
Photos from Flickr site of  Trialsanderrors and believed to be in the public domain

T&E’s Big Set of Old Folks

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Lapdog Press (Outrage of the Week)

Posted in FLICKR, history, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics with tags , , , , , , on August 25, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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So, this ex-member of Seal Team Six, hiding behind a nom de plume, writes a tell all book about the raid that killed Bin Laden. No one made him  do it. He chose to make himself part of a major controversy. I also imagine he stands to profit from his labors.

So, his true identity becomes known by investigative reporters. His real name will lead to assess his motives,  his history, his biases, etc. His real name is also known by lots of others in government and the military. Wouldn’t you think his identity is newsworthy?

The answer to the above question, according to Reuters,  is a definite no. Read this article; you will notice the Bin Laden book’s author is not named. Why? Because some Al Qaida website called for his demise. Imagine, a bunch of jihadists in their pajamas in their Mosque basement  so intimidated Reuters it intentionally censored the news. By that standard, given Al Qaida’s threats to our President, I suppose Reuters wishes him dead since it regularly publishes not only his real name but his address too!! Has anyone called the Secret Service?

Based on Reuters new policy, we certainly shouldn’t name anyone charged with a serious crime to insure they aren’t attacked by vigilantes. Can’t name witnesses in trials to avoid retribution they may receive, or sports writers penning stories critical of the local football teams who faces the threat of  fan violence..

Photo by Torbak Hopper, subject to this creative commons license

Osama Bin Laden is Dead!

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Tits & Twaddle

Posted in FLICKR, history, pinup, politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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Is Visions unique? Where else, I ask proudly, will you find the perfect mix of cheesy smut and puerile political punditry? Pinups and politics! Babes and baloney! Tits and Twaddle…

Politics has just gotten too disgusting. The hope and change guy is reduced to a string of attack ads and the other guy just makes stuff up and hurls it back at the incumbent. And, of course, there’s the tale of gynecologist Todd Aiken. [Insert you own joke here].

Romney put a dog on the roof of his limousine  – Obama ate one in Indonesia (where he was secretly indoctrinated in radical Islam). Paul Ryan is really a fictional character made up by Tom Clancy and Joe Biden is a manic robot with a mouth straight from Mars. And we voters are so fat, dumb and lazy we swallow all this bullshit and beg for more. Please, please, cable news, tell us all about Mitt’s secret underwear and Obama’s diabolical plan to turn America over the the UN!!

A county judge in Texas (where else) justifies a request for a tax increase by opining an Obama re-election could lead to civil war and, hence, a need for additional local moolah to keep the peace. A candidate for Sheriff  in some unfortunate locale in New Hampshire says he’ll sanction deadly force against abortionists. Democratic pols, with an eye to the loonier segment of  their base, want to insure Chick-Fil-A doesn’t discriminate against gay roosters and sapphic hens (I may not have that last one quite right…) 

The late great senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan from New York once said, sorta, everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts. Not anymore. Stephen Colbert’s  truthiness reigns supreme. Now you can have a position, then find or manufacture the facts to back it up. Aiken and his ideological predecessors make up the fact victims of “legitimate rape” won’t get pregnant to justify their insistence on a ban of abortion with no rape exception. The Donald and many, many others take as a matter of fact that Obama wasn’t born in America, is actually a Muslim and is so stupid he  has to use a teleprompter to justify their belief he really isn’t the President.  Not to be outdone, those on the loony left take as bedrock truth the existence of a vast right-wing conspiracy, firearms are inherently evil, that sure death will result from eating genetically modified foods, trees flowers have feelings, too, and that every white child needs Ritalin and multicultural sensitivity training to back up their belief our nation is a bloody, barbaric  land. Hundreds of books come out each year proving the Twin Towers were destroyed by the government, Kennedy was killed by a cabal of Jesuits in the CIA, Thomas Jefferson was really against the separation of church and state, that Lincoln was gay or a monster, that Bill Clinton, or Hillary, killed dozens  of people, and that fracking (or gluten, or sugar, or liberalism) will surely kill us all. Believe Teddy Roosevelt was really a Commie? There’s an app for that!

Why can’t we all just get along? We are all Americans, after all. We are all, at least in our own estimation, people of good will. We all are dedicated to making our proud nation, the best country that has ever, ever been in the entire whole wide world, a better place. And we all of us believe we could accomplish our noble goal if only those unlike us weren’t as dumb and venal as shit & are only bent on destroying America, our precious freedoms, the government, corporations, the fur trade, the social  safety net, reproductive rights, Christianity, Jews, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Gays, the handicapped, geezers, and stay at home moms,not to mention our beloved canine or feline pets.

Of course if you were a real American you would agree with me! My truth is self  evident;  since you refuse to acknowledge it, you must be party to whatever fiendish conspiracy I know is hellbent on the destruction of all I rightly hold sacred and dear.

Oh, well… That’s just my opinion and I could be wrong.

For photo credits, click on each image above. Each image was modified by me, and is subject to to a creative commons license.

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Large DC House w/Veto & View – Cheap!

Posted in FLICKR, memoir, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, religion with tags , , , , , , , on August 5, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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Photo by dcJohn, subject to this creative commons license

I’ve been a Democrat since I was eighteen.  Raised by conservative parents in conservative parts of the country (east Tennessee and Southern California),  I aped my parents’ politics. My first year of college at Swarthmore opened my eyes. The Vietnam War was the primary reason, of course, but there were others. A lecture by a economics professor influenced me. He had been an economic advisor to FDR. The battle over Medicare was raging in 1966. His observation that we already had “socialized” medicine (“the sick rich pay for the sick poor”) helped change my view of how government should work.

By the end of the ’66-’67 school year I was a card carrying, bleeding heart liberal. I believed in an expansive role for government to alleviate suffering and level the playing field for the poor and minorities, and to curtail the rough edges of the free market system. Of course, at the same time, I believed the government was conducting an immoral and pointless war, but I naively thought the war was a blunder of our leaders and not intentional malfeasance.

In any event, I’ve remained a Democrat – a liberal Democrat – the rest of my life. I’ve even run for office twice (in a Tennessee county that skews Republican by better than two to one). When it comes the the Democratic party my attitude mirrors the one I have about the University of Tennessee sports teams: mindless, hooting fanaticism.

As I’ve written before, however, when the season’s over – or before it begins – I’m cynical, and know my beloved Vols are mercenaries looking out for themselves and are mere cogs in the big money, shamefully corrupt,  college sports machine.

It’s the same with the Democratic party. It grows ever more corrupt. Largely captured by corporate interests, the party’s prior concern for the poor and disenfranchised has faded nearly away. With Teddy Kennedy’s death the last influential liberal voice in the party was stilled. The few bona fide liberals left are largely ignored by the party leadership. Every two years we are admonished to be good little boys and girls and turn out and pull the Democratic lever in the  voting booth (and we usually do).

Whenever I hear anyone accuse Obama of being a socialist or liberal my laugh is a bitter one. Obama is a cautious moderate. His proposed policies echo Republican positions of the seventies and eighties. Obamacare? Weak beer: a thousand page gift to big pharma and the insurers. Don’t even get me started on his embrace of Bush’s tactics in the War on Terror and his refusal to bring to account the architects and practitioners of torture. No,  Obama’s no liberal, not even close.

The one percent may own more of the Democratic party than they do of the Republicans. The GOP is increasingly under the sway of the Tea Party. Unlike liberals in the Democratic fold, Tea Party fanatics keep knocking off establishment backed candidates in primaries. The extreme right has forced its party’s leaders to embrace its positions. The Democratic leadership ignores liberals’ positions. It’s telling that the single payer – Medicare for all – healthcare option was never on the President’s health reform table. In the struggle to pass a bill Obama and the party’s congressional leadership moved ever rightward: the Public Option was dropped, the attempt to rein in drug prices was dropped.

The truth is this: by and large we now have two corporate parties – one pro-choice and one pro life (corporations could care less about abortion)  – one for Bible thumpers and one for proponents of gay rights and marriage equality (another matter of corporate indifference)  – and one dead set against tax increases and the other only wanting to restore the tax rates of the nineties for the top two percent (business would prefer the former but could live with the latter). We have two parties who favor the endless War on Terror, the need to curtail civil liberties and the abandonment of the poor (war’s good for business, the poor not so much).

Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

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dcJohn’s set Protests

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Cold Dead Hands…

Posted in erotic, fetish, FLICKR, history, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, religion, tennessee, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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Photo credit:  Bruce Osama, subject to this creative commons license

I don’t normally comment on the really big news of the week. Everyone else in the blogosphere does and I’m not egotistical enough to think I have anything original to write. Usually I stick to titty pics and pathetic attempts at humor.

But today I’ll descend into a mindless left wing rant. If you’re just here for the smut, scroll down to the bottom of the page…

Why is our country so obsessed with guns? More importantly, how does the NRA manage to block virtually any state or federal gun regulation? It is astonishing to me that the NRA can easily stop modest gun regulation supported by a majority of the country. Ever since the Tuesday night massacre of pro gun control democrats in 1994 no one has proposed any serious gun regulation in Congress (and the Obama  administration hasn’t either).

Here in Tennessee the pro-gun lobby is pushing for laws permitting the carrying of concealed weapons in church, at work, and at colleges (even if the school, or church, or workplace doesn’t want them allowed).  We already have a law legalizing concealed weapons in bars (what could possibly go wrong)!

I could, of course, cite the scads of statistics about gun violence in this nation.  I could cite stats on the way lower gun assaults in Europe and Japan. You, you right wing ignoramus, would retort with cases of gun totin’ grandmas saving the family and a screed on the sanctity of the second amendment.

Twelve dead, fifty-eight wounded. At a goddamn movie. Killed with legal guns legally purchased. Victims mowed down like sheep at slaughter. In a goddamn movie theater! In a state with relatively lax laws on carrying concealed weapons…

But woe to anyone crying out for gun regulation in the wake of the tragedy! Mayor Bloomberg of New York has outraged many conservatives by “using this tragedy to  his advance his radical anti-gun agenda!” My God! What a monster…

Anyone hoping that, at last, this gun massacre will spur the passage of common sense gun control is delusional. It hasn’t happened before despite uncountable violent gun deaths and it won’t happen now. And it most likely won’t happen the next time or the next time after that.

This is, after all, America where we praise the lord and pass the ammunition.

Photo credit: Mario Mercea, remixed by me, both images subject to this creative commons license

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Guns & AmmoWe Like Guns Guns Make Me Moan Gurlz with Guns  

Doubled Barreled Babe

Photo by BillyWarhol, remixed, both images  subject to this  creative commons license

Billy’s Beautiful Boobies

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LIBERAL RANT #1011001

Posted in FLICKR, history, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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Under the heading you can’t make this shit up,  Republican senator Jeff  Sessions, from Alabama of course, claims it’s immoral to support an increase in the food stamp program. Really…?

Of course he’s absolutely right. I mean, c’mon, you start feeding those shiftless, unemplyed folk and they’ll just breed like flies. Can’t they just grow their own food? They’ve got the time. Or they could shuffle down to Alabama and work in the fields (we could even provide reduced fare buses to get them there). Better yet. we could mandate agricultural work…

Or we could just eliminate food stamps altogether. Not only would it save tons of money, it would send a powerful message we won’t condone idleness. It would also up the employment rate; nothing is a better spur to find a job than a bit of serious hunger.

Of course the food stamp program isn’t going to wither away – not because Congress is so compassionate, but because the agricultural lobby strongly supports the program. Food stamps, whatever else they may be, are a form of farmers’ aid. You don’t kick farmers and their midwest Senators and congressmen, and women, around…

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America’s Favorite Farmers Markets  – Farming Life Food Food Food! – Capitol Hill 

This farm girl would sure keep me down on the farm…

 Photo by ChenKuzi , subject to this creative commons license

Set by ChenKuzi

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On Wisconsin!

Posted in fetish, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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The results from Wisconsin were not good. Swamped by an avalanche of Republican money and an electorate that vaguely disapproved of the recall effort, progressives took it on the chin. Unions took another body blow and in one of the most liberal states in the nation an unpopular right wing Republican won by seven points.

A chilly prediction for this Fall? Combined with the gathering economic storms over Europe and China, the obstructionist havoc wrought by the Republicans in congress, and the tsunami of cash pouring into conservative coffers, it is beginning to look ominous for Obasma and Democrats.

Andrew Sullivan (one of Vision’s favorite bloggers), and other pundits, decry what they see as a suicidal dash to the far right by the GOP.  They predict the GOP will wither into a rump party of aging southern whites. So far these predictions have proved laughably false. Not only is the GOP not dying, it now controls a majority of the states and the House. If the economy continues to worsen, and given the Citizens United flood of Republican campaign money, Republicans could well capture both the White House and the Senate.

If the above prospect comes to pass, do you think the Democratic minority in the Senate will use the filibuster in the same effective way as the current Republicans? Don’t count on it. First, the Democrats are far less cohesive; it will be easier for the Republican majority to pick up defectors. Second, I have no doubt if the minority does attempt the same sort of tactics now used by the Republicans, the GOP will quickly curtail the minority’s right to stonewall legislation.

With the GOP in control of every branch of the federal government, Congress will mirror the right wing controlled state legislatures. If that happens, Obamacare and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell are doomed. Social Security and Medicare will be gutted. More funds will be thrown into the Military maw. Taxes will be slashed on the well to d (and raised on the middle class). We’ll see an avalanche of legislation aimed at devastating abortion rights, and unions, and the Democratic party itself.  Legislation to prevent voter fraud will place high hurdles minority voters will need to jump over to register or vote (for a preview check out the efforts of Florida Republicans to reform voting).

Then, if the GOP gets lucky, the next few years will see the economy rebound (despite Republican mismanagement) and the Grand Old Party, rather than withering away, will remain in control for the foreseeable future.

Oh, well, we progressives (the politically correct term for us unabashed liberals these days) will be able to console ourselves by drinking our over-priced  lattes, devouring our chilled arugula, reading the News York Times, and watching Rachel and Ed (and Olbermann reruns), at least until the Republicans reform cable television…

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A Wisconsin couple, honest…

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Wisconsin Barns WisconsinWisconsin WildflowersWisconsin Wildlife – Wisconsin Models 

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Photos (top to bottom) by sdharwadker, Bryan Thompson, both subject to this creative commons license

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The Wretched Refuse

Posted in history, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics with tags , , , , , , on May 27, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

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Liberty Enlightening the World

Lady Liberty

Statue of Liberty National Monument 

For photo credits, click on each image; all subject to this creative commons license

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IGNORE THIS POST!

Posted in FLICKR, politics, religion, satire with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2012 by cliffmichaels

My second cousin Wesley G. Worthliston, III, had his right wing blog Absolutely Right wiped out by a severe rat infestation at the server farm hosting his blog. Out of family loyalty I reluctantly allowed him to post to Visions. His site should be back and running late today…

Andrew Breitbart, RIP

First, I  suppose I should thank cousin Cliff for “allowing” me to post here on his dubious and disgusting blog. He left  out that my dad, the Big Two as he’s called in family circles, a big time hedge fund manager, had to exert considerable financial pressure to get Cliff to do the Right Thing. His omission of that fact is a typical example of liberal sneakiness…

In any event, here’s the Saturday morning roundup…

Scalia’s shocking revelation of the Obama Administration’s secret plot to force broccoli onto every American family’s dinner table has apparently stopped the plan in its green & gruesome  tracks. We must remain vigilant, however; there are credible rumors the government is thinking of mandating that arugula be added to nursing home lunchplates.

Should copies of the  koran carry warning labels?

Kudo’s to SCOTUS for allowing strip searches. The idea now needs to be expanded to applicants for food stamps and unemployment brenefits (at least to those socialist programs are eliminated). Oh, adding women seeking to kill their unborn kids to the mix wouldn’t be a bad idea either!

Has Rush sold out?

Romny’s support for a budget plan that only provides for a modest increase in defense  spending and relatively small decrease in job creators’ tax rates is just another outrageous example of his liberal Taxachusettes views. What we really need is a total elimination of taxes on the top two percent of the population until the Obama recession is clearly over (and then a gradual increase to  maximum tax rate of four or five percent with tax free capital gains). On defense spending, the need for a twenty percent plus percent increase is painfully obvious. Until our defense budget substantially exceeds the rest of the world’s nations’  military expenditures combined we aren’t truly safe.   How to pay for it?  Duh! Root out those socialist giveaways Social Security, Medicare,  and Medicaid!

 Should Iraq become an American territory like Guam?

Nuclear weapons could be the answer to the Iran question…  I suppose for appearance’s sake we should reserve the nukes at first. While I don’t personally agree, I grant the case for exempting Tehran as a target.

An Obama victory in November will be a sure sign of massive voter fraud. The plan to post militia members at “minorty” polling stations in blue states enjoys growing support. I oppose the effort to arm militia members with automatic weapons – small arms should be enough to discourage fraud (unless, of course, Obama’s so called “Justice” department attempts to intervene).

Is Osama really dead?

Thank God Obama failed in his attempt to exterminate innocent civilians in Virginia. Sending a F-18 crashing down onto a defenseless retirement village is merely another example of the muslim Kenyan born fascist’s war on older Americans. Don’t be fooled by the lap dog socialist press’s attempt to call the assault on the elderly an “accident”. Our valiant military is far to good to have one of its first line fighters crash in a residential area. Obama’s vile attack was only foiled by his utter incompetence.

Should labor unions be prosecuted as criminal conspiracies?

Finally, Monday, when hopefully my blog will be back, I’ll be posting two great articles: Should Income Taxes be Voluntary? and Don’t Impeach Obama, Deport Him!

Oh, and I want to make it very clear I am NOT responsible for any pornographic photos posted on this page!

Photo by Unalienable Rights…, subject to this creative commons license

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Nothing But The Facts…

Posted in FLICKR, history, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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Photo by Jacrews7, remixed by me, subject to this creative commons license

Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is   entitled to his  own opinions, but not his own facts.” The more partisan one becomes the more the quote is forgotten. The partisan starts with a belief and then hunts for “facts” that support her position.

A majority of Republicans believe Obama has raised their income taxes. Of course the opposite is true. The sad part of this is that we are dealing with a simple fact. All one has to do is compare tax rates. It’s not a matter of interpretation. And, of course, the stimulus package was one third tax breaks and Social Security taxes have been reduced. Income tax rates are lower than they have been in decades. This is a simple fact – a matter of arithmetic.

We on the left can fall into the same trap. In the 1930’s, in the midst of the Great Depression,  the ideological allure of communism led many to blind themselves to the brutal truth of the nightmare in Russia and the crippling flaws of socialism. Today too many Democrats want to ignore Obama’s escalation of the suppression of civil rights in his continuation of the never ending War on Terror.

History is slippery business. The simple facts may be relatively easy. We invaded Iraq in 2003. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Over five thousand Americans died in the war. The last troops left in 2011.

The real facts are still hotly debated. The war was – or wasn’t – a legitimate response to September 11. The removal of Saddam Hussein was – or wasn’t – worth the cost in lives and treasure. The Bush administration followed the right – or wrong – strategy in its War of Terror. The messy, chaotic march of history often allows all sides to have their own facts. The Civil War ended over one hundred fifty years ago and what it was really all about is still contested even today. I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t still contentious arguments over the Peloponnesian War.

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Athens Peloponnese (Greece)

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