The sheer number of patents in the U.S. is fueling frivolous litigation and drastic action is needed to make patents more difficult to obtain and easier to invalidate, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit said Tuesday. > more ... (0 comments)
MotherJones quotes Frank Luntz — a man I trust implicitly and without let — as saying the right’s famously loud mouths onna radio-machine are making things worse [for the GOP] (via).
See, since this sentiment’s patently, excruciatingly the case, I’d be, well, not “impressed”…let’s say “slightly less inclined to mock it” — if the above linked MotherJones article had not first quoted a chunk o’ LuntzSpeak thusly:
It’s not what you say that matters. It’s what people hear.
That’s Frank in a luntzshell, ladies and gentlemen, right there. Or, as Joseph Palermo put it a year ago on HuffPo:
This advertising technician [Luntz] has proved that George Orwell was correct in his prediction that political language would be manipulated by the most powerful elements of society to entrench their power. Like Norquist, Luntz has become a power among the organized Right because his amoral, unethical, manipulative, dishonest, and downright greasy wordsmithing for the 1 percent works wonders and has already polluted our public discourse. With no real watchdog in the press exposing his lies and misinformation Luntz has been free to employ his techniques with great effect for his right-wing clients.
Fortunately for lovers of trooth and defenders of Civilization™, it ain’t just what people hear, it’s what they *want* to hear, and more accurately, what they’ll shell out their hard-earned Bitcoins to hear. The fetid fond of what remains of the GOP loves them some repugnant shit, and, if the free market has taught us anything, wherein lies a buncha suckers with fat wallets and hate in their hearts, earners gonna earn off ‘em, amirite?
In short, if Luntz is really concerned about messaging, he better hope tha dregz start wanting to hear something else — or else that they start maxing out their Diner’s Club cards. Or possibly that Ammurricans get over their love affair with pizza-pie, so sales go down the pooper.
I mean, soda futures are tanking, so who knows?
Article title a quote by Aakash Abbi, in Secret Tape: Top GOP Consultant Luntz Calls Limbaugh “Problematic” by David Corn on MotherJones. For other, more cogent, takes on the Right’s perverse political incentives, see pretty much the whole last couple of year’s worth of Jonathan Bernstein. It’s a theme that comes up repeatedly, the why for the life of me I can’t figure out.
NSFW, play me out:
And we got too damn many urban thugs, yo, ruining the quality of life for everybody. And I’ll tell you what it’s gonna take. You people, you are – you need to have a gun. You need to have training. You need to know how to use that gun. You need to get a permit to carry that gun. And you do in fact need to carry that gun and we need to see some dead thugs littering the landscape in Atlanta. We need to see the next guy that tries to carjack you shot dead right where he stands. We need more dead thugs in this city. And let their — let their mommas — let their mommas say, “He was a good boy. He just fell in with the good crowd.” And then lock her ass up.O.o Yes, let’s definitely let all these crazy fuckers keep their gun hordes.
Chait ponders why Republicans are preparing to do the strategic equivalent of “the American military [...] preparing in 1980 to send troops back to Vietnam” and speaks some sense:
The primary driving force is obviously the Republican base. Republicans rehabilitated themselves from the Bush administration disaster by crafting a narrative in which the party veered from its conservative roots, and now a new grass roots movement would purify it. This was useful in suturing the party off from Bush’s legacy and re-invigorating the base, but one side effect was to stoke the already-strong suspicion that the party leadership was prepared to sell out conservative principles.
Conservatives expect major spending cuts and believe the public supports them, but Republicans can’t actually enact their agenda because Democrats control the Senate and the White House. Republican leaders have to show that they’re fighting for their agenda, which leaves them no room to come out with a compromise. Conservative Republican voters, unlike moderates or even liberal Democrats, oppose compromise even in the abstract.
I particularly like his capper: “There’s logic in coming up with a bunch of bullshit to fool the public. It’s dangerous to do it to yourself.” Which nicely encapsulates the last decade of American life, I think.
Evidently the geniuses at POLITICO are asking the question if this will turn out better for Republicans this time. I think the obvious answer is: no, it won’t. The message of pro-shutdown Republicans has fallen into two basic arguments: (1) it won’t be a big deal and (2) we’re going to do it because we have a mandate and the Democrats need to do what we want them to do. It will obviously be a big deal, and setting the tone for the next two years by shutting down the government right off the bat seems like a perfect way of turning public opinion against them. Considering that the Republicans’ budget cuts seem to just be a bunch of random stuff that basically shows they don’t really have a clue what they’re doing, I think confronting them is the right move. Say that their budget doesn’t solve the debt problem but just makes it harder to protect the borders and get out Social Security checks, and if Republicans do shut down the government, just use it as a club against them, some variant on “I have troubles enough without the Republicans keeping my checks from coming.” Republicans see compromise as a bad thing and, if I had to guess, will applaud themselves for not giving into the demands for compromise and shutting things down. You can’t brag about something while simultaneously blaming someone else for it.
Has got to be this one:
Wall Street to GOP: Don’t Cut SEC Funds
But it’s only February 9! Nice one, guys, pulling your April Fool’s joke so early. But the article is actually a pretty interesting one, and makes a certain amount of sense. Here’s a taste:
Republicans were aligned with much of the financial sector in opposing President Obama’s overhaul of Wall Street’s rules, and the new House GOP majority is keen to present a pro-business image.
But Republicans are also battling the administration over burdensome regulations, and are in no mood to provide funding to strengthen regulations they fought against in the minority, even if some of the firms being regulated support the funding.
“It’s only in government, especially in Washington, where you have agencies that failed in their core assignments in the past, and yet they are rewarded with more authority and bigger budgets,” Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) told The Hill last month.
While Republicans continue to fight the fight, Wall Street seems to have moved on and is now focused on getting the best rules possible from regulators implementing the law.
Tim Ryan, president and chief executive officer of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), said last month that the Dodd-Frank fight was over.
“Today, the industry’s view as expressed by SIFMA is Dodd-Frank is the law,” said Ryan. “We are all about providing substantive input so that the government produces final regulations that make sense.” [...]
The attorneys warned that an SEC starved of funds would endanger America’s dominance in the capital markets, as investors would shy away from a market that was deemed to have an inadequate regulator.
The cynical interpretation is that Wall Street knows Dodd-Frank isn’t going to destroy the financial industry and figures it can game the rules in the new law just fine. But the emphasized part of the quote interests me. It makes absolute sense to me that nobody would want to invest in a market with a lousy regulator, since that would make it more likely that you get defrauded. Are the people who put money in stocks during the Chris Cox era over at SEC really happy with how that turned out? Really, bad regulators are only in the interest of dishonest banksters trying to swindle people. But the quote is phrased in a way that makes it seem that the important aspect of this is seeming like an effective regulatory agency. As though the important thing is being seen as an effective regulator instead of really being one. Republicans defunding the SEC would be unwise, politically and economically, but when one considers that all Republicans have offered so far falls into either the category of symbolic claptrap or revenge against Obama for, you know, passing bills, even if they have no alternative or no real criticism of the bills to speak of, I guess it makes sense they’d try this. Ugh! It’s hard to believe people this petty actually managed to win any measure of power at all.
This conflict reminds me of the cramdown fight, where Wall Street was basically resigned to losing the ability to rewrite mortgages in their favor at will, but Republicans decided to fight it anyway and won, betting that it would be too complicated to make into a campaign issue (and, you know, big dollars). Looks like the same thing is going to happen here. At some point, what the Republicans are doing simply stops being rank corporatism and just starts being mindless spite that’s only going to help sleazy characters. But what else is new, I guess.
Blame it on the racialist thugs who continue to terrorize lower Manhattan with unhinged fear-mongering about some Muslims setting up a community center in an old Burlington Coat Factory, or blame it on a meth-addicted paranoid tooth fairy, it really doesn’t matter.
What does matter, however, is the fact that widespread hyberbolic demonization of always-evil government and the tens of millions of stealth Muslim jihadis in our midst really does drive crazy people to do crazy things:
Roger Stockham, a 63-year-old Army veteran from California who was reportedly angry at the U.S. government, was arrested by police in Michigan and charged with allegedly threatening to blow up a Mosque in Dearborn.
Dearborn police allegedly found Stockham inside his vehicle outside the Islamic Center of America with a load of M-80s in his trunk and other explosives, the Detroit News reported.
Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Counsel on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), told the newspaper that police told him the suspect was drinking in a Detroit bar on Monday and threatened to do harm to a mosque in Dearborn. An employee at the bar followed the man outside and wrote down his license plate, which he reported to police, Walid told the newspaper.
The 63-year-old grandfather is charged with one count of a false report or threat of terrorism and one count of possession of bombs with unlawful intent, according to the newspaper.
Let us always be wary of the threat that Decoy Muslims pose to America:
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