What Does The Public Hear?

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I have a post up at the brand-new Commonweal Institute Blog. The post is titled What Does The Public Hear?
A CNN poll this week shows that, as CNN worded it,

“…most Americans still agree with the bedrock conservative premise that, as the Gipper put it, “government is not the answer to our problems — government is the problem.”

From the CNN story:

“Queried about their views on the role of government, 54 percent of the 1,013 adults polled said they thought it was trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Only 37 percent said they thought the government should do more to solve the country’s problems.”

Let me ask a different question: How many Americans do you think have been exposed to the other side of the story? We hear, over and over, that government is bad, that it is inefficient, that it sucks up our tax dollars and harms the economy, that it messes up everything it gets involved in, and negative point after negative point. And we hear, over and over, that regulation of business is bad and “private sector solutions” are good, efficient, and are exposed to a hundred other positive images and messages along those lines.

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Kerry Was Talking About BUSH

There is a full-on right-wing echo chamber attack on Kerry today, saying he insulted “the troops”. He said if you don’t make an effort in school you get stuck in Iraq.

If you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, you make an effort to be smart you do well, if you don’t you get stick in Iraq.

Well it sure sounded to ME like Kerry was talking about BUSH. Bush is stuck in Iraq.
But it doesn’t matter — only what they can make people THINK.
Updates – Carville: “Kerry botched a joke, they botched a war.”
Democratic Daily was THERE.
Taylor Marsh is on it: Mangled Statement Caught on Tape

Below is what Kerry actually meant to say.
“I can’t overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don’t study, if you aren’t smart, if you’re intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq.” – Senator John Kerry

He screwed it up. Period. Hey, but the wingnuts don’t care. And now it’s on tape!

Kerry’s statement on this follows:

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Democrats Hate God

Why it seems like just the other day — oh, wait, Sunday WAS just the other day — InstaPundit was whining and playing victim and saying,

“If a Republican said something like that about Democrats, it would be a national scandal.”

And here we are today, at right-wing TownHall, we have a Republican saying JUST that,

On this week devoted to the doings of the Dark Side, it seems apropos, somehow, to pause and reflect on those who have done so much to darken the spiritual landscape of these United States …
… the earnest advocates of atheism and sexual perversion who yearn, like vampires, to suck the very life out of our religious freedoms and sense of community …
… the too-many innocuous voters and ordinary citizens who, in their thirst to avoid conflict, played along with political correctness at the ballot box, and helped create the monsters of immorality that now dominate the political scene …
… the aggressive attorneys and activists who, wrapped mummy-like in their own agenda, have found their fortune in pressing the lawsuits that have brought paranoia and social paralysis to churches and school districts and businesses all over America.
Between them, this sprawling alliance of anti-God enthusiasts has proven frighteningly efficient at remaking America in their own brutal, dehumanizing image. In the space of a few decades, they have managed to entrench abortion and homosexual behavior, objectify children into sexual objects, criminalize Christianity in the popular culture, and promote guilt and self-doubt as the foremost qualities of our national character.

It goes on. And on…

A Hog Farm Next Door To Your House — Stealth “Takings” On The Ballot In Four States

There is a law on the ballot in four states that says if I want to open a hog farm or a chemical plant next door to your house and you don’t want me to do that, then YOU have to PAY ME not to — you have to pay me ALL THE MONEY I MIGHT HAVE MADE. I am not kidding. This new law says that if you want to stop a corporation from dumping toxic waste into the river from which you get your drinking water, or stop them from venting dangerous chemicals into the air, then YOU have to PAY that company not to. I am NOT kidding!
The far right says that a government stopping a company from dumping waste into a river is “taking” money from that company. I am not kidding. And you had better take this seriously or YOU will be PAYING companies to not harm you and your families.
Along with EVERYTHING else going on in this election, the far right has managed to get stealth “takings” initiatives on the ballot in four states. In California it is Proposition 90. In Washington it is Initiative 933. In Idaho it is Proposition 2. In Arizona it is Proposition 207.
This is a “private property” and “takings” amendment disguised as a limit to “eminent domain.” This means that it is supposed to be about keeping the government from seizing property so it can be used by commercial interests. But what this really does is prevent the states from ANY regulation of property, including ANY environmental regulations, ANY zoning laws, etc.
These ballot initiatives are all funded by one person – a New York real estate tycoon named Howie Rich. And he did this through front groups – organizations disguised as something else. See if you can guess what he plans to do the day after these laws pass? (Hint — think “hog farm next door to your house.”)
See Calitics: Soapblox California :: Prop 90: A Battle we MUST Win and
The Left Coaster: Deceptive Initiatives Designed To Blackmail Your Community
and TomPaine.com Monster Stomping The States and The Nation: Rich’s Stealth Campaign.
I am not kidding. I understand that saying the things I am saying here makes ME sound like the extremist, but you’d better go read up on these laws right now and see for yourself.
So here is ONE MORE THING to worry about this election. ONE MORE THING to tell friends and family to watch out for. ONE MORE THING to spread the word about. But it’s one more IMPORTANT thing so get the word out.

Today’s Housing Bubble Post – Blood In The Streets Yet?

Housing market getting a healthy dose of reality,

September sales of existing homes totaled 6.16 million, down from 6.3 million in August, and down from 7.2 million in September 2005.
The inventory of unsold homes hit 7.3 million units in September, up from 4.6 million homes listed for sale in the same month a year ago. (And there might be many more sellers waiting in the wings, who plan to list their home when the market “recovers.”)
Prices are falling, too. The National Association of Realtors reported the biggest drop in home prices since it began tracking the data in 1968. The median sale price slipped 2.2 percent to $220,000 in September following a 2.2 percent decline in August. These two declines are the first time median home prices have fallen since 1995.
… So, is it time to buy? The smart money says it’s time to buy when everyone wants to sell, or as they put it on Wall Street: when blood is running in the streets.

So, is blood running in the streets yet? After a small trickle of bad news in the biggest runup of privces in history? With prices STILL more than double where they hould be? With the “creative financing” mortgages starting to come due next year? I think not.
Business Week: The Economy’s Housing Problem, Weak third-quarter GDP numbers came courtesy of the housing slump. Is a real estate-led recession far behind?

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Responsibility? None

A right-wing radio host calls for assassinating members of Congress and overthrowing the government. A right-wing “news” site reprints his instructions for how to accomplish it – claiming to disapprove. Right-wing Drudge Report sends its readers to the website.
See WorldNetDaily: Assassinate half of Congress, urges Web-radio hatemonger
How about NOT helping him spread the word?
Note – I don’t consider the readers of Seeing the Forest as possible candidates for recriotent into this. But maybe I’m also not being responsible by repeating this here. What do you think?

Their Own Medicine

How do Republicans handle a dose of their own medicine? Here’s what far-right blogger Instapundit.com - today:

REPUBLICANS DON’T LOVE THE LORD? If a Republican said something like that about Democrats, it would be a national scandal. We’re seeing a lot of unforced errors from Harold Ford all of a sudden. I think he and his campaign could use a good night’s sleep.

IFa Republican said something like that about Democrats? IF? Like that is NOT what the Republicans have been saying about Democrats every minute of every hour of every day for year after year? And is it a “national scandal?”
What a clown. What clowns.