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In which I quote Ann Coulter, hold my nose, and press "publish."
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Published Friday, November 09, 2012 @ 1:17 PM EST
Nov 09 2012

Purist conservatives are like idiot hipsters who can't like a band that's popular. They believe that a group with any kind of a following can't be a good band, just as show-off social conservatives consider it a mark of integrity that their candidates- Akin, Mourdock, Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell- take wildly unpopular positions and lose elections.

It was the same thing with purist libertarian Barry Goldwater, who... nearly destroyed the Republican Party with his pointless pursuit of libertarian perfection in his vote against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

-Ann Coulter
(No, I'm not going to give a link to her site. I don't want kgbreport.com showing up in her server logs.)


Categories: Ann Coulter, Elections, KGB Opinion, Observations, Politics


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This about sums it up...
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Published Friday, November 09, 2012 @ 8:00 AM EST
Nov 09 2012

by
Rob Ellsworth
(published on his Facebook page).

I'm seeing Americans post photos of our Flag hung upside down because the President won reelection. They're defending this action as a "Naval sign of distress". Let me tell you something: you are not on a battleship, you are a manager at McDonalds in Follansbee, WV, and you are in fact, a lunatic.

I've avoided "spiking the football" over a great night for the President and for common sense in the Senate - Richard Murdock and Todd Akin deserved more than a loss. But I've held off, because I respect, am friends with, and on certain issues agree with, many patriotic Republicans who work hard to make this country a better place and simply disagreed with who should be Commander in Chief. That's fair and healthy.

And, I also didn't spike the football because I've lost elections before and I know how terrible it feels.

It's called maturity and not enough people in either party have it.

The following jaw punch is not directed at common sense Republicans, nor does it condone radicals on the Left. It is directed at the right wing fanatics who put party before country, conspiracy before reality, and ideology before science and intellect.

To Tea Party Patriots and hardcore Religious Engineers:

Republicans lost because their party leadership and most candidates feared you, listened to you, and looked the other way on important issues as you picked the dumbest, craziest nominees in key primaries (Murdock and Akin), or converted otherwise sensible, experienced candidates to Crazy Town (Romney).

There's nothing wrong with wanting limited government. I do. There's nothing wrong with believing in God, the Golden Rule, or wanting to reduce abortions. I do, too. But you've taken it too damn far and scare the shit out of people you could otherwise persuade.

Yes, the message and messenger matter (you're failing at both, BTW), but no Madison Avenue PR firm, K Street lobbying firm, Fox News "analyst", or local chapter of "Freedom Works" can sell the flaming dung you're slinging.

Smart people can lose. But smart people always learn.

You didn't lose because you "weren't conservative enough" or because the country has become full of lazy "takers" who don't want to earn a living or just want America to "turn in to Europe".

You didn't lose because of Hurricane Sandy or because Chris Christie hugged the President on TV- they were both doing their jobs.

You didn't lose because of a liberal media, liberal college campuses, liberal polls that were "weighted to Democrats" (mostly because they were accurate), or because of "election fraud"... actually, that probably benefited you this time.

No. You lost because your policies, tone, conspiracies, rigid inflexibility and irrational rhetoric helped align enough moderates, swing voters, and minority groups whom otherwise could be persuaded by Republicans, to align with Democrats and a beatable incumbent.

It's not that you didn't get your message out, it's that we all actually heard it and threw up a little in our mouths.

There isn't a mandate for Democrats in this election. Liberalism wasn't rewarded in this election. However, calm pragmatism, compassion, working together, compromise and sincerity were rewarded. People may not have agreed with President Obama, but more felt he was sincere and that he understood their daily problems, fears, and dreams. If you don't trust what the polls say, take a look at who is sworn in on January 20th. I thought you'd at least believe in math when it came to counting to 270.

Sincerity is the only thing in politics you can't fake. You can't teach it. No matter how shiny a candidate's bio is, how smooth he is, or how perfect the gray hairs rest on his temples- any average Joe on the street can spot a bullshitter.

Mitt is a generous and good man, but he didn't know who he was or "needed" to be at any given time in that campaign. That's largely his fault for lacking core convictions or personal toughness (Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush possessed both traits- that's why they won).

But you, the right wing base of the party, who drove so many of us moderate republicans out the door years ago, were the main catalyst. Your inability to reason, compromise, or let new facts and evidence challenge your predetermined outcomes led millions of moderates to no longer be able to stand on stage with you.

Frankly, you're embarrassing- more so than a crazy family member at dinner, or having your mom drop you off at a high school dance.

You say stupid shit and look stupid saying it.

You pass amendments to ban flag burning and then hang it upside down and post it on Facebook when you lose.

You preach limited government in the economy when Democrats are in charge and then look the other way when you're in charge.

You want a government small enough to stay out of corporations and banks but big enough for bedrooms and hospital respirators (see Schiavo, Terri).

There's a hatred inside of you that burns in a way that scares normal people.

You made unlikely allies in large corporations who are more interested in tax breaks and loopholes even if the government has to cut your Medicare and Social Security or cut education to a point where states and local governments have no financial choice but to educate your children in portable trailer classrooms with 35 other students.

Would these corporations do this just to help pad their quarterly earnings reports with certain tax and regulatory policies? You bet your sweet ass they do. And you better believe they're happy to have you make the "freedom" argument as "concerned citizen patriots" on their behalf.

Yet, after those corporations spent billions on TV adds and herded you like sheep over the last half decade to discredit Barack Obama for everything from being a "Godless communist"- to his "being born in Kenya and hatching a secret plot to take down America"- to Obamacare's "death panels and job killing regulations"-

YOU still lost.

After having a Senate Republican Leader state that his party's top priority in Congress was to make "Obama a one term President" and a House of Representatives that blocked everything he tried to do and then had the brass to criticize him for "not getting anything done"-

YOU still lost.

After attacking gay people who want equal protection under the law (BTW, I'm referring to the 14th amendment to the constitution, I know you forget most of the amendments after the 2nd one)-

YOU still lost.

After attacking the Hispanic community who's tired of being spoken "at" like criminals, attacking low income women who rely on Planned Parenthood for services of which 98% have nothing to do with abortion, and attacking relatively trivial things like PBS that children and adults enjoy as "1" damn television channel that doesn't include Honey Boo Boo or a "Fox News Breaking Alert" announcing Obama's latest "Czar" appointment-

YOU still lost.

And after throwing all the red meat in your warped political base out to the rest of the country to eat, the majority of Americans weren't hungry for it and didn't trust ordering from your unhealthy, de-regulated menu-

YOU still lost.

You can read me the constitution, but you clearly don't have a practical understanding of what you've read, heard on television, or forwarded to your entire email list of like minded xenophobes.

This country is great because our founders were smart enough to limit the government's power and give the people enough freedom and authority to correct their own mistakes in pursuit of a "more perfect union" (it's in the first damn line of the Preamble, in case you can't find it in your Tea Party Constitution Cliffs Notes).

Our founders were utterly brilliant and sophisticated. I don't like to speak for them, but I doubt they would have been friends with Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin. Nah, they wouldn't have made the guest list at Mt. Vernon or Monticello.

But let's be clear, our founders weren't perfect. They owned slaves. Only white male property owners had a say in things. Women, blacks, native Americans, and other constituencies had to wait for an American dream and in many cases, are still waiting and working for it. Speaking of work, children were working 12-16 hour days with zero safety protections in statute. Zero.

The constitution, subsequent amendments and Supreme Court rulings and opinions since 1800 aren't perfectly clear (those who think they are tend to have had a healthy serving of Kool-Aid and have never watched oral arguments at the Supreme Court).

The founders knew that they, and the constitution they drafted, weren't perfect. This is why they added a Bill of Rights and why they created a Supreme Court and a process that has allowed us to add 27 amendments to their work of art.

Their imperfection is what led to a Civil War to prove that human and civil rights aren't a "states' rights issue" - they're endowed by our creator, not by legislatures in Mississippi or Alabama, and they're protected equally in our constitution, but also in our democratically passed laws.

I run from the Capitol steps to the Lincoln Memorial most mornings that I'm in Washington. I may not be fast or smart, but I can read what's carved in stone.

Please. I welcome a challenge to what I've said. If you think because I voted for President Obama that I'm a socialist or that I don't want a better America, I'm happy to take time from running a business I've co-founded and time from money I'm trying to raise for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to pause and give you a fresh one. At no charge.

But I do ask this: be a real Patriot. Look at that flag you've hung upside down. Look at what you've done to it and what that means. Thousands of our bravest men and women, braver than me, just lost limbs and in many cases their lives so that Iraqis and Afghanis could vote however they see fit. I did that on Tuesday and so did you. That's what that flag stands for- equal access to a process, not a guarantee for any of our desired outcomes.

A country that defeated Hitler, Mussolini, and bin Laden won't crumble because the guy you wanted to be President got beat.

You lost. Now learn from it.

Sincerely,

A Proud American


Categories: Elections, Politics, Rob Ellsworth


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Quotes of the day
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Published Friday, November 09, 2012 @ 7:10 AM EST
Nov 09 2012

Quotes of the day: Carl Sagan (November 9, 1934 - December 20, 1996)
 
Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences. He spent most of his career as a professor of astronomy at Cornell University where he directed the Laboratory for Planetary Studies. He published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. He advocated scientifically skeptical inquiry and the scientific method, pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra- Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

Sagan is known for his popular science books and for the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which he narrated and co-wrote. The book Cosmos was published to accompany the series. Sagan wrote the novel Contact, the basis for a 1997 film of the same name. (Click for full article.)

A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.

Every thinking person fears nuclear war and every technological nation plans for it. Everyone knows it's madness, and every country has an excuse.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.

History is full of people who out of fear or ignorance or the lust for power have destroyed treasures of immeasurable value which truly belong to all of us. We must not let it happen again.

Human beings have a demonstrated talent for self-deception when their emotions are stirred.

Humans are very good at dreaming, although you’d never know it from your television.

I also wish that the Pledge of Allegiance were directed at the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as it is when the President takes his oath of office, rather than to the flag and the nation.

If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.

If we like them, they're freedom fighters... If we don't like them, they're terrorists. In the unlikely case we can't make up our minds, they're temporarily only guerrillas.

If we long for our planet to be important, there is something we can do about it. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.

It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it.

It is all a matter of time scale. An event that would be unthinkable in a hundred years may be inevitable in a hundred million.

It is better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however reassuring.

Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used.

Nobody listens to mathematicians.

Other things being equal, it is better to be smart than to be stupid.

The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.

The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion and politics, but it is not the path to knowledge; it has no place in the endeavor of science.

The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent.

We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.

We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.

You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence; it's based on a deep seated need to believe.

You have to know the past to understand the present.


Categories: Carl Sagan, Quotes of the day


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