This is how dumb Republicans think you are

President Obama launched a clean energy revolution and Republicans are still whining about Solyndra

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At the NRA convention this weekend, you didn’t hear one mention of the issue that’s most threatening to gun owners: the 19,000 suicides by firearms in America each year.

But you did hear about waterboarding as a religious rite, #Benghazi and Solyndra.

Solyndra became the synecdoche for the Stimulus for Republicans as they tried to suggest that the loan programs in the single most effective government economic intervention since World War II were scandal-ridden failures.

Michael Grunwald — who wrote the definitive book on the Stimulusoften notes that “everything Republicans have said about Solyndra is bullshit.”

The point of the loan effort was to be adventurous and launch new industries — and it worked, unleashing a silent clean energy revolution that’s one of President Obama’s greatest and least publicized successes.

That Republicans are still pointing and laughing at Solyndra in 2014 is ridiculous. That they’re doing it in 2014 knowing that America’s solar capacity grew 418 percent in 4 years almost exclusively as a result of boost of the Stimulus is beyond insulting.

There’s nothing theoretical or debatable about this. This is an undeniable success of a magnitude that the right cannot even accept the government is capable of sparking.

You can’t deny that the world’s largest solar plant — the Hoover Dam of solar — just opened in Yuma, Arizona as the result of a loan guarantee from the Stimulus.

But you can ignore it and lie about Solyndra.

Republicans do this because they know they’ve trained their audience to have melodramatic responses to certain words. Solyndra: BAD. Reagan: GOOD.

It’s an effective tactic because most people don’t have time to get into detail, the news media doesn’t garner many clicks from success stories and the right spends millions in ads that reenforce their lies. That’s how you get a program that is rapidly transforming America’s energy sector, creating jobs and possibly even preventing a climate disaster as a code word for “BAD.”

A new poll shows that 57 percent of Americans don’t think the administration met its enrollment goals for Obamacare, even though it exceeded them. Another undeniable fact erased by effective GOP message discipline.

Republicans keep using this strategy because it’s profitable and it even works, occasionally, especially when an economy and deficit they left for a new Democratic president is particularly awful.

But when solar cells start appearing on roofs and family members can pursue their dreams because of Obamacare, the American people will be reminded just how dumb the right thinks they are.

[Photo by Dennis Schroeder, National Renewable Energy Laboratory]

  • Mortalc01l

    Look; we’re past the point of Republicans having anything rational or factual to say about Obama.

    The Republican party has changed from the party of responsibility and smart business, to the party of dogma, “gut” based decision making and the complete denial of any facts that don’t fit their Worldview.

    Pointing out the actual facts of the massive success of the stimulus in so many areas, is beyond their capacity to understand or process… it doesn’t fit neatly into what they have been programmed to believe and so it can’t be real or correct as far as they are concerned.

    When your party has become driven by science denial, rejection of facts you don’t like and a purposeful agenda to steal voting rights from a certain segment of the population, you are officially a party of traitors to the whole precept of the United States of America and every single thing it stands for.

    • judyms9

      You are soooo correct that it is pointless to try to reason with or win over the Republicans. They will change only via a personal or national calamity of such enormity that we can’t begin to contemplate; therefore, the only way to keep things working is to have every, make that every, Democrat vote in every election no matter what. Failure to do so will be highly punishing to the 99%.

      • CB_Demented

        Wrong. The only way to reason with anyone, from any party, is for both parties to realize that “compromise” isn’t defined as the other guy doing what you want him to do without meeting him close to half way, and trying to one up each other each time the administration/congress changes hands as to how stupidly obstinate they’re being.

        You get the government you deserve…and both parties keep sending the same 6%-10% approval rated idiots back to congress election after election.

        Wasn’t the definition of insanity something about expecting a different result with the same input time and time again?

        • DZ

          The Dems provided crucial votes for Bush’s stupid tax cuts, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton were among those that voted to authorize force in Iraq, and Ted Kennedy was a key ally for No Child Left Behind. In fact, in Bush’s eight years, his Social Security privatization plan was the only thing I can think of that was dead on arrival with Dems. Medicare Part D’s rollout was arguably more disastrous than that of the ACA, but Democratic governors and Congresscritters worked to help implement the law, in contrast to GOPers holding 50 repeal votes and refusing to expand Medicaid. And amidst the threat of global economic meltdown in 2008, the Obamas, Franks and Pelosis of the Congress worked with the administration to get something done. Meanwhile, what was the scene in Romper Room among the Congressional Republican caucus during the ’08 crisis? Bush’s treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, wrote in his book that their lack of depth and seriousness made trying to deal with them “a complete waste of time.” High-profile GOP officeholders, including the senior Senator from Arizona and 2008 nominee for president, have repeatedly echoed Fox News claims that Obama and Clinton left four people to die at Benghazi and covered it up, and Darrell Issa’s committee has held numerous hearings on it. Please find me the Democratic equivalent on this in regards to 9/11. And if a parade of Democrats tripped over themselves scrambling to the nearest microphone to call Bush “weak” when Russia invaded Georgia, I missed it. I know it’s become fashionable to pretend the Dems were just as incorrigible to Bush as the GOP has been to Obama, but it’s not even in the same area code as the truth.

          • CB_Demented

            I didn’t say they never crossed the line. I said they’ve gotten progressively more obstructionist from one administration to the next. What do think is going to happen the next time the GOP wins the Whitehouse? The democrats will be tripping all over themselves to duplicate what Boehner’s bunch has done with this congress.

            And you want a democrat equivalent to 9/11? Did you miss the 9/11 commission hearings?

            And no…they didn’t trip over themselves to call Bush weak over Georgia…it happened in 2008 when Bush was on his way out the door, and we were already involved in 2 wars. They would have looked sort of stupid for harping on an outgoing president for not intervening militarily after they just spent the last 7 years bitching about what him intervening militarily everywhere else.

            The democrats are just as incorrigible as the GOP…just about different things. This administration has overseen the biggest escalation in the use of force around the world with the use of JSOC operations and CIA direct action forces, complete with a drone missile campaign that’s killed thousands in multiple countries (8 times the number of drone attacks as the previous administration in the first 5 years), while at the same time having one of the weakest perceived public facing foreign policies since the Carter administration. It’s the most insane dichotomy i’ve seen in 20 years of being a foreign policy wonk. George Tenet and Admiral William McRaven are running their own private, unlimitedly funded, nearly completely without oversite, war…and almost nobody outside of a very small circle in the government, the special operations community, and a few reporters who’ve done the work, are actually aware about it.

            And the irony is, when it does come to light, democrats ignore it because it casts a bad light on their guy, and republicans ignore it because it make the other guy look stronger and they don’t want to admit they’d do the same thing, and both sides completely ignore the damage it’s doing long term.

            Democrats loved, and still love, to bash Bush for all the harm he did by creating terrorists with his wars, but the Obama administration is making him look like a neophyte with what they’re doing, and Benghazi was just one of many future examples of the fruits of those policies. It isn’t just that they totally botched security for that diplomatic mission. They did. But so has every administration back to Nixon at one time or another…spectacularly. It isn’t just that people died as a result, or that they tried to spin their way out of it. That’s pretty common too, and nowhere near as bad as the opposition each time tried to make it out to be. The problem is much deeper, spans administrations from the 90’s to present day, and was almost totally of our own making…something nobody will admit, and few even understand. Gaddafi was just the latest Noriega. We rehabilitated his image…we trained his people…we armed him…we sent him out to kill bad guys and ignored his oppression of his own people, and even used him for rendition during the war. Then we sent guys into his country to quietly take out more bad buys, destabilizing the country in the process, turned on him when it no longer was going his way and armed even more bad guys, and in the processes created the conditions that led to the death of our Ambassador and 3 others. That’s the real problem…not the fact that they tried to spin some ridiculous tale about some stupid youtube video to keep things quiet for the upcoming election. What’s worse is it’s happening in Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and a half dozen other countries that JSOC and the CIA are running operations in today. And it’s compounded every time some drone operator blows up a wedding party somewhere. People in those countries don’t give a damn that there were terrorists there or using them as shields. They care that women and children died. And they join radical groups by the hundred to volunteer to blow themselves up as a result.

          • DZ

            9/11 commission=Issa Benghazi hearings. Stopped reading there, sorry.

          • CB_Demented

            “Assumes facts not in evidence, as Iaid out in my previous post of the last time we had a GOP president”

            I disagree. There has been a steady increase in the stonewalling starting with republican revolution through to the complete stonewalling of today. The republicans started it, and the democrats have been playing the oneupmanship game with them every successive turnover. The last Speaker that tried to work with the opposition was Tip O’Neill. Since him, you had one that resigned during an ethics investigation, one who became the first sitting Speaker to lose an election since 1862, the next who was the guy who began mandated the partisan divide and couldn’t keep his dick in his pants, 2 complete idiots and a cry baby…each successively worse than the other and a mirror of the pack of idiots they led. The Senate is no better, and they’ve been phoning in filibusters in greater amounts with each successive congress, and failing to confirm more and more posts with each president. If the trend continues with the next flip flop, they shouldn’t pass a damn thing and every appointment vacancy that exists when they’re elected will remain vacant when they leave office…which might actually be the best thing to happen to the American people since the end of WW2.

            “I don’t get what you’re trying to say here. The Russia-Georgia conflict reached its apex in 2008″

            The conflict didn’t become a true conflict until August of 2008, and it started because Georgia attacked a Russian satellite in South Ossetia. The two aren’t even comparable other than that Russia was involved in both. In any case, Bush’s administration initially planned to send troops, but someone with a brain told them that Russia wasn’t a 4th world middle eastern country and would actually put up a serious fight if we got involved with them…not to mention the fact we were pretty well committed to 2 wars as it was. The democrats didn’t push back because the administration did send aid to Georgia, and because, as I said, it would look pretty stupid to call Bush a war monger for 7 years only to accuse him of not going to war in Georgia. You can’t prove a negative…they didn’t bash him because it would have been politically stupid to do so.

            As to the 9/11 commission…you don’t see the parallel? Democrats accused, and still do to this day, Bush and his administration of the largest coverup and bullshit scheme in US history with WMD hunt as a justification for war with Iraq. They said it was a war for oil…that he just wanted to finish what his daddy started…that he lied to the world about WMDs, and got congress to sign off on it because of those lies. They wanted his head on a plate and called for his impeachment throughout his presidency from the moment it became apparent there were no WMDs in Iraq. The Whitehouse tried to obstruct the report. The republicans tried to stonewall the commission. Hell…Bob Graham was calling for a reopening of the investigation just last year on Huffpo.

            The main difference is, Benghazi has no pretense of bipartisanship. There’s total commitment on the part of both parties to toe the line on either side of the argument, neither one of which are looking into the real problems or admitting they exist. And it won’t go away because you keep getting people showing up to say the government screwed it up. Just today General Lovell testified they knew within minutes what kind of attack it was and they should have tried to respond. Lovell was Deputy Director for Intelligence and Knowledge Development Directorate for AFRICOM at the time of the attack…definitely in a position at the time to know what was going on, and what we could do about it.

    • CB_Demented

      Not that this isn’t true, but show me any mainstream democrats with anything rational to say about Bush.

      And you want to talk about denial, take a look at what the administration is saying about the economy, and what is actually happening. The only reason last quarter didn’t have a period of contraction is because of health care spending…which only happened because it was mandated.

      • Mortalc01l

        CB. I understand your frustrations, but the economy is doing really well, considering where we came from and it has been pointed out that the USA has had the best recovery in the World. Go an look at the facts here. http://www.businessinsider.com/real-gdp-per-working-age-population-2014-3
        http://static3.businessinsider.com/image/531f381a69bedd767425f0c9-1044-839/screen-shot-2014-03-11-at-12.20.35-pm.jpg

        I own three businesses and I am doing better than at any time in the last 15 years; the home prices around here are up by 34%, there are 23 construction cranes in downtown San Francisco alone – construction and real estate are booming.

        Silicon Valley is back in high gear and venture money is flowing and being invested INTELLIGENTLY.

        US corporations are sitting on the biggest mountain of cash in history; Apple has more money than all but the top 12 COUNTRIES in the World.

        The economy is doing better than it has for more than 14 years, by almost every measure, EXCEPT jobs and that’s mostly down to the outsourcing of manufacturing.

        If you can take a rational step back…. From day ONE, the Republican party told everyone that would listen that their number one goal was to make Obama a one term president; the GOP has obstructed every single thing Obama has tried to do, irrespective of whether it was good for the country or not – The Heritage foundation’s health plan that became Romneycare was a Republican idea; when Obama ran with it, the rabid frothing at the mouth began and Republicans told us the entire Universe was going to explode.

        Yes there is blame on both side, but it’s not even CLOSE to being EQUAL blame; Republicans have to shoulder their responsibility on this one – if you’re going to constantly demonize a Man, hurl racial slurs randomly in his direction and allow your base to remain adamant that Obama’s a Marxist Commie, then you have abdicated all moral high ground.

        The final nail in the coffin is when Republicans conflate Benghazi with 9/11.. absurd, nonsense and evidence of a seriously deficient thought process. The two are in no way comparable and anyone that says otherwise is a political hack and there’s no sanity left in them to be able to rationalize, or discuss actual facts with.

        Dogma as the basis for your intellectual process is a dead end and will only lead to the complete collapse of the Republican party; FACTS matter and when you refuse to “believe” in facts then you are doomed.

        • CB_Demented

          Heh…well yes…compared to most of Europe, who’s doing really poorly, then we’re doing great…stellar. But then again, the paraplegic is kicking it over the quad too.

          As to the facts…

          One quarter north of 4% growth out of the last 9, with only one other quarter in 2012 north of 2.8% is terrible growth. Q1 of this year was completely stagnant at .1%, probably due to the weather in part admittedly and likely to be revised 2 or 3 times before it’s official, but it’s still terrible. http://money.cnn.com/2014/04/30/investing/gdp-economy/

          The average growth since the crash has been a pitiful 2-3%. Wages are completely stagnant. Manufacturing has been gone for years, so that’s not much of a factor these days, and yes…housing prices are up. When you hit the bottom, you’ve got nowhere to go but up. They’re still down 30% from where they were when the bottom dropped out here.

          And I work in the IT industry. I spent 4 months looking for work and am at it again now after only 5 months with 18 years experience. Companies are sitting on a pile of cash because they aren’t hiring anyone thanks to the slow growth and uncertainty (Apple is an outlier too…they were sitting on a huge pile of cash before the crash in 2008 too).

          The healthcare plan is a disaster…and time is going to bear that out. There aren’t going to be enough of the 18-30 group sign up to make it work, and it’s going to collapse under it’s own weight. It should have been single payer, but they didn’t have the power to push that even amongst the democrat party, even with the votes to tell the GOP to pound sand if they did. Before the ACA, we already paid more in taxes for healthcare without a national plan, than nearly every other country that did have one. Had they scrapped all the taxes we currently paid and created a flat 1.5% or so tax across the board on every American, we could have afforded single payer for cheaper than we were paying before the ACA. Instead we added trillions in debt for something that will ultimately fail, or be dismantled if the GOP somehow gets enough votes and wins the Whitehouse, which is a failure too. And btw…i’m one of the 5M people who lost custom coverage when I was unemployed because of the ACA, that I could actually afford on unemployment and had only what I needed covered…not the “better” plan that made sure I was covered in case of pregnancy and such at more than twice the cost that’s available to me now through the exchange.

          And 9/11 isn’t comparable to Benghazi. 9/11 was much harder to see coming, and far more devastating. Benghazi was completely predictable, was predicted, and we flat out caused. What’s more…Dick Cheney isn’t “Republicans” any more than KOS, who’s been making the same comparisons to condemn the Republicans for investigating, are “democrats.” A few loud mouths aren’t either party…and that rational look you mentioned, realizes this.

          Benghazi was a security failure…and it got whitewashed in the name of political expedience, and mostly because of the fear of it’s impact on the upcoming election. That’s it. It’s happened before with republican administrations. It has happened before with Democrat administrations. It will happen again with both. And like every time before when some idiot decided to obfuscate what happened, they dragged things out by not just coming out with everything right up front, and saying “we dropped the ball.” They didn’t…and we’re still finding out new things about it on a regular basis showing what the administration STILL refuses to acknowledge. They covered it up at first…and they could have done more to help out those four people who died. Just today there was testimony from an Air Force General who said they knew immediately and should have done something.

          If you’re busted…own it and drive on. When you don’t, lose the right to complain that they keep asking questions about it.

          When you truly take a rational step back…you see that the problem is that there is just as much blame to put on both parties equally…and neither one will own that either. The opposite party Always has mission one to make the sitting president a one term president…whether they’re stupid enough to say it out loud or not. That’s the goal…especially in the last 3 administrations. What amazes me is the short memory my liberal friends seem to have. Democrats never accepted that Bush was legitimate as president DAY one and many still bitch, to this day, that Gore won…a helluva lot more than don’t believe Obama’s birth certificate. And they did all they could to block everything he wanted to do. They just didn’t have as much ability until the last couple years of his administration to try to block him as Republicans did halfway through Obama’s first term.
          The republican’s have been dead to me for a number of years and I left the party back when Bush the Senior was in office. But I haven’t seen anything come from the democrats that shows they have many more better ideas either. All they’ve done is learn from the republicans how to run a campaign.

          Lewis Black hit the nail on the head. The Republican stands up in congress and says ‘I GOT A REALLY BAD IDEA!!’ and the democrat stands up after him and says ‘AND I CAN MAKE IT SHITTIER!!’”

          • Mortalc01l

            I own three IT businesses and if you can’t find a job, then either your skillset is lacking, or you need to move. I can’t find enough people that are qualified these days; think about brushing up on your virtualization skills, your Cloud knowledge, your infrastructure qualifications.. Become a VMWARE expert, or guru at Hyper-V… any of those skills will net you well over $100k in the SF Bay area.

            One of my companies provides encryption to the US military, NATO and various other agencies and I can’t find good cryptographers who can code.

            No, you really ARE completely wrong; there is no way that the blame can be equally applied, it’s not factually correct, not when the Republicans (which I used to be by the way) started off with total belligerence and have refused to budge on any issue for the last 6 years or so; Any similarities to Bush are completely specious and fallacious: Democrats NEVER stated their number one goal was to block everything he did and numerous bipartisan bills were passed during the Bush years (which were the WORST years I ever had in business and one of my businesses nearly failed due to how bad the economy was under him).

            You seem relatively bright, but you are just plain wrong on many levels… I voted for Bush I, but as soon as the religious nuts and the “trickle down” idiocy became mainstream, I left the party.

          • velveteenRabbit

            nicely put

      • velveteenRabbit
  • Chris

    Wrong. They could not get a loan because they had funny numbers. No one in the investment community would touch them. Only the Gov’t thought it smart

    • Odz Manouk

      Wrong.

      Taxpayers aren’t the only losers: Private investors lost almost twice what the government did — nearly $1 billion.
      While much has been made that the largest private investor was an Obama supporter, the second largest was a fund controlled by the Walton family — of Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) fame. Walton family members are noted Republican donors.
      –http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/06/technology/solyndra/

  • rat618

    And you have Republicans in state legislatures creating taxes on folks who install their own solar panels. No way in hell they would ever create a tax for drilling an oil well on your property.

  • tomwest

    “19k suicides isn’t a gun problem…it’s a mental health problem. If you’re going to kill yourself, and you mean it, you’ll find a way”
    The evidence is against you on that one. The Israeli army has problems with suicide rates amongst its trainee soldiers. It banned from taking their guns home with them at weekends. Suicide rates at weekends fell; weekday suicide didn’t changes.

    When people decide to actually commit suicide, the desire to carry out the action is fleeting. If you remove the means for those moments, they won’t do it.

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  • Mister_YT

    White Fundamentalist Christian martial law is the only answer.

  • http://blobert.tumblr.com blobert

    and the media is more than happy to play along.

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  • jake

    Suicide is seen as honorable in the culture of Japan,so that particular comparison does not hold water.Sorry! As for the gun control debate,I am myself a gun owner. I have a revolver,and a deer rifle. I see no practical civilian use for automatic weapons of any kind,or for high capacity magazines or clips. If you can’t hit what you are shooting at with three bullets or less,chances are,you are much too dangerous a person to have a gun of any type. As for reasonable background checks,which,by the way are favored by most gun owners and even a majority of NRA members,I contend that the only people who would oppose them,are people who have something to hide. Law abiding gun owners have nothing to fear.

    • CB_Demented

      So because it’s honorable, suicide doesn’t count? How does that work?

      Considering the number of shots police use to bring down suspects, by your logic, we need to disarm the majority of them.

      Fact of the matter is, in a stress situation missing is quite common even for the well trained…especially against a moving target.

      As for reasonable background checks…we already have them. Furthermore, out of the 83k failed BCs in 2012, 56k were felons, fugitives, or banned by the states because of protective orders. We prosecuted 44 out of 56k slam dunk, 10 year in jail minimum, cases. Out of the 44, only 21 was for the felony of trying to illegally buy a weapon alone. So what point is a stricter BC, when you aren’t going to prosecute the bg check we have now when people break the law?

      Most people who oppose further bg checks do so based on this fact, and the utter futility in trying to use a BC to stop a criminal, who doesn’t care about laws in the first place, from buying a gun. We already have BCs in place, and yet we still have gun crime. 2 of the top 10 most violent cities in the US are in California, a state that has the strictest BC system in the US and includes a requirement for all transactions, even private sales, to include a BC, and has additional provisions for mental illness checks.

      Hi capacity magazines are no more necessary than bans for them are. http://youtu.be/qa-joxi63xs

      If a law serves no purpose, it should not be allowed.

  • OrionElectra

    HAWWW… silly liberals and their “get over that one failure… that one failure that REPEATED ITSELF 100 times with other bad investments!” Stop trying to distract us with stuff… hey look over there.. a small fraction of gun owners are dying from suicide! SQUIRREL!!

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