What does GUN VIOLENCE actually cost?

Source: Mother Jones

Author: Ted Miller

Emphasis Mine

THE DATA BELOW is the result of a joint investigation by Mother Jones and Ted Miller, an economist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. Based on Miller’s work identifying and quantifying the societal impacts of gun violence, the annual price tag comes to at least $229 billion a year (based on 2012 data). That includes $8.6 billion in direct spending—from emergency care and other medical expenses to court and prison costs—as well as $221 billion in less tangible “indirect” costs, which include impacts on productivity and quality of life for victims and their communities. (See the rest of our special investigation here.)  gun violence costs charts

gun violence costs charts

gun violence costs charts

gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts
gun violence costs charts




Rush Limbaugh Dropped By Longtime Indianapolis Station

Source: Media Matters

Author: Angelo Carosone

Emphasis Mine

Indianapolis’ WIBC has broadcast Rush Limbaugh’s show for 22 years. Despite this long history, parent company Emmis Communications announced April 13 that they are dropping Limbaugh’s show from WIBC’s lineup.

Charlie Morgan, an executive for Emmis, indicated that the decision to drop Limbaugh was about the “long-term direction of the station,” but also acknowledged that there was a “business element to the decision.” Underscoring the business considerations, Morgan explained to the Indianapolis Business Journal that the absence of Limbaugh could actually help WIBC’s advertiser prospects:

While Morgan expects some WIBC listeners to be “hugely disappointed” by the change, he said losing Limbaugh could open up the station to more advertising opportunities.

There are some–primarily national–advertisers that refuse to air commercials during Limbaugh’s show, Morgan explained. Emmis officials began notifying its advertisers of the change Monday.

“We believe this could open us up to a new group of advertisers,” he said.

Limbaugh’s show has been plagued with woes ever since advertisers began fleeing in the wake of Limbaugh’s multi-day attack on then-law student Sandra Fluke. Thousands of local and regional businesses refuse to advertise on Limbaugh’s show and the bulk of national advertisers are now reportedly boycotting his program. The cumulative effect of Limbaugh’s advertiser difficulties has created a problem so substantial that it has actually spilled over and is hurting conservative talk radio as a whole.

The Wall Street Journal recently confirmed the industry-wide damage resulting from Limbaugh’s beleaguered program. According to the report, the exodus of national advertisers has played a significant part in reducing talk radio advertising rates to about half of what it costs to run ads on music stations, even though the two formats have “comparable audience metrics.”

Further, the report also provides a look at the millions of dollars individual stations have lost. The chart below, which was taken from the Journal report, gives a before and after look at the advertising revenue of talker stations in some of the largest markets. Notably, three of the stations that carried Limbaugh originally (KFI, WSB, and WBAP) experienced the greatest losses:

What is happening at the stations identified in the chart is happening at other talk stations, especially those that carry Limbaugh’s program. While it was already reported that major radio companies were hemorrhaging millions of dollars due to Limbaugh’s toxicity, the Journal’s analysis of the effect at the local station level was revealing and may offer some additional insight into WIBC’s decision to drop Limbaugh.

WIBC is just the latest in a string of reminders that Rush Limbaugh is bad for business.

The Journal report also confirmed that advertisers continue to leave and stay away thanks to a dedicated group of independent organizers in the Flush Rush and #StopRush communities. Their participation matters and is having a tremendous effect.



Where Government Excels

Sgt._Pepper's_Lonely_Hearts_Club_BandSource: NY Times

Author: Paul Krugman

Emphasis Mine 

As Republican presidential hopefuls trot out their policy agendas — which always involve cutting taxes on the rich while slashing benefits for the poor and middle class — some real new thinking is happening on the other side of the aisle. Suddenly, it seems, many Democrats have decided to break with Beltway orthodoxy, which always calls for cuts in “entitlements.” Instead, they’re proposing that Social Security benefits actually be expanded.

This is a welcome development in two ways. First, the specific case for expanding Social Security is quite good. Second, and more fundamentally, Democrats finally seem to be standing up to antigovernment propaganda and recognizing the reality that there are some things the government does better than the private sector.

Like all advanced nations, America mainly relies on private markets and private initiatives to provide its citizens with the things they want and need, and hardly anyone in our political discourse would propose changing that. The days when it sounded like a good idea to have the government directly run large parts of the economy are long past.

Yet we also know that some things more or less must be done by government. Every economics textbooks talks about “public goods” like national defense and air traffic control that can’t be made available to anyone without being made available to everyone, and which profit-seeking firms, therefore, have no incentive to provide. But are public goods the only area where the government outperforms the private sector? By no means.


One classic example of government doing it better is health insurance. Yes, conservatives constantly agitate for more privatization — in particular, they want to convert Medicare into nothing more than vouchers for the purchase of private insurance — but all the evidence says this would move us in precisely the wrong direction. Medicare and Medicaid are substantially cheaper and more efficient than private insurance; they even involve less bureaucracy. Internationally, the American health system is unique in the extent to which it relies on the private sector, and it’s also unique in its incredible inefficiency and high costs.

And there’s another major example of government superiority: providing retirement security.  

Maybe we wouldn’t need Social Security if ordinary people really were the perfectly rational, farsighted agents economists like to assume in their models (and right-wingers like to assume in their propaganda). In an idealized world, 25-year-old workers would base their decisions about how much to save on a realistic assessment of what they will need to live comfortably when they’re in their 70s. They’d also be smart and sophisticated in how they invested those savings, carefully seeking the best trade-offs between risk and return.

In the real world, however, many and arguably most working Americans are saving much too little for their retirement. They’re also investing these savings badly. For example, a recent White House report found that Americans are losing billions each year thanks to investment advisers trying to maximize their own fees rather than their clients’ welfare.

You might be tempted to say that if workers save too little and invest badly, it’s their own fault. But people have jobs and children, and they must cope with all the crises of life. It’s unfair to expect them to be expert investors, too. In any case, the economy is supposed to work for real people leading real lives; it shouldn’t be an obstacle course only a few can navigate.

And in the real world of retirement, Social Security is a shining example of a system that works. It’s simple and clean, with low operating costs and minimal bureaucracy. It provides older Americans who worked hard all their lives with a chance of living decently in retirement, without requiring that they show an inhuman ability to think decades ahead and be investment whizzes as well. The only problem is that the decline of private pensions, and their replacement with inadequate 401(k)-type plans, has left a gap that Social Security isn’t currently big enough to fill. So why not make it bigger?

Needless to say, suggestions along these lines are already provoking near-hysterical reactions, not just from the right, but from self-proclaimed centrists. As I wrote some years ago, calling for cuts to Social Security has long been seen inside the Beltway as a “badge of seriousness, a way of showing how statesmanlike and tough-minded you are.” And it’s only a decade since former President George W. Bush tried to privatize the program, with a lot of centrist support.

But true seriousness means looking at what works and what doesn’t. Privatized retirement schemes work very badly; Social Security works very well. And we should build on that success.

See: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/10/opinion/paul-krugman-where-government-excels.html?_r=0

Tax Cuts for the Wealthy DO NOT Create Jobs

Source: DailyKos

Author: Jocava

Emphasis Mine

After 30 years of re-engineering our nation’s economy and tax code to deliver huge benefits, free of charge, to the wealthy, the most massive transfer of wealth in the history of the world —a transfer of wealth that has led to now catastrophically failed wealth disparities between the wealthiest and the poorest—, we have not seen the wildly prolific job-creation that was promised. Indeed, we have seen our manufacturing base stripped away piece by piece and our middle class society systematically eroded.

Now, after 10 years of massive tax breaks for the wealthiest people in the history of humanity, we have seen a further concentration of wealth and a further erosion of the open market for employment and innovation. The 400 wealthiest people in the United States now control more wealth than 155 million people at the other end of the socio-economic spectrum combined. The tax cuts that were supposed to be given to the “supply side” were never given to the supply side at all, only to those that seek to own it.

To distill the complicated economics down to simple terms: Why should the rich “create jobs”, why should they put money into wages in order to build businesses to make profits, when it’s being handed to them in unprecedented amounts, for free? That’s the real problem. When the government takes money from everyone, then hands it out to the wealthiest among us, it has the direct effect of disincentivizing investment by those individuals and interests in the creation of new businesses and new jobs.

It is economic incentive that drives enterprise, not the supposed nobility of spirit of the wealthy. That idea is aristocracy: that the ruling class is there because they deserve to be, because they are uniquely noble, because they have arete —excellence and a commitment to justice and humane values, to the better interests of society at large. Our nation is founded on the self-evident truth that medieval aristocracy is a lie, and that powerful elites do not tend to give their power and privilege back to the people.

It makes no sense to be fostering a new aristocracy, to be transferring literally trillions of dollars in wealth, as a matter of national policy, to the wealthiest people in our society. There is no economic reason for doing so. There is nothing about that process which upholds or defends democracy. Much to the contrary, the massive and unprecedented transfer of wealth from ordinary, working Americans to the already wealthy —which began with Ronald Reagan and accelerated to warp speed with George W. Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts—, has crippled our economy and removed any incentive major financial interests have to invest in widespread job creation.

If you believe a vibrant middle class is essential to fostering generalized citizen participation and real elective democracy, then the collapse of that middle class, the decline in household wages, the rapid escalation in bankruptcies and home foreclosures, should worry you. Even if you are a billionaire, it should worry you, because the erosion of our middle class, the gutting of funds from our educational system, the prioritization of billionaires and multinational corporations, is eroding our democracy itself.

When Vice President Joe Biden left the Senate to join the Obama administration, he was the only member of the United States Senate who was not a millionaire. He had not used his office to enrich himself or his family, and he had not played the game of Washington insider. He was not a celebrity and he did not view politics as a battle for cold, hard cash. He made policy based on how it would affect ordinary citizens, local communities, the real human freedom of people he knows and understands.

As the Senate became the world’s most powerful millionaire’s club, it became harder and harder for ordinary people to break into politics. The power of the two-party system had made it risky for anyone not to support the one of the two parties most friendly to their views, because even the slightest erosion of support for one of the two parties is now translated, through furious and misleading reporting of public opinion poll numbers as a “gain” for the other party.

As the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few has accelerated, and the concentration of political power in the hands of the wealthy has followed along, the outright lie that tax cuts for the wealthy are the best, indeed the only, way to create jobs continues to have widespread support. Though real people living in the real world can see with their own eyes that fundamental pillars of our democracy are being eroded, or even eliminated, while parents across the country know what it would mean for the House of Representatives to strip funding for Head Start, for public education and for college financial aid, the transfer of wealth goes ahead, and the job creation boom to which innovative, hard-working, democratic Americans are entitled, continues to stall.

There should be an indefinite, blanket moratorium on wasteful wealth spending.

Since we know that spending trillions of dollars on tax cuts for the wealthy is counterproductive, does not create jobs and is undermining our democracy, every independent voter, every Democratic and every Republican voter, should demand of every elected official that they cease to prioritize the giveaway of taxpayer money to those who have no use for it and will not use it to invest in rebuilding the middle class.

Tax cuts for the wealthy do not create jobs. Tax cuts for the wealthy are not a constructive way to build democracy. Tax cuts for the wealthy are not a sound investment for the already embattled middle class. Every proposed cut to social spending, every proposed tax break for millionaires and billionaires, is part of the same process of eroding our middle class and shoring up the long-term power interest of the already powerful.

It should not be the economic policy of a middle class democratic republic to prioritize the protection of millionaires and billionaires against economic hardship, when the economic hardship of the moment was created specifically and through many years of coordinated effort, by the mismanagement and bad practice of that very “investor class” that seeks to give the real power in our society to banks, hedge funds and offshore interests.

Whether by incompetence, ignorance or malice, the financial industry was hijacked by a logic of might makes right: anything that can be done to expand wealth, any “instrument” that can be devised that will make the digital, ethereal wealth of our times appear to increase, was to be cultivated, protected and propagated, regardless of the risk to the wider society or to the health of our people and our democracy.

The financial collapse of 2007 and 2008 was not brought about by working people’s mortgages; it was brought about by major financial interests that had agreed, implicitly and explicitly, it was no longer of any importance whether major national investment strategies represented real wealth or spurious wealth claims; what mattered was that those at the top could benefit from implementing the strategies.

That is what was done with our trillions of dollars in wealth subsidies: while the American people were told that tax breaks for the wealthiest of the wealthy would lead to widespread job creation, the money was devoted to creating entirely new markets where only money would be needed to make more money. Gone were the heady old days when earning millions was supposed to represent investment in an actual enterprise doing actual business, building a better society.

There should be an indefinite, blanket moratorium on wasteful wealth spending, because the work of our age needs to be the reinvention of our economy, the reversal of this egregious and undemocratic transfer of wealth from the tens of millios to the 400, and the restoration the principle that if it’s good for America, it’s because it’s good for building a vibrant, free and educated middle class that actually has the power to govern its own future and to steer the ship of state.

SOME DATA: The top 20% of the socio-economic pyramid in our country control well more than 80% of all the wealth. Just the top 1% control 40% of all financial investment assets.

In 2001, George W. Bush inherited a 10-year budget surplus of $1.7 trillion. His 2001 and 2003 tax cuts plunged the government into deficit spending, immediately. By 2002, the surplus was already erased, after just one year of the long-term tax cut plan.

By 2009, when Bush left office, he had doubled Defense spending, pledged over $1 trillion to banks, and average household incomes had FALLEN by more than $2,000 per year.

The result of these policies was: 25% of all American children living in poverty, near 10% unemployment (officially), as high as 25% among young people and well over 30% among some minority communities.

In 2008 and 2009, the nation saw record bankruptcies, record rates of home foreclosures, and despite massive investment in recovery efforts, in 2009 and 2010 job recovery has been slow to non-existent. The reason: even as banks and wealthy investors began to see their economic engine revving up again, they saw no economic incentive at all to invest in job creation.

The wrong kind of tax policy was giving them cash for nothing, and incentivizing them to invest it in money-for-the-wealthy financial schemes that don’t support small business, manufacturing, entrepreneurship or job-creation.

Originally posted to jocava on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 06:28 AM PST.

Also republished by Income Inequality Kos, Daily Kos Classics, and Community Spotlight.

The Age of Selfishness: What Made Ayn Rand Tick — And Why She’s a Right-Wing Favorite Today

Source: AlterNet

Author: Elias Isquith

Emphasis Mine

With Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul having recently announced his intention to be the next U.S. president (an announcement he delivered, incidentally, from Louisville’s Galt House Hotel), now seems as good a time as ever to reexamine the life and legacy of one Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum, a woman better known as Ayn Rand.

This is not the first time that an avowed fan of the novelist, polemicist and pseudo-philosopher has reached such heights of American politics, of course. Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP’s vice-presidential nominee in 2012, at the very least used to be a big fan; and her views were well-aligned with those of Sen. Barry Goldwater, the Republican Party’s 1964 presidential nominee (of whom she was a big fan). Her ideas — especially her uncompromising opposition to redistribution — permeate throughout the conservative movement still.

Yet while there have been books about Rand before, none of them have been quite like “The Age of Selfishness: Ayn Rand, Morality and the Financial Crisis,” a new graphic novel from artist, photographer and sculptor Darryl Cunningham. The artist and former mental health care worker combines mediums to take a long look at Rand’s history, but he goes one step further, looking at how her influence extends into the present day, and even played a role in bringing on the Great Recession and financial crisis.

Recently, Salon spoke about the book with Cunningham via Skype. Our conversation has been edited for clarity and length.

When did you first come into contact with Ayn Rand? 

I think it would have been back in my 20s, sort of generally reading about things, and I think it possibly came up in connection with people I was reading like Robert Heinlein or science fiction stuff. A lot of more right-wing stuff seemed to ape a lot of philosophical ideas, and I came across her then without really knowing anything about her.

Through the years, I read bits about her and I was quite appalled because her philosophy seemed quite opposite to everything I seemed to believe, myself. I was drawn to it like you’re drawn to a car crash, really; with horror and fascination. Fascination because her view of things was so upside down, I just wanted to get to the nub of how she could come up with such conclusions. Along the way, a book seemed to be a good way to explain the attraction of neoliberal politics and how come we live now in a society so dominated by neoliberal politics. Looking at the philosophy and the psychology at the same time, using her as a starting point.

Did your research on Ayn Rand change your perspective on her at all? Was there anything about her that surprised you?

I found myself to be more sympathetic toward her as a person than I initially was. Having read her story— I read two of the big biographies of her and then some smaller books— I began to see that she was quite a sympathetic person, really. She could hardly be other than what she was. Although she could be monstrous, you could understand her outlook and the way she formed her views because it came out of a childhood, out of the difficulties she and her family had during and after the Russian Revolution. That forever colored her view of humanity.

What was it about her childhood that was so traumatic that made her particular worldview understandable, if not quite persuasive?

She grew up in St. Petersburg; her father owned a pharmacy, and they were quite a well-to-do middle-class family. Come the Revolution, the father’s business was appropriated by the Bolsheviks for the good of the people, and so they were left basically with nothing and had to leave St. Petersburg and go to the Crimea and try to make a living.

When they eventually returned to St. Petersburg, they found that the apartments they had had been taken over by others and they had to share just a small part of it with another family. The streets were filled with ex-soldiers and it was just a disaster, basically, all around. I think she saw how altruism had been a cover for a sort of naked grasp for power or money, so she became suspicious about altruism and to see selfishness as more of the real virtue and altruism as a vice to be avoided. It seemed to come out of those incidents.

When you were doing research about objectivism, was there anything there that wasn’t what you expected to find? Was it less weird or weirder than you thought?  

There’s much to be said about the philosophy of objectivism in terms of standing up for yourself or not compromising your beliefs. These are things everybody certainly should learn, to have strength of character, but she just takes it a little too far. It becomes about basically dominating other people, and that I can’t agree with. There were good and bad things about objectivism, but overwhelmingly, I found it a bad experience to read about.

How much did it feel that you were sort of a psychoanalyst in looking into her life and her philosophy? Is it wrong to look at objectivism as a philosophical version of what’s ultimately an emotional or psychological response to trauma?

I think at the root of her philosophy was an emotional response, that she was genuinely quite a selfish woman. Intellectually, she had to find a way of justifying it, and the whole philosophy of objectivism came out of that. Part of my sympathy to her is that my background is in mental health, so I naturally think in those terms. I was looking at her from a psychological point of view.

Do you think that selfishness was reflected at all in the people who gravitated toward her?

I think young people in particular are attracted to objectivism and toward Rand because, certainly when you’re a teenager, you feel quite often very alienated. If you want to raise your self-image, there’s no better way than to read objectivism because it puts you at the center of the universe; you can be more important than everyone else. If you want to feel that everyone else is a fool and a sheep, then objectivism will give you that power; it will lift your self-esteem.

I think most people grow out of that approach and see a more equal way of looking at things. That sounds like I’m dismissive of younger people but I’m not at all; I went through it just like everyone else.

Sometimes people, in their personal lives, aren’t how they’re perceived in public. Was that the case with Rand? Was she generous on an interpersonal level? Or was she selfish, there, too?

She was very much like her work; she was a very difficult woman to get on with. It was said that she never lost an argument. If you got into an argument with her, you’d kind of lose your bearings because she would simply outflank you in every way. People didn’t want to get involved in her inner circle because they felt they’d get sucked into this little cult that she had built up around her and see the things the way she saw them.

She was quite domineering and magnetic, really, but she was full of contradiction as well. She believed she was considered to be the first lady of logic, but she often didn’t see things that were right in front of her, even though the evidence was there all along. The younger man she had an affair with for years [Nathaniel Branden] was two-timing her with another woman, and although the evidence was there for all to see she just could not see it, would not accept it. She was as capable of being flawed in that way as anybody else.

You get into some pretty complicated stuff about financial transactions and mortgage law. Did you find any one part of your book more difficult to explain than any other? Or did your approach make it easier than it might have been if you were just writing? 

I think having the ability to actually draw it, visually, made it a lot easier to explain. When it comes to trying to explain things like derivatives, it’s very complicated. It took me quite a while to get my head around some of it, and I had experts looking over the material as I was doing it and partly rewriting some of it for me so I’d get a clearer picture. Certainly, to be able to visually show it as well as being written in the text above is incredibly useful.

In terms of economics, there is a sort of Grand Canyon-size gulf of understanding between the general public and economics, and I think that’s something we’d all benefit from understanding a little better. I think the media have done a very poor job of explaining these things to the general public; I certainly didn’t know anything about it before I set off on this road of research. My math is terrible, but just because you can’t do math, doesn’t mean you can’t understand the general concept.

Why is Ayn Rand still so influential? What has made her relevant to multiple generations?

I’ve been asked this a number of times and I still struggle with it a little. The British edition of the book is called “Supercrash” and it doesn’t mention her on the cover at all. The reason for that is that my European publishers didn’t think she was much of a draw in Europe, and she isn’t; she’s hardly known.

In America, of course, she’s very well known and my publisher in the U.S. wanted her front and center on the cover for that reason. I think it has something to do with the American character itself. Being a younger country, there’s still that hangover from the frontier days of individualistic liberalism, which there isn’t so much in Europe because we have countries and governments that have been there for many centuries. I think that might be part of it, but I do struggle to understand exactly what the difference is.

Do you think Ayn Rand was a happy person?

No, I think she struggled with happiness. However much success she had, I think she looked around and saw that she wasn’t changing the world in the way she had hoped to. Her personal life was also a struggle, so I think she had some success but I don’t think she was a particularly happy person throughout.

Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith, and email him at eisquith@salon.com.

see: http://www.alternet.org/books/age-selfishness-what-made-ayn-rand-tick-and-why-shes-right-wing-favorite-today?akid=12994.123424.uI1qzu&rd=1&src=newsletter1034621&t=5

Rand Paul: Another anti-gay, anti-woman, GOP theocrat

Source: Patheos

Author: Michael Stone

Emphasis Mine

Contrary to the hype, Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul is just another standard issue Republican: anti-gay, anti-woman, and subservient to the Christian patriarchy.

Today Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul formally announced his 2016 presidential campaign for the Republican nomination for president, declaring “we have come to take our country back.”

Presumably the “we” Paul speaks of is white, heterosexual, conservative Christian males.

Speaking at his “Stand for Rand” rally in Louisville today, the 52-year-old Paul said:

Today I am announcing, with God’s help and with liberty lovers everywhere, that I am putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States.

While it may be disingenuous to conflate liberty with subservience to Christianity, it is a political strategy Paul will deploy in his bid for the 2016 Republican nomination. Yet Paul is quite selective about who is entitled to liberty.

Paul opposes gay rights in general, and gay marriage in particular. In addition, Paul would also deny women the right to reproductive freedom, all in the name of conservative Christian values.

Last month, Paul told a group of pastors and religious leaders at a private prayer breakfast in Washington D.C. that the debate about legalizing same-sex marriage is the result of a “moral crisis” in the country, and called for a Christian revival, proclaiming:

We need a revival in the country. We need another Great Awakening with tent revivals of thousands of people saying, ‘reform or see what’s going to happen if we don’t reform.’

Indeed, for many months now Paul has been quietly running a stealth campaign, meeting with scores of leaders from the Christian right to gain their support for his presidential run.

Previously Paul has worried that same-sex marriage will lead to besitiality, relying upon the same ridiculous slippery-slope arguments used by many simple-minded religious conservatives opposed to same-sex marriage

As for women’s reproductive health, Paul is anything but a libertarian. Paul would deny women basic autonomy over their own bodies. Paul argues that life begins at conception, and when it comes to his anti-choice, anti-woman, conservative Christian “family values” Paul is an extremist. Paul supports fetal personhood legislation that would outlaw all abortion and prohibit contraception, stem-cell research, and in-vitro fertilization.

Perhaps even more disturbing, Paul has publicly stated that parents “own” their children, while making the absurd claim that vaccines cause “profound mental disorders.” While the idea that parents own their children is abhorrent to reasonable individuals, it is a common sentiment among conservative Christians. Paul wants to present himself as something different, but in the end he is just another Republican exploiting the fears and prejudices of conservative Christians for his own political advantage.

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2015/04/rand-paul-another-anti-gay-anti-woman-gop-theocrat/#ixzz3WuuDkhgX



5 Most Ridiculous Right-Wing Reactions to Iran Deal

Source: AlterNet

Author: Zaid Jalini

Emphasis Mine

The deal struck between P5+1 countries and Iran has earned global applause, and cheers were perhaps loudest among Iran’s 77 million people themselves, who have long sought closer relations with the West and a de-escalation of tensions.

But in the United States, an assorted group of right-wingers denounced the deal, using over-the-top rhetoric to warn about the dangers supposedly associated with a successful diplomatic plan. Here are some of the most absurd reactions:

  1. The Deal Is Worse Than Talking To Hitler: Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk didn’t go for the usual Obama-is-Chamberlain routine comparing Iran diplomacy to appeasing Hitler. He upped the ante, saying, “Neville Chamberlain got a lot of more out of Hitler than Wendy Sherman got out of Iran, referring to a State Department negotiator.

  2. The Iran Deal Is Like The Iraq War: Israeli columnist Ari Shavit took to the pages of Politico Magazine to say that the Iran deal, which involves no bloodshed, is like the Iraq war, one of the bloodiest conflicts of the 21st century.

  3. The Iran Deal Is Like Tearing Apart The Statue Of Liberty: The Israel Project, helmed by former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) flack Josh Block, published a dramatic video to Facebook showing the arm of the Statue Of Liberty literally falling apart in response to the deal:

  4. The Iran Deal Has Those Sneaky Iranian Americans Are Gloating: Bloomberg’s Eli Lake decided to respond to the deal with a xenophobic slur against one of the deal’s proponents: Trita Parsia of the National Iranian American Council. “The Iranian-Swedish con man is gloating,” he tweeted. Parsi’s family moved from Iran to Sweden when he was a child but he has spent most of his life in the United States.

  5. The Iran Deal Involves No Concessions From Iran At All: The Israeli government put out a bizarre statement in response to the deal. “The smiles in Lausanne are detached from the wretched reality where Iran refuses to make concessions on the nuclear issues and continues to threaten Israel and the rest of the countries of the Middle East,” said that country’s intelligence minister. The fact is that Iran is giving up 97 percent of its enriched uranium stockpile and sharply reducing centrifuges.

See: http://www.alternet.org/5-most-ridiculous-right-wing-reactions-iran-deal


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