The Reality Based Community Versus The Hopium Delusional Nests

The Red State/Blue State issues clash is increasingly less relevant compared to the clash of conflicting Realities. In the Reality Based Community ugly facts continue to accumulate. In the Hopium Delusional nests there is a craving for more/faster, damn the facts. Increasingly, on the side of the facts are Tea Party activists and Republicans and Conservatives (ouch, that hurt to say although let’s quickly add that there are still nuts aplenty on the other side). It used to not be that way. It was once “our” side that insisted on facts and fact based decision making.

We recall not too long in the past when Republican arch-conservative Senator Rick Santorum confessed to never having actually read the Bible, but instead only commentaries on the Bible. That lack of actual Bible reading never stopped the Senator from pontificating on lessons he learned from the Bible and on issues he argued from a Biblical perspective. Those of us who have read the Bible, not once but several times in order to savor the poetry/history/perspectives of same, scratched our heads. How can someone pontificate, we recoiled, about an unread book?

We also recall not too long ago how “our” side mocked conservatives and others when they would launch boycotts against materials (books, films, art exhibits) which they had never seen or experienced. That to us always appeared irrational. How could a boycott be launched against something unseen? We could not support such faith-based, facts-ignored politics.

In their defense we did understand that indeed many of these boycotts and protests were in fact faith based. Groups such as the Catholic League felt beleaguered by art and a political culture which targeted their religious faith. Further in their defense we now are cognizant of how Catholic Church hypocrisies and scandals are denounced with vitriolic fury in Big Media outlets, but ugly aspects of Muslim history and scandals (of which there are plenty) are not even discussed and even critical cartoonists are targeted for death.

During the health scam debates it was the Obama Hopium Guzzlers who wanted to pass something/anything sight unseen. It was the opposition that insisted the thousands of pages of garbage actually be read. It was a clash between Hopium Guzzlers who at the very best based their support on passing something now and changing it later – and an opposition that demanded to read and know the facts as they presently stand, not a future utopia of changes unseen and not understood. It was the fact based/reality based community versus the faith based nests of delusional Hopium Guzzlers.

Yesterday, the fact based community learned that Attorney General Eric Holder finds it difficult to say “radical Islam” at a hearing to discuss the Times Square attempted bombing by radical Islamic forces. Attorney General Eric Holder discussed other matters which related to American security and the immigration/deportation system which facts lead to the conclusion that the system is busted.

But, in a Rick Santorum moment, Attorney General Eric Holder confessed that he has not actually read the barely 18 page Arizona immigration law. Santorum had the excuse that his non-read Bible was a very lengthy and weighty tome. But what possible excuse, other than willful ignorance, does the Attorney General have for not reading less than 20 pages? [read the Arizona immigration law HERE]

To be fair in our critique, Hillary Clinton has not read the law either and has answered questions about the law when asked. But Hillary is not the Attorney General who is in charge of enforcing U.S. law. Her purview is diplomacy and relations between Mexico and the United States and in that context she has answered questions, asked her in the course of interviews on other matters, about Arizona’s immigration law. It is Eric Holder who has been on the stump threatening lawsuits against the law – without having read the law.

In the reality based community 73% of Americans support the Arizona immigration law. According to a responsible new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, the Arizona law is popular with Americans:

“Fully 73% say they approve of requiring people to produce documents verifying their legal status if police ask for them. Two-thirds (67%) approve of allowing police to detain anyone who cannot verify their legal status, while 62% approve of allowing police to question people they think may be in the country illegally.

After being asked about the law’s provisions, 59% say that, considering everything, they approve of Arizona’s new illegal immigration law while 32% disapprove.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted May 6-9 among 994 adults, finds that Democrats are evenly split over Arizona’s new immigration law: 45% approve of the law and 46% disapprove. However, majorities of Democrats approve of two of the law’s principal provisions: requiring people to produce documents verifying legal status (65%) and allowing police to detain anyone unable to verify their legal status (55%).

Republicans overwhelmingly approve of the law and three provisions tested. Similarly, among independents there is little difference in opinions of the new Arizona law (64% approve) and its elements, which are viewed positively.”

It’s unlikely that 73% of Americans are “racists” so why there such a disconnect between the reality of the American people and the Hopium fueled delusions of the Obama government and allies? Barack Obama toured the country warning that kids going out for ice cream would be asked for their papers in Arizona and thrown into dark dungeons. We’re sure Barack Obama did not read the Arizona law either.

On the question of Greece=America? today the Governor of the Bank of England had disturbing facts to lay on the table:

“Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, fears that America shares many of the same fiscal problems currently haunting Europe. [snip]

Bear in mind King is usually one of the most guarded policymakers in both British and central banking circles. Not yesterday.

It isn’t often one has the opportunity to get such a blunt and straightforward insight into the thoughts of one of the world’s leading economic players. Most of this stuff usually stays behind closed doors, so it’s worth taking note of. And I suspect that while George Osborne will have been happy to hear his endorsement of the new Government’s policies, Barack Obama and the European leaders will have been far less pleased with his frank comments on their predicament.”

Most Americans know that the economy of Greece is a portent that must be taken seriously if we are to avoid the same fate. Denial and HOPE are not strategies to address the problems.

America, and many other large economies including the UK, share some of the same problems as Greece with its public finances:

Every country around the world is in a similar position, even the United States; the world’s largest economy has a very large fiscal deficit. And one of the concerns in financial markets is clearly – how will this enormous stock of public debt be reduced over the next few years? And it’s very important that governments, both here and elsewhere, get to grips with this problem, have a clear approach and a very clear and credible approach to reducing the size of those deficits over, in our case, the lifetime of this parliament, in order to convince markets that they should be willing to continue to finance the very large sums of money that will be needed to be raised from financial markets over the next few years, at reasonable interest rates.[snip]

I think the lesson from Greece is that, if the problem had been dealt with three months ago, it would not have become as serious as it subsequently became. And I think the important thing now is that Greece has been dealt with a major IMF and European Union package…

But those measures provide only a window of opportunity. They do not affect the total amount of debt, in themselves which countries around the world have to repay. The markets, which some of our European partners like to describe as speculators causing difficulty, are the very same markets where the public sector is looking to provide trillions of pounds of support to finance public debt around the major countries in the world over the next few years.

What matters is that those investors are prepared to buy government debt at interest rates which make it tolerable for the countries concerned. And that is why it is important for each and every country to demonstrate that they are on top of a programme for their country to reduce the fiscal deficit to a sustainable path.[snip]

Once you move into the sphere of concerns about sovereign debt, there is no answer; there’s no backstop. And it is very important therefore that we hit these problems on the head now, put in place credible solutions to prevent the problems becoming worse.[snip]

It is absolutely vital, absolutely vital, for governments to get on top of this problem. We cannot afford to allow concerns about sovereign debt to spread into a wider crisis dealing with sovereign debt. Dealing with a banking crisis was bad enough. This would be worse.

George Will recently addressed the crazy reality which is apparent to all but government officials. Will noted the out and out lies of General Motors, in their many advertisements, that they had “repaid our government loan in full.” The Treasury Department assisted in that out and out blatant lie. The Treasury Department issued a press release “GM Repays Treasury Loan in Full” but that was simply a lie. A lie. No clash of realities, it was simply a lie. The Treasury Department then lied about their lie:

“In the commercial, Whitacre says GM has “repaid our government loan in full.” Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., noted that GM used government funds to pay back the government: It “simply transferred $6.7 billion from one taxpayer-funded TARP account to another.” The government still owns 60.8 percent of GM’s common equity, and the Congressional Budget Office projects that the government will lose about $34 billion of the $82 billion of TARP funds dispersed to the automotive industry.

When Ryan and two colleagues asked the Treasury Department for clarification, they got this careful reply: “Treasury has never suggested that the loan repayment represented a full return of all government assistance.” A Treasury press release did say “GM Repays Treasury Loan in Full.” The loan is, however, a small part of taxpayer exposure. Under crony capitalism, when government and corporate America merge, both dissemble.

But it was George Will’s comments on Greece that highlight the clash of realities:

“So the U.S. government, which would borrow 42 cents of every dollar it spends under the president’s 2011 budget, is borrowing to rescue Greece and others from the consequences of their borrowing.

That nation, whose GDP is below that of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, is “too big to fail,” meaning too inconveniently connected to too many big banks. Bailing out Greece really rescues European banks that improvidently bought Greek bonds. Visit here for a useful New York Times graphic illustrating how European nations borrow from one another. For example, Italy owes France (French banks) $511 billion, a sum nearly equal to 20 percent of France’s GDP. About one-third of Portugal’s debt is held by Spain, which has $238 billion of its debt held by Germany and $220 billion by France. Russell Roberts of George Mason University notes that this “discourages prudence and wariness” because when “everyone has financed everyone else, you can justify bailing everyone out.

You don’t have to be an economist to know that this reality is ugly and must be confronted and beat down. But people who indeed are economists and who should know better continue to sell a delusional view contrary to what most can plainly see.

“Meanwhile, when you look under the hood of those troubling long-run budget projections, you discover that they’re not driven by some generalized problem of overspending. Instead, they largely reflect just one thing: the assumption that health care costs will rise in the future as they have in the past. This tells us that the key to our fiscal future is improving the efficiency of our health care system — which is, you may recall, something the Obama administration has been trying to do, even as many of the same people now warning about the evils of deficits cried “Death panels!”

So here’s the reality: America’s fiscal outlook over the next few years isn’t bad. We do have a serious long-run budget problem, which will have to be resolved with a combination of health care reform and other measures, probably including a moderate rise in taxes. But we should ignore those who pretend to be concerned with fiscal responsibility, but whose real goal is to dismantle the welfare state — and are trying to use crises elsewhere to frighten us into giving them what they want.”

In what world, in what reality, are health care costs, not going to rise? Krugman, the writer of that nonsense knows better. Any dunce can see that the Obama sales mantra of “bend the cost curve” was a flim-flam con and that indeed health care costs will continue to rise and rise rapidly. To lump Obama health scam opponents into a right wing bag and not acknowledge the all too real Big Pharma and Big Insurance bailout which is the Obama health scam is at best a Hopium based delusion. At worse a willful attempt to scam and flim-flam.

Increasingly, Americans are engaged in a clash of realities. Those in early 2008 whose reality was that experience and well thought out plans and strategies do not matter as much as a well developed sense of HOPE, they voted for Barack Obama. Reality lost out in 2008.

But in 2010, reality is back in vogue. Reality is back, not because it is enjoyable. Reality is back because facts are stubborn things and they do not go away if you HOPE them away. In the 2010 clash of Reality versus Hopium, Reality has a political knockout punch.