Nov 12, 2012 in Politics
I had somebody interpret this post in such a way that they thought that saying, essentially, “Get a job!” was a proper taunt. Dumbasses, the whole point of everything I said was that I got a job in Iowa that was a terrific opportunity and brought me back close to my family and friends, including none other than the original gangsta Mike G. And I’m super busy doing it or winding down with family when I’m not. But if Republicans could read our country would be in a much better place.
Oh, and high fives all around for President Obama’s second term, and the amazing gains in the Senate, as well as huge victories for gay marriage and against the Drug War. Something is right in America, just not the rightwingers.
Nov 05, 2012 in Politics
Everybody besides the paranoid hicks knows that there isn’t any voter fraud.
Oct 25, 2012 in Politics
Oct 25, 2012 in Politics
Sadly, I’ve landed back in Iowa yet this is precisely what has steered me away from the site. I kind of liked the sudden mysterious cut-off, but basically I’m neck deep in real-person stuff and, well, in an age where one of our best presidents is in a near draw with one of the greatest frauds to ever run for office (or pair of frauds, counting Paul Ryan), what is there to say except this: You’re either on board for giving Obama a real presidency beyond cleaning up the mess that Bush and the Republicans handed him, or you’re down with rewarding those who responded to the worst fiscal crisis in eighty years by focusing all their efforts on destroying the president.
It’s exactly that clear. So what else is there to say? Romney is a proven, serial liar who ran as a hard right Republican until the first debate with Obama, and his unbelievable propensity to lie is only further darkened by the fact that when we got a chance to observe him speak behind closed doors, he burst with contempt for the majority of Americans. Yes, he lies because he thinks you’re stupid.
So are you stupid? Or are you one of the scammers? If not, vote Obama. It’s exactly that clear. This is certainly as close to an existential crisis as our nation has ever faced.
My absence has never meant to downplay the importance of this election. It’s more important than ever. But my voice is needed elsewhere, and so I will join the millions who speak very loudly on November 6th to uphold America’s fundamental decency. Heaven help the lost and corrupted souls of those who would do otherwise.
Aug 23, 2012 in Politics
Jaw drop now:
Sometimes the stars just line up, don’t they?
Ryan is even more extreme on abortion than Akin.
The thing is, like on any number of issues, Republicans try their hardest to avoid saying what they really think. Akin said it out loud, causing all manner of distancing efforts from Romney/Ryan/Reince etc., but when it comes down to how they intend to affect the lives of women, they’re identical, and so being chummy with dudes who think any woman who got pregnant couldn’t have been raped is no biggie. It just doesn’t even come on the radar.
Obama makes especially good use of the insidious tactic of not making anything up.
Aug 14, 2012 in Clueless Conservatives
So Mitt Romney was vaulted onto the national stage for passing health care reform in Massachusetts…
And Paul Ryan for the Ryan budget…
Each is running from the very thing that led people (well, not me, of course) consider them presidential material in the first place, albeit for very different reasons. Mitt because his accomplishment became anathema to Republicans the second a Democrat, President Obama, imitated it. Ryan because his is true to Republican orthodoxy, but repulsive to the public. Their unifying theme is that it demonstrates each man is a fraud at the most fundamental level, unwilling to stand by their own fundamental rationales for political existence.
To complicate things, Romney has frequently touted Ryan’s budget but is now distancing himself from it, and Ryan once hated on Romneycare two years ago, and now is running with Mitt Romney, who might be embracing Romneycare again (which means embracing Obamacare, but he can’t say that, keep things straight folks), except it pissed off Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter so much that we’re unlikely to hear much more on that front.
Can you keep their stories straight?
Aug 11, 2012 in Politics
The best thing about Palin was that as governor she actually was a pretty big socialist. Paul Ryan is the most extreme right VP pick in a century, more right than any VP has ever been left, and his voting record scores approximately the same as Michele Bachman.
Aug 11, 2012 in Politics
What’s hilarious is that the very morning Romney announces Ryan, he’s already running away from Ryan. Oh, well, what choice did the guy have? Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh were about to pull the plug on Mitt’s candidacy, so this is just life support. That didn’t stop Ryan Lizza from declaring this a “daring” decision, but that’s more because of the risks Paul Ryan carries with him. Namely, everything Ryan has ever said or done. Okay, but “risky” or “desperate” might be better adjectives.
Aug 11, 2012 in Politics
All the Internet says Paul Ryan is Mitt Romney’s pick for vice-president.
So here’s everything you need to know about Paul Ryan.
Get ready for the Republican whining, because this con artist is highly admired for his ability to look handsome and earnest while proposing to cut taxes for the wealthy and pay for it by gutting services for the poor. But don’t you dare suggest he doesn’t care! If he has to kick some poor children out of a doctor’s office, it’s to help those kids go find jobs with health insurance.
Aug 10, 2012 in Health Care
Sure, we Republicans want to take away health care made possible by Obamacare for millions, but don’t say we don’t care!
Democrats have been doing a better job of playing judo this election cycle, but they’re being a bit slow on this one. The health care stories are limitless, there are enough out there to cut a new ad every day. Problems with the Soptic story (because Republicans are super-concerned about accuracy, naturally)? There’s millions more.
Aug 08, 2012 in Politics
First, let’s trot out the whole, “Throw a rock into a pack of dogs…” trope.
So we have Republicans going apoplectic because they’re getting a taste of their own medicine, political dirty tricks. Sure, G-Dubya got elected having Karl Rove whisper into voters ears about John McCain’s illegitimate black baby (his adopted Indian child, mind you). Sure, Mitt Romney is basing his campaign on a premise he doesn’t believe (see my last entry). Sure, Mitt Romney is churning out his best ads by cutting and snipping Obama speeches, and Republicans are cheering. Sure, Mitt Romney is cutting new ads every day that don’t even try to adhere to the remotest truth. But now, ZOMFG, YOU DESPICABLE DIRTY LIAR HARRY REID…
Anybody on the left worth their salt should be sniffing that blood in the water, snorting it hard. Mitt Romney saying “Put up or shut up”??? OH YES PLEASE MITT ROMNEY. Yes please. More of that, sir! Put up or shut up, indeed:)
Oh, tsk tsk, Harry Reid, but ROFLZ!
And there go the fact-checkerz, Politifact and Glenn Kessler, neither of whom has a bloody idea what Mitt Romney paid in taxes or what Harry Reid was told but SHAME ON YOU HARRY REID IZ NOT TRUE PANTZZZZZZZZ ON FIRE!!! Did you already figure out these guys are occasionally useful turds who are completely beholden to the standard Beltway tropes? Good for you. Fact-checking is a narrow pursuit in the world of politics, and to succeed one should stick to facts, and not start trying to be psychic.
Was Harry Reid told by a Romney confidante about Romney’s taxes? NONE of them know, period.
Weak-ass Democrats, flailing about? Check.
And yet, there are the wise ones. The ones who can see what’s plainly in front of their nose: Mitt Romney has every tool in his power to squash this. He can prove, tomorrow, that Harry Reid is just a gossiping old hen (and by any standard, Harry Reid is gossiping, but that doesn’t make him wrong). And make no mistake, if Mitt Romney paid one percent in taxes, the Beltway will come galloping to his defense. Here’s the groundwork, predicted rather than laid down by Michael Tomasky:
That is, maybe the information in the returns is embarrassing but no more than that, and Romney is just stringing everyone along. Say they reveal that Romney paid 11 percent or 9 percent or even 7 percent some years. That’s bad for him politically, but it’s not a nuclear bomb. And indeed, given how dark the speculation is right now about how whatever is in there must be terrible, this would be a pretty brilliant strategy: Let everything build to a fever pitch, with melodramatic speculation, and then, if the released returns reveal anything less serious than Reid’s charge (no taxes for a number of years), the media will decide that the Democrats overhyped the story.
Okay, so he’s laying the ground. Chin up, Tomasky, ya little ponce! If Mitt Romney really only paid about seven percent taxes, it’s completely devastating for Romney. Granted, at some point it may be damage control to release that information, but it’s not at that point right now because still, still, Mitt Romney thinks he is gaining something by continuing to hide. Seven percent would still qualify as insane for somebody that wealthy. Seven percent would still qualify as the embodiment of a system that is rigged in favor of those who can afford to buy the votes. Seven percent is half of the one tax revelation we did manage to squeeze out of Romney. Okay, it puts some egg on Harry Reid’s face, but who cares? He’s just the guy who accused his neighbor of murdering a dozen when his neighbor only murdered half a dozen. Yes, the Beltway is prepared to give it all a pass, but there’s no reason for anybody else to get out their voucher books. Michelle Goldberg:
When it comes to making wild, unsubstantiated allegations, the GOP benefits from the soft bigotry of low expectations—at this point, few people can bring themselves to get that worked up about insane Republican mudslinging. Yet when a Democrat even tiptoes in that direction it’s news, and a chance for pundits to demonstrate the bipartisan bona fides so valued in the Beltway.
Harry Reid may be in for a faceplant soon, but nobody knows, except perhaps Mitt Romney and his team of accountants, and they aren’t (substantively) speaking. Until they do, nobody really has much ground to lobby attacks at Reid. Certainly not Mitt Romney ensconced in his secrecy and hypocrisy, certainly not 99% of the Republican Party running on an entirely fictitious campaign against President Obama, and certainly not the false-equivalence monkeys running D.C. who call themselves fact-checkers until the moment comes where they need to show some balls.
Release your tax returns, Mitt Romney. Put us plebes in our place, as you are wont to do.
UPDATE: Oh, I forgot that just a day or two ago we were dealing with this massive, massive lie from the Romney campaign. So maybe when we’re done flopping out of our chairs over Harry Reid saying what somebody told him, we can deal with the Romney campaign telling us things that are obvious, falsifiable, verifiable lies that could only be spun by deliberate liars?
UPDATE II: A TPM reader points out that we must always listen to Romney’s precise words, because Romney is a professional liar who pays very close attention to his words when he can. If it is finally revealed that Mitt Romney paid minuscule percentages of taxes, expect NRO and other reliable reliables to harp on about how much Mitt Romney paid in other, non-income taxes.
Aug 06, 2012 in Clueless Conservatives
Mitt campaigns for Obama:
Jonathan Chait says this proves Mitt Romney knows his entire campaign is a lie, but who didn’t know that already?
An American gunsmith has become the first person to construct and shoot a pistol partly made out of plastic, 3D-printed parts. The creator, user HaveBlue from the AR-15 forum, has reportedly fired 200 rounds with his part-plastic pistol without any sign of wear and tear.
As you read on you’ll see that he did have to buy the metal portion of the gun, but that was the easy and very legal part. That’s a pointless point, however. We’re already here. What is it but a few years for the rest?
First billion goes to the person who figures out what will sell in an economy where people can buy a 3D printer and some chemicals to get guns, drugs, organs, furniture, etc.
Jul 25, 2012 in Politics
I bought eight tickets. Most are spoken for. How often does Morrissey play the Surf Ballroom? Never but once.
Jul 25, 2012 in Racism
After too long saying, “I know you are but what am I?” to anybody pointing out that Republicans have frequently behaved in horribly racist ways since President Obama first ran for president, the enabling has reached its culmination. At least I hope it doesn’t get worse than this:
“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have”.
What is there to say? Except too many will not say, because it just seems so improbable that a campaign official would be that openly racist, surely there must be some excuse! But shouldn’t we wait to hear what that excuse is from Mitt, instead of making it for him?
What’s up, Mitt? Do you stand by your advisor’s blatantly racist attack on President Obama?
UPDATE: Romney spokesman denies any agreement with advisor, which is to be expected, I suppose. We can afford it the standard weight any Romney camp denial warrants. Can we find out more about who this advisor was, Mitt? Nobody buys that you don’t know who it was.
Of course, economists have found that Republican “jobs” plans, which I’ve previously scoffed at, would create no jobs in the next five years and would create no more than “marginal” numbers after that. What’s the point? To get things Republican donors already wanted:
Carl Riccadonna, a senior economist at Deutsche Bank, said some of the bills could create jobs, but that they would amount to more of an afterthought in terms of achieving broader policy goals.
“They are very narrowly targeted, and it gives the impression that maybe some of this is special interest really pursuing these, not really taking a macro view but a very, very micro focus in what the impact would be,” Riccadonna said. For most of the bills in the package, “jobs are a second- or third-order effect, not the main priority.”
At the heart of the GOP jobs package is a push for rolling back regulations — and gutting environmental laws that regulate clean air and water — to spur job growth.
It’s rotten enough that we’re asked to trade clean air and water for jobs, but the promised jobs are just that, promises. In the end, the Koch brothers get a little more profit for themselves because they spend less money on protecting the environment, and everybody else gets heavy metals in their drinking water as compensation while they ship the money to an offshore account.
Republicans are against any direct action that would lower unemployment numbers, because high unemployment numbers are their only tool against Obama. They certainly don’t have a worthwhile candidate. So this is win-win for them, as they keep their industrial overlords content while doing nothing for the economy, making things harder for Obama while keeping the campaign cash flowing.
How clean water doesn’t interest them, well, you’ll have to figure that one out.
Jul 21, 2012 in Politics
I too was at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, and all I can really say about the tragedy is that we can’t take a reactionary approach and take out our horror over what happened on the movie that brought all those people together. They were there because they loved Christopher Nolan’s painfully brilliant Batman films, and they would have been thrilled with the movie had their lives not been so pointlessly taken off-course.
We must not let such killers have sway over us. Those who wish to terrorize and massacre want to be feared. They want to live in our minds. We must instead soldier on, while mourning the dead.
Celebrate their lives by celebrating their passions. Go see the movie.
Jul 19, 2012 in Politics
So look at what Obama said:
Then look at the ad Mitt Romney has released, editing out-of-context the phrase “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that” where “that” unequivocally refers to the American “system,” and “roads and bridges.
So the question is, did the guy in this ad get the full quote, or just the Romney-ed version? Because he should care about being lied to. And if he did see the full quote, expressing a sentiment that Mitt Romney repeated almost word for word himself just days later, while attacking Obama, then there you have a case study in completely fake winger sentiment. How earnest he is! I’m proud of the guy for what he accomplished, but guess what? So’s Barack Obama, and he said nothing less.
The only remaining question is who’s lowering themselves to the other’s level, Mitt Romney or the GOP base?
P.S. More questions: Are we to believe that maybe Republicans do think they personally built the roads they drive on? Or the Internet they’re spreading this smear around on?
UPDATE: Remember, Romney did this before. This counter-attack, once again, applies:
Jul 19, 2012 in Politics
What do you mean, “you people“?
Release the tax returns, Mitt, and keep Ann away from microphones.
Jul 13, 2012 in Politics
Sullivan was on fire today, going after Romney’s Bain record with a fearlessness.
He was listed as President, CEO, and sole stockholder of Bain until 2002 on SEC filings that carry criminal penalties if they are false.
He doesn’t dispute that he owned the company, lock, stock and barrel.
During that time we know that he was paid at least $100,000 – an enormous sum to most jurors. You don’t get paid that kind of money for doing nothing.
We don’t know how much more he was paid because he won’t release his taxes.
Before he ran for Governor of Mass in 2002, he talked about how he attended board meetings for Staples and Marriott – two Bain Companies during that time period.
He is responsible, like all CEOs, for what Bain did through 2002.
He says it took three years to “change the name of the CEO”? Bain would target a company, swoop in, divert all the cash, pick the bones, fire the employees and be gone in less time than that.
His story is (insert synonym for bullshit)
…could you imagine the outcry from the GOP if Obama claimed to be a “passive” owner of the company that was involved in disposing of aborted fetuses, and that his titles of CEO, etc., were of no significance? They would be apoplectic, and if he had given testimony like Romney under oath that he was not involved, the impeachment charges for perjury would already be drawn up.
What I love is the fake indignation Romney’s trying to muster after building his campaign on one blatant lie after another about Obama. Oh, but Obama suggests Romney might be responsible for Bain, and Romney immediately hurls the charge of “liar,” when everybody and their grandma knows Romney is a liar of such magnitude that cynical political observers are awestruck. But as the document dump continues, more and more evidence piles up that Romney himself hasn’t been able to keep his Bain stories straight.
Because when you lie constantly, it’s tough to keep track.
Jul 13, 2012 in Politics
But on the evening when the divisive former vice president opened his home at the foot of Wyoming’s majestic Teton Range to host a $4 million fundraiser for the presumptive Republican nominee, Romney’s campaign labored to avoid any photos or videos of the two men together.
While Thursday night’s fundraiser in some ways symbolized a passing of the torch from the previous Republican administration to Romney, Cheney remains a deeply polarizing figure, and Romney campaign aides went to great lengths to control how much the public would see from the event.
When Romney arrived at the Teton Pines Country Club for a late-afternoon reception, he was spotted shaking Cheney’s hand and giving Lynne Cheney a kiss on the cheek. But campaign aides quickly escorted reporters who were watching the exchange out of view.
Come on, boys, take one together…
p.s. Dick Cheney is awfully ungrateful to Obama for not prosecuting him for war crimes, isn’t he?
Jul 13, 2012 in Politics
1. Bend me over and call me Candy. Democrats have finally realized it’s okay to go on the offensive with the ACA, and that it was always stupid to run scared from a historic victory. There’s not many historical parallels for such behavior that I can recall, as generally an army did not retreat after sacking a castle. Personally, the fact that Republicans had to constantly make up stuff like “death panels” and blather about socialism is precisely what illustrated how weak and arbitrary the Republican case was, requiring most Republicans to disavow themselves of all previous convictions in favor of the individual mandate. It was always an opportunity to promote liberal values of health care for all, financial responsibility, and to reshape the forces driving health care costs upwards.
While the topline approve/disapprove polling averages may not have shifted much — the country remains evenly divided on the law — there is plenty of polling evidence to suggest positive movement for Democrats. According to a recent Kaiser poll, a plurality of Americans support the Supreme Court’s decision. More important, a clear majority — 56 percent — now say they think opponents of the law should give up and move on. Just 38 percent think Republicans should continue trying to block implementation of the law. A recent Bloomberg poll found that Americans strongly support most of the provisions in the law and that few want to repeal in its entirety when given the option of also expanding it or preserving certain provisions.
2. Always worth understanding what raw financial incentives there are in lubricating politicians friendly to your bottom line…when you’re a megamillionaire like Mitt Romney anyway:
3. The Mormon church is all about prosperity theology. Most of that ten percent tithe goes towards building the Mormon business empire, including giant shopping malls. Really, I am just waiting for the American right to convert to Mormonism. The rightwing version of Christianity is so far deviated from the Bible they might as well embrace the America Fuck Yeah religion.
5. The ACA is the biggest tax in history if you hate math.
7. So it’s $3 trillion in cash America’s largest companies are sitting on now? We’re in a vicious cycle where capitalism has been rejiggered to direct all profits to the top, leaving a smaller middle class to drive the economy with their spending. Thirty years of Reagan’s supply-side economics has led to an explosion of supply, with no demand. When will we return to a balanced approach?
Jul 12, 2012 in Politics
So Romney was part of Bain years after he said that he had departed which isn’t difficult to accept in light of his past troubles with telling the truth but what his company did during that time directly conflicts with his messaging about his sympathy for main street America and Joe Sixpack.
At the time Romney was acquiring shares in Global-Tech, the firm publicly acknowledged that its strategy was to profit from prominent US companies outsourcing production abroad. On September 4, 1998, Global-Tech issued a press release announcing it was postponing completion of a $30 million expansion of its Dongguan facility because Sunbeam, a prominent American consumer products company and a major client of Global-Tech, was cutting back on outsourcing as part of an overall consolidation. But John C.K. Sham, Global-Tech’s president and CEO, said, “Although it appears that customers such as Sunbeam are not outsourcing their manufacturing as quickly as we had anticipated, we still believe that the long-term trend toward outsourcing will continue.” Global-Tech, which in mid-1998 announced fiscal year sales of $118.3 million (an increase of 89 percent over the previous year), also manufactured household appliances for Hamilton Beach, Mr. Coffee, Proctor-Silex, Revlon, and Vidal Sassoon, and its chief exec was hoping for more outsourcing from these and other American firms.
Read the Wall Street Journal editorial page or turn on CNBC at any hour of any day and you’ll be told that companies are forced by lazy, greedy American looters and moochers to off-shore jobs and that’s a good thing BECAUSECAPITALISM. So why would the Romney campaign feel the need to deny doing what the market demands? If they were consistent with industry agitprop they would embrace the label as a virtue, hand the campaign microphone to the Reason magazine staff and have them explain how all rights not bestowed by private property are artificial and that working for seventy cents an hour is as natural as gravity.
They’ll continue to lie about Bain’s activities because they know that when exposed under harsh daylight reasonable individuals will find them contrary to their own instincts of survival and plain common sense. As Josh Marshall pointed out yesterday, when your opponent’s message is that he’s a gazillionaire and that his aim is to make sure that gazillionaires benefit the most from his policies it shouldn’t be difficult to form a reelection strategy highlighting these simple truths.
In twenty plus years of arguing with rightwingers, it’s become no surprise that basic skills like reading comprehension or rudimentary principles of statistics are immediately thrown out the window when there’s propaganda at stake. If you can put some numbers on paper, it’s good enough for most of them, especially bottom-feeder king Drudge. Thus, the stat that 83 percent of doctors considered quitting over Obamacare ran all day, and was accepted as fact by millions of Republicans today. Fortunately, some light has been shed on the methodology:
The survey was conducted by fax and online from April 18 to May 22, 2012. DPMAF obtained the office fax numbers of 36,000 doctors in active clinical practice, and 16, 227 faxes were successfully delivered… The response rate was 4.3% for a total of 699 completed surveys.
Run with it!
But hey, let’s keep letting morons like that steer our country.
Jul 10, 2012 in Politics
Rick Perry, who proved in the Republican primaries that he could give Sarah Palin a run for her money for the title of Dumbest Governor Evah, has some partisan points to earn, for some reason.
The man is already at the highest point of his career. And yet BECAUSE TEXAS he will ignore the needs of his constituents and the status of his state as having the most uninsured residents and grab onto the opportunity for a few more Tea Party points by resisting the Obamacare efforts to provide more healthcare for his citizens.
One in four Texans are uninsured, the highest rate of any state. The Medicaid expansion would cover 49.4 percent of uninsured Texans by 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The program is broadened to cover Americans within 133 percent of the poverty line — currently the eligibility for a working Texan parent cuts off at 27 percent. The federal government will cover the full cost of the first three years and pay 90 percent thereafter.
So there’s really no sacrifice for him to speak of. All he has to do is sit back and let the federal dollars roll in to cover Texas residents, but he won’t. What’s their reward? The cool, juicy sensation of avoiding SOCIALISM.
At some point, Americans have to start to wonder how much this Quixote quest against Teh Socialism is going to cost them, and if they’d have to be sacrificing so much if Republicans could figure out some other tactic against a Democratic president after eight years of Bush so thoroughly discredited the GOP brand. What else must we give up before the 1% will stop bankrolling Republicans to avoid paying their taxes?
Jul 06, 2012 in Politics
People excited about the Higgs-Boson particle should enjoy this:
That’s Mitt ‘The individual mandate wasn’t a tax when I did it but it is a tax when Obama does it” Romney. All possible configurations are available in a nanosecond.
Jul 02, 2012 in Politics
I’ll let Mitt Romney explain the Individual Mandate in his own words.
Jun 29, 2012 in Politics
“[W]e established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did … encourages ‘free riders’ to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others.”
Jun 28, 2012 in Politics
Upon hearing the news of the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act:
These are the appropriate reactions. Unless Boehner felt like cheering for affordable health care for all Americans, then he could smile too.
Republicans are going to run against Obamacare, declaring with fervent religiosity that now that they’ve failed to stop it in Congress, and they’ve failed to stop it in the conservative Supreme Court, they’re…going to take it back to Congress again! Because we can’t have this:
Gosh, that stuff really makes my blood boil.
Jun 28, 2012 in Politics
The telly says the ACA upheld, the mandate legal through (as I’ve said a hundred times) the taxing authority of Congress.
Holy smokes. This is the just outcome I had hoped we’d get from a genuinely conservative court.
Another fucking great day in America and for the Obama presidency.
UPDATE: A bad day for CNN and FOX…
Our friend AJKamper has pointed out that there are arguably principled positions against the individual mandate that undergirds the provision of the ACA that forbids insurers from declining patients for pre-existing conditions. So be it.
But there are some important facts to note before we treat this as some kind of escape clause for a boob-stacked Supreme Court with one justice, Thomas, who stands to profit from striking down the ACA entirely and another, Scalia, who seems to be auditioning for Limbaugh’s replacement once the Oxycontin explodes his heart.
First, as I have repeatedly noted, the individual mandate was a Republican concept, invented by one of the bulwarks of the rightwing think-tank cottage industry, Heritage. It was proposed as a counter-idea to Bill Clinton’s efforts to reform health care in the 1990s, championed by people like Newt Gingrich only a few years ago, and actually implemented by a Republican governor, Mitt Romney (who’d like you to forget his best accomplishment that he advised Obama to copy because, well, Obama agreed, and Romney’s had his programming rebooted a few times since then).
Secondly, the actual case’s history in the courts has been somewhat split among conservative justices (of course, liberal justices don’t matter…). Republican appointed, conservative judges have noted 75 years of precedent and ruled accordingly that there’s nothing unconstitutional about the mandate. A few scored headlines by going the completely partisan route, but there would seem to be a very palpable divide among conservatives who are doing their jobs and those who are being activist partisans.
Ergo, one would expect a split among the conservative justices in the Supreme Court. Indeed, many predictions have even seen Roberts break off and join Kennedy, although I call that at about 20%. I haven’t seen much from Roberts to believe that, but it’s not difficult to believe he’s less slimy than Alito, Scalia, and Thomas. (Update: Apologies to Roberts, sad disappointment in Kennedy)
So in a few short minutes, we should see a favorable decision for the ACA, and for the millions of people who would be adversely affected by a lockstep partisan 5-4 decision against a plan that had every mark of conservatism imprinted upon it until the moment a Democratic president embraced it.
Jun 24, 2012 in Crazy Tea Party People
But the second Obama invoked executive privilege to keep Issa from demanding yet even more documents after getting everything on the actual operation, the rightwing conspiracy theorists had all they needed.
Which, I imagine, is the intended effect of Issa’s demand. Either he gets full license to pore over every single burp and fart in the WH records to look for a scandal, or he runs into a roadblock and the base goes crazy.
Because you go ahead and advise skepticism to people who still think Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim.
UPDATE: Now Issa admits he isn’t even suspicious that Holder knew about the operation.
Tea Party favorite Governor Nikki Haley mouths some stupid platitudes about the government in order to veto a bill that would implement vaccination of young girls against the Herpes Papilloma Virus, which is spread by sexual transmission and can cause cervical cancer and infertility.
To Republicans, the fact that it spreads by sexual transmission is a feature, not a bug, because they like that it can help scare people away from sex. But do they say that out loud? No, we get, “taxpayer,” “mandate,” blah blah blah.
While one would be hard pressed to imagine blacks passing Jim Crow laws, most Republican women have no qualms about waging the War on Women if it scores them political points with their base. Nikki Haley is happy to play the part of vaccine nut so little slut girls can get cancer in their coochies. Haley says, “Now that I have a 14-year-old daughter, it is something that is very close to my heart in terms of what I’m going to do as a parent and what I want for my child.” She, of course, will make sure her own daughter is vaccinated in preparation for any potential prep school wangs that wander near her way, as harsh lessons are for other people’s (read: poor people’s) children.
Jun 18, 2012 in Politics
Ezra Klein with the historical breakdown on the genesis of the individual mandate in the Republican Heritage think-tank, its championing by Republicans as a free-market alternative to single-payer, and its immediate disavowal upon being embraced by President Obama.
On March 23, 2010, the day that President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, fourteen state attorneys general filed suit against the law’s requirement that most Americans purchase health insurance, on the ground that it was unconstitutional. It was hard to find a law professor in the country who took them seriously. “The argument about constitutionality is, if not frivolous, close to it,” Sanford Levinson, a University of Texas law-school professor, told the McClatchy newspapers. Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the law school at the University of California at Irvine, told the Times, “There is no case law, post 1937, that would support an individual’s right not to buy health care if the government wants to mandate it.” Orin Kerr, a George Washington University professor who had clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy, said, “There is a less than one-per-cent chance that the courts will invalidate the individual mandate.” Today, as the Supreme Court prepares to hand down its decision on the law, Kerr puts the chance that it will overturn the mandate—almost certainly on a party-line vote—at closer to “fifty-fifty.” The Republicans have made the individual mandate the element most likely to undo the President’s health-care law. The irony is that the Democrats adopted it in the first place because they thought that it would help them secure conservative support. It had, after all, been at the heart of Republican health-care reforms for two decades.
The scumbaggery is jaw-dropping just for the sheer political reversal founded on nothing other than fear of a successful Obama presidency, but Republicans may pay the price if their stacked Supreme Court acts like a bunch of hacks and tosses out the bill, leaving millions of Americans still needing health insurance with no obvious way to compel healthy people to join until they get sick.
But man, the scumbaggery of it all is enough to invalidate the Republicans as a responsible governing party. Nothing means anything to them, other than a big shiny R on the winning team.
…and then you thought about it for a few seconds and, oh, crap.
Or maybe not. Mitt Romney is a skilled liar, something which seems to be the primary byproduct, besides his $200+ million fortune, of his years at Bain Capital. He doesn’t walk in the room and sour the deal with inconvenient truths. He sees what the script for the deal is, walks in the room, and says it. When people ask questions, his goal isn’t to educate them. It’s to get the deal done. Period. It’s more complicated than selling Sham-Wow or unnecessary home remodeling, but it’s essentially the same task. I’ve had sales experience and felt forever dirtied by it, because of what I was told, over and over again: If they ask a question, the answer is yes, we can do it. We’ll figure it out later.
And so Mitt Romney will figure out how to be president later. That’s not on his radar yet. His job is to close that deal. The American people are just customers. He doesn’t care if they walk away from one of his speeches more or less informed, enlightened, or edified. He needs them to a) believe a gigantic pile of horseshit about President Obama and b) believe a gigantic pile of horseshit about himself. He piles it on higher and higher, thinking that even if many people distrust him, if they only believe half of what he says it’ll amount to so much horseshit that it’ll tip the scales to the desired 50.1% that he strives for.
And so it’s extremely useful to see this breakdown that makes it a little clearer that believing anything Mitt Romney says is foolish.
I’d cut and paste but each point on the list is accompanied by links, so please click through and soak it up yourself.
It was always about team sports, about fearing Obama riding in on a wave of popular support for health care reform and then actually getting it done and getting applauded for it. It amazingly got passed, but the Republicans merely kept running against it, deliberately focusing on the one aspect of it that wasn’t very popular, the individual mandate, and turning it into The End Of Liberty.
And now that we’re days away from the Supreme Court, stacked with Republican hacks, potentially fulfilling that blatantly partisan quest, it’s starting to sink in for Republicans that they’ll, um, probably have to do something about health care reform, especially since it’s finally starting to sink in with voters that losing the mandate means that discriminating against people for pre-existing conditions will remain.
The Republicans’ solution?
The individual mandate.
How can anyone reward Republicans in the voting booth after the way they’ve carried on the past three and a half years? At every juncture, it’s been about nothing but sabotage, sabotage, sabotage. Anything that would help America, they were against if it meant President Obama would get credit for it.
That’s the genial version of what I have to say on this, as I’ve deleted about three different conglomerations of profanity and rage.
Winner of Sullivan’s latest Yglesias award:
“As a local GOP official after President Obama’s election, I had a front-row seat as it became infected by a dangerous and virulent form of political rabies. In the grip of this contagion, the Republican Party has come unhinged. Its fevered hallucinations involve threats from imaginary communists and socialists who, seemingly, lurk around every corner. Climate change – a reality recognized by every single significant scientific body and academy in the world- is a liberal conspiracy conjured up by Al Gore and other leftists who want to destroy America. Large numbers of Republicans – the notorious birthers- believe that the President was not born in the United States. Even worse, few figures in the GOP have the courage to confront them.
Republican economic policies are also indefensible.
The GOP constantly claims that its opponents are engaged in “class warfare,” but this is an exercise in projection. In Republican proposals, the wealthy win, and the rest of us lose- one only has to look at Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget to see that.
As Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein have written, “the Republican Party, has become an insurgent outlier—ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.” Its reckless behavior helps drive the political dysfunction crippling our nation.
In the end, it offers a dystopian vision of our future- a harsher, crueler and more merciless America starkly divided between the riders, and the ridden,” – Michael Stafford, taking a stand.
I dunno, are guys like Stafford, Jeb Bush and Joe Scarborough launching a rebellion too late?
Are they trying to yank centrism back into the GOP before November, anticipating Romney bouncing back and forth continuously trying to placate both the Republican base and sane people? If they can establish some wiggle room, Romney can pander more to the center full-time and say aw shucks about the Ryan budget and other disastrous measures he has planned for us currently. He was just testing ideas, folks! They don’t necessarily care what Romney really thinks, but don’t want him in the Oval Office with primarily the Tea Party to thank (and cower before if he wants re-election).
Or is the fate of the country finally becoming too important for partisanship to keep these people quiet, current elections be damned? Attacking Grover Norquist is good for the US in the long run, but for any Republican running for office right now it’s extremely dangerous. Yes, Norquist is an ass-clown who makes Reagan look like a communist, but that’s exactly why he’s such a formidable representative of the Republican base.
Jun 05, 2012 in Journamalism
Everybody knows Republican obstructionism and economic sabotage is the problem, but the media won’t go near it with a ten foot pole. Of course, because ombudsmen like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, etc. will declare it biased, and Beltway hacks are scared to death of them. Authors Mann and Ornstein were respected DC insiders before, but were immediately locked out of the kool kidz klub upon violating standards of rudeness by displeasing those titans of polite discourse.
I don’t know what holds back MSNBC here, as only Chris Hayes has had Mann and Ornstein on, but seriously.
That discussion should be happening over and over again.
Republicans have been punching Democrats by punching the country and pinning the blame on Democrats. Why? Because everybody knows those wonderful swing voters, even if they know Republicans are obstructing everything Obama tries, are likely to go along with it and blame Obama for not doing enough. Why are any Democrats holding back?
There’s an argument for weakness there, but weakness sucks. You punch back when you get punched, and harder, and more often. Democrats are too busy trying to play fisticuffs when the Republicans are going full unregulated MMA on them, groin shots and all. And guess what? The referee is happy to hold each to their own standards. There is no fair play here. Why? Because the press isn’t afraid of fisticuffs either. Democrats still scatter for the hills when the Beltway tsk tsks them, and the Beltway scatters for the hills when the bloodthirsty Republican mob comes after them.
Republicans define liberal bias as the willingness of any news outlet to report news that is not purposefully meant to flatter Republicans. As we well know, only FOX succeeds at meeting their standard of fairness, whereas FOX is a Republican-funded video outlet of the RNC. Only that standard will escape criticism. Democrats need only ask for journalism to be done to prosper.
Jun 04, 2012 in Politics
Mitt Romney sure has fun pointing fingers at President Obama for having trouble putting out a Republican fire while Republicans continue to splash gasoline like happy toddlers, knowing the fire only brings down Obama’s approval ratings. However, he has some problems.
First of all, he cannot put his policies directly up against Obama’s. And the primary reason for that is that they are Bush policies, updated to be even worse. More defense spending, more tax cuts for the wealthy, and everybody else gets to go borrow money from their parents to keep paying for their parents’ Medicare. So it’s a complete wash.
Secondly, he cannot use his own career. Bain was just a profit seeking venture that gamed the rules to produce millions for Mitt and his pals, but the benefits to the economy were negligible and entirely secondary. And then the truth of Romney’s term as governor is coming out: That he took that same Bain record in and used it to get all the way to 47th out of 50 states in job creation.
Now Mitt Romney being Mitt Romney, blaming Obama for the Bush/Tea Party recession (Obama’s policies almost uniformly added to growth) is absolutely no impediment to Mitt doing an abrupt about face and whining that as governor of Massachusetts, he inherited a bad situation. Aw, you don’t say, Mitt? Were the Bush years tough on the economy? Gee, golly!
And yet, observe a comparison:
Compare the size of the hole each one inherited. And yet Obama is catching up by the end of the chart. Poor, disadvantaged Mitt.
Republicans are slowly warming to Mitt Romney because in an election year where the fundamental task is to lie as egregiously as possible in order to create a case where none exists (and one the Beltway is happily eager to accept as a devastating argument), that Obama is to blame for our problems and Republicans are the answer. Mitt Romney has seized the assignment with gusto, shooting signals every direction he can that whatever needs to be said at any particular moment, he’ll say. Or if it’s something too hot to touch, like birther madness, he’ll happily stand next to those willing to say it.
This is no partisan delusion. The Romney campaign is by every jot and tittle of the dictionary definition, a con job from top to bottom and back to the top again. It depends on people not paying attention. It depends on people forgetting. It depends on liars lying loudly and often. It does not in any sense rest on objective numbers, valid reasons, understandable feelings, or honorable duty. It is relentlessly corrupt, and any who choose to differ from now til November will not succeed in demonstrating otherwise in any comments thread on this blog.
Jun 03, 2012 in Politics
How do Republican presidents get out of recessions? By growing the government, of course.
“After there was a recession under Ronald Reagan, government employment went way up. It went up after the recessions under the first George Bush and the second George Bush,” Obama said last month on the campaign trail. “So each time there was a recession with a Republican president, compensated — we compensated by making sure that government didn’t see a drastic reduction in employment. The only time government employment has gone down during a recession has been under me.”
More broadly, federal spending growth under Obama has been remarkably low by historical standards. The pressure from the GOP and D.C. political elites, who have been hostile to Keynesian economics in recent years, has put the administration in a tough spot.
The Keynesian theory holds that government spending is necessary help lift the economy when it’s under-performing. Data shows that Republicans tend to accept it when they’re in power and that they benefit from it. But they’ve relentlessly attacked Obama’s efforts to stimulate the economy in the wake of the Great Recession, and have led the charge against financially helping cash-strapped states avert layoffs of public employees like teachers and police.
And Mitt Romney has already danced out of the likelihood that he would have the balls to go full-tilt with the disastrously fraudulent Paul Ryan plan. Of course, when a Republican Congress puts it on his desk, he’ll sign it, and then when things go south it’ll be Obama’s fault via some convoluted horseshit logic. Who knows? By then Republicans will probably be saying the stimulus was too small.
We’ve seen private jobs grow at a pretty good rate since Obama became president. The main drag on employment right now is the Teapublican Austerity Disaster: the absolute refusal to allow Obama any significant action on the economy coupled with the slashing of public jobs. Fewer and fewer people are able to spend (lower demand) and the “job creators” have no incentive to increase supply. Would you build a new factory if you still had inventory?
The more Republicans get to wage war on the middle class in favor of the ultra-wealthy, the weaker our economy will become. The less we notice how far the goalposts have moved since Reagan, the more they get away with.
Jun 02, 2012 in Politics
Morgan Stanley put you on the hook to cover a potential $52 trillion in losses:
Then yesterday’s Financial Times brought even worse news. To help save some cash in the event of a downgrade, Morgan Stanley was hoping to park a big portion of its $52 trillion derivatives portfolio inside its bank subsidiary—the portion of the company that functions as an old-fashioned loan-maker, not a hedge fund or investment bank. The reason for doing this is that it would lower borrowing costs that would otherwise shoot up when its credit rating dropped. Why? Because being a bank means you have lots of customer deposits, most of them insured by the federal government, and that you have access to really cheap loans from the Federal Reserve. If, say, you suddenly took a multi-billion-dollar bath on your derivatives bets, Uncle Sam would be there to absorb the losses, or at least help you manage them, and the bondholders who’d loaned you money wouldn’t feel the pinch. And, of course, the bondholders know that in advance, which is why they’re likely to loan you money at reasonable rates in the first place. Hence the low borrowing costs.
Sounds like an ingenious plan—just have the taxpayers subsidize the riskiest part of your operation! And, indeed, it is. As the FT notes, most of Morgan’s Stanley’s American competitors, chief among them Goldman Sachs, already house something like 90 percent of their derivative book in their bank subsidiaries (versus a mere 3 percent for Morgan Stanley today).
Bring back Glass-Steagall already.
The depths of cynical pandering: After spending three years railing on about the DEATH OF LIBERTY because of the Republican creation, the individual mandate, being the medicine that made all the sugar of the ACA go down, Republicans are starting to worry that voters will notice the sugar going away and, yes, they want to pander some more, sir.
I really don’t know how anybody considers Republicans to be any kind of fiscal conservatives, or responsible in any sense of the word. The mandate is what makes sure we have fewer free riders in the health care system. Republicans want to keep the provisions that protect people with pre-existing conditions? Then people have even more incentive to wait to purchase health insurance until they feel sick. Health insurance does not work when only sick people pay. It works when everybody pays the premiums, and then they get to go to the doctor when they need it.
But what they did was seize on the one aspect of the ACA that didn’t poll so well and make the entire program about that, whitewashing from history the fact that they invented the goddamn thing (and Mitt Romney signed it into law for Massachusetts, of course). As the ACA was designed to slowly roll out, people had little sense of the positive and only heard the negative. And those dumb Team Republican fuckers went all the way to their packed Supreme Court, just for the political victory against the object of their insanely irrational hatred, President Obama.
I swear, are they trying to get it dismantled so they can pass it again with their name on it?
Why do I feel like that’s a dumb question?