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:
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.
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.
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“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.
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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?
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This could serve as everything that needs to be said about the increasingly deranged idiot Allen West, who has apparently smelled the money in being the hero of those rabid conservatives frequenting blog comments sections. That he is a black man willing to echo or top the vilest Tea Party rhetoric makes his popularity guaranteed, as there’s nothing white racists love more than a token black to shield them.
One thing Americans could do is stop electing such stunt politicians. Yet they’ve become a Republican staple. Bachmans and Palins and Wests cranking up the crazy and then acting persecuted to raise money when people slap their foreheads in disgust.
How can the Republicans be considered a responsible governing party with such fools as their heroes?
Comments Off on On our skewed political spectrum and how it permits the nuts in the Republican party to rise to power.
But after the war on women that the Tea Party waged once in office, I’d say it’s a topic well worth addressing. Is the Republican vision for the future one in which only nice well-to-do families get access to birth control? And then we stop support programs for poor children and everybody pulls themselves up by their bootstraps, resulting in a country where 90% are objectively wealthy? And everybody starts doing this once we permanently ban gay marriage?
The Brennan Center estimates that 18 percent of all seniors and 25 percent of African-Americans don’t have picture IDs.
Estimates are that it could cost up to $35 to obtain the necessary documents when not in the possession of the voter, plus time off from work to obtain during working hours. And with many people struggling due to the economy, where many sometimes don’t have enough money to buy food and put and keep a roof over their head, it’s unlikely they will have an extra money to pay to vote. Although the government-issued photo ID needed to vote is free, the certified birth certificate or passport needed to obtain one, if unavailable, costs money. And there is additional cost to obtain even more documents, in those cases where a name change is involved due to marriage or divorce.
Can we just fast forward to this being thrown out in court?
The whole “socialism” charge is usually an indication that somebody doesn’t understand what socialism is or that the USA is already a capitalist-socialist hybrid. But they had to think of something to say about Obama, and so policies that should have been largely uncontroversial suddenly became hot-button issues, and now Republicans are so swept up in their cries for unfettered lassez-faire capitalist destruction derby that they’re opposing absolutely anything Obama proposes for the middle class and even coming up with new attacks on social fortifications we thought untouchable (e.g. child labor laws). Their anti-Obama mania has resulted in a group of utterly self-interested Galtians completely useless to anybody else, especially most voters and anybody un- or underemployed.
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One of the numerous problems with the Tea Party was that they were never really organized around any idea beyond “commie black president takin’ my tax dollars and giving them to lazy black parasites,” but even that was secondary to the big goal, which was to shift power from the semi-rational Republican elites and put it in the hands of the crazy base. The elites, realizing where the wind was blowing, quickly offered deference, but did everything they could to make sure that someone other than their own voters contribute the suffering that Tea Partiers demanded. You see, it’s always somebody else out there sucking the lifeblood out of the government, the government benefits you receive are what you deserve!
Comments Off on The danger of believing anything Republicans say-
A good primer compiling numerous resources on the cause of the 2008 financial collapse. Short version: Just because Republicans decided everything was the fault of blacks and the gubmint doesn’t mean anybody has to take it seriously. Just like invading Iraq after 9/11, they decided that the best thing to do was blame the people they already hated, so they came up with whatever it took to paint that picture, even if it meant leaving out virtually the entire story of what really happened.
Regardless of whether or not Republicans are racists or just generally bullshitters and assholes, the fact is that we as a country really have to stop giving them any credibility until we see real proof. Over and over and over again Republicans make grave pronouncements and intimations of irrefutable fact, and just as often we find out that not only are they wrong, but easily verifiably wrong by the most basic empirical standards. And their mistakes are rarely harmless. We elected them back into office in 2010 without ever holding them accountable for 2008. We didn’t even expect them to know what happened in 2008, instead we listened to their fabulous fibbing yet again. And how successful can a repairman be if he doesn’t understand what’s broken? As could only be expected, they only did further economic damage to the country, directly destroying jobs, damaging our credit rating, and taking us to the bring of economic Armageddon (just to prevent tax increases on the rich, mind you).
No party that cannot come to terms with our predicament and what caused it can be trusted to lead, period.
Really, if there’s one guy who embodies everything whiny, stupid, self-righteous, and willfully-oblivious about the right more than Erickson, I don’t know who it is. He’s not even smart enough to be a Limbaugh or even as charming as Hannity is occasionally capable of being (in between long bouts of logorrheal stupidity). Erickson’s just this ginger blotch on the internet, never an original or insightful thought in his head, just a desperate need to belong to something since all the hipsters won’t talk to him. Well, jackass, I don’t get a lot of hipster-love either, but I didn’t dedicate my life to getting revenge on them with stupid stunts like this 53% non sequiter bullshit.
Really, Erickson, you ignorant idiot, I’d love to see you take the bait and show up here, because “Erickson gets ass handed to him on obscure blog” would be a great headline. Unfortunately, Erickson, like any weak-minded idiot on the right, won’t let himself get caught up in anything resembling a rational debate with anybody who isn’t already a mouthbreathing rightwinger unless he can spout some soundbites and scramble.
It just amazes me that after 30 years of continual pillage by the wealthy, where even the top twenty percent of earners have barely seen gains compared to the top 1%, that when Americans finally get pissed enough to speak up about it he can only think to throw a tantrum that has nothing to do with it, EXCEPT HE HAS A PERCENT TOO!!!
Bring it on, Erickson, you sad sack.
UPDATE: Terrific tumblr here lampooning the maroons calling themselves 53%-ers. Best one here. So many of them are ranting about how poor they are and how they’ve needed government assistance or employment, yet don’t realize that they aren’t in that 53% that pays income taxes. Btw, who passed a bunch of tax cuts ten years ago excusing so many more people from income taxes?
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““What we’re getting from this administration in response to the tanking economy are deflections and diversions from what really matters, which is President Obama’s failure to create jobs,” said Romney spokesperson Ryan Williams. “President Obama has turned America into an economic disaster zone. The only question is whether we can make it to the election of 2012 before Obama takes us all the way back to 1929.””
So let’s see…:
a. Accusing of “deflections and diversions” while deflecting and diverting from the substance of Axelrod pointing out what everybody knows, that Romney will say absolutely whatever he thinks will get him a vote, regardless of whether he said the opposite yesterday.
b. Making up shit and pretending that the Obama administration actually made the economy worse, actively. Nearly everything Obama’s gotten past Republicans and idiot Blue Dog Democrats (corporatists who check in to see what Republicans think before articulating any positions) has been beneficial, but actively harmful? No, Romney, for that you have to go to the Tea Party House for doing everything it could to destabilize the economy via debt ceiling threat. And the stimulus running out doesn’t count as active harm, but rather proof that Obama’s been doing a lot more for the economy than he gets credit for.
Mitt Romney really does set a new bar for I WILL SAY ANYTHING SIR!-methods of acquiring public office. Taking that as a given, regarding any bit of huffiness from his campaign as anything other than more unintentional comedy is entirely warrantless. Now he is trying to balance Crazy Tea Party people with the general election campaign he wants to run, but that’s just testament to the fact that Romney’s no dummy, and when he tells a lie he quite surely knows he’s lying. He’s just trying to tell the base that he doesn’t want to badmouth them, but that when it comes to the general election, he’ll give Obama the toughest fight.
Except, as we can see already, Mitt Romney is a glass-jawed hair-dye salesman who obviously can’t take a punch from the Obama team without wetting his pants. He should be thankful his Republican opponents are too afraid of him being the general election candidate to truly take him to task, but he’d better be prepared for the big time if he makes it through the gauntlet of “Anybody but Romney!”-Republicans.
MIAMI — Islam and tea party activism clashed at a raucous meeting Monday night when a group of Broward County Republicans blocked a Muslim activist as a member of the party’s executive committee.
Republicans, who changed their rules to publicly vet Nezar Hamze and then vote on his application by secret ballot, said they didn’t oppose him because he was a Muslim – but because he is associated with the Center for American-Islamic Relations, whose Washington-area affiliate was an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal terrorism indictment.
Hamze, CAIR’s South Florida director, said his local group had nothing to do with the suspect activities in Washington. He said CAIR advocates for civil rights for Muslims, who have been unfairly targeted ever since 9/11.
“I’m aligned with Republican values. And I want to serve the party,” Hamze said, who earlier told a reporter that any effort to block him was the result of anti-Islamic “bigotry.”
At times, when he addressed the packed room at the Sheraton Suites in Fort Lauderdale, a few members shouted out among the crowd of about 300.
“Terrorist!” said one man.
This being Republicans, efforts to make things up were quickly instituted:
Aside from questioning his motives, there was also a dispute about how long he had been a Republican. Party Vice Chair Collen Stolberg said Hamze became a registered Republican only since August and that before then he was registered with no party affiliation.
Hamze said that wasn’t true. He said he changed his address in August, but has been a registered Republican for about a decade.
Of the 11 applicants for the party, only Hamze was rejected – the first time anyone in the room could recall that happening in a county where Republicans complain about how outnumbered they are by Democrats.
Prior to deciding the new-member applications, a Republican successfully moved to change party rules and require that applicants say how long they’ve been a Republican and to take five minutes worth of questions for the crowd.
Hamze called it “The Hamze rule.”
How’d he do? “In the end, the Broward Republican Executive Committee voted 11-158 to block him from committee membership.”
Now one could make the point that this is religious discrimination that just happens to be directed at non-whites (which requires ignoring the implications of the Bush torture regime), but it underscores a larger point easily seen when one adds in immigration or gays: discrimination, exclusion, and vilification of the “other” is at the very core of who the modern Republican party is.
As for those Republicans who would like to avoid getting entangled with racist Republicans, maybe they should spend some time confronting and condemning racist Republicans instead of whining and fueling the white resentment further?
When you have the right ideas and the public has your back, the last thing you need to be afraid of is the crazy Teapublicans throwing a tantrum and yipping CLASS WARFARE CLASS WARFARE over and over again.
…Obama’s new jobs plan, and the provisions within it, have clear public support:
* A slim plurality is very or somewhat confident that the American Jobs Act will improve the economy and create jobs, 48-47.
* A solid majority, 56-30, favors significantly cutting payroll taxes for working Americans.
* A majority, 52-40, favors Federal aid to state governments to avert public employee layoffs.
* A huge majority, 80-16, favors spending money on the nation’s infrastructure in order to try to create jobs.
* A big majority, 71, favors reducing the deficit through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts; a meager 21 percent favors only spending cuts.
* A solid majority, 56-37, favors reducing the deficit with tax hikes on households earning $250,000 a year or more.
* A solid majority, 56-29, thinks creating jobs should be prioritized over cutting spending.
Now, we’re talking about Democrats here, so naturally we have the horrible idiot who bungled Hillary’s campaign, Mark Penn, actually lecturing Obama for choosing class warfare and not going for the “center.” Well, besides the fact that Obama’s policies are actually aimed at benefiting the real center of America, the middle class, they have majority support, but one would be a fool to think this is what guides the chickenshits in the Democrat Party who most love to claim the “centrist” label.
No, “centrist” Democrats are just chickenshits who jump whenever Republicans throw a tantrum. Their overriding commandments are 1. Accept all Republican premises in any argument and 2. Run from any fight with Republicans, no matter how extremist or fringe they are. And yet it’s guided entirely by electoral fear of a group that obeys neither in respect to Democrats.
This next year and the election capping it off really are all about what’s best for America. As president, Obama will take a hit if America isn’t doing better no matter how much people love his policies, no matter how much they would oppose Republican policies, no matter if those policies do actual good. Republicans have realized this calculus and embraced it, engaging in blatant sabotage of the economy to keep things bad as long as Obama is in office (not that this would guarantee things improving under a Republican, but they’ll take their chances…after eight years of defending Bush they’re used to brushing off failure). The incentives are in place…what helps America helps Obama, what hurts America helps Republicans (although Democrats putting up a real fight would alleviate that somewhat). Are Republicans going to take the high road and potentially sacrifice 2012 in order to help get America back on its feet? Don’t hold your breath.
Really, they’re left arguing that President Obama and the Democrats may have these plans to help the country, but they’re only doing so to keep their jobs. In other words, they’re doing the right thing but for the wrong reasons. Now, it’s pretty hard to overstate just how reprehensible and insulting that is to Democrats, but whatever. Republican insults are as cheap and plentiful as oil used to be. And they’re usually based on projection. What would you expect to hear from people who deliberately held the American economy hostage in order to prevent the rich paying a penny more in taxes? Again, do you smell any sense that Republicans are feeling electorally selfless lately? Projection.
But who cares? Politicians who help the country to keep their jobs are what one expects in a democracy. Democrats have only fear of Republicans saying mean things on FOX news as their inhibition, and if that rules their judgment, then they deserve to lose (note: That still doesn’t make voting for a Republican a smart thing to do, they also don’t deserve to win!). If Obama decided he’s going to fight for everyone in America who isn’t uber-wealthy because it’s the right thing to do, great. If he decided that because he knew he’d be a one-termer if he didn’t, great! Any Democrat supports most of these policy prescriptions, and it used to be that Republicans supported them too. Whatever it takes to kick them in the ass is good, and the public being on their side needs to matter this time. If you see a chickenshit Blue Dog kvetching and moaning about the “center,” kick that dog in the ass extra hard.
Average Democratic Senate support for Bush: 45.5 percent.
Average Democratic House support for Bush: 36.8 percent. Average combined Democratic support for Bush: 41.1 percent.
Average Republican Senate support for Obama: 8.8 percent.
Average Republican House support for Obama: 2.7 percent. Average combined Republican support for Obama: 5.75 percent.
If you’re mad about the government not doing enough to help the economy since the collapse of 2008 capping off two terms of Republican leadership enjoying coooperation from Congress, it certainly doesn’t make sense to be angry at Obama for not stomping his feet harder. Republicans have been waging war on him since they were thrown out in 2008, and when they got some power back in 2010 they used it to wage economic sabotage against the entire country just to have a chance in 2012.
We heard a lot about patriotism during the Bush years, but working against helping the country after the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression? And then expecting to be rewarded for it? What exactly do Republicans have to do to offend the public?
Allow me to distance myself from the people shouting YEAH!!! at the prospect of letting an uninsured person die in the hospital.
The Republicans have built their little boat and they’re sailing out to sea in it, searching for that pure libertarian paradise. My question is, can we keep these debates going forever, and can the audiences be entirely teabaggers?
Funny how Republicans never seem to listen to Wall Street anymore.
Stocks dropped Friday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 303.68 points, or 2.7 percent, to 10992.13. Analysts blamed Europe’s debt woes for the fall, along with the resignation of European Central Bank board member Juergen Stark. Stark is resigning because of a conflict over the bank’s bond-buying program. Analysts also attributed the drop to skepticism that President Obama can get his $447-billion jobs package through Congress. (emphasis added) Finance chiefs from the G-7 countries meet Friday to discuss the global economic situation.
Wall Street didn’t like the debt ceiling threat either.
Oh, do we need reminding that in Obama’s first two years with a Democratic Congress Wall Street saw its losses recovered and corporate America sits on a big pile of cash? According to Republican boilerplate of the past 30 years, if you save the rich then everybody else profits. To say that Reagan Christ’s beloved trickle-down economics has been discredited is to be too kind. And yet Republicans talk about is how high corporate taxes are.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, is frequently the go-to guy for both parties when it comes to analysis of various jobs proposals. So, what did he think of President Obama’s speech last night? Here’s the report: “The plan would add 2 percentage points to GDP growth next year, add 1.9 million jobs, and cut the unemployment rate by a percentage point.”
But there’s a higher principle at work here for Republicans. Why help the economy and add jobs when doing so helps Obama keep his? Economic sabotage is all they have. When Obama’s foreign policy is nearly unassailable (from the right) and supply-side economics has failed, what else do they have but to hurt the economy and hope people point the finger at Obama?
Fortunately, with just 26 sane Republicans in the House, Obama could pull this jobs plan off. That leads one to the next question: Are there 26 sane Republicans in the House?
So it looks like Perry just blew the general election, which will have many Republicans looking at slickster Mitt Romney as the more electable candidate. I know, Republicans, it hurts…Perry reawakens all those tingly parts that went off when Dubya rolled onto the scene, except his sins are twice as bad and his virtues are nowhere to be found. And reminding people of Dubya isn’t going to be a winner in 2012 or hopefully any year ever again. Despite all the hype, Perry has turned out to be a slightly less unhinged Michele Bachman with testicles and a heart that never skipped a beat over the thought of the innocent people he executed.
-which means that he’s got a great chance of snagging that nomination. Cheers!
Not that Romney would be much more trouble for Democrats. Whoops, Republicans just nominated a governor whose main achievement is identical to Obama’s health care reform bill? The freedom-killing government takeover (that isn’t…)?
Some people are having a bit of trouble feeling enthused about Obama after a recent string of concessions to Republicans, but 2012 really seems to come down to something vs. nothing. Republicans, in an effort to sabotage the economy and deny Obama legislative successes, have painted themselves into a corner where doing anything to actively help the economy is somehow bad. Now that will end the moment a Republican holds office again, as it only began the moment a Republican left office, but in between they’re a bit stuck. Obama is proposing a fairly modest $300 billion jobs bill, which is kind of like the stimulus but without so many tax cuts. I haven’t looked at the details much, but neither have Republicans. There’s no need, they already know they’ll reject it. Because it’s doing something. The government should just ride it out!
These, along with some other tax changes suggested by Romney (repealing the Affordable Care Act, for example) would result in federal revenue averaging just 16.7 percent of gross domestic product. That’s far below the 20 percent of GDP that Romney says he wants to spend (though, of course, he neglected to lay out what he would cut to get there). It’s even below the levels suggested by House Republican Budget, which abolished Medicare as we know it, slashed Medicaid, and still didn’t balance the budget until 2040.
Taken together, Romney’s fiscal policies would be even worse than the House Budget. His spending levels are the same — though he provides few details as to what he would cut to accomplish this — but his revenue levels are even lower. The result would be continued unsustainable deficits and more debt. In fact, Romney’s plan would yield approximately $6.5 trillion in deficits from 2013 through 2021.
Given these facts, it is odd that Mitt Romney also supports an amendment to the U.S. constitution that would require balanced federal budgets. Romney’s plan doesn’t even come close to balancing the budget, instead resulting in unsustainable deficits and growing debt.
So, how does Romney deal with the fact that his own fiscal plan would be unconstitutional if President Romney got his way? He doesn’t. Either he hasn’t done the math, or he’s hoping you won’t notice his numbers don’t add up. Either way, it doesn’t reflect all that well on him or his economic “plan.”
Well, he’s stuck! He can’t propose anything, but Republicans think tax cuts magically don’t result in deficits. The Bush tax cuts being the biggest contributor to our debt in the past decade hasn’t fazed them. The Republican credo has become this: Nothing but tax cuts is good, tax cuts are always good.
Republicans might as well run Perry, because Perry is who they are. When somebody mentions that 234 people were executed on his watch, Republicans clap and cheer (no, not making that up). Innocents shminnocents! Who’s Cameron Todd Willingham? Who cares?
Can anybody believe we wouldn’t return to using torture under President Perry? To Republicans, that’s a selling point. The rest of us should consider just how lucky we’ve been to have Barack Obama as president, no matter how much better we’d hoped he could be. Maybe that incredible progressive president lies ahead of us, but in the actual United States of America, Obama’s pretty goddamn good as far as presidents go. We’ve got 99 problems, but Obama ain’t one.
Perry’s Texas has 27.2 percent of its population without health insurance – the worst record in America. Massachusetts has an uninsured rate of 5.2 percent – the best. And yet Romney is still apologizing for this achievement.
But then he goes and asks a question that he seems to know the answer to:
Tell me: is it actually a Republican goal that people cannot have decent access to healthcare? Do they have any proposals to help? So far, the examples seem to be yes and no.
Now, in 2008 anything less than comprehensive health care reform was unacceptable, so McCain scrambled to pretend he had a universal health care plan just as good as Obama’s. Alas, voters could smell the difference, chose Obama, and Republicans proceeded to flip out because Democrats dared fulfill that campaign pledge. When it comes general election time again, You might see Republicans backslide a bit on that, but there’s no question what the GOP base believes: if you don’t have healthcare, that’s just God separating the producers from the leeches.
“Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn’t about helping the poor,” Vadum writes. “It’s about helping the poor to help themselves to others’ money. It’s about raw so-called social justice. It’s about moving America ever farther away from the small-government ideals of the Founding Fathers.”
Seriously. Go to rightwing blogs, listen to talk radio, this is merely the logical conclusion of what these guys talk about all day. It’s all “Horrible liberal parasites vs. noble rich conservative wealth creators!” All day, every day.
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The Republicans are going to deride whatever he does as Son of Stimulus, the right-wing propaganda apparatus will put a fatwa on the head of any wavering House member or senator, and no plan with “Obama” in its name is going to clear the Senate, let alone the House, and that will be that. We know this.
This is why it’s so chillingly disheartening to read quotes like Carney’s and Earnest’s. The plan can be bold. The plan can be modest. The point is that he has to fight like hell for it. But he won’t. He is the anti-Broder on this front. Remember how the late David Broder wrote all those columns lamenting partisan gridlock, carefully blaming both sides, pointedly ignoring the mountains of evidence that it was chiefly Republicans driving the divide? Well, Obama, rather than blaming both sides, blames neither. He speaks of ending partisan gridlock in a disembodied and remote way, and he talks about it as if it’s an act of God that has descended on the capital, like Irene did—and one that can be overcome if we all just put our shoulders to the wheel.
But the truth is that our gridlock is an act of man—or men. Particular men. They even have names. They are McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor. God forbid the president criticize them. It’s two more syllables than “Martin, Barton, and Fish,” the trio of Republican obstructionists FDR famously called out (read this for a little background on how Obama could be behaving differently), but the president’s an articulate fellow; he could handle it.
President Obama seems to be dipping into the crazy juice when he still talks about how Washington is going to come together and work to solve our problems. Yes, that’s what’s necessary, but it isn’t going to happen, and he needs to acknowledge that and choose how he’s going to spend the final year of his first term. There’s a terrific case to be made against Republicans for what they’ve tried to do to sabotage the economy and prevent any successful legislation that even appears to have come from President Obama, but Obama simply cannot move forward acting like anything’s going to change in the next year. Why should it? As stupid and destructive as it is, the GOP cockblock strategy is hurting Obama’s ratings and that’s all Republicans care about, even if it means cratering their own. Maybe it won’t work for them next year, but there’s no reason for Obama to let them have the chance. He needs to be the guy we elected the next year, the guy who ran on change we could believe in, who ran on standing up for progressive principles, for working families, for all the people the Bush/GOP years left behind.
The most important thing people need to see is that Obama cares and he’s fighting for them. If he fights for them and the Republicans oppose everything he does, then the Republicans are opposing the people. This is already the case, but it needs to be made crystal clear. Republicans are bullies. They will talk shit, they will insult, they will lie, they will make up anything they want about Democrats because they can usually expect Democrats to not fight back, and slowly the taint creeps. But when you fight back, Republicans scatter, whine, cry, complain, and moan about how hurt their feelings are. So Democrats veer between being wimps and, the second they fight back, mean ole’ meanies who are so very cruel and shrill. That’s falling right into the GOP playbook.
No, what you do is keep pressing forward, keep pointing your finger, and keep touting your values, the positive values that lead you to fight for all Americans, not just the wealthy and white. President Obama has actually done some pretty significant things for the poor, most importantly health care reform, but he can’t rest on his laurels and wait for progressives to kiss his ass, as his admin has sometimes signaled they’d like to do. The political capital is burned up. It’s time to earn some more.
Somedays you just have to go check the comments section on Michele Malkin’s blog to get a load of the runaway insanity. WTF is up with this?
I PRAY for the day I see (Obama) GO DOWN hard!! I want him in cuffs. I want him in an orange jump suit and living in Sheriff Joe’s tents. I want him to ADMIT he hates this country and has been a traitor all his life. I want to hear that from his lying blue lips. That is my dream. SOME of that will happen. I truly believe that.
I’m looking for a science journal where I can publish my theory that anybody who calls Barack Obama “Barry Soetero” is an asshole. It’s pretty scientific.
Wall Street and the Tea Party…what a relationship. Wall Street loves that the Tea Party wants to keep its taxes low and cut up all that troublesome regulation that makes them play fair, but then the Tea Party runs around doing shit like opposing TARP, holding the nation’s credit rating hostage and threatening a new recession, and choking off that government spigot that keeps the economy limping along (as opposed to crawling along, or rotting in a ditch along). What to do?
Ladies and gentlemen, some of you know a bit about dysfunctional, torrid love affairs where one day it’s epic bed parties and the next it’s dodging cutlery. *faraway stare*
For months they sat around cheering on the tea partiers and declaring solemnly that the federal budget was just like a household budget and we needed “real action” on the debt in order to build confidence in the economy. Then, suddenly, when they got it, they realized that what they really wanted wasn’t dumb slogans but actual policies that would help spur the recovery. And that means looser monetary policy and fiscal stimulus.
So which is it? Has Wall Street really been sitting idly by during the whole debt ceiling debacle and has only now realized what it really means? Can they really be so steeped in the Fox News fantasyland that it never occurred to them until now that cutting federal spending during an economic downturn wasn’t really a great idea? Seriously?
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These charts render 90% of Tea Party babble into its original form, pure political horseshit:
Beware following up a Republican who screws everything up for everybody, because if they can do that, you can sure as shit bet they’ll try to pin the blame on you, even if you’re the one trying to fix the problem they created.
America has a AAA credit rating, but because Republicans suddenly decided to play chicken with the useless formality called the debt ceiling, something that was never supposed to happen, US debt is starting to look riskier and riskier. Republicans have kept up their anti-deficit campaign to such a high volume that the world is starting to believe them in a sick self-fulfilling prophecy. Problem? Republicans value tax cuts for the wealthy more than they do fixing the deficit, and they’re dangling our economic future over the fire in order to pursue their real agenda.
Analysts with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, the nation’s top two rating agencies, declined to be quoted on the record, indicating that even benign statements about timing and ratings decisions can rattle markets and startle investors. But earlier this month, both agencies placed the U.S. government on notice of a downgrade of at least one notch, if not more, to a AA rating. In a written statement, S&P analysts said they believed “there is an increasing risk of a substantial policy stalemate enduring beyond any near-term agreement to raise the debt ceiling.”
In other words, we aren’t even supposed to be having this conversation. A plan to solve our deficit problems, great. An ultimatum that we do it the Tea Party way or they willingly induce a recession, not so great.
America, do you still feel like these guys are looking out for you?
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TRUMP: Frankly the Republicans would be crazy unless they get 100% of the deal that they want right now to make any deal…If this happens, for instance if this stuff is going on prior to an election, he can’t get reelected. He possibly can’t get elected anyway…The fact is, unless the Republicans get 100% of what they want, and that may include getting rid of Obamacare, which is a total disaster, then they should not make a deal other than a minor extension which would take you before you the election which would ensure Obama doesn’t get elected, which would be a great thing.
BRIAN KILMEAD: If you look at the average American when they’re polled, it seems the President of the United States gets less of the blame than Republicans do, but you see Republicans with maximum leverage.
TRUMP: Absolutely the Republicans have the leverage. I don’t care about polls. When it comes time to default, they’re not going to remember any of the Republicans’ names. They are going to remember in history books one name, and that’s Obama. They’re not going to be talking about Boehner or anybody else. […]
The funny thing is that Kilmeade’s main concern is that the plan might not work, not that it would be nearly treasonous and destructive.
I know I’m supposed to be nice and not toss around the Treason word and Republicans are generally nice people and their feelings are going to be oh so bruised if I point out the obvious, but the question is, is it true or not? And if it isn’t true, I need to hear some real reasons, quickly. When you hold the US economy hostage to prevent the rich from paying more in taxes, even when Democrats are conceding and compromising and bending over backwards to work with you, have you not crossed a line?
I don’t care about bullshit excuses, wayward math, and ideological babble about freedom, you don’t deliberately seek to tank the country just to get your way, especially when you’ve only got the House.
Hat tip to our awesome media for doing such a shitty job of informing the public about what’s happening and still trying to play the “both sides are at fault!” false balance game instead of practicing journalism. Yes, people are blaming Republicans more, but 58% think Obama isn’t compromising enough? As Bill Maher said, what do they want Obama to do, put on a leash too? The compromises Obama and Reid have put forth look like Reagan’s wet dreams, they’d be huge Republican victories if a pre-Tea Party Republican had proposed them.
How’s that Tea Party working out for folks? Maybe electing the people who wanted the economy to fully tank in 2008 wasn’t such a great idea?
Did you enjoy getting huckstered again, America? The verdict on the Tea Party is in: no jobs, a war on women and unions, and holding America and the world’s economy hostage.
One can only imagine what they’d get to do if mean gangster usurper Obama weren’t holding them back. I just wonder what happens if the voters reject the Tea Party after letting them in with a name change and some sweet talk? Where from there? They’re absolutists, there’s no room for anybody else’s choices.
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Over at Dana’s blog the Fourteenth Amendment’s protection of the validity of the US debt has produced a sort of nervous chuckle without anybody really willing to explain how Republicans could force the US to default without violating the Constitution. Something tells me they’re feeling a bit blindsided.
But when your only goal is to do whatever hurts President Obama, even if that means tanking the economy, you gotta be careful of those blinders.
Sounds to me like Democrats just need to show a little spine to save the country and themselves.
Ah, shit. We might be screwed anyway then.
UPDATE: Fourteenth Amendment fever popping up here and here.
Over at Dana Pico’s blog I’ve noticed that when all arguments about why we must ONLY cut spending and not increase revenue are dismantled and packed into little boxes and shipped to the Bad Idea Depot, Dana and others fall back on an excuse that rests mostly on belligerence, suspicion, and megalomania. Let me explain.
The excuse is, roughly, “If Democrats succeed in raising taxes, they’ll just spend the money!”
Now, let’s look at the ways this is all the things I described it as and more. Perhaps most importantly, Dana and the Republicans don’t seem to realize something: They aren’t in complete control of the government. They have the House, not the Senate, and not the White House. Yet notice something funny about these debt ceiling “negotiations”? Yep, every Republican is dead set that there will be no tax increase. Sound like a compromise to you? Republicans get everything, Democrats get nothing (deficit doesn’t get fixed)? In Republicanland, that is exactly their definition of compromise. Any fair American must reject this approach.
Let’s look at the flipside: If we cut spending, Republicans will just cut taxes more and we’ll be in more deficit trouble. Is that true? Well, considering the Bush tax cuts are the biggest single contributor to our deficit problems today, and that they were enacted at a time when we were just starting to get ahead of our deficit problems, I’d say it’s a very real risk. In other words, since it just bloody happened and we’re still paying the price, I’d say the inverse of Dana’s statement is far more true.
Another point: Right now, there’s not much room for more spending. Our deficit has grown so large and we have such problems ahead keeping Medicare in the black that it’s unlikely we’ll see any new programs soon, and that’s a shame as one thing we could spend on would be more jobs programs, but Republicans are dead set against that. Dana doubts Democrat sincerity about wanting government to be solvent, but Dana also wanted Dick “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter” Cheney as president in 2008. The historical record suggests that Republicans tend to be most foolhardy when it comes to deficit spending, not Democrats. Democrats want government to be solvent and functional so that it can be robust and ready when problems arise. We could have been so much better prepared to handle the crash of 2008 had we not already been neck deep in Bush credit card spending. So the realistic order of events is we cut spending sensibly, raise revenue, pay down the debt, and then where there’s extra money and good use for it, we spend.
Finally, this is barring a concrete solution now over prejudicial insults. Whereas Democrats are trying to meet Republicans in the middle in a fiscally smart manner, Republicans are threatening to let the US default on its debts and bring on an economic Dark Ages that will make 2008 look like a boom. Yet Republicans have no ground on which to stand to claim to be more fiscally responsible than Democrats, and if one insists on being completely fair, both parties have sinned. It’s nice that Dana doesn’t trust Democrats, but why should anybody trust Republicans? It’s supposed to be a bipartisan negotiation, so bite the bullet, give the other guy some of what he wants, and get some of what you want.
Failure to do so will only underscore Republican irresponsibility, and the country will soon see that the price of the 2010 amnesiac vote returning Republicans to power has been to ensure at every step we will make things worse than they could have been. If Republicans can’t grow up, and do so quickly before the US gets downgraded further, they’ll prove what I’ve been saying along, that Republicans have played the part of arsonists jeering the Democrat firefighters for not putting out the fire, meanwhile they’re still running around spraying lighter fluid and calling it holy water.
I started looking for a great block quote, but I’d just have to steal the entire thing. Every word is worth reading. In short, there’s just too much evidence that anything that’s good for the economy is good for Obama, so even if it used to be a Republican idea, they’re against it now. Please, please just read it.
Sound familiar? Yes, of course, that was the same drill for the Affordable Care Act, which was modeled on Republican counter-proposals to the Democrat’s ideas of the nineties. As Tomasky notes, when Mitch McConnell stepped into the role of House Speaker, he broadcast his complete agenda entirely, and it wasn’t about jobs or the deficit, it was to make sure Obama was a one-term president. Given that a vision so bankrupt and obvious isn’t likely to succeed, voters have to wonder, what the hell was it all for?
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Here, then, are 10 Inconvenient Truths About the Debt Ceiling:
1. Republican Leaders Agree U.S. Default Would Be a “Financial Disaster”
2. Ronald Reagan Tripled the National Debt
3. George W. Bush Doubled the National Debt
4. Republicans Voted Seven Times to Raise Debt Ceiling for President Bush
5. Federal Taxes Are Now at a 60 Year Low
6. Bush Tax Cuts Didn’t Pay for Themselves or Spur “Job Creators”
7. Ryan Budget Delivers Another Tax Cut Windfall for Wealthy
8. Ryan Budget Will Require Raising Debt Ceiling – Repeatedly
9. Tax Cuts Drive the Next Decade of Debt
10. $3 Trillion Tab for Unfunded Wars Remains Unpaid
Click through for the details. It’s pretty frustrating trying to have deficit debates with Republicans when they simply refuse to acknowledge the basic realities and fundamentals of the problem. They got their spin, and they don’t want to unlearn it, even if the good of the country depends on it.
Bruce Bartlett describes what the cheap, “MORE tax cuts now, unspecified minor spending cuts later!” Pledge to America GOP “plan” illustrates:
Today, Republicans believe that deficits are nothing more than something to ignore when they are in power and to bludgeon Democrats with when they are out of power.
It’s important to remember that the deficit was just something the Republicans latched onto the second they were facing the prospect of being out of power. When they lost the elections of 2006 and 2008, they were at the tail end of six years of nearly uninterrupted Republican rule and the verdict was in. They had nothing. No plan for the future, no explanations for their failures, just anger. Whatever they could harness that anger to was good enough. George W. left behind a $1.3 projected deficit? Blame it on Obama, return to blathering about budget-busting tax cuts and vague spending cuts. The Republicans added the Tea Party moniker to rebrand, promised that they really meant it this time, and proceeded to bash Obama for two years without regard for the facts. Now their biggest priority is scaring the Democrats into passing along $3 trillion in tax cuts by declaring total war to win an extra $700 billion for the country’s wealthiest citizens. They were all about the deficit, until they got that tax cut candy waved in front of their nose.
If the next six years actually saw Democratic rule by a party that wasn’t constantly terrified of what people like Glenn Beck say, we’d be on the way back to fiscal recovery. As it is, even if Democrats survive this election relatively intact, they’ll only be more scared. I mean, if you can’t have a victory like 2008 and work up your courage, a close call is going to make you braver?
This country may be entering some kind of paradigm where the party out of power always has the drive, because things are constantly turning into shit. Of course, we’re still dealing with the fallout from GOP rule, but capitalism, the climate, and our resources have combined forces to launch the U.S. on a downward trajectory that we won’t soon escape. If Democrats in power can’t face that fundamental fact and fight for their solutions, then they’re going to get bounced in favor of Republican magical thinking. See, Republicans don’t have any solutions, but they don’t care. They’re just worried about winning elections, so they get their soundbite and go full steam.
The Democrats are in fact the only ones who can be trusted on the deficit, historically and presently. Every one of them can take the deficit issue and shove it right up Republican arses this Fall. We’ll see how many do.
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It was the middle of a tough primary contest, and Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) had convened a small meeting with donors who had contributed thousands of dollars to his previous campaigns. But this year, as Inglis faced a challenge from tea party-backed Republican candidates claiming Inglis wasn’t sufficiently conservative, these donors hadn’t ponied up. Inglis’ task: Get them back on the team. “They were upset with me,” Inglis recalls. “They are all Glenn Beck watchers.” About 90 minutes into the meeting, as he remembers it, “They say, ‘Bob, what don’t you get? Barack Obama is a socialist, communist Marxist who wants to destroy the American economy so he can take over as dictator. Health care is part of that. And he wants to open up the Mexican border and turn [the US] into a Muslim nation.'” Inglis didn’t know how to respond.
It used to be that if you said George W. Bush was an idiot who invaded Iraq on false premises you were accused of Bush Derangement Syndrome.
Some days, I tell ya…
Anyway, it’s a good tale of another conservative hitting a roadblock of frustration with the stupid and crazy that is today’s GOP base. Should be happening to Dana over at CPST any day now…