Archive for July, 2010

Boehner knows how to kill the audience.

Jul 31, 2010 in Economy, Politics

Boehner pretends he had nothing to do with the Bush tax cuts expiring, room full of people who know he worked on them in committee bursts into laughter. I love that joke!

Oh, but they’re not the Bush tax cuts anymore:

In the meantime, Boehner is also urging Republicans to stop referring to the Bush tax cuts as the Bush tax cuts. GOP members are supposed to fight for the failed former president’s tax policy, but avoid using the failed former president’s name.

Yeah, calling them the Bush tax cuts might remind people of the guy who rode the economy into the ground and then high-tailed it.

It’s Bush tax cuts/massive deficit vs. Clinton tax rates/surplus. The country is ready, Democrats are scared, but this is an easy fight. I say let them expire entirely. If I owe $47,000, it’s time for me to start making a payment on that bastard. This is how I’ve eliminated tens of thousands of dollars in debt before, that’s something I’m fine with doing to keep the country out of the hole and to kill that damn interest payment.

We should be the ones loaning the money and profiting.

-hw

Republicans are not on your side, cont.

Jul 30, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives

Screw small business, the GOP says. Not if it means giving Obama and the Democrats a victory for ordinary everyday American entrepreneurs.

It’s sad, but right now there’s one party struggling to fight for most Americans, and there’s one concerned about President Obama’s popularity, and it’s not how Glenn Beck paints it. The Democrats are trying, even against a few of their own at times, to do things that will benefit the bulk of the country. The Republicans have simply gone all in, all principles sacrificed, unwilling to grant Obama anything but more war funding.

If it means you lose, tough shit. The people paying for the ads, who the Republicans don’t want you to know about, win.

-hw

Off message!

Jul 29, 2010 in Politics

But only for a brief moment:

Since there is no George W. Bush Economic Miracle to point to it’s taken as a matter of pure faith or natural law that nudging tax rates back to where they were during the Clinton boom years will result in disaster. There will be a disaster but it will be political and not fiscal. The travesty that they fear will take place is a reduced deficit which will kick the ladder out from under the deficit peacocks. When budget numbers begin to improve they will then be left with the unsavory task of telling voters that it’s in their best interest to do what Goldman Sachs says or else run the risk of their fury and retribution. Republicans are good at believing their own bullshit but I don’t think even the most foolish Tea Partier is going to buy into that rationale.

-mg

We’ve got some growing to do.

Jul 29, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Energy, Environment

Ezra Klein gets to the heart of the difficulty in passing good environmental legislation:

If you wanted to design a threat that our political system couldn’t address, here’s what you’d do: You’d make the pain of doing nothing come much later, but the pain of doing something begin right now. You’d concentrate the costs of failure in poor countries, while the costs of a policy solution would be concentrated in certain regions of America. You’d make it hard to solve without the imposition of a new tax. You’d make sure that some of the largest and richest industries in the world had an enormous amount to fear from that tax.

Well, that settles it, I guess. Here goes our grand experiment in seeing what happens when you have over 400 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere…soon to be 500;)

Future’s so bright…all we can be thankful for is that oil is depleting quickly enough to force alternative efforts. Hurrah to the Chevy Volt…and here’s hoping Dana Pico learns what an early adopter is! It’s somewhat expensive now, but the economies of scale are amazing things, aren’t they? One year’s $600 iPhone 2G is today’s $200 iphone 4.

And Dana can hope the petroleum lasts forever, but it won’t be because “little toy electric cars simply are not us.” Our oil supplies will not remain cheap and economical because it we need to drive manly beast cars. We are not able to endlessly pollute the earth’s atmosphere simply because we can’t be bothered to charge a car. Desire is going to run right up against possibility and lose that battle. Unfortunately, climate change legislation faces certain political impossibilities because the GOP continues to drop the ball on our future and our grandchildren’s future for the sake of present greed.

-hw

Republicans are not on your side.

Jul 27, 2010 in Politics

DISCLOSE loses 58-40. Mind you, the 58 voted for it.

It’s Senate math, of course. A minority of Senators representing a smaller minority of the country, in service to an even smaller ruling class that wants to influence politics behind the scenes can stop the people.

I’m sure the Tea Party will get right on top of that and remind their GOP representatives that they represent THE PEOPLE and must stop the filibuster.

-hw

Language follies

Jul 25, 2010 in Politics

From the NYT:

In recent days, fiscal conservatives like Senators Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Evan Bayh of Indiana expressed support for extending the tax cuts at all income levels, at least temporarily.

“Fiscal conservatives,” were it to mean people who were actually fiscally conservative, would not support giving rich people more of the tax cut that already helped propel us into deficit spending.

The veil has been lifted on this sham. When it comes to the poor and middle class, every dollar in assistance is fought for tooth and nail, in the name of the deficit. But when it comes to the rich, no expense is too much. All reason flies out the window, because the rich is who Republicans and too many idiot Democrats serve. A billion to billionaires is money well spent, while a billion that would help thousands avoid devastation is fraudulent waste.

Yes, these clowns would perpetuate the tax cuts for the lower and middle class, but that’s just the lube to help the screwing, a trinket for the dirty masses that calms them down while the rich claim the real prize. Obama always said he only wanted to keep the tax cuts for most Americans, and that hasn’t calmed “fiscal conservatives” at all.

I wish the librul NYT would just stop making up these terms for Republicans and like-minded Democrats. Bill Clinton had the most fiscally conservative administration in decades and none of them cared.

Part of being fiscally conservative is being willing to pay your bills. The Bush tax cuts were a fantasy that yielded nothing and, along with the other Republican fantasy of deregulation, led us straight into our current quagmire.

But as we learned about the NYT, it always knows when to defer to power and instill Newspeak when necessary. Torture wasn’t torture when Bush did it, and now continuing the policies of the most fiscally irresponsible President in history (who else could we possibly say compared?) is “fiscally conservative.” They know who they serve.

-he

Watching Fox

Jul 24, 2010 in Politics

Ann Coulter on Afghanistan: “Who cares about the Afghans? This is a typical Democrat war!”

Whew. Well, they became fiscal hawks the second Bush left, and now they don’t give a damn about nation building in the Middle East. Of course, Obama put more chips on Afghanistan, but if Bush had done the same we would be FIGHTING TO WIN!

Coulter wants to hang Afghanistan on Obama’s neck with all her malformed heart. Democrats already hate the war, and she knows that turning the GOP against it will mean more political bleeding.

At the same time, Republicans want to keep a few cards up their sleeves for when Obama pulls out so they can call him weak. So I see them letting Coulter vent and drain public confidence, but waiting to pounce anyway.

Like Coulter, they really don’t care what happens there. Like every other issue, they have no interest in the outcome, except for what can benefit Republicans.

-he

When forwarded emails aren’t enough.

Jul 19, 2010 in Politics

More right-wing violence:

Yesterday, 45-year-old parolee Byron Williams opened fire on Highway Patrol officers in Oakland, California. After a brief shootout, Williams, who was wearing body armor, was shot and is currently in an emergency room in stable condition at a local hospital.

In an interview with the local news, Williams explained that her son was unemployed, angry at “left-wing politicians,” and upset about Congress “railroading through all these left-wing agenda items.” Williams went on to say that she kept guns in her house which her son stole. She also warned of a coming “revolution”

Where’s Eric Cantor to explain that the librulz are responsible for putting the patrol officers in danger?

Main St. vs. Wall St.

Jul 16, 2010 in Barack Obama, Disappointing Dems

Or, as HuffPo puts it, “Warren vs. Geithner.”

The key weakness of Obama’s presidency so far has been that he chose Geithner and sided with his philosophy throughout. Whenever there was a chance to do something that would seriously reform Wall St., Geithner stood opposed, while Elizabeth Warren spoke out for those who had nobody to speak out for them.

And what did Obama get for it? “Anti-business!” After eight years of, “Hey, why don’t you guys write your own regulations?”-style Bush oversight, who could expect business to be satisfied? It should have been axiomatic that Wall St. would be against change, because Wall St. started out on top and finished on top.

When Volcker and Warren are louder voices in the administration than Geithner and Summers, Obama will have a more effective administration and a whole hell of a lot more trust from the people.

In other news, some stuff called “financial reform” passed today, the product of whatever it took to override yet another Republican filibuster. There are a few positives, but I’ll believe it changes something when I see it.

-hw

Restoring scientific integrity.

Jul 11, 2010 in Politics

Maybe fire the Bush hacks who were screwing up things before?

In keeping the Bush Interior Department managers and policies in place, Ruch said, Obama appointees have “turned a blind eye toward federal court rulings that said Bush-era lease reviews were environmentally deficient, as well as a GAO report documenting how agency scientists were routinely stifled and ignored.”

It’s important that President Obama give scientific integrity more than lip-service. I’ll grant that the man has too many plates spinning at the moment to deal with some minutae, and Obama is still trying to get scores of appointees through the obstructionist Senate, but it shouldn’t take more than a single conversation to set this problem straight. Fire the old hacks, let scientists work unimpeded by political concerns, enjoy the results.

-hw

This is exactly right.

Jul 09, 2010 in Politics

Obama frames the 2010 election as “Those who caused the problem vs. those trying to fix the problem.” I’d say, “Do you really want to hand the wheel back to the drunks?” but it’s the same idea. Obama and the Democrats came into office with a massive sweep, and the only Republican response was to double and triple down, take use of what they had, the 40 lock-step goons who call themselves Senators, and abuse it like heroin. Obstruction without construction. Scream in fear at simple, common-sense ideas and many smart ones, babble about Hitler and fascism, and completely step out of the process of fixing anything.

The GOP reign of the 00’s was a disaster for this country. Taxes were lowered, deregulation was the order of the day, but business collapsed and needed a taxpayer bailout. The entire economic philosophy of the right was laid bare, fundamentally condemned by harsh reality.

The new meme is “Obama is anti-business.” As Paul Krugman deftly lays bare, this is simply usual for business. They’ve made out handsomely the past two years, but their always against taxes that shave a few millions off their bonuses, and they’re always against regulations. Curiously, they’re always for a bailout too.

After all, they aren’t hurting after the largest economic collapse since the Depression. Everything went awesomely for the country’s richest, so why change anything? Republicans can try running for office on the promise that they’ll give us MORE deregulation and MORE tax cuts for the wealthiest, but not too many people can really be fooled by that, because it’s so obviously more of the same. More of what ruined us.

The election is a no-brainer. The GOP has already hamstrung the Democrats too often, resulting in a stimulus too weak to juice the economy as much as the experts who saw this coming predicted was necessary, a health care plan that won’t be able to save taxpayers over a hundred billion with a public option, and slow growth on the green economy. Infrastructure is still crumbling. Teachers, cops, and firefighters are facing budget cuts. Libraries are open less. People for whom no job even exists are told they’re lazy and lose unemployment benefits. Forget welfare to work, it’s just no welfare and no work.

Great vision, Republicans.

Really, we’re going to hand the drunks the keys again?

Really?

-hw

DOMA overturned?

Jul 08, 2010 in teh gay

Ruh-roh! Teh gay is outside your door, wanting…to marry another gay!

-hw

Ann Coulter vs. Bill Kristol

Jul 08, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Politics

It’s only normal to gain a great deal of satisfaction from Ann Coulter kicking Bill Kristol in the nuts. Bill Kristol has been wrong about everything his entire career. So has Ann Coulter, of course, but she’s got way bigger balls that Kristol.

I think Coulter is starting to sniff out a Republican critique of Obama as a war president. She’d like to be able to attack Obama for being in Afghanistan and elect a Republican who will promise to “fight the war right!” Pull a Nixon on Johnson, say. They’ve got to find some angle on 2012, anyway. But still, seeing her pick a fight with Kristol is a sweet reward. Some actual infighting on the right is welcome respite for our country. Years of lockstep monkey-see/monkey-do politics in the right-o-sphere has left us with a Borg collective gripping our democracy. It’s time for them to do some questioning of basic assumptions, so as to relieve this nation from the pressure of their stupidity.

-hw

Just some friendly advice for my fellow liberals.

Jul 07, 2010 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Disappointing Dems

When the chairman of the RNC slips up and admits Afghanistan is a foolish mission, don’t sound like a Republican peddling old excuses for Bush. Support him, say he’s got the right idea. Observe who he pissed off most: neocons.

Obama has set things up so that he won’t be held to a course until he makes a choice. Yes, it’s supposed to be July 2011, but if he wants to stay, he will. If he wants to roll into the election owning the Afghanistan war, that shit won’t fly. The “I’m against dumb wars” guy will be coming back to us with a dumb war on our hands.

Meanwhile, “sober” expectations of Pentagon cuts range around 30 billion in a few years. 30 billion? It’s better than nothing, but it’s hardly a dent in the spending problem. We need to scale down the war and military spending, and every voice helps, because it needs to be a bipartisan consensus to ever happen.

-hw

Another skull added to my trophy cabinet…

Jul 07, 2010 in Politics

Sometimes I just have to go over to CPST and knock’em around a little bit. Real wingers can only handle a few exchanges of actual point-counterpoint debate before they descend into some noisy attacks and declare, “I’m outta here!”

Deceit is their inspiration, deception is their intention, presumption is their method, and fabrication is their first resort. Previously, I thought it was a reading comprehension problem, but that’s not it. Than I concluded it might be the result of a modern public school education. But that’s only part of the problem. Now, I see it’s just plain dishonesty masquerading as stupidity. Technically, they may not actually be all that stupid, but they wear the fool’s mask in order to cover their dissimulations. I’m largely through playing straight man with liars and posers. My patience is running thin, my time here may not be long, and I’ve got other fish to fry.

That’s the sweet sound of winger surrender. They literally cannot admit defeat, so when they’re out of answers, they run out the door calling names. From the ISCA bbs to newsgroups to blogs, the trend remains the same. I stand there, a rock that they break against, with the last post of real substance. Of course, they scream and claim they are great and I am terrible, etc., but without the goods it lands like baby punches. They tickle me.

Oh, for bonus points I toyed with a 9/11 truther, blubonnet. My habit of not suffering fools lightly does tend to result in a lot of skewered righties, but I’ll eat a truther for breakfast any day!

-hw

Sacred cow chainsawed.

Jul 07, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives

Rightwingers, plug your ears! (tip: Sullivan)

Plenty of European countries have markets about as free as those in the land of the free. Look at the ratings provided by the annual Economic Freedom of the World report, co-published by the Cato Institute. On four broad categories of economic freedom — legal structure and security of property rights; access to sound money; freedom to trade internationally; and regulation — the United States was slightly “freer” than Sweden, the United Kingdom, Austria, Finland, and Switzerland. Meanwhile, Ireland, the Netherlands and, by a wide margin, Denmark were found to have freer markets. Note that the two highest scorers have two of the biggest welfare states in the world — which just goes to show that blurring issues of regulation and redistribution, as Brooks tries to do, leads to intellectual confusion.

Co-published by the Cato Institute? And they didn’t automatically plug America into the #1 spot? Traitors!!!

This is good too:

A 2001paper, “Why Doesn’t the United States Have a European-Style Welfare State?” by economists Alberto Alesina, Edward Glaeser, and Bruce Sacerdote, provides powerful evidence that race is at the center of the story. There’s a strong negative relationship between a country’s racial heterogeneity and its levels of social spending, and within the U.S., states with larger black populations spend less on welfare programs. “Americans think of the poor as members of some different group than themselves, while Europeans think of the poor as members of their group,” the paper concludes.

Two words: Welfare queens. The GOP is still convinced that there’s lazy darkies out there getting all their tax money; it’s one of their animating beliefs. Whether aid has positive benefits or not, whether it’s good for the country or not, the (white) identity politics prevail.

-hw

Prototype: Solar mixed with hydrogen power.

Jul 06, 2010 in Energy

A self-sufficient home:

On a typical summer day, the solar panels drink in and convert sunlight to about 90 kilowatt-hours of electricity, according to Strizki. He consumes about 10 kilowatt-hours daily to run the family’s appliances, including a 50-inch plasma television, along with his three computers and stereo equipment, among other modern conveniences.

The remaining 80 kilowatt-hours recharge the batteries—which provide electricity for the house at night—and power the electrolyzer, which splits the molecules of purified tap water into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is vented and the hydrogen goes into the tanks where it is stored for use in the cold, dark winter months. From November to March or so Strizki runs the stored hydrogen through the fuel cell stacks outside his garage or in his car to power his entire house—and the only waste product is water, which can be pumped right back into the system.

“I can make fuel out of sunlight and water—and I don’t even use the water,” he notes. “If it’s raining, it’s fuel. If it’s sunny, it’s fuel. It’s all fuel.”

Now, granted, the set-up cost half a million dollars. But as a pilot-project, this is a superb effort. The trick of solar is always about spreading the power surplus around to the hours that the sun isn’t shining. As always, hydrogen is price-prohibitive, but being tech mass production and refinement may yield long-term results.

-hw

Real ‘Merkins update.

Jul 05, 2010 in Politics

Harry Reid spotted in the seats at UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin. Woot!

BTW, that was perhaps the greatest heavyweight fight ever. My jaw dropped when I saw Lesnar and Carwin face to face, and Carwin matched Lesnar in sheer size. This was like the Hulk vs. the Abomination.

-hw

Librul media update.

Jul 01, 2010 in Journamalism

If Republicans declare the sun to be the moon, the NYT will step right out of the middle of that controversy!

-hw

UPDATE: More here, on how 12 million people losing their unemployment benefits doesn’t rate as big news. Hey, Republicans are for it, so who’s to say?

Nobody’s safe.

Jul 01, 2010 in Politics

“Ronald Reagan would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today.”

-Lindsey Graham

Lifelong Republican hack Lindsey Graham is kind of shocked to discover that he’s no longer in the KKK (kool kidz klub), but the definition of a Republican is shrinking so quickly nowadays that anybody is suspect. Whether it’s Lindsey, Bob Bennet, or the pro-Palin conservative bloggers who were a bit steamed for getting ejected for live-blogging a Palin speech, the GOP is going all-margin, all the time.

-hw