Archive for September, 2011

Republican sabotage means we are actually doing things their way.

Sep 29, 2011 in Politics

I really can’t stress how important it is that every word coming from a Republican should be doubted until proven to be true. They really just can’t help making things up, but they also don’t want to stop making things up, so there’s no incentive for rehabilitation.

The current state of the economy guarantees that Republicans headed into 2012 are going to do everything they can to hang that around Obama’s head, regardless of the fact that Obama always erred in the direction of Republican/Blue Dog Democrat priorities, and that Republican obstruction and intransigence has actually delivered a lot of what Republicans say we need to do in order to help the economy. I mean, one can only be a fool for trying to make sense of what the Republicans say, because above all else their only concern is 2012 and preventing Obama from overseeing a recovered economy that everybody in 2008 knew was going to knock us off balance for years.

No hiring surge will happen until that job killing stimulus spending winds down; until Dems allow Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts on the rich; until Dems agree to deep cuts to Federal programs; until municipal governments are forced to cut back and fend for themselves; until Dems embrace the notion that government must tighten its belt to restore business confidence; and until Dems begin seriously basing their policy response to unemployment on the conservative idea that if we only reduce the deficit, a thousand economic flowers will bloom. Only then will we see the surge in employment we’re all waiting for.

Oh, wait…

But that doesn’t work for 2012. No, after two years of automatic filibusters and the big Tea Party blowout of 2010, we’re supposed to believe the Republicans have gotten nothing and bear no responsibility for anything.

The reality is that they’re getting most of what they want as well (as things they used to want when Republicans proposed them), and they’re stopping lots of things they say would hurt the economy (again, do not try to make sense of this, as they say the stimulus hurt the economy when it actually helped a lot). No, the election of the Republicans to the House delivered lots of nothing, and one big something: The holding of the American economy hostage unless they got their way on spending cuts, resulting in the Tea Party Downgrade. That, along with the stimulus running out, has put us directly into the stagnant hole we’re in.

No, there is to be no logic, facts, or reason applied to 2012. Republicans want to win, period. They know that even though the public supports the policies of President Obama and the Democrats, they are likely to punish them at the ballot box for whatever the economic climate is in November 2012. It’s a fundamental irrationality in the nature of the voting public, and therefore fundamental irrationality is all one can expect from the Republicans in 2012. Not that any election year has produced particularly rational Republican candidates.

Democrats have to be real simple about this: Where they’ve gotten their way, we’ve been helped, and where Republicans have gotten their way, we’ve been hurt. We’ve tried to play fair, President Obama has certainly done so to a fault, but trying to make everybody happy has made nobody happy. Firefighters cannot work with arsonists if the goal is less fire.

Yes, I intend to use that metaphor until 2012 and beyond, so if that’s a problem, sorry. The underlying reality that metaphor describes hasn’t changed, and won’t change in the next year.

-hw

De-program the rich-worship/poor-hatred.

Sep 29, 2011 in Politics

The whole article by Joshua Holland is necessary reading:

In his classic book, “Why Americans Hate Welfare,” Martin Gilens found a striking disconnect: Significant majorities of Americans told pollsters that they wanted public spending to fight poverty to be increased at the same time that similar majorities said they were opposed to welfare. Gilens studied a number of different opinion polls and concluded that the disconnect was driven by a widespread belief that “most welfare recipients don’t really need it,” and by racial animus — “perceptions that welfare recipients are undeserving and blacks are lazy.”

A quick rundown of the ideas that have embedded themselves into American culture via the GOP that aren’t true and tear away at our will to make this a better country for everyone:

1. Registering the Poor to Vote Is “Un-American”
2. Unemployment Benefits Have Created a “Nation of Slackers”
3. You Can’t Really Be Poor if You Have a Color TV!
4. Food-Stamps: “A Fossil That Repeats All the Errors of the War on Poverty”
5. “The Main Causes of Child Poverty Are Low Levels of Parental Work and the Absence of Fathers”
6. Taxing Working People Less Than the Rich Is “Perverse”

If any of those sound good to you, go read the article. If they don’t but you’d like to better learn why they’re wrong, go read the article.

-hw

Collective stupidity.

Sep 27, 2011 in Election crap

Remember those Diebold voting machines sold to us by Republicans that were ridiculously easy to hack? Nothing’s changed, except that it’s now easier.

-hw

Breitbart’s rhetorical game.

Sep 27, 2011 in Crazy Tea Party People, Culture, Politics, Racism

The whole problem with online writers pulling the ‘The Tea Party isn’t racist, Democrats are racists for calling us racist!” routine is that Tea Partiers love to get out there and represent themselves in the blog comments.

And then there’s the real world:

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?

-hw

Don’t drink water while reading this.

Sep 26, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives

Rick Perry’s campaign tries some fake outrage after Obama zings Perry for his climate-change ignorance.

“I mean, has anybody been watching the debates lately?” the president said while speaking at a Silicon Valley fundraiser on Sunday. “You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change.”

Politico reports that Ray Sullivan, a spokesman for Perry, said, “It’s outrageous President Obama would use the burning of 1,500 homes, the worst fires in state history, as a political attack.”

If you read that as anything other than comedy, I don’t know what to say to you.

-hw

Triflin’ fools.

Sep 26, 2011 in Energy

I dunno, I guess the Republicans think they have something here with Solyndra?

Now Jesus knows Republicans don’t require anything other than an opening for an ominous soundbite to flail their arms and possibly start impeachment proceedings. They want an opening, and they want it bad. So what appears to be sloppiness and an eagerness to get green energy works projects going is now Teh Sinister Conspiraceeeee!

But here’s the underlying reality behind why Solyndra failed: While Darrel Issa is moaning about the horror of losing $500 million investing in Solyndra (they should have opened their factory in Iraq, Republicans would forgive them for blowing billions), China has invested $30 billion in solar energy, and is now blowing us away. US share of the market has plummeted to 7%.

Are Republicans angry that we let China develop an industry that could beat ours? Nope. Captain Dipshit, Ed Morrissey, concludes that since our smaller subsidies didn’t elevate the American solar industry above the better-subsidized Chinese ones, that subsidies are a bad idea.

Are Republicans unable to stomach billionaire George Kaiser donating some money to a Chicago Hospital to curry favor with politicians? In a post-Citizens United world, where legalized bribery has become constitutionally protected? Where Google decides it wants better taxes and anti-trust forgiveness, so it starts larding money on Republican politicians? Getting a politician’s ear by dropping large chunks of change into their campaign coffers is how Washington works, and the conservative Supreme Court has removed all obstructions to corruption. That said, greenlighting green energy was something the administration already firmly believed in, donations or not.

On the other hand, Republicans are so enmeshed in oil and fossil fuels, having let the dollars of those industries replace their brains, that Solyndra really is about something bigger to them: killing green energy as competition to fossils. Please, these are the same people who let oil dollars actually convince them 98% of climate scientists are wrong. And if they think solar could do some good, they certainly don’t want Democrats to be seen creating prosperity. Surely some Republican businessmen smell money to be made with solar, but you know, Al Gore, so yeah. Where fossil fuel dollars don’t take them, hating Democrats will ferry them the rest of the way.

-hw

Sticking the boot in.

Sep 23, 2011 in teh gay

I just want to be one more voice telling the people who booed active-duty Iraq soldier Stephen Hill for being gay, miscreants who do actually represent the Tea Party base quite ably and wonderfully, to go to hell. And the audience can’t claim exemption when they applauded Santorum’s hate screed afterwards. Blind evil.

-hw

Crushing student debt.

Sep 23, 2011 in Economy, Education

Mrs. Whistler begins her MBA in a few days. Now, in her case I know the extra $20K in student loans will be money in the bank, but she is an amazingly competent and likable person. Not all of us are so blessed;)

Unfortunately, for-profit colleges and increased tuition at private and state schools has resulted in a lot of students for whom there are no jobs, and skyscraper-heavy debt. But at least it profited somebody, eh?

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

And that bubble’s ready to burst

-hw

The fundamental question-

Sep 23, 2011 in Politics

Do you think we should have spent the last three years bailing out no companies, no banks, and letting the economy crash to it’s “natural” bottom? Should we have let unemployment benefits stop last year? Should we have let GM collapse and take out the US auto industry? Were you in favor of, as the Republican Party claims to believe, doing nothing? They certainly got them a tax-cutting president, didn’t they?

Do you believe that the way to contain a recession caused by deregulation was to loosen regulation further? Do you believe the way to combat a deficit crisis was to authorize an extension of the Bush Tax Cut in its entirety? Republicans do. Obama gave them what they wanted to get something he wanted, unemployment benefits. One side for the powerful, one side for normal Americans. These unemployed were people who were working. They aren’t lazy, they aren’t stupid, there are just no jobs for them anymore. America’s base has been hollowed out by capitalist globalization. Supposedly American companies have farmed out their work to sweatshops and well-educated Indians and/or Chinese. The laws we struggle against continually direct power towards the top, and increases in profits never get handed down to workers. Unless you’re rich, I’m talking about you.

If you’re rich, continue voting Republican and trying to sleep at night. There are enough wealthy people of good conscience who espouse liberal politics. Big surprise, liberals love getting rich too. I’m American, dammit…money feels great in my hands and I love to buy things! I’ve got a certain plan B for my life that may deliver wealth, but nevermind about that. The point is that Republicans hate Warren Buffett, and any other rich liberal with an opinion. All their talk of the rich being “job creators” morphs into unbridled rage the second a rich person announces support for a liberal position.

President Obama has unveiled a jobs bill that, policy by policy, enjoys substantial popular support. Republicans oppose it. Shouldn’t that be a defining issue for 2012? Are Republicans really going to run a strong race in 2012 opposing anything Obama or even Ben Bernanke does to improve the economy? If you support the policies listed in the jobs bill, then you should be ready to vote out any politician who opposes it. The line has been drawn in the sand. There are two different sides here. Both are not the same. Their commonalities are often systemic flaws, but there is no longer a case for doubting the difference between Republicans and Democrats, and exactly who each stands for. The Republicans are the party by and for the rich, infusing extreme religious views into their political style to neutralize reason, common sense, and regard for the average family’s economic plight. Tax cuts for the wealthy are dogma. Blind support for Israel is dogma. Anti-Obama is dogma.

Do you support doing something for most Americans, or doing nothing? That is the fundamental question. Republicans are trying to make sure nothing gets done, proclaiming nothing as their ideology, and blaming Obama when they get it out of sheer political calculation. Should we dare elect a Republican president, lest he/she be tempted to do “something”?

-hw

We know they’ll lie before they even open their mouths.

Sep 22, 2011 in Politics

Hey, Republicans have their story and they’re sticking to it. Therefore it’s no surprise one can fact-check tonight’s debate before it happens.

-hw

This is why there must be no backing down.

Sep 19, 2011 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Crazy Tea Party People, Disappointing Dems, Economy

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.

-hw

No, Virginia, the Democrats aren’t just as bad as the Republicans.

Sep 14, 2011 in Crazy Tea Party People, Economy

Well, if our recent invasion of trolls weren’t enough to illustrate that…Michael Tomasky compares major Bush initiatives to Obama’s to see how the opposition party cooperated.

Here’s how it all adds up:

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.

And where Republicans couldn’t win by merely withdrawing support, filibusters exploded.

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?

-hw

Where it leads you.

Sep 13, 2011 in Crazy Tea Party People, Health Care

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?

-hw

Just a tip…

Sep 11, 2011 in Politics

Trying to show an 11 year-old United 93 to teach them about 9/11 may end up being more frustrating than rewarding. I know they grow up into beautiful people, but for a few years there…

-hw

In time.

Sep 11, 2011 in Politics

A decade later it seems to me that we survived the immediate damage of 9/11 just fine, as devastating as it was. Most of our real problems in the past decade have been self-inflicted. We feared too much and thought too little. We ended up losing more lives and money invading the wrong country. We lost more liberty trying to be safe than bin Laden ever took from us. We multiplied our enemies to get to a few.

This decade should stand as proof of the folly of fear, the weakness of letting terrorists have so much power over us. We should expect another 9/11, we should expect many of them. We should take a vow today to let none of them hurt us that way again. We won’t retaliate blindly, shred our constitution, or hate our Muslim neighbors again. We will show real strength, that our remaining enemies shall despair for a foothold into our hearts.

-hw

How’s that Republican obstructionism working out for ya?

Sep 09, 2011 in Crazy Tea Party People, Economy

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.

Wall Street knows Obama’s jobs bill can do a lot of good.

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?

-hw

Public disapproves of Obama on economy, likes Obama policies.

Sep 08, 2011 in Barack Obama

This is why Republicans think obstruction can work for them. Even though the public likes Obama’s policy prescriptions for helping the economy, they will continue giving Obama low grades on the economy as long as things don’t get better.

If Obama’s policies aren’t implemented, and unemployment doesn’t show even marginal improvement, and Obama’s overall economic approval numbers remain in the toilet, Republicans could end up politically benefitting from successfully styming individual policies the American people say they want.

Voila! Keep the economy from getting better, Republicans figure, and Obama suffers, even if they’re responsible. Unless Obama spends this next year fighting and making the case for his policies and drawing a clear line in the sand. Voters will tend to blame the president without a clear picture, and Republicans are happy to keep it muddy. But if Obama doesn’t take the fight to Republicans and put them on the defensive, then he’s forgetting a major part of his job and the power of the bully pulpit. He must take the narrative out of their hands.

Btw maybe some goddamn Democrats should try to get on Meet the Press and back him up? The past three years offers a signature lesson for Democrats that pinning all their hopes on one person to do all the work for them doesn’t fly. Republicans were out there on the front lines every day of Bush’s presidency doing whatever they could to define the narrative…and nothing’s changed since Obama took office.

-hw

Assuming you thought anything you heard was true…

Sep 08, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives

“Republican” and “factual” don’t really go together all that much, but if you want to see a fact check of the bullshit that got flung around last night, here you go. Hint: People who claim Social Security is a Ponzi scheme don’t know much about either Social Security or Ponzi schemes.

-hw

Perry for the LULZ.

Sep 08, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Crazy Tea Party People

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!

Or there’s this plan from Romney:

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.

-hw

Bizarro world update.

Sep 06, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Crazy Tea Party People, Health Care

Andrew’s back:

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.

-hw

Every once in awhile, they say exactly what they think.

Sep 02, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Crazy Tea Party People

Because hey, when the country formed only property owners had real rights. He’s just keeping it real.

“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.

-hw

Dr. Mann exonerated YET AGAIN.

Sep 02, 2011 in Politics

How many times must Dr. Michael Mann be exonerated of scientific misconduct before Republican climate change denialists believe him to be innocent? The question is moot, no investigation that finds Mann to be innocent can be valid, so you might as well answer, “infinity.” Every time he’s found innocent, it’s just further proof of how deep and sinister the conspiracy is.

The National Science Foundation has cleared climatologist and Penn State professor Michael Mann of any misconduct in the “Climate-Gate” controversy, which became a lightning rod for climate change skeptics in 2009.

In a memo Tuesday, the NSF’s Inspector General’s office said that “the research in question was originally completed over 10 years ago. Although the subject’s data is still available and still the focus of significant critical examination, no direct evidence has been presented that indicates the subject fabricated the raw data he used for his research or falsified his results.”

“Lacking any direct evidence of research misconduct,” the review concludes, “as defined under the NSF Research Misconduct Regulation, we are closing this investigation with no further action.”

The bastards!

-henry “Down with science” whistler

Go down with a fight.

Sep 01, 2011 in Barack Obama, Crazy Tea Party People, Economy, Election crap

On knowing that whatever jobs program Obama proposes is DOA in the Republican-controlled House (and that Republicans will gladly turn around and blame Obama for not doing anything about jobs):

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.

-hw

More studies show the stimulus worked.

Sep 01, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Economy

Ezra Klein gives a thorough breakdown of nine major studies that have been done on Obama’s stimulus and how it impacted the economy. Bottom line, most say it significantly benefited, and people who claim it hurt the economy are probably selling you something (hint: A Republican candidate).

It’s always important to remember that the stimulus was smaller than most experts wanted and was one-third tax cuts (something Republicans will never tell you). It obviously didn’t rescue America from all effects of the 2008 crash, but there is a general consensus that it prevented a lot of damage. Now, it’s never easy selling voters on how you saved them from something bad that didn’t happen, but it’s still reality, so it’s worth pointing out.

And what was that Republican plan that would have gotten us through the whole ordeal scott-free?

-hw