Thursday, July 28, 2011

Debt Ceiling Talks Explained by Gn'R.

Obama may well be our Nixon...

President Obama is a very moderate, centrist Democrat. His health care bill (the Affordable Care Act) is actually well to the right of many previous Republican plans, and almost a carbon copy of a plan put out by the Heritage Foundation under H.W. Bush in 1989. Running with this theme, Bruce Bartlett brings us this:

Although Republicans routinely accuse him of being a socialist, an honest examination of his presidency must conclude that he has in fact been moderately conservative to exactly the same degree that Nixon was moderately liberal.

Here are a few examples of Obama's effective conservatism:

  • His stimulus bill was half the size that his advisers thought necessary;
  • He continued Bush’s war and national security policies without change and even retained Bush’s defense secretary;
  • He put forward a health plan almost identical to those that had been supported by Republicans such as Mitt Romney in the recent past, pointedly rejecting the single-payer option favored by liberals;
  • He caved to conservative demands that the Bush tax cuts be extended without getting any quid pro quo whatsoever;
  • And in the past few weeks he has supported deficit reductions that go far beyond those offered by Republicans.
Bartlett, by the way was an Economic adviser for Reagan, he is not exactly a liberal guy.

h/t to Paul Krugman.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Math > Republicans

Presented without comment:

John Boehner's "two-step" debt ceiling plan has at least five steps.

Speaker of the House John Boehner has prepared a two-step approach to solving this "debt ceiling" crisis once and for all, and he unveiled his two-step plan with this fancy document that lists, on its first page, five separate bullet points, each of which entails multiple actions that some people would consider "steps."


Monday, July 25, 2011

What a clever picture!

From the NY Times. 'Nuff said.


Apparently, there will be no Marty McFly style shenanigans for any of us. According to The Daily Mail, science tells us so.

But scientists claim to have proved that a single photon obeys Einstein's theory that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light - meaning time travel is impossible.

Devil science, crushing our hopes and dreams!

History lesson!

Check out: Plutocracy: If Corporations and the Rich Paid 1960s-Level Taxes, the Debt Would Vanish.

For an excellent primer on what used to be.


I currently have a job. I hope you do too, and I hope that you keep it. I say this because chances are, we'll all be fucked soon. Robert Reich brings us this:

As more and more Americans lose faith that their government can do anything to bring back jobs and wages, they are becoming more susceptible to the Republican's oft-repeated lie that the problem is government -- that if we shrink government, jobs will return, wages will rise, and it will be morning in America again. And as Democrats, from the President on down, refuse to talk about jobs and wages, but instead play the deficit-reduction game, they give even more legitimacy to this lie and more momentum to this vicious political cycle.

Why is the new definition of serious so close to the traditional definition of stupidly working in the opposite direction from what you ought to be doing?


Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekend. Whisky.

See you on Monday.

Read This.

Michael Takiff has an excellent collumn in the War Room today.

Some decades ago Milton Himmelfarb wrote that Jews "earn like Episcopalians but vote like Puerto Ricans." It was true then, it’s true now. Jews are still the one substantial ethnic group in our country that, on the whole, doesn’t vote its wallet. Not to over-praise the Democrats, who are way too cozy with Wall Street and whom we often support for no other reason than their nonmembership in the party of Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Pat Robertson. But the fact is that well-off people generally vote Republican and Jews generally don't, even though we've participated in the American dream, and gone to law school and medical school and dental school and accounting school.

Also, Eric Cantor is a dick.


Respect the Weasel.


Why the debt ceiling is important.

If you haven't bothered to notice whats going on in the papers, on the webs and on the tvs recently, Ezra Klein lays it right out: The Debt Ceiling Explained.

What might fill you with rage is the fact that it has never not been raised. Ever. So why all the bullshit about it this time. It is literally inconceivable to not raise it. Seems like it must be a showy excuse for something else eh? Deficit reduction despite a recession? Bueller?

Ummmmm.... Assholes?

Red herring anyone? The recently released Heritage Foundation report on America's poor is chock full of silly misleading bullshit like this:

"As Chart 2 shows, 78 percent of poor households had air conditioning, 64 percent had cable or satellite TV, and 38 percent had a personal computer."

The idea here is to justify cutting taxes on the rich because the "poor" have cable TV and air conditioning. What's amazing and saddening to me is not the stupidity of Heritage's argument, but how convincing and serious their argument is going to look to a lot of people, including a lot of the lucky poverty stricken ones the study claims to show are not poverty stricken.

Things like refrigerators and computers are not luxuries anymore. If 99% of households have a refrigerator, it is pretty clear that they are standard equipment. Computer ownership might look different, but it's really not. Its almost impossible to work or find work in modern America without computer skills and internet access.

Heritage is being sneaky here. Comparing poor Americans' material possessions to those of the third world poor is an assholish tactic. "See, you've got it better than those sad bastards in Mumbai! Stop your whining!" is not going to work on me.

Also, what Atkins said.

Woah... kinda drifted off there for a second...

Hot damn. It's been three months. What happened? Anyhow, posts will be forthcoming. Apologies for a shameless lack of common decency and dereliction of blog based duty. Checks for milk and so forth.