Saturday, April 09, 2011

Zygotes Are Fine, Babies or Women Not So Much

Republican Hostage Strategy

"Details on the appropriations deal are still hard to come by, but you don’t need the details to know that substantial short-term cuts in domestic discretionary spending will hurt the poor while harming macroeconomic performance. The problem with not agreeing to the deal, of course, is that a government shutdown would also hurt the poor while harming macroeconomic performance.

If you genuinely don’t care about the interests of poor people and stand to benefit electorally from weak economic growth, this gives you a very strong hand to play as a hostage taker. And John Boehner is willing to play that hand." - Matt Yglesias

News organizations feel obligated to blame “both sides” at all times for everything. That narrative needs to end. Republicans saw a shutdown as a reasonable, if not attractive, option — one that their base would celebrate — that is disgusting.

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The Brave and Serious Mr. Ryan

1) A plan to deal with budget problems that says virtually nothing about military spending is neither brave nor serious. That would be enough to disqualify it from the “serious” bracket, but there’s more.

2) A plan that proposes to eliminate tax loopholes and deductions, but doesn’t say what any of those are, is neither brave nor serious. It is, instead canny — or cynical, take your pick. The reality is that many of these deductions, notably for home-mortgage interest payments, are popular and therefore risky to talk about eliminating.

3) A plan that exempts from future Medicare cuts anyone born before 1957 — about a quarter of the population, which includes me — is neither brave nor serious. See “canny or cynical: take your pick” above.

4) A plan to reconcile revenue and spending, which rules out axiomatically any conceivable increase in tax rates, is neither brave nor serious. Rather, it is exactly as brave and serious as some opposite-extreme proposal that ruled out axiomatically any conceivable cut in entitlement spending or discretionary accounts.

5) A plan to reduce the federal deficit by granting big tax reductions to the highest-income Americans, at a time when their tax rates are very low by historic standards and and their share of the national income is extremely high, and when middle-class job creation is our main economic challenge, is neither brave nor serious. See “cynical,” above.

6) A plan that identifies rising health-care costs as the main problem in public spending, but avoids altogether the question of how to contain those costs, is neither brave nor serious. This is a longer and more complicated discussion (see below*); but I submit that the more closely anyone looks at the Ryan plan, the less “serious” it will seem on this extremely important front.

7) A plan that reduces, among other things, research on future energy sources and technologies by about 85% may be “brave,” but it’s also crazy and short-sighted.

The idiocy of Bush-era politics returns. We know how this book ends. Why even pick it up?

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Friday, April 08, 2011

The Rivalry Begins

John Krasinski (Red Sox) vs. Alec Baldwin (Yankees)


There's Only Been 44 Christian US Presidents!

"I have to say, as someone who is not Christian, it’s hard for me to believe Christians are a persecuted people in America. God-willing, maybe one of you one day will even rise up and get to be president of this country - or maybe forty-four in a row. But, that’s my point, is they’ve taken this idea of no establishment as persecution, because they feel entitled, not to equal status, but to greater status." - Jon Stewart to Mike Huckabee

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Selected DNC Chair


Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) has been tapped to succeed Tim Kaine as chair of the Democratic National Committee, according to multiple reports.

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Republican Attack On Americans: Gutting Medicaid

Republican Attack On Americans: Gutting Medicaid

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) wants Americans to think of his Medicaid plan as “welfare reform.” That’s politically clever, I suppose — most people have been conditioned not to like “welfare,” and to love “reform” — but as Matt Yglesias explained this morning, it’s a scam.

[P]eople are supposed to think Medicaid is that “bad” kind of government spending, the one that goes to shiftless black folks not hard-working Americans like you and me and Paul Ryan. […]

This is mostly a program for the elderly and the disabled. It’s the main way we finance long-term care in this country. If you don’t directly benefit from it, you very likely have a parent or grandparent who does and whose financial needs will simply tend to fall on you if the program is cut. Meanwhile, in terms of the “welfare” aspect of Medicaid by far the largest set of poor people it covers are poor children. Is Ryan’s view that these kids should have worked harder to have rich parents? Poor kids tend to struggle with a lot of problems and are in many ways disadvantaged in the competitive economy by the time they’re out of diapers. It seems to me that investing in their basic health care is a no brainer way of leveling the playing field somewhat and ensuring that the country is making the most of our human resources.

Steve Benen adds:

“The key takeaway here is that House Republicans believe seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income children have had it too easy, for too long. It’s time to show these ne’er-do-wells some “tough love,” slashing their health benefits, and directing those funds where they belong — in the hands of millionaires and large corporations in the form of tax cuts.”

Ryan’s roadmap is a Koch brothers wet dream.

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Thom Hartmann: The REAL Tea Party

Standing up to massive corporations backed by governments who grant huge tax breaks is the American tradition dating back to the original Tea Party.

Colonists stood up to the East India Company and the British Government who granted corporate tax cuts and insured corporate power.

The fact that the modern Tea Party operates the exact opposite way, completely funded by large multinational corporations to undercut programs to protect Americans, is baffling.

Monday, April 04, 2011

The Intellectual Pygmy That Is Britt Hume


Either Fox News’ Brit Hume was genuinely surprised to hear that GE pays no federal taxes — we mean, like, “The Earth! She’s a-round!” surprised — or he really wanted to put his fist through Juan Williams’ grill. Either way, WILLIAMS WIN: PERFECT.

Britt Hume’s face tells it all: confronted with facts, his brain just wilts as he stares into nothingness.

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Democracy v Oligarchy

"The real difference between democracy and oligarchy is poverty and wealth. Wherever men rule by reason of their wealth, whether they be few of many, that is an oligarchy, and where the poor rule, that is democracy."

Aristotle (via zeitgeistmovement)

Even the Jesus freaks amongst the GOP know about rich men and eyes of needles. I guess the "compassionate" lip-service typifies their insincerity.

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Real Job Growth Under Obama


Not so bad for a supposed socialist who hates capitalism.

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60 Minutes: The Next Housing Shock

"As more and more Americans face mortgage foreclosure, banks' crucial ownership documents for the properties are often unclear and are sometimes even bogus, a condition that's causing lawsuits and hampering an already weak housing market. Scott Pelley reports."

A must see report. The banksters are forging documents and illegally foreclosing on homes, literally stealing them.

They whole thing is a cover up at the highest level, the FBI and DOJ should be looking deep into this, it is fraud from top to bottom.

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