Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Mashup (3/24/11)

  • It would be sooo easy to say yes, wouldn’t it (they asked the question, not me).

  • Also, I give you the following from The Hill (here)…

    House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas) on Wednesday said the growing federal debt is the "red menace" of the 21st century, warning that it is posing both economic and security risks to the United States.

    "In the 20th century, the red menace was communism," Hensarling said in Texas, according to a report in the Jacksonville Daily Progress. "The red menace for the 21st century is our public debt."
    Maybe to him, but somehow I don’t believe this is going to inspire a whole wave of science fiction films similar to the Cold War-era fare of the 1950s and 1960s (“The Public Debt From Another World,” or “The Trade Imbalance From 20,000 Fathoms,” or “Abbott and Costello Try To Reconcile The Cash Difference Between Government Receipts And Spending”).

    Nope, none of them work for me either.

    This is par for the proverbial course, though, from a guy who blamed the Dems for the ruinous Dubya deficits here but gave his fellow Repugs credit for the Clinton surplus here (which called “a Texas-sized whopper” here).

    No, I don’t encourage public debt either. But seeing as how our august captains of industry continue to sit on their financial largesse while so many of our fellow countrymen endure crisis after crisis from unemployment, somebody has to spend the money to keep this country afloat (in other words, what Atrios sez here).

  • Next, I give you the recent ravings of the utter, unmitigated embarrassment that is Former Laura Bush Employee Andrew Malcolm (here)…

    With the Japan earthquake and the devastating tsunami and the radiation leaks going global and the United Nations suggesting interested members start a war in Libya and American troops in two other conflicts and the immense federal government now budgeting in 21-day chunks with a colossal deficit and President Obama with his family offering toasts all over South America urging Brazil to drill offshore while stifling domestic production back home and rising bilateral congressional unhappiness with Obama's commencing military action on Libya whatever that goal is, some Americans appear confused and anxious.
    I really have neither the time nor the desire to try and unwind all of Malcolm’s sheer idiocy here (there’s a difference between principled disagreement and Malcolm’s particularly demented brand of propaganda), but let’s take a look at the bit about “stifling domestic (oil) production,” shall we?

    As noted here (in a claim called “mostly true” by…

    In his press conference on March 11, 2011, President Barack Obama talked up U.S. oil production against a backdrop of rising prices at the pump.

    "We need to continue to boost domestic production of oil and gas," he said. "Last year, American oil production reached its highest level since 2003. Let me repeat that. Our oil production reached its highest level in seven years. Oil production from federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico reached an all-time high. For the first time in more than a decade, imports accounted for less than half of what we consumed. So any notion that my administration has shut down oil production might make for a good political sound bite, but it doesn’t match up with reality."
    Of course, when it comes to Obama (as noted here) and Democrats generally, Malcolm has only a passing familiarity with reality anyway.

  • Also (continuing with the Bush sycophant), it looks like another wingnut talking point against Obama has emerged, as noted here…

    The Democratic administration of Barack Obama, who denounced his predecessor, George W. Bush, as the most secretive in history, is now denying more Freedom of Information Act requests than the Republican did.
    In response, I give you the following from Media Matters…

    Malcolm (originally) linked to the Fox News version of that AP article. Had he read this one, he might have been able to give readers a more accurate report.

    First of all, according to the AP, there have not been 466,872 denials. There have been 466, 872 citations of FOIA exemptions -- a significant difference because, as AP notes, "Agencies often cite more than one exemption when withholding part or all of the material sought in an open-records request."

    Now, notice that "part or all of" bit. Contrary to Malcolm's implication, there have not been 466,872 blanket rejections of FOIA requests. Nor have there been 466,872 citations of FOIA exemptions for the purpose of rejecting an entire FOIA request. There have been 466,872 citations of exemptions for the purposes of denying part or all of a request. Indeed, there has been a decrease in the number of FOIA requests denied in their entirety.
    Media Matters goes on to tell us that about 20,000 requests were denied last year, as opposed to about 21,000 the year before. I will grant you that those are not great numbers, but at least those didn’t emerge from the “rabbit hole” of Malcolm’s alleged thought processes.

  • Further, Charles Krauthammer whines as follows (here)…

    Well, I can understand the administration saying because of the situation in Benghazi they had to rush and they couldn’t get congressional approval. But what’s not explicable is why the president hasn’t addressed the nation.

    When in 1998 there was the attack on our embassies in [Kenya] and Tanzania and there was a single act of retaliation by the United States — not a military operation anywhere near the size and scope of what’s happening now — the president of the United States, [Bill] Clinton, went on television and explained what he was doing.

    And so far, this president, who doesn’t like to use the word “war.” He won’t use the [term] “war on terror.” He doesn’t want to talk about the war in Afghanistan…
    As noted here in a speech about that very topic from December 2009, President Obama mentioned the word “war” no less than 16 times.

    At least Krauthammer managed to opine on something allegedly concerning Obama about which he would be a subject matter expert, as noted here (arrogance, I mean).

  • Finally, it looks like The Daily Tucker has caught Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attacking the Kochs, even though it turns out that the DSCC accepted $30,000 from Koch Industries last year, as noted here (actually, the brothers-in-evil Charles and David gave $120 K or thereabouts to Democrats generally).

    Which might be shocking if it weren’t for the fact that they also gave $618 K to Republicans over the same period, according to Open Secrets.

    See what happens when Tucker gets too clumsy with his crayons?
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