Saturday, July 09, 2011

Saturday Stuff

You can run but you can't hide forever from yesterday's truly stinky jobs report, Orange Man (here)...

...and here's some timely music for and from the DFHs, even if they did chop off the ending.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Friday Stuff

Yours truly was busy with non-blogging stuff today, hence no posts. However, this is the link to last week's Area Votes in Congress (Senate only - really not much to comment about).

Also, Mikey The Beloved's stenography service provided a link to his let-me-hide-so-I-don't-have-to-face-any-cameras-or-actual-constituents "town hall" here. It can be summarized as follows...
Austerity, bitches! Taxes are evil, government get its house in order, Obamacare bad, uncertainty, blah blah blah…
You get the idea.

...and now turning to the videos, I think I'll just cheat by grabbing a few from Crooks and Liars, including this one in which Ezra Klein had a good idea...

...and kudos to Ed Schultz for giving it to "Saint Orrin" (here)...

...and at least Moon Unit Bachmann is honest enough to say what her fellow Repugs are thinking (here - and by the way, she got her "law degree" from the O. W. Coburn School at Oral Roberts U, which became Regent University, where 60 percent of the Bushco DOJ flunkies came from)...

...and here's a jaunty little number to commemorate this story.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Thursday Stuff

I wish I had a nickel for every post I've written (along with a lot of other people, I know) pointing out that Social Security doesn't have a damn thing to do with the deficit, and I also recall that part of the point of health care reform was to make Medicare and Medicaid more cost efficient...soo then, just why the hell is "President Hopey Changey" trying to give away the proverbial store once again?

Fortunately, Sen. Bernie Sanders contains the spine that is lacking from the current occupant of An Oval Office (and I'm sure we can get ready for a fresh round of "Depends" jokes from Fix Noise about Sanders, who is smarter than that entire gaggle of idiots put together).

And can somebody explain to me why I should give the White House incumbent so much as a dime for his re-election because of this? And to do more, click here...

Update 7/8/11: No duuuh (here - the attack ads next year will write themselves, people).

..."read between the lines, and you'll find the truth" indeed - and I'd love to think that this latest scandal will be the downfall of Rupert The Pirate, but I'm sure he's on his way to figuring out how to get out of the mess, unfortunately (Update 7/13/11 - but then again, maybe not).

Thursday Mashup (7/7/11)

  • Glenn Kessler of the WaPo tells us here that, after six months of supposed “fact checking” between the Dems and the Repugs, the total of who told more lies is as follows: it’s a tie.

    To say I’m skeptical of such a finding is putting it mildly, so I took a look at one of Kessler’s supposed critiques of a Democratic politician here (namely, Sen. Barbara Boxer’s claim that the Repugs didn’t do anything to help grow the economy in the ‘90s)…
    In Boxer’s telling, the budget surplus that emerged in 1998 and continued for four years sprang forth from a critical moment — the passage of Bill Clinton’s 1993 deficit-reduction bill. For those who don’t remember, it was a cliffhanger vote in both houses of Congress, with not a single Republican lawmaker supporting it.

    “Lucky for us, a lot of us are still here who made that fateful vote. We didn't have one Republican voting for that budget, and when they came to the floor — I have all the quotes, chapter and verse--they said: This is horrible. It will never balance the budget. This is going to lead to a depression. This is the worst thing,” Boxer recounted.

    Boxer added: “But we know what happened. We not only balanced the budget, but we had a surplus. We not only had a surplus, but the debt was going down so fast we thought we would never have to have Treasury bonds again. On top of that, we created 23 million jobs.”

    But is that really what happened? Were Republicans — who controlled the House and essentially the Senate when the budget was in surplus in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 — irrelevant to the process?
    Umm, yeah, they were – as noted here…
    So why, then, does he give Boxer three pinnocchios (note: a “pinnocchio” is Kessler’s unit of measurement of sorts for a lie)? What is his evidence that the GOP had anything to do with the surpluses? Well, he says, they caused a “substantial shift in the policy debate” when they got to Washington.

    Even if that claim is true — and Kessler offers no evidence that it is — did that “shift in the debate” lead to any actual legislation that had any impact on the bottom line? No, it did not. I’m at a loss to explain how a perceived “shift in the debate” that led to no real change in budgeting policy can be credited with improving the budget situation.

    Kessler is also upset that Boxer doesn’t give enough credit to the booming economy for its role in helping to balance the budget. And it is true that the enormous economic growth in the early 1990s was crucial to achieving a balanced budget.

    But that doesn’t invalidate the point that GOP-led legislation played no role. Quite the opposite. Even with the benefit of the boom, the budget would still have been in deficit had it not been for the Democratic-passed legislation. Republican-passed legislation still played no role at all.
    And as noted here (in a Media Matters post correcting another erroneous WaPo Op-Ed on the economy), Boxer is correct in saying that the Clinton 1993 budget passed with no Repug votes (just like the Affordable Care Act passed with no Republican votes, just like the “stim” passed with no U.S. House Repug votes…).

    It just goes to show that, when it comes to fact checking, leave it to the lefty blogs to get it right (and let Kessler propagandize as he wishes…caveat emptor, as they say).

    Update 7/12/11: Sounds like Kessler is up to his old tricks (here).

  • Continuing, it looks like Gramps McCain is crankier than usual these days (here)…
    In a colloquy with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) on the Senate floor (McCain) asked if it was her view that the Senate had been "terribly overworked" this week.

    "I understand we cancelled our Fourth of July recess to get back here and get back to work and do the people's business," said McCain. "Is it correct that this is the second vote we have taken, the first one being an instruction the sergeant-at-arms and this one another highly controversial issue that was taken up?"

    McCain added that he would have a hard time explaining to his constituents back in Arizona what the Senate had been up to. His remarks reflected those of President Obama, who at a press conference last week chided Congress about its work schedule.

    In response, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) cancelled the fourth of July recess for the first time in decades and directed the Senate to hold two votes, neither of which involved creating actual legislation.
    And Reid added the following (here)…
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday defended the Senate's light work schedule and his decision to keep the upper chamber in session during a week usually reserved for the Independence Day recess.

    "There was a lot of work this week that took place as a result of us being here that would not have taken place but for the fact that we were in session," said Reid. "There has been a lot of working going on behind the scenes."

    Reid was defending the schedule against a speech delivered by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in which he asked if the week, which included just two minor votes, had been a "worthwhile expenditure of the taxpayers' dollar."

    Reid also blamed Republicans for clogging up the Senate's legislative process and making it difficult for him to schedule votes.

    "One reason we aren't having a lot of votes in recent months is because we cannot get things to the floor," said Reid. "We are stopped by my Republican friends."
    Well, I suppose that’s just a good “return on investment” when you consider that the Heritage Foundation hosted a little party here of corporate lobbyists who shared tips on how to obstruct the Senate, with nary a peep of condemnation from “Senator Honor and Virtue” and his pals in the Senate (the Think Progress post tells us that Steven Duffield, one of the Heritage-sponsored “experts” at the event, is responsible for the following)…
    While he helps corporations place secret holds for his corporate clients, Duffield has elected a new crew of Republican senators to boost his business. In addition to his lobbying gig, Duffield serves as “Policy Director” of Crossroads GPS, the undisclosed corporate front group that helped elect Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and other freshmen Republican senators. By granting Duffield and Wichterman a platform to promote Senate obstruction, Heritage is doing a service for corporate lobbyists.
    And as noted here, there actually was a window to cleaning up these antics last January, which Dems Tom Udall and Jeff Merkley tried to pry open, to no avail (and with no help from “Country First” McCain, either).

  • Also, this tells us that Number 44 dodged the question of invoking the 14th amendment to ensure that the debt ceiling is raised at his recent “Twitter Town Hall” (this provides more background). In response, Repug U.S. House Rep Tim Scott invoked impeachment here.

    Actually, Scott did us a bit of a favor here by confirming what we always suspected, which is the fact that Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch and the rest of the “brain trust” at Fix Noise tells the Repugs where to go, what to do, what to say, and how high to jump when they’re told to do so.

    And I wonder if all of those numbskulls applauding Scott when he actually mentioned impeaching Obama over a perfectly legitimate exercise of presidential prerogative know that their U.S. House rep sponsored a bill to deny food stamps to families who have a member on strike (here)?

  • Finally, I detected more than a little bit of corporate media tut-tutting over the following (here)…
    Speaking before a group of liberal youth activists Wednesday, (former President Bill) Clinton said laws in states like Florida and New Hampshire are aimed at limiting voter turnout and keeping young people from the ballot box.

    "There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the voter Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit a franchise that we see today," Clinton said at Campus Progress's annual conference in Washington.

    "Why should we disenfranchise people forever once they've paid their price?" Clinton said. "Because most of them in Florida were African Americans and Hispanics and would tend to vote for Democrats, that's why."

    He also referred to a proposal in New Hampshire that would prevent college students from registering to vote where they attend school, instead of where they are from originally.
    (Oh, and speaking of attempting to disenfranchise younger voters, particularly college students, I’m sure the results of that supposed investigation by Repug Bucks County CA David Heckler into last year’s Ciervo/Fitzpatrick letter – from here – will be forthcoming any day now…any day now…).

    Actually, in addition to Florida and New Hampshire, this Think Progress post tells us that conservatives are moving to disenfranchise younger voters in 20 other statehouses across the country.

    So, if anything, I don’t have an issue with President Clinton for going too far in invoking Jim Crow, poll taxes, and other ways to suppress core Democratic constituencies.

    I have a problem because he didn’t go far enough.

  • Update 7/10/11: OK, this is progress.

    Wednesday, July 06, 2011

    Wednesday Stuff

    Yeah, what a "teabagger hero" this cretin is (here)...

    ...and gosh, could Rupert The Pirate have gone too far at long last (here, and ssshhh, don't wake our corporate media in this country)...

    ...and once more, I give you this in response to the typical Repug idiocy on display here from Orange Man and his pals (and spare me concerning Mikey The Beloved, running away from a town hall for real again tomorrow with the help of his PR service, and his "thousand dollar tax credit per new hire" sham)...

    ...and I really did the best I could to avoid the trial that seemed to preoccupy all of our news organizations with initials for names and a great many others, particularly Nancy Grace, who was just chomping at the bit to see the mother found guilty in the death of that poor little girl, but after I heard the news of the verdict, I couldn't help but think of this song (I can't wait to see Christine Flowers in the Daily News find a way to try and blame we lefties for this - I finally got sick of her putrid garbage and we're thus going to cancel our subscription at long last...saying last Friday that liberals sympathize with muggers was truly the last straw).

    Wednesday Mashup (7/6/11)

  • I thought this column from David Bossie at The Daily Tucker was unintentionally amusing, in which he extols the virtues of American women, most of whom just happen to be Republicans.

    That’s funny stuff coming from a guy in charge of an organization that was once named after a highly derogatory reference to female genitalia (here).

  • Next, I give you the following editorial from the Philadelphia Daily News…
    THIS JUST IN: Rivers often cross state boundaries. In fact, some rivers actually are state boundaries.

    So if hazardous waste were dumped into the Delaware River in, say, Trenton, some of it would almost certainly find its way to Philadelphia.

    And we likely would have a problem with that.

    When it comes to water quality, we're all in this together. That's why the Clean Water Act - which sets and mandates the enforcement of national standards for water quality - has been essential to protecting the environment for nearly four decades.

    Apparently, one congressman from West Virginia is angry because the Environmental Protection Agency has blocked mountaintop coal-removal methods that jeopardize watersheds. Another from Florida doesn't like government-mandated safeguards against chemical pollutants. So they cooked up legislation that not only will make it easier on the polluters in their states, but render the Clean Water Act useless for the 48 others.
    Here and here are links to information telling us what we have to do to oppose this horrific piece of legislation, sponsored by U.S. House Repug John Mica of Florida (and this provides more information on the bill, telling us, among other things, that it is co-sponsored by “Democrats” Jason Altmire, Mark Critz and Tim Holden…why again do I actually support these people?).

  • Continuing, I know it’s hard to believe, but Repug U.S. House Rep Thad McCotter of Michigan is running for president (here).

    Well, with that in mind, I suppose it’s appropriate to revisit this post, reminding us that “Mad Thad”…
    spent at least $30,000 in taxpayer-provided Republican Policy Committee funds to hire a consulting firm run by his chief of staff’s brother, Saul Anuzis, even as McCotter planned to kill the policy committee because it’s a “superfluous” waste of federal money.
    And as I noted at the time, about a year ago…
    I wonder if now, as a result, we will be treated in another lesson in how to speak “Democrat”...something else to consider along with McCotter’s opposition to the “stim,” of course, besides his vote against expanding the (Michigan) State Children's Health Insurance Program, which rightly earned him criticism from Catholics United for it (that, allegedly, is McCotter’s faith); McCotter called the group "the devil" over it.
    Oh, but McCotter supposedly supported unions, who will be watching his candidacy closely, as noted here.

    On its face, it appears beyond absurd that McCotter would attempt to win his party’s nomination to run for president. However, given the antics of the GOP field to date, it looks like “Mad Thad” will fit right in.

  • Further, this tells us that the Obama Administration plans to try Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame in civilian court on terrorism charges, after holding him on a U.S. Navy vessel for two months.

    Of course, this has prompted a fresh round of umbrage from Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao (here)…
    Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame is a foreign enemy combatant. He should be treated as one; he should be sitting in a cell Guantanamo Bay, and eventually be tried before a military commission. Warsame is an admitted terrorist.
    As always, here is the question: do you want to actually convict these characters, or don’t you? Because if you do, you’re a lot more likely to do so in a civilian court as opposed to our putting-lipstick-on-the-proverbial-pig military commissions. And as Emptywheel tells us here, we’ve already convicted 390 of these individuals (and an interesting question about Warsame is posed at the end here, I believe).

    Of course, demonizing Obama on this issue is nothing new for McConnell, as noted here, claiming Number 44 would let loose those dern terrists in the old U S of A, which has been denied repeatedly by the White House (but why let the facts get in the way of the Senate Minority Leader and his quest to bludgeon us with another right-wing talking point?).

  • Also, I give you the following from Irrational Spew Online…
    The AFL-CIO, of all bodies, tweeted a simple question to President Obama in today’s #AskObama snarkfest: Where are the jobs?

    My colleague Ivan Osorio answered for the president, “In right-to-work states.” Zing!
    Yes, it’s true that Politifact has classified talking points about so-called “right to work” states generating more employment than non-“right to work” states as “mostly true,” including this one from Bill Orally, though the supposed employment increase in the right-to-work states is statistically insignificant (the rate in the non-RTW states versus the RTW ones and the national rate are all around 9 percent). Also, I haven't found a comparison yet of job wages between "right to work" and non-RTW states.

    However, as Think Progress tells us here…
    …steep spending cuts are hampering economic recovery in some states, while other states that resisted cuts or increased spending are now seeing declining unemployment rates, faster private-sector job creation, and stronger economic growth.
    As you look at the chart from the Think Progress post, you can see the red line dividing the states that have cut spending (leading to fewer jobs) versus the ones that haven’t (leading to more jobs). And call me crazy, but I see a lot of “right to work” states under the line, including Wyoming, Mississippi, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, and Nevada (a complete list of so-called right-to-work states is here).

    Sooo…how can unemployment be supposedly lower if they’ve lost jobs?


  • Finally, today is the 65th birthday of Former President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History.

    May I recommend the following reading for the occasion?
  • Tuesday, July 05, 2011

    Tuesday Stuff

    Once again, former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich explains it all (here)...

    ...and last July 3rd marked the 40th anniversary of the death of Jim Morrison.

    Monday, July 04, 2011

    Monday Stuff

    It took awhile for Dem NJ State Senate President Stephen Sweeney to wake up and see what Governor Bully is truly all about, but at least he finally did at long last (here)...

    ...and once more, happy fourth, for what's left of it.

    Sunday, July 03, 2011

    Sunday Stuff

    Hey, Mikey The Beloved, see all the fun you're running away from (more here - you can sense at about 5:00 that Dent is losing the crowd when he starts blaming Obama for supposedly "not showing up" for the negotiation on raising the debt ceiling...and by the way, there was no "negotiation" under Dubya; the Repugs just did it 14 times; also, would somebody explain to me what Dent finds so damn funny at about 5:20? And he starts talking about the alternative minimum tax?).

    One more Dent lie has to do with supposedly taking $500 billion from Medicare from health care noted here by the Kaiser Family Foundation, health care reform "actually increased Medicare spending to provide more benefits and coverage."

    Also, I think this is timely given the whole "Obama wants to tax corporate jets" thing (Dent and his pals really should abandon that talking point), and here is some important information from former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich on Medicare and Social Security (in response to Dent).

    God, is Dent a typical lying Repug shill...

    ...and here's another timely tune (sorry, no video).