Monday, May 23, 2011

  • From PolitiFact: "[T]he truth is that there are an awful lot of similarities between the plan he signed in Massachusetts in 2006, often called "RomneyCare," and the one that President Barack Obama signed in 2010."

  • "Senate Republicans Introduce Bill To Abolish The EPA" Yes, abolish, eliminate, rid the U.S. of environmental regulations. Insanity.

  • Fracking panel is stacked.

  • From Kevin Drum:
    Put this one (chart below) up on your refrigerator along with the last one. Then, if a friend comes over after watching Glenn Beck and insists that we're doomed, just point to the chart. If you want to save America from a crushing future debt burden, you need to repeal the Bush tax cuts, get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and stop pursuing austerity policies that will slow down economic recovery.

    Once we've done that, then it's time to talk about Medicare. But the other stuff comes first.
  • Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Gingrich surprised me. I thought he'd enter the race and proclaim to all his followers and fellow Republicans what they'd want to hear -- mainly GOP talking points with a bit of a variant spin to give it that Newt touch (i.e. to say something slightly different than the printed talking points to perpetuate the myth that he's original and a heavy-weight intellectual). Instead we see him go on Meet The Press and actually try to say something reasonable, or at least something far beyond conventional Repub-speak. And of all topics, Newt decides to be provocative, unique and/or profound by criticizing GOP golden-boy Paul Ryan.

    Well, we know what happened then, with the right doing their go-berserk thing, and Newt back-pedaling and blaming the media ala Sarah Palin. But the very fact that Newt would dare to utter something that could get his folks in a tizzy tells me he's more serious about running this time around than in the past. Many of us believe that he gets into these races to play up his name which in large part is how he makes a very comfortable living. To do what he did and cause a stir amongst his peeps means he either wished to say something that was well-meant and justified, i.e. that the Ryan plan is not as serious or courageous as Republicans like to believe, OR Newt just made an off-the-cuff response that he would later regret (not the first time that happened).

    In any case, it's hilarious to watch Newt scramble and squirm in an effort to quell the backlash and satisfy the kooks that comprise his party. Better still, we are likely to see him do this awkward dance many times before finally dropping out.
    It appears Camping may have been saved, but I assume the rest of us (or 99.99999999% of the planet's inhabitants) who remain here on Earth are reprehensible sinners and are doomed.

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

  • Newt Gingrich running for president is very dangerous. Why? Because to the ill-informed, he comes across as serious, credible and to be trusted. Yes, we know nothing could be further from the truth. However, compared to Glenn Beck or Bill O'Reilly -- who most people realize are laughable and living cartoons -- Newt appears to be Abe Lincoln. There are so many nutballs and kooks in the conservative wing these days that someone like Newt is able to pull off sounding as if he's given things considerable reflection and thought, expounding in his professorial tone with great certitude and confidence. And folks on the right just lap it up, believing his crazy statements without question, despite the fact most are as riddled with distortion and non-facts as Beck's or O'Reilly's. It's all in the delivery, style over substance.

  • FCC head Meredith Baker resigns to take an SVP position at Comcast/NBC. Baker was appointed to the FCC by GW Bush and she was a strong supporter of the Comcast/NBC merger. But I'm sure no revolving door shenanigans are involved, after all Baker denies it....

  • Not sure where this John McCain has been for the last few years, but it's refreshing to see him return. Given how far to the right McCain has gravitated, for him to go on record and strongly slam the BS that has recently been peddled by GW's band of mad men about torture and finding bin Laden belies just how false all of it is.

  • I can't get enough of this chart, showing the factual blame for the deficit. By far the bulk of it is due to GW's tax cuts and wars, and then the Great Recession (which can't be tagged to Obama). But don't tell that to the Tea Party folks, who continue to think it's all the fault of the dark-skinned fella and that the road to surpluses is through budget cuts to NPR, the EPA and Planned Parenthood.

  • Jon Stewart: Why Is Bush Administration Taking All the Credit for Killing Osama bin Laden?

  • As I've written here before, re fracking, be very afraid.

  • Earth is running out of food, and it will increasingly provoke violence.

  • Trillions? Really House Speaker Boehner?? Where will those trillions come from?? To get to trillions means cuts in Social Security, Medicare, or defense spending -- not unemployment benefits, environmental regulations, or "waste" in government. Please be more specific (I dare you). Apparently selective defense spending is off the table.

  • Blackwater hired John Ashcroft as its ethics chief. Yes, really.

  • If possible, yes, Osama should've been captured and not killed. But I have no idea what truly went down in the heat of the moment during the encounter, so I will hold off on judging what should have happened. Better to have killed him then to have a Tora Bora occur. That said I continue to be confident that we'll stop any attacks. We have since 9/11 due in large part to increased intel, however I maintain that our intel apparatus was pretty darn good prior to 9/11. Recall we did have enough info pre-9/11 to prevent the attack but due to incompetence and.... So let's not make too much of the killing vs. capture thing. Besides, you don't think a captured Osama, for years held before trial, would serve as a martyr??

  • We’re not Broke. We’ve been Robbed!

  • I've said this all along, Obama is more of a moderate Republican than the far right would have you believe.
  • Saturday, May 07, 2011

    "Yes, paranoia, greed and racism are fun, but…"

    Bill Maher says it all (as per usual), must-read stuff, transcript courtesy of Political Ruminations:
    Now that it's become clear that the Republicans, the fiscally conservative, strong on defense party are neither fiscally conservative nor strong on defense ….they have to tell us what exactly it is they're good at. Because it’s not defense – 9/11 happened on your watch, and you retaliated by invading the wrong country.

    And you lost a 10-year game of hide and seek with Osama bin Laden.

    And you’re responsible for running up most of the debt, which more than anything makes us weak.

    You’re supposed to be the party with the killer instinct, when it was a Democrat who put a bomb in Gaddafi’s bedroom and a bullet in bin Laden’s eye like Moe Green.

    Raising the question, “How many Muslims does a black guy have to kill in one weekend before crackers climb down off his ass?”

    Let’s look at some facts. Now for you FOX News viewers feel free to turn down the sound until the flashing “FACTS” light at the bottom of the screen disappears.

    When Bill Clinton left office in 2001 the Congressional Budget Office predicted that by the end of the decade we would have paid off the entire debt and have a $2 trillion surplus. Instead we have a $10.5 trillion public debt, and the difference in those two numbers is mostly because Republicans put tax cuts for the rich, free drugs for the elderly and two wars on the layaway plan and then bailed on the check. So much for fiscal responsibility.

    But hey, at least they still have the defense thing, right? The public still believes Republicans were tougher when it came to hunting down dark-skinned foreigners with funny sounding names. But Bush had seven years to get Osama. He didn’t. He got Wesley Snipes.

    Only six months after 9/11, Bush said he didn’t spend that much time on bin Laden, that he was no longer concerned about him. Just as he wasn’t before 9/11, when he blew off that mysterious, inscrutable memo entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack INSIDE the U.S.” In under a year, Bush went from “who gives a shit?” to “wanted dead or alive” and back to “who gives a shit?”. Why focus on the terrorists who reduced Wall Street to rubble when you can help Wall Street reduce the whole country to rubble?

    In 2008, the candidates were asked if they knew for sure that bin Laden was in Pakistan would you send our guys in without permission to get him. McCain said no, because Pakistan is a sovereign nation. Obama said yes, he’d just do it, and McCain called him “naïve”. Who’s being naïve, Cain?

    And why can’t you just admit that Barack Obama is one efficient, steely nerved, multitasking, black ninja gangsta, President?

    In one week he produced his birth certificate, comforted disaster victims, swung by Florida to say “hey” to Gabbie Giffords, did stand-up at the correspondents dinner, and then personally rappelled into bin Laden’s lair and put a Chinese star through his throat without waking up any of his 13 wives. That’s how it went down….I saw it on MSNBC.

    Look, 30% of this country will always vote Republican. I’m just asking “why?” Yes, paranoia, greed and racism are fun, but…it’s… it’s like when you see someone driving a Mercury. You think, “did that person really wake up one day thinking ‘you know what car I want to drive?”
    A Mercury Mariner “. No, no, you assume he knows someone who sells them or he was molested by a Kia dealer as a child.

    And I know this all sounds like harsh truth, but Republicans are supposed to be the party of harsh truths. Like “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”.

    And speaking of lunch, Obama just ate yours.

    Wednesday, May 04, 2011

    "The top X% of wage earners pay X% of income taxes."

    This is a favorite line of right-wingers (fill in your own figures, top 1% pay 58%, top 2% pay 72%, etc.). You get the point they try to make, go easy on the wealthy, they pay their fair share and then some.

    Please. As usual, it's all hocus pocus word games. I'll show you.

    Suppose a country had a population of 10 people. Person A, the tycoon, made $100 per year, and the other 9 people all made $10 each per year. Thus the total amount of income to be taxed = $190. Suppose 10% is the income tax rate applied to all. This means the total amount of taxes paid is $190 x 10% = $19.

    Person A, the tycoon, paid $100 x 10% = $10 in taxes. $10 / $19 = 53%

    So you see, Person A, 1/10 of the population, paid 53% of the total taxes paid -- wow, what a swell person, cheers, bravo.

    Ahh, not so fast. Person A pays 53% of the total taxes paid because Person A makes 10 times more than each of the other 9 people. Duh. But that's not the point! The point is all 10 people pay the same tax rate, thus it's arguably very fair. Person A doesn't deserve applause or accolades as this person is doing the equivalent of all other citizens in this country.

    And this is with a system of one tax rate for all. If it was a bit more progressive, where say Person A had to pay a 15% tax rate, then we're talking: $15 / $24 = 63%, or Person A now pays 63% of all taxes paid.

    As you can see, right-wingers try to use deception by shifting the viewpoint quite a bit. It just takes a little bit of thinking to see what they're doing, but how many people take the time to do that thinking?

    Meanwhile, the sad fact of the matter is the top 400 wealthiest households in the U.S. (worth $350+ million) pay a lower tax rate than the average citizen pays.

    Yes, let's continue to cut taxes for the rich -- woe to them....

    Monday, May 02, 2011

    Osama bin Laden is dead

    What GW failed to do for seven years, Obama achieved (read story, he was heavily involved). Great day for America, but let's see what the hyper-partisan Republicans have to say.... (Most likely "what took so long?" or "that's fine but what about the deficit??"  You know, the deficit that GW and Republicans were creating for many years without a peep from anyone at the time....)