Black and White Rain Drops wallpapers II, The Royal Trickle Down Dogma

Black and White Rain Drops on Umbrella wallpaper

Black and White Rain on Stalk wallpaper

In my reading today some people are under the impression that the disreputable Michael Steele is the new leader of the Republican party. Steele is no more then a useful idiot. The zealots on the Right whisper the most bizarre sweet nothings into Steele’s ear and he dutifully regurgitatesthem. Another cartoonish example of Conservative identity politics – appearance over substance. Rush Limbaugh remains The Enforcer for whom true Conservatives can’t get down on their knees fast enough. Recently the Real leader of the the Right graced America with his deep insights and proposed cures for our current economic ills, My Bipartisan Stimulus

I say, cut the U.S. corporate tax rate — at 35%, among the highest of all industrialized nations — in half. Suspend the capital gains tax for a year to incentivize new investment, after which it would be reimposed at 10%.

Limbaugh either knows zero about the corporate tax code or was lying. The effective tax rate for American corporations is not out of line for a country with a GDP the size of the U.S. Then there is what corporations actually pay – the statutory rate versus the effective rate,

Effective tax rate much lower than top statutory rate.  Government and independent researchers have long pointed out that the top statutory corporate tax rate is an incomplete measure at best of the burden of corporate taxes.  It does not take into account the generous depreciation rules, exemptions, deductions, and credits (some of which are sometimes termed “loopholes”) that corporations may be eligible for.

For example, a 2005 Congressional Budget Office study found that the effective marginal corporate rate — the rate paid on the last dollar of income earned and arguably the tax rate most relevant for investment decisions — on debt-financed investment in machinery was negative, estimated at -46 percent.[4]  This means that the total value of the deductions that companies may claim for such investment is much larger than the tax they pay.  (Put another way, it means that other taxpayers effectively subsidize the investment.)

Many smaller corporations do not face the top statutory corporate tax rate.  For small corporations, another reason that the top statutory corporate tax rate is an inaccurate measure of the U.S. corporate tax burden is that many of these companies do not face the top rate …

Many of America’s richest coporations pay no income taxes because of loopholes, deductions and tax incentives. Fully two thirds of American corporations pay no income tax. Conservative complaints about corporate taxes like so many of their opinions are based on unjustified beliefs rather then facts. That is partly the reason why fact based arguments in regards to corporate taxes or the so-called death tax fail with the tin eared Right. Beliefs always trump reality. Limbaugh asserts that cutting capital gains is just the ticket. Which is just another trip down delusions lane, 400 richest Americans’ incomes doubled under Bush

The drop from 2001’s tax rate of 22.9 percent was due largely to ex-President George W. Bush’s push to cut tax rates on most capital gains to 15 percent in 2003.

Capital gains made up 63 percent of the richest 400 Americans’ adjusted gross income in 2006, or a combined $66.1 billion, according to the data. In all, the 400 wealthiest Americans reported a combined $105.3 billion of adjusted gross income in 2006, the most recent year for which the IRS has data.

The philosophy behind cutting and cutting capital gains is classic supply side or trickle down economics. Just make sure that America’s dukes, princes and earls stay wealthy and get wealthier. The the enormous economic benefits will trickle down to the average working  Jane and Joe. We’ve had over three decades of this philosophy – a lite version under Clinton – and the economy is in the ditch. More accurately, working class Americans, those with the average household income of around $56 thousand a year have lost ground – in the last eight years, despite some record profits for companies like Exxon – middle-class income has gone down. These are the people that John McCain’s{R-AZ) financial campaign advisor Phil Gramm called “whiners”. It has not been more then two months since we were all treated to a barrage of articles about Republicans in disarray, a party that needed to redefine its self. They have according to their recent actions retreated back into their shell of cognitive dissonance. They do not now, nor have they ever had any real ideas. So confronted with solutions that will probably work, one cannot expect a party that is suffering from several generations of arrested development to start firing off ideas. One’s that will help the country and keep them from becoming the permanent political minority. Thus just crank up the Right’s noise machine shouting disproved and disastrous dogma that appeals to what they have left of a base. They’ve done it before and it turns out its the only trick they know. One aspect of their keep the royals fat and happy campaign is the guilt trip. It is part of the expalantion for Republican support among some working class Americans – if you’re not making it in this economy its your fault – you must be lazy or stupid or fallen under the spell of the the liburl nay sayers. Problems? Hey you just need to work harder or longer hours.

The royal trickle down


The 10 Trillion Dollar Debt Party Votes Against Progress

Suck it up America for the good of the Republican party

In the recent past Republicans voted for and ran up a charge for future generations of Americans a debt of over 10 trillion dollars ending fiscal year 2008. The stimulus bill aside, the U.S. will be running on a Bush/Republican budget until 2010. As of yesterday Republicans voted for increasing the federal debt, voted for more unemployment, voted for more failed banks and businesses and voted for increasing the interest on the national debt. In short Republicans voted against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. You really can’t blame them. The ARRA will be pasted into law with or without Conservative support. Though President Obama won the recent election with historic margins of support and the majority of the American public wants the ARRA. Most of America’s leading economists and the non-partisan  Congressional Budget Office think the stimulus will work. It will combine with the average working Americans desire to work hard and make the best of bad times to a steady incremental recovery of the economy. Wait, Republicans the party of pork and corruption should vote for the ARRA because it is what’s best for the country, right? No, that is not the way Republicans think. Republicans are throwing a Hail Mary pass. They’re crossing their fingers and hoping for the worse possible economic calamity to engulf the United Sates for years. If Obama and Democrats succeed, you see, the Republicans become even more the marginal party of extremists, disconnected ideologues and kooks. For example,  “Michelle Malkin – GOP holds the line: 244-188.  This crap sandwich is all yours, Dems —  Own it.  Embrace it.  Swallow it.  The House version of the $1.1 trillion Generational Theft Act of 2009 is all the Democrats’ doing now.” Malkin’s party, philosophy, corruption, anti-regulation zealotry, optional wars based on lies will cost every American family ten times what the ARRA will cost. Not passing a stimulus package will lead to more unemployment and thus more lost tax revenue, plus the interests on that spiraling debt which will in turn leave the  Conservative Generational Theft Act 2000-2008 costing even more. And that is just the tangible costs, the costs that a spread sheet can measure. It doesn’t count the intangibles, the ruined lives and families, but all sacrifices that must be made in the desperate race to save the Conservative movement from its fated irrelevancy. We know that right-wing zealots like Malkin, Limbaugh and House Minority Leader Boehner(R) are lying about their objections because they’ve been caught lying about the numbers. There are plenty of tax cuts in the ARRA, some think too much of the package is in tax cuts, but Cons  have lied about the use of tax cuts and their effectiveness during a recessionary economy,

But as has already been endlessly hashed out in the econoblogosphere, their findings primarily applied to tax cuts that were enacted during periods when the economy was healthy. In other words, when the economy’s normal job creation engine is plugging along nicely and companies are turning profits and unemployment is relatively low, a tax cut can provide an added stimulus.

But the Romers did not find the same was true when the economy was in recession. Explicitly: “Policymakers’ efforts to adjust taxes to offset anticipated changes in private economic activity have been largely unsuccessful.”

There is an intuitively obvious explanation for this, which will be familiar to anyone who has been reading How the World Works this week. In a recessionary economy, tax cuts do not necessarily encourage consumers to spend and businesses to hire. When confidence in the economy is low, people are inclined to pay off their bills and boost their savings. Tax cuts might provide a little more cushion for consumers and businesses to wait out the storm, but they are unlikely to incite a wave of euphoric shopping.

More here, Intellectual Dishonesty (Gasp!) from a Conservative Economist

This is very much not the type of tax cut that we are contemplating right now. Instead, what is being contemplated is a countercyclical action in an unhealthy economy designed to return the economy to normal growth. Romer and Romer are not all that keen on this type of tax cut; in fact, they argue that such “countercyclical fiscal policy is not achieving its intended purpose,” and that “policymakers’ efforts to adjust taxes to offset anticipated changes in private economic activity have been largely unsuccessful“.

It is beyond ridiculous to say that, or claim as an excuse for being against the ARRA that it will create debt. Even short term its rather small percentage increase as a percent of GDP then what Republicans have left us with. What will doing nothing accomplish – yes that 800 billion will be saved, but that penny wise at best and pound foolish in the long run. You cannot generate revenue without getting people to work. If the economy doesn’t have workers spending their income, business cannot generate profits or pay taxes to bring down the debt. The only real arguable point here is weighing the stimulus toward things like infrastructure projects, science research, etc or toward tax cuts. Obama’s tax cut package was the kind of bend over backwards concessions that Democrats always seem to be making and Republicans still said it was not enough. No tax cut would have been large enough to get Republican votes because economic recovery is not the Republican party’s goal. Their goal is to make Democratic efforts to turn the economy around fail. The media is to some extent playing along with the Right’s narrative. It might be a contest at this point. Can the Right spin loud and hard enough to get the truth buried in all the noise. Bipartisanship And The Stimulus

If you try hard, and publicly, to attract Republican support, but fail, then Republicans look like intransigent ideologues who would rather try to score political points than actually deal with the serious problems the country faces. You, by contrast, look reasonable: you tried to reach out, but your efforts were rejected.

Obviously, this only works if your efforts look serious. If Obama had gone to the Republicans and said: I propose a bill entirely made up of things Democrats really want and you really hate, but please, do join us in supporting it!, that wouldn’t work at all. But he didn’t do that. He went the extra mile. When Republicans protested about particular things, he dropped some of them …

Republicans didn’t stand up for principles about deficit spending – a claim straight from bizarro world considering their track record. They stood up for failure. They gave the average American worker the shaft in a bizarre first step to returning  Conservative K-street culture and coporate welfare run amok, just the way they like it.

Map of the Americas circa 1620

Today’s Delusions: Conservatives Still Feel They Deserve America’s Trust

Fax from the noise machine

Republicans Urged To Back Relief Package – Obama Meets With Lawmakers for Hours. He meet with Republicans for hours and they have decided they are going to vote against the stimulus package. One which probably contains too much in the way of tax cuts, but Republicans claim that the tax cuts are not big enough. Other then officially move us to a Social Darwinism State in which the government is no more then a Po.O. Box, no Obama tax cuts would have been large enough. If your partisan opponents are going to be dishonest and disingenuous about finding solutions to our economic woes, bipartisan solutions become a fairy tale goal. Republicans do not seem the least fazed by the fact they were in charge of the economy, dragged it to the bottom and now claim that the country should not believe recent history and their lying eyes, fellow Republicans once again into the abyss. If the Boehners, Kyls, and Limbaughs have gained some new deep insights, had a grand epiphany from their experiences the last eight to ten years, they are not sharing them with the nation. Pissing and moaning about not being a bigger part of the development of the stimulus only passes for insight at the bar in the Wingnut Hilton. Not having a bigger say is the consequence of being voted out of power. They shouldn’t have squandered that power on runaway spending, irresponsible tax cuts, lied us into an unnecessary war and did their best to protect the financial sector from the regulation that might have prevented the necessity of a stimulus. President Obama has been underestimated so many times that his extremely bipartisan overtures to Congressional Republicans may almost seem obsequious. Then it dawned on me that those overtures might be playing Republicans. Obama has the public’s support, the votes in the House and probably the Senate without Republicans. A year from now the markets have settled some, the stimulus is working. Who wasn’t on the boat? Republicans. Which party is has egg on its face going into the mid-terms in 2010? Republicans. Obama scores again.

This is going to get tiresome – the Bush/Republican legacy will be haunting us for years, US roads, water and basic systems earn ‘D’ grade

America’s roads, public transit and aviation have gotten worse in the past four years. Water and sewage systems are dreadful. The basic physical backbone of American society is barely above failing, a report by top engineers says.

It’ll cost $2.2 trillion to fix America’s ailing infrastructure, according to highlights of a report being released early, just as the House of Representatives…

Yet it is all too easy to find a dead ender defending “progress” in Iraq by listing all the infrastructure projects that have been completed – you know the ones that were paid for by our tax dollars because they were destroyed because Bush had to get his optional war on. Republicans, the party that is pro stimulus for Iraq, anti-stimulus for America. FBI saw mortgage fraud early – Agents say they lacked resources to pursue it

The FBI was aware for years of “pervasive and growing” fraud in the mortgage industry that eventually contributed to America’s financial meltdown, but did not take definitive action to stop it.

“It is clear that we had good intelligence on the mortgage-fraud schemes, the corrupt attorneys, the corrupt appraisers, the insider schemes,” said a recently retired, high FBI official. Another retired top FBI official confirmed that such intelligence went back to 2002.

The problem, according to the two FBI retirees and several other current and former bureau colleagues, is that the bureau was stretched so thin that no one noticed when those lenders began packaging bad mortgages into bad securities.

One of the things the FBI was forced to do was follow bad leads generated by Bush’s illegal wiretapping program, Late 2001: NSA Domestic Wiretapping Ties Up FBI with Bad Leads

FBI officials repeatedly complain that the unfiltered information is bogging down the bureau: according to over a dozen current and former law enforcement and counterterrorism officials, the flood of tips provide them and their colleagues with very few real leads against terrorism suspect.

Yesterday when I posted about the time frame of stimulus package spending I didn’t count in the possible effects of the tax cuts, CNN’s Henry misrepresented CBO cost estimate of economic stimulus bill

On CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, Ed Henry asserted that the Congressional Budget Office’s cost estimate of the economic stimulus bill “basically says that 52 percent of the money will be spent out over the next 18 months, that some 64, 65 percent of the bill will be paid out over the first two years.” However, Henry’s calculations are based on outlays only, excluding the plan’s tax cut provisions. Including both outlays and tax cuts, the CBO estimated that about 64 percent of the recovery bill would be paid out within 19 months, and about 86 percent by the end of fiscal year 2011.

Black and White Stone Wall landscape wallpaper

Black and White Skyline wallpapers, Republicans Continue To Be Anti-Recovery Brats

Louisville Kentucky Skyline wallpaper

Golden Gate Bridge at Night wallpaper

Expressway Skyline wallpaper

Officials: Family planning money may be dropped

House Democrats are likely to jettison family planning funds for the low-income from an $825 billion economic stimulus bill, officials said late Monday, following a personal appeal from President Barack Obama at a time the administration is courting Republican critics of the legislation.

Sometimes its actually done to speed a small bit of legislation through the bureaucratic mill, but on general principle Congress has often resorted to attaching non-related legislation into large bills. Its bad habit that should be curtailed as much as possible. That said there is a case to be made that helping low income families with family planning is a good thing in economic terms for individual families and long term, a positive for the economy. For those that claim to care about families and lowering the number of abortions, i.e. Conservatives, backing this indirectly related legislation should have been something they would back simply because it also benefits their cultural agenda – in a choice between birth control and abortion, Conservatives chose abortion. Once again, those Conservatives, hypocrites to the core, have geared up the noise machine to make it about condoms and tax money. Another Democratic blogger claims that it was all too predictable that Democrats would cave. Technically President Obama caved and used some political capital to get Democratic Congressional leaders to go along. While the legislation is very likely to reappear in the future, Obama’s bargaining skills are in need of improvement. He gave Republicans a concession in good faith, but counting the number of Republican votes swayed toward the stimulus because of the compromise and you get a big fat zero. Hopefully Obama and Company get the message, the Conservative idea of compromise is when they get everything they want. Cons have given no sign they will stop being the party of petulant brats. Taking Responsibility: Republicans Continue Recovery Obstruction

Lewis (Rep. Jerry “King of Pork” Lewis’s(R-CA) also makes totally false arguments about the cost of job creation. He claims that if the package creates only 3 million jobs, the cost per job of an $825 billion package would be $275,000. The Romer analysis, however, indicates that by the fourth quarter of 2010 the smaller package first put forward by the White House would have created 3.6 million jobs. That analysis also shows that in addition to the jobs created in 2010 the package would create substantial additional numbers of jobs in 2009, 2011, and 2012, making the annual cost per job a small fraction of the figure used by Lewis.

While Romer and Jared Bernstein–now Vice President Joe Biden’s chief economic advisor–used very conservatives estimates of job creation, another estimate by Mark Zandi, the Chief Economist at Moody’s Economy.Com, projects that a somewhat smaller package than the one now under consideration by Congress would produce nearly than 15 million additional man years of employment between now and the end of 2012. That works out to about $50,000 per man year of work. It should also be noted that the plan will produce a substantial number of additional jobs beyond 2012.

The librul media is doing their job to help America understand what’s at stake and how much it will cost, REPORT: TV Media Cited Disputed CBO ‘Report’ At Least 81 Times In Past Six Days

This CBO report is more timely and accurate, Congressional Budget Office has good news for Democrats

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office Monday had some good news — sort of — for President Barack Obama and House Democrats: About two-thirds of their economic stimulus bill would be pumped into the economy through Sept. 30, 2010.

And, CBO said, it “anticipates that (the bill) would have a noticeable impact on economic growth and employment in the next few years.”

Let’s say 66%. Less then the 75% estimated by Obama’s economic team, but far more then the bogus 38% sited by the right-wing media.

While Congressional Republicans blow bubbles and right-wing pundits site bogus reports American is hemorrhaging jobs, Corporate cutbacks’ mounting toll on jobs

Here is a list of recently announced reductions in jobs. In some cases, totals include previously announced layoffs.
Date    Company    Layoffs    Pct. of workforce
Monday    Caterpillar 20,000    18%
Pfizer 19,500    15%
Sprint Nextel    8,000    14%
Home Depot    7,000    2%
Texas Instruments    1,800    12%
Friday       Harley-Davidson    1,100    11%
Thursday     Microsoft 5,000    5%
Wednesday    Sun Microsystems    1,300    15%-18%

Just for laughs, one Republican blogger on the recovery package and the great condom conspiracy, Morning Bell: What Is the Spending Multiplier on a Pack of Condoms?

Again, the family planning issue is just one example of how the left is using the cover of the stimulus to advance their long-term goals of increasing the size of the federal government.(emphasis mine)

A) The blogger is incapable of the brain functions capable of comprehending reality. B) has been in a coma the last eight years. C) Mom forgot to bring his hot cocoa down to the basement and is feeling cranky. Under Bush, Federal Spending Increases at Fastest Rate in 30 Years, Big Government Under the Bush Administration, Historically Democrats have always been better for the economy

The Right Picks Another Fight With the Truth, Gets Clobbered

Intellectual giant of the Right Bill Kristol will no longer be darkeing the door of the NYT. Henceforth Colonel Chickenhawk will be crawling back to Fox and The National Review where there will be no scurtiny of his opinions, no factchecking editors and the only feedback will be a slap on the back from other members of the herd, Will Obama Save Liberalism?

Since Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980, conservatives of various sorts, and conservatisms of various stripes, have generally been in the ascendancy. And a good thing, too! Conservatives have been right more often than not — and more often than liberals — about most of the important issues of the day: about Communism and jihadism, crime and welfare, education and the family. Conservative policies have on the whole worked — insofar as any set of policies can be said to “work” in the real world. Conservatives of the Reagan-Bush-Gingrich-Bush years have a fair amount to be proud of.

What a glorious warrior is that Kristol knight, beating that straw-man liberal with an alternative reality. Communism and jihadism are both too rigid, cold and violent for liberal tastes. One of Stalin and Mao’s first acts in terms of policy was to hound liberals to either prison or death. Bill Clinton did away with welfare, now all we have is an assistance program for children of poor mothers who must work forty hours a week to get that and cannot receive that aid for more then five years during their lifetime – the chances of such people getting better job skills and mov’n on up are remote to non-existent. Conservatives with the complicity of many Democrats have reduced secondary education to teaching to the test, not producing educated citizenry – in researching yesterday’s post,  Boehner, Kyl and Company have another thing in common – they vote against any bill that helps working class kids get a college education – is that what Bill K and his fellow villagers of Wingnuttia are proud of. This is a common fallacy in Conservative thinking, they always fail to see how helping our fellow citizens move up in terms of education helps us all. Democrats can be disappointing on many the nuts and bolts of many issues – see FISA and telecom immunity, but most Americans know, regardless of their party affiliation, that Democrats have always and will continue to be the pro family party. Not simply in the hollow rhetoric espoused by the elite of right-wing punditry like Kristol, but on real bread and butter issues like jobs, education and health-care. Kristol acknowledges that liberals have won, but still can’t figure out why. Which is part of the reason he’s not continuing at the NYT and why Democrats will gain more seats at the federal and state level in 2010. If Kristol and the hard Right that now controls the reins of the Republican party can’t figure out the fundamentals of why they’re wrong, keep picking fights with the truth, they’ll continue to lose. If the Right should by some miracle actually reemerge as real republicans with an honorable agenda, they’ll have done so by ignoring the Kristols of the Conservative movement that lead them to the side lines; where they now whimper and moan about the good old days of Conservatism that never existed.

Of course Kristol had to be obtuse and try to snatch some few syablles out of context by president Obama as proof the Right won, UM, WHAT’S YOUR ALLUSION HERE, MR. PRESIDENT? IT’S SO CRYPTIC AND OBSCURE, I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT

If punditry matters, and sinse that is all Bill does for a living, let’s assume he thinks it does. Why has he treated the art of punditry with such contempt, Kristol Makes His Fourth Factual Error In His New York Times Column, ‘Kristol Ball’ Breaks: Stevens Will ‘Hang On In Alaska,’ McCain Will Conquer The ‘Path To The Presidency’, Bill Kristol in a nutshell, The NYT’s latest Kristol embarrassment.

The Truth Wins Again

CNN’s Henry advanced GOP criticism of stimulus package based on purported CBO “study,” ignored Dems’ response

Summary: On Lou Dobbs Tonight, Ed Henry reported that a “study” from the Congressional Budget Office “was suggesting that a lot of the spending proposals in the original [economic stimulus] plan would not really take effect for a couple of years, so it wouldn’t clearly help create jobs in the first two years of the president’s administration.” However, the director of the Office of Management and Budget stated in a letter that his agency’s “analysis indicates that at least 75 percent of the overall package … will be spent over the next year and a half” — which Henry did not report.

This is currently a popular meme on the Right. Just last night Chris Wallace, doing his best impression of Bill O’Reilly was practically screaming and certainly brow beating Sen. Chuck Schumer that the bulk of the stimulus package would not be spent for years. Patently false.

Bad Faith Economics

The true cost per job of the Obama plan will probably be closer to $100,000 than $275,000 — and the net cost will be as little as $60,000 once you take into account the fact that a stronger economy means higher tax receipts.

Next, write off anyone who asserts that it’s always better to cut taxes than to increase government spending because taxpayers, not bureaucrats, are the best judges of how to spend their money.

Here’s how to think about this argument: it implies that we should shut down the air traffic control system. After all, that system is paid for with fees on air tickets — and surely it would be better to let the flying public keep its money rather than hand it over to government bureaucrats. If that would mean lots of midair collisions, hey, stuff happens.

It is one of the great ironies of the current the national discourse that the Right can and does make the wildest connections between things – the belief that correlations, even thin ones, are the same thing as cause and effect, but cannot make common sense connections between spending for the common good and the benefits that individuals and we as a society reap. Our Bush legacy deficits are proof that Republicans love to spend the average working American’s money and just as obvious they suck at using that spending where it does the most good.

Boehner, Kyl, McConnel and Limbaugh Form the The Perfect Circle of Inepitude

This Politico story from Friday was had a few odd items, GOP pitches its own econ plan

Boehner, in remarks on the White House driveway, warned that “government can’t solve this problem.”

That would be the same House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio who just voted for Bush’s $700 billion stimulus package. The one that Bush insisted have minimal Congressional oversight because just a few months ago John Crybaby Boehner was a a worshiper of big gov’ment intervention, but has changed his religion when a Democrat asks for a better stimulus package with more control over how it is spent. Why would this election change the Right’s habitual tendency to do complete flip-flops in the name of partisan loyalty over what is best for America. Boehner also made a it a point to that businesses should be given even larger tax breaks – a debatable idea that President Obama proposed in December, but Boehner’s proposal is yet again more noise  then substance – he voted against energy efficiency tax credits for businesses and individuals ( many of the Obama tax cuts remain in the stimulus package currently being proposed). Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. was also in the same picture at Politico with Boehner; another Republican that voted for Bush’s $700 billion dollar stimulus, but suddenly in 2009 has grave concerns about all this deficit spending. Its mildly interesting to read Kyl’s statements about federal budget deficits over the course of the Bush presidency. He has been utterly consistent – complaining about runaway government spending as his party controlled Congress and the White House, while voting for every Bush budget. Kyl has a master’s degree  in Republican bullsh*t. It obviously works since he has managed to bs Arizona voters into keeping him in office. This group, that included Boehner, Kyl and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(R- Ky) asserted,

Republicans in the House would also like assurances in the bill that Congress will not raise taxes to pay down the $550 billion in federal spending laid out in the Democrats’ bill.

Brilliant piece of economic concern and insight from the party that took the federal budget from a surplus to an historic deficit – a deficit which is in reality a loan on which the nation – individuals and businesses must pay interest. The average American doesn’t have to have a degree in economic to know that Boehner, Kyl, McConnell and most of the Republican party shouldn’t be allow anywhere near a checkbook or spread sheet. Many may not remember, especially since it barely registered on the average Americana’s economic radar, but Republicans tried using tax rebates to jump start the economy in early 2008. That stimulus package failed (the last paragraph at the link about Obama’s plan was bunk and has since changed because of the new president’s attempt to compromise with Republicans) to stimulate much of anything. People paid their utility bills with it or put it in the bank. They didn’t buy the cars, wash machines and other hard goods that stimulate the economy. 10 Absurd Conservative Myths About Obama’s Recovery Plan

2. If we can’t afford (insert pet project here), we certainly can’t afford this.

Yes, we can. What we really can’t afford is a huge recession that undercuts the tax base. That’s a vicious cycle that will make it increasingly harder to dig out the longer this goes on. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the current slowdown will cost the federal government $166 billion in lost tax revenues in 2009 — a number that could easily get even larger in coming years if we fall into a real depression. If we get on that trendline, we could lose a trillion dollars in government revenues by the end of Obama’s first term. We need to invest what we have while we still have it if we hope to have a strong economy going forward.

This argument is based on the limited view that wealth is mainly generated by loaning or borrowing at interest — a common enough assumption among financial people over the past 30 years. A more progressive view is that real wealth is generated by labor, combined with access to resources required for production. Putting people to work creates wealth. So does ensuring that our current failing energy regime is replaced as rapidly as possible with one that’s infinitely renewable and that we will finally be in full control of. And so do other kinds of infrastructure investments, which form the footing on which a new round of businesses can rise and thrive.

Businesses have always invested their capital to create more capital. The best parts of Obama’s proposal involve getting the government to do the same thing. Conservatives are resisting this because don’t believe that there’s such a thing as the common wealth — which is how they’ve rationalized their plundering of our common assets. We need to make it absolutely clear that we do believe in the common wealth — and that their assaults on everything that allows America to generate national wealth are going stop, right here and right now.

The “vicious cycle” is exactly what hard core wingers like Boehner, Kyl and pundits want,

Asked for a response by National Review yesterday, Limbaugh said that Obama’s “plan is to isolate elected Republicans from their voters.” He added that passage of the stimulus bill would hurt Republicans electorally:

Obama’s plan would buy votes for the Democrat Party, in the same way FDR’s New Deal established majority power for 50 years of Democrat rule, and it would also simultaneously seriously damage any hope of future tax cuts. It would allow a majority of American voters to guarantee no taxes for themselves going forward. It would burden the private sector and put the public sector in permanent and firm control of the economy. Put simply, I believe his stimulus is aimed at re-establishing “eternal” power for the Democrat Party rather than stimulating the economy because anyone with a brain knows this is NOT how you stimulate the economy.

I don’t know whether Limbaugh was speaking from his multi-million dollar vacation home in Florida or his multi-million dollar penthouse in New York, or maybe one of the swank hotels he stays at in London. Limbaugh is an expert on economics; America or rather the upper two percent, is currently reaping the rewards of his Church of the Trickle Down.

We’ve actually only gotten second hand snips of what President Obama said in that meeting with Republicans the other day. One zinger was the suggestion that republicans start listening to reason rather then Rush Limbaugh. I think Obama was doing a little tongue in cheek concern trolling. Obama and Democrats probably, and certainly speaking for myself, hope that Republicans do listen to the Limster. I would like to take a moment to offer some sincere gratitude to Rush, Coulter, Malkin, Powerline Blog, Grover Norquist, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Fox News, Sarah Palin, Redstate, The National Review and all the other miscreants of the Conservative movement for their help in 2006 and 2008. Without their bizarre world view, lack of ideas, pathological lying, moral and financial corruption in addition to their complete ineptitude at governing – well it all gave Democrats that extra motivation and all moderate minded Americans  have a competent president and a majority in Congress. Contrary to Limpie’s head spinning attempt to portray himself as both victim and hero, I wish that Limbaugh and the Right continue to do what they have always done – undermine America. In doing so, even if Democrats are only marginally successful at governing they can look forward to that 50 years of Democratic majorities that makes Limpie cry for his nanny in the middle of the night.

There are two things going on here. One prong of the Great Unifier’s plan is to isolate elected Republicans from their voters and supporters by making the argument about me and not about his plan. He is hoping that these Republicans will also publicly denounce me and thus marginalize me. And who knows? Are ideological and philosophical ties enough to keep the GOP loyal to their voters?

To understand what that drivel means you have to be a paid up member of the Kool-Aid Drinkers for Rush Club. Where upon you will get a secret decoder ring in the mail.

Limbaugh-The Infalliable One

The Right Attacks the Rule of Law and American Values

Freed by U.S., Saudi Becomes a Qaeda Chief

The emergence of a former Guantánamo Bay detainee as the deputy leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch has underscored the potential complications in carrying out the executive order President Obama signed Thursday that the detention center be shut down within a year.

The Right’s reaction has been predictably wrong. lacking in the slighest hint of knowledge or logic about the issue. The far Right American Power Blog, in a desperate search for adjectives, Dose of Reality on Guantanamo Detainees

Sometimes the right thing to do (the Bush program) is so intuitively obvious that the warped opposition of the netroots hordes signifies nothing less than abject Bush derangement and the pursuit of raw nihilist power.
Posted by Donald Douglas at 9:12 PM

The Bush program was to hold people that are suspects, indefinitely without charge. Which embodies a nihilistic policy straight out of the old Soviet Union. The NYT ‘news’ article reeks of sensationalism. It is not in fact President Obama’s policy to let the doors open and let the occupants of Gitmo make a run for it. (This man has, according to eyewitness acounts committed an especially heinous crime, murdering several children. He will be put in a clean cell, given humane treatment and go to trial. That is what modern civilized countries do. If humane treatment encourages crime then the Right should be campaigning to have Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s sentence rescinded. The prisoners at Gitmo will be handled more in accordance with America’s traditional commitments to the rule of law, described here by Sen. Russ Feingold(D-WI) – A Great Start to Restoring the Rule of Law

One of the phrases you hear a lot in Washington, DC, is “the devil is in the details,” and that is certainly true with respect to many of these issues, especially the closing of Guantanamo. Under the new orders, detainees will essentially be categorized into 3 groups: (1) those to release or transfer to other countries, (2) those to prosecute in civilian or military courts, and (3) those we can’t release but can’t try. An interagency panel, led by the Attorney General, will make these determinations based on an individualized review of each detainee and will determine lawful means for dealing with individuals in the third category, consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice.

A nation doesn’t stop trying to be just. Stop trying to live up to its ideals because a few people take advantage of them. That would be truly deranged; save the tax payers some money send all the judges and police home and issue everyone a gun and a noose and let everyone go at it – again another nihilistic notion that the Right maliciously or inadvertently promotes. Spencer Ackerman makes the same point in this post, Problems And Pseudo-Problems With Closing GTMO

It directs a screening process to determine which detainees ought to be released; which ought to be repatriated to their home countries’ legal systems; which ought to be sent to a third-party country’s legal system; and which ought to be prosecuted by the United States. Admittedly, no screening process can eliminate with 100 percent certainty the possibility that a dangerous man won’t be released. But there’s recidivism in the U.S. prison system as well, and no one considers that an argument for indefinite detention.

Spencer also points to this story as a reminder of what some of the detainees are and are not,

The CIA program’s original scope was to hide and interrogate the two dozen or so al Qaeda leaders believed to be directly responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, or who posed an imminent threat, or had knowledge of the larger al Qaeda network. But as the volume of leads pouring into the CTC from abroad increased, and the capacity of its paramilitary group to seize suspects grew, the CIA began apprehending more people whose intelligence value and links to terrorism were less certain, according to four current and former officials.

House Minority Leader John Boehner(R-OH) has been something of the Right’s premiere drama queen for years now – breaking down in tears when he doesn’t get his way. Boehner is so detached from reality, especially that of everyday working Americans and how liberal democracies work, you have to wonder how he could say this, Boehner’s Alternate Reality: Gitmo Detainees Get ‘More Comforts Than A Lot Of Americans Get’

Boehner has not been paying attention. Just last week, Susan Crawford, the top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to prosecute Gitmo detainees, revealed that she had concluded that Mohammed al-Qahtani was tortured by the U.S. military and consequently could not be prosecuted.

Let’s say that Boehner has some little nugget of truth buried in his bizarre comparison. Over the last fifty years Republicans at the state and federal level have had the power and money to make many American’s lives better then the detainees at Gitmo and choose not to. Nope, in between emotional breakdowns John was genuflecting in that great wave of mindless obedience to the school of deregulation and social Darwinism. Boehner didn’t steer America off the cliff, but he helped with the navigation as much as  he could.

Boehner’s Alternate Reality

Winter Mountains wallpaper, Some National Security News

Winter Mountains wallpaper

Jeff Huber writes at Pen and Sword, Obama’s Strategic Wasteland

In December 2008, Joe Klein of Time magazine called the war in Afghanistan an “aimless absurdity.” Our new president is onboard with committing 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, despite the fact that the Pentagon isn’t certain what to tell the additional troops to do there or even what kind of troops it wants to send. According to the Washington Post, “the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like ‘surge’ of forces will significantly change the direction of a conflict that has steadily deteriorated over the past seven years.”

So why are they executing an Iraq-like “surge” of forces?

No, After You…

One senior U.S. military commander told the Post “We have no strategic plan. We never had one.” He was referring to the Bush administration’s Afghanistan program, but he might as well have been talking about Iraq and Iran and every other tentacle of Bush era foreign policy. The senior commander also said that Obama’s first order of business will be to “explain to the American people what the mission is” in Afghanistan. Obama will be hard pressed to explain what the mission is if he doesn’t have a strategy.

I like Huber’s hockey analogy. To throw troops at the problem knocking the bad guys against the boards year after year isn’t a strategy, its a never ending quagmire. Violent clashes may subside for a while, but you never get the political win and reconciliation you need to have a stable government. One problem wth Democrats is they sometimes over compensate on the use of hard power to win the surreal which party is tougher game. I hope that president Obama doesn’t fall into that trap.

Obama to Shut Guantánamo Site and C.I.A. Prisons – The librul NYT needs to get better headline writers.

And the orders would bring to an end a Central Intelligence Agency program that kept terrorism suspects in secret custody for months or years, a practice that has brought fierce criticism from foreign governments and human rights activists. They will also prohibit the C.I.A. from using coercive interrogation methods, requiring the agency to follow the same rules used by the military in interrogating terrorism suspects, government officials said.

[  ]…The executive order on interrogations is certain to be received with some skepticism at the C.I.A., which for years has maintained that the military’s interrogation rules are insufficient to get information from senior Qaeda figures like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The Bush administration asserted that the harsh interrogation methods were instrumental in gaining valuable intelligence on Qaeda operations.

The often repeated and as far as we know false assertion that torture has been an invaluable tool and has yielded intel not obtainable in any other way just will not die. The U.S. military guidelines are not a fresh mint on your pillow, enjoy your stay approach. Those guidelines are plenty tough enough. Continuing to violate them is just a recruiting tool for radical ringleaders.

Intelligence Agencies’ Databases Set to Be Linked After Years of Bureaucratic Snags, System Aims to Ease Communications, Give Spies Access to More Data

Today, an analyst’s query might scan only 5% of the total intelligence data in the U.S. government, said a senior intelligence official. Even when analysts find documents, they sometimes can’t read them without protracted negotiations to gain access. Under the new system, an analyst would likely search about 95% of the data, the official said.

This data sharing can obviously have an up side, but one network admin that I mentioned it to suggested that over centralization can bring its own risks. If various agencies like the NSA, CIA and the FBI go through one or two central data servers it makes it easier for hackers to concentrate on bringing down a smaller number of targets. Just water cooler conversation, but they might have a point.

A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan

Landscape Idaho wallpaper

Black and White Blades of Grass wallpaper

Black and White New York City wallpaper

A few days ago I was reading this news round-up at the progressive Tapped blog that mentioned a post by the far Right Redstate that in so many words said that America should be grateful that Bush didn’t declare martial law and continue his presidency,  Will Left Accept That They Were Wrong About Bush?. To call it a sophomoric attempt to paint most Americans, not just liberals as crazy and paranoid is to give it more credit then due. A link to Bush declaring an emergency so that D.C. authorities could provide more crowd control, a link to Yahoo Answers ( the place where all definitive policy declarations by Democrats are to be found. Who knew.), a poll at a news aggregation site and exactly one over wrought editorial at CommonDreams. The depth of research is astounding; you’ll easily recognize the winger that wrote it by the ace bandage on his sore wrist and blistered clicking finger. I’ve read a little paranoid hyperbole over the years by a few people in comment sections. We’ve all been down the comments road before, considering the rabid comments one can find on right-wing blogs should they really be going there.

Freaks and geeks on message boards were a’twitter over the fear of a Bushhitler coup. Only a year ago, the nutballs at Wired magazine were wearing sack cloth and gnashing teeth over the faux possibility. And don’t get me started on the extremists of Newsvine, the commies at, and…. well, you get the picture. (emphasis mine)

Consider instead Redstate’s actual content above and their efforts at fund rising. Which included the perfectly sane and reasonable? Obama is the anti-Christ button, mug or t-shirt. Thomas Dolby onc sang that he was blinded by science, RS’s blind spot is obsequious partisanship to THE MOVEMENT,

Yet, here we are only days from the Inauguration of Barack Obama, a man that couldn’t be farther from the sort of image of a president strong on national defense and interested in rooting out and destroying Islamic terror that were the hallmark traits of George W. Bush.

The RAND Corporation, not exactly a bastion of liberalism reported back in 2008 that,

Current U.S. strategy against the terrorist group al Qaida has not been successful in significantly undermining the group’s capabilities, according to a new RAND Corporation study issued today.

Al Qaida has been involved in more terrorist attacks since Sept. 11, 2001, than it was during its prior history and the group’s attacks since then have spanned an increasingly broader range of targets in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, according to researchers.

In looking at how other terrorist groups have ended, the RAND study found that most terrorist groups end either because they join the political process, or because local police and intelligence efforts arrest or kill key members. Police and intelligence agencies, rather than the military, should be the tip of the spear against al Qaida in most of the world, and the United States should abandon the use of the phrase “war on terrorism,” researchers concluded.

Bush is to terrorism what cow manure is to vegetable gardens. If you love terrorism, Bush and the neocons are your threats to national security manure. If president Obama decreases terrorism by 1% he will have achieved what Bush the “hallmark” guy couldn’t do in nearly eight years.

Most folks, except some of the MSM have already read this, The media myth about the cost of Obama’s inauguration

Did you hear that “some are saying” Barack Obama’s inauguration will cost “$160 million,” which is $100 million more than George W. Bush’s last swearing-in? That’s the tale the crew at Fox & Friends was telling on January 15. “Why does the thing have to cost so much?” demanded co-host Gretchen Carlson. “I don’t get it. George Bush spent $42.3 million and that was just four years ago.” She wondered why Obama needed “another $100 million” for his celebration.

[  ]…It also highlighted the type of news you can generate when making blatantly false comparisons. In this case, it was the cost of the Obama and Bush inaugurations. The connection was unfair because the Obama figure of $160 million that got repeated in the press included security costs associated with the massive event. But the Bush tab of $42 million left out those enormous costs. Talk about stacking the deck.

Fox and the always reliably wrong Newsmax are echoing the comparisons with the cost of security figured in for Obama’s inauguration, but no security costs for Bush’s bash four years ago. An honest debate about the incredible costs of these ceremonies is certainly welcome, but that’s not what the Right is having.

The BBC found a video tape of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964 predicting we’d have a black president in forty years.

Good Riddance, Vile Prince

In business, he failed consistently. His M.B.A degree was of little use in the oil business as he bet on dry hole after dry oil. Bankruptcy would look bad on his resume so his daddy’s friends consistentl y bailed him out.

In one of his business ventures, he used inside information to unload stock that was about to tank. He got caught. A friend of his daddy’s at the S.E.C. slapped his hand and he promised he wouldn’t steal again from the other shareholders. The report on the dirty dealing remains sealed to this day.

Bush, the pillar of meritocracy. A Surprise for the Right Obama’s Election Has Caused a Patriotic Spirit to Sweep America. Among other things Robert Creamer reminds us that in face of our current hardships President Obama called on Americans to “commitment to something outside of yourself”, while after 9-11 The Decider Guy told America to go shopping.

A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
Martin Luther King, Jr.