Feeling They Have Not Done Enough Damage by Bringing Us The Great Recession, Republicans Are About to Cause The Great Recession Part Two

George Zornick at The Nation brings up an important point in Debt Ceiling Theatrics Get More Dangerous by the Day or Feeling They Have Not Done Enough Damage by Bringing us The Great Recession, They’re About to Cause The Great Recession Part Two

Not satisfied with having even 17 percent of the debt ceiling deal include tax increases, Cantor and Sen. Jon Kyl walked out [14] of the bipartisan meetings with Biden. Meanwhile, SenatorJim DeMint, who holds powerful sway in the Senate, has said he simply doesn’t believe [15] that the debt ceiling needs to be raised by August 2. This opinion is shared by leaders [16] of national Tea Party organizations and presidential candidate Representative Michele Bachmann [17]. DeMint also says the only acceptable outcome is the passage [18] of a balanced budget amendment, an extreme request that’s almost certain to be left unfulfilled.

This is where the political theatre is getting more dangerous every day. There are serious risks attached to even the appearance that a deal may not happen. As Jared Bernstein explains [19] at his blog, the Treasury Department is currently selling bonds to investors with a relatively low 2.93 percent interest rate. Investors feel comfortable with the low yield because they remain confident that the Treasury bonds are a safe investment. But if that confidence is shaken, investors may demand more, and Bernstein speculates that Treasury might have to add half of a percentage point to the interest rate.

So Conservatives who are experts on the economy – look around for the evidence – have no problem with holding the economy hostage over doing a deficit deal their way. Of course the nation should have complete confidence in the very same degenerates who caused the Great Recession. No one should ever tell me that advertising does not work. Conservatives sold the U.S. a clunker that went up in flames. Now they want to sell us another clunker made exactly the same way with the same parts and swear they are just simple patriots doing what is right for America. If they were car or bond salesman they’d all be prosecuted and put in jail. OK, so they lost a few trillion dollars of the nations’ wealth because they didn’t want to enforce those pesky Wall Street regulations and those nearly worked to death millionaires needed a tax cut. They’re serious this time, right?

It’s a bewildering situation. Republicans, who recently voted for a Ryan budget that increases [20] the debt by trillions, are demanding a debt reduction deal that ignores the largest driver of debt—the Bush tax cuts—and the theatrical process they are using to get what they want may itself end up increasing the debt by $50 billion per year.

If someone down the block was beating a dog with a stick the average person would conclude, regardless of what the perpetrator claimed, that person hates dogs. We know from experience and video that even caught in the act people lie. Why is it that Republicans keep beating America with a stick and a good third of the country cannot see that Republicans are not exactly great patriots.

If that seems harsh, well at least I back up the judgment with some facts. Unlike others, Michele Bachmann’s Big Presidential Campaign Walkbacks

CHRIS MATTHEWS: –so you believe that Barack Obama might have anti-American views?

REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: Yeah, absolutely I– I– I’m very concerned that he may have anti-American views. That’s what the American people are concerned about.

President Obama is guilty of some things. Like not performing miracles and undoing the deep structural damage conservatives did to the country fast enough. Bachmann and Herman Cain have something in common. They’d both like to return America’s economy to something that resembles the old plantation model. One where workers are mere wage slaves who should kiss their master’s ass in gratitude,

Stephanopoulos: Let me try one more time, so you are saying that the minimum wage is one of those regulations you’d take a look at, you’d try to eliminate it?

Bachmann: Well what I’m saying is that I think we need to look at all regulations, whatever–whatever ones are inhibiting job growth that’s what we need to —

Stephanopoulos: And the minimum wage is one of them?

Bachmann: All regulations George. I think every department. We have just too much expansion of government and so what we need to do is tamp that down so that the American people can keep more of what they make.

May the ghost of Jefferson Davis bless her. She’d let workers get by on who knows what – $2 an hour, $5 dollars a day, but taxes would be low so they could “keep more of what they make”. Does the conservative brain understand what their mouth says.

John Quincy Adams Wikipedia Page Edited by Bachmann’s Sycophants To Describe Him As A ‘Founding Father’

GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann is now getting the Sarah Palin treatment on Wikipedia. In light of Bachmann’s latest historical hiccup, people are trying to edit John Quincy Adam’s Wikipedia page to reflect her recent gaffe. One edit, for example, changes his description from “John Adams was the sixth President of the United States” to “John Adams, a founding father, was the sixth President of the United States.”

Another more satirical edit added, “But even as an embryo, John Quincy Adams could feel pain and was a Founding Father.” In striking the revisions, the page administrator included the statement, “Please don’t edit an historical article based on current events.” Incidentally, the Founding Fathers Wikipedia page still does not list John Quincy Adams as a member.

Bachmann’s history lessons


From what we have observed over the last two years one assumes that smoking copious amounts of tea tends to give history a strange bent.

CREW Requests FBI Investigation into Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA).

Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to begin a criminal investigation into Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA).  Internal office emails obtained by CREW, as well as numerous press reports, show Rep. Richardson routinely forced her congressional staff to work on her campaign  or risk losing their jobs.  She also required staff to perform personal errands.

CREW’s complaint alleges Rep. Richardson intimidated staff into making political contributions, solicited contributions on federal property, improperly used appropriated funds, and made false statements to Congress.

Richardson should spare herself and the Democratic party the embarrassment and resign immediately. Much of what Anthony Weiner did was inappropriate ( it was never determined whether he actually broke any laws).  It seems that Richardson was caught red-handed and her own staff, if things proceed, will be giving statements under oath. She’s done. I personally hate that kind of arrogant abuse of power, treating employees like serfs.


Summer Sailing wallpaper – The Republican Stellar Record of Failure

Summer Sailing wallpaper. My sailing usually involves a boat much smaller than a sailing yacht like this one. Though if you think of it as the same as saving up for a vacation rentals with an experienced captain are not completely unreasonable in terms of price. Even if you can only rent a small two-seater ( they go by different names  – Sun Fish, Super Snark, in the 12′ to 14′ range) the price is well offset by the stress relief.

By way of Steve Benen, An unyielding track record of failure

In 1982, with the economy struggling badly and unemployment pushing 11%, President Reagan agreed to a tax increase. Under the thinking that dominates Republican thought in the 21st century, such a policy would, of course, represent true insanity. After all, “everyone knows” tax increases “kill jobs.” If there was already a jobs crisis, why would Reagan dare do such a thing?

At the time, the right was livid, and made all kinds of drastic predictions about the consequences of this misguided policy. Bruce Bartlett, a former official in the Reagan administration, this week flagged a letter U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Richard Lesher sent to Congress in August 1982, analyzing the proposed tax increase:

“If H.R. 4961 is passed in these troublesome economic times, we have no doubt that it will curb the economic recovery everyone wants. It will mean a lower cash flow as more businesses pay more taxes, with a depressing effect on stock prices. It will reduce incentives for the increased savings and investment so badly needed to improve productivity and create more jobs. It will mean higher prices for many products and services. It will increase government costs in caring for those who, because the economy is held down, cannot find employment.”

As Bruce noted in his column, “It would be hard to find an economic forecast that was more wrong in every respect.” He added that it wasn’t the Chamber that had it backwards.

Economist Arthur Laffer told his clients on July 26, 1982, that the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which raised taxes by about one percent of GDP, “will stifle economic recovery,” “retard economic growth,” and undercut “the economy’s ability to enter into a period of expansion.” On August 20, 1982, he told his clients that TEFRA “will tend to lengthen and deepen the recession.” Writing in the New York Times on September 12, 1982, economist Norman Ture said the administration’s claim that TEFRA would promote economic growth was “bizarre.” He said it would “weaken the impetus for economic growth” and make the economic recovery “less certain and less vigorous.”

All of this, we now know, wasn’t even close to being right. Almost immediately after Reagan raised taxes by quite a bit, the economy began to soar.

This isn’t just some historical footnote. This is worth keeping in mind because the basics of modern Republican economic thought are, quite literally, always wrong. It’s not a matter of ideological or philosophical differences — these questions have been put to the test, repeatedly for decades, and the tenets of conservative economic policy have an unyielding track record of failure.

I would have used begin a respectable economic recovery rather than began to “soar”, but you get the drift. The problem is that all normal people with proper brain functions can do is argue the facts. Some days the facts are overwhelmed by the power of conservative denial. It’s a denial that does not border on the maniacal and cultish, it is maniacal and cultish. Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s there were these cults of different varieties. Some young adults would go off and join them. The members would not listen to reason. The new recruits would not talk to their families. Finally some people started these dramatic interventions, with the families permission, they would kidnap the cult recruit and talk them through every talking point taught to them by the cult. The conservative movement has needed such an intervention for years. Not kidnapping of course, but some professional help to get them through the bizarre and consistently wrong pile of crap they believe in. Look at the number of Americans who have lost jobs, lost their homes, took drastic pay cuts all because conservatives would either not enforce financial regulation or would not rise revenue. Only the mouse tunnel filled claptrap that is the conservative mind could swear they love America as they destroy so many lives and create so much hardship. And a good example, Bachman cites ‘scare tactics’ in debt ceiling debate

But Bachmann tells CBS the government could avoid default by paying only the interest on U.S. obligations while lawmakers work on a deal to cut spending dramatically.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (GYT’-nur) has said that’s not a workable option. He says even attempting to do that would roil financial markets and make it more expensive to finance what the government does owe.

Bachmann argues that borrowing more money isn’t a good option either. She says that would only put the country into a worse state.

Bachmann voted for the Ryan deficit reduction voodoo twice

Bachmann has voted for every economic bill that created the state we’re in and voted against every measure to improve the economy. I dare Bachmann and Republicans to not rise the debt ceiling. Between attempts to destroy Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security ( even if tea nut conservative do not attack Social Security directly – gutting Medicaid and Medicare is a backdoor way of cutting Social Security) and sending the economy into a death spiral you’ll see sizable gains in the House and Senate by Democrats in 2012. I don’t think they have the spine to stick to their inane conservative “principles”. And Bachmann could not be a Republican without being a flaming hypocrite, Bachmann’s had her share of government aid The fiscal conservative from Minnesota and 2012 presidential contender has benefited personally from federal funds and federal farm subsidies. If it seems like I’m overly optimistic, consider this preview of what America thinks of tea nut economic policies, Florida’s Criminal-in-Cheif Gov. Rick Scott(R) Unfazed by the Critics

Less than six months later, the Republican governor and the GOP-dominated legislature have achieved much of the conservative agenda he laid out, including deep budget cuts to reduce a $3.6 billion deficit without raising taxes, pension-system changes and privatizing Medicaid.

Yet polls show the former health care executive, who poured more than $70 million of his own money into his campaign, has a 29% approval rating, one of the lowest among governors, a Quinnipiac survey found last month. That’s down from 35% in early February. ( some other polls show Ricky’s approval in the low forties)

[  ]…Although Mr. Scott enjoys strong support from tea-party groups, some Republicans are unhappy. In July, the Broward County Police Benevolent Association, which opposes the pension changes, is hosting a “Party to Leave the Party,” aimed at encouraging its GOP members to change their affiliation.

“I’m going to be one of the first ones in line,” said Dick Brickman, the group’s former president and a long-time Republican.

Many say Mr. Scott has done a poor job of explaining how his policies help working people. “He’s not understanding what the average little guy and little gal are having to deal with economically,” said Mr. Fasano.

Of course Scott is not backing off. That cult of conservatism mentality is like a shield that protects the right-wing mind from facts and compassion.

Conservative Wally Wingnut

Coastal Summer wallpaper – With lies you may get ahead in the world – but you can never go back

Coastal Summer wallpaper

Andrew Brietbart’s Apprentice and Part Time Deviant James O’Keefe accepted $100 from a man who claimed to be a crack pipe dealer

“Yeah, the–the blacks buy them together, remove the rose, insert the steel wool and use them to smoke crack…I figure it’s OK because they’re black and it’s, strictly speaking, not a crack pipe–but they are crack pipes,” Murphy said.

That was apparently enough to convince O’Keefe to bolt, declining the free meal — but before he could go, Murphy offered him $100 and urged him to “get yourself something good.”

“And he fucking took it,” Murphy wrote. “He took my crack pipe money, slipped it in his coat pocket, shook my hand and bolted back the way we came. I rode the elevator down to the first floor, cackling like an absolute madman. Best hundo I’ve ever spent.”

Raw Story reached out to O’Keefe for comment, but had not received a reply at time of this story’s publication.

Just another one of those socially agward moments for a conservative – gee the whole crack pipe thing makes me a little uncomfortable, unlike the creepy attempts to get with a CNN reporter. On the other hand let’s not let the whole crack pipes thing get in the way of pocketing an easy Franklin.

It’s not easy keeping up with every lie, conspiracy theory, bizarre escapade invented by the rabid Right . Too bad we can’t turn all that perverse energy into alternative energy. One that seems to have flown under the liberal radar has been the National Disgrace Review’s Cost of Obama’s Green-Car Mandate: 260,000 jobs

The purpose of federal fuel-economy mandates is to keep the agenda of green pols hidden lest the public awaken to their enormous costs. Want to make cars fuel efficient? Tax gas. And commit political suicide. So instead we get the stealthy Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) laws, which forces automakers to compromise cars to government standards, not those of customers.

But sometimes those costs still leak out.

The Detroit News’s dogged David Shepardson has unearthed a study by one of world’s most respected automotive research firms that reveals that President Obama’s radical CAFE mandate that vehicles average — average! — 62 MPG by 2025 “could force vehicle prices up by nearly $10,000, reduce sales by 5.5 million vehicles annually, and eliminate more than 260,000 jobs.”

The Center for Automotive Research report on which that wing-nut screed was taken is not necessarily the most unbiased report in the world, Study Follows Auto Industry Pattern of Overestimating Costs of Clean, Efficient Vehicles

The Center for Automotive Research released a new version of a previously discredited analysis claiming that the cost to meet improved fuel economy and pollution standards for cars and light trucks in 2025 will be about double those estimated by three government agencies. The estimates follow an auto industry pattern for overestimating regulatory compliance costs by two to ten times, as my colleague Roland Hwang points out in his blog.

[  ]…CAR claims that reaching a standard of 62 mpg in 2025 must rely primarily on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (64 percent of sales), which increases CAR’s overall cost assessment. Analysis by the Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency and the State of California shows that 62 mpg can be reached with only modest plug-in electric vehicle penetration of 4 to 16 percent. Non-pluggable hybrids, already shown to be cost-effective today are likely to be a main part of a future clean, high-efficiency fleet, as shown by the agency analysis and our analysis. In fact, today’s Toyota Prius (which is scored for fuel economy regulatory compliance at 71 mpg) would already meet a 62 mpg standard.

U.S. automakers are bouncing back from record losses in 2008 and 2009 in large part due to strong fuel economy and pollution standards adopted for model years 2012 to 2016. Auto jobs are recovering and Ford’s recent announcement highlighted more jobs to come as they triple production capacity of hybrids and plug-in vehicles over the next two years.

The Natural Resources Defense Council also took a look at the report the National Disgrace used and also found their numbers specious, Six Reasons Why the Auto Industry Cost Claims for 62 MPG are Wrong.

Job claims exaggerated. Finally, it is critical to understand that the auto industry study result of 260,000 job lost in 2025 is entirely driven by their inflated cost estimates. The CAR study assumes that consumers value five years of fuel savings and if the fuel savings outweigh the incremental cost, sales (and jobs) will increase. The EPA and other agencies estimate a 62 mpg standard will pay back for itself in four years. Therefore, using the agencies’ cost assumption of $3,225 in CAR’s own job model yields exactly the opposite conclusion that what the auto industry is claiming: 62 mpg will result in more sales and more jobs.


This would obviously be a short-term trend but it is reported that both Chrysler and GM have added jobs in recent months.

We live in a Donald Trump-Dick Cheney-Rush Limbaugh world in terms of humility. Too bad it is not a commodity traded on an exchange. The supply of humility has become fairly rare. So rare that even some of those groups with notorious histories see no need to reflect upon their past behavior in passing the worse kind of sanctimonious and hypocritical judgement on others, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan Goes All In: Top Six ‘Reasons’ For Opposing Same-Sex Marriage

4. CATHOLICS ARE THE REAL VICTIMS: “They talk about bullying? I haven’t seen anybody on our side resort to name-calling or threats, but Lord knows they’ve been bullying us.”

This from the man who has compared same-sex relationships to incest, suggested that marriage equality is an imposition of communism, and called LGBT families “perilous” and “detrimental to the common good.”

Dolan is a member of the same religious establishment that has brought the world a literal cornucopia of sex scandals involving rape, child molestation, physical abuse  and assorted other abusive behavior for centuries. Individual Catholics have made great contributions to western culture, but knowing the history of the Vatican one would think they would throttle down the overwrought concerns about gays and marriage. If the examples at T.P. were not enough, Dolan also claimed that those who’s conscience would allow gay marriage are akin to mass murderer Pol Pot,

I’m particularly disappointed in that, once again, the terribly illogical heresy of “personally opposed but have to do this” seems to be dominating some of our Catholic politicians. How in the world, as I said on the feast of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, you could have some Catholic politicians say they’re following their conscience. The heroes of conscience are people like John Fisher and Thomas More. You bet they followed their conscience — a properly formed conscience in conformity with divine revelation and the teaching of the Church. Everybody follows their own conscience. Pol Pot followed his own conscience. We’re talking about a properly formed conscience.

No we will not be having any step by step logical explanations of the pluses and minuses, any kind of measured evaluation of how gay marriage might contribute to stability not just to gay relationships, but to society – and isn’t that what conservative say they value, stability. Nope, if you have not come to the same conclusions as Dolan, who is obviously blind to the obvious and deep moral failings of his own organization, you have the moral compass of a mass murdering communist.

Public employee unions sue Florida

The Florida Education Association, along with the Police Benevolent Association and other state employee unions, is suing the state over a new law forcing public workers over what they call a 3% pay cut or income tax and Gov. Rick Scott calls a contribution to the state’s pension system. The workers named in the suit include not just teachers but nurses, sheriff’s deputies, a social worker, and a custodian.

For Florida’s public workers to be asked to start contributing to their pension plan might be a slightly bitter pill in tough times. Though perhaps not completely unreasonable. Though the reason has nothing to do with shoring up their relatively stable and paid up pension fund. It’s about another one of Rick Scott’s schemes.

 The new employee contributions will not be used to shore up Florida’s pension system, which is in relatively good shape. Instead, the estimated $1.2 billion savings will help close a $3.5 billion gap in next year’s state budget.

[   ]…The Broward Teachers Union, which joined the lawsuit, called the Legislature’s labeling the pay cut a retirement contribution “a false premise.”

“Florida’s leaders talk ad nauseam about the need to cut taxes for businesses and the state’s wealthiest residents and yet, when it comes to our police officers, firefighters and teachers, they didn’t even blink an eye when imposing this income tax increase,” said BTU President Pat Santeramo.

Rick, like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker(R) did find the funds for a corporate tax cut. Rick Scott must be using the same kind of math he used when he stole millions from working Americans. When the middle and lower -middle make less money, and in this case Florida public employees wages will not be keeping up with inflation because of the pay cut, that means they will being buying less stuff like cars, TVs and other consumer products. Which in turn will put more downward pressure on hiring by companies who make those goods.

Republicans Act Out of Conscious Venality and Delusions Most of The Time

Among others I’ve mentioned how successful conservatives, with the usual complacency of the inside the Beltway media have managed to make our current economic issues all about deficits rather than the real problem, lack of revenue. The White House has even bought into this framing to some degree. The White House knows better. There are probably a few neurons in the Averages conservatives brain which know better as well. Those few brain cell are no match for what seems to be driving the Republican allegiance to tax cuts even if it means they are acting like the party of death panels. Make no mistake, as shrill as might seem to point out the real consequences of Republican economic policies: Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Planned Parenthood, education, nutrition programs and food safety will have will real consequences ranging from poor health to death. The choices could not be more clear. The Bush tax cuts could be ended and taxes on the wealthiest could be increased, we could lower corporate taxes a little and close the loopholes so there is a minimum corporate tax on profits and increase the capital gains tax. Most of those changes would simply bring us back to the tax rates of the Clinton years. Conservatives have dug in. They have declared their loyalty of the elite. The truly elite richer 5% of Americans. Planned Parenthood not there to catch your cancer early and you suffer the devastating consequences. Tough luck. Republican have to look out for corporations who are paying more in bonuses than they are in taxes – Some corporations spending more on executive pay than income taxes. It is supposed to be a given that Republican love America and act in America’s interest. A battered child would easily recognize the cognitive dissonance between Republicans saying they love America and the abusive actions they take. So there is another element to how the deficit and the economy are being framed. The only people who think conservatives are being rational are other conservatives who confirm the echo inside the bubble. A huge part of what we’re dealing with here is not politics in the text-book sense of public policy and governance. No, this is more about taxes as dogma. Republicans believe in their crazy economic polices in the way religious zealots believe in something  – say like the earth is the center of the universe. You can show such fundamentalists all the charts, satellite photos and calculus you like. There is no amount of evidence you could produce to convince them otherwise.Its birtherism on steroids. That rational thoughtful people find conservatives frustrating is a bonus for conservatives. Conservatives have always enjoyed needling the opposition. It pays well, just ask those who have become millionaires doing it – Limbaugh, Hannity, Palin, O’Reilly, Beck.It pays conservative politicians as well. Mitch McConnell(R-KY) wouldn’t last a week in a real job where he had to produce real products and services. He has become quite wealthy being a puppet for the Coors family, the Koch brothers and the fossil fuel industry. To his credit he doesn’t even try very hard to hand the strings when he talks.  Jonathan Chait is a generally good pundit. I  think he is right about how difficult it is proving maliciousness on the part of your opponent, but is mistaken that you cannot prove it. Given enough circumstantial evidence. The Complex Psychology Of Economic Sabotage

Republican opposition to a temporary payroll tax cut is spurring Democrats to accuse them of economic sabotage:

Would Republicans really oppose a tax cut for business that created jobs? This is sort of beyond the pale. So if they’d oppose even something so suited to their tastes ideologically, it shows that they’re just opposing anything that would help create jobs. It almost makes you wonder if they aren’t trying to slow down the economic recovery for political gain.

I’m generally uncomfortable with attacks on motive. For one thing, motive is hard to prove. For another, human psychology is such that people rarely act out of conscious venality. Instead they simply convince themselves that what they perceive to be in their best interest is also the right thing to do.

First of all it is not a matter of just choosing between maliciousness and sincere but wrong. Republican can hold both propositions in their shriveled up little hearts all the time. Bush and Republicans such as McConnell(R-KY) and John Boehner(R-OH) did not create the least deficit in U.S. history over night. They saw it grow every quarter. They could have done something and didn’t. They could do something now, but are worried about yacht sales. Looking back republicans do not think they have done anything wrong because things are very much going to plan. They hate Medicare, Social Security, public education, the environment, unions, workers rights of any kind, women, children, and the voting power of the average American. And if a Republican is willing to admit they support or oppose wars depending on who is in the White House, certainly lying about the economy is no biggie, McConnell: GOP Outspoken On Libya Because There’s A Democrat In The White House

McConnell admitted that his party is divided over President Obama’s military action in Libya, but that you’re only hearing about it because Obama’s a Democrat. Many of these same divisions, he said, existed under President Bush, but party loyalty “muted” the dissent.

“I’m not sure that these kinds of differences might not have been there in a more latent form when you had a Republican president,” McConnell admitted. “But I do think there’s more of a tendency to pull together when the guy in the White House is on your side.”

McConnell said some in his conference oppose the Libya action on the grounds that it costs too much, others on the grounds that the military’s stretched too thin, and yet more on the grounds that it’s an inappropriate use of the military.

“I think some of these views were probably held by some of my members even in the previous administration but party loyalty tends to kind of mute them,” he said. “A lot of our members, not having a Republican in the White House, feel more free to kind of express their reservations which might have been somewhat muted during the previous administration.”

We all know this happens. And McConnell’s likely trying to send a signal to dissident members to simmer down. But it’s rare to see a sitting party leader admit to this sort of thing.

Republicans lied, people died, but hey that’s what we do in the game of politics. If that is not acting out of conscious venality than what is. Some more circumstantial evidence that conservatives couldn’t give a rat’s ass what happens to the country because the worse they can make things the better it makes them look. They not voting for things now they previously supported, Senate Democrats Pivot Back to Jobs, Demand Stimulus in Debt Limit Deal

There’s a sense that this is mainly rhetorical. Democrats have seen Republicans obstruct even the most piddling of jobs bills in the Senate. Yesterday the reauthorization of the Economic Development Administration, an old Great Society program, failed to break a filibuster. The reauthorization gave just a few hundred million more to the program, and was more than offset by the successful passage of the elimination of ethanol subsidies. Republicans still didn’t vote for it. Sen. Reid said yesterday, “I don’t like to question my colleagues’ motives, but whether they work with us to pass these policies, or continue opposing ideas they once supported, will tell us a lot.”

It’s a simple multiple choice test. So simple even a conservative would understand the implications. Choose box A and help America. Choose Box B to make Obama look bad and make the economy worse. The vile and vindictive loons have consistently picked box B. Since Reagan certainly and most of the time since Nixon conservatives have had to choose between loving America or advancing their right-wing agenda. They rarely put America first.


Tax cut fairy dust

Steel Blue Water Drops wallpaper


Steel Blue Water Drops wallpaper

John McCain(R-AZ) has claimed his honor and integrity have been missing for over a decade and would appreciate the assistance of the general public in trying to find them. Strangely, Republican leadership has not requested his immediate resignation. One assumes because, thankfully, he has kept his Gucci loafers on during the entire time. OK, so that is not technically true, but it sounds like something that should be true, A SIMPLE FACT: NATIVE-BORN AMERICANS ARE KNOWN TO HAVE STARTED RECENT WILDFIRES IN ARIZONA

You probably know that John McCain has claimed to be aware of “substantial evidence” that Arizona wildfires were started by illegal immigrants — and that the Forest Service has denied that there’s any such evidence. Salon has a follow-up to the story, which includes an attempt at a clarification by a McCain aide, but that attempted clarification doesn’t help McCain’s case much:

… I inquired about it with his spokeswoman, Brooke Buchanan. She told me in an email Sunday that the senator “was given the information by a Forest Service official during his visit to the Wallow fire damaged area on Saturday.” …

A spokesman for the agencies fighting the Wallow fire, however, told ABC that while the fire is believed to be human-caused, he knows of “no evidence” that illegal immigrants were involved.

Buchanan says that McCain wasn’t referring to the Wallow fire, but rather some smaller blazes at Coronado National Forest near the U.S.-Mexico border.

She points to comments earlier this month by Jim Upchurch, forest supervisor at Coronado, who told the Arizona Daily Star that closing the forest was necessary because “the great majority, if not all the fires, on the Coronado National Forest (this year) have been human-caused. Causes of fires include ricocheting bullets, campfires, welding equipment and possibly ignition by smugglers or illegal immigrants.”

As NMMNB points out McCain’s attempts at a walk-back are still at variance with the truth,

Bill Edwards, the lead ranger at the Coronado National Forest, … cited four other southern Arizona fires, all of them in known smuggling areas, that were found to have been caused by American citizens. One was caused by a rancher whose welding created a spark that ignited the dry underbrush, he said. Another was found to have been caused by target shooters. In two cases, he said, military aircraft engaged in training exercises set off fires.

Illegal migrants, being flesh and blood human beings, might well start or have started a fire. What’s the Right’s point. Obviously native-born Americans start them. Are the fires started by illegals bad and the one’s started by native citizens good fires that cause less pain and damage. This reminds me of Matt Drudge and his tendency to report only crime perpetrated by African-Americans. Conservatives are always complaining about identity politics. Yet true to form who actually engages in the most toxic form of identity politics, conservatives.

It’s the end of the world as we know it, ‘Huge Science Geek’ Wins Miss USA — One Of Only Two Contestants Who Believe In Evolution! Sadly Miss Kentucky thinks the earth and all life on it appeared out of magic dust a couple thousand years ago along with King Arthur’s magic sword,

Kentucky’s Kia Ben-et Hampton, however, did her state’s Creation Museum proud by firmly rejecting evolution in schools. Believing that “scientists have their different theories,” she said, “I don’t believe it’s a good topic for school subjects. At all.”

She seems to belong to the Sarah Palin history club. The one where America doesn’t teach any facts that might offend someone.

Sarah Palin® Trademarks Her Name. Which does not seem to me to be particularly big deal. She is both a brand and a product. This caught my eye,

So it looks like the Patent and Trademark Office will award both patents trademarks in the near future. Better hold off on those bootleg Palin T-shirts you were thinking about printing up.

In other words if a Palin enthusiast was planning to silk-screen some Palin t-shirts and sell them at one of her appearances, she would be able to sue for trademark infringement.

Taking from the labor class to reward the wealthy elite, CEO of Walmart Makes in One Hour What the Average Employee Makes In a Year: How Skyrocketing Inequality Is Hurting America

S. Robson “Rob” Walton, Walmart chairman, has a net worth of about $19.7 billion. And he’s only number 9 on the list of 2010’s top 20 richest Americans.

Walmart workers, meanwhile, make around $8.75 an hour—about $18,000 a year. They’d have to work over a million years to approach what the chairman of Walmart Stores is sitting on. Alice and Jim Walton each have about $20 billion, and Christy Walton has $24 billion.

Last year Jonathan Turley noted that the CEO of Walmart, Michael Duke, makes his average employee’s yearly salary every hour.

A new report by the Washington Post on “Breakaway Wealth” contains new research by economists Jon Bakija, Adam Cole and Bradley T. Heim, who analyzed tax returns from the top 0.1 percent of earners in the U.S. That top percentile takes home more than 20 percent of the personal income in the country, and their average income is $5.4 million. The average income of the bottom 90 percent, according to the Post, is just $31,244.

The old argument that managers and executives should be rewarded more because they have extra responsibilities and bring special skills to the table are not utterly wrong. Though no one has responsibilities and skills that entitle them to the average worker’s yearly salary every hour. Back in days of old – thirty or forty years ago that kind of wage disparity was considered decadent. It is ironic that Wal-Mart, who relies on employees and customers who have modest incomes to make them millionaires/billionaires. They treat and view labor as though they were necessary parasites in a pyramid scheme.

City Bridge Night Skyline wallpaper – Michele Bachmann Voted to End Medicare Twice. Now Loves Liberal Single Payer Plan

City Bridge Night Skyline wallpaper

Rep. and conservative presidential candidate Michele Bachmann(R-MN) has voted for the wizbang Paul Ryan plan to gut Medicare twice. We all know how conservatives have a way of spinning their way out of trouble. Bachmann could have voted for the Ryan gutting plan once and just claimed she was tired and didn’t realize what she was doing. Fox News and Limbaugh would have covered for her. Having decided to shaft America’s seniors and children, and their families who would be stuck for the increased cost of RyanCare, Bachman, without the shame a descent moral human being should have Accuses Obama of Secret Medicare Plan

Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, the latest candidate to join the Republican presidential campaign, suggested Friday that President Obama secretly wanted Medicare to go bankrupt so retirees would be forced to enroll in the new national health care law.

“This hasn’t been talked about very much – the president’s plan for senior citizens is Obamacare,” Ms. Bachmann told party activists here. She added, “I think very likely what the president intends is that Medicare will go broke and ultimately that answer will be Obamacare for senior citizens.”

As  Mark Kleiman and   Jonathan Chait note if such a devious plot existed wouldn’t it be a conservative plot rather than vast conspiracy by our exasperatingly centrist president,

Medicare is a single-payer program — the kind liberals have always wanted for the non-elderly, but didn’t get. Turning Medicare into something like the Affordable Care Act would be to move them off single-payer health care and onto a regulated system of private insurance. That would be a conservative plot. I don’t think Obama is planning it, and if he were, it would prove he’s far more right wing than anybody imagined.

I’m trying to think where Bachmann dreamed up this notion. The essence of Tea Party ideology is that Medicare is virtuous and American as apple pie with Obamacare is a socialist plot. In that way, Bachmann’s fevered accusation makes sense.

That is the thing about conservative- tea smoker conspiracy theories. Just like ordinary falsehoods once you start a narrative based on nonsense, additions to the narrative become even more twisted. Chait nails it in the sense the tea smokers have backed themselves into a corner. They claim the ACA(ObamaCare) is a government take over of health care. That was named the lie of the year in 2010 by Politifact –  Lie of the Year: ‘A government takeover of health care’

But the law Congress passed, parts of which have already gone into effect, relies largely on the free market:

• Employers will continue to provide health insurance to the majority of Americans through private insurance companies.

• Contrary to the claim, more people will get private health coverage. The law sets up “exchanges” where private insurers will compete to provide coverage to people who don’t have it.

• The government will not seize control of hospitals or nationalize doctors.

• The law does not include the public option, a government-run insurance plan that would have competed with private insurers.

• The law gives tax credits to people who have difficulty affording insurance, so they can buy their coverage from private providers on the exchange. But here too, the approach relies on a free market with regulations, not socialized medicine.

PolitiFact reporters have studied the 906-page bill and interviewed independent health care experts. We have concluded it is inaccurate to call the plan a government takeover because it relies largely on the existing system of health coverage provided by employers.

It’s true that the law does significantly increase government regulation of health insurers. But it is, at its heart, a system that relies on private companies and the free market.

For those who live outside the mental bubble of conservatism know that a plan to move everyone on Medicare to private insurers would be a right-wing wet dream come true.

In a speech to the Republican Leadership Conference, Ms. Bachmann recounted how she attended a closed-door meeting at the White House and said the president was asked three times to produce his plan to address the financial burdens facing the Medicare program. She said the president’s “gift to senior citizens is to steal from them $500 billion out of Medicare.”

The anecdote, which Ms. Bachmann did not explain in detail or offer additional corroboration, was the latest example of a red-meat, crowd-pleasing declaration that has become a theme of her political rise – whether or not the statements withstand scrutiny. She drew enthusiastic applause as she pledged that her top priority – should she reach the White House – would be repealing the health care law.

Conservatives generally agree that Pawlenty blew an opportunity at last week’s debate to go after Romney because Obamacare is largely based on RomneyCare. Now Bachmann is attacking Obama from the liberal perspective. Claiming, without evidence of course, that Obama wants to undermine Medicare. Let’s take her at her word for a moment and assume she did ask for Obama’s plan to sure-up Medicare’s long-term financial structure. Again, she runs into the fact that she has voted for the RyanCare plan to end Medicare as we know it and Republican have offered up no plan of their own to make sure Medicare finances stay on track. Watching conservatives hide behind Obama because they lack solutions is, well has been, and continues to be tiresome.


The NYT’s Eric Lichtblau is usually not a bad reporter. We all have our bad days. He could blame the WSJ who is used as a source for this story, AARP Is Open to Cuts for Social Security Benefits

Mr. Rother said the group’s stance on possible cuts, which was first reported in The Wall Street Journal in Friday’s editions, should be seen less as a major change in position than as a reflection of the political and financial realities facing the Social Security system and the country as a whole.

“You have to look at all the tradeoffs,” Mr. Rother said, “and what we’re trying to do is engage the American public in that debate.”

He made clear that the group’s willingness to discuss cuts comes with conditions: Reductions in benefits should be “minimal,” they should not affect current recipients and instead should be directed “far off in the future,” and they should be offset by increases in tax-generated revenue.

Nonetheless, the group’s openness to the possibility of unspecified cuts was seen as a significant development by people on all sides of the Social Security question because of AARP’s influence on federal policies affecting older Americans, including Medicare, prescription drugs and many more.


AARP say that it does not favor cuts, AARP Has Not Changed Its Position on Social Security

“Let me be clear – AARP is as committed as we’ve ever been to fighting to protect Social Security for today’s seniors and strengthening it for future generations.  Contrary to the misleading characterization in a recent media story, AARP has not changed its position on Social Security.

“First, we are currently fighting some proposals in Washington to cut Social Security to reduce a deficit it did not cause.  Social Security should not be used as a piggy bank to solve the nation’s deficit.  Any changes to this lifeline program should happen in a separate, broader discussion and make retirement more secure for future generations, not less.

“Our focus has always been on the human impact of changes, not just the budget tables.  Which is why, as we have done numerous times over the last several decades, AARP is engaging our volunteer Board to evaluate any proposed changes to Social Security to determine how each might – individually or in different combinations – impact the lives of current and future retirees given the constantly changing economic realities they face.

“Second, we have maintained for years – to our members, the media and elected officials – that long term solvency is key to protecting and strengthening Social Security for all generations, and we have urged elected officials in Washington to address the program’s long-term challenges in a way that’s fair for all generations.

There is the possibility of reading into that statement that they might be open to some changes, but not the kind of ‘cuts’ the NYT or the WSJ seemed to imply.

Michelle Malkin’s HotAir would like to be taken seriously as a media outlet, just as Malkin would like to be taken seriously as a journalist. This is the USA and we’re all entitled to our dreams no matter how far fetched. Allahpundit writes this ever so clever piece,Video: Sign the petition to ban job-killing ATM machines

Three minutes of silly fun from MRC TV saluting The One’s goofiest soundbite of the week. Turns out goofiness plays pretty well politically these days:

We had a lot of people who thought it made sense to get rid of cash machines and for a variety of reasons.

Some didn’t like the usage fees and concluded that the best way to get rid of the hassle was to get rid of ATM’s altogether.

Other’s wanted to see America return to a simpler time when we all got our money from our friendly neighborhood banker who knew your name, smiled at you and gave little Billy a lollipop after which you could hop in your horse drawn carriage and return to your candle lit home.

One woman even said that ATM machines were bad for the environment.

Good point. The more ATMs we can eliminate, the more “green jobs” we can create by hiring bank tellers. I watched this with some trepidation, anxious and depressed by the possibility that they might not encounter a single person who sees this idiocy for the idiocy that it is. But no, fear not. There’s still some sense out there. Watch out for the older lady in the hat, in particular. “Do you know how that stupid that sounds?”

Conservatives just can’t do irony. The premise only works if you buy into the premise that President Obama ever said that ATM’s machines were one of the major causes of unemployment. Right-Wing Media Attack Obama For Accurate Remarks On Business’ Investment In Automated Machines

OBAMA: Well, I don’t think it’s a matter of me being unable to convince them to hire more people. They’re making decisions based on what they think will be good for their companies. A couple of things have happened. Look, we went through the worst crisis since the Great Depression. We are now in a process where the economy is growing again, and we’ve created 2 million jobs over the last 15 months. But it’s not as fast as it needs to be to make up for all the jobs that were lost.

The other thing that happened, though, and this goes to the point you were just making, is there are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM; you don’t go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport, and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate. So all these things have created changes in the economy, and what we have to do now — and that’s what this job council is all about — is identifying where the jobs for the future are going to be; how do we make sure that there’s a match between what people are getting trained for and the jobs that exist; how do we make sure that capital is flowing into those places with the greatest opportunity. We are on the right track. The key is figuring out how do we accelerate it. [NBC, Today, 6/14/11]

So Obama the alleged ‘elitest’ uses examples of automation that we can all relate to. The Right goes wild. If you’re ever at some kind of gathering and get cornered by a conservative, just jingle yours keys in their face. They’re become transfixed by the sound and the way the light twinkles off them. Needless to say president Obama was correct. Part of the problem with unemployment is technology is doing the work a human used to do,

NFIB Economist: Shift To Automated Production “Displaces A Lot Of Workers At Once.” In a June 9 New York Times article, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) chief economist William Dunkelberg cited the mechanization of farming as an example of mass worker displacement by automated production.

Harvard Economist: “If You’re Doing Something That Can Be Written Down In A Programmatic, Algorithmic Manner, You’re Going To Be Substituted For Quickly.”

Barclays Economist: “Firms Are Just Responding To Incentives. … And Capital Has Gotten Much Cheaper Relative To Labor.” The Times further reported that chief United States economist at Barclays Capital Dean Maki stated, “Firms are just responding to incentives. … And capital has gotten much cheaper relative to labor.”

NY Times: MIT Economics Professor Said That “Jobs In The Middle Are Being Lost To Automation And Outsourcing, And Now Job Growth At The Top Is Slowing Because Of Automation.”

The Right goes spastic over ATM comments. As sad as that screen capture is, it goes on for several pages. The Right hates to be called dumb. Yet they go out of their way to give people cause to believe they are.

Republican Propagandist: Is Victor Davis Hanson a Hack or Merely an Incompetent Pundit

The National Review continues its attempt to qualify for some kind of world record in mindless pabulum. Victor Davis Hanson is billed as an “intellectual” and “historian” by the Right. He writes in a post titled A Curious Insularity

In the world of Barack Obama, inflating tires and “tuning up” modern car engines precludes off-shore drilling. Four-dollar-a-gallon gas prices can be ameliorated by having the average consumer trade in his 8-mpg clunker.

While punditry sometimes involves painting in broad strokes those two sentences are the kind of Stalinist propaganda that has comes to dominate right-wing punditry. Whether it is good policy or not may be debatable, but President Obama has called for more offshore drilling and increasing the number of nuclear power plants. Studies have shown that increasing oil drilling will not decrese gas prices more than a cuople pennies and that would be a few years down the road. That may seem couner intuitive, but such is the nature of the world petroleum market. Hanson could not be bothered with the facts. It would ruin his hack job. As for indivuals and their car buying decisions let’s try a counter factual. Those in the market for a car will save more money by buying a car that gets poor mpg ( 8mpg) than a car that avergares 30mpg? maybe that one is just too simple for an intellectual to handle.

Nine percent unemployment is due in part to automation like ATMs, which apparently first came on the scene during the Obama administration to eliminate jobs.

Congradulations on the cheap shot that takes a simple statement out of context. President Obama said,

“The other thing that happened though, this goes to the point you were just making, is there are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers,” President Obama said about unemployment in an interview with NBC’s Ann Curry.

Obama claims ATMs and kiosks at airports have eliminated some jobs.

“If you see it when you go to a bank you use the ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport and you use a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate,” he said.

His point was obvious to non-historians who do not have a job at the Hoover Institute, a wing-nut welfare program masquerading as a “think tank”. Corporations are indeed making record profits with fewer workers and he was using an example of automation that the average person can relate to. I have not dealt with a teller more than a couple of times in the last three years. Expert economists, who one assumes are not as knowledgeable as right-wing intellectuals with a tendency to blow things directly from their ass to their keyboards, agree with President Obama– But Economists Agree With Obama’s Suggestion That Technology Advancements Have Displaced Workers

Is everyone impressed if not overwhelmed by the astute observations of the wing-nut intellectual class. There is more,

Two themes predominate: a cluelessness about how things work outside the Ivy League–Chicago–D.C. political nexus, and a sense that nothing is ever Barack Obama’s fault. In that regard, he has two legitimate mea culpas: One, Obama has never run a business, spent any considerable time off the public payroll or outside of politics, or spent any time with those who were once characterized as “clingers,” and thus cannot be expected to know much about how cars work, doctors are paid, illegal immigrants cross the border, or the basics of economics.

President Obama has made some mistakes. Most of which are a result of trying to reach bipartisan agreement and compromise with conservatives who are more interested in destroying his presidency than doing what is best for the average American. Clueless? So our clueless president has a more successful legislative record than Bill Clinton and Bush 43 combined, Obama’s Unbelievable Winning Streak – Truth is, Obama has exceeded in 18 months what Clinton and Carter achieved in a combined 12 years. I’ll take Obama’s ‘cluelessness’ over Bush’s destruction of the economy any day. Obama has never run a business? Neither has Hanson. Hanson voted for Bush, who has an MBA, twice. Not exactly a stellar record of judgement by either of these smart guys. Bush set a remarkable record – a millionaire kid who started two oil companies in Texas and went broke twice. Hanson is a poster child for cognitive dissonance. He sees no faults with those he likes and sees faults, even if he has to make them up or exaggerate them in those he hates. “spent any time off the  public payroll”? Maybe Hanson’s problem is the lack of oxygen getting into the bubble. How many Republicans have been in politics the vast majority of their adult lives: Orrin Hatch, Newt Gingrich, George H. W. Bush, Mitch McConnell. What a childish argument. Hanson has extolled the virtues of Sarah Palin’s very limited resume. Some how the always virtuous Palin worked her way up from oblivion, but a biracial guy born to a working class mother, than made his way through college and law school ( graduating magna cum laude) and becoming a community organizer, achieved election to the Illinois state senate, than elected to the U.S. Senate and president are not a series of achievements, not a series of successes that deserve recognition. Hanson practices his own strange brew of identity politics. The sick twists and turns of what passes for logic and fair judgment have become the signature of the self justifying rabid Right.

Second, at no point in his past soaring cursus honorum (Occidental, Columbia, Harvard Law Review, Chicago Law School, Chicago politics and organizing, the U.S. Senate) did anyone hold him to account, as in saying, “First, let us see exactly what you achieved that might justify yet another honor or promotion” — as in a stellar GPA, high LSAT score, brilliant law-review essay, a seminal tenure-winning book on the law, an award-winning law course, a landmark new community-organizing program, or a hallmark piece of senatorial legislation.

Hanson says all these academic and political achievements mean nothing and, but has said that Palin is just a damn better human being than Obama precisely because she has none of these high brow credentials. Yet if Obama had achieved none of these things that would logically, by Hansons’ standards’ make Obama more qualified. Hanson sets the rules of the game where all of a Democrat’s achievements are of the elite, meaningless or wink-wink unearned variety. Yet if they did not have those achievements in their history that would also make them unqualified to do anything. We’re talking about politics here with an allowance of partisan bias , but Hanson and similar wing-nut writers possess a mental pathology in which no Democrat can win. Palin went to six schools to get one undergard degree. She ‘achieved’ mayor of a small town that she left with the bill for an unpaid for sports arena( the arena was not a bad idea, but as is typically modern conservatism, she did not pay for it during her tenure). On that thin gruel she became Governor of Alaska ( whose population is less than the district Obama represented when he was a state senator). Hanson mentions Obama and Jeremiah Wright in several columns – ah ha proof that Obama associates with the haters of identity politics. He never mentions McCain and his association with racist and anti-Catholic Pastor John Hagee. Or Palins association with a church and pastor who said he  you vote Democrat he worries for your salvation.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Obama (a) continues to say some rather strange things that seem naive and out of touch with the lives of average Americans to the point of absurdity,

The military should contact Hanson and ask him what brand of tin-foil he wears:

“I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.” —Greater Nashua, N.H., Jan. 27, 2000. G.W. Bush

“You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.” —to a divorced mother of three, Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005. G.W. Bush

“We’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive action.” September 24, 2008 G.W. Bush

“But obviously, we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies.” –Sarah Palin, after being asked how she would handle the current hostilities between the two Koreas, interview on Glenn Beck’s radio show, Nov. 24, 2010

“We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada. And I think now, isn’t that ironic?” –Sarah Palin, admitting that her family used to get treatment in Canada’s single-payer health care system, despite having demonized such government-run programs as socialized medicine that will lead to death-panel-like rationing, March 6, 2010

On Feb. 20, 2003, a month before the invasion, Jim Lehrer asked Rumsfeld on PBS’ “NewsHour” program whether he thought the invasion would “be welcomed by the majority of the civilian population of Iraq.”

“There is no question but that they would be welcomed,” Rumsfeld said, referring to American forces in Iraq.

The President’s tax policy [has] put money back into the pockets of the people who earn it. We think that’s been vital to avoiding an even deeper recession. We think it’s been crucial, as well, to getting the recovery underway. We’ve been able to cut rates. We’ve been able to reform the double-taxation of dividends and improve the treatment of capital gains, significant expensing for small businesses. That’s where all the jobs get created. Those reforms are key to long-term economic growth. – Dick Cheney. Malvern PA Oct 3, 2003. The Bush tax cuts have been the single largest contributor to the deficit. The Bush administration had the worse job creation record since Hoover. Most of the tax cuts went to the richest 10% of the population, not to the people who earn their money via actual work.

The Republican Economic Plan

One day of Bush tax cuts to millionaires would pay for food assistance GOP is slashing

There’s even more to be infuriated over regarding the House Republicans’ efforts to decimate food aid in order to give defense contractors even more money. As Think Progress’s Pat Garofalo writes, the cuts to food aid for hundreds of thousands of amount to one day of Bush tax cuts for millionaires.

The CSFP provides food assistance to 600,000 low-income families every month, 96 percent of whom are seniors, while the TEFAP [Emergency Food Assistance Program] “provides our nation’s emergency food bank network with food commodities and storage and distribution support.” We previously noted that the cuts to WIC [Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children] are roughly equivalent to the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires alone for just one week.

    As it turns out, the cuts to CSIP and TEFAB, according to Half in Ten’s Melissa Boteach, are equivalent to the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires alone for just one day.

These aren’t the “hard choices” of “shared sacrifice” the deficit peacocks love to harp on about. It’s about people, maybe as many as 1.1 million people, going hungry so the millionaires can keep their tax breaks.

Democratic Blue Liquid Metal wallpaper – Never Underestimate a Crazy Republican

Democratic Blue Liquid Metal wallpaper

I wouldn’t be paying much attention to a Democratic debate at this point, much less a Republican one. Though it would be remiss not to acknowledge the horse race has begun.  Political Insiders Give Debate Nod to Romney, Bachmann

Republican Insiders thought that Romney was a winner tonight in large part because none of his rivals were able to land any blows that damaged the party’s nominal front-runner. “When you are in the lead every day your opponents don’t knock you back is a good day,” said one GOP Insider. “Made no mistakes, seemed comfortable, and confident,” said another.

There is the Romney seems reasonable enough to attract the independent vote – one which no Republican can win without. I question that as Romney’s biggest asset. As far to the Right as conservatives had moved up to and during the Bush era, they have doubled down. They share the beliefs of some communists who think that Soviet communism did not succeed because it was not radical enough. Many on the Right figure that Romney is their best chance of getting their foot in the door. A Romney administration means packing the administration with as many right-wing ideologues as possible – a move Romney will be obliged to make as pay back for their support and to lay the ground work for his re-election. Pay no attention to the peanut gallery of freeper /militias/tea bagger types. The Bill Krsitols, Richard Mellon Scaifes, the Coors beer family, the Newt Gingriches and John Boehners establishment types still pull the major strings of the right-wing movement.

Bachmann also won points, surprising some Insiders who had lower expectations for the rookie on the national stage who chose the debate to make her formal declaration as a presidential candidate. “Helped herself, articulate, on message,” said one GOP Insider.

Bachmann brings up the issue of under estimating any GOP contender and the meme – spread largely by conservatives – that this is a weak field of candidates. First, underestimating the opposition is always a huge mistake regardless of what they say. G.W. Bush became president by slightly exceeding expectations. See, he can walk and hurl well worn epitaphs at the same time. This field of wingers is no weaker and may be even stronger than the field of the 2008 presidential contenders: John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney. There were also some early contenders who dropped out early: Alan Keyes, Fred Dalton Thompson, Senator Sam Brownback , Tom Tancredo, Tommy Thompson. I fail to see how the current crop is any worse in terms of the basics of radical right ideology. Republicans were dumb than and they’re dumb now? No one should bother too much with the intelligence issue. The conservative base thinks intelligence is a vice not a virtue and liberals tend to over value it as a political plus in elections. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, who came out in favor of protecting child molesters from civil liability defeated former Senator Russ Feingold. Feingold was one of the most intelligent, progressive and best guardians of the Bill of Rights in the Senate. Its a political variation on any given Sunday – crazy, dumb, cruel, arrogant and rabid can kick smart, compassionate, informed, idealistic, capable and competent’s ass on any given day under the right circumstances.

Who could add some rancid hot sauce to the Republican mix? Are you ready for another Texas theocrat?

It’s looking more and more as if the GOP field will end up being Romney vs Perry with a bunch of other clowns falling our of a clown car. (Perry may not get in, but he probably should. He will end up making Romney look much saner by comparison and it Mitt pulls off the nomination potentially lure some of the vaunted Independents to the GOP.)

Anyway, here’s just one little anecdote about Perry, who truly is as thick as Palin and as extreme as Bachman. (But the press is going to be dazzled by him and will give him a lot more room to be idiotic.)

During an appearance on James Robison’s Life Today television program, Perry says he sees a silver lining to the devastating recession that has cost millions of families their jobs, homes, and livelihoods: it will return America to “Biblical principles” and free us from the slavery of big government:

PERRY: I think in America from time to time we have to go through some difficult times — and I think we’re going through those difficult economic times for a purpose, to bring us back to those Biblical principles of you know, you don’t spend all the money. You work hard for those six years and you put up that seventh year in the warehouse to take you through the hard times. And not spending all of our money. Not asking for Pharaoh to give everything to everybody and to take care of folks because at the end of the day, it’s slavery. We become slaves to government.

So the Great Recession is God’s will. Hallelujah and pass the tax cuts.

Perry’s wingnut credentials are unparalleled. He called for secession. He’s a Tenther. But this is probably the most important validating signal:

Another politician joins forces with the apostles. Texas Governor Rick Perry is leading an event in Houston on August 6 with the “apostolic and prophetic” movement, including leaders from Lou Engle’s “The Call,” Mike Bickle’s International House of Prayer, and the American Family Association. The Call is a virulently anti-gay and anti-abortion event held in stadiums and large venues, including one in Uganda that featured speakers promoting the “Kill the Gays” bill.

Digby is generally a good prognosticator, but I think Perry could win. In the events leading up to and during the Civil War and the various aspects of Jim Crow that would last up to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the secessionists in the South did not act rationally( note: not all southerns supported slavery, the confederacy or Jim Crow). Modern conservatives are still very much the party of the Antebellum south. If they act in ways that seem to defy rationalism; if they seem hell bent on destruction, including self destruction, it is because that nihilism goes deep down into the soul of conservatism. Bush and Cheney have made no great apologies for driving the nation off the cliff and they are regularly defended by the Right. The Right takes disaster and misery as signs of winning. Rick Perry is a font of conservative wisdom. Pay attention to what he says and does. The wing-nut force is with him. Romney is simply Perry-lite. That is why Romney might be pushed to the front – as a practical matter, not because the Right feels he is their ideological champion.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R)  may still join the fray. He is accumulating baggage though. Christie is joining the Republican governors of Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan and Kansas as the most hated politicians in the country. When I say hated that is not name calling. The Right actively cultivates and takes pride in being hated. To them it means they are the beleaguered martyrs making the decisions no one else will. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) The Al Capone of Privatizing Education

From 1999 to 2001, Christie was a registered lobbyist at a law firm that lobbied New Jersey government on behalf of Edison Schools, according to filings with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission. While the firm was representing the multinational education company, Chris Cerf was its general counsel….

Acting education commissioner Christopher Cerf and Gov. Chris Christie both once received paychecks from Edison Schools, a for-profit company that became the largest private-sector manager of public schools.

Chris Christie (R) belongs to the Holy Order of the Sacred Voucher. Like Paul Ryan(R-WI) and other acolytes of the Sacred Voucher, they believe that vouchers are the same thing as miracles. They solve all problems. As, governor and as an ex-lobbyist, freak’n hard to believe, but Christie is actually pushing the New Jersey 1 thru 12 grades into becoming privatized by his former employer. What a remarkable coincidence. Christie as corrupt as Dick Cheney. Who would have thought. Christie  cut $820 million in education funds last year. Which is great right? Because there is nothing better than living in an Idiocracy. Christie is doing his patriotic duty creating the next generation of under educated cheap labor for the right-wing sugar daddies of conservatism. This guy should definitely be president of something.

Vintage South America map circa 1654 – Pawlenty and Bachmann Race to The Bottom

Vintage South America map circa 1654

Back in high school, you know the public institution packed with capitalist hating liberals of the radical Right’s sick imagination, we were introduced to the capitalist concept of bidding for contracts. We divided up into groups and each became a transportation company trying to sell our services to wholesalers and manufactures. We did have a cost sheet. The concept is very much like selling vegetables on a road side stand. If a tomato cost you so much plus the costs of gas, bags, little baskets and any other expenses, how much do you need to sell the tomato for in order to make a profit. We came up with a bid based on our costs and what we considered a reasonable profit. We lost the bid. I’m wasn’t than and I’m not now crazy about losing. So the next round of bids our bid allowed for costs plus pennies in profit. We lost again. I almost glared at the other groups. Their bids could not be this low. Well they could be this low but promising services based on their bids they could not make a profit and thus could not stay in business for long. On the next bid our group just took the last winning bid and subtracted a few dollars. We still lost. At that point I turned to the instructor who seemed to know this would happen. How can these people keep bidding so low. They’re not considering costs. They would soon be out of business in the real world. They’re not letting their actions be shaped by the  realities of running an actual business. The instructor repeated by what I was thinking. The groups had let their bids be shaped solely by the goal of winning the bid. A short-term, short sighted victory. In the real world if my group had thrown up their hands, refused to bid and bide our time we would have lost business in the short-term, but in the long-term our competitors would have gone out of business. Except for the details on the cost sheet the game was simple. That’s because the basics of generating revenue are simple. They’re so simple that even radical presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann should be able to understand them. Yet both are in the race to bankrupt the country. Pawlenty’s plans include massive tax cuts, Pawlenty Moves from Sam’s Club to the Country Club

Pawlenty’s windfall for the wealthy would make George Bush and Paul Ryan blush. While the corporate tax rate would be slashed from 35% to 15%, Pawlenty would create two tax brackets of 10% for those earning up to $50,000 and 25% above. (As with the Paul Ryan plan, the loopholes Tim Pawlenty would close remain unnamed.) At a time of when the federal tax burden is at a 60 year low and income inequality at an 80 year high, Pawlenty insists “we should eliminate altogether the capital gains tax, interest income tax, dividends tax, and the death tax.” (It is worth noting that less than one-quarter of one percent of U.S. families pay the estate tax, while George W. Bush’s last round of capital gains and dividend tax cuts in 2003 delivered 70% of their savings to “top 2 percent of taxpayers, those making more than $200,000.”)

In the race to see who can have the lowest bid and the fastest track to crippling the economy the Republican majority in the House has already placed its bid. They have voted for Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan twice. So it is not as though Pawlenty is part of a fringe within the bubble of his own party anyway. Our bids thus far all break the bank. What a great opening for an astute conservative to be the voice of sanity. Michele Bachmann(R-MN) has never been one to be attracted to reason or sanity, Taking Michelle Bachmann Seriously

If she were to take her shot, she’d run on an economic package reminiscent of Jack Kemp, the late congressman who championed supply-side economics and was the GOP vice presidential nominee in 1996. “In my perfect world,” she explains, “we’d take the 35% corporate tax rate down to nine so that we’re the most competitive in the industrialized world. Zero out capital gains. Zero out the alternative minimum tax. Zero out the death tax.”

Such a reduction in the corporate tax rate alone would reduce federal revenue over the next 9/10 years by over $900 billion dollars. Who knows I might have some billionaire readers, though the chances of anyone paying are about as great as someone’s chances of winning millions in their state lottery ( where odds of 12 to 14 million to one are common). Now who is going to benefit from doing away with the estate tax completely – the one that few people pay anyway – 0.24% of estates pay estate taxes. A hand full of billionaires. Bachmann is a true voodooist when it comes to the supply-side assault on the American way of life. Do away with the capital gains tax when 68% of capital gains profits go to the richest 1% of Americans. These tax rates have been in effect for over a decade. When they were enacted the promise was they would crate jobs and prosperity across the board. Where are those jobs and where is that prosperity. Supply-siders promised the Bush tax cuts would create jobs, balance the budget, pay for themselves and toast your waffles into golden brown goodness. None of that happened – The Bush  Tax Cuts, a Decade Later: How They Helped Break the Economy

We are, in other words, talking about a party that tried an ambitious and radical experiment, saw it fail, and decided what’s needed now is significantly more failure.

I mind that Republicans got this wrong and we’ll be dealing with the consequences for many years to come, but I really mind that Republicans think they were right. As Ezra noted the other day, the party not only “hasn’t learned anything from the failure of the Bush tax cuts,” it’s actually managed to “unlearn some things, too.”

Conservatives enjoy the fact, as many of us do, that communism has been a failure. They still write articles about it. They rarely mention that  progressive social policies such Medicare, the minimum wage, child labor laws, Social Security and public education help save capitalism. Bush, Ryan, Pawlenty, Bachmann, Palin, Gingrich, the current cadre of radical Right republican governors, the tea bags all have one thing in common if not the exact numbers and how fast they would accelerate the race to the bottom for the middle-class, the desire to take the United States back to the Age of the Robber Barons. America as the land of monopolies, rampant corruption, vote buying via corporations like Koch Industries, gutting the social safety net that keeps millions of seniors and children out of poverty, crippling public education from grade school to public universities and sabotaging environmental laws that save millions of lives. The Right’s deeply radical agenda is clear enough. For reasons that defy rational explanation conservatives think this plutocratic model is compatible with a healthy democratic republic and a modern progressive industrialized economy. Or more likely they have no desire to have an enlightened society. The worse kind of authoritarian Pottersville seems to be  their goal.

Ten Charts that Prove the United States Is a Low-Tax Country

The United States is a low-tax country. That’s true for individuals and for corporations, and it’s true whether you compare us to other countries or the America of the past. No matter how you slice it the conclusion is the same.

Conservatives like to claim that our budget deficits are purely a “spending problem.” Said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “We don’t have this problem because we tax too little. We have it because we spent too much.”

It’s a popular talking point, but it simply isn’t true. Deficits do not stem from spending levels alone. They are the product of a mismatch between spending and revenue. And when revenue is as low as ours is, you end up with big deficits.

I’ll just post the section on taxes on investments, which include capital gains,

Taxes on investments lowest since 1933

And taking into account President Obama recent attempts to extend the hand of compromise, estate taxes are down to 0.14%. One would think conservatives, supposedly fans of hard work and self-sufficiency, would want the families of the extremely rich to go out and earn at least some of their own money. Kind of like that Paris Hilton reality show where they go off to work on a farm to send how the other half lives.

Fox News has a new game show on with  Eric Bolling seeing how many bizarre attempts he can make at being hip in between hurling not too thinly veiled racists comments at President Obama – Fox’s Eric Bolling: Obama Is Hosting “Hoodlums” In “The Hizzouse” 

During the opening of Fox Business’ Follow the Money on Friday, Eric Bolling teased a segment about the White House hosting the president of Gabon by saying, “Guess who’s coming to dinner? A dictator. Mr. Obama shares a laugh with one of Africa’s kleptocrats. It’s not first time he’s had a hoodlum in the hizzouse.”

[  ]…As Bolling said that Obama had previously hosted “a hoodlum in the hizzouse,” footage of the rapper Common aired…

I was fair. I searched to see if there was a similarly tainted story on Fox which was as insulting to MBA frat boys like Bush 43 who also meet with President Omar Bongo Ondimba of Gabon. I am shocked to find that no such racist slanted “journalism” exists in regards Bush.It is fairly common practice among those rascals in the executive branch to meet with people. That way you can tell them you do not approve of their human rights record, as President Obama took the opportunity to do with Ondimba.

President George W. Bush and President Omar Bongo Ondimba of Gabon meet in the Oval Office Wednesday, May 26, 2004.