Black and White Gears wallpaper – Republicans Have Oxymoronic Positions on Jobs and Taxes

Black and White Gears wallpaper

Blue Tint Gears wallpaper

 

Did you know that CBS can do a great impression of the way Fox News does its reporting. The thinking seems to be, let’s put up these numbers without any historical background on thew hows and whys – National debt has increased $4 trillion under Obama

The latest posting by the Treasury Department shows the national debt has now increased $4 trillion on President Obama’s watch.

The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion.

It’s the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president.

The national debt increased $4.9 trillion during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush. The debt now is rising at a pace to surpass that amount during Mr. Obama’s four-year term.

Mr. Obama blames policies inherited from his predecessor’s administration for the soaring debt. He singles out:

“two wars we didn’t pay for”
“a prescription drug program for seniors…we didn’t pay for.”
“tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 that were not paid for.”

Mark Knoller does the president says this, but is not courageous enough to state or explain that the road to the national debt was paved by conservative policies and a financial elite that thought they could not fail. When Bush 43 left office the debt was 82.2% of GDP. President Obama inherited that and an economy that was sinking faster than the Titanic. Since the economy is struggling GDP is down and revenues are down because there are fewer people on payrolls. Now is not the time to worry about deficits. Now is the time to create jobs with spending.A chart from the NYT I’ve posted before,

 

Knoll leaves it looking as though the Fox-Bachmann-Perry urban myth about Obama and some wild spending spree is true. The fact remains America is now paying for the new car Republicans bought on credit than drove into a tree.

What digby said about job creation and taxes – Jobs schmobs. Republican have discovered a great new meme, taxes are not high enough. Americans making minimum wage to around $40k a year are not paying their fair share of taxes. Gosh aren’t we all just red-faced embarrassed that people making the lowest incomes in America are only paying payroll taxes, sales taxes, possibly property taxes, possibly state income taxes and all the incidental fees like license renewals and permit fees. Its like this, those raking in the cash should pay in proportion to the tremendous wealth they have. As of 2007  the upper 10% of the wealthy owned 71.5% of the nation’s wealth. The bottom 50% owned 2.5% of the nation’s wealth. In order for that to make sense in terms of merit for work or intangible contributions like patentable ideas etc. we have to believe that 10% of America is doing all the work and half the country are lazy bums.

To add my two cents to what digby said about Obama and a push to create a jobs program ( series of incentives for business really). Republicans have two itched in stone policies about job creation. 1) President Obama does not have a jobs program, shame on him. 2) We oppose any jobs program that President Obama proposes. We know the Konservative Kool-aid Klub is going to hate on Obama no matter what he does. I just wonder if the general public is paying attention to how conservatives have tried to sabotage the recovery and the nihilistic messages they’re sending.

Being a little simple-minded conservatives have taken to jumping on any “incivility” by any Democrat anywhere since Obama mentioned the general lack of civil discourse a few months ago. The commentary usually begins with some variation of – how’s that civility going. Why has the issue of civility become a sore spot. Because Obama hurt their feelings. Right-wing pundits ranging from Limbaugh to Coulter to Pat Robertson to Glenn beck actually make a living off ad hominem attacks on anyone who is to the left of Eva Braun. The conservative brain is still capable of compartmentalizing that reality and thinking of themselves as The Civil voices in discourse. With those psychological proclivities in mind, conservatives are very upset that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said – “As far as I’m concerned — the Tea Party can go straight to Hell.” Considering the general tone and tactics of the tea smokers that seems rather tame to me. And leave it to the teahadists to make Waters look like a Sunday school teacher on her best behavior – South Carolina Tea Party Chair Posts Joke About Killing The Obamas On Facebook

Shery Lanford Smith, the chairwoman of Sumter Tea Party in South Carolina is under fire after posting a joke about killing President and First Lady Obama on her Facebook profile last Thursday. In the joke, the Obamas’ helicopter pilot says to his co-pilot, “I could throw both of them out of the window and make 256 million people very happy!” Smith continued, “If you’re one of [the] 256 million, pass it on,” which implies “she herself would be happy to see the Obamas killed.” The joke has been circulating for years in various forms and “have included the names of multiple political figures.” Smith defended the post, “It’s just a joke…I had no idea it would be an issue.”

 

Than Shery Lanford Smith realizes that if someone should say that if some day she should start to feel violently ill stock up on ice, she’s going to need it, that is just a joke.

Black and White Sea Coast Clouds wallpaper – Some Thoughts on Foreign Policy

Black and White Sea Coast Clouds wallpaper

 

How did conservatives respond to intervention in Libya. This handy chart from back in March of 2011 by Alex Pareene is a classic case of the non-existence of principled conservatism – Need to attack President Obama’s handling of this complex situation but don’t know how? Our flowchart can help. Limbaugh’s declaration that Obama was “nagged” into intervention by women and Newt Gingrich’s crystal ball moment declaring Obama would give up before the job was finished give you an idea of the range of unhinged analysis by the Right. That things turned out alright is cause for celebration or at least a sigh of relief. Though Glenn is right about the use of the military in such adventures without a declaration by Congress is illegal. Just because things ended well does not mean the the legal issues do not matter. One thing about Glenn’s post that is problematic until he offers up some evidence, the US lead the way to using military force. Not that it justifies the illegality, but one can see why Obama did not seek what would have been Republican support for intervention. Just as they used the debt ceiling to take hostages they would have voted against intervention for purely political reasons. That is just where we are as a country. Conservatives generally have put a full stop of even pretending to go through the careful consideration phase, they go right into the reactionary phase: they’re against anything Obama does, even if it was previously a conservative policy, simply out of maliciousness. If anti-Americanism is to act in a way that is contrary to the country’s interests than what better example could we have than the punish America to get at Obama crowd. Libya: Huge Win for Libyans, A Win for Obama, Challenges Next

As it turns out, the combination of intelligence support provided by the US, the technical and financial and logistics support provided behind the scenes by Qatar and the UAE, the military interventions by French and British forces, and more helped give the Libyan rebels an opportunity to regroup after early setbacks and push Qaddafi’s forces back steadily and firmly to the battle inside Tripoli that we saw last night.  A key part of the success were the Berbers organizing their village militias west of Tripoli and pushing towards Qaddafi from one direction while the Benghazi-based rebels pushed from the other — putting Tripoli in a vise.

Barack Obama’s gamble in providing limited support for a conflict, in which other countries played lead roles, now seems like a winning move.  It’s hard to replicate the conditions of Libya in other cases because Qaddafi had a habit of making unnecessary enemies — most importantly in the Arab League, whose vote in favor of imposing a No Fly Zone over Libya was the trigger that led to everything else that has been possible.

Not so much from critics on the liberal isle, but conservatives could be grouped into two major camps. Those who were against any intervention because of X or Y, or those who thought along the lines of its too late or not enough force was being used. Declaration of war issues aside Obama was on time and used just the right amount of force. The US did not lead in the way we usually do, but did not follow. It was a Goldilocks moment. We were right in the middle of an international support effort that allowed Libyans to determine their own destiny. No action on this scale goes perfectly, but this is a good example of the way change is made. Libya stands in very stark contrast to Iraq – the way not to conduct military interventions.

Wingnuttia keeps having to spin new narratives for Obama the Marxist Kenyan anti-Christ who doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism. Two professional know-nothings John McCain(R-AZ) and Lindsay Graham(R-SC) serve up an example of the kind of spin to expect from the Right – The right’s bizarre response to Libya events

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, among the earliest voices calling for intervention in Libya, wasted little time in congratulating the rebels and slamming Obama for not intervening earlier:

The end of the Qadaffi regime in Libya is a victory for the Libyan people and for the broader cause of freedom in the Middle East and throughout the world. This achievement was made possible first and foremost by the struggle and sacrifice of countless Libyans, whose courage and perseverance we applaud. We also commend our British, French, and other allies, as well as our Arab partners, especially Qatar and the UAE, for their leadership in this conflict. Americans can be proud of the role our country has played in helping to defeat Qaddafi, but we regret that this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower.

McCain and Graham, both of whom had warm personal interactions with Gaddafi in the past, have now gotten exactly what they wanted from the administration’s decision to intervene. But GOP partisanship demands that they not acknowledge the president’s role in assembling the global coalition that aided the rebels. Indeed, with the Republican Party wedded to a contradictory image of the president as foreign policy weakling and iron-fisted domestic dictator, we’re going to see a lot of bizarre rationalizing of what happened in an attempt to preserve this narrative of the Obama presidency.

 

 

For those keeping score. Bush/Cheney and the neocons spent about $4 trillion dollars responding to Islamic extremism – They squandered victory in Afghanistan and Iraq ( The latter of which was both supposedly the center of the kind of extremism responsible for 9-11 and the fly paper with which we would catch all the world’s terrorists). President Obama elbowed the authoritarian Hosni Mubarak out of office, helped put Libya on the path to a more democratic state and helped bring Bin Laden to justice. Conservative could learn something from this just as they could have learned something from the financial collapse caused by conservative policies, but we all know they will not. Conservatives have that commonality shared by all extremists, such as communists or fascists. When they fail it is never because of the fundamental flaws of their beliefs, it is because the enactment of their policies was not pure enough.

Not a good reason to become involved in a conflict, but a nice incidental benefit of helping Libya – Oil Prices Will Tank, Stock Prices Will Soar

Watch what happens to oil prices if and when the Qaddafis lose and leave.

In short order, Libyan oil production will ramp up.  As it does, oil prices in world markets will fall and oil futures markets will reflect the expected increase in production of oil from Libya.  The key prices to watch are those trading in Europe, like Brent.  US oil prices (WTI) are no longer the leading indicator of world prices intersecting with world supply/demand.  Excess inventory at Cushing, OK is complicating the pricing structure.

We expect oil prices to fall when highly desirable, sweet Libyan crude production is fully resumed and enters the pipeline.  Maybe, they are going to fall by a lot.  This will come as a much-needed boost to the US economy and to others in the world.

 

Not only gas prices, but food commodity prices should fall as well. Business Insider is also of the opinion that we are not slipping back into the first recession or a new one, but simply a very slow growth period. Lower energy prices might be just the boost we need to rev things up a bit. Though don’t expect gas prices to drop significantly for months.