Tag Archives: Republicans

As good as it gets

POSTED BY ORHAN

New jersey Governor Chris ChristieCalifornia’s belt-tightening, tax increases, and subsequent projected budget surplus contrasts sharply with Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to cut New Jersey’s income tax, even though the state’s deficit grew again this year, as it has for almost a decade.

Christie believes that cutting taxes on the 1% will bring “job creators” into the state: according to Thinkprogress, “The tax cut plan that Christie unveiled in 2012 would have given 40 percent of its benefit to the richest 1 percent of New Jerseyans, while cutting taxes for middle-class families by just $80.”

Christie would cut state taxes even though it would dramatically lower revenue; meanwhile New Jersey desperately needs money to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. And while Christie is smart, tough, personable, and appears to be one of the few non-crazies on the national Republicans scene,  he still clings to the market fundamentalism that brought the country to its present condition.

Boehner to America: drop dead

POSTED BY ORHAN

House Speaker John Boehner held his weekly press conference today and demanded Democrats outline their plan for spending cuts “to avert the fiscal cliff and help get the economy moving again”:

“…the president has warned about the dangers of going over the fiscal cliff, but his actions have not matched his public statements…despite claims that the president supports a ‘balanced’ approach, the Democrats have yet to get serious about real spending cuts…Listen, this is not a game…And this is a moment for adult leadership…the White House has to get serious…we’ve put real concessions on the line by putting revenues on the table right up front…Republicans have taken action to avert the fiscal cliff by passing legislation to stop all the tax hikes, to replace the sequester, and pave the way for tax reform and entitlement reform….But without spending cuts and entitlement reform, it’s going to be impossible to address our country’s debt crisis, and get our economy going again, and to create jobs.”

Now it may sound rather ironic to hear Boehner calling for “adult leadership”, yet he says that the Republicans did in fact make concessions; they put “revenues on the table right up front.” Why would the Democrats refuse to compromise?

The White House has a notion. According to the Administration, it’s because even though they say they put revenues on the table, the Republican leadership won’t agree to raise tax rates on the top 2 percent. And the fact that the American people elected Obama on a platform that states the rich should pay more appears to be simply irrelevant to Boehner.

Parsing the rest of what Boehner is calling for–stopping tax hikes, paving the way for tax reform and entitlement reform–is just the same old Republican dogma, tax cuts and social spending cuts. And the bill to “replace the sequester” (designed by Paul Ryan and passed in the House with zero support from Democrats) replaced fiscal cliff Defense cuts with cuts to the Food Stamp program.

So Speaker Boehner is making clear the Republicans intent to change not one iota; they intend to dig in and hold fast to their program of serving the rich and the rest of the people be damned, even if we made clear our intent through the electoral process. So much for democracy.

Union busting. Voter suppresion. Lady parts.

Also “bomb, bomb, bomb . . . bomb, bomb Iran”.

The 2012 GOP platform, just like the old GOP platform.

Dear Elvis, can you get their deity out of my legislators. And my body. Please.

Some random thoughts arising from my extreme annoyance caused by the legions of men who think they know best:

Republican men in suits on my teevee keep telling me that birth control is a sin and that same sex marraige is an abomination, because it was ordained by their god to be between one man and one woman. They’ve successfully sold that marriage part to their fellow religionists while the rest of the country moves on. But that birth control bit is, I think, going to cause them a bit of trouble.

Historically – and to the present in many parts of the world (no matter what the Reverend Republicans say) – marriage has been an economic contract, not a religious state. Even the English expression ‘took a wife’ is a reminder of what was once a universal tenet – that women were property. This idea is apparently enjoying something of a revival among the overly religious who demand  authority over women’s bodies. They also want the State to give them that authority, all legal like. (No more the ‘mommy state’, now comes the ‘daddy state’.)

One man and one woman? Meh. Even that Commandment about ‘cleaving’ feels a bit empty since it was handed down to a man who himself had a few Mrs. Moseses.  Multiple wives abound in the Old Testament and in ‘holy’ scriptures of all religions. (Of course, today’s version of that is the taking of serial wives, as practiced by Messrs. Gingrich, Trump, Limbaugh, and other stalwarts of traditional values. )

Marriage, no matter the attitudes and rituals of the religious, is a civil contract, one which requires a license.

Remember the Florida ‘Uterati’? (Background here)

Just go away I say.

We ain’t seen nothin’ yet

Breathing was briefly interrupted tonight in board rooms, banking houses, country clubs and genteel neighborhoods all over this nation as news spread that the chubby, ethically challenged serial-adulterer Newt Gingrich had bested Romney by double digits.

It’s a blow; now comes the panic.

(And I bet Mitch Daniels’ phone is ringing again)

Dear Elvis, here I go again. Krauthammer’s got a good column

He looks at Gingrich’s new rise and at Newt vs. Mitt – he seems not to like the Newtster much, which is a tough place for a conservative who’s not too enthusiastic about Romney either. Krauthammer, eminence grise of the conservative press, doesn’t come right out and say so but he makes it abundantly clear between the lines.

He offers the best explanation I’ve seen of why Gingrich might sneak through for quite a while in spite of his myriad political errors, not the least of which is flipping his flop for money and showing off (think the global warming commercial with Nancy Pelosi). And, of course, his cozy relationship with the  satan Freddie Mac who, as Sean Hannity knows, caused the global financial meltdown.

The list is long. But what distinguishes Gingrich from Romney — and mitigates these heresies in the eyes of conservatives — is that he authored a historic conservative triumph: the 1994 Republican takeover of the House after 40 years of Democratic control.

Which means that Gingrich’s apostasies are seen as deviations from his conservative core — while Romney’s flip-flops are seen as deviations from . . . nothing.

But (as I’ve been saying) he’ll eventually shoot himself in the foot . . .

Gingrich has his own vulnerabilities. The first is . . . characterological rather than ideological: his own unreliability. Gingrich has a self-regard so immense that it rivals Obama’s — but, unlike Obama’s, is untamed by self-discipline.

Also, even though . . .

. . . many conservatives seem quite prepared to overlook his baggage . . [but] independents and disaffected Democrats . . .  will not be so forgiving . .  harder to overlook the fact that the man who denounces Freddie Mac to the point of suggesting that those in Congress who aided and abetted it be imprisoned, took $30,000 a month from that very same parasitic federal creation.

Finally . . .

. . .  Who is more likely to prevent that second term? And who, if elected, is less likely to unpleasantly surprise?

Republicans on OWS: a preview

POSTED BY ORHAN

This week Frank Luntz, Republican spinmeister extraordinaire, spoke to the Republican Governors Association about how to “frame” Occupy Wall Street to the public.

“I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death,” said Luntz. “They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”

Luntz is a master of using language to trigger subtle emotional responses favorable to the speaker, and for years has been directing Republicans in how to effectively spin their message.

Since Republican politicians obediently follow Luntz’s dictates in lockstep, you’ll be hearing these memes from conservatives of all stripes as they spin OWS in the coming days and weeks. The rules are quite instructive, especially since almost all public speech by the political class is generally finessed in the same way. And Luntz is the very best; the Democrats don’t have anybody in his league. In fact, President Obama would do well to ponder rule 6 carefully.

1. Don’t say ‘capitalism.’
“I’m trying to get that word removed and we’re replacing it with either ‘economic freedom’ or ‘free market,’ ” Luntz said. “The public . . . still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”

2. Don’t say that the government ‘taxes the rich.’ Instead, tell them that the government ‘takes from the rich.’
“If you talk about raising taxes on the rich,” the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But “if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no. Taxing, the public will say yes.”

3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the ‘middle class.’ Call them ‘hardworking taxpayers.’
“They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.” Continue reading

Lobbyist’s plan to undermine OWS

POSTED BY ORHAN

By Jonathan Larsen and Ken Olshansky, MSNBC TV

A well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests, according to a memo obtained by the MSNBC program “Up w/ Chris Hayes.”

The proposal was written on the letterhead of the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and addressed to one of CLGC’s clients, the American Bankers Association.

CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead. Continue reading

Who is we?

The people of the GOP do not know what GOP means.

The latest Vanity Fair/CBS News poll asked Americans what the abbreviation GOP means, and 49% of Republicans got it wrong.

(h/t friend Ed)

UPDATE: My brilliant readers dropped a few suggested names into the comments. How to choose? How to choose?

Gas and Oil Party? Greedy Oligarchs on Parade? Gotta Own the Planet?

Goobers On Parade?

Greed Over Principles?

Genius Old People!

- Gimme Oil Profits
– Gays, Out Please!
– Grubby Ol’ Panderers

 

What Republicans want

POSTED BY ORHAN

Here’s another quote from the article by Mike Lofgren referenced earlier by Moe.  It’s significant because Lofgren was a longtime Republican operative and Congressional staffer with a lot of street cred:

A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

So there’s method in the madness.

Write this 100 times on the blackboard: language matters

In a thread downstream, ojmo linked to an article by Mike Lofgren, a 30-year Republican congressional staffer. Lofgren doesn’t like what’s become of his party and chronicles their 40-year cynical campaign to discredit government for political advantage.  And he doesn’t see Democrats stepping up either.

He touches too on something I’ve despaired about:

Democrats . . . do not understand language. Their initiatives are posed in impenetrable policy-speak: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The what? – can anyone even remember it? No wonder the pejorative “Obamacare” won out. Contrast that with the Republicans’ Patriot Act. You’re a patriot, aren’t you? Does anyone at the GED level have a clue what a Stimulus Bill is supposed to be? Why didn’t the White House call it the Jobs Bill and keep pounding on that theme?

You know that Social Security and Medicare are in jeopardy when even Democrats refer to them as entitlements. “Entitlement” has a negative sound in colloquial English: somebody who is “entitled” selfishly claims something he doesn’t really deserve. Why not call them “earned benefits,” which is what they are because we all contribute payroll taxes to fund them? That would never occur to the Democrats. Republicans don’t make that mistake; they are relentlessly on message: it is never the “estate tax,” it is the “death tax.”

Obama gives good speech

POSTED BY ORHAN

Measured and persuasive, last night President Obama was the soul of moderation, rationality, and responsibility as he made the case for passing his version of the debt deal. But he did leave a few items out of his story:

He blamed his predecessor for squandering the budget on two wars and a prescription drug program. But he neglected to mention that he continued those wars, and expanded American military operations into new countries; meanwhile he secretly bargained away the public option with the same pharmaceutical companies that had benefitted from the drug program he criticized.

He pointed out that Americans making under $250K would see no tax increase at all. But he neglected to mention that those same Americans will be in fact paying more, by having to make up for the cuts to Social Security and Medicare out of their own pockets.

He called his plan a balanced approach and said no one would be required to sacrifice too much, while acknowledging the cuts would be “painful”. But he neglected to mention that he was planning Social Security and Medicare cuts as far back as January 2009; the kind of cuts a Republican president could never push through.

Obama’s narrative of reason and compromise heroically standing up to the Tea Party’s barbarian hordes was quite stirring, and if one ignores the fact that he just happened to shit-can fundamental Democratic principles and programs as the first step in the process, quite true. No doubt at this moment, Democrats are battling tooth and nail to get his version of the debt ceiling deal passed, a deal they would have fought to the death if proposed by George W. Bush.

All in all, it was an excellent speech; classic Obama.

A dime’s worth of difference?

POSTED BY ORHAN

So Obama offers a debt deal to the Republicans: he’ll cut Social Security and Medicare. In exchange, the Republicans will, maybe, allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. Or hike some other taxes; whatever.

Now the Republicans are saying no deal, they’ll only accept spending cuts; they’ll cut Social Security and Medicare, plus keep the Bush cuts, but deep-six the tax hikes.

So, let’s see, that means if Option 1, the Democratic plan, had been accepted, the rich would have been back to where they were under Clinton, and the poor and middle would have been worse off. But if Option 2, the Republican plan, is enacted, the rich will keep what they got from Bush, and the poor and middle will be worse off.

What can we say about America’s future from the horns of this little dilemma? If it plays out the way the health care farce did, we can make a few predictions:

The Tea Party will be left swinging in the breeze. The folks who screamed, “Keep your hands off my Medicare!” are about to have their Social Security and Medicare seriously FUBARed. Even the most hardcore non-rich Tea Partier will realize sooner or later there’s nothing here but, as the song says, the promise of an early death.

The Democratic base will be left swinging in the breeze, after having its veins opened, its throat slit, and a dagger slipped between its ribs. The new default “far left” bargaining position will start with Social Security and Medicare cuts. Obama will initiate his trademark “compromising” from there. Predicting which once-sacrosanct progressive program he’ll negotiate away next will be all the rage in DC.

Mainstream middle and working class Republicans will be left swinging in the breeze; it’ll just take them a while to figure it out. Sooner or later the most diehard trickle-down true believer will realize the upcoming corporate cash infusion (via “amnesty” or any other method) isn’t going to create any jobs for Americans, other than the corner-office and lobbying jobs for the politicians who sold us all down the river; but CEOs will no doubt receive some kickass bonuses over the next few years.

Life is about to get one hell of a lot harder for most Americans. Thanks to Democrats. And Republicans.

The debt ceiling and the Fourteenth Amendment

As rhetoric heats up about the debt ceiling (not to mention the indignity of being ordered to come to work on a weekend), a new talking point has emerged. This is very interesting - expect sputtering rage when the radio talkers retake the air on Tuesday morning. From the linked post at Crooks & Liars:

It’s an untested concept, but rooted in some really strong history. I cannot recommend this post enough for the backstory and history around the adoption of Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment:

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

When I first heard about this I was completely confused as to how language about the public debt became part of a constitutional amendment, which is why you really must read the post on Balkanization. Here’s a snippet:

What do we learn from this history? If Wade’s speech offers the central rationale for Section Four, the goal was to remove threats of default on federal debts from partisan struggle. Reconstruction Republicans feared that Democrats, once admitted to Congress would use their majorities to default on obligations they did disliked politically. More generally, as Wade explained, “every man who has property in the public funds will feel safer when he sees that the national debt is withdrawn from the power of a Congress to repudiate it and placed under the guardianship of the Constitution than he would feel if it were left at loose ends and subject to the varying majorities which may arise in Congress.”

more from Jon Chait:

This means that the very existence of the debt limit is unconstitutional because it calls into question the validity of the debt. So would any other provision of law. That is a key reason why Congress created a permanent appropriation for interest payments at the same time that the Fourteenth Amendment was debated. Previously, Congress had to pass annual appropriations for interest.

Paul Krugman also had a word on the same subject yesterday.

UPDATE: I urge you to read the comment below by John Nail re a 1935 ruling by the Supreme Court on this very matter.

New York Senate Does the Right Thing

POSTED BY ORHAN

The New York Times reports that lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed.

The bill was approved on a 33-to-29 vote as 4 Republican state senators joined 29 Democrats in voting for it: James S. Alesi; Stephen M. Saland; Roy J. McDonald; and Mark J. Grisanti.

After days of agonized discussion capped by a marathon nine-hour closed-door debate on Friday, Republicans came to a decision: the full Senate would be allowed to vote on the bill, the majority leader, Dean G. Skelos, said Friday afternoon, and each member would be left to vote according to his or her conscience.

“The days of just bottling up things, and using these as excuses not to have votes — as far as I’m concerned as leader, its over with,” Mr. Skelos, a Long Island Republican, said.

Grisanti, a Buffalo Republican who opposed gay marriage when he ran for election last year, said he had studied the issue, agonized over his responsibility as a lawmaker, and concluded he could not vote against the bill. Mr. Grisanti voted yes.

“I apologize for those who feel offended,” he said. “I cannot deny, a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is, the same rights that I have with my wife.”

Earlier, Republican state senator Roy McDonald, who reversed his previous opposition to marriage equality despite threats from conservative groups that he’d pay for his actions at the ballot box, told reporters:

“You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn’t black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing.”

“You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing.

“I’m tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I’m trying to do the right thing, and that’s where I’m going with this.”

According to the Washington Post, the bill’s passage was a milestone nationally because it was the first time a GOP-controlled chamber has approved same-sex marriage.

Andrew Sullivan writes that New York granting same-sex marriage rights is important not just because a Republican-led State Senate passed the law, but because it insists on maximal religious liberty for those who conscientiously oppose marriage equality, and because it doubles the number of Americans with the right to marry the person they love, even if they are gay.

My take is that those involved acted with integrity, dignity, decency, and placed individual conscience above partisan politics–a hopeful sign for America’s future.

Wisconsin to defund Planned Parenthood

POSTED BY ORHAN

According to the NY Daily News, Wisconsin is set to become the fourth state to defund Planned Parenthood, joining Indiana, Kansas and North Carolina.

Gov. Scott Walker is expected to sign off on a budget that will eliminate federal and state funding to nine of the state’s 25 Planned Parenthood centers by the end of the month.

The state’s new budget includes a $1 million cut to Planned Parenthood. All the Republicans and one independent voted in favor of the plan while all the Democrats opposed it.

Republican state Sen. Glenn Grothman argued that the new budget doesn’t cut enough funding from Planned Parenthood: “There’s a very ugly side to this organization, and I regret that they’re going to take such a tiny cut in this budget”.

The nine clinics that will be affected by the budget cuts provide low-cost health care to approximately 12,000 uninsured women.

Teri Huyck, president of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, said she is disappointed that political ideology will take precedence over health care.

“It is greatly disturbing to me that some politicians’ personal beliefs are trumping our shared responsibility to make sure women and men have access to preventive reproductive health care, which is not only essential for their own lives, but also a cost-saver for all Wisconsin taxpayers,” said Huyck.

Liberal comebacks to Republican lies

POSTED BY ORHAN

In a recent post, Robert Reich catalogs and rebuts the biggest whoppers spun by the Republicans regarding job creation:

“Cutting taxes on the rich creates jobs.” Nope. Trickle-down economics has been tried for thirty years and hasn’t worked. After George W. Bush cut taxes on the rich, far fewer jobs were created than after Bill Clinton raised them in the 1990s.

“Cutting corporate income taxes creates jobs.” Baloney. American corporations don’t need tax cuts. They’re sitting on over $1.5 trillion of cash right now. They won’t invest it in additional capacity or jobs because they don’t see enough customers out there with enough money in their pockets to buy what the additional capacity would produce. Florida Governor Rick Scott, for example, says his proposed corporate tax cuts “will give Florida a competitive edge in attracting jobs.” They’ll also require education spending be reduced by $3 billion. Florida already ranks near the bottom in per-pupil spending and has one of nation’s lowest graduation rates. If Scott’s tax cuts create jobs, most will pay peanuts.

“Cuts in wages and benefits create jobs.” Congressional Republicans and their state counterparts repeat this lie incessantly. It also lies behind corporate America’s incessant demand for wage and benefit concessions – and corporate and state battles against unions. But it’s dead wrong. Meager wages and benefits are reducing the spending power of tens of millions of American workers, which is prolonging the jobs recession.

“Regulations kill jobs.” Congressional Republicans are using this whopper to justify their attempts to defund regulatory agencies. Regulations whose costs to business exceed their benefits to the public are unwarranted, of course, but reasonable regulation is necessary to avoid everything from nuclear meltdowns to oil spills to mine disasters to food contamination – all of which we’ve sadly witnessed.

“Cutting the federal deficit will create jobs.” It’s not true. Cutting the deficit will create fewer jobs. Less government spending reduces overall demand. This is particularly worrisome when, as now, consumers and businesses are still holding back. Fewer government workers will have paychecks to buy stuff from other Americans, some of whom in turn will lose their jobs without enough customers.

Reich calls on the President to refute these claims loud and long, before they become conventional wisdom. He can’t understand Obama’s silence in the face of the Republican onslaught.

The NFL is me. Who knew?

Bill Maher comments on the decline of baseball, and the vigorous insurgent success of football:

” . . . football is built on an economic model of fairness and opportunity, and baseball is built on a model where the rich almost always win and the poor usually have no chance. You have to be a rich [team] just to play. The Super Bowl is like Tila Tequila. Anyone can get in.   

Or to put it another way, football is more like the Democratic philosophy . . . That’s why the NFL runs itself in a way that would fit nicely on Glenn Beck’s chalkboard - they literally share the wealth, through salary caps and revenue sharing – TV is their biggest source of revenue, and they put all of it in a big commie pot and split it 32 ways. Because they don’t want anyone to fall too far behind. That’s why the team that wins the Super Bowl picks last in the next draft. Or what the Republicans would call “punishing success.”

 

It’s from one of his recent New Rules segments. (I don’t have HBO so I never get to see his show, but do manage bits of it online)

I suppose facts are stupid things, but . . .

A post at The Center Square with a nice summary of something I (and he) have posted about often – perception v reality and the fact that Dems are demonstrably more fiscally responsible than Republicans. Chart after chart, graph after graph (I can  dig up links for those who won’t believe it, but I’ve done that before, so it’s really not worth it) show this to be the truth.

Here are some simple facts – once again.

  • Ronald Reagan: Federal spending in 1981 (the oldest year I have comparable data for) = $697.8 billion. Federal spending in 1988 = $1,066.9 billion. Average annual increase: 6.3%.
  • George HW Bush: Federal spending in 1988 = $1,066.9 billion. Federal spending in 1992 = $1,427.8 billion. Average annual increase: 7.6%.
  • Bill Clinton (pre-Gingrich with Democrats in control of the House): Federal spending in 1992 = $1,427.8 billion. Federal spending in 1994 = $1,463.0 billion. Average annual increase: 1.2%.
  • Bill Clinton (with Gingrich & Republicans in control of the House): Federal spending in 1994 = $1,463.0 billion. Federal spending in 2000 = $1,788.6 billion. Average annual increase: 3.4%.
  • George W Bush (with Republican control of Congress): Federal spending in 2000 = $1,788.6 billion. Federal spending in 2006 = $2,659.2 billion. Average annual increase: 6.8%.
  • George W Bush (with Democratic control of Congress): Federal spending in 2006 = $2,659.2 billion. Federal spending in 2008 = $3,145.3 billion. Average annual increase: 8.8%.
  • Barack Obama First Year: Federal spending in 2008 = $3,145.3 billion. Federal spending in 2009 = $3,516.1 billion. Average annual increase: 11.8%.
  • Barack Obama Second Year (annualized): Federal spending in 2009 = $3,516.1 billion. Federal spending in 2010 = $3,445.6 billion (annualized using data through September). Average annual decrease: 2.0%.

Have we no eyes to see?

JOBS LOST (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

A letter to the editor in my local paper this morning gave a very concise rundown on one of my favorite subjects, one I’ve blogged about often: the difference between perception and reality in how Democrats do with the economy and overall financial health of the country. The fact is that Dems do very well, much better than Republicans, and yet the perception is the opposite.

Part of that is a lazy media of course (another favorite target of mine), but I blame most of it on ourselves and our inability to create a narrative that resonates and takes hold.

It’s really time for Democrats to bite the bullet and start talking in soundbites and bumper stickers. It’s worked phenomenally well for conservatives. And it’s time for Democrats to ask themselves why most Americans can easily articulate the conservative message but not the liberal one.

Anyway, to that letter:

From an independent voter’s perspective, I find the following findings about this election’s hot-button issues to be thought-provoking and worth sharing:

Jobs: 8.5 million jobs have been lost since January 2008. Of this, 3.6 million jobs were lost by December 2008 and 7.5 million jobs were lost by June 2009, before the stimulus bill took effect. More than 860,000 private-sector jobs were created in 2010 — exceeding the total created in eight years under Bush II. By contrast, 22 million jobs were created under Clinton. (Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor)

Government Spending: Federal government spending grew by 100 percent from $500 billion to $1 trillion under Reagan, by 22 percent under Clinton, and by 76 percent from $1.7 trillion to $3 trillion under Bush II. It is estimated to grow 25 percent by 2012. (Source: usgovernmentspending.com)

National Debt: Since World War II, Republican presidents have increased the national debt by an average of 9.2 percent per year, compared with 3.2 percent for the Democratic presidents. National debt as a percentage of GDP went up from 33 percent to 65 percent under Reagan-Bush I, down to 58 percent under Clinton and back up to 65 percent by 2006 under Bush II and a Republican Congress. More than $9 trillion was added to the debt during the Reagan and Bush I and II presidencies — a bulk of the current total of about $13 trillion. By January 2009, the debt was already at $11 trillion. (Source: Wikipedia)

Mr. Bouncy-bouncy feels threatened

First:  “There’s not one single male endeavor that women haven’t invaded now. They have invaded virtually everything. They have invaded the country clubs, the business clubs, and now the National Football League . . .”

Same day:  LIMBAUGH: This is a tough thing to say, because a lot of people don’t want to hear this, because it goes against everybody’s desire that we all be the same, that there be no pain in life and that there be no suffering and that everybody do well and that everybody have what they want and so forth.

But there is no equality. You cannot guarantee that any two people will end up the same. And you can’t legislate it, and you can’t make it happen. You can try, under the guise of fairness and so forth, but some people are self-starters, and some people are born lazy. Some people are born victims. Some people are just born to be slaves. Some people are born to put up with somebody else making every decision for them.

I’ll be he wishes there were a time machine to take him back to those glorious 1950’s in America – the one he remembers from television.

Bush era tax cuts

When Bush was in  the White House and he had a GOP Congress, they passed some tax cuts. And they themselves attached an expiration date to the tax cuts. (Why?)

So now it’s Obama’s problem. Now, it’s a problem for the Democratic congress. And now, it seems the new truth is that addressing whether or not to allow them to expire – as designed by the GOP – is according to the GOP – just wrong, wrong, wrong. These guys are becoming the party of silly, silly, silly.

This morning, Ezra Klein writes about the impact of continuing the tax cuts. He says:

There is no policy that President Obama has passed or proposed that added as much to the deficit as the Republican Party’s $3.9 trillion extension of the Bush tax cuts. In fact, if you put aside Obama’s plan to extend most, but not all, of the Bush tax cuts, there is no policy he has passed or proposed that would do half as much damage to the deficit. There is not even a policy that would do a quarter as much damage to the deficit.

They’re b-a-c-k

Another interesting primary night.

From Ballooon Juice tonight:

I’m sure they will be no more extreme than they were 150 years ago. In the 1860 Election the Confederates were against:

  • Education. Ditto 2010
  • Federal Spending for infrastructure. Ditto 2010
  • Help for Free Labor and the working man. Ditto 2010
  • Federal efforts to reign in the oligarchs of the day. Ditto 2010
  • The idea that the Constitution guaranteed “personal Liberty”. Ditto 2010
  •  And then as now the Confederate Party uses the memes, rhetoric, scare tactics, and talking points of white supremacy and fear of the ‘others’ to bring the low hanging rubes into their movement.

    The Republican Party is dead. It is the Confederate Party now bitches. Get use to it.

    Oh, and get ready to party like it’s 1860.

    Eighty three point four

    While the nation once again settles in for another day of blaming the current president for the wars we’ve been engaged in for (respectively) nine years and seven and a half years,  for the perfectly fine economy he mucked up and for his failure as prophet (he promised unemployment wouldn’t go over 7%, 8%, 9%, take-your-pick) . . . here is something I know. I know that Iraq is Obama’s fault because he’s a Democrat and Iraq was their fault – or so said Dan Senor on Chris Mathews‘ tonight – and he got away with it. (Senor was the PR flack for Paul Bremmer when he was emperor of Iraq).

    But about that economy thing. This is a chart that I created some time ago for another post in which I was referring to the far right column, a percentage increase in debt – by president. As I said then, taking any one of these line items alone would mean nothing. But over this period of nearly 70 years, the pattern is clear. And damning.

    This time, I ask that you look at the number in the first column after Barack Obama’s name. Just look at it. It is the number he gets to start with. So look again at that number. The starting number. And weep. Obama’s economy my ass.

    UPDATE: A commenter thinks the chart above explains nothing and asks ‘where are the jobs?’.  So maybe these graphs will help him see where the jobs went. GOP loses jobs, DEMS have to get them back. Old story.

    Calling Mr. Bush, calling Mr. Bush

    Dear President Bush:

    I don’t like you. Never did. One reason is because you so deliberately played the dumbfuck regular guy when the cameras were on, as though that were a remotely appropriate image for the leader of the free world. Of course, you never were that dumb but you also weren’t well versed in history or philosophy which leaders should be. And that got us into a lot of trouble.

    However, you did one thing right. After 9/11 you immediately saw the danger in pissing off a billion Muslims. Arab Muslims, Persian Muslims, American Muslims, Malaysian Muslims, Indonesian Muslims, Chinese Muslims, Indian Muslims . . . you got the point Mr. Bush. So you stepped up and spoke out in order to dampen primitive instincts which always rise up when an enemy is needed.

    For some weeks now, it’s been time for you to speak out again. You haven’t (and now I have another reason not to like you). The leaders of your own party are playing footsie with very dangerous and simmering sentiments. They don’t say a word because they are cynical and opportunistic. But you’re retired now, never running for office again, and you owe us one. Step up and do the right thing.

    Oh just shut up

    They sure do elect  some fine 17th century fellows over in Louisiana.

    Appearing before the Republican Women of Bossier with Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) cast the November elections as a choice between godlessness and Christianity. He also called bipartisanship impossible.

    “We have two competing world views here and there is no way that we can reach across the aisle — one is going to have to win,” Fleming said.

    We are either going to go down the socialist road and become like western Europe and create, I guess really a godless society, an atheist society. Or we’re going to continue down the other pathway where we believe in freedom of speech, individual liberties and that we remain a Christian nation. So we’re going to have to win that battle, we’re going to have to solve that argument before we can once again reach across and work together on things.”

    Seems like just yesterday

    A very valuable post at The Conservative Lie. We need to remind ourselves from time to time of recent history.

    The Top Ten GOP  Scandals

    It’s in two parts. The link goes to Part I. It’s long and takes some reading, but it’s really worth it.

    They are all fourth grade girls

    Ed sends this.

    On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee was forced to cancel a hearing as was the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) tweeted today : “Disappointed. Rs refusing to allow hearings today. Had to cancel my oversight hearing on police training contracts in Afghanistan.”

    Sen. Mark Udall also complained that he had to delay a hearing on the cause of Western forest fires.

    Guess why.

    Rinse and repeat: Is Texas still seceeding?

    I’m registered into a two hour EPA webcast seminar on preparing RFP’s for local project. (I volunteer with a civic organization working on estuary waters and storm runoff – subjects about which I know exactly nothing.) Scintillating it is not. So I’m multi-tasking and listening with only one ear.

    From Washington Monthly just now:

    Markos Moulitsas commissioned a fascinating poll in January, getting a better sense of exactly what rank-and-file Republicans are thinking nationwide.

    …I’m putting the finishing touches on my new book, American Taliban, which catalogues the ways in which modern-day conservatives share the same agenda as radical Jihadists in the Islamic world. But I found myself making certain claims about Republicans that I didn’t know if they could be backed up. So I thought, “why don’t we ask them directly?” And so, this massive poll, by non-partisan independent pollster Research 2000 of over 2,000 self-identified Republicans, was born.

    The results are nothing short of startling.

    Quite right. A plurality of rank-and-file Republicans wants to see President Obama impeached. More than a third of self-identified Republicans believe he wasn’t born in the United States. A 63% majority is convinced the president is a socialist, about a fourth believe he wants terrorists to be successful, and about a third think Obama is a racist who hates white people.

    Nearly a third of Republicans think contraceptive use should be outlawed.

    More than three-quarters of Republicans want public schools to teach children that the book of Genesis “explains how God created the world.”

    A third of Southern Republicans want to see their state secede from the union.

    Now where are they getting those ideas?