Saturday, March 28, 2009

GOP Gives Zero-based Budgeting New Meaning! (More on the GOP Non-Budget)

AS I indicated in a previous post, from the GOP, here's it's economic plan for American--the number zero, as in zero details and zero numbers (except the numbers 10% and 25% (more on that in a moment). Now that's budgeting! Every Harry and Harriet-the-Homeowner in America knows better than that. And if the GOP cannot come up with a true, meaningful alternative for the budget, then it should just pack it in, as in take a hike. In particular, the economically challenged John Boehner (R-CA) really should find another line of work. Don't get me started on Eric Cantor. Let me parse the between-the-lines of his and the GOP's "budget proposal." (Satire)

Here's what the hapless GOP stalwarts really mean:
Their Revenue Stream --Tax rates:
--Corporations: Take a tax holiday. You are all such responsible entities, "people" before our right-wing courts, and doers of good.
--Everyday folks: 10% tax rate (doesn't count "user's" fees).
--Those making over $100,000 25% (for the rich, that's three-three-three times the tax cut of Bush, and it would be the biggest tax cut for the rich in history, but never mind).

[No estimates of total revenue available--sorry. GOP doesn't want to admit this is a shut-down-the government budget.]

GOP Budget Expenditures:javascript:void(0)
--Defense and Offense: 80% of every dime it (the GOP) takes in--only to GOP supporting contractors.
--Faith Based Initiatives (Republican people of faith only need apply--"librul" religion is an oxymoron. Wait. Boehner doesn't know what oxymoron is.): 10%
--Corporate giveaways (because there isn't enough government favoritism toward corporations): 10% (and every thing else we can scrape up for 'em).

BTW, Their Idea of Oversight: GOP message to Corporations: "Have it it. Use every opportunity to install gotcha capitalism onto borrowers, telecom customers, medical consumers, and just about anyone buying anything. Have fun. Think of new ways ("products") to work over people with new and more interesting "contracts" and TOS. You don't have to worry about delivering good service or evening keeping up your end of a "contract." We don't care. PS There's no budget for oversight."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The GOP Needs Your Help: Seriously, GOP Leaders Have Lost It

Today, the GOP House leaders fronted by US Rep John Boehner produced the magic potion which will cure all of America's budget woes. But it had no numbers. Read about it here.
And here's the video.

Here's Politico's report of what happened.

House Republicans unveiled their budget plan today — just two days after President Barack Obama called them out on national TV for not having one.

But at a news conference unveiling the plan, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner was peppered with questions about why he was offering only what he called a “blueprint” and not specific details. In fact, there were few specific numbers or line items — mostly just broad outlines.

“This is a blueprint,” Boehner responded, noting that House Republicans will bring their specific budget figures to the floor next week. “Wait till next week.”

One "word" is apt: bwahahahahhahaahah!

On Eric Cantor's trip to Mars

A Caller to C-SPAN accused the Obama administration of fascism. This she says when the admin she apparently supported, was as close to a fascist state as we have ever had. She even falsely claimed the new Democratic administration was a "belligerent takeover." Cantor said nothing, apparently letting the outrageous statements pass for truth. Here's the story...

Here's Howard Dean's take on the Cantor trip into outer space.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rachel Takes on the GOP and Wall Street

BWAHAHAHAHAH! Brit Hume Says Because of Blogs News Will Be More Partisan

[Hat Tip ThinkProgress]

At the blatantly wrong-wing Media Research Center's Award Gala this past week, Brit Hume, who got their award for journalism excellence (?!?!?!?!?), said the following:

HUME: What are we getting?…We’re getting bloggers and websites and all sorts of individual entrepreneurs, and we have a vaster menu of choices today than we’ve ever had. But I think that we also have the danger that everything will be presented from one political viewpoint or the other, and that the media that confront us are going to be more partisan than ever — which means that the Media Research Center will have a mission for many years to come, and a good thing that is.

Now that's funny! Here's a man spinning GOP talking points and all the while claiming blogs are the problem... Real News did away with itself long ago. And FAUX News helped seal the fate of Real News.

As Think Progress points out, it's even more funny when you learn that, in the same speech, Hume thanked the blatantly wrong-wing MRC for feeding him talking points, which he used on the air.

HUME: I want to say a word, however, of thanks, to [MRC president] Brent [Bozell] and to the team at the Media Research Center and all the contributors who make that work there possible. […] also for the tremendous amount of material that the Media Research Center provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report. I don’t know what we would have done without them. It was a daily, sort of a buffet of material to work from, and we — we — we certainly made tremendous use of it.

There you have it. FAUX News and Brit Hume are tools of the radical wing of the Republican Party. And not very good tools at that.

Friday, March 13, 2009

John Stewart Is Better Than Cramer

First, The Jim Cramer Interview in Three Parts:

Part One here.

Part Two here.

Part Three here.

More Daily Show Commentary on CNBC:



And here.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Yoo-thanizing Our Constitution
[The blog is crossposted at Blue Commonwealth.]

In an otherwise excellent post, as are most of his, Cvillelaw at Blue Commonwealth, says that the revoking of the Yoo Memos on January 15, 2009, was a triumph for the law. Here's the quote:
These memos have all been repudiated by OLC, and any doubt about their validity was removed when, on January 15, 2009, the OLC issued a new memo making clear that the logic contained in all of them had been abandoned. That is a belated triumph for the rule of law and for principled legal reasoning.

I respectfully disagree. There is no triumph of law here. This is the most sordid lawless period in US history. Worse, I think the Jan 15 exercise had more to do with "cya" than with the law. But there is much more to say. Over at Harpers Magazine, Scott Horton wrote:
We may not have realized it at the time, but in the period from late 2001-January 19, 2009, this country was a dictatorship. The constitutional rights we learned about in high school civics were suspended. That was thanks to secret memos crafted deep inside the Justice Department that effectively trashed the Constitution. What we know now is likely the least of it.

But many of us did realize it. And we protested loudly. And as we warned others, we were demonized, even defamed, by watercarriers for the very ones who brought down the Constitution. We were told to "watch what you say." We were called "unpatriotic." We were harassed and shouted at by apologists for the authoritarians.

We hesitate to say, "I told you so." But we will say it nonetheless. It was an beginning of dictatorship. Of course, some of it was a figment of the imagination of a supposed scholar of the law, who'd do or say anything expected of him. But with a overly compliant populace and a willing military, that wouldn't matter. Rather than build national policies based on Constitutional law, the last administration justified itself based upon sophomoric "interpretations" of law by a worse-than-sophomoric in-house lawyer, who shamed his profession and our country. The legal "mind" sold out his country for ideology and ambition.

The situation was far more grave than many realize. Most knew there was torture, extraordinary rendition, and spying on Americans. But we may not have fully realized that we were not safe in our homes. From the Yoo memos, we now learn they perceived, or rather claimed, the right to attack domestic targets at will, to essentially do anything they wanted to instill tyranny. The Posse Comitatus Act and the First, and Fourth Amendments were dispensed with with the stroke of a memo. All that was missing was a big event to "justify it." We were saved by good luck. As Horton says:
Clearly such unlawful surveillance occurred. But the language of the memos suggest that much more was afoot, including the deployment of military units and military police powers on American soil. These memos suggest that John Yoo found a way to treat the Posse Comitatus Act as suspended.

Until the Republican Party purges itself of its authoritarian wing, we dare not entrust this county's leadership to it again. If the Democratic leadership does not take measures to hold those responsible accountable, Constitutional undoing could and likely would happen again. It will happen as surely as the hate radio talking heads spew their venomous rants, even now stirring up hate and repression.

It is our duty to push back against their sludge; their repressive inclinations; and their immoral appropriation of the rights, property, and even the lives of the majority of Americans. They had plans for anyone not seeing the world as they did--round them up and make them fodder for the prison-for-profit prison industrial complex. (They think we don't have enough in prison when the US imprisons 25% of those incarcerated around the world). We have 5% of the world's population. By any definition, we have a problem.

It was the one-two punch of Shock Doctrine: First, use catastrophe to impose a police state and, Second, confiscate the infrastructure and accumulated wealth of the 95% of Americans for the betterment of the 5%. Privatize everything in sight, even water systems (in some locales it's already too late). They were working on eliminating our safety net, the Social Security surplus, and everything else that wasn't nailed down. Those not incarcerated would be turned into minimum wage drones. That part is well underway. Make people work two, three even four jobs to make ends meet. And when they are sick, well -too bad. This version of America was rejected on Nov. 4 2008.

For the most part, Barack Obama is moving in a completely new and honorable direction. He is a good man. But there are warnings that we must be vigilant. Our president is under much pressure to feed the Shock Doctriners. There is no effort yet to stop the prisons in the desert, the concentration camps for immigrants, or prisons for profit. Rendition endures. The vestiges of infrastructure for spying on Americans remains in place. The wolves are howling for our infrastructure. Even the brother of the White House Chief of Staff seeks to shut off Medicare to new subscribers. The harbingers of the Shock Doctrine economic policy remain in place. We get to be grateful that Timothy Geitner at least blamed Bush for most of the current problems. And, of course, we'll still be stuck with Larry Summers. Those who are even worse have flooded the airwaves with their "free market" mythology (otherwise known as socialism for the wealthy and "free" enterprise for everyone else. Chris Matthew's inflammatory question, "Are we all socialists now?" misses the point. The government and corporate America are already deeply intertwined to the benefit of corporations, not citizens-at-large.

Every day Barack Obama does something to better what Bush left him. The question is can he work fast enough? Will Americans give him the support he needs to protect their interests? Town Halls will begin across America. Tell the President we'll back him up. But we need him to back us up. Tell him he has the support for single payer. Tell him he has the support to stand up against Max Baucus and Evan Bayh, who'd salve the rich on tax policy, but tell the rest of us --essentially, not literally--to go to hell. Remind him that the harbingers of Shock Doctrine lost Nov 4th and we want change, lots more of it.

Short Take: Lies, Lies, and More Lies About Obama Marginal Tax Rates

From the howling of nearly all Congressional Republicans and, more recently, the predictable treachery of protect-the-rich-at-all-cost Democratic Senators Max Baucus (MT)and Evan Bayh (IN), you would think that Obama wanted to unfairly tax the rich. Yeh, the rich that got so disproportionately more rich while the rest of us sunk from any chance at the so-called American dream. But as blogger Steve Benen points out, such false claims quickly fall when one knows this:

As Now would be a very good time to point out how truly insane all of this is. Obama is talking about a 39.6% top rate. In Reagan's first term, it was 50%. Under Nixon, it was 70%. When FDR pulled us out of the Great Depression, it was around 80%.

Read Steve Benen's blog at Washington Monthly here. It is amazing how misleading, obstructionist and blatantly selfish these folks are. They've gotten an historic free lunch at the public trough. But even a slight sacrifice is just too much. As for our esteemed Dems, Bachus is at work trying to obstruct other Obama proposals as well. With people like this on our side of the aisle, who needs enemies? Did I mention, let's run someone against Baucus and Bayh in their next primary?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Top Ten GOP Idiots

One of the more enjoyable blog columns is the regular weekly list of the GOP's biggest idiots that week. Check it out here...

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Bobby Jindal and "Truthiness"

Bobby Jindal's amateurish and sad speech Wednesday night was not just those things. It also included a lie.