Alright, that's it for me. As always, it's been a blast. See you next time.
Over at my place, we've got posts up on Michele Bachmann's anti-gay, anti-porn pledge, the Koch brothers' ridiculous privacy claims, and Orrin Hatch's anti-poor meanness, among many others. I hope you like them.
Beeryblog: Bloodlusting Texas executes a Mexican national. So much for the Vienna Convention.
I Tried Being Tasteful...: Bristol Palin shows up at a Texas Wal-Mart for a book signing. It was all rather underwhelming.
Bob Broughton: Obama has a secret weapon in the debt ceiling debate. But he's shown no willingness to play hardball.
The Impolitic: It's the jobs, stupid. And yet we're being ruled by deliberate idiots who don't have a clue.
Round-up by Michael J.W. Stickings of The Reaction.
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Over the last several days, progressives have simply been freaking out. A report surfaced in the[...]
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I love the sound of Chicago from the 70′s. The power of their horn section was only equaled[...]
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On this day in history, July 10, 1509, theologian John Calvin, a key figure of the Protestant Reformation, was born France. Some news that caught my eye this fine morning: ~Elizabeth Warren for Senate? ~The GOP has predictably rebuffed the[...]
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Boehner said no to the Obama "compromise." Boehner caved to pressure from the far right. You shouldn't be surprised. Obama shouldn't be surprised. Then again, Charlie Brown shouldn't have been surprised after the first 50 times.
The reason this keeps happening is NOT because the president is stupid. But because he, and the rest of the Democratic Party are seemingly oblivious to the cognitive dissonance that affects America. That is, most people do not come close to understanding what the truth is, nor what the potential ramifications of certain proposals can be.
To wit: most people who receive government money don't know that they receive money from a government program. Here's the chart:
Now, that chart is from a 2008 study, but it's unlikely the percentages have changed much. Face it, people can't value something they don't know they have. Further, the higher up on the income ladder a taxpayer is, the more likely he/she has received a tax subsidy of some sort. If you want to read the full, fascinating report, it's after the jump.
And there's something else that people don't know: if you add together the TOTAL cost of early childhood programs, low income housing programs, WIC funds, teacher training and afterschool programs, job training for the unemployed, LIHEAP, community health centers, homeless assistance grants, legal services for the poor, and Title X family planning, you get $44 billion dollars. Want to guess how much it costs each year for extending the Bush tax cuts for JUST the top brackets? $42 billion. Full breakout in chart form here, which includes some other eye-popping dollar amounts only for the rich.
The next time you're out driving in real traffic, watch the people who only see what's ahead of them, never on the side, nor behind them. Most people don't have a sense of what's around them. They can only look right in front of their noses. The Democrats, and ESPECIALLY the president, need to put these sorts of data right in front of people, as many times as it takes, until they understand.
Bette Midler - (You Gotta Have) Friends
There was a homily that was often repeated as I grew up and bickered with my siblings: The patriarch worried that his fighting family members would destroy the family after his death and sought to make them understand that only together would they prove unbreakable. So he took some thin sticks and handed them to each family member and asked them to break the stick in half. Each easily snapped their stick in two. Then he asked them to pool one of their fragments with the others, asking them in turn to try to break the bundle of sticks. Of course, none of them could, demonstrating that while singly they were weak, united they were strong.
I think the lesson applies to the liberal community. I've seen depressingly large schisms among progressives, sadly unnecessary schisms. Ultimately, the goal is the same: to move the country in a progressive direction. It's just that we disagree on the means to the end. But if we could just remember that our strength comes with our unity, rathering than splintering into a million individual sticks wondering why we feel so impotent.
ABC's "This Week" - President Barack Obama's chief of staff, Bill Daley; Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund.
NBC's "Meet the Press" - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a GOP presidential candidate.
NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show" - Panel: Bob Woodward, Andrea Mitchell, Jamie Tarabay and Clarence Page. Topics: Is the Tea Party's Flirtation with Default a Big Favor to Barack Obama? Is Michele Bachmann Too Far Right Even for the GOP? Meter Questions: Is It A Smarter Strategy For GOP House Members To Settle Soon On A Debt Compromise? YES: 11 NO: 1; Has President Obama Beat the Democrats' Dovish Image? YES: 11 No: 1
CBS' "Face the Nation" - Geithner; Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla.
CNN's "State of the Union" - Reps. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a GOP presidential candidate; NASA Administrator Charles Bolden; NASA scientist James Garvin.
CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - South Sudan, Africa's future, Libya and DSK
"Fox News Sunday" - Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Jim DeMint, R-S.C.
So what's catching your eye this morning?
While mishima is on hiatus, I will be cross posting some of our daily and weekly features from The Stars Hollow Gazette"Punting the Pundits" is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet[...]
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The New York Times isn't particularly impressed with the huffing & puffing on the right, but they're even less impressed with the left(ish).
It was not surprising to hear the Republican presidential candidates repeat their tiresome claim that excessive government spending and borrowing were behind Friday?s terrible unemployment report. It was depressing to hear President Obama sound as if he agreed with them.
There has never been any evidence that the federal debt is primarily responsible for the persistent joblessness that began with the 2008 recession. ... There is plenty of evidence, in fact, that the spending cuts already imposed by Republican intransigence are responsible for a great deal of joblessness.
Matt Bai says that Washington keeps mistaking the last wave for a mandate.
The unprecedented succession of wave elections in 2006, 2008 and 2010 ? meaning, by one popular definition, that a party picked up a minimum of 20 House seats in each of those years ? were largely interpreted by both parties in Washington as the wild swings of a fickle electorate. Democratic leaders in Congress saw their 2006 and 2008 victories as proof that a long period of resurgent liberalism was finally at hand. When the voters apparently changed their minds again in 2010, jubilant Republicans rejoiced that we were now a nation of Tea Party sympathizers.Some waves may have meaning, but every wave is a temporary phenomenon.
Paul Krugman uses a form of the "drunkard's walk" to explain why wages are creeping upward even if jobs are still hard to find.
Peter Kramer notes that there's been a current of voices raising doubts about drugs used to treat anxiety and depression, with some even suggesting that the whole thing is little more than a massive form of the placebo effect.
Could this be true? Could drugs that are ingested by one in 10 Americans each year, drugs that have changed the way that mental illness is treated, really be a hoax, a mistake or a concept gone wrong?Neither critics nor supporters are likely to be swayed, but if you've been hearing just a few rumbles from this battle, this is a worthwhile look at the status of the fight.
Critics raise various concerns, but in my view the serious dispute about antidepressant efficacy has a limited focus. Do they work for the core symptoms (such as despair, low energy and feelings of worthlessness) of isolated episodes of mild or moderate depression? The claim that antidepressants do nothing for this common condition ? that they are merely placebos with side effects ? is based on studies that have probably received more ink than they deserve.
Kathleen Parker begs her fellow Republicans to stop being crazy long enough to extract a win out of their self-created debt-ceiling "crisis." Unfortunately, reasoning with people in the middle of a tantrum rarely works; a rule that applies for both two year-olds and Michelle Bachmann.
Charles Krauthammer hurries to prove that he's exactly the kind of tantrum-thrower that Parker was talking about, and that reason is the last he's interested in.
The Miami Herald has one of several editorials looking at life in the post-Space Shuttle era. It's great to see many looking forward with hope, but let's hope that the latest draft out of Congress goes back for a major re-write. The legacy of the Shuttle (and Apollo, and everything else) should be more than turning NASA into the most expensive source of make-work jobs on the planet.
The Denver Post says it's past time that President Obama commits himself to the cause of gay marriage.
Now the president must makes his views clear. There can be no change without Obama's leadership. The time for half-way steps is over. It's time for Obama to lead the charge.Unfortunately, the president has made his views clear, several times, and actually it looks like there's been a lot of change without the White House at the first of the process.
Amy Goodman looks back at the brief career of Wikileaks and the documents it surfaced.
Byron Williams says President Obama isn't standing his ground.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bipartisan federal agency that provides economic data to Congress, more than half the current deficit is attributed to the tax cuts during the presidency of George W. Bush and the two wars that were financed on borrowed dollars during the same time period.That message needs to get repeated... maybe everywhere and everyday, until it gets heard. Republicans sank the economy and ran up the debt, now they're looking to capitalize from their own destruction. Don't let them.
It's not health care legislation, it's not TARP, nor is it the stimulus package -- the troika with which most seem obsessed -- it's the tax cuts and wars that many who sit at the table negotiating with the president supported, but have irresponsibly drawn a line in the sand in opposition to any revenue increases.
If you're feeling a lack of something to celebrate on this post-holiday weekend, celebrate this.
Plunging prices and booming investments are beginning to reshape the energy market, according to a couple of reports that were released this week. A report produced on behalf of Bloomberg says that investments in renewable energy have gone up by roughly a third over the last year, to $211 billion. Led by China's renewable push, the world is now on a trajectory that will see its investments in renewable electricity surpass those in fossil fuels within a year or two. As a result of these investments, the US is now producing more renewable energy than nuclear power.
It's an unusually early Sunday morning for me as I am jumping on a train to Melun to do a 60 kilometer bike circuit with a friend visiting from Holland. After following the Seine for a while and riding past a lovely old fortress that pre-dates the 100 Years War we ride by this place near the end. The gardens were the inspiration for Versailles but the history is quite a story. Politics has always been a full contact sport.
When I get home this afternoon it's time to whip up a batch of chicken salad with my leftover roasted chickens from the Algerian butcher up in Belleville. They marinate the birds in seasonings that are perfect. Add to that some yellow raisins marinated in bit of Grand Marnier, just enough mayonnaise and lots of cilantro and it's ready.
Blessed are they who see beautiful things
in humble places where other people see nothing.
Born July 10, 1830
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