Early this month Alan Grayson announced a fun fundraiser on his Facebook page-- and an opportunity to pick a prize Blue America will offer to one random lucky Grayson donor on this page. Well, Alan's supporters have spoken and the winning prize is... the beautiful blue and white Squier Stratocaster guitar signed by all three members of Green Day, Billie, Mike and Tre. (I keep getting emails from people wanting to know what will happen to the Eric Clpaton/B.B. King platinum record award. Don't worry; we'll be giving that way later in the cycle to raise campaign funds for another progressive fighter like Alan.)
Our efforts to help get Grayson back into Congress are, of course, about a lot more than giving someone the opportunity to win an autographed Green Day guitar. In some ways this is the single most important House race in the whole country. Electing Alan Grayson is about building independent progressive power, power that is not dependent on the corrupt Inside the Beltway or the Wall Street establishments that are destroying American democracy and the American middle class.
Grayson is doing everything right. He's helping make sure the Republicans pick their weakest and most unelectable candidate in Orlando and nationally, he's giving more help to progressive incumbents and challengers than anyone else in Congress. He's a genuine hero who has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for people who needed it and deserved it in tough primaries, from Dennis Kucinich, John Lewis, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Raul Grijalva, Keith Ellison to Norman Solomon, Lee Rogers, Darcy Burner, and Ilya Sheyman. Some won, some lost but an endorsement from Grayson has become a gold standard for the national progressive community.
The worst elements of the corrupt Democratic Establishment-- careerist hacks like Steny Hoyer, Joe Crowley, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Steve Israel-- are putting themselves in line for leadership positions in a post-Pelosi Democratic caucus. We already have one lobbyist and Wall Street owned political party. If we're going to save what's left of the Democratic Party and bring it back to a useful life, we're going to need Alan Grayson's leadership. So... don't contribute to win the Green Day guitar, contribute to save our beloved country (and maybe you will win the Green Day guitar anyway). Contribute here.
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After discussing the pick of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate and whether or not the columns at either the Wall Street Journal or the National Review might have pushed Romney into choosing Ryan or not, host John Roberts asks Bill Kristol about the likely attacks coming against Ryan from Democrats. And even Bill Kristol had to wonder if Republicans are going to be able to defend the tax cuts for the wealthy.
KRISTOL: I think taxes are the tougher attack ads. They combined, obviously, they're cutting Medicare. Why do they have to cut Medicare and gut education and do all these other horrible things when they insist on giving those tax cuts to the wealthy. But actually, if you look at polling, it's a pretty close call. People do know that entitlements have to be reformed. Even President Obama has said so. Hasn't done much about it. I think Republicans can pretty easily, honestly hold their own on that.
It's the tax cuts for the wealthy where Republicans have not done a particularly good job of defending it and I think you'll see the Democratic attacks really focus on that side of the equation.
ROBERTS: Steve Moore?
MOORE: Well, Bill is right. We know, we've known this for two years that the Democratic attack line would be we're going to cut entitlements and give tax cuts to the rich, because that's what the Democrats always do. Bill what I think is really exciting about having Paul on the ticket now is, who's better to defend those policies than Paul is and he knows this stuff better than anyone.
As the Think Progress post linked above noted:
Paul Ryan?s infamous budget ? which Romney embraced ? replaces ?the current tax structure with two brackets ? 25 percent and 10 percent ? and cut the top rate from 35 percent.? Federal tax collections would fall ?by about $4.5 trillion over the next decade? as a result. To avoid increasing the national debt, the budget proposes massive cuts in social programs and ?special-interest loopholes and tax shelters that litter the code.?
But 62 percent of the savings would come from programs that benefit the lower- and middle-classes, who would also experience a tax increase. That?s because while Ryan ?would extend the Bush tax cuts, which are due to expire at the end of this year, he would not extend President Obama?s tax cuts for those with the lowest incomes, which will expire at the same time.? Households ?earning more than $1 million a year, meanwhile, could see a net tax cut of about $300,000 annually.?
Later in the segment Moore called anyone who dares to point out that Republicans want to do exactly that, gut our social safety nets while giving tax cuts to their rich friends, running on the politics of fear and envy. You hear that all you lazy moochers out there? You're just jealous of those job-creating achievers.... yeah, that's the ticket.
Cut taxes. Raise defense spending. Balance the budget. That, in a nutshell, is the promise of Mitt Romney's 162-page, 59-point economic plan. But if that refrain sounds hauntingly familiar, it should. After all, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and the leading lights of the Republican Party have been repackaging that same formula for over three decades.
But repeating the same falsehood?even for 30-plus years?doesn't make it any truer. As it turns out, that patron saint of small government Ronald Reagan tripled the national debt during his tenure, while Bush nearly doubled it again by January 2009. While their supply-side snake oil did not match the economic growth and job creation of periods of higher (even much higher) taxation, it did produce staggering increases in income inequality.
Now, Mitt Romney and his Republican allies are counting on Americans having short memories and bad math skills. For today's Party of Lincoln, the message for 2012 is clear: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and that's our target market.
From the beginning, even some of Ronald Reagan's water carriers were skeptical of his campaign pledge to balance the federal budget and cut personal taxes by 30 percent in three years. As William Kristol later admitted, "I was not certain of its economic merits but quickly saw its political possibilities."
Kristol was proven right on both counts. But as most analysts predicted, Reagan's massive $749 billion supply-side tax cuts in 1981 quickly produced even more massive annual budget deficits. Combined with his rapid increase in defense spending, Reagan delivered not the balanced budgets he promised, but record-setting debt. Even his OMB alchemist David Stockman could not obscure the disaster with his famous "rosy scenarios."
Forced to raise taxes 11 times to avert financial catastrophe, the Gipper nonetheless presided over a tripling of the American national debt to nearly $3 trillion. By the time he left office in 1989, Ronald Reagan more than equaled the entire debt burden produced by the previous 200 years of American history. It's no wonder that, three decades after he concluded "the supply-siders have gone too far," former Arthur Laffer acolyte and Reagan budget chief David Stockman lamented:
"[The] debt explosion has resulted not from big spending by the Democrats, but instead the Republican Party's embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don't matter if they result from tax cuts."When George W. Bush and Dick Cheney ambled in the White House in January 2001, they weren't shy about making that same point, albeit with a different spin.
(Continue reading below the fold.)
My initial reaction to Sabotage: How the Republican Party Crippled America's Economic Recovery was an incredulous, "Jeez, will anyone really get snookered into blaming the Republicans for that at this point in affairs?" And then yesterday happened, and[...]
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In the midst of the nasty, negative political campaigns raging across the United States, the good[...]
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Police claim that handcuffed man, Chavis Carter shot himself in the head Ok see if you believe this one. In Jonesboro, Arkansas Chavis Carter an African American man was arrested on marijuana possession after being searched and put in black of a police car with his hands handcuffed behind his back. He wound up dead [...]
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An amazing version if you've never heard it before. Eva Cassidy was little known until after her death at 33 of skin cancer. By random chance her version of this was played on the BBC and folks went wild. Then, I think this actual video was played on another BBC TV show, and her international fame was sealed. From what I can glean from Wikipedia, this video, below, was taken at Blues...
The introduction for the New York Times' coverage of a police shooting in the commercially decadent hub of New York known as Times Square is the following, "When the tourists and shoppers thronging Times Square on Saturday afternoon first saw the police[...]
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Almost immediately after Willard named Ayn Rand disciple Paul Ryan to the ticket, his campaign started backing off the Ryan plan.
?Gov. Romney applauds Paul Ryan for going in the right direction with his budget,? according to the talking points, ?and as president he will be putting together his own plan for cutting the deficit and putting the budget on a path to balance.?
Who are they kidding here?
Willard has already said he thinks it would be "marvelous" if the Senate passed the Ryan budget -- in fact -- he's endorsed Ryan's Starve Granny to Give Romney A Tax Cut plan five times. But Team Romney knows that the specifics of the Ryan budget are electoral poison. So they're trying to have it both ways. Hence Ari's SRWT.
This is silly, of course. Dick Cheney wasn't wholly defined by gay marriage--and he certainly didn't author legislation to legalize it. Biden's Iraq plan was a footnote in his career. But Ryan and his plan are indelibly linked, and there's just no getting around that. Without the Ryan Budget, there'd be no Paul Ryan, Vice Presidential Candidate.
Repeatedly praising his budget then picking Ryan as your running mate -- then saying you don't like his plan is like passing universal health care and then saying you oppose it.
Etch-a-sketch, yet again.