I saw his O ness in that town hall meeting today. (Man, talk about mobile vulgus ) He was doing his best to convince the sceptical and troubled group that his economic plan is working, but you could see that it was an up hill battle. One woman was lamenting the loss of the A-merry-can dream, and if his O ness felt her pain I didn't see it. Not that he should have; O has nothing to do with her having to eat "hot dogs and beans." What do you want lady? Steak and eggs? That's what's wrong with A-merry-ca; we have issues with eating "hot dogs and beans" when there are babies in the world who will die tomorrow from f&*^%$g starvation. Besides, from the looks of things you could lay off the "hot dogs and beans" for awhile. Sorry, no patients for haters tonight. Obama, you couldn't say it, so I will say it for you: Yes lady, "hot dogs and beans" could be your new reality for awhile, and trust me, you could do a lot worse.
Anyway, you could see that O wanted to pull on his inner Bill Clinton, but he couldn't do it. He just couldn't project that I am feeling your pain vibe. So he came across as a smug Ivy League educated black (beige) man, which is exactly what he is. I have no problem with it, but A-merry-ca didn't sign up for this. You might be pulling them out of the recession, O man, but they don't like how you are doing it. You are too dam smug; too much of a know it all; you are not one of them. Believe it or not most A-merry-cans like their leaders to seem....well, [un]educated.
"So the challenge, I think, for the Tea Party movement is to identify, specifically, what would you do?"
O, that's the problem, they don't know what they would do. In fact, they wouldn't have a problem with what you are doing if you weren't the one doing it. Hint hint.
"The problem that I've seen in the debate that's been taking place and in some of these Tea Party events is, I think they're misidentifying sort of who the culprits are here," said Obama. "
Sorry O man, they are not "misidentifying" anything; you are the culprit. Not because of your policies, but because of...well, who you are. (Hint hint) Did you see a rise of the teabag folks under Carter? How about under Johnson when the country was being "fundamentally changed" with all types of social programs to fight poverty? Did you see it under Nixon? Under FDR? How about under Clinton when he was getting his freak in in the people's house? Why no nationwide outcry and movement then? (Field, they did try to impeach him. Yes, how did that work out? And not they- as in the the people- a bunch of partisan wingnut congressmen tried to impeach him.) How about Beckkk's favorite whipping boy, Woodrow Wilson? Hmmm, no tea party uprising under Wilson? The biggest Socialist of them all? Color me shocked.
Well what is it that could it be driving these passionate teabag folks?
I have an idea, but let me think about it and get back to you. Because, you never know, I could be wrong. It just might be that they are all like the poor lady in the town hall meeting who doesn't want to eat hot dogs.
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My colleague Sherle Schwenninger occasionally prods our team with a provocative "quiz of the day". I thought I'd share this interesting one.
Gang: Which brilliant economist in early 2008 wrote the following?
"Fiscal stimulus, to be maximally effective, must be clearly and credibly temporary--with no significant adverse impact on the deficit for more than a year or so after implementation. Otherwise it risks being counterproductive by raising the spectre of enlarged future deficits pushing up longer term interest rates and undermining confidence and longer term growth prospects...
How large should a program be? I depends on what else is done to help the economy...But a $50-$74bn package implemented over two to three quarters would provide about 1 percent of gross domestic product in stimulus over the period of its implementation....This seems large enough to take some burden off monetary policy and yet unlikely, if properly implemented, to risk substantial damage if the economy proves stronger than expected."
The winner of the Quiz of the Day will be announced at 5 PM.
Mankiw? Hubbard? Geithner?
No, Larry Summers.
The quote is from Lawrence Summers' Financial Times piece on January 6, 2008, entitled "Why America Must Have A Fiscal Stimulus."
A couple of things jump out at me. First of all, George Soros has often said that if he is right that a "super bubble" burst during the recent financial crisis then the tools and approach deployed by Summers and Geithner -- who approached the problem conventionally -- would fail.
Secondly, the level of stimulus to move the US economy now seems pathetically trivial compared to the low-economic multiplier drain of $100 billion per year spent on Afghanistan.
-- Steve Clemons
Posted earlier at AMERICAblog Gay. (That link has video and photos from the rally in Portland.)
These Republicans do stick to their talking points. Of course, Obama's Secretary of Defense gave them this talking point about waiting for the Pentagon study:
Without explicitly saying how she'll vote tomorrow on whether to start debate on a bill which includes the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT), Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine seemed to echo a point many other Republicans against the bill have raised: a military review of the issue should be completed before the law is repealed.Remember, Defense Secretary Robert Gates wrote a "strongly worded" letter to Capitol Hill on April 30, 2010, stating that he did not want any repeal legislation passed until the Pentagon study was finished. Now, that's part of the GOP's standard talking points even though it's not valid. The Pentagon study is about how to repeal, not whether to repeal.
"We should all have the opportunity to review that report which is to be completed on December 1, as we reevaluate this policy and the implementation of any new changes," Snowe said in a written statement this afternoon.
video details and more
"In a nutshell, [the "concept analysis report"] said, 'The American people are turning sullen. They've been clobbered on all sides by Vietnam, Watergate, the inflation, the depression.' They've tuned off, shot up, and they fuck themselves limp, and nothing helps. The concept analysis report concludes, 'The American people want someone to articulate their rage for them."
-- Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway), in Network
"Anger is sweeping America. True, this white-hot rage is a minority phenomenon, not something that characterizes most of our fellow citizens. But the angry minority is angry indeed, consisting of people who feel that things to which they are entitled are being taken away. And they're out for revenge."
-- the start of Paul Krugman's NYT column today,"The Angry Rich"
Even if you haven't read Paul Krugman's column today yet, you can probably tell -- if only from the column title -- that he's not talking about who and what he's trying to trick us into thinking he's talking about.
No, I'm not talking about the Tea Partiers. I'm talking about the rich.
These are terrible times for many people in this country. Poverty, especially acute poverty, has soared in the economic slump; millions of people have lost their homes. Young people can't find jobs; laid-off 50-somethings fear that they'll never work again.
Yet if you want to find real political rage -- the kind of rage that makes people compare President Obama to Hitler, or accuse him of treason -- you won't find it among these suffering Americans. You'll find it instead among the very privileged, people who don't have to worry about losing their jobs, their homes, or their health insurance, but who are outraged, outraged, at the thought of paying modestly higher taxes.
The rage of the rich has been building ever since Mr. Obama took office. At first, however, it was largely confined to Wall Street. Thus when New York magazine published an article titled "The Wail Of the 1%," it was talking about financial wheeler-dealers whose firms had been bailed out with taxpayer funds, but were furious at suggestions that the price of these bailouts should include temporary limits on bonuses. When the billionaire Stephen Schwarzman compared an Obama proposal to the Nazi invasion of Poland, the proposal in question would have closed a tax loophole that specifically benefits fund managers like him.
Now, however, as decision time looms for the fate of the Bush tax cuts -- will top tax rates go back to Clinton-era levels? -- the rage of the rich has broadened, and also in some ways changed its character.
For one thing, craziness has gone mainstream. It's one thing when a billionaire rants at a dinner event. It's another when Forbes magazine runs a cover story alleging that the president of the United States is deliberately trying to bring America down as part of his Kenyan, "anticolonialist" agenda, that "the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s." When it comes to defending the interests of the rich, it seems, the normal rules of civilized (and rational) discourse no longer apply.
At the same time, self-pity among the privileged has become acceptable, even fashionable.
Tax-cut advocates used to pretend that they were mainly concerned about helping typical American families. Even tax breaks for the rich were justified in terms of trickle-down economics, the claim that lower taxes at the top would make the economy stronger for everyone.
These days, however, tax-cutters are hardly even trying to make the trickle-down case. Yes, Republicans are pushing the line that raising taxes at the top would hurt small businesses, but their hearts don't really seem in it. Instead, it has become common to hear vehement denials that people making $400,000 or $500,000 a year are rich. I mean, look at the expenses of people in that income class -- the property taxes they have to pay on their expensive houses, the cost of sending their kids to elite private schools, and so on. Why, they can barely make ends meet.
And among the undeniably rich, a belligerent sense of entitlement has taken hold: it's their money, and they have the right to keep it. "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society," said Oliver Wendell Holmes -- but that was a long time ago.
The spectacle of high-income Americans, the world's luckiest people, wallowing in self-pity and self-righteousness would be funny, except for one thing: they may well get their way. Never mind the $700 billion price tag for extending the high-end tax breaks: virtually all Republicans and some Democrats are rushing to the aid of the oppressed affluent.
You see, the rich are different from you and me: they have more influence. It's partly a matter of campaign contributions, but it's also a matter of social pressure, since politicians spend a lot of time hanging out with the wealthy. So when the rich face the prospect of paying an extra 3 or 4 percent of their income in taxes, politicians feel their pain -- feel it much more acutely, it's clear, than they feel the pain of families who are losing their jobs, their houses, and their hopes.
And when the tax fight is over, one way or another, you can be sure that the people currently defending the incomes of the elite will go back to demanding cuts in Social Security and aid to the unemployed. America must make hard choices, they'll say; we all have to be willing to make sacrifices.
But when they say "we," they mean "you." Sacrifice is for the little people.
Ron Johnson, the Republican Senate candidate who has been harshly critical of the Democrat-backed stimulus bill, sought stimulus funds for renovations to the Grand Opera House when he was president of the Grand’s board in March 2009.
In an e-mail obtained by the Northwestern, Johnson called Oshkosh Area Community Foundation CEO Eileen Connolly-Keesler to ask about the availability of stimulus dollars to help fund the $1.8 million repair project.
So, to summarize, Johnson got caught with his hand out to the government, in sharp contrast to his by-the-bootstraps, limited government campaign spiel.
Just like he did on that development bond he sought from local government to expand his plastics company in the 1980s.
Just like he did on that rail line his company asked the feds to fund for him in the late 1970s.
What makes this story different is that the Johnson campaign has the most delicious response to the latest revelation that their "small government" hero is a flaming hypocrite. Check out this awesome explanation:
Johnson's campaign says he may have asked a question or two, but that doesn't mean he supports the stimulus effort or even wanted the money.
This latest bit of spin from team Johnson confirms one of two possibilities. Either Ron Johnson is a complete idiot, or he thinks everyone else is.
Johnson may well still pull this race off. For whatever reason, the enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats seems to be a chasm in the Midwest. That said, some political analysts in-state are openly starting to wonder if Johnson's penchant for hypocrisy might allow Russ Feingold to claw his way back from the brink.
If Feingold is able to do so, he might have Johnson's own mouth to thank for it.
As the Wonk Room reported in June, the Montana GOP adopted an anti-gay platform that referenced the Constitution at least 10 times to herald the preeminence of it as the sole source of law. While much of the media has discussed the Montana GOP’s anti-gay platform, few have noted the inherent contradiction within the document itself on its beliefs about the Constitution.
In their platform, Montana Republicans declared that the Constitution “be upheld in all of its entirety” and that all state and federal policies be “Constitutional in their effects, laws and practices.” But while they “adamantly oppose any attempts, whether direct or indirect, to destroy and/or undermine the Constitution,” the Montana Republicans criminalize homosexuality and call for more drastic “policies” and “practices” that directly conflict with the Constitution:
– We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.
– We support the repeal of the 16th amendment of the U.S. Constitution which authorizes a national income tax.
– We agree with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who stated that the U.S. Supreme Court does not have the sole authority to judge the constitutionality of federal laws. We hold with these men that the States not only have the right, but also the duty to nullify unconstitutional laws in order to protect their citizens.
As the Wonk Room’s Igor Volsky noted, both the Montana Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court found such a law unconstitutional as it violates the State’s constitutional right to privacy and the Constitution’s Due Process clause. But in calling to repeal the 16th amendment, the GOP flouts Article VI of the Constitution stating that Acts of Congress ?shall be the supreme law of the land?anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding,? thus expressly establishing that states do not have a veto power over federal laws. Article III and the Marbury v. Madison decision of 1803 established that the independent judiciary has “the last word on the law and the Constitution.”
The Montana GOP is not alone in its constitutional hypocrisy. As the GOP shifts further to the right, many state GOP platforms are redefining Constitutional authority to validate more extreme agendas. While the Texas GOP similarly sought to outlaw homosexuality, the Iowa GOP platform sought to reintroduce and ratify the “original 13th Amendment” to strip President Obama’s citizenship because he won the Nobel Peace Prize. In May, the Maine GOP adopted a “Tea Party” platform asserting “10th amendment sovereignty rights over unconstitutional government intrusions” like health care reform. And in Washington, GOP candidates who view the platform, which calls to reject health care reform and the United Nations, as “incredibly intrusive” and hostile to “moderate stances” risk losing the GOP’s endorsement.
Kentucky's 99th sacrifice to the gigantic maw of failure that is the clusterfucks in Iraq and Afghanistan is an officer who lived near Fort Knox and was based at Fort Campbell.
Army 1st Lt. Eric Yates, 26, of Rineyville, Ky., died Saturday (in Afghanistan) from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his combat unit with an improvised explosive device, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Yates was based at Fort Campbell and assigned to Bravo Company, First Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, Second Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.
He joined the Army through the ROTC program at Western Kentucky University his junior year, said Lt. Col. Jason Caldwell, head of the military science and leadership department and the ROTC program at the school.
It was Yates' first deployment, Caldwell said. He graduated from WKU in 2008 with a double major in social studies and history and received his officer commission through the ROTC program.
Although Caldwell said he only met Yates when he returned to the university in June to let people know of his deployment, he heard "nothing but great things about him."
"He was kind of a quiet, soft-spoken young man, but always got the job done, was always true to his word," Caldwell said.
Another soldier assigned to the same unit died in the attack. Staff Sgt. Jamie C. Newman, 27, of Richmond, Va., died Friday, according to the Department of Defense.
Yates is survived by his father, David L. Yates, and mother, Kathy Yates, both of Rineyville, according to Fort Campbell officials.
It's such an ancient pitchBut one I wouldn't switch'Cause there's no nicer witch than you - Frank[...]
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Via Raw Story, this unprecedented news that, if true, just may break the Middle East gridlock:
Former Israeli premier Ehud Olmert said on Sunday the United States had agreed to accept 100,000 Palestinian refugees within the framework of an eventual Middle East peace deal, media reported.
Washington had agreed to absorb and give citizenship to 100,000 refugees, while Israel would accept less than 20 000, Israeli media quoted Olmert as telling a conference.
"The numbers discussed were below 20 000, but this would require an end to the conflict and a Palestinian announcement that they would not make any more demands," the Ynet website quoted him as saying.
Olmert was speaking at a conference in Tel Aviv organised by the Geneva Initiative, an Israeli-Palestinian group that aims to show a peace accord is possible.
Unless Congress passes a special law, this agreement pretty much taps out the annual number of immigrants allowed from other countries. Plus, the federal government contracts with social service agencies to provide resettlement services, and the organizations have to be large enough to handle additional volume.