In the moments before his death, Chief Judge John Roll was waiting to speak with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) about how to solve his court’s unmanageable caseload. So his murder is all the more tragic because it has exacerbated the very problem he was working with Giffords to solve:
Judge Roslyn O. Silver, who took Roll’s place as chief judge for Arizona, on Friday declared a judicial emergency to allow statutory time limits for trying accused criminals to be temporarily suspended in the district because of an acute shortage of judges. On Tuesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals extended Silver’s temporary order for a year. [...]
Several factors have contributed to the emergency. Federal felony caseloads are at an all-time high in Arizona amid the political clamor over tougher enforcement of border immigration and drug laws. Yet partisan wrangling in the nation’s capital has slowed the flow of judicial appointments to many states, not just Arizona, leaving the federal bench overwhelmed by caseloads.
Roll’s death only worsened Arizona’s problem, cutting the number of federal judges in the busy Tucson division from four to three and forcing redistribution of Roll’s caseload of more than 900 criminal cases and various civil matters.
The Senate’s failure to confirm judges has sparked a nationwide vacancy crisis. Nearly one-in-nine federal judgeships are currently vacant, and federal judges are currently retiring far faster than they are being replaced. Indeed, even Chief Justice John Roberts has spoken out on the urgent need for more confirmations.
Yet, as bad as the nationwide vacancy crisis is, the reality in Arizona is worse. Because of political pressure to prosecute more drug and immigration cases, federal criminal prosecutions in Arizona nearly doubled in just two years. As Roll warned shortly before his death, “Felony case filings were up from 3,023 in 2008 to 5,219 in 2010. … But the number of judges had decreased. It was akin to a city doubling in population without anyone adding new lanes to Main Street.”Presently, three judgeships are vacant in the District of Arizona, and a committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States recently recommended that five additional judgeships be added to enable the court to handle its exploding caseload. If Congress fails to act, it will ultimately be the people of Arizona who suffer, and thousands of people seeking justice are forced to wait months or years before any judge has time to hear their case.
Fox News' Megyn Kelly claimed last week that her network doesn't use Nazi references.
Since that's just flat out wrong, the ball was in Jon Stewart's court to call her out.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) had made a speech on the House floor last week comparing a Republican plan to repeal health care reform to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
In an interview with Kelly, Democratic strategist Richard Socarides pointed out that Cohen wasn't the only one to invoke Nazis.
"If we want to get into who is heating this and overheating this, I mean every night on the very network we're on right now, the leading commentators on this network use this kind of language," he explained.
"That's not true, Richard," Kelly shot back. "I don't know if you sit and watch our programming every night, but I watch it every day, and you're wrong."
"Megyn, I watch it every day, too," Stewart noted. "12 long years. I think he might be right."
Comedy Central's staff quickly produced clip after clip to prove that Kelly was the one who was wrong.
"If you look back at what happened in Germany you cannot escape the similarities between what Hitler and his cut throats did back then and the hate-filled blogs, what they're doing now," Fox News' Bill O'Reilly said in Feb. 2008.
"There is an Obama supporter, he's got this book and this video out that are propaganda pieces," Fox News' Glenn Beck said in March 2010. "And I'm telling you, they would make Joseph Goebbels proud."
"The far left in this country, the zealots -- I mean these are zealots -- are Nazis," O'Reilly said in another clip.
In all, Stewart found about ten clips of with Nazi references. One example was even on Kelly's show.
"Well, true believers always make me a little nervous," Bernie Goldberg told Kelly in a segment about anti-war protesters Code Pink. "I am not calling these people Nazis. I want to make that clear, but they are not behaving like liberals. They are behaving like brown-shirted thugs."
"Aha!" shouted Stewart. "I'm not saying they're Nazis. I'm saying they are behaving like the soldiers Hitler used. Aha! Well, Ms. Kelly, don't you look ridiculous now?"
Following President Obama's State of the Union address, right-wing media predictably declared his speech speech "boring," "dull," and "flat" -- terms they have consistently used to describe most speeches Obama has given in the past two years.
Krauthammer: SOTU "Flat," "Uninspired." During Fox News' live coverage of the State of the Union, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said that although "this is a president who can give great speeches and has, this was not one of them. This, I think, was one of his weakest speeches. He tried hard, but it was a flat, I thought, uninspired [speech]." [Fox News' live SOTU coverage, 1/25/11, via Mediaite]
Powers: "It Was Somewhat Flat." During Fox News' live coverage following the speech, Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers referred to the "soaring oratory" of past State of the Union addresses and went on to agree with Krauthammer, referring to the speech as "somewhat flat." [Fox News' live SOTU coverage, 1/25/11, via Mediaite]
Power Line: "President Obama's Speech Tonight" Was "Boring And Pedestrian." Following Obama's address, Power Line's John Hinderaker called the speech "boring and pedestrian, the kind of State of the Union checklist that causes television sets to go off all across America. I thought the speech never developed any real momentum or consistency of theme." [Power Line, 1/25/11]
Fox Nation Declares Obama's Speech "Flat." A January 26 post on the Fox Nation titled, "Flat," included video of one of Republican pollster Frank Luntz's "focus groups" and declared:
"Flat." That was the verdict of some Fox News Channel analysts and Frank Luntz's less-than-impressed focus group on "Hannity" on President Obama's State of the Union Address. [Fox Nation, 1/26/11]
Hoft: "What A DEAD SPEECH." In addition to posting multiple links to the Fox Nation story calling Obama's speech "flat," conservative blogger Jim Hoft wrote, "DATE NIGHT FAIL- Diluting the Democrats Drowned Out the Applause. What a DEAD SPEECH. Good grief." [Gateway Pundit, 1/25/11, 1/25/11, 1/26/11]
Doocy: "I Thought It Was Dull ... [And] Kind Of Rambling And Boring As Well." While discussing the president's State of the Union speech during the January 26 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson said, "We were saying yesterday, why don't they just say something bold in this speech, because otherwise people start nodding off and it's just sort of the same sort of thing year after year." Co-host Steve Doocy responded by saying, "I'll be honest -- I thought it was dull. I thought it was kind of rambling and boring as well." [Fox News' Fox & Friends, 1/26/11]
Buchanan: "I Think It Was Very Flat. ... There Was Just Nothing That Was Very Memorable To Me." On the January 26 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan said that he thought the president's speech was "very flat" and said there was "nothing that was very memorable to me." From the broadcast:
BUCHANAN: Well, I think it was very flat, quite frankly. ... Even at Tucson with those kids, started responding, you can see this president responds to an audience. He draws from it, energy, but there seemed to be no energy, no inspiration. Frankly, I thought, is it me watching this thing? But you know, what came to mind was that phrase about Harding's speech, the army of pompous phrases marching across the landscape in search of an idea. I mean, really, there was just nothing much that was very memorable to me. Except, I'll tell you what was terrific, was at the end when he talked about that fellow with that business up there that got together and built that thing, and sent it down to Chile, and then came out of there without taking any credit. That was very American. But you know, I expected it to be much more uplifting, and it simply wasn't. It seemed endless. [MSNBC's Morning Joe, 1/26/11]
Rove: "President Obama [Was] Diffused, Flat, Sort Of Wandered Around." On the January 26 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Bill Hemmer invited Fox News contributor Karl Rove to comment on Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) response to Obama's speech. Rove claimed that Ryan had "a candid, adult-like conversation with the American people" while Obama was "diffused, flat, [and] sort of wandered around." From the broadcast:
HEMMER: If you listened to Ryan's speech, he really said one thing, and that was if we do not save ourselves now, this debt's going to drown us. How did you view his response?
ROVE: Yeah. Well, I thought it was an effective response. His speech was one-quarter the length of President Obama's, and yet Paul Ryan devoted half again as many words to the deficit and debt and spending then did President Obama, and I thought it was -- you're right, he had a singular message. He had to say, you know, introduce himself, he had to -- he made very gracious comments about Congresswoman Giffords -- but the vast bulk of the speech, 55 percent of the speech, was devoted to one subject and one subject only. And I thought it was a tale of two speeches; President Obama diffused, flat, sort of wandered around, and Ryan, in a candid, adult-like conversation with the American people, focused on one issue -- what this deficit and debt and spending is going to do to our country. [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 1/26/11]
O'Reilly Complains That Obama Was A "Boring Professor" During Iraq Speech. On the August 31, 2010, edition of his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly complained that Obama was "the boring professor" during his speech in which he declared the end of combat operations in Iraq. [The O'Reilly Factor, 8/31/10]
Right-Wing Media Declare Health Care Summit Was "Boring." Following Obama's February 2010 health care summit with congressional leaders, numerous right-wing media figures and outlets declared that the summit was "staggeringly boring," "boring as sand," and a "snorefest." [Media Matters, 2/25/10]
LA Times Blogger Malcolm: "Professor Barack Obama" Gave "Anticlimactic," "Droning," "Somber" Speech On Stimulus. Following Obama's second nationally televised news conference, Los Angeles Times blogger Andrew Malcolm declared in a post on March 25, 2009:
Tuesday morning The Ticket examined the White House's current political strategy and asked the question of who would show up at Barack Obama's second nationally televised news conference that evening: the president or the senator?
The answer: Neither.
Professor Barack Obama showed up.
And if you remember one of those required college lecture courses in the large auditorium at 8:10 a.m., listening to a droning don, and how it felt, slumped in the cushy seats having skipped breakfast for an extra 13 minutes of ZZZZs.
True, Obama created real problems in his first national news conference by promising Geithner would deliver too much the next day. And when the inarticulate bureaucrat didn't, the markets plummeted.
But this news conference seemed anticlimactic. (See video below.) At times the president appeared to be mailing in his delivery.
The result for anyone who stayed for the entire presentation was another lengthy, somber less-than-animated sales pitch on the need to spend trillions to jump-start the economy, which he sees promising signs of already at least with one Pennsylvania company (though still not yet Caterpillar), and how we're going to somehow move from an era of spending and greed to an era of savings by spending so much we're gonna double or maybe triple the national debt by the time a two-term Obama would be two years into improving his retirement bowling at Sun City. [Top of the Ticket, latimes.com, 3/25/09]
I'm probably going to get hammered for this. All I ask is that it be constructive hammering. Anything else will be tuned out as soon as its portent becomes apparent.
I suppose the whole thing in a nutshell for me is that I was mightily underwhelmed by his vision of the future. What I saw last night was a campaign speech designed to stir the people in the same way his speeches stirred them when he was Candidate Obama.
The trouble is that he isn't running on charisma and pie in the sky promises like he was in 2008. He's running on his record and for a lot of people at the bottom of the food chain, a place that has become a lot more crowded during his two years in office, more charisma and pie in the sky promises isn't going to cut it. Of course this round wasn't intended to impress the 98%. It was designed to curry favor with the barons and their lackeys.
... Obama offered more aspirational goals that could win bipartisan support in Congress and made overtures to the new Republican majority on such issues as instituting a domestic spending freeze, lowering the corporate tax rate, and addressing malpractice reform.
Obama proposed freezing "annual domestic spending for the next five years" to "reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade," but warned that going after discretionary spending would not be enough. To significantly reduce spending, Congress will also have to target entitlements -- reduce Medicare and Medicaid spending and find a "bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security."
What I heard last night was the promise of more slash and burn on MediCare and Medicaid and the likelihood of at least another year of unceasing attacks and surrenders in Wall Street's campaign to get its hands on the SS trust fund. Those are my ROOT issues and the ones that bear most on my political viewpoint, but there are others.
Getting the Wall Street bloodsuckers under control and the corporations to accept their fair share of societal responsibility? Uh... no.
and called for greater simplification of the tax code, noting that many corporations "are hit with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world." Democrats and Republicans, Obama said, should "[g]et rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years -- without adding to our deficit."
That line played well with Republicans, as did Obama's pledge to veto legislation that contained earmarks.
American corporations may have one of the highest tax RATES in the world but that doesn't mean they pay at the same rate they're being taxed. Those trillions of dollars aren't hidden away in those numbered foreign bank accounts and those profits aren't being offshored for naught, people, they're there so our betters don't have to pay taxes on them.
I see varying estimates to the amount that's actually buried out there but as near as I can tell it's somewhere between "several trillions" and seventeen trillion bucks. Whatever the actual amount that has been deliberately removed from our economy to avoid US taxes, it's too damned much and yes, the loopholes that allow it do need to be closed... and I hope those are the loopholes Mr. Obama is talking about. I know he and I are looking at different playing fields to level.
A couple of years ago,a report was issued that showed that 80 of the top Fortune 500 US companies paid no US taxes at all and that very few of them paid what they actually owed. Warren Buffett... easily one of the richest men in the world is on record as admitting that a secretary in one of his offices pays more tax in proportion to what she makes than he does.
I heard no mention of any of this in regard to the need to "... level the playing field". I would suggest that the effort to " get rid of the loopholes" is in itself a good thing if it indeed keeps the corporations from pulling that kind of crap. It would work for me if there were any chance that it might lessen the burden the rest of us have to bear because rich folks and big assed companies don't pay their fair share.
But that isn't the way it's going to work, is it? What we have here is yet another proposal that... if the rewards were to be actually applied for the good of society as a whole or even to lower the deficit... would entail the Republicans biting the hand that feeds them and that ain't gonna happen. So what DO we get?
Well, if by "we" you mean you and me... we get squat. The loopholes get closed but the corporations get their tax rates lowered to make up the difference (and I'm betting that even then they would continue to hide their loot to keep from paying ANYthing) and the net gain to the economy... and to you an me... is exactly zilch.
That's the way it works when you make your priority being able to work with a bunch of slobbering attack dogs who have no desire or compulsion to work with you. Ever!
I'm not saying that there wasn't anything I liked about the address. Indeed, there were a lot of ideas that I liked and that I heartily approve of in concept.
But again, if turning those concepts into realities depends on working with Republicans and getting them to buy in on them, I really don't see much here but more inspired oratory.
I heard many of those same concepts and ideas presented in 2008 only to have them either fall by the wayside or be bargained away in an attempt to "work" with people who have no incentive to work with him but... at least in their own minds... only need to wait another couple of years and then they can undo everything he HAS managed to accomplish.
Obama also stressed the need to improve America's education system by strengthening his signature Race To The Top initiative, which rewards states that develop the "most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement." "Here in America, it's time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect," Obama said, before adding, "if you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child -- become a teacher. Your country needs you."
At a time when many states have slashed their public education systems to the bone and in some... like California... are whittling at the bone itself... when teachers are being derided and belittled for teaching science and being forced to teach revised versions of history... when class sizes are growing and the number of people available to work at the classrooms level is declining... when virtually 100% of the decisions being made in regard to public education are being made by millionaires whose own children will never see the inside of a public school... when hundreds of thousands of highly qualified, even gifted kids are being denied secondary educations because they can't afford the tuition or years of indebtedness that student loans incur...that whole notion rings kind of hollow.
So that's my immediate take on it, based on the things that an old fart in my position finds most important.
I know that everyone else has not only their own perceptions but also their own priorities. I realize that some of yours may have been addressed more favorably, or that you may look at the whole thing totally differently than I do, or that you may have more faith in the ability or the desire of Mr. Obama to pull off some of the more desirable concepts inherent in his campaign style rhetoric.
I'm not asking anyone to agree with me or to think any particular way about what may or may not happen over the next couple of years. I just saw last night's address as long on speechifying and short on anything substantive that's going to keep the hole I'm in from getting deeper, that's all.
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Glenn Beck recently claimed that his show "hasn't been about hateful rhetoric." But on both his Fox News show and his radio program, Beck routinely goes far beyond criticizing the viewpoints of those who don't share his political ideology; unlike any other well-known political commentator, Beck actually claims his political adversaries are "enemies of God."
Beck:My Show "Hasn't Been About Hateful Rhetoric." From the January 21edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: And as I explained earlier this week,it is up to the individuals to solve the problems. That's kind of the historyof the two years that we've been on Fox. It hasn't been about hateful rhetoric.It hasn't been about anything. It has from the very beginning been aboutsolving the problem, the riddle about what is happening and what is the bestway to do it. And I don't come to you as a guy who has the answers. I don'tcome to you as a guy who says I know everything. I don't. I clearly don't. I'mnot a guy who says I get it right all the time because I clearly don't. But wetry because I do believe that it was the Age of Enlightenment that gave us thisenlightened document. We've lost the light. The documents haven't. We have.[Fox News' Glenn Beck, 5/24/10]
Beck: "The Policies That Are BeingEnacted In Washington" Are "Enemies Of God." Fromthe July 19, 2010, edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn BeckProgram:
BECK: If you were atthe American Revival on Saturday, that ain't nothing -- that is nothingcompared to what you're going to see on 8-28. Make sure you join us. Forty daysand 40 nights. It is not about politics, because quite honestly, we are notdealing with politicians. These are not -- the policies that are being enactedin Washington -- they are not enemies of ours. They are enemies of God becauseGod is about freedom. God is about equal justice, not equal stuff in our homes.[Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program,7/19/10]
If I were President Obama's English professor, I would take points off for not footnoting his sources.[...]
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Another Wikileaks revelation:This suggestion, to settle Palestinian refugees in South America,[...]
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From the January 2011Hard Rock Analyst Journal David Coffin & Eric Coffin, HRA Advisories
As usual, most of the first Journal issue of the year is . . . → Full Story: Follow Through ? Part 1
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Right-wing media have embraced Rep. Paul Ryan's GOP State of the Union response as a "candid, adult-like conversation with the American people" and a "Home Run." But economists have disagreed with several of the claims made by Ryan in his speech, including that the stimulus "failed" and that the health care reform law does not reduce the deficit.
Hoft Calls Ryan's Speech A "Home Run!" In a January 25Gateway Pundit post, Jim Hoft called Ryan's speech a "Home Run" and stated,"Let's face it. Ryan ispresidential."[Gateway Pundit, 1/25/11,emphasis in original]
Luntz:"Paul Ryan Seems To Be The Star." On Fox News' Fox & Friends, FoxNews contributor Frank Luntz conducted a panel discussion on the president'sState of the Union address and Ryan's response. After several of the panelistsreacted positively to Ryan's speech, Luntz declared, "Barack Obama was thefocus, but Paul Ryan seems to be the star." [Fox News,Fox & Friends, 1/26/11]
Perino:Ryan "Focused On The Thing That Americans Are Caring About Most Right Now":Jobs And Cutting Spending. On Fox News' America's Newsroom, Fox Newscontributor Dana Perino stated that Ryan's speech "focused on the thing thatAmericans are caring about most right now, which is how do we create more jobsand how do we cut more spending?" Perino further stated that Ryan's and Rep.Michele Bachmann's speeches "focused like a laser beam on that." [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 1/26/11]
RoveCalls Ryan's Speech A "Candid, Adult-Like Conversation With The AmericanPeople."On America's Newsroom, Fox News contributor Karl Rove stated that Ryan'sspeech "was an effective response" and a "candid, adult-like conversation withthe American people focused on one issue: what this deficit and debt andspending is going to do to our country if we don't stop." Rove further statedthat Ryan made "moral argument for why it is important for us to limit the sizeof government, to reign in the spending and deficits." [Fox News, America'sNewsroom, 1/26/11]
Hemmer:Ryan Set "Solid, Serious Tone, Necessary For The Nations [Sic] Moment. ...America Could Afford More Like Him." In a January 25 tweet, Fox News host BillHemmer stated: "Paul Ryan ... Solid, serious, tone, necessary for the nations[sic] moment." In a separate tweet, Hemmer stated that Ryan "[is] not afraid tosweat the small stuff, the detail ... America could afford more like him." [BillHemmer Twitter feed, 1/25/11,1/25/11]
RyanClaims That The Stimulus "Failed." From Ryan's speech:
RYAN:The facts are clear: Since taking office, President Obama has signed into lawspending increases of nearly 25% for domestic government agencies - an 84%increase when you include the failed stimulus. [Ryan speech as prepared fordelivery, 1/25/11]
Economists:"The Effects Of The Fiscal Stimulus" On Economy "Appear VerySubstantial." A recent studyby Alan Blinder, the president of Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers,and Mark Zandi, the co-founder of Moody's Economy.com, simulated the"macroeconomic effects of the government's total policy response" tothe recent economic downturn and found that "the effects of the fiscalstimulus alone appear very substantial, raising 2010 real GDP by about 3.4%,holding the unemployment rate about 1½ percentage points lower, and addingalmost 2.7 million jobs to U.S. payrolls." Additionally, as MediaMatters has noted, numerous economists surveyed have agreed that thestimulus boosted the economy. [Blinder and Zandi, "How the Great Recession WasBrought to an End," 7/27/10;Media Matters, 9/26/10]
RyanSuggests That That Health Care Law Does Not Decrease Deficit. From Ryan's speech:
Lastweek, House Republicans voted for a full repeal of this law, as we pledged todo, and we will work to replace it with fiscally responsible, patient-centeredreforms that actually reduce costs and expand coverage.
Healthcare spending is driving the explosive growth of our debt. And the President'slaw is accelerating our country toward bankruptcy. [Ryan speech as prepared fordelivery, 1/25/11]
CBO Director Tells Deficit CommissionThat Health Care Reform Slightly Improves Budget Outlook. As The Washington Post notedon July 1, CBO director Doug Elmendorf said during a June 30 presentation thatthe health care reform bill "did not substantially diminish" thelong-term deficit problem, but that it "made a dent":
"Growthin spending on health-care programs remains the central fiscal challenge,"CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf said in a presentation to Obama's bipartisandeficit commission. "In CBO's judgment, the health-care legislationenacted earlier this year made a dent in the problem, but did not substantiallydiminish that challenge."
Althoughmore starkly stated, CBO's position has not changed since the health-carelegislation was approved. The new forecast simply incorporates CBO's costestimates from that time, which predicted that the plan to expand coverage,raise taxes and cut Medicare spending would reduce deficits by about $140billion over the next decade and by more than $1 trillion in the decade after.
"Slowingthe rate of health care cost growth is the single most important action we cantake to reduce our long-term fiscal shortfall," White House budgetdirector Peter Orszag said in a statement. "The report confirms that theenactment and successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act is a keystep toward a healthier fiscal future." [The Washington Post, 7/1/10]
CBO Budget Outlook Says Health CareReform Law Will "Reduce Budget Deficits Over The 2010-2019 Period And InSubsequent Years." CBO's June 30 long-term budget outlook statesthat the health care reform law "is expected to increase federal spendingin the next 10 years and for most of the following decade. By 2030, however,that legislation will slightly reduce federal spending for health care if allof its provisions are fully implemented, CBO projects." CBO noted in afootnote that although the law -- which will reduce the number of uninsured by32 million by 2019 -- will increase federal spending on health care in the nexttwo decades, it will still reduce budget deficits:
Ifall of its provisions are carried out, the legislation will also increasefederal revenues and reduce budget deficits over the 2010-2019 period and insubsequent years, according to estimates by CBO and the staff of the JointCommittee on Taxation. [CBO, 6/30/10]
CBO: In Long-Term, Health Care Reform"Slow[s] The Accumulation Of Debt Considerably." While cautioning thatlong-term estimates of health care spending are uncertain, the CBO budgetoutlook stated that if the health care reform bill is implemented as written,it "increase[s] projected revenues, particularly in the 2030s and beyond,thus slowing the accumulation of debt considerably." [CBO, 6/30/10]
Krugman:Ryan Response "As Bad As You Might Expect." In a January 25 blog post, Nobellaureate economist Paul Krugman wrote that Ryan's speech "was as bad as youmight expect" and included "[s]ome cooked statistics about federal spending."Krugman further highlighted Ryan's "curious assertion" comparing the UnitedStates to Greece and Ireland. From Krugman's post:
Andthen there was this curious assertion:
Justtake a look at what's happening to Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom andother nations in Europe. They didn't act soon enough; and now their governmentshave been forced to impose painful austerity measures: large benefit cuts toseniors and huge tax increases on everybody.
Greecemaybe fits that description. But if you'd read anything about the euro crisis --like thisarticle -- you'd know that Ireland was running a budget surplus on the eveof the crisis, and had quite low debt. Its problems now have nothing to do withfiscal irresponsibility in the past; they're the consequence of weak financialregulation and the government's too-generous bank bailout.
Therewas no sign of a crisis of confidence in the UK budget before the May election;the Conservative government chose to embark on austerity, it wasn't forced intoit.
SoI guess we're supposed to take heed of what Ryan believes happened in Europe,never mind that it isn't what actually happened.
Remember,this is the GOP's leading deep thinker these days. [The New York Times, 1/25/11]
Baker:Ryan's Greece Comparison "Either Dishonest Or Reflected An Extraordinary DegreeOf Economic Ignorance." In a January 26 blog post, economist Dean Baker wrotethat Ryan "suggested that the United States could be like Greece if it did notchange its current budget path. This comparison was either dishonest orreflected an extraordinary degree of economic ignorance." Baker then noted"three big reasons that the United States is very different from Greece":
1)The United States has its own currency -- this means that we can always buy ourown debt. that could lead to inflation, but insolvency is not an issue. So thestory of no one being willing to buy U.S. bonds is not even a theoreticalpossibility. Of course the people who actually have their money on the line arevery willing to buy U.S. bonds, demanding an interest rate of just 3.4 percenton 10-year Treasury bonds.
2)The United States collect taxes. The OECD puts tax evasion in Greece onthe order of 35 percent. This of course enourages corruption in all aspects ofGreek government. If the rich rip off the government by not paying the taxesthey owe, why shouldn't everyone else try to rip it off too?
3)The United States has a huge diversified economy. If you want to find aneconomic illiterate, look for someone who warns that the dollar will plummet invalue if we don't get our debt under control. if our dollar plummets in value (e.g. 2 dollars = 1 euro, 3 yuan = 1 dollar), the U.S. would suddenly behyper-competitive. We would buy nothing from the countries who rely on the U.S.market. And our exports would be wiping out competitors around the world. Forthis reason, China, Germany, Japan and everyone else would make sure that thedollar did not just plummet. This would not be the case with Greece if it didhave its own currency. [Center for Economic and Policy Research's Beat thePress blog, 1/26/11]
Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa said a bill moving today on the House floor to abolish public financing for presidential campaigns would also eliminate millions for security for the 2012 GOP convention in Tampa.
In an interview late this morning, Castor said the bill is "moving quickly" on the House floor, and that she has proposed two amendments that seek to save the portion of the public campaign fund that goes for security for national conventions.
"But they won't let the amendments come up," she added.
She said she expects a vote on the bill today.
In 2008, the Democratic convention in Denver and GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul each got about $17 million from the fund, to pay for security, and Tampa expects the same amount or more.
You can read more about H.R. 359 here.
Two things not mentioned in the article. Castor is a Democrat and St Louis, Charlotte, Minneapolis and Cleveland will be watching this vote closely.