Because there is so little discretionary funding in the federal budget, relatively thinking, the Repugs are running around like chickens with their heads off to cut everything else to prevent triggering the military cuts to which they agreed. Why do I have the feeling that this will not end well?
WASHINGTON -- The latest Republican plan to reconcile the budget and preserve defense spending extracts even deeper cuts from programs to help the poor and Americans still reeling from the recession.
Although spending levels for the budget were set in the Budget Control Act passed last summer in the deal to raise the nation's debt limit, Republicans are pushing ahead with another plan that cuts more while trying to prevent the beginning of $600 billion in cuts over 10 years to the growth of the defense budget.
They are doing so because the Super Committee, which was supposed to find $1.2 trillion in cuts on which everyone could agree, failed, leaving the slashing up to a pre-agreed sequestration plan that extracts half the savings from the military.
Unless Congress acts, the sequestration begins at the start of 2013. Democrats in the Senate are arguing that the Budget Control Act counts as a budget, and therefore they won't take up debate on a spending plan for 2013, much less address Rep. Paul Ryan's House budget resolution.
So instead, the House has embarked on a seldom-used reconciliation process. Its aim is to have at hand an alternative to the sequestration on the theory that the Senate will not want to allow the defense cuts either, and won't have its own plan.
In a memo sent to members Wednesday instructing them how to write their reconciliation bill, Republicans picked a number of targets, including extracting $80 billion from federal workers and $44 billion from health care. In all, it identifies $78 billion to cut in 2013, and details around $300 billion over 10 years.
And billions from food stamps? What a great idea. I love Republicans - and the Democratic enablers who will surely rush to protect the defense industry.
I don't know why I didn't think of this solution before. Why borrow from the federal government, and force everyone to support public education through subsidized loans, when you can just borrow the tuition, room and board money from mom and dad?[...]
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AN INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA in the Situation Room with Brian Williams on the bin Laden raid has exploded.
Sen. John McCain is having a hissy fit.
Breitbart’s Ben Shapiro is either the dumbest political writer on planet earth or is ignorant of presidential commander in chief powers. I’m guessing it’s both. He’s squealing like a little girl that Admiral McRaven was in charge of SEAL Team Six during the dangerous bin Laden raid, which in his mind means Pres. Obama is gutless, though how he comes to that conclusion takes a Olympic fete of intellectual fraudulence only someone from Breitbart could complete.
McRaven’s charge has been known since May 2011, written up by no less than Military.com, which also pointed to the thoroughness of the plan:
About 10 days before the raid, Obama was briefed on the plan. It included keeping two backup helicopters just outside Pakistani airspace in case something went wrong. But Obama felt that was risky. If the SEALs needed help, they couldn’t afford to wait for backup.
He said the operation needed a plan in case the SEALs had to fight their way out. So two Chinooks were sent into Pakistani airspace, loaded with backup teams, just in case. One of those Chinooks landed in the compound after the Black Hawk became inoperable.
Politically motivated and manufactured right wing reaction to the ad above revolves around a CIA memo obtained by TIME magazine, which proves absolutely nothing and raises no questions whatsoever, unless you’re a partisan hack.
Republicans actually believe the military is in charge of foreign policy and military actions. They have never understood our American republic is founded on the guiding principal of civilian leadership.
That Pres. Obama made the call and got the bastard of 9/11 galls them and they will do anything to discredit a gallant act of pure presidential leadership that was heroic, risky and revealed Barack Obama’s complete and total respect and faith in our elite military forces to get the dangerous, from military aspects to international and political hazards, job done.
I, for one, am loving it and can only say…
At long last.
The ad I’ve been waiting to hit.
Having it narrated by former Pres. Bill Clinton is a stroke of political genius.
Unlike George W. Bush, who paraded himself around on an aircraft carrier, then took his place on a podium in front of a banner screaming “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED,” when it actually wasn’t and still isn’t in Iraq, Pres. Obama got the job done of getting Osama bin Laden.
Republicans are squealing bloody murder about an ad they would have tricked up and trotted out long before today. We would have been hearing about this every day since it happened, little doubt the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes, who fictionalized Dick Cheney’s nuclear fantasies ad nauseam, given access to whatever Republican hero who’d gotten the madman of 9/11.
This U.S. military success, under the commander in chief Barack Obama, forever obliterates any question that he doesn’t have the right stuff to lead this nation. Republicans campaign to deny him his moment of leadership is everything that’s wrong with our politics.
Anyone can disagree with Pres. Obama’s politics, I do often and strongly, but Pres. Obama earned and deserves credit for making the decision and okaying the risky SEAL Team Six op to get OBL. It’s long past time he received it and nothing Republicans say should rob him of it.
As for using Mitt Romney’s words against him on national security, don’t make me laugh. Republicans have defamed military veterans who are Democrats, tarnishing their military service, even lying about vaunted combat awards.
That team Obama is hitting Mitt Romney on national security and foreign policy is not only fair game, it would be dereliction of political duty not to. Because unlike on the economy and business, there is absolutely no case to be made for Mitt Romney as commander in chief.
Uhhhh, sorry Mitt but not everyone was raised in a household where dad had millions just laying around to be handed out to the kids. In yet another sign of his complete lack of understanding of the real world, Romney is missing the point that the parents of regular kids have been hit hard during the last few Republican recessions and are still trying to recover. Romney needs to take a few spare dollars of his own and buy a clue because he is so hopelessly out of touch.I took plenty of risks joining the startup software world but could never have imagined borrowing money from my parents. This latest blunder is as silly as Cheney talking about selling on eBay as a way to get rich a few years back. Really, Mitt?
"This kind ofdivisiveness, this attack of success is very different than what we've seen in our country's history," Romney told students and supporters gathered at Otterbein University in central Ohio. "We've always encouraged young people ? take a shot, go for it, take a risk and get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business."
You make Jesus cry.Now I'm no top-notch political strategist, but ...
While the Southern Baptist Convention?s political arm, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is mired in scandal [...], it has found time to criticize the Violence Against Women Act. Doug Carlson, manager for administration and policy communications for the ERLC, voiced the group?s opposition to the highly successful law because of new provisions that ensure that LGBT victims of domestic violence do not encounter discrimination while seeking help. [...]... I think if you're fighting against a law intending to protect people from domestic violence, you might want to shun input from members of your group who have previously been convicted of domestic violence.
Notably, the letter was also signed by conservative activist Timothy Johnson, who was convicted of a felony domestic violence charge and was arrested a second time for putting his wife in a wrist lock and choking his son, as reported by Sarah Posner.
This has been your helpful political tip of the day. Southern Baptist Convention, you'll be getting my bill for $10k in the mail.
Shamelessly stolen from PZ Myers:
Anders Breivik said he really hates the song, "Children of the Rainbow," by Pete Seeger. So what do the Norwegians do? Tens of thousands of them gather in a square in Oslo and sing..."Children of the Rainbow".
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From this Friday evening's Real Time with Bill Maher's online Overtime segment, The Daily Caller's S.E. Cupp is asked from one of the viewers who wrote into the show if she believes Paul Ryan's budget "meets moral criteria." Color me not shocked that Cupp skated around the question and didn't really answer it, just as Ryan did in his response to the publication she was citing.
Apparently Cupp was also unaware that Paul Ryan had just thrown his hero, Ayn Rand under the bus, but Paul Begala did a nice job of summing up just what part of her philosophy he was no longer enamored with.
Rough transcript of the clip above below the fold.
MAHER: S.E. Cupp, do you believe the Republican budget meets moral criteria? Ooh, there's a broad question.
CUPP: I think it attempts to and actually Paul Ryan talks about this a lot, just in little known circles. He wrote a great essay for a publication called Our Sunday Visitor, a Catholic publication, in which he talks about economic decisions having moral consequences and then moral decisions having economic consequences. And I think that's something that Republicans especially need to point out, more than they do.
The rhetoric goes that you're either a fiscal conservative or a social conservative and the two don't often meet. And I think conservatives need to point out that you can exist as both and in fact, we have to exist as both. You can't eliminate one or ignore one or the other.
MAHER: Why did he throw Ayn Rand under the bus?
MAHER: Paul Ryan.
CUPP: What do you mean?
MAHER: Today. Threw her... you know, he used to say, look, this is why I'm in politics. I hand out the book to everyone who worked for me. Ayn Rand, you know, now he's throwing her under the bus.
CUPP: I don't know why. She's an atheist... because she's an atheist? Or what?
MAHER: No, I just think the winds are shifting.
BEGALA: He was getting, he went to Georgetown, a Catholic school and a lot of Catholics were protesting.
CUPP: I saw that.
BEGALA: And so as part of what they were protesting is that he does, he says that he's basing a lot of his philosophy on Rand, and so today he disavowed her and said no. He'd her ideas in particular.
CUPP: Yeah, that's what I would imagine.
MAHER: But it didn't bother him all the years before.
BEGALA: Because he liked the part...
CUPP: He liked the policies. I'm sure he liked the policies.
BEGALA: He likes her f**k everybody policy. Just not her atheism.
I think it's about time we're seeing more people call out Ryan and the Republicans for just how cruel his budget is and who it harms. It's just a shame we haven't seen more honesty on the subject from our corporate media and the pundits on cable television who are enamored with Ryan, and who keep portraying him as some sort of brave truth teller, rather than someone who looks like they're ready to step on the backs of the poor and working class if it advances his political career.
Just as a reminder, for anyone that would like to see Paul Ryan out of the House of Representatives all together, you can donate help his challenger at our Act Blue page here -- Stop Paul Ryan.
BUZZFEED’S QUICK AND DIRTY dissection of three of the top women inside Obama reelect is instructive. The tale begins with Rosengate, with Stephanie Cutter the central figure that helped manage a situation that went viral and gave Mitt Romney a breather from withering, well earned war on women attacks.
But Cutter?s central role in damage control that night wasn?t unusual. Though the campaign?s outward faces are male, she?s one of three deputy campaign managers at Obama?s headquarters in Chicago, and all three are women. The other two ?Julianna Smoot, who handles fundraising, and Jennifer O?Malley Dillon, in charge of field operations ? are in equally key spots.
?The guts, the mechanics, of the president?s campaign are driven by women,? DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz tells BuzzFeed. ?It says something about the president?s commitment to women, and to making sure women really have a seat at the table.?
It’s a good piece, another one for Buzzfeed written by Michael Hastings, coming after his weird piece on Chelsea Clinton.
Hastings did get one thing wrong in the original, citing Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as the “”first woman chair of the Democratic National Committee.” A friendly tweet to Ben Smith from me and they corrected the original. Hastings is a great reporter, as he’s proven many times and I’ve written about as well. There’s just no reason for him to be assigned stories on women, given how desperately new media needs women covering women. I also have to wonder if the error on the DWS chairmanship, which could have been fact checked with one simple Google search, would have been made by someone who follows women in power studiously and cares about the subject as more than an assignment. I doubt it.
From "Mad Men," we know a media target is a demographic group who wants and needs the same thing or can be conned into thinking they do. Now, a brief hospital stay conjures up a bizarre new target audience of the old, the maimed and the chronically ill that ad men have in their sights.
The future is grim, if you can believe where advertisers are placing their bets on the bed-bound who watch TV screens all day. For these select viewers, the commercials are specially chosen.
For the more fortunate, there are lovable codgers like former Presidential candidate Fred Thomson and Wilfred Brimley of "Cocoon" to warmly endorse cashing in the value of the home you own, without mentioning the ugly fact that in a number of years, you lose the home and will be looking for other sources to scrounge up money to pay for food. But you'll still have memories of that Vegas vacation paid for by the reverse mortgage to keep you warm.
You don't even need a home, if you watch an infomercial that tells you how to buy a foreclosed one cheap and fix it up for a fabulous profit. No details about the money, energy and skills you'll need to make a huge profit.
But elderly dreams are not all financial. There are commercials featuring models half their age tightening their abs and flirting with silver-haired male models.
Yet if you really want to risk a seizure for the old folks, turn to Mitt Romney's latest business advice to young people: "We?ve always encouraged young people: Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business." Your son may not look like Don Draper or his aging doppelganger, Romney, but surely you can put your aging shoulder to the wheel for a couple more years.
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Some suggestions for reducing ecological risks.[...]
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