John Boehner, Catholic, is displeasing the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons. It requires shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly.
Given he's ignoring the church on this matter, will he be denied communion?
HARVEY WASSERMAN FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
America's budget crisis has the world economy at the brink. Social Security, Medicare, aid for needy children, environmental protection and much more are being chopped.
Yet, Congress and the White House may still want to use our money to fund atomic power.
Specifically, $36 billion in loan guarantees may still be on the table for building new nukes. Millions more are slated for "small reactors" and other atomic boondoggles.
A national campaign - including an August 7 "MUSE2" concert - is underway to help stop this. With your help, we can win.
More US energy is now generated by renewables than nuclear power, according to the latest Energy Information Administration report, and the balance is continuing to shift to green sources.
Solar cells are now cheaper and faster to install than new nuclear plants, and will soon be cheaper than coal, according to General Electric.
After a half-century, US atomic power cannot attract private investment for new reactors, cannot obtain sufficient insurance against a major disaster and cannot deal with its wastes.
At least one Congressional study shows the likelihood of default on reactor loan guarantees to be at least 50%.
"Some of us have long complained about the cult of 'balance,' the insistence on portraying both parties as equally wrong and equally at fault on any issue, never mind the facts. I joked long ago that if one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read 'Views Differ on Shape of Planet.' But would that cult still rule in a situation as stark as the one we now face, in which one party is clearly engaged in blackmail and the other is dickering over the size of the ransom?
"The answer, it turns out, is yes. And this is no laughing matter: The cult of balance has played an important role in bringing us to the edge of disaster. For when reporting on political disputes always implies that both sides are to blame, there is no penalty for extremism."
- Paul Krugman, NYT
Chuck Todd just now on MSNBC:
Everybody's fed up that a small ideological wing of one party can do what they've done, which is, hold this thing up for days.
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Laura Ingraham has been a big Tea Party supporter and proponent of the position that Republicans should not pass a debt ceiling bill that is a short-term/mini-deal or else it should be viewed as unserious.
Talking to Newsmax on July 6th, she said this:
Conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham tells Newsmax that Republicans should stand firm against a ?mini-deal? that would raise the debt ceiling with only ?cosmetic cuts? in federal spending.
She also says Washington legislators who would consider such a settlement show that they are ?completely unserious? about dealing with the federal debt and ?saving America.?
As much as I disliked Obama's Grand Bargain idea, it supposedly cut $4 trillion out of the deficit. That's not small potatoes. Biden's group also had massive spending cuts along with closing some tax loopholes and Harry Reid's plan, which should be considered a small deal because it only lasts until after the 2012 election, is a spending-cuts-only bill.
Who has the worst mini deal of all? John Boehner. Guess which bill Laura Ingraham is supporting now after vehemently opposing a mini-deal? John Boehner's. She said so while she was guest-hosting Bill O'Reilly's show yesterday. Bill is in LA doing PR and wound up calling in to give his analysis since Boehner's bill couldn't even get voted on Thursday. And what did Bill do? He called out Ingraham because she has been on The Factor toeing the Tea Party line all along. But now she's falling in line with the rest of the GOP hierarchy. (Rough transcript)
O'Reilly: First of all it was a good interview with the guys up top, but I noticed a little tone change from your posture last week where I was anchoring and you were the interview subject and now you're the anchor..ummm. I saw a little softening of the hard line position. Did I pick that up wrong? Have you changed a little bit?
Ingraham: No, no I don't think you're picking it up correctly. My point now is that they've gotten the best deal they can get with the leverage that they've exercised. If the Tea Party just agreed to several days ago which was my point last week then they wouldn't have gotten the deal right now.
O'Reilly: You think that now the Tea Party should say, OK, we're going to go with Boehner.
Ingraham: I think the Tea Party, yes, absolutely because this is the best deal they're going to get
Can you trust anything she says? That's not what Ingraham's been saying all along. Laura grilled Rep. Steve King later in the show for saying that the Tea Party should wait until after the deadline has passed so then the ,arkets can collapse and they can get the Cup, Cap and Balanced budget amendment passed easily. She was very hostile to that idea, literally calling him crazy if he thought that was remotely realistic.
Right now, the United States government is being held hostage by fundamentalist fanatics like this.[...]
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This post contains spoilers through the July 28 episode of Louie.
One of the things I find really interesting about Louie, and Louis C.K. in general, is the question of how much judging yourself absolutely without mercy earns you the right to judge other people and be up front about your discomfort with other people. I know I would be uncomfortable if a homeless man took off a lot of his clothes in a subway station and prepared to rinse himself from a bottle of spring water, and I know I would be struck by the juxtaposition of a very gifted violinist playing in the space between me and that homeless man, but I’m not sure how comfortable I am watching Louis put that discomfort on display.
Societal rules tend to dictate that when we witness behavior that makes us uncomfortable, but that doesn’t threaten us, and that we’re powerless to change, whether because someone is mentally ill, or because it’s inappropriate because we aren’t their parents, is generally to sit tight. If you’re caught judging, you’re an asshole, a racist, potentially classist, or whatever the relevant -ism is. And you can’t really solve any of the things that make you uncomfortable, which is precisely why Louis’ fantasy of becoming a subway Sir Walter Raleigh and cleaning up the mysterious brown liquid on the seat is so compelling and so impossible. Cleaning it up wouldn’t win him the admiration of middle-aged African-American women and the desire of sexy young blonde ladies. It would make everyone else uncomfortable because it would force them to acknowledge it was there in the first place.
And this episode feels both artistically interesting to me as a critic and uncomfortable to me as an invested viewer because Louis’ affections for Pamela, who I don’t think much of, make me feel less good about Louis. Pamela may be some people’s ideal of a tough-talking, honest female friend, but I always feel awful and awkward when she’s on screen, mostly because of how terrible she is to Louis, whether she’s cooking an omelette for a guy who is occupying an apartment Louis’ thinking about buying, or calling her son a “little bitch” because he’s scared of amusement park rides. “Why did you want to come here? Did you want to take me here because it’s Frenchy and cool-looking?” she asks him, in a scene that feels like decency and friendship malpractice to me. “You picked it out because you thought I would think you would cool, which you’re not. You’re very, very uncool, Louie, and you’re very boring…You think I’m awesome, and I think you’re okay.” And yet, Louis confesses his love to her in a flea market, telling her “You’re fun, and you shit all over me, and you make fun of me, and you’re real. I don’t have enough time in any day to think about you enough…I’m crazy about you, Pamela. I don’t want to be with anybody else.”
And I think maybe this is the genius of Louie, that it convinces us to have an affinity with this guy, and that he’s kind of great despite his bad luck. And then it smacks us, hard, with the insecurities that make a woman like Pamela his ideal, or the passivity that leads him to stick around to spank an obviously damaged parent of a kid in his daughter’s elementary school class. And then it asks you to keep going because this damaged person is our main character, in fact, our only constant character, and there’s no way he can switch jobs and cities, or get beheaded, or move to Los Angeles and disappear. Louie asks us to attach to a character who is one of the closest things we have to an actual person. And while that’s almost always entertaining, it’s not always fun.
White House Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Austan Goolsbee’s take on the GDP numbers:
Notable contributions to real GDP growth in the second quarter included net exports (0.6 percentage points) and fixed investment (0.7 p.p.). Defense spending added 0.4 p.p. to GDP, but this gain was offset by declines in state and local government (-0.4 p.p.) and nondefense spending (-0.2 p.p.). Consumer spending rose just 0.1 percent at an annual rate, with a steep decline (23 percent) in motor vehicle consumption accounting for the weakness. The downward revision to first quarter GDP from 1.9 percent to 0.4 percent reflects lower contributions from inventory investment and imports.
So why is it that the administration has conceded the idea that we need spending cuts? Why they’re willing to concede it legislatively I can see. You’ve got to count the votes. But they seem to me to be conceding it conceptually, and have been for over a year. Why? Or to put it another way, suppose John Boehner phones the president up and says, “You’re right, let’s do a balanced grand bargain with $1 trillion in new revenue and $3 trillion in spending cuts,” what component of GDP will that make accelerate? Why?
Equality California will work with 40 other organizations to mount a “decline to sign” campaign, urging Californians not to support a referendum that would overturn the FAIR Education Act. The new law would require schools to proactively include the contributions of LGBT people in curricula. Opponents of equality launched the “Stop SB48″ signature-gathering campaign last week.
With a cash reserve of nearly $76 billion, Apple is the latest company to report having more available funds than the U.S. government, which has an operating balance of $73.768 billion due to the imminent exhausting of the nation’s borrowing ability. As ThinkProgress previously reported, there were 29 companies whose holdings dwarfed those of the U.S. government earlier this month. While these numbers are surprising, the U.S. balance represents the government’s spending authority before bumping up the debt ceiling limit, so it’s unlikely yet Apple will have to bail out the U.S. government anytime soon — as long as congress raises the debt ceiling.