Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fox Hacked?

Ok, so this just went up on Youtube. I am not sure it is real, but the message is on target.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of people.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

How Republicans Suppress Voting

Ernest Canning, guest blogging at Brad Friedman's The Brad Blog, writes: 
Voter suppression has long been a staple of American politics, but the tsunami of new restrictions on the polling place now being rammed through by newly-elected Republican majorities in state after state is unprecedented, certainly since the era of Jim Crow was supposed to have been ended by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Canning goes on the explain the felt need for Republicans to suppress votes, not the least of which is the growing unpopularity of that party's policies, its efforts to deliver for its Wall Street benefactors are becoming more blatant, and national demographics are moving away from Republicans, even as they themselves are moving ever further to the right.

Voter suppression is becoming increasingly institutionalized. A good analysis of how it works can be seen at the video below. It is the full-length version of Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections.

Voter suppression does not need to be pervasive to be decisive.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mazie is Running

Yeah, baby

Mazie's gonna win Dan Akaka's seat and land one right on McConnell's keester.

Check out her site at Mazie Hirono for Hawaii.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Social Security Records Surplus

No wonder Republicans want to end social security; they hate federal programs that work and get in the way of their ideology. I have to admit that, as a kid growing up, and even much later, I did not really appreciate the right wing animosity towards social security. Perhaps that is because they kept their sociopathy to themselves, or because they didn't have nearly enough votes. And to think, they want to turn SS over to Wall Street, the same folks who put the economy in the ditch in the 1980s, first with the S&L scandal, and then the crash of '87, and again in the 1990s with the dot.com bubble, and again in 2000's with the still festering housing/mortgage bust. Along the way they have eviscerated 401-k's, pensions, and many IRAs.

So once again, as designed, social security records a surplus.

Today the Social Security Trustees released their Annual Trustees Report for 2011.  The following provides comment and analysis from the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, a coalition of more than 300 organizations representing more than 50 million Americans:  (Click here for a complete pdf of the press release)

“The trustees’ report found that Social Security's surplus will be $69.3 billion in 2011.  Those who say that Social Security is in deficit this year are flat wrong,” said Nancy Altman, Co-Chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign. “By law, Social Security cannot deficit-spend and cannot borrow, so it is obvious that Social Security cannot add a penny to the federal deficit.”
“The trustees’ report states that Social Security will be able to pay all benefits for the next quarter century, even without congressional action. Bottom line, Social Security works,” said Eric Kingson, Co-Chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign. “Even in a bad economy, Americans continue to receive the full benefits they have earned for themselves and their families. The trustees report makes clear there is no reason to cut benefits—not for today's seniors; not for any generation.

Note that social security does NOT contribute to the deficit and the funds are NOT borrowed.

Put Some Sugar in His Gas Tank While You are at it
Ok, this is not breaking news. But it is an indication of how are leaders are spending their time.  As reported by Yahoo News back in February:
Republicans weren't joking when they said they would go after funding for President Obama's pet programs.

Per Wonkette, GOP Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas filed an amendment to a House spending bill this week that would have cut funding for the president's Teleprompter. Womack later pulled the amendment because he couldn't find out how much the measure would actually save, but told Fox News he believes he made his point. 

"We're asking people to do more with less, and I think the president ought to lead by example," the GOP lawmaker said. "He is already a very gifted speaker. And I think that's one platform he could do without."
 And what is the point you believe you made, Womack? That you are a petty asshole?
No wonder this government cannot get anything done.

I'm with this guy
Scott McLarty has a post up at OpEd News where he says to "stop calling them conservative." The behavior and policies of today's Republicans would be unrecognizable to most conservatives of the past, including Goldwater.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Theology as Personality

In the video below Cenk Uygur hits on an essential truth; the shameless habit of christians, especially the religious right, to cherry pick their theology to suit their personality, their ideology, and their pocketbook. Did not your christian god repeatedly talk of caring for the poor and needy? Did he not repeatedly denounce those who sought earthly possessions?

Apparently not if you're a Republican. America's right wing must be using a different Bible, the one called Atlas Shrugged.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Only a Republican Could Catch Osama, Right?

Jed Lewison's post at Daily Kos helps explain what is so contemptible about the Teabagger mindset; facts don't matter --not when they interfere with ideology.
When George W. Bush took office in Jan 2001 there were 111,634,000 private sector jobs. When he left office in Jan 2009 there were 110,981,000 private sector jobs.

When Bush took office in Jan 2001 there were 20,835,000 government sector jobs. When he left office in Jan 2009 there were 22,582,000 government sector jobs.

That means during Bush's eight years in office, we lost 653,000 private sector jobs and gained 1,747,000 government sector jobs.

Moral of the story: Barack Obama is a Kenyan socialist fuckstick.

And George W. Bush saved capitalism. Plus, he got bin Laden too.
They just can't stand that the guy they hate keeps messin' with their identity, their worldview, and their authoritarian personalities. Isn't Obama supposed to be a weak, feckless, immoral Democrat who wants to destroy America?

No, assholes. You're wrong again.

In your face, bitches

Friday, May 6, 2011

What Bush Hath Wrought

On April 26, I wrote that the US has a tax problem, not a spending problem. Lori Montgomery, writing in the Washington Post, has more to say on this.
Polls show that a large majority of Americans blame wasteful or unnecessary federal programs for the nation’s budget problems. But routine increases in defense and domestic spending account for only about 15 percent of the financial deterioration, according to a new analysis of CBO data.

The biggest culprit, by far, has been an erosion of tax revenue triggered largely by two recessions and multiple rounds of tax cuts. Together, the economy and the tax bills enacted under former president George W. Bush, and to a lesser extent by President Obama, wiped out $6.3 trillion in anticipated revenue. That’s nearly half of the $12.7 trillion swing from projected surpluses to real debt. Federal tax collections now stand at their lowest level as a percentage of the economy in 60 years.
Read that last sentence again: Federal tax collections now stand at their lowest level as a percentage of the economy in 60 years. Montgomery has it right; because of the endless tax cuts and exemptions, for individuals and corporations alike (I'm looking at you, GE), the federal government is slowly being strangled.

Montgomery continues:
Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus, a favorite target of Republicans who blame Democrats for the mounting debt, has added $719 billion — 6 percent of the total shift, according to the new analysis of CBO data by the nonprofit Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative. All told, Obama-era choices account for about $1.7 trillion in new debt, according to a separate Washington Post analysis of CBO data over the past decade. Bush-era policies, meanwhile, account for more than $7 trillion and are a major contributor to the trillion-dollar annual budget deficits that are dominating the political debate.
Montgomery's article is excellent and should be read aloud to Republicans and other intellectual prostitutes. But I have to agree with Legal Schnauzer, who says Montgomery needs to acknowledge how different the economy was for Obama than it was for Bush. As LS puts it:
Montgomery should be applauded for a tough, hard hitting article. But she is being much too kind to Bush here. She lays $1.7 trillion in new debt at Obama's feet, while putting $7 trillion of new debt under Bush. But almost all of the Obama-era choices were an attempt to jump-start an economy drowning in the Great Bush Recession. That means the blame for almost all of the $8.7 trillion in new debt should fall on Bush.
Bingo. Most Americans seem to not realize how deep of a mess we are in, how long it will take to get out, and how big the steaming turd was that our worst President handed to Obama.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Teachers and Soldiers

Nicely put:
WHEN we don’t get the results we want in our military endeavors, we don’t blame the soldiers. We don’t say, “It’s these lazy soldiers and their bloated benefits plans! That’s why we haven’t done better in Afghanistan!” No, if the results aren’t there, we blame the planners. We blame the generals, the secretary of defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff. No one contemplates blaming the men and women fighting every day in the trenches for little pay and scant recognition.

And yet in education we do just that. When we don’t like the way our students score on international standardized tests, we blame the teachers. When we don’t like the way particular schools perform, we blame the teachers and restrict their resources...
Read the rest at The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries.