Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Headlines - Wednesday June 30

Republicans and Future Problems

Republicans keep working themselves into a lather over the possibility that Medicare and Social Security may be in financial trouble. Social Security is projected to be out of money in 27 years and the GOP is chomping at the bit to try and kill it off now.

But here is the thing: There are a whole gamut of long-term problems facing both this country, if not humanity in general, and for the vast majority of them, the Republicans/conservatives don't give a shit. Let's run down a short list:

Climate change.
Rising sea levels.
Ocean acidification.
Environmental degradation from oil and gas drilling.
Growing scarcity of fresh water.
Deforestation and desertification.
Disappearance of amphibian populations.
Mass extinction of species.
Persistent chemical pollution of the food chain.
Overfishing and the collapse of fish stocks.

For all of them, conservatives either issue a mighty yawn or they, the Chamber of Commerce and the affected industries scream that "the science is not proven", relying on the obstructionism trailblazed by the tobacco industry.

But only when they spy a chance to dismantle the social safety net which keeps old people from starving to death or dying quickly of preventable illnesses, do Republicans rouse themselves to bleat about the future.

Because, when you drill down to the core of conservative beliefs, they want to make this country into a modern feudal state where there are vast amounts of serfs, a tiny professional class (since serfs don't need the services of doctors, lawyers and accountants) and a class of rich oligarchs who run everything.

The real mystery is why so many people who are in the economic classes that are being targeted by the conservatives for extinction reliably vote for them.
Kagan fends off GOP efforts to portray her as a liberal activist. 
How have we allowed 'liberal' to become a dirty word? 
Update: Could Congress pass a law requiring Americans to eat vegetables and fruits three times a day?

– inbred idiot and Senator (redundant?) Coburn, Oklahoma.

US Still Neglecting The Mess They Made In Vietnam
The United Nations has launched a $5 million project to clean up Agent Orange contamination at a former U.S military air base in Vietnam, the world body said Tuesday.
Matt Taibbi: Lara Logan, You Suck
Monday night on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow laid out a rather startling set of numbers: In the past three years, BP has netted $58.3 billion in profit, yet has spent only $29 million (0.05% of the profit) on safer-drilling research. Over the same period, BP hasn't spent one penny on researching how to respond to any type of oil spill, much less one as huge as the breach currently fouling the Gulf.
GOP Patriotism: NO Dinero For Homeless Veterans
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) asked for unanimous consent to approve a $3.4 billion bill to help homeless women veterans and homeless vets with kids. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell objected on behalf of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who is taking a stand against any measure that adds to the deficit.
That people being hurt by this recession are actually considering handing the keys to Congress back to these dark-hearted, greedy, venal, heartless bastards is just mind-boggling.
Pornography for Conservaturds. 
How does any thinking person take the Republican party seriously when you cannot tell the difference between one of its campaign ads and a Saturday Night Live skit.  This is embarrassing.
There the teabagger stood, holding in her right
hand her greatest enemy: the microphone.
Family Values

According to Sharon Angle, God wants fathers to rape their daughters. Or at least he wants daughters to bear their fathers' children. That's what they call family values in her neck of the woods:
MANDERS: Is there any reason at all for an abortion?

ANGLE: Not in my book.

MANDERS: So, in other words, rape and incest would not be something?

ANGLE: You know, I'm a Christian, and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things.
The truth is that she is being more consistent than most allegedly "pro-life" people. If you genuinely think that abortion is murder then you can't justify "killing" the blastocyst or fetus just because of the way it was conceived.

On the other hand, Angle seems to see conception by rape and incest as something God purposefully directed and so the results of which are something the birthing vessel must embrace. That's a very disturbing point of view no matter where you come out on the issue.

Harry Reid, on the other hand, must be thanking the Good Lord every night for "interceding" and providing him with Sharon Angle as an opponent. He must feel that God definitely intends for him to win re-election.
Update: Mario Piperni has this to say:

So, in Angle's little, little mind, God has a plan and if that plan involves you getting raped by your sick uncle then shut up and accept the ensuing pregnancy.

ME:  Sharron…


ME:  On behalf of every woman who has ever gotten pregnant by rape, FU and your perverted interpretation of faith.

Republican's America = Your Worst Nightmare

What do you have to look forward to when Republicans finally do take over the reins of government?   This.  And it ain't pretty.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) believes that a "political rebellion" akin to the American revolution of 1776 is brewing, that the Social Security retirement age should be raised to 70, and that the Wall Street reform bill currently moving through Congress is comparable to "killing an ant with a nuclear weapon."

In an explosive interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the GOP leader also charged that Democrats are "snuffing out the America that I grew up in." He added, "Right now, we've got more Americans engaged in their government than at any time in our history. There's a political rebellion brewing, and I don't think we've seen anything like it since 1776."


Ensuring there's enough money to pay for the war will require reforming the country's entitlement system, Boehner said. He said he'd favor increasing the Social Security retirement age to 70 for people who have at least 20 years until retirement, tying cost-of-living increases to the consumer price index rather than wage inflation and limiting payments to those who need them.

"We need to look at the American people and explain to them that we're broke," Boehner said. "If you have substantial non-Social Security income while you're retired, why are we paying you at a time when we're broke? We just need to be honest with people.

Honest?  The hypocrisy is astounding.  Cut down on Social Security but extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich is what this guy is saying.  Why is it that honesty is something which the middle class and poor need to deal with but the rich are exempt?  The same people who didn't give a damn for deficit spending during the eight years of insanity and abuse under Bush have now made this their number one priority.  And they're asking to be taken seriously.  Really?

Why not get the hell out of Iraq and Afghanistan, wars which cannot be won under any conditions, and then they would not have to worry about finding funds to pay for them?  Is the trillion already spent on those two pointless wars not enough?

Imagine a Sarah Palin White House with Boehner and McConnell in charge of the House and Senate respectively and know that there is no terrorist organization in existence which could be more destructive to America than what these fools are capable of doing.


Praise the Water.


political pictures - We need to get the public to stop thinking of BP...


So it is the Democrats messaging that completely sucks or are they just complete, gutless cowards? You know they are in bad shape when they can't even pass this mild "reform" because they're too afraid to fight the GOP who can't stop supporting Wall Street's bad behavior. Either way, they suck. Why do we vote for these people?


Is John Boehner a) racist; b) sexist; c) homophobic; or d) all of the above?

"They're snuffing out the America that I grew up in," Boehner said.
Indeed we are.

The America that John Boehner grew up in was an America where African-American males were only farm hands or factory laborers, not as politicians, judges or American presidents. Women were housewives, secretaries and elementary school teachers, not Speakers of the House of Representatives. Gay men and lesbians were either deep in the closer or they were routinely being beaten by the cops, they weren't getting married or raising families. Hispanics were maids and lettuce-pickers, not entrepreneurs and TV stars.

I suspect that Boeher was engaging in the old GOP trick of dog-whistling to the racists.

But Boehner is right about one thing: The America he grew up in is gone and, if the GOP doesn't smarten up, so will his party. Maybe not in this election or the next, but his batshit racist base is aging out and when they do, the Grand Old party will go the way of the Whigs.
The Road to Serfdom.
A progressive Budget Calculator

Not to be outdone by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Deficit, the Center for Economic Policy Research has a new budget calculator out that lets you put more liberal policies into play and see what happens to the debt level in 2020. I got us below 60 percent (the magic number, at least according to some budget hawks) by ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, creating a Medicare-like public option, adding a modest carbon tax, adding a financial transactions tax, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, increasing the cap on taxable earnings for Social Security, converting the mortgage-interest deduction to a 15 percent credit, and letting the estate tax return on schedule.

Oh, and I did all this while adding $2.1 trillion in infrastructure, R&D, and education spending, and increasing the generosity of Social Security benefits. I am a budget genius!

Gee. You'd almost think the deficit debate was a cover story for Republicans to slash social spending.


"The recession has directly hit more than half of the nation's working adults, pushing them into unemployment, pay cuts, reduced hours at work or part-time jobs, according to a new Pew Research Center survey." Nearly of half of the survey's respondents said "they are in worse financial shape as a result of the downturn, which destroyed 20 percent of Americans' wealth."


Let's add another 11 million by rewarding bad behavior

On Thursday, President Obama will deliver an address at American University to "make the case for providing a path to legal status for the estimated 11 million people who live in the U.S. illegally." Obama met with lawmakers this week to discuss a strategy for passing immigration reform, "possibly during a lame-duck session of Congress after the November election."


Financial regulation to pass .... Now? How about now?

Man, this picture is never going to get old, right?

Financial regulation was dead yesterday, but today it is alive again, just like Jesus! And speaking of things or people who are like Jesus, we have Scott Brown to thank for this turn of events. All Barney Frank and his fellow Sadducees had to do to win the love of Brown and the New England RINO ladies was take out the tax on big banks and hedge funds, raise the FDIC's reserve ratio, and end TARP early. Those sound like incredibly minor details that can be just added in last-minute negotiations, surely. MORE »


If I had my druthers ....


Yet another painfully predictable consequence ignored by people who think drilling for oil in the Gulf is a good idea. "The effects of growing Tropical Storm Alex has halted part of BP's oil clean-up attempts in the Gulf of Mexico. Activities such as skimming, dispersant flights and controlled burning have all been suspended because of strong winds and high waves. But the main methods of oil capture at the spill site is continuing despite the weather. Tropical Storm Alex is expected to strengthen into the first hurricane of the Atlantic season. Tens of thousands of barrels of oil have leaked every day since the Deepwater Horizon rig sank in April. A containment cap placed over the leaking pipe is collecting up to 25,000 barrels a day and sending it to two surface ships. And a relief well being drilled to staunch the flow is on target to be finished by early August, a senior BP executive has said."

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