Remember, this is the party that's attempted to brand 9/11 as an exclusively Republican thing. Via Steve Benen:
House Republican leadership is advising its members to vote against a bipartisan bill that would, among other things, bolster medical support to Sept. 11 victims.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2009, sponsored by New York City Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D), provides medical monitoring to those exposed to toxins at Ground Zero, bolsters treatment at specialized centers for those afflicted by toxins on 9/11 and reopens a compensation fund to provide economic loss to New Yorkers.
And it's all paid for by closing a tax loophole on foreign companies with U.S. subsidiaries, Democrats say.
So they have no excuse other than the fact that it's a Democratic proposal. Idiots.
Great news! I have now read and analyzed every single one* of the 92,000 highly classified, top-secret documents recently uncovered in the WikiLeaks.org mega-saga military scandal, the very ones being fretted over by President Obama, the Defense Department and top members of the nervous Pakistani government, along with all those swarthy terrorist cells who are right now poring over them for helpful details like Lady Gaga tour dates, Mel Gibson's fave catchphrases and Lindsay Lohan's home address.
*(Not exactly true)
Really, she does.
First, extending the high-income tax cuts would provide very little job creation in 2011. There is widespread agreement that the short-run economic benefits of high-income tax cuts are small. The Congressional Budget Office lists a tax cut for high-income earners as a particularly ineffective job creation measure. Private sector forecasters have reached the same judgment. The vast majority of economic research shows that higher-income earners spend less of a tax cut and so tax cuts to those earners create fewer jobs throughout the economy.
They won't create jobs. They WILL create a larger deficit. And they won't really stimulate economic growth. So why do the Republicans support the tax cuts for the super rich? I think I just answered my own question.
Bob Cesca: The GOP plot to screw the economy and the middle class.
A bloody, drawn out endgame in Afghanistan
There's a new video out from filmaker Sean Smith, courtesy of Guardian Films. They describe it thusly:
As the war in Afghanistan enters its final chapter, Sean Smith's brutal, uncompromising film from the Helmand frontline shows the horrific chaos of a stalemate that is taking its toll in blood.
"We are in Afghanistan for one express purpose ... the al Qaeda that exists in those mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan," he said in an interview with NBC's "Today" show.
"We are not there to nation-build. We are not out there deciding we are going to turn this into a Jeffersonian democracy and build that country. We made it clear, we are not there for 10 years," he said.
So if we're not nation building what the hell should we call it, Joe? There are over 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. We're paying for the Afghan army and police. We're meddling in corrupt Afghan politics. Oh, and we're wasting countless billions of dollars on "aid" projects which are neither what the Afghans themselves asked for nor all that effective! Maybe we should just call it what it is - colonialism.
And this colonialism is to continue for at least another five years, even if it won't be ten. For what, Joe? Al Qaeda are in a different bloody country, one we're making kissy-face with while it's intelligence agency arranges the deaths of our soldiers!
This movie shows the truth of the Endgame in Afghanistan - several more years of insanity, at a cost of lives and dollars, so that the Obama administration and its allies can save some face and prop up a client state which probably doesn't deserve propping up. Watch it.
It's all a result of the recent Supreme Court decision. From ABC:
Top officials at the country's major coal companies, including Massey Energy, owner of the West Virginia mine where 29 died earlier this year, apparently want to take advantage of looser campaign finance laws and use corporate money to defeat political candidates they believe to be "anti-coal."
According to an email from Roger Nicholson, senior vice president of the International Coal Group, "a number of coal industry representatives recently have been considering developing a 527 entity with the purpose of attempting to defeat anti-coal incumbents."
Nicholson's email notes that a recent Supreme Court decision will allow the "voices" of the coal firms "to be heard." The Court ruled earlier this January in Citizens United v. FEC that corporations and labor unions can spend unlimited funds on elections.
Mind you, note that we still haven't even gotten climate change signed into law, and they're still organizing to throw the Dems out. It doesn't matter what we do, big business is not our friend. They will take us on, regardless.
S.E.C. Charges (Swift Boat Liars) Brothers With $550 Million Fraud
WASHINGTON — Samuel and Charles Wyly, the billionaire brothers from Dallas who are large donors to philanthropies and to conservative causes, were charged Thursday with conducting an extensive securities fraud that the Securities and Exchange Commission said reaped $550 million in undisclosed gains.
Martha Raddatz has a look at the PTSD epidemic in the US Army:
The figures in recent years are staggering.
The number of soldiers committing suicide has increased since 2004, surpassing civilian rates in 2008. Use of prescription drugs has tripled in the past five years; prescription amphetamines use has doubled between 2006 and 2009. One third of soldiers take at least one prescription drug and 14 percent of soldiers are on some form of powerful painkiller.
Crime is rising every year as well. Each year has seen an increase of 5,000 misdemeanors over the previous year, meaning soldiers are expected to commit around 55,000 such crimes in 2010. Sexual offenses have tripled since 2003. Domestic abuse is up 177 percent in the past six years.
Non-combat deaths among the force have increased steadily since 2001 to the point where the report says that in 2009 more soldiers died as a result of accidents and "high risk behavior" than at war.
They're strung out, drugged out, and suicidal and they'll make the scale of Vietnam vets with PTSD seem like a drop in the bucket.
Plenty of cash for killing, but the Senate is cutting food stamps to pay for Medicaid.
We're all Paul Krugman now
Apparently some members of the Fed have noticed inflation isn't the real problem right now:
A subtle but significant shift appears to be occurring within the Federal Reserve over the course of monetary policy amid increasing signs that the economic recovery is weakening.
James Bullard, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, warned that the American economy was at risk of becoming "enmeshed in a Japanese-style deflationary outcome within the next several years."
On Thursday, James Bullard, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, warned that the Fed's current policies were putting the American economy at risk of becoming "enmeshed in a Japanese-style deflationary outcome within the next several years."
The warning by Mr. Bullard, who is a voting member of the Fed committee that determines interest rates, comes days after Ben S. Bernanke, the Fed chairman, said the central bank was prepared to do more to stimulate the economy if needed, though it had no immediate plans to do so.
Wouldn't it be awesome if the Fed and other government agencies took advantage of domestic Nobel Prize winning economists? For christ sake- someone google "Krugman+lost+decade" and tell me how many hits you come up with. He's done just about everything except tattoo it on his chest and back and then do a pay-per-view boxing match with Tonya Harding.
Ousted USDA employee Shirley Sherrod says she will sue blogger Andrew Breitbart!
Now, if we can just get Orly Tatiz to be the council for the defense, my summer will be made.
Iowa in the running for crazeee state!
At its state convention in Des Moines last month, the Iowa GOP adopted a new party platform that includes the repeal of mandatory minimum wage laws, the elimination of the U.S. Department of Education, and even clarification on the definition of manure. Out of the "387 enumerated planks and principles," Newsweek's Jerry Adler found the most "startling" section of the platform calls for "the reintroduction and ratification of the original 13th Amendment."
As we all know, the 13th Amendment is the one that banned slavery, but what is the original 13th Amendment?
The amendment states that "if any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor" from a "foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen" and "shall be incapable of holding any office of trust." In receiving only 12 out of the 13 votes needed for ratification, the amendment was never adopted.
Ahhhhh – now it makes sense: Strip President Carebear of his citizenship because he won the Nobel Prize! I'm sure Orly Taitz will get right on that lawsuit!
Chelsea Clinton gets married tomorrow, in worlds most important wedding
Feel like we're being ruled by people with severe personality disorders? This study might explain why.
Are the American people obsolete?
But it snowed last winter! And Al Gore is fat! And he flies on jet-planes! Also! Moscow - not the one in Idaho, the one in Russia, the one Sarah Palin can see from her house - has just experienced it's hottest day ever, with the mercury topping 102 degrees farenheit. At least 20% of the nation's wheat crop has been lost to the drought and hundreds have perished in the heatwave, mostly from drowning after they went swimming in their ambient state of being vodka-sotted.
Senate republicans have done it again. This time they succeeded in blocking a bill that would have increased small business lending by community banks. It hurts small businesses and it keeps them from creating jobs, but that matters not one whit to the republicans in the Senate. They have to make Obama fail, and if they harm their constituents in the process, well fuck those people anyway, they probably voted for the darkie son-of-a-bitch so they have a world of hurt coming for their intransigence in rejecting republican rule in favor of Democratic governance, the bastards.
The bill would create a $30 billion government fund to help community banks increase lending to small businesses, combining it with about $12 billion in tax breaks aimed at small businesses. Democrats say banks should be able to use the lending fund to leverage up to $300 billion in loans to small businesses, helping to loosen tight credit markets.
The fund would be available only to banks with less than $10 billion in assets. Some Republicans, however, likened it to the unpopular bailout of the financial industry.
[ ... ]
Congress has extended unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work for long stretches and passed a measure that gives tax breaks to businesses that hire unemployed workers. But many other initiatives stalled, in part because of concerns they would add to the growing national debt.
Obama lobbied for the small business lending bill during a trip Wednesday to Edison, N.J. But Senate Democrats fell short of the necessary 60 votes Thursday to end a Republican filibuster.
The vote was 58 to 42, with all 41 Republicans voting to continue the filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., also voted to continue the filibuster, but only as a procedural step that allows him to call up the bill again.
I can't believe that the republicans will continue to get away with this stuff and pay no political price for their venality. I mean, I realize that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people, but damn...we don't all need guardians for our major decisions...do we?