Monday, December 12, 2011

Headlines - Monday December 12

Goodbye Religion? How Godlessness Is Increasing With Each New Generation
This demographic transformation has been in progress ever since World War II, but in recent years it's begun to seriously pick up steam.
Being reported everywhere: new NBC News-Marist polls show Newt Gingrich opening up a big lead over Mitt Romney in S. Carolina and Florida. Under-reported everywhere: the same polls show that President Obama would beat either in both states.
Christian nutjobs are staging home invasions, kidnappings, and assaults to spread the glorious Love of Christ and the Word of the Prince of Peace.

The Republicans keep on lying 

Olympia Snowe, for example, lied about the causes of debt:

"Fiscal shenanigans such as permanent tax increases to pay for one-year temporary measures are precisely the problem that drove our nation into a $15 trillion debt crisis."

Sorry, no. It was a massive tax cut that contributed most to the debt. Not a tax hike. A tax hike would have paid for some of the other things the Bush Republicans passed which doubled the debt.

Krugman also clarified the difference between opposing Bush pre-recession spending while demanding more post-recession spending.


From last night's debate.

"I think every person up here worked at a young age," Gingrich declared. "What I suggested was kids ought to be able to work part time in schools, particularly in the poorest neighborhoods."

"If you take one half of the New York janitors, who are paid more than the teachers. An entry-level janitor gets paid twice as much as an entry-level teacher. You take half those janitors, you could give lots of poor kids a work experience in the cafeteria, in the school library, in the front office, in a lot of different things. I'll stand by the idea young people ought to learn how to work."

After Newt was done spewing bile, the debate audience cheered for laying off half of the adult work force to replace them with children who may or may not be paid.

No word on what those adult janitors, who are supposedly paid more than teachers — an assertion which I call bullshit on — are suppose to do for a job.

What bothers me the most about this idea is Newt's singling out of poor kids. As if we should get a head start on training poor kids to be our janitors and food servers while rich kids wait idly by for their free ride to the Ivy League.

The psychological damage to children in such an environment, where poor kids are serving the rich kids lunch, would be incalculable. And given the demographics of poverty, in many cases you would end up with minority children serving white children.


This guy rules. Just watch.


Steven Van Zandt: There Is Only One Issue In America 


Perry was attacking Romney during the last debate for changing his book from the hardcover to the softcover edition.  Perry says that the hardcover mentioned that the country should adopt Massachusetts's health care reform, which included an individual mandate, while the softcover deleted that reference.  Romney said it's not true, and offered to bet Perry $10,000 that he couldn't prove it.

Stick a fork in the 50 cent billionaire: He is done. That $10K bet just reminded voters that Mitt is just like the rest of us, only with more money, a lot more money, much, much, much more money, way more money than anyone needs or should ever want. Ten grand to Romney is like ten bucks to the 99%. AND, he's a Mormon, and Mos don't like gambling (at least in public).


James Fallows has been using the term "nullification" to talk the ways that Republicans in the Senate are using the filibuster to keep from appointing a director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. By doing so, they're making sure that a law already passed by Congress simply doesn't go into effect. The whole thing is worth a read.

In a follow-up, one of Fallows' readers says this:

I believe what will happen will in some ways be worse, at least in the short term, if perhaps sadly better in the long term: if the GOP retakes the Senate after the 2012 elections, they'll simply abolish the filibuster.

I think this is exactly right. The minute there are 51 Republicans in the Senate, we're going to hear howls of "straight up or down vote". They'll be aided and abetted by the DC media, who will inform us that the filibuster is a relic of bygone days that has been abused by both sides, it's high time that it was eliminated, it really is a scandal that it has persisted so long, and the nation is lucky that Republicans are patriotic enough to foster a reform that's long overdue.


Dennis G: The professor teaches history as fantasy


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More Than $3 Trillion Annually Lost To Worldwide Tax Evasion | Recent reports have shown that tax evasion by corporations costs U.S. states more than $40 billion in the last three years and costs developing countries $500 billion annually. But that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to worldwide tax evasion. According to a recent report from the Tax Justice Network, about $3.1 trillion in tax evasion occurs in the world every year, meaning that $1 in every $6 in the world is not subject to tax. As University of Missouri-St. Louis Professor Kenneth Thomas wrote, "when we consider the European debt crisis or funding stress on social programs worldwide, it is clear that these figures mean the difference between solvency and insolvency for many countries. As a result, countries need a policy response equal to the task."


In the last week alone, he's fumbled the name of a Supreme Court justice, the number of judges on the court, and the age of eligibility to run for president (just as he didn't know the voting age).

Perry has tumbled so low in the polls his comic displays of ignorance are beginning to avoid notice, but he made another doozy in Iowa yesterday, CNN reports:

While criticizing President Barack Obama for picking winners and losers in the energy industry, he bungled the name of the most famous energy company to go under despite government assistance.

"No greater example of it than this administration sending millions of dollars into the solar industry, and we lost that money," Perry began. "I want to say it was over $500 million that went to the country Solynda."

Perry not only confused Solyndra with a country, he got the name of the company wrong, calling it "Solynda."

As ThinkProgress has been reporting, the Solyndra story is a manufactured scandal Republicans have kept alive to try to smear the Obama administration.


The Cowardice Of Lowe's, And The Bigotry Of 'All-American Muslim' Bashers


President Obama probably will not get the chance to appoint Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the winter recess. Instead of officially adjourning, the Senate is likely to remain in "pro-forma" session throughout the break. Last week the Senate GOP blocked Cordray's nomination.


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