Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25

Why Larry Summers Shouldn't Be Permitted to Run a Dog Pound, Much Less the Federal Reserve


North Carolina legislators approve carrying guns in lots more places. For holders of concealed carry permits, those places include: bars and restaurants that serve alcohol (as long as the owner doesn't object); greenways, playgrounds and public recreation areas; locked in cars at universities and public schools. The lawmakers removed a provision that would have done away with background checks and permits by country sheriffs for anyone buying a handgun.


The release of methane from thawing permafrost beneath the East Siberian Sea, off northern Russia, alone comes with an average global price tag of $60 trillion in the absence of mitigating action — a figure comparable to the size of the world economy in 2012 (about $70 trillion). The total cost of Arctic change will be much higher.


CNN: After weaknesses in its ground game were badly exposed in 2012, the Republican National Committee is taking a page straight out of the Democratic playbook and launching an ambitious "50 state strategy" that will steer party resources and staffers to every corner of the country as it works to repair its voter contact effort before the next presidential election.

The party's short-term vision with the project is to help the GOP win key races this November and in next year's midterm elections.

But that's only part of a larger and more important goal for Republicans: rebuilding a broken and outdated get-out-the-vote operation that seemed dominant during the George W. Bush era, but was overtaken in 2012 by a Democratic coalition that had spent years polishing its tactics in the fields of voter contact, persuasion, data collection and statistical modeling.
The problem here is that, while the party plans to compete in every state, they don't plan on competing for every vote. Relying on GOTV efforts shows that Republicans have given up on minority outreach and have embraced the "missing white voter" hypothesis. Conservatives like this hypothesis, because it's become fashionable on that side of the aisle to be shockingly racist — which makes winning over anyone other than white voters a little bit of a challenge.

The good news for Democrats is that the missing white voter is fantasy. No matter how hard you scrape the bottom, there's no more mayo in that jar. The Republican tendency to dismiss reality is finally coming to bite them in the rear, as it had to eventually, causing them to waste resources getting out voters who don't actually exist. 


Just because it's never mentioned anymore: 2,255 soldiers killed in Afghanistan; 4,486 in Iraq.


Obama: It's Not My Fault Republicans Are Crazy
President Obama's economic speech today is putatively a broad-stroke overview of his economic vision — investing in physical infrastructure and early childhood education, restraining runaway inflation in the cost of health care and college, and marginally shifting the burden of government away from the middle class and toward the rich. In reality, it is a call for a responsible opposition.

Thematically, it is hard to build a speech around the opposition when you're president, because people expect the president to lead and set the agenda. But the extraordinary tactics of the House Republicanshave created an unusual and counterintuitive situation wherein the president's agenda is mostly irrelevant. Conservatives simply refuse to negotiate with Obama in conventional terms. Their strategy is to threaten a series of crises — government shutdown, defaulting on the debt — in order to force the president to offer unilateral concessions…

Obama mounted an ideological defense of his vision of government. But mainly he dared Republicans to stop acting like madmen. The most important line in his speech is a kind of subordinate clause:

And as long as Congress doesn't manufacture another crisis — as long as we don't shut down the government just as the economy is getting traction, or risk a U.S. default over paying bills we've already racked up — we can probably muddle along without taking bold action.

That's wrapped in a plea to not muddle along and to take bold action instead, but it's also a tactic recognition that simply not manufacturing a crisis is an ambitious goal for the House Republicans….


Did Fox really cut away from Obama's speech for breaking news on the name of the royal baby? Why yes, they did.



Darrell Issa has a long-standing reputation as a self-indulgent obsessive criminalcreep. This story might take the cake:
But Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican leading the House effort to save the postal service, wants more. He has made doing away with doorstep delivery a key part of his bill, which would require everyone to get mail at a curbside box or from a cluster box.

"A balanced approach to saving the Postal Service means allowing USPS to adapt to America's changing use of mail," said Issa, who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Moving away from door-to-door delivery saves a lot of money. Right now, 35 million residences and businesses get mail delivered to their doorstep.

It costs $353 per stop for a delivery in most American cities, taking into account such things as salaries and cost of transport. By contrast, curbside mail box delivery costs $224, while cluster boxes cost $160, according to a report from the Postal Service's Office of Inspector General.

Issa has been called a "pathological liar", so it will come as no surprise when he goes all Nathan Thurm on this story as the backlash builds when he's reminded that the USPS is the only government agency – hell, the only entity of any kind in the history of the nation – which has to fully fund in cash its pension obligations, and if we allowed them to do what every other frikkin' entity uses, the USPS would be profitable: "I know that! You don't think I know that?"

He'd rather see the American people inconvenienced and their mail put in jeopardy: stolen checks, lost bills, important documents misplaced, than pony up and fix the real problem for the average American's benefit. Issa moron. Nuff said.


With Voting Rights Act Gutted, Florida Set To Resume Voter Purge

Tea Party Congressman Compares African American Civil Rights To Snail Darters

A new analysis by the Office of Congresssman George Miller finds that 14 members of Congress voted to continue farm subsidies from which they personally benefit while failing to continue nutrition aid for 47 million Americans.

Yep. His office released a report detailing how these 14 GOP Congresscritters have raked in more than $7.2 MILLION in farm subsidies (aka welfare, also aka YOUR tax dollars) while they voted to completely gut food stamps for hungry kids. Hahahahaha, sucks to be poor and not a Member of Congress.

Not only did Rep. Miller (D-Honey Badgerville) release this report, and not only did he call his colleagues out by name, but he straight up put photos of each of the offending members on his website, in case anyone was interested, because George Miller DOESN'T GIVE A FUCK.


The National Memo describes the report this way:

In his Pork Barrel Politics report, Miller charges these select Republicans with voting for a bill that they themselves benefit from, while eliminating assistance for millions of low-income Americans under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Miller writes in the report, "The 14 Republican members of Congress who voted for the FARRM Act and personally receive government subsidies have received an average of $515,279 in benefits."

The Fuckin 14, as we call them in the seekrit chatcave, received on average HALF A MILLION DOLLARS from the government teat. Clearly these are just poor public servants, so it is good that they subsidize their income with governm…. Wait, what? The 14 Republicans "have a total net worth of up to $124.5 million."

COME THE FUCK ON. So we live in a country when GODDAM MILLIONAIRES walk the halls of Congress, vote for bills that literally, actually line their own pockets with hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, and then try to deny food assistance to 47 MILLION AMERICANS, most of whom are basically walking Margaret Keane portraits.

Thank you, Rep. Miller, for bringing this study to light. We will now take two mustache rides, please, for five cents, and freedom.

[George Miller/National Memo]

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