Friday, January 04, 2013

Bad Analogies

Deficit scolds enjoy a public opinion advantage because people (egged on by politicians) draw analogies between government revenues and spending and household income and spending. “We have to tighten our belts when less comes in,” goes the reasoning.

Of course, it’s a lot more complicated than that when we’re talking about government revenues and spending and how it interacts with the domestic and global economy. But simple analogies are appealing, and the scolds use this as a cudgel to whack stimulus proponents.

As we know, in the upcoming debt ceiling fight, the Republicans will position themselves as the fiscally responsible people who want to stop borrowing money for spending we can’t afford. This is a lie, of course, since the debt ceiling concerns money that has already been appropriated by Congress.

But hardly anyone knows that. Maybe it’s time to steal a page from the wingnut playbook and craft a simple analogy of our own.

The president has pointed out that the debt ceiling isn’t about new spending. But maybe he should say not raising it would be like a family that wanted to cut its overall spending refusing to make mortgage and car payments on their existing home and vehicles instead of making smarter choices about future purchases.

The Republicans are threatening to ruin our credit and throw the global economy into turmoil by refusing to make good on credit that has already been extended for money that has already been spent. Maybe if more people got that, they’d see this as the radical and irresponsible behavior it is rather than just another boring round of endless DC squabbling. Or not.

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 01/04/13 at 07:55 AM
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Thursday, January 03, 2013

Department of FFS

Via ThinkProgress:

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This unfortunate gun show ad placement isn’t even the first one that has occurred next to a story about the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

I think John Cole was right when he said nothing would change until displaying an NRA sticker becomes as toxic as claiming KKK membership. But the NRA, even after Wayne LaPierre’s psychotic presser, has a 54% approval rating in the US. I confess I do not get that. At all.

President Obama seems serious about wanting to address gun violence. But his wording in that interview with Dancing Dave was interesting. He said:

“We’re not going to get this done unless the American people decide it’s important and so this is not going to be a matter of me spending political capital. One of the things that you learn having now been in this office for four years. The old adage of Abraham Lincoln’s, ‘with public opinion there is nothing you can’t do and without public opinion there is very little you can get done in this town.’”

I think most people do want to get military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines off the market. But already, less than a month after 26 people, including 20 first graders, were mowed down at school by a lunatic with a Bushmaster, it seems like the urgency to act is fading.

Maybe placement of gun show ads next to stories about gun atrocities means nothing more than careless editorial oversight. Or maybe guns are so embedded in our national psyche that more than half of us really don’t see much of a difference between a gun and a car, except a need to closely regulate only the one with wheels.

Posted by Betty Cracker on 01/03/13 at 05:33 PM
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Categories: NewsPoliticsBarack ObamaNuttersOur Stupid Media

US House of Cards

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So.  Here we are, swearing in the 113th Congress which is expected to be just about as partisan, obstructive and do-nothing as the history-making 112th Congress. 

Due to the modern miracle of gerrymandering (similar to the worst team in the NFL getting the first draft pick), Republicans are reading their death grip on the House majority as an electoral mandate of some sort. 

God knows what “sort,” because every poll in the kingdom proclaims the GOP’s overall suckiness and the American people’s weariness with them.  We are now stuck with them until 2014 (or the GOP’s demise, whichever comes first).

Just to demonstrate Republicans’ commitment to staying the same party Americans love to loathe, here’s the transitional agenda so far . . .

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Posted by Bette Noir on 01/03/13 at 03:13 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Cowardly, Callous, and Cruel

Never mind the Fiscal Cliff kerfuffle- what really chaps my ass is Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner’s decision to abandon a vote on a Superstorm Sandy aid package

I have made no bones about having an enormous amount of contempt for NJ Governor Chris Christie, and I have absolutely no use for odious GOP Representative for Suffolk County Peter King.  To summarize my assesment of these jerks- Christie is a loudmouth faux tough guy who doesn’t give a damn for Johnny and Janie Paycheck, and King is a rabble-rousing anti-Muslim bigot who ignores the needs of the 9/11 first responders he invokes in his prejudiced tirades.  Today, I view these clowns as the proverbial stopped clock- both Republicans have had choice words about House Speaker John Boehner.

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Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 01/02/13 at 05:47 PM
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Categories: Politics

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Apparently, this is Some Kind of “New Year”

As a New Year’s Day “miracle”, the House of Representatives succeeded in dropping the “Hastert Rule” (a formality that left Speaker of the House John Boehner’s hands tied regarding any bill that didn’t appeal to the “majority of the majority”) permiting the Speaker, who had recently recited the Serenity Prayer on the floor of the House,to look to a Higher Power to get shit done—namely Nancy Pelosi, who actually doesn’t have a problem getting her caucus to do things. Thus, the fiscal cliff bill passed overwhelmingly by the Senate was given its chance in the House, where it received enough bipartisan votes to make it into law.

Is it a good bill? Well, it isn’t better than nothing as far as deficits go. Nothing, just going off the fiscal cliff and that’s that, would have done some good re: spending and revenues, but I think its sort of anti-stimulus effect might have retarded growth and f’d up the GDP and other things that make us look like we’re slogging our way out of recession. Or even more wretchedly, we’d have to get used to people saying stuff like “double-dip recession”. What is that supposed to mean? I know what a double-dip ice cream cone is. Double dip recession just sounds like we were in a recession and, guess what? Still are—again!  That’s dumb. Why wouldn’t we call it “post-fake-recovery” or something like that? But anyhow, we are in the midst of a recovery, and I’m kind of glad Congress didn’t decide to screw with it too much.Because in the long run, I’m less concerned with deficits than I am with regular people not getting so totally shafted as they could have been regarding UI benefits, and stuff.

Does it signify anything in particular for the GOP-held House?  I think—maybe? Cantor was against the change on the Hastert rule and this bill, and maybe Boehner’s decision to put the outcome of this legislation in the hands of a power greater than himself is a harbinger of a challenge to his Speakership. All I really know for sure is that this kind of looks like a Dem win, doesn’t it? 

You can tell me if I’m wrong.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 01/01/13 at 11:45 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaJoe BidenBedwettersElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

A New Year’s Tale

This really happened. One year, right after Christmas, my mom decided to drive herself, my little sister and me up to North Carolina to see snow. As native Floridians, my sister and I had never seen snow before. We complained bitterly about this fact, especially during the holidays when all the TV specials featured snowmen, sleigh rides, etc.

This was a very long time ago, back when people drove ugly green station wagons with fake wood paneling. Anyhoo, we had a little dog—a poodle mix of some sort. He was a kind of goldish color, so we named him Butterscotch. But we all called him Scotch.

We couldn’t take Scotch with us since we were staying with dog-phobic relatives in North Carolina. So my mom asked her younger sister to housesit and watch after Scotch. Auntie agreed to do this for us and promised to take good care of our beloved pet:

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Poor Auntie had to spend New Year’s Eve all by herself. However, my mom had generously given Auntie permission to raid the liquor cabinet. She polished off a few cocktails and then rang in the New Year watching Dick Clark on TV as she lounged in our recliner and finished an entire bottle of champagne:

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Posted by Betty Cracker on 01/01/13 at 08:28 AM
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Categories: BoozeCritters

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